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GRCC Board of Trustees say goodbye to two of its members during their last meeting of 2018

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Board Chairperson David Koetje presented Treasurer Richard Stewart and Trustee Carlos Sanchez with a gift from the board as they near the end of their terms on the board on November 19, 2018 in the Board Library in the Main Building at GRCC. From left to right is Sanchez, Koetje and Stewart. (Tatiana Diaz/The Collegiate)

The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees met for the last time in 2018 on Monday to discuss a property tax resolution, an amendment to a previous jobs training agreement and a farewell send-off to two of its sitting members.

The board first heard from Vice President for Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger on a property tax resolution that the board has discussed in prior meetings.

“The property tax resolution is one that you have to decide on an annual basis, we typically bring it to you in December,” Freiburger said. “This is a required process as part of the Community College Act as well as the school code that allows us to collect 100 percent of all our annual property tax millage assessment in the summer… The resolution is identical to what you have considered and approved in prior years.”

Freiburger also included in her initial presentation to the board an amendment to a jobs training agreement by JR Automation that was presented to the board during September’s regular Board of Trustees meeting. The amendment is to increase the amount of funding for that agreement from $100,000 to $300,000.

“When we had that initial package and brought that to you for your consideration and ultimate approval, we had a limited amount of funding available as part of the queue,” Freiburger said. “We have since had some additional funding made available to us as an institution and in the process JR Automation had some additional training needs that we were not able to meet in that first round. So this by considering an increase from $100,000 to $300,000… will allow us to meet all of their training needs. The total number of employees hasn’t changed. The total amount of training has.”

Both the property tax resolution and the amendment to JR Automation’s job training agreement were approved unanimously by the board.

Following Freiburger’s presentations, the board heard a monitoring report from Assistant Accounting Professor Jennifer Knauf and Chris Johnson, the associate dean of faculty evaluation and hiring. The report focused on student completion and transfer as part of GRCC’s new strategic goals that were presented to the board in June.

Johnson explained that the goals of this college action plan was, “to develop academic pathways to facilitate student completion on their transfer.”

The college action plan also focused on academic advising and all aspects of student transfers. For a copy of the PowerPoint presentation on the monitoring report regarding student completion and transfer contact the Office of the Board of Trustees at (616) 234-3901.

GRCC President Bill Pink asked for a Supplier Inclusion Purchasing Report from Director of Purchasing Mansfield Matthewson who went over the college’s 2017-2018 supplier inclusion purchasing report from minority and women-owned businesses.

“The supplier inclusion team is in the office of the purchasing department (ensuring) equity and inclusion in our procuring practices,” Matthewson said.

In 2017-2018 the college engaged 105 diverse suppliers which translated to $2.3 million going towards those businesses, or 11.56 percent. That was in increase of .08 percent from the previous year’s report.

Concluding the meeting, Chairperson David Koetje presented Treasurer Richard Stewart and Trustee Carlos Sanchez with some parting words on behalf of the board as their terms are set to end at the end of the year.

“For the two of you, you’ve made this experience an enjoyable one to work alongside you,” Koetje said. “We have valued your comment, your voice. Your voice has been always thoughtful. Your voice has been challenging to us, and your voice has always been heard with an incredible and utter respect from those of us who work in this.

“From that vantage point you guys model to us what public service is, and we’re incredibly grateful for that. So as we say goodbye to you, at least in this current position here, the board has gifted to a foundation on your behalf for the Ford Scholarship.

Koetje ended with a joke, reminding the two members they were not yet relieved of their duties until after the holiday reception in December.

Trustee Kathleen Bruinsma also shared some words for the two exiting trustees to express her experience with each member while serving on the board together. She first addressed Stewart whom she had served on the board with the longest.

“We served on this board together for two years,” Bruinsma said. “We have a number of things in common, which I think may have startled both of us. I’m most grateful for and share your commitment to policy governance and following procedures as they’re laid out. It’s been a true pleasure serving with you, and I wish you health and happiness… I don’t want you to be a stranger.”

Bruinsma voiced her appreciation for serving with Sanchez as he brought a different perspective to the board.

“Trustee Sanchez and I served together for one and a half years and because representation matters the loss of his voice and perspective on this board is a loss, I think, to the students and to the college,” Bruinsma said. “So I hope you’ll stay involved in some capacity with the college moving forward.”

To watch November’s Board of Trustees meeting in its entirety, click here or view below. To receive copies of November’s meeting agenda or minutes contact the Office of the Board of Trustees at (616) 234-3901 or send a written request to 202 Administration Building, 415 E. Fulton Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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