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College Action Projects on Teaching and Learning presentation at Monday’s Board of Trustees Meeting and more

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The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees held their regular meeting for October on Monday during which they discussed a recent audit, a bond resolution, a presentation about teaching and learning and more.

GRCC President Bill Pink was absent from the meeting, noted Chairperson David Koetje at the beginning of the meeting. Pink was meeting with a potential donor during the meeting, but was aware of all of the agenda items for the day.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation by Plante Moran representatives regarding a recent audit of the college’s finances through June 30, 2018, the end of the fiscal year. Only one finding was highlighted during the audit report regarding a student who was disbursed funds from a loan less than 30 days after classes began. The finding was resolved on Sept. 21 by Ann Isackson. The resolution for the finding was noted as, “The college will implement a query into the process of identifying first time direct loan recipients.”

Next on the agenda, the board discussed an outstanding 2009 bond issue which was issued on June 1, 2009 for $7,850,000. Vice President for Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger expanded what the bond was and how our college can save money in the long run from refunding the bond issue.

“It was our Build America Bond, so there is some rebate that comes back to us from the federal government,” Freiburger said. “That said, we are still debt of that rebate, anticipating a little over $400,000 in savings over the remaining life of that bond based on the reflected parameters of the resolution.”

In a memo to the board of trustees regarding the bond, Freiburger explained in further details the amount of money the college would save if the bond refunding was approved.

“Based on the analysis completed by our financial advisor, refunding the $7.85 million still outstanding will generate approximately $417,000 in savings over the remaining 10-year life of the issue,” Freiburger wrote.

The bond refunding was approved by the board unanimously.

A monitoring report on one of the new strategic goals, Teaching and Learning, was presented by Sheila Jones, Dillon Carr and Eric Mullen. They highlighted the three College Action Projects (CAP), what the goals were for each project and what work they will continue to do in the area of the updated strategic goals which were approved by the board on June 4.

The presentation outlined a series of plans regarding schedule and program optimization, strengthening our systems for the assessment of general education and expanding and improving outcomes in online learning. Each project was accompanied by certain goals to meet and activities that helped meet those goals.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Board Chairperson David Koetje, asked the three presenters what, in their opinions, are we doing better at GRCC than other colleges with regard to teaching and learning.

“Compared to the different places I’ve been at, it’s that just the commitment to teaching itself,” responded Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dillon Carr. “So if you talk to colleagues at different places, you’re always talking shop in terms of what your research is or what your discipline’s looking at, but the conversations I have with faculty here have really been really heavily on not just teaching but really student success related to teaching… So that’s one of the passions I think this institution does as well as any place I’ve been at…”

The board also heard an update from Student Alliance President Elizabeth Nguyen who outlined the first major activities Student Alliance and the Campus Activities Board spearheaded at the beginning of the fall semester. Among them were Raider Rally and Welcome Week.

“This year for Student Alliance, we have a brand new team,” Nguyen said. “We are all within our first year at GRCC… This year during the whole summer, we’ve been getting to know each other and partaking in different activities to bond with each other…”

Nguyen invited the board and the guests in attendance to visit one of Student Alliance’s town hall meetings held at 2:30 p.m. every other Thursday in room 500 of the Main Building.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held at 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the Board Library in the Main Building. To view the full meeting, click here, or see the video below.

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