Home GRCC Board of Trustees GRCC board discusses domestic partnership benefits, campus climate at monthly retreat

GRCC board discusses domestic partnership benefits, campus climate at monthly retreat

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The GRCC Board of Trustees met in room 122 of the Applied Technology Center Nov. 11.
The GRCC Board of Trustees met in room 122 of the Applied Technology Center Nov. 11.
The GRCC Board of Trustees met in room 122 of the Applied Technology Center Nov. 11. Kayla Tucker - Editor-in-Chief | The Collegiate Live

By Kayla Tucker – Editor-in-Chief

The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees discussed the implementation of domestic partnership benefits at today’s retreat.

Vice President of Finance Lisa Freiburger led the discussion about how the college is drafting a form for employees to complete and an affidavit for the partners to sign stating they financially support one another.

“We have the ability and responsibility to set eligibility criteria for health coverage,” Freiburger said.

Currently the school is not asking for any proof of shared finances, such as shared mortgages or credit cards.

“We would rather not dive deep into how people support one another,” GRCC President Steven Ender said.

In other news, Eric Williams, of the GRCC Equity Affairs office, presented the Campus Climate Study that was done between the semesters of fall 2013 and winter 2014. Students, staff and faculty were included among the 3,289 respondents.

“This data is not meant to compare with other institutions,” Williams said. “This is a snapshot of where we are.”

According to the report:

  • 84 percent of respondents are comfortable with overall climate on campus.
  • 11 percent of respondents experienced exclusionary conduct on campus, with a higher percentage of them being African-American students and other students of color, and even more so the LGBTQ community. Over half of this percent was faculty.
  • A higher percent of LGBTQ students experienced unwanted sexual contact.

The survey also presented possible solutions to some of the issues of negative conduct reported in the respondents’ feedback. Ender said he is proud of the report and is willing to present it at a public meeting.

Provost Laurie Chesley updated the board on the process of the graduation requirements and the voting of the Academic Governing Council on Nov. 10. The council is expected to send a decision paper to Chesley following the vote.

The board also continued discussion of succession planning, or actions to take when Ender decides to retire, and board improvement.