NCK Tech Board Of Trustees – January 2017


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The NCK Tech Board of Trustees met on Monday, January 23, 2017. President Eric Burks was present via telephone. An audit report for the college was delivered by Dana F. Cole and Company, CPA. Financial balances and figures were not discussed specifically, but referenced in a handout provided to the trustees in attendance.

There were a few items which needed to be reported on in regarding financial aid which was subject to compliance testing. Specific recommendations were not discussed in detail, but it seemed to be suggested by the auditor that the corrective actions needed pertained to more thorough checks and balances and better internal communication in regard to financial aid. Dean of Administrative Services Brandy Zimmer said some such corrective actions have already been implemented.

Student Senate President Cody Bivens and Vice President Zach Long delivered the Student Senate report. An event to finish up the semester was an ugly sweater contest that they said went very well with a lot of participation. They plan to make it an annual event. They will be hosting other events throughout the year. The next special event is planned prior to Spring Break. They are also planning to help with meals on wheels as NCK Tech students. The effort will require volunteers. It was also expressed that the students are excited about the locker rooms being remodeled at the dorms. They have gotten a lot of good feedback from the student body. They will also be doing leadership training with Hays Campus students. Their main focus in this semester is to be more involved with the community.

Cory Isbell delivered the Dean of Instructional Services report. He said they have submitted Perkins review documentation to the Kansas Board of Regents. There will be a site visit by the KBOR sometime this semester. They also have submitted information to NATEF for the Auto Collision re-accreditation. The Certificate A program for Business Management was fully approved by the KBOR as well.

Isbell also said instructors contracts began January 4 for the spring semester. The instructors gathered for an training presentation called “Bring You A Game to Work” delivered by Josh Davies, CEO of the Center for Work Ethic Development in Denver, CO.

January 6 was a professional development day for all staff held in Hays. It also was the day of the launch of the RAVE Guardian app. The app is a proactive way for students and staff to report emergencies, tips or other information to college officials.

The Persistence and Completion Academy team is expanding according to Isbell. They are expanding that committee to develop their early alert system which will help identify  at risk students to help aid in retention and lower drop-out rates. The college was right on their five year average last fall of 60 students lost.

Dean of Student Services Angel Prescott shared a three-year enrollment comparison. The college has seen a 33 percent increase in online enrollment for the Spring 2017 semester. There are 256 online students taking courses in 2017. This is up from 192 in the 2016 Spring semester.

Prescott said they are also working to close gaps in the enrollment process. She added that February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. The Smoky Hills CTE Conference will be held February 7 and 8. CTE National Signing Day will be February 6.

Prescott gave a breakdown of online advertising conducted by the college on Facebook, Google Display and Youtube. A total of $2,190 was spent on online advertising. Over 440,000 people saw the ads while 2,088 interacted with the ads specifically by clicking on them. The average “cost per click” to the school was $1.05. Parents and potential students were targeted in Beloit, Colby, Dodge City, Great Bend, Hays, Kearney, Neb. and Grand Island, Neb. Prescott also said that every program at NCK Tech has added students compared to last year.

Dean of Administration Brandi Zimmer reported the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) has released the 2017 Technical College Data Book. She said NCK Tech’s student success index remains strong. The KBOR also released FY 2016 Cost Model data as well. She said composite rate ranges have increased from $5-$23.

Zimmer also said the maintenance department worked hard during Christmas Break for the transition of the laundry room. The college previously leased washers and dryers from a commercial laundry service, which was not meeting the needs of dorm students. The college has since purchased their own machines and upgraded the laundry room.

She also reported there had been a water line break in front of the Ag Tech II building. The line was buried beneath concrete and had to be dug out. The line was fixed within a few hours, but the concrete will not be replaced until weather permits.

In his report, NCK Tech President Eric Burks said he had attended KBOR meetings, and that he was scheduled to testify on January 17 before the House Higher Education Budget Committee in Topeka. His testimony focused on the growth in the technical college sector since 2009 despite a 10% reduction in funding during that time. He also said the governor’s budget proposal released earlier this month does not restore the four percent cut sent down last year, and leaves it in place for an additional two years. He said they will need the legislatures help  to restore what has been lost.

Burks also said that on January 6 they launched ASPIRE 2022 which is a five year strategic plan approved by the board in November. He is working with Jennifer Brown on overviews of the plan. Brown was recognized as the Spring 2017 212 Award winner. She was nominated and selected by her peers. The intent of the award is to bring positive attention to employees who are going above and beyond their duties to help NCK Tech succeed. It’s called the 212 Award because at 211 degrees water is hot, but it boils at 212.

The only action item for the board was to approve the financial audit report submitted earlier in the meeting. The next NCK Tech Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 27 in the conference room at the Severance Student Union at NCK Tech.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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