By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
With property values up countywide, the mill levy will remain the same for Cloud County Community College next year.
The board of trustees approved publishing the 2013-2014 budget Tuesday night, which leaves the operational mill levy at 25.718, the same as 2013. The budget hearing was also set for Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.
Vice President for Administrative Services Bob Maxson presented the budget, and also recommended that the capital outlay levy increase to 3.950 mills, which represents an increase of .685 mills. Maxson said the increase in the capital levy is necessary to continue building reserves for capital improvements at the College. The most immediate need, he said, would be for the replacement of the roof at the Concordia campus, with future projects including parking and additional facility improvements.
Because of an increase in assessed valuation, the total dollar amount requested for the college would increase by $186,411 with $114,896 of that going toward operations and $71,514 for capital funds. The actual mill levy rate, Maxson said, will be the third lowest for the College in the last nine years, and is only the second increase in requested funds since 2005-2006.
On a 5-1 vote, the board approved setting Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. as the public hearing for the budget. Trustee Dave Clemons abstained from voting, because he said he could not attend on that date.
During recognitions, Maxson took the opportunity to speak about Kim Krull, vice president for academic affairs. Krull, who has been at Cloud since 2005, begins her new job as president of Butler County Community College on Aug. 1.
"My very good friend Kim is leaving, and I'm so happy for her, but sad for all of us," Maxson said.
Maxson said when he interviewed for his position in July 2006, the College was in turmoil. Former President George Knox had resigned after a grand jury was called to investigate college finances, and enrollment was down 13 percent in the past two years.
"I had read the Blade and someone named Bounder was writing editorials that were not very kind to the College," he said.
"We had the first of many very candid conversations that we had over the years," Maxson said. "My question to Kim was, 'Can you make a difference and should I come out of retirement to come to Cloud?' Without any hesitation, she said 'yes.' That was the first of many times she was right."
Maxson listed but a few of Krull's accomplishments over her eight-year tenure, including chairing the Higher Learning Commission self-study process. For the first time in Cloud's history, the College received a 10-year accreditation, a direct result of her work, Maxson said.
Krull was instrumental in developing the wind energy program, and authored grants of more than $1.4 million, he said, and played a key role in an increase in enrollment. In her "spare time," he said jokingly, she earned her Ph.D.
"I've received almost 3,000 e-mails from Kim in my time here, and I've worked here 2,500 days," Maxson said. "I received my latest–or earliest– at 2:05 a.m. Almost every e-mail she sent was not what she needed, but what students and faculty needed."
In receiving a framed photo from the board of trustees, Krull thanked everyone for working with her over the past eight years.
"I don't leave places well," she said. "I love coming to work every single day. I work with the greatest people and it's so scary to go to Butler, but I'm taking you all with me. I want to say thank you for giving me such wonderful opportunities while I've been here, for supporting me, and giving me the push to go."
Krull begins her tenure as Butler president on Aug. 1, and Maxson said a search committee has been formed to find her replacement. He said he hopes to have a candidate to present to the board at the September meeting.
In other business, the board approved a low bid from Dwight Menke/First Agency for athletic insurance. Maxson said the base bid was $57,036, an 80-percent increase over last year, and the low catastrophic bid of $1,665 was unchanged. The increase, he said, was directly caused by the frequency and severity of athletic injuries last year, as well as a lack of primary insurance coverage by student athletes.
The board also approved the 2014-2016 performance agreement. Krull said the agreement is a list of goals for the College to accomplish during that time period. They include increasing first to second year retention rates of college ready students, increasing the number of certificates and degrees awarded, and increase the number of students enrolled in career and technical classes.
After board approval, Krull said, the agreement will be sent to the Kansas Board of Regents, and may come back with minor modifications.
In personnel matters, the board approved the hire of Jamieson Gross for the position of animal science instructor. Gross, who received his teaching certification from Missouri State University, will begin Aug. 14 at a salary of $39,316 plus benefits.
Megan Morris was hired as the new director of admissions at a 12-month salary of $40,000 plus benefits. Morris comes to Cloud from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she was a financial aid specialist. She will begin her duties on Aug. 7.
Shane Olson will join Morris in the admissions office as a new admissions counselor. He was hired on a full-time basis at a salary of $29,000 plus benefits, effective Aug. 1. Olson most recently was a fourth and fifth grade reading, language arts and social studies teacher at Pike Valley Elementary and Junior High.
On a 5-1 vote, with Clemons voting against it, the board approved travel expenses for trustee Ellen Anderson and college President Danette Toone to attend the Association of Community College Trustees annual meeting in Seattle, Wash. With registration, airfare, hotel and meals, the cost for each to attend is $2,280.
Clemons said he was concerned with the cost to send two people to the four-day conference.
"The expense of it is always my concern, especially with budgets tight," he said. "I don't doubt that it's a good meeting, but is it really necessary for two people to go?"