The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees convened Monday to approve two new jobs training agreements and heard reports from various campus institutions.
Following the approval of the agenda for the meeting, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Lisa Frieburger, presented two new jobs training agreements to the board. These are local companies that are looking to partner with GRCC.
Arcanum Alloys, located in Kentwood, is seeking to hire 22 new employees.
“Similar to the first one, DeWys Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer offering full service metal fabrication services,” Frieburger said. “They are located in Marne, Michigan. They are looking to add an additional 27 new positions over the next three years.”
Both Michigan New Jobs Training Agreements passed with all in favor.
Chairperson David J. Koetje then welcomed Jennifer Knauf, Professor of Accounting, Christopher Johnston, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Eric Mullen, Dean of Student Success and Retention, to the podium. The trio presented an evaluation on the current College Action Plan (CAP).
CAP 2.1 focuses on pathways to assist students in completing their academic goals and assist in transferring to other schools.
“[We’re trying to] put it into digestible information so that they understand it and understand what it means for them to choose one of these paths and what kind of careers and what kinds of transfer opportunities exist for them,” Johnston said.
CAP 2.2 pertains to academic advising and creating a streamlined, efficient process for students.
“We’re very excited that we received a $2.1 million award for Title III to support this work,” Mullen said. “From my perspective, this allows us to bring in a platform and the technology to marry it with the people and the processes to so we can take that model into fruition.”
CAP 2.3 is a newer project. The goal with this particular one is to improve transfer opportunities for students.
“I think this newer practice is going in the right direction and asking the right questions and gathering the right information to see how students encounter our transfer information,” Johnston said.
The Board members were pleased with the progress made on CAP 2.
“The intentionality around this piece and this CAP is incredible,” Bruinsma stated. “And I’m sure that students will continue to benefit for this because the more the support, the more the input, the better.”
Frieburger returned the podium again to present a financial report.
“We are very much in the budget amendment process at this point in time looking for anything that needs to be changed as of the new year,” Frieburger said. “We will be bringing, as is our typical schedule, a full budget amendment to you for your consideration in February.”
Once the reports had been completed, there was an update from the Student Alliance President Emma Johnson.
Earlier this year, the Student Alliance had the opportunity of going to the American Student Government Association held in Washington, D.C.
“We were able to attend multiple trainings and workshops,” Johnson said. “A couple of memorable sessions that we went to touched on creating mental health support on campus, connecting with students through surveys, and holding effective meetings.”
Johnson added that she and the other members of the Student Alliance “feel more empowered to work with the campus community to make a positive change” following their trip with the ASGA. One such way they put the information they had learned from the conference into practice was via student surveys.
“Some of the feedback we have gotten is that there are no gender neutral bathrooms in the library,” Johnson reported. “There is a lack of group collaboration are on campus and just some parking issues.”
According to Johnson, the Student Alliance looked into those areas of concern and discovered that there were other campus committees already addressing those matters.
Johnson highlighted the different events held on the GRCC campus for Homecoming week. She made special note of a grill-out hosted by the Student Alliance with GRCC President Bill Pink.
“I would say it was quite successful,” Johnson said. “We were allowed to connect with and feed close to a thousand students during this event.”
Following the update from Student Alliance, Pink invited Mansfield Matthewson to present on Supplier Diversity Report.
Matthewson stated that GRCC had an overall participation level of 9.41% with diverse suppliers during the 2018/2019 academic year. This is down 2.15% from the 2017/2018 which was at a participation level of 11.56%.
The annual property tax resolution was presented to the board. Frieburger noted that there has been a rollback in millage rate from 1.9% to what it is currently at 1.7606%. She added that it is “highly likely” another rollback will occur in the upcoming year, although Frieburger stated that will not be known until May.
The resolution passed without opposition.
Upon the completion of all reports, Koetje welcomed public comment on any matters related to GRCC. No one offered comment and with that Koetje adjourned the meeting.
On Monday, Jan. 13, the board will meet for a work session held in the conference library. Monday, Feb. 17 the board will hold another meeting in the board library.