MCC Board Meeting Report: Oct. 22, 2008

In its October meeting held at MCC Bradenton, the Manatee Community College (MCC) District Board of Trustees approved a revised five-year Capital Improvement Plan, authorized the college to proceed with developing an invitation to negotiate to solicit bids for employees' health insurance, and heard a report from President Dr. Lars A. Hafner concerning progress on numerous initiatives.

David Wildes, director of facilities planning, presented a revised Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that reflects a new vision and ambitious approach to providing facilities that will support MCC's present and future enrollment growth.

"We don't want to be shortsighted in planning for the future," Hafner said, noting that partnerships and joint-use facilities will play a role in MCC's expansion and the pace of future construction will accelerate. 

The CIP includes new buildings, major remodels and ongoing renovation and remodeling projects. Included in plans for MCC Bradenton are:

  • A library renovation that could increase the footprint from the present 40,000 sq. ft. to about 65,000 sq. ft and might be built as a partnership joint-use library shared with Manatee County. Hafner emphasized that MCC is committed to maintaining space for the Family Heritage House Museum. 
  • Combine technology functions in one sturdy building by relocating classrooms and labs in outdated Building 19 to a new or remodeled multi-story building at the site of the present Building 6. This would allow computer equipment to be moved to more protected high levels.

Included in MCC Venice plans are:

  • A new joint-use facility with USF
  • A land trade with Fourth Quarter that would exchange unused wetland owned by MCC for contiguous land that would be of use to the college.
  • An additional road to accommodate continued growth.  

Peg Beck, director of human resources, reported on MCC's present health insurance plan through the Florida Community College Risk Management Consortium. The board approved the college proceeding with developing an invitation to negotiate proposal to compare other insurance plans to the consortium plan. The bid, review, evaluation, negotiation and selection process will ensue in November and progress through 2009. If a new insurance plan is selected, it will not be effective until 2010. The process includes for the options and considerations to be taken back to the board and presented to MCC employees.

"This review does not impact the present insurance plan or open enrollment decisions being made for 2009," Beck said.

Hafner said, "The reason we're reviewing this is to make certain that our employees have the best insurance available at the best rate. We want MCC employees to have benefits that are worthy of this institution."

The goals of the insurance review proposal will be to:

  • Provide various insurance options at more reasonable cost to College and employees/dependants
  • Provide choice for employees' and retirees' individual varied needs
  • Provide incentives for prevention and wellness initiatives to improve health and reduce insurance costs
  • Provide state of the art third-party administration, enrollment and communication models.

In other board news, Hafner reported on several items relative to the University of South Florida (USF) Sarasota-Manatee:

  • The agreement was finalized with the University of South Florida (USF) Sarasota-Manatee to rent space at MCC Venice for the next two years.
  • Dr. Arthur Guilford, the CEO of USF Sarasota-Manatee, will be the speaker for MCC's December Commencement.
  • The outdated 2+2 agreement with USF is in the process of being revised to remove MCC's commitment not to provide four-year degrees or invite other partners to the College and to allow USF to teach a selection of 100 and 200 level classes.

The board approved Hafner's request to amend the letter of intent to offer baccalaureate degrees to include Fire Science after the local fire chief expressed interest in MCC providing a four-year degree in this field. A letter of intent does not require MCC to offer all listed programs but allows the college to conduct a needs assessment study on the identified programs.

Important achievements at MCC were announced: Pentangle, MCC's student literary journal, received statewide recognition and MCC's nursing graduates' average on the recent NCLEX exam exceeded the national average.

The board approved consent agenda items and expressed satisfaction about the athletic report showing the academic achievement and community service involvement of MCC's student-athletes.

Trustees were reminded that December 4 is the date of the inauguration ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the grand opening of the new Music and Theatre Building and a taste of the arts reception showcasing MCC's Fine and Performing Arts programs.

Due to the Council of Presidents' meeting conflict, Hafner advised trustees that the November board meeting date would need to be changed. Trustees will be polled as to the best date and it will be announced.

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