The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees met briefly on Monday, Aug. 21, to give updates on enrollments and GRCC finances, approve large purchases, and share information about the AI space on campus that was funded by a grant through Dell Technologies.
GRCC President Charles Lepper gave a few updates on the college’s achievements at the meeting, announcing that GRCC’s nursing department had a 100% pass rate on the first attempt for their testing back in Dec. of 2022, and GRCC is currently awaiting the results for the pass rate from testing in spring, hoping for the same results.
Lepper also announced that faculty and staff have started training in AI in hopes of improving efficiency in the classroom.
GRCC was one of 15 colleges that were selected for the construction of a hybrid laboratory with access to AI computing power, tools and resources. The project was funded by a $40,000 grant given to GRCC by Dell Technologies to help expand the knowledge of AI throughout GRCC.
“We opened that space about two weeks ago with some high-end computing,” said Lepper. “We started doing some training with faculty and we also have a student who’s engaged in that process and that will continue to unfold and in the weeks and months to come and Kristi Haik (Dean of Stem) will keep us posted as we make more progress and utilizing AI at GRCC.”
Lisa Freiburger, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, gave the board an update on the college budget and let board members know that the annual audit was underway. Freiburger also mentioned an increase in their transfer budget to the parking and plant fund. These expenses have helped fund repairs of the Bostwick Ramp (Ramp A).
“We have increased our transfers to both our parking fund and plant fund as we lookout to close the year,’ said Freiburger. “We continue to provide repairs to the Bostwick Ramp or Ramp A. Certainly looking at more actively investigating the next steps with that parking ramp. More to come with that, but we are starting to prepare for increased cost as we maintain that and then potentially looking to what’s next for that parking ramp ”
Freiburger also stated that she is optimistic about the enrollment for the fall semester.
“At this point in time, I am fairly confident that we will hit our budget target (for enrollment) if not exceed that,” said Freiburger. GRCC President Charles Lepper added that he, too, is optimistic as well about the financial situation for enrollment
The Board approved all consent items including the purchases of items totaling $501,671.77 and grants totaling around $2 million in grants for several departments across campus.
- GRCC received a $17,700 continuation award for the Kent County Senior Millage funding. This grant supports GRCC Health Education Programming (HealthClub, Strength and Stretch and Fitness Program) helps senior participants to maintain independence through increased and/or maintained physical fitness.
- GRCC received a $9,900 continuation award for the Older Americans Act funding, which supports fitness classes for seniors.
- GRCC received a $177,995 continuation award for the WIOA AEFLA project. This project provides ESL services for adults and helps them transition to degree programs or job training upon completion of the program.
- GRCC received a $5,000 continuation award for the Metallica Scholars 5.0 project from the All Within My Hands Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges. The project will provide support for non-traditional students enrolled in the welding training program.
- GRCC received a $461,357 continuation award for the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) project.
- GRCC received a $261,888 continuation award for the TRIO Student Support Services STEM project.
- GRCC received a $232,050 continuation award for the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center project.
- GRCC received a $137,522 continuation award for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School project.
- GRCC received a $343,796 continuation award for the GEAR UP Wyoming project.
- GRCC received a $411,910 continuation award for the Title III, Strengthening Institutions project.
- A purchase order for $29,137 was issued to provide payment for Student-Athlete Insurance.
- A purchase order for $58,400 was issued to provide payment for Radius by Campus Management CRM and Application for Admissions.
- A purchase order for $64,274.20 was issued to provide payment for PaloAuto NexGen Firewall 5220 maintenance.
- A purchase order for $26,840 was issued to provide payment for two cassettes of dental instruments for 32 students in the Dental Hygiene Program.
- A purchase order for $47,880 was issued to provide payment for a service agreement for chiller and equipment maintenance.
- A purchase order for $37,890 was issued to provide payment for maintenance for UPS and AC units that protect our enterprise-level equipment.
- A purchase order for $93,773.75 was issued to provide payment for unlimited licensing for the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.
Other Special Funds
- A purchase order for $31,000 was issued to provide payment for professional services for maintenance projects (Spectrum, RJF, ATC, and M-Tec).
- A purchase order for $43,224.82 was issued to provide payment for furniture replacement in Cook Hall.
- A purchase order for $69,252 was issued to provide payment for the construction of a lactation room near Calkins 219.
To close the meeting, Shelia Jones, GRCC’s Interim Provost and Executive Vice President, introduced Cleamon Moorer, the new Dean of Business and Industry.
“Dr. Moorer has over 20 years of experience in higher education, serving in multiple roles from adjunct professor to assistant and associate professor, business school dean and HLC (Higher Learning Commission) peer reviewer,” said Jones. “From his former job as a business school dean, Dr. Moorer brings experience in the direct oversight and accreditation of several of the programs housed in our School of Business and Industry.”
The next regular Board of Trustees meeting will take place in the Board Library on Sept. 18 at 4:15 p.m.