Regents discuss new dress code, visit MEC

Photo by PERLA ARELLANO | The Ranger Teresa Clemons, senior grants assessment director, foreground, joins regents and others who toured the Manufacturing Education Center on the East Campus March 25, 2014.
Photo by PERLA ARELLANO | The Ranger
Teresa Clemons, senior grants assessment director, foreground, joins regents and others who toured the Manufacturing Education Center on the East Campus March 25.

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Dr. Paul Matney, Amarillo College president, joined members of the board of regents March 25 on a tour of the Manufacturing Education Center on the East Campus. The center is part of a newly renovated area and is one of several changes for East Campus students this year.

Lyndy Forrester, dean of technical education, said one of the reasons a dress code for East Campus students was implemented in January was because industry members told AC officials that students were not working safely and were lacking professionalism.

“A uniform shirt is a small part of that professional code of conduct,” Forrester said. “It’s to teach professionalism to students and to hold them accountable for having the tools they need to do their job.”

In addition to the uniform shirts, students must have safety equipment. A new core curriculum involves a technical communication and writing class and a technical math class as a direct result of what industry wanted, Forrester said. Students leave the campus with a resume, mock interview and a digital portfolio.

Bob Gustin, a machining instructor, said it is not enough to teach students how to work with machinery but that they also need to incorporate the soft skills of work.

“They have to be part of a team,” Gustin said. “None of us here are an island amongst ourselves.”

Other board business included approval of the nomination of Pat Knight, a former English professor, as the 2014 Professor Emeritus.

“I could not imagine anyone more deserving of this award just from my personal knowledge of her,” said Heather Voran, Faculty Senate secretary and an instructor. “She was a great advocate for our students; our students loved her. She connected with them; she was always firm but encouraging.”

Knight was an English professor from 1967 to 2007. According to Voran, she received multiple awards and honors and served on many college committees. She was a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association and served as AC’s faculty representative.

Matney also acknowledged the naming of Bobby Clift, an electrical engineering major, as a Silver Scholar by the 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. Clift will travel to Orlando, Fla., to receive a $1,250 scholarship at the honor society’s annual convention April 25.

Also attending will be Chaysen Viner, a biology/pre-med major, a nominee for the award and Phi Theta Kappa president.

Regents agreed that there will not be an increase in tuition or basic fees for the 2014-2015 school year. According to Matney, AC will not join neighboring institutions whose leaders have decided to increase tuition and fees.

Also mentioned at the meeting was a fee equity issue. AC offers three types of classes: (1) classes that have a complete online presence, (2) classes that are enhanced online and (3) hybrid classes. Matney said some students pay a distance learning fee while others do not.

In order to resolve the issue and to be consistent, an option presented to the board was to charge the same fee to everyone. The fee would be called a “technology fee” instead of the current “distance learning fee” and would pay for hardware life cycles, software and replace the antiquated distance learning fee. The specifics of the fee policy will take about a year to clarify.

Motions approved during the meeting include:

Amendments to the faculty grievance procedure in the board policy manual.

Sale of county property, held in trust by Potter County, which was obtained through a sheriff’s sale.

Construction of a new parking lot at Jones Hall on the West Campus by Page and Associates Inc. at a guaranteed maximum price of $393,445.

These budget amendments were approved:

  • To increase the grants development and compliance appointed personnel pool, $23,387 was decreased from the Carter Fitness Center appointed personnel pool.
  • To increase College Relations, $11,400 was decreased from the student success contingency fund.
  • To increase the speech/communication appointed personnel pool, $18,642 was decreased from the biology appointed personnel pool.

Life cycle replacement of the auditorium audiovisual infrastructure at the Downtown Campus. The infrastructure funds will be taken out of the technology replacement equipment contingency in an amount that will not exceed $65,000.

Life cycle replacement of the Colleague server and storage area network infrastructure by use of funds from the technology replacement equipment contingency of about $250,000 and $200,000 from the board restricted equipment reserves.

Upcoming events discussed include:

The Honors Convocation will be conducted at 2 p.m. April 27 in the Amarillo Civic Center auditorium.

Commencement will be at 7 p.m. May 16 in Cal Farley Coliseum of the Amarillo Civic Center.

Panhandle PBS is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and at 8 p.m. April 15, Ken Burns will speak about students in Vermont who annually are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite President Lincoln’s 1863 address.

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