Home GRCC Board of Trustees GRCC Board discusses presidential search update, approves faculty contract and new mural...

GRCC Board discusses presidential search update, approves faculty contract and new mural installation

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Provost Brian Knetl, Vice President for Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger, and the recently hired deans after the regular board meeting on Aug. 15, 2022. (Alena Visnovsky/The Collegiate)

The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees met Monday in a work session and regular session to discuss the presidential search and policy review, and vote on a new mural on campus, the faculty contract, and more.

The board met in a brief work session before proceeding to the regular board meeting. Vice Chairperson Kenyatta Brame ran the sessions because Board Chairperson David Koetje was not in attendance due to illness.

During the work session, Executive Director of the GRCC Foundation Kathy Mullins presented the board with the request for a potential mural to be painted on Ramp A on the north end of Olivarez plaza. Mullins suggested that the mural could be painted near the beginning of ArtPrize to help get the GRCC campus involved. 

The artist, Raymond Trujillo, is a current student. The mural would be in honor of Interim President Olivarez’s Mexican heritage.

The mural would be of a classic Mexican plaza and is a three dimension style design, where the real-life cobblestone and trees on campus are incorporated into the design.

Sample painting by GRCC student Raymond Trujillo, as a representation of the mural he will paint on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza. (Alena Visnovsky/The Collegiate)

“This (mural) isn’t anything that will cost the college, if there’s a cost to it…the Foundation will look at what the cost is,” Mullins said. “If there’s a cost of any significance, we would look at what we do for fundraising, but if it’s not anything significant–significant would be $10,000–the Foundation will just take care of it.” 

In the regular meeting, Mullins officially requested the board’s approval for the Mexican plaza mural to be painted on the north end of parking Ramp A facing Olivarez plaza. 

“Ten years ago there was a group of individuals that sat in this board room and asked the board to rename Bostwick Commons in honor of President Emeritus Olivarez…and Lupe Ramos-Montigny was one of those community members,” Mullins said. “She’s here today again, to support the mural that she’s wanting to have painted in the student plaza.” 

The mural planning was in the works well before Olivarez was elected as interim president.

The board thanked Ramos-Montigny for her persistence and approved the use of that space for the mural. 

Next in the work session, Board Liaison Misty McClure-Anderson updated the board on the presidential search. The job listing closed on Aug. 12, and Anderson said the search firm will send her the applications this week and then she will provide access to the applications for the board members. Anderson said the search firm has 16 applications but is anticipating 20 applications, because the search firm was waiting on four people they had spoken to. The screening committee will begin looking at the presidential applications within this month, with the goal to have a president established at GRCC in January.

Brame then moved on to policy review. Board Secretary Kathleen Bruinsma said she needed to review the policies one more time before the board votes on the proposed changes. 

The board members then relocated to the Board Library to conduct the Regular Board Meeting. 

To begin, Provost Brian Knetl introduced three new deans who were recently hired as part of GRCC’s academic department reorganization. The three are Dean of Liberal Arts Jason Vinson, Dean of STEM Kristi Haik, and Dean of Health Sciences Lisa Radak.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger presented the finance report and the Michigan New Job Training (MNJT) Agreement with JR Automation with the request to extend the training plan by one year. 

“A large percentage of their training was a bit derailed related to the pandemic and COVID and folks not on site to be trained,” Freiburger said. “So they have requested we…redo a training plan with them.”

The board approved the MNJT Agreement extension with JR Automation.

In the Faculty Association update from Department Head Frank Conner, he emphasized collaboration.

“When decisions are made, the right people need to be in the room,” Conner said. “It’s not about making a decision, and then getting input. It’s (about) being messy up front.” 

Freiburger returned to ask for the board’s consideration of a three-year agreement with GRCC’s faculty association. The agreement specifically addressed faculty schedule changes and proposed salary increases for 32, 42, and 52-week faculty. There is a proposed increase of 3% in year one, an increase of 2.5% in year two, and an increase of 2% in year three. In addition, 52-week faculty will receive an off-schedule 0.5% stipend in the first year of the three-year contract. There were also proposed increases for the rates for both overload and adjunct faculty.

The board approved the faculty contract as presented, they approved purchases over $100,000 and also approved a $75 increase to dental and vision benefits for eligible employees.

The next regular board meeting will be on Sept. 19 at 4:15 p.m. View the meeting calendar here.

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