MCC Board Meeting Report: Feb. 18, 2009

Heartfelt declarations of support from Manatee Memorial Hospital Foundation (MMH) executives, recognitions and affirmations of partnerships set the tone at the Feb. 18 meeting of the Manatee Community College (MCC) district board of trustees.

"We consider ourselves true partners with MCC, because you listen when we tell you what our nurses need, and MMH Foundation is committed to this institution," said Vernon DeSear, MMH Foundation executive director, MMH vice president and a board member of the Foundation for MCC.

DeSear was joined by Carolyn Keller, MMH Foundation president, at a ceremony recognizing MMH Foundation's $500,000 contribution to the Medical Technology and Simulation Center under construction at MCC Lakewood Ranch.

In applauding MMH's generous leadership gift, MCC President Dr. Lars A. Hafner and MCC Board Chairman Steve Harner noted that MMH has a long tradition of supporting MCC's health programs, particularly nursing.

"This contribution certainly will provide equipment to help train nurses but it goes well beyond that to represent many years of tremendous support from MMH for our college's mission, and that means so much to our students and faculty," Hafner said.

MMH, along with all hospitals in the region, is a major advocate for MCC's proposal to offer the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.

"Our nurses are thrilled to know that they can come to this college to advance their degrees," Keller said.

The college's BSN proposal is scheduled to be heard by the state Board of Education in March, Hafner informed the MCC board. Pending state approval, the first BSN classes will be offered in spring 2010 with some prerequisite classes possibly offered in fall 2009.

After the approval of the BSN proposal, MCC will consider other future baccalaureate degree options and create a priority list to move forward.

Hafner and Harner updated trustees on a recent trip to Tallahassee where they met with legislators, college presidents and board members.  

Harner said, "Legislators made it clear that they expect the former community college system, now the state college system, to be the driver of economic recovery. They pointed out that we still provide the greatest access for the masses even when moving to four-year programs."

Hafner shared study results indicating that community college graduates with baccalaureate degrees earn higher starting salaries than those earned by baccalaureate degree graduates from universities and noted that bachelor's degree graduates from community colleges are earning workforce-specific degrees and going straight to high-demand jobs.

Gold level fit-friendly company: American Heart Association (AHA) representative Julie Johnston presented MCC with a plaque in recognition of the college's gold-level award in the AHA's Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition Program. MCC was listed in Forbes magazine as a fit-friendly company and was one of the first in the area to be honored. Hafner recognized MCC employees Gerry Sklenicka, Tim Hill II and Jeff Snyder for their leadership of the employee and student wellness programs.

MCC Lakewood Ranch Update: MCC Lakewood Ranch Provost Dr. Bonnie Hesselberg described plans for the "intelligent hospital" that will be created in the Medical Technology and Simulation Center and the long-range goal to make MCC Lakewood Ranch a full-service campus.

Daisy Vulovich, associate vice president of Corporate and Community Development (CCD), reported that credit student headcount and attendance at events held at MCC Lakewood Ranch continue to increase, as does overall CCD enrollment in noncredit classes. New activities at MCC Lakewood Ranch this year include kids' spring break camp and a camp for minority girls to enhance their interest in technology, and seminars on international business and franchising.

Curriculum Action: Trustees approved recommendations of the Curriculum Development and Review Committee presented by Dr. Jack Crocker, vice president, academic quality and success. Approved are a new articulation agreement for radiography program and consolidated business administration program.

Foundation of MCC Quarterly Report: Peg Lowery, executive director of the Foundation for MCC Inc., presented the quarterly report for the period ending Jan. 31, 2009, noting an increase in contributions even in current economic conditions.

The foundation awarded $298,458 in equipment/faculty support and $744,056 in scholarships for the report period. The foundation loaned funds for the college to modernize its telephone system to voice over internet protocol (VOIP), which also will save money for the college.

In addition to the $500,000 from MMH Foundation, other gift highlights for this period included $30,000 from golfer Paul Azinger and PGA University for MCC to offer golf instruction.  

Grant Proposals: Brad Davis, associate vice president, program evaluation and compliance, received approval to submit a state-funded grant proposal, Multidisciplinary Exploration of an Environmental Crime Scene Investigation. The grant will allow up to 24 high school students to attend a four-week day camp focusing on social and natural sciences, technology and 21st century work skills.

Contract Increase for Medical Technology and Simulation Center: Trustees approved a request by David Wildes, director of facilities, planning and maintenance, to increase the Medical Technology and Simulation Center contract from $8.36 million to $8.8 million to provide for a more efficient energy system that will help achieve LEED rating. Added construction costs are funded by the Foundation by MCC.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 25 at MCC Bradenton.

Board of Trustees Meeting 2-19-09
Steve Harner, Carolyn Keller, Vernon DeSear and Dr. Lars Hafner
display a rendering of the Medical Technology and Simulation Center.

Board of Trustees Meeting 2-19-09
Dr. Lars Hafner, Steve Harner, Gerry Sklenicka, Jeff Snyder and 
Tim Hill II receive the gold-level award in the AHA's Fit-Friendly
Companies Program from Julie Johnston, center right. 

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