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GRCC Board honors two campus police officers, appoints members to Public Safety Advisory Board

Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees in the Board Library, Monday, Feb. 17.

The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees met Monday, Feb. 17 for their monthly meeting. The docket included the swearing in of Zachary Penniman as a GRCC police officer and officers Ryan Ford and Martin Ruizand being presented with the lifesaving award. A budget proposal was also submitted for consideration. 

GRCC Police Chief Rebecca Whitman announced her annual request for appointees to the Public Safety Advisory Board. According to the Community College Act of 1966, there are to be two staff members and two faculty members. The Board unanimously approved Amy Mansfield, Dean of the School of Workforce, Mansfield Matthewson, Director of Purchasing, as the staff representatives. Nikki Banks, criminal justice professor, and Hillery Haney, French professor were approved as the faculty members to serve on the committee.

Lisa Freiburger, GRCC Vice President of Finance and Administration, presented a mid-year budget review. 

“Overall, it’s very consistent,” Freiburger said. Later adding, “Our non-resident billing units for both fall and winter (2019-2020) not only were better than our budget projections but actually were increased over fall and winter of 2018-2019.” 

Freiburger continued by denoting the “stable element” of the budget that GRCC has. 

“We are likely to see a fairly, as we have in prior years, significant underspending in some of our non-controllables,” Freiburger reported to the Board. “We are on target at the same place we were last year with those.”

Treasurer Kenyatta Brame inquired about how, if at all, the budget will be impacted by the Promise Zone designation Grand Rapids Public Schools recently reached with GRCC. 

“(The college will have) minimal expenses because, eventually, most of… those expenses will be absorbed by the Promise Zone itself, so for the institution not as much” GRCC President Bill Pink answered. 

Concluding the budget report, Freiburger noted that she and her team have been tracking future projections for the college. She stated that the enrollment numbers, while still very “conservative,” are estimated to decline slightly by about 3%. However, factors such as the Promise Zone and Michigan Reconnect, a grant program unveiled by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, have not been factored into these preliminary numbers. Freiburger added that if they were, that percentage would likely be even less. 

Chairperson David Koetje called on the board members to vote on the budget report. It passed unanimously. 

The Board is set to reconvene Monday, March 16 in the Board Library.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated Feb. 19 to correct the spelling of Hillery Haney’s name.