MCC Board Meeting Report: April 15

The Manatee Community College (MCC) District Board of Trustees voted to approve a new name to fit the college's new status as a four-year state college in its regularly scheduled board meeting held at MCC Venice on April 15.

In a historic decision, the board approved the new name:

Manatee and Sarasota

"It's a big step, but it's a step that obviously needs to be taken. It reflects the potential and possibilities of the institution," said Steve Harner, board chairman. 

The decision comes one month after the State Board of Education gave unanimous approval for MCC to offer the bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Approval of the bachelor's degree places the College in the company of other four-year degree-granting colleges known as state colleges. 


"The board had an opportunity today to act in a historic way to move forward with a vision to become the State College of Florida," MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner said.

Hafner also brought to the board's attention a recent TV interview by Will Holcombe, Chancellor of Florida's Community College System, who praised the College for the community support gained in becoming a state college.

The board equally praised Hafner for leading the college in a direction that will allow the College to meet the need for four-year degrees in the area.

"We appreciate your bold vision," said board member Kelvin Lumpkin. "I'm really excited about where this institution is going."

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As a vote of confidence, the board also approved a three-year contract with a rolling clause that will provide for longevity. Given the economic times, Hafner declined to accept an increase in pay.

MCC Venice Provost Darlene Wedler-Johnson also gave a report on enrollment at MCC Venice. The Venice campus experienced a 55 percent growth in the last five years. If the enrollment growth trend continues in the next 10 years, the Venice campus may more than double enrollment with about 6,400 students in spring 2019. The data does not take into account the programs the College will offer in the future, which are likely to draw more students.

The board also approved:

  • A new course and lab, Chemistry for Health Professionals, was approved by the board to be offered at the College. The course is necessary for the BSN program.
  • A grant proposal titled, "Emergency Communication and Alert Equipment for State University System of Florida Community Colleges," will enhance the security of the College by improving communication with students, faculty and staff during an emergency. The $42,244 grant, when awarded, will be matched by the College.
  • A grant proposal titled, "Banner Center for Water Resources" will be used to develop education programs and curriculum aimed at providing the future labor market demand for workers in the Water Utility Sector.
  • The College's Professional Services Selection Committee (PSSC) was granted permission to negotiate with a top-ranked firm, BMK Architects for miscellaneous projects on campus.

The following staff and students were recognized at the board meeting:

  • Jeff Snyder was named "Best Adviser" in District III by Florida Junior Community College Student Government Association (FJCCSGA) at an April event in Tallahassee. Snyder has been the Venice campus student activities adviser and SGA adviser since 2000.
  • Manatee Community College Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honors society Venice chapter president Beth Pramschufer won the All-Florida Academic Team Award granted at the 2009 All-Florida Academic Team Ceremony on April 2 in Tallahassee.
  • The MCC Venice Math Olympics team won first place in the small college division in statewide competition held in March at the University of North Florida (UNF), Jacksonville. The team previously ranked first in its division for four consecutive years from 2004 to 2007. MCC's team members were: Junije Fu, Steve Suggs, Jake Suggs, Diana Livingston, Adam Collier, Greg Csiki, Dierdre Meyers, Carmino Spina. The team coach is Mary Beth Headlee, assistant professor of mathematics.
  • Members of the Manatee Community College (MCC) Venice Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) business club earned 10 awards in the 2009 State Leadership Conference and Competition in Tampa held March 19 - 22. Members were Brian Abel, Mike Brown, William Herman, Ashley Darr, Bryan Felipe, Holly Hermann, Kerri Kindall and Tayrn Thompson. In addition to the students, Dr. Louis Okonkwo, professor of business technology, PBL Venice club adviser and district adviser, received the "Adviser of the Year Award."  

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. May 20 at MCC Bradenton.

PTK Award Winner

Steve Harner, board chairman, Theresia Elrod, assistant professor of natural science, Beth Pramschufer, student and winner of All-Academic Team Award and Dr. Hafner, president

Math Olympics Winners 

Steve Harner, board chairman, Math Olympics Team Coach Mary Beth Headlee and team members Diana Livingston, Carmino Spina and Adam Collier

PBL Business Club Winners 

Board Chairman Steve Harner, Dr. Louis Okonkwo, PBL business club adviser and Mickie Abel, MCC Venice PBL chapter president (also standing in for her husband, Brian Abel), Taryn Thompson, William Herman and President Dr. Lars A. Hafner

 Adviser Winner

Steve Harner, board chairman, Jeff Snyder, Student Government Association Adviser, Dr. Lars Hafner, president

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