Board Report: Jan. 20

(Bradenton, Fla., Jan. 20, 2010) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Board of Trustees at its regular meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 20, received updates and took action responding to changes resulting from growth at SCF.

The board approved recommendations to hire contractor W.G. Mills Inc. to build a new library at SCF Bradenton. The company has a strong track record in completing work for public and academic libraries including Selby Library and Riverview High School’s media center, said Traci Steen, associate vice president of facilities planning and maintenance.

“They’re well qualified for this project and we’re really pleased to have them,” Steen said.

SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner announced that the State College of Florida Collegiate School proposal will go before the Manatee County School Board on Monday, Jan. 25. Hafner shared with the trustees a note from Tim McGonegal, Manatee Schools superintendent, who wrote: “The SCF application was well prepared and we are recommending its approval.”

In an update of SCF’s pursuit of offering workforce baccalaureate degrees, Hafner reported that the first program, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, began Jan. 11 with the first two cohorts of students in Bradenton and Venice. More than 225 people submitted applications for the program available to 50 students.

In reply to Trustee Joe Miller’s question about the status of SCF’s four additional proposed l workforce baccalaureate programs, Hafner said that all four of SCF’s programs were approved for submission to the State Board of Education.

SCF’s enrollment this spring has continued a steady growth trend with 12,000 students at its campus locations in Bradenton, Venice and Lakewood Ranch, and through eCampus. When credit and noncredit students are counted, a total of 33,000 students attend SCF annually.

Despite the demands caused by increased growth, SCF has succeeded in weathering the economic downturn. In response to a request by Sen. Mike Bennett and the local delegation for local colleges and universities to list specific cost-cutting measures undertaken to manage the economic challenges, Hafner provided a list detailing $3 million of cuts the College has implemented.

“We are being a bright light for the community, a beacon of hope in an otherwise bleak time,” Hafner said.

In other board action, the board also approved:

• A recommendation from the Curriculum Development and Review Committee for new, revised, deleted programs and courses.

• Execution of contracts with Smith, Seckman, Reid Inc., as collegewide miscellaneous engineering firm; and with A.D. Morgan Corp. as miscellaneous contract manager.

• A grant proposal for $1, 885,994 from the U.S. Department of Labor — Employment and Training Administration to implement the project, “Florida Works Health Care Sector Initiative.” A partnership with Manatee County School District, Manatee Technical Institute, the Suncoast Workforce Board and local health care providers, the project will provide training, education and supportive services, leading to the placement of 578 individuals in the health care field within three years of receiving the grant. Funds also will be used to develop a Paramedic to Associate in Science in Nursing. SCF will match the grant with a cash donation of $70, 143 and an in-kind match of $476, 832.

Closing comments included:

• The SCF Basketball team, at 11-5, has a successful season and defeated rival St. Pete College 88-84 last week.

• Dr. Hafner applauded SCF employees for “working 24/7” to assist students in the enrollment process.

• The computer theft over the holiday break is under investigation by the Manatee Sheriff’s Office. Dr. Hafner said he would keep the board updated on any new developments in the case. Measures are being taken to improve security on campus including installing cameras and using identification cards for a new door lock system to monitor who is entering and leaving.

• SCF has adopted a new marketing campaign, “Deep Roots, Green Shoots,” that is appearing in newspapers and other media.

• The College plans to take a more global approach with eCampus, offering more access and more courses to broaden the base of students participating in the program, and will bring nationally known presenter Mark Milliron to the College to launch the discussion.

• Students and employees at SCF have stepped forward in many ways to help Haitian students raise funds for relief efforts.

• Trustee Rev. Kelvin Lumpkin’s radio interview with Hafner about the changes taking place at SCF is available on podcast via SCF’s Web site: SCF board member Rev. Kelvin Lumpkin and SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner Discuss College's Future.

• Dr. Hafner recognized two SCF graduates who have received acclaim in their fields. Fawn Germer, a four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, will be the keynote speaker at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce's 47th annual dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Manatee Convention Center. Her most recent book, released last spring, is "Finding the UP in the Downturn, How to Turn the Economic Meltdown into your Greatest Opportunity." Ice skater Amanda Evora, also an SCF graduate, is headed to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Hafner said the success of these graduates speaks to the role the College plays in the community in preparing students to succeed in their chosen fields.

“A lot of people don’t think we can turn out Pulitzer Prize nominees or Olympic figure skaters but here’s proof that we can. And while we praise them, it is also the other lives we touch at this College that make us know we are engaged in a worthwhile endeavor,” Hafner said.

In a workshop prior to the board meeting, Bill Mullowney, Valencia Community College vice president for policy and general counsel, discussed board governance, conflict of interest and Sunshine Law issues.

“Despite the complexity of the laws, the relevance of the Sunshine Law is in the best interest of the public and the school,” said Chairman Steve Harner.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, at SCF Bradenton.

Page Edit