Bladen Community College Trustees Springing Into Action
Bladen Community College (BCC) Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on March 23, 2021. The board approved the meeting to be held telephonically, although some board members and presenters were in-person at the college auditorium.
After the invocation and pledge to the United States flag, Chairperson Mr. Dennis Troy called for ethics awareness and identification of conflicts or potential conflicts of interest. No conflicts were mentioned.
The consent agenda was approved unanimously.
Ms. Ashley Norris, SGA Secretary, gave the Student Government Association Report. Ms. Norris gave an update on the SGA. Fall elections will be held on September 14 and 15 to elect nine additional senators.
The SGA is also providing an etiquette workshop in April. “Etiquette is essential in all aspects of life regardless of who you are, what you do, or how old you are,” Ms. Norris told the board members. “It’s never too late to acquire good social skills and master the etiquette rules that will help you sail through a job interview, formal dinner, or business meeting.”
The workshop will be held via zoom.
Barry Priest with BCC acknowledges awards nominees. Hannah Wheeless, Mr. Butler, and the SGA President, Mr. Michael Dunbar, were recognized for their award nominations.
Ms. Lacie Jacobs presented faculty and staff reports. The history department is now offering free access to books online; the English Department had 18 Signa Capa Delta (English Honor Society). The Ink Quill is being published for the 10th year. The electrical, industrial, and mechatronics staff members attended a new hands-on training. Business technology staff members attended a professional development class as well.
According to Ms. Jacobs, BCC is one of 12 schools in North Carolina to teach SWIFT programing. In addition to the new classes and trainings, Ms. Jacobs announced, there is also a new grant writing course.
During the staff council update, Ms. Jacobs noted a new website is being created, and a survey will be taken about the website before the website is created.
Next, the trustees heard the BCC Foundation Report presented by Ms. Linda Burney. The gala to-go went very well. “It was embraced, and we served 134 dinners in a three-hour span. We secured a sponsorship from 23 returning sponsors.”
Ms. Burney stated that all three ambassadors were able to talk to every donor who came by to pick up their meals. Ms. Burney said, “Barefoots and the farmer’s market was the perfect setting for us to do this.”
A total from the gala fundraiser will be presented at the next meeting. Another event is in the works.
Ms. Burney noted a summer scholarship program is in the planning stages, and the ambassador program will be accepting applications starting on April 15, 2021.
The next Foundation board meeting will be via zoom on April 8, 2021.
Board member Dr. Frank Gemma gave no new update for the academic and student affairs committee. Board member Mr. Brian Campbell called Jay Stanley with BCC to provide a building and grounds committee report. Mr. Stanley said there was no new business to report.
Board member Mr. Hayes Petteway asked if there were any issues with the two new buildings. Mr. Stanley explained there are some issues with sound in the classrooms, and the college staff is working on resolving them.
Mr. Petteway asked Mr. Stanley to give the Fiscal Affairs Committee Report and the Sound Fiscal and Management Practices BCC Policy.
The Sound Fiscal and Management Practices BCC Policy was brought before the board for a vote.
“These are good policies to have in place for expectations for our budget or our finances, and I recommend this for your approval,” Mr. Stanley said.
The motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Stanley also provided a brief budget update.
“As far as the budget is concerned… we continue to be in good order,” Mr. Stanley stated.
He told the board members about two budget callbacks, but the college has over half a million dollars in reserve funds. The college also plans to carry over some equipment funding and will ask the State to be held harmless for carrying over the funds. Mr. Stanley also discussed the county funds and the fact that the college is always right in line with the budget.
Mr. Petteway complimented Mr. Stanley and his staff for the way they operate the college’s financial department. “You’ve always done a great job,” Mr. Petteway said.
In regards to the BCC Foundation Investment Committee Report, Mr. Petteway said, “We are down a little bit from where we were last month.” The investment varies from month to month. He added, “Hopefully, we can continue to have enough income to provide scholarships for our Foundation.”
Ms. Mary Andrews presented a Personnel Committee Report discussing the President’s evaluation. Dr. Amanda Lee is the current President of Bladen Community College. Every year the board of trustees is tasked with evaluating the President’s performance.
The survey monkey evaluation will go out to all trustee board members to evaluate the current college’s President’s performance. The first week in May, Dr. Lee will be presented with the survey results.
Next, Dr. Lee gave the President’s Report. “This is the season of audits,” Dr. Lee stated. The college received three audits. One audit ended clear with no issues. Dr. Lee discussed some observations from another audit, and the third audit is out for review.
The college is in the middle of budget planning. Dr. Lee asked the trustees to review the budget items and talk with elected officials about the budget stabilization. According to Dr. Lee, enrollment in North Carolina colleges is down this year.
Dr. Lee mentioned the CARES Act has funds and that some funds from the CARES Act will go to the students.
Security was next on the list for Dr. Lee to cover. “Recently, we did have a scare with our emails.” An email came into the college from a local vendor that obtained “scareware.”
Dr. Lee reported the school did contact the school’s insurance company for coverage against cyber threats.
During the Covid update, Dr. Lee reported there had been zero Covid cases reported in the last two weeks. She said, “I think we are definitely going in the right direction.”
According to Dr. Lee, staff members have been vaccinated and are waiting for their second shot.
In closing, Dr. Lee explained the college is working on graduation, post-Covid schedules, a summer kids camp, some new curriculum, and a new website. The 2021 graduation date has not been finalized at this time but will be announced as soon as it is made available.
“There is a lot to be proud of,” Dr. Lee said.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m.