NCK Tech held their monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, June 25. It was announced that long-time NCK Tech employees Ian Draemel and Gary Odle will retire as of June 29. A retirement reception was held in the Severance Student Union Conference Room on Wednesday this week to recognize the long-time employees.
President Eric Burks reported on the Kansas Supreme Court ruling handed down on Monday which stated that schools remain underfunded despite an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years approved by the Kansas Legislature this spring. However, the state’s high court will not force the legislature to reconvene this year and allow them to address the perceived shortage, as ruled, during the 2019 session.
Burks also informed the board that four-year universities in the state are expected to raise their tuition rates by 1.2 to 3.6 percent. Fee rates are also expected to be increased in the state’s public universities as well.
The houses built by NCK Tech students were sold on May 12 to Randy and Sandra Budke for $139,000. The Hays campus house sold to Northwest Kansas Housing for $150,000.
Also announced was a new scholarship being provided by Calvin Adams in memory of his late wife Susan Adams. The $1,000 scholarship will be provided to a student in the Licensed Practical Nursing program at either the Beloit or Hays campus. In addition, the Volga-German Centennial Association is offering a $500 scholarship which will be available to selected students attending either campus who are descendants of people from the six original communities in the Hays area.
CDL training is being extended to the Hays campus at the request of several Hays businesses. NCK Tech has received approval from the state to expand the program and have secured an instructor.
Dean Angel Prescott reported that summer online class enrollment is down from a year ago from 74 to 59 students with a decrease in credit hours from 349 to 330.
President Burks extended his appreciation for the efforts of Dean Brandi Zimmer in the work she put into to budgeting and financial planning for the coming academic year. He also said that he anticipates future reports will show 100 percent of eligible NCK Nursing students will have passed their board exam.
Zimmer provided a review of the proposed budget for the coming academic year. Certain figures were unknowable at the time as final enrollment numbers have not yet been established, and state funding figures are not yet clear. The budget will be revisited once these figures are solid and at the conclusion of ongoing negotiations relating to terms of employment between administration and staff.
Jennifer Brown provided an update on the ASPIRE program showing an increase in the number of credit hours generated at NCK Tech, an increase in student retention, and she discussed the early alert system implemented for student retention efforts.
In action items, the board voted to discontinue the Automated Controls program. The school will attempt to transition students in the program to another area of study at NCK Tech.
The board also gave Burks approval to hire a PHAC (plumbing, heating, air conditioning) instructor. The current instructor is battling significant health issues. This will protect the college which could otherwise, potentially, be without a PHAC instructor at the beginning of the coming semester depending on varying factors.