The GRCC Board of Trustees met June 13 to discuss various topics including the 2022-2023 budget proposal.
First, GRCC’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, Lisa Freiburger, discussed the comprehensive budget proposal itself.
Freiburger pointed out that this was the same budget discussed at the May 16 meeting.
“The data has not changed at all from when we reviewed it as part of the work session in early May,” Freiburger said. “We have not changed that total.”
They then unanimously approved the budget and adjourned the work session. The group then discussed their special order of business, which included three topics: the 2022-2023 Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) Board of Directors Appointment, the new Michigan New Jobs Training Program agreement, as well as the 2022-2024 strategic plan.
The group also approved Trustee Kathleen Bruinsma as their representative to the MCCA with trustee Brandy Lovelady Mitchell as the alternate.
“Thank you Trustees Bruinsma and Lovelady Mitchell for representing us,” Chairperson David Koetje said, “…on what will become a more important and growing role with the MCCA.”
Freiburger then reappeared to explain the latest MNJTP agreement with Nu-Wool Inc, a Jenison-based insulation manufacturer. The agreement was for $100,000, and the company currently has 84 full time employees and are proposing to add 15 new employees under the agreement.
Next, Brain Kentl, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, discussed the importance of a strategic plan.
“A strategic plan is an important document that guides the work of any college and university,” Knetl said. “It includes things that are determined by the campus and the community that need or require focused attention.”
Next, Sheila Jones, GRCC’s dean of Instructional Support, presented the main points of the strategic agreement, which included increased attention towards equity amongst students and staff, especially among traditionally marginalized groups.
Koetje then took a moment to reference the college’s decision on which search firm they will partner with to find President Bill Pink’s replacement.
“We did engage with a presidential search firm, Gold Hill Associates,” Koetje said. “This is the same firm that brought us Dr. Pink a few years back, and it will be the firm that will be guiding us through this process.”
Pink then spoke about the pending completion of the Secchia Piazza, which only now needs interior work that will likely continue through the fall months.
“That is going to be a beautiful facility that we will all be proud of,” said Pink. “I look forward to coming back to campus and helping to open that beautiful facility someday.”
The board then unanimously approved the contract with Dr. Juan Olivarez, who will be GRCC’s interim President.
“We are just delighted that Dr. Juan Olivarez has accepted our invitation to become our interim President,” Koetje said. “And now it is time to approve that contract with him.”
President Pink took the final moments to give a farewell address to the Board of Trustees.
“To our campus community and to our board, thank you so much for these last seven years,” Pink said. “You have said that I made it easy for you. Well, you made it easy for me. You are never as successful as you can be without your board behind you supporting you. Thank you for that.”
“GRCC makes it easy to do this job,” Pink said. “(We are) a community that believes in this college, that says we would be compromised if it weren’t for GRCC being here. You can’t be a great exemplary college without the people because the people make up the college. I have been thankful and grateful to each of you.”
The board will meet again on Monday, July 18.