Board Report: Nov. 16

SCF Board of Trustees Approves New Women's Tennis Team


(Bradenton, Fla., November 16, 2009) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) District Board of Trustees gave approval for SCF to start a women’s tennis team in Fall 2010 at the trustees’ monthly meeting held Monday, Nov. 16.

“A competitive tennis program is a natural fit for the Bradenton area with its international reputation for tennis,” said Board Chair Steve Harner.
Trustee Rev. Kelvin Lumpkin noted the number of local famous tennis in endorsing the program.
An opportunity expected to attract more local tennis talent to SCF, the nine-member tennis team will compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association, said Dr. Don Bowman, vice president of educational and student services.
“As enrollment increases, there has been growing interest in enhancing co-curricular and extracurricular activities by all stakeholders—students, corporate partners and the community members,” Bowman said. “Unique to the tennis program is that we’ve already had interest from corporate partners and community members who are possible donors.”
Estimated expense for the tennis program is $70,000 - $80,000 funded by a combination of donations and fees directed by the Student Activity Budget Review Committee.
Arrangements have been made with IMG Academies to use tennis courts for the program, said SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner.
“It’s another way to expand and strengthen our partnership with IMG,” Hafner said.
Board members agreed the tennis program offers a range of benefits and opportunities for students not only because it is a sport that has a potential to draw national acclaim for SCF but also because the sport is enjoyed at all stages of life.
“We have another constituency we can reach through a tennis program,” said Ron Allen, vice chair. “This gives us an opportunity to provide them another service beyond high school.”
Trustee Jennifer Saslaw, who made the motion to approve the tennis program, said, “I’m excited about bringing tennis to our College and the potential to reach out to the community in a new way.” 
SCF trustees also approved:
  • A grant proposal for $68,525 from the Regional Small Business Development Center at USF Tampa to continue assisting small businesses in Manatee and Sarasota counties through SCF’s Small Business Development Center.  SCF will match the grant with a cash donation of $92,683 and an in-kind match of $25,120.
  • Contracts with engineering firm Smith, Seckman, Reid Inc. and construction manager with A.D. Morgan Corp. for miscellaneous projects at the college.
  • A fee reduction from $100 to zero for three courses in the R.N. to B.S.N. program including Leadership & Management in Professional Nursing, Dimensions of Professional Nursing and Community/Public Health Practicum.
The board also recognized the following:
  • Barry Puett, SCF’s director of the Paralegal/Legal Assisting Program, was honored for her leadership in ensuring a quality education for students to excel in the legal field. SCF paralegal/legal assisting graduates exceeded state and national passing rate averages on the recent Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination and outperformed test-takers that have completed a qualified paralegal program.
  • Jessica Klipa, SCF’s public information coordinator and former Bradenton Herald reporter, was honored as the 2009 Newsperson of the Year at the Florida Farm Bureau’s annual conference held in Daytona Beach last month. She received the state award for educating the public through her news coverage of agricultural issues including last year’s salmonella scare.
In announcements, Hafner gave a report about the Nov. 12 joint meeting between the State Board of Education that governs Florida’s educational system from pre-Kindergarten through state colleges, and the Board of Governors, which oversees Florida’s university system. At the meeting, the Florida Council of 100, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic growth in Florida, encouraged the Department of Education to maximize taxpayers’ dollars through pursuing new programs in four areas -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- expected to lead to high performance jobs.
“The Board has been consistent in its decision regarding offering the best bang for the buck,” Harner said. “We certainly have an obligation to our taxpayers.”
Hafner announced that SCF’s new RN to B.S.N. program has drawn 192 applications to date. Orientation is beginning this week for the first cohort of 50 students accepted into the program that starts in January.
For the second year, SCF’s wellness program has earned a gold-level award in the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition Program listed in Forbes magazine. The award recognizes companies that offer physical activity support, increase healthy eating options at work and promote a wellness culture. SCF is one of just five organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties recognized in the special issue.
Trustees heard about a student-initiated request that the administration consider a tobacco-free campus policy. Hafner said he requested the college’s legal counsel to look into the relevant statutes and advise as to whether a policy change could be implemented. SCF has a collegewide “clean-air campus” policy that prohibits smoking indoors and designates certain outdoor areas for smoking.
SCF Foundation Executive Director Peg Lowery reported $4.6 million in gifts and revenue this fiscal year despite a lack of state matching funds and a challenging economic downturn. Other highlights of the fiscal year report included nearly $1.6 million designated for scholarships and $1 million for faculty and equipment support, seven new scholarships developed and 731 foundation scholarships awarded.
A demonstration also was presented on “SCFConnect,” the new Web portal that will be introduced in Spring 2010. The Web portal is an internal communication tool using innovative digital technology to provide students, faculty, staff and administration with integrated access to college communications and services.
In a statement to the Board, Hafner reaffirmed his commitment to SCF, explaining that he wanted to deflect questions and speculation in light of news stories that listed his name as a potential candidate for the presidency of St. Petersburg College.
“This is the exciting place to be,” Hafner said. “With the Board’s support, we’ve accomplished a lot of great things together in the past 18 months. I’m happy here and I see my family growing up here.”
Harner responded, “No one’s happier than me to hear you say that. You have my and the Board’s full support and confidence. We are thrilled with the direction you’re taking the College.”
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 8:30 a.m., at SCF Bradenton.
Barry Puett
Steve Harner, board chairman, Barry Puett, SCF
director of paralegal/legal assisting program,
Dr. Lars A. Hafner, SCF president
Jessica Kilpa
Steve Harner, board chairman, Jessica Klipa, SCF public 
information coordinator, Dr. Lars A. Hafner, SCF president
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