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Adopted Minutes
September 19, 2005
Regular Meeting

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:23 p.m.

Roll Call

Present: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Absent: Canady

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Trustee Brannan led the pledge of allegiance.

Chairperson Laverty requested that everyone remain standing to observe a moment of silence for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Additions/Deletions to the Agenda

Trustee Pelleran requested that the Oracle System as it relates to financial aid be added to the agenda.

There were no objections from the Board.

It was added under the President's Report.

Limited Public Comment Regarding Agenda Items

Lynn Savage - Good evening, my name is Lynn Savage and I'm addressing you this evening as Chair of the LCC Labor Coalition. We have been working extremely hard along with the College to evaluate all of our options for healthcare coverage. And we are here to pledge our continued commitment to that effort. We have an agreement in place that will take us to October 6th. However, it does not address all of the concerns we have related to healthcare benefits for all of our full and part-time members. We encourage you, as a Board, to ensure that adequate resources are made available to address these concerns as we continue our work to offer appropriate healthcare benefits to the employees of the College. Thank you for your attention.

Sally Pierce - (She distributed packets to the Board and President. A copy is on file with the official Board materials.) Good evening Board members, President Cunningham, and members of the LCC community. I'm Sally Pierce, proud president of LCC MAHE.And I'm proud because I represent a proud and talented group of faculty, teaching laboratory technicians, librarians, counselors and advisors, interpreters, and other instructional folks here at LCC. We are the largest single group of employees and we know you to be people of good will, why else would you donate the hours you do to our institution. We are also people of good will, but we are worried. We are worried that healthcare coverage and costs are unresolved and the rest of our contract, including calendar and salary, are also. We are watching the College budget being spent and stretched and meanwhile we are working without a contract. One hundred and eleven of us got raises this fall. They were individuals on the steps of the salary schedule and moved up. But the rest of us, over 1,200 part-time faculty and about 110 full-timers received no raise because we haven?t settled. No raise will not help us match comparable institutions or make things better between full and part-time faculty. As chief spokesperson I can tell you that we have yet to see any proposal for part-time healthcare. Even though we have had fruitful discussions about salary we are a long ways from settlement. I know settlement is possible - I'm looking for Tim, he knows this too - I'm here to urge Board members to help our managers find a will to get a settlement and I'm here to urge managers to find time in their busy schedules to get together to work with MAHE negotiators. Unfortunately, I must show you some ugly statistics tonight. LCC has the longest academic calendar for faculty. that's this one - you guys have these in your packets. LCC uses more part-time faculty than any other community college - that's this pie chart. We use the MEA?s data set to get the top chart for national community college comparisons. This one here with A3.8 and 16.2 came from using data that was supplied to us at the negotiating table and we sat and counted how many people are actually faculty teaching. And then the last one is the full-time rate is the lowest when you look at all the other community colleges in the state. As one of my bargainers said, ?last is last.? We do not believe LCC needs to be last, but that will require that you take care of employees first and perhaps wait on some other expenditures. Please make contract negotiations your first priority. Thank you. The only other thing to mention is that we gave you a spreadsheet too because we think that may actually be a lot easier to deal with, but it didn?t make good posters. Thank you very much.

Jack Rotman - I'm Jack Rotman and I wanted to follow-up with what Sally said to put a personal face on it. I've been a professor of Mathematics here for over of 32 years. I think I'm pretty well known in the community, especially in the national Mathematics education community at community colleges. I'm a leader in a national organization involved with the establishment of our national standards (inaudible) professionalism. I believe I've been successful in my classroom because of two principles: respect and investment. I want to talk about those things. I respect my students. Some of them overcome barriers just to attend college. Some of them have a great fear of a Math class. Many of them are balancing jobs, family, and class. I respect their efforts and I think they're willing to work harder because I do. Without respect I cannot expect them to put forth the effort. I invest in my students. I invest more than some people think they deserve. I literally invest more than some people think they deserve. Getting ready for class is not just a routine for me. I am thinking about what each of my students needs and what I can do to help them. Even though when it's all said and done it is their responsibility to do the work. Investing is a commitment that we're in this together. I want to tell you some things about me personally. I started here in 1973. I've worked hard professionally with a very diverse group of students over that period of time. I've been a key leader in our program?s growth. Has the College shown respect and investment? My family has had two out-of-state vacations in the last 20 years. Both of them were paid for with loans. When my mother died 10 years ago, I had to borrow money to help pay for the funeral. Does that show respect on the College's part in investment? And it doesn?t. When my father died seven years ago, I had to borrow money to help pay for the funeral. Does that show investment from the College? My cars were made in 1996 and 1999. My stereo was sold by Montgomery Ward in 1974 and has an 8-track tape player on it. If anyone is interested, I can make a deal with you. My computer at home costs $65 at our surplus store. I'm not a snappy dresser. I don't waste a lot of money on parties. Does this show anything about the College's investment in me? I am paid less than the average faculty at comparable colleges in Michigan. In fact, I am paid a lot less than people with similar expertise and background at those colleges. What does this say about the College's investment? we're in the fifth week in working without a contract. My team has been trying hard to get agreement with the College on known issues and compromises. The College has not managed, somehow, to find agreements. Does this show respect for our work? Our time and efforts are being focused on a labor dispute when our efforts should be entirely on our students. Does this show respect for our students? The College has the resources to invest more in faculty and say this is a priority. It is time for the College to show that investment and show respect for our faculty that we deserve. Our settlement is needed and reach it now. Thank you.

New speaker - I just have two quick comments. I was so excited to get my Masters and start my PhD in English as a Second Language. I love working with international programs. And having come out of a high school to a community college was ideal. I love the fact that the community college bridges high school and universities and also is a college that serves the community. When I came here 15 years ago I worked for a few years in a department that I really liked and as more and more faculty came in I was the temporary lead faculty. A woman came up to me and said, ?how do I get insurance? I'm dieing and my daughter is sick.? I said, ?let?s talk to our director.? To make a long story short, of the seven faculty in that small department every person in that department was getting welfare. We were faculty with Master degrees and we were all getting welfare checks, Medicaid cards and food stamps on salaries we make as faculty at a college. Point made I hope. The second thing is kind of correlated is about that time I interviewed for a position at Jackson Prison as a counselor. Immediately after touring the cell blocks I realized that the counselors didn?t have much success. So I asked about education and the role of education in the prison system. I found out that in the 70s and 80s it cost $40,000 a year to keep each prisoner. I said why aren?t we putting that $40,000 a year into our faculty, into our communities, into education rather than into prison? Which you know is one of the largest industries in the state of Michigan. I would just ask you to respectfully consider and realize that as faculty, the majority at this school being part-time faculty, that we're worth our money and that we are shaping the future. And hopefully not the future that's going to go into Jackson prison.

Steve Klimecky - My name is Steve Klimecky, I teach in the Science Department. I am a member of the large contingent grossly obscenely exploited part-time faculty at this college over 80% of the faculty. As a faculty who's been here around eight years I make $7 less per hour than the average GM assembly line worker. And that's having 15 years of college teaching experience. Well, basically I'm here as a faculty member to impress on you the importance of fair pay for this majority of faculty. And to encourage you to do the right thing and put your support behind our proposal of proportional or pro-rated pay for proportional work. For those of you who aren?t mathematicians that would mean something along the lines of if someone does 50% of the work of a full-timer, they get 50% of the pay. If someone does 60% of the work of a full-timer, they get 60% of the pay. I have been both part-time and full-time. I started here as a part-time faculty. I've had temporary full-time positions for two and a half years. I know how much I'll be earning if I were full-time. When I compare my full-time income to my part-time income, it's really astounding. It's absolutely amazing. Right now I'm teaching 75% of a full-time teaching load. Would any of you possibly guess as to what my proportionate full-time pay is for that 75% of full-time work? Mr. Proctor, want to guess? Mr. Brannan? Ms. Pelleran?

Trustee Pelleran - I don't want to guess. I?d just like to have you tell us.

Steve Klimecky - Fine enough. For getting 75% of a full-time teaching load I am making 23% of full-time pay for that work that I'm doing. When you add on the full-time benefit package on to the salary, I'm making around 18% of a full-time faculty person for doing 75% of a full-time faculty person, by doing 75% of a full-time teaching load. How is this even remotely accessible by any stretch of the imagination? Thanks. I'll probably be talking to you again.

Debbie Harris - Good evening. My name is Debbie Harris and I am a full-time faculty member in the Learning Assistance Department. Like some of the other speakers tonight I?d like to give you a little background information on how the part-time pay situation affects our department and our students. In the Library we currently have four full-time library faculty and we have five part-time faculty and so as you can guess they're really essential to the work that we do. And we couldn?t operate without our part-time faculty. Some of the things that they do. They work one on one with students who come to our reference desk. Sixty percent of the time when a student comes to our reference desk they are going to see or interact with a part-time reference faculty member. These part-time employees also teach library instruction sessions to the many classes that visit the Library. In addition, they do a number of other essential functions such as managing the collection of books and other resources in the Library. The pattern is very similar to faculty in other departments. They do very much the same work as full-time faculty members for significantly less pay. What I thought would interest you is to have some comparison with pay for part-time reference librarians at other Michigan community colleges. We did a survey at the beginning of spring semester this year. And it was very interesting. At Jackson for example, a part-time reference librarian?s pay scale ranges from $19.07 to $21.57. At Macomb it's $15.54 up to $20.18. And at Oakland it's $22.98 up to $30.89 per hour for a part-time reference librarian. Compare that to LCC where in our contract for this year that we just finished the pay rate for beginning is under $16 per hour. Excuse me the maximum is under $16 per hour. So, we don't compare very well with other community colleges. Our highest pay is almost $4 below Jackson?s lowest. I think that is a disservice for our part-time faculty and also for our students. In the past our department has had a terrible time filling these part-time positions because our pay rate was not competitive. We've had to compromise on the qualifications that we've asked for this part-time faculty to have. And I want to think that you would agree with me that we owe it to our students to give them the very best part-time faculty that we can. Not just for our department, but for all the departments on campus.

Camille LaGuire - Hi, I wasn't going to speak, but I thought to give you a little perspective. My name is Camille LaGuire. I'm a part-time instructional lab faculty in MAIT department. I am at pretty much at the top of my pay scale. I've been here a long time. I'm better off than just about anybody in my class. I don't have a family so I don't have as many expenses. But I still can't afford health insurance. I used to be able afford health insurance when I wasn't at the top of the pay scale, but I had to drop it in order to pay my rent. When the VIBA program came out, I thought, ?good, maybe I can do it.? But when the figures came up even though it's catastrophic insurance it doesn?t cover office visits anything like that. I still can't afford it. And I'm at the top of the pay scale. I'm thinking people with families, people who have not been here for 20 years how are they getting by. that's basically all I want to say.

Mary Murphy - I'll be brief, but my comment relates so closely to hers that I thought this was the time for it. My name is Mary Murphy and I teach Writing here at LCC, which I've been doing since 1989. In the first 13 years my husband?s job provided the family with health insurance. November 2003 I undertook that responsibility because his job didn?t do that for us anymore. And at that time we were paying between $900 and $1000 per month for the family to have health insurance. July 1st, 2004 that went up to somewhat over $1,100 a month. July 1st, 2005 it went up to $1,234 per month out of my salary which is not astronomical and now before the end of the month we have to decide should we continue, should we switch over to the VIBA and hope that in the negotiations that possibility is not lost or should we just plain try going with no health insurance. I would like you to make sure that our choices don't get any worse than that.

Joseph Warren - Good evening Board Members, President Cunningham. As you know my name is Joseph Warren. I've been here 37 years 38th year with respect to the Department of Humanities and Performing Arts. I would like to remind the Board that it faces some very, very important decisions that will determine the future quality of the College. As a long term employee and as a member of the negotiation team working on the salary section of the contract I would like you to consider the following three points. (1) LCC salaries are about 30% behind competitive schools, which makes it very difficult to attract highly qualified faculty and staff. In a previous negotiation we were told that LCC didn?t want highly qualified faculty and staff. The reason we were told was that if we faculty with minimum qualifications to save money. that's doing the community and the students a terrible disservice. (2) If the Board chooses to follow its edifice complex and not hire sufficient numbers of highly competent faculty to teach the programs housed in those buildings, it will have essentially created an educational mausoleum to house dead and dying programs. (3) LCC is developing a reputation of being a very hostile work place. If the faculty treated the students like many of the administrators treat the faculty, the College would be faced with skyrocketing legal costs. The Board should realize that the stress caused by bad administration is driving up the healthcare costs. Because we can go through the departments and document the illnesses due to the stress. To see the breadth of the problem, the Board should survey those who have left LCC in the last few years to see the level of anger and frustration that caused many of them to leave before they were ready to leave. It is time to build in an evaluation process of administrators from the bottom up. Hurricane Katrina showed us what happens when FEMA is staffed by friends and political cronies, not competent professionals skilled in dealing with the problems. This is not the model for LCC to follow. The longer LCC goes without a contract that does not put LCC on the road to competitive excellence, the more harm to the College's reputation will suffer. I am requesting that the Board to order the administrative negotiators to return to the table to negotiate in good faith to close the gap between LCC and other community colleges to once again make LCC competitive in order to serve the students and the community. In conclusion, given the College's obsession with buildings, I leave the Board with the following question: does the faculty have to picket the campus dressed up like bricks and mortar to remind the Board that it is staff, not buildings that determines the quality of the programs? The public knows what needs to be done. Now it's time for the Board to set the priorities and order the administration back to the table. Thank you for your attention.

David Marty - Good evening, Mr. Chair, Ms. President, Board members. I want to be very brief. I can tell your plate is very full. I want to make sure that the item that was just added concerning the problems with the Oracle system with regards to the issuance of Financial Aid. I want to make sure that that issue is not completely subordinated to some of the other things you are dealing with tonight. To my knowledge I only represent one student, but I expect that there are many students that still have not received this month?s disbursement and I just want to make some connections. we're post Katrina and even before Katrina we're having some legitimation issues at all levels of government. And I think it's important to think about the (inaudible) being able to call today to try to get information about Financial Aid and basically being told the history, ?well, it was a computer program problem.? That just doesn?t work anymore. that's the kind of thing people are upset about. We want to see who's responsible. What?s being done to correct issues. And I'll leave at that. Thank you for your time.

Connie Peterson - Good evening, Trustees and President Cunningham and colleagues. We have some work to do and I think we can do it in our own house. Thank you.

Tamikia Foster - As I stand here I'm hoping that my one lone voice helps not just myself, but many in my situation. My name is Tamikia Foster and I'm a last semester Nursing student. And I am proud to say that I came to LCC because of the rave reviews from the teachers and from friends. I sold everything I own to move to Lansing to get an education and to become a nurse?excuse me. I'm a single mother of two little girls and I'm struggling hard to get through school. And due to your computer glitch I have not received my money for school. I'm standing here because I had to take time off work because Nursing school is very grueling and very time consuming. And without my financial aid, I can't make it. I'm having to beg and borrow and go to food banks to try to feed my kids because of your wonderful computer program that you all installed. Nobody is paying attention to us that's standing in line hours after hours. And I sympathize with you all and your contracts and everything, but your blues ain?t mine. You understand what I'm saying? I got two kids to feed. I'm in my last semester and I'm trying to make it. I've done so much for this college. I've done poetry slams. I've initiated talks. I've sat on conferences. Ms. Cunningham knows if you need me, I'm there. But now that I need you, you're not there. I'm standing in that line trying to feed my kids to get by and nobody?s listening. And I need to know how many of you are willing to roll up your sleeves and stand in that line and help these people in the Financial Aid office to get our money to us. Because I'm not alone, but I am a voice that's standing here telling you that I need help. I need to finish this semester. I'm on the verge of dropping out because I can't take it anymore. I?d rather drop out and feed my kids, so I shouldn?t have to decide on my education. This is a dream I've had all my life and I don't want to defer it any longer. So, if you can get back there and help us, that would be awesome. So I thank you for your time.

Trustee Rasmusson - Mr. Chair. I don't see Glenn Cerny here. I think we should require for him to be here. He is here? Glenn, your guy from IT at our last dinner could not answer questions about the IT protocol. I think we need to question Glenn as part of tonight?s meeting.

President Cunningham - I'll take that questioning on his behalf. I'm ultimately responsible for this student and for all the students here. And if there's any responsibility that needs to be blamed or blame that needs to be taken, I'll take it. I?

Trustee Rasmusson - Then tell me the answer to my question last time. What is the protocol as to the avoidance of catastrophic failure?

President Cunningham - The protocol as to the avoidance of catastrophic failure is absolutely inevitable. In all systems all the time. And we can talk about that on the agenda item or we can talk about it now. It's on the agenda to address that.

Chairperson Laverty - Let?s complete public comment and move on. I want to hear if we've got more students here particularly. Next?

Trustee Rasmusson - It's absolute fallacy to say that systems must fail. I can point you to a number of systems that are designed never to fail. For example, the naval, the type the Navy uses in certain situations.

Chairperson Laverty - Any other public comment?

Elaine Pogoncheff - My name is Elaine Pogoncheff. I'm a professor of Management in the Business Careers department. One of my students is here giving me support. And I'm here to give him support as well. Our last speaker spoke about her travails in getting financial aid. I have at least 10 students who have pleaded with me to help them find a book to help them?to give them a little leaway in terms of meeting assignments. I have never had this kind of outpouring from students who are reliant on financial aid in all of the years I have taught here. And I would also like to support the students in terms of let?s get this resolved. we're in the fourth week of the semester now and this is the time that people either make it or they fail. And I hate to see that they fail because the resources aren?t there for them. Thank you.

Chairperson and Board Member Reports

Chairperson Laverty

Board Bylaws

Chairperson Laverty presented the Board bylaws. He reminded the Board that he had met with General Counsel, Tim Zeller and Vice President Rich Howard to review the bylaws to ensure they are in line with Policy Governance. He asked for additional feedback prior to the next Board meeting. Chairperson Laverty felt that the bylaws need a lot of work considering they contain a lot of common sense items. However, the suggested changes should help in bringing them in conformity with Policy Governance. He?d like to see the bylaws approved at the next Board meeting. He opened the floor for discussion.

Trustee Pelleran appreciated another opportunity to review the bylaws as she was unable to review them before due to some family issues. She also agreed that the bylaws need more work.

Trustee Smith also appreciated the opportunity to review the bylaws. She agreed that the bylaws need to be consistent with Policy Governance.

Calendar of Meetings

Chairperson Laverty presented the calendar of meetings for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. He stated that the proposed meeting dates reflect having a May election. Based on the resolution that was passed last fall the Board selected the November date, but by law had to hold the election in May because the majority of the school districts in the College's service district held their elections in that month. However, since that time the statute has changed and the Board may proceed in having its election in November. He stated that this change will extend the terms of office through December for those Trustees up for election in 2007. The organizational meeting should be on January 1 however, the community college act still reflects the July organizational meeting.

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Smith to accept the calendar as is until the community college act changes.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

Information and Announcements

Chairperson Laverty reported on the following events he attended:

August 24, 2005 - Employee Service Awards in Dart Auditorium.

September 16, 2006 - Health & Human Services and Administration Buildings grand opening. He and Trustee Proctor enjoyed touring the Health & Human Services building.

He announced the following upcoming events:

September 23, 2005 - Presentation from Dr. Willard Daggett in the Dart Auditorium regarding workforce.

October 3, 2005 - Presentation from Dr. Stephen Covey at the Kellogg Center.

October 16, 2005 - Lip Sync in Dart Auditorium, 6 to 8 p.m., and the tickets are $25.

Chairperson Laverty asked the Trustees to return the Conflict of Interest Disclosure statement as soon as possible.

Board Members

Trustee Rasmusson - Audit Committee

Trustee Rasmusson reported that the Audit Committee is required to meet with the Auditor before, during and after the audit. The meeting before the audit has occurred and everything is in place to go forward without any difficulties.

He also reported that he reviewed the Directors and Officers insurance policy the College has. He believed it is a very good policy. Trustee Rasmusson stated that the Audit Committee voted to recommend to the Board that someone conduct a preliminary investigation of the State pension system. The pension system is costing the College approximately $3 million now. According to the records on the web, it shows that they lost 22% of their assets in the period of 1999 to 2002. He explained that the reason for the Committee?s inquiry is that there have been several large settlements with companies for giving bad advice to a pension fund. Trustee Rasmusson believes maybe there's someone out there who is misleading the State.

Trustee Proctor - Workforce Development Board and ACCT Leadership Congress

Trustee Proctor reported that at the last Workforce Development Board meeting additional funding in the amount of $29,500 was approved for Lansing Community College's WorkFirst program bringing the total award to $435,000. He stated that he did not, nor Chairperson Laverty, vote on that issue. He was unable to attend the Michigan Works Conference in Mount Pleasant, but asked Chairperson Laverty to give a report.

Trustee Proctor attended the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress September 8 to 11. He provided a written report on the conference (it is on file with the official Board materials.) Trustee Proctor shared that the keynote speaker at the plenary session of the morning breakfast was Dr. Thomas Parnum of the University of California Irvine. This session was related to the consequences of the decline of black males on college campuses. He read aloud excerpts from the session, which are included in his written report.

Chairperson Laverty reported that while Trustee Proctor was at the ACCT conference he attended the Michigan Works Conference in Mt. Pleasant, MI. He shared the following highlights of the conference: guaranteed high school diploma going on in the Grand Rapids community college district and emphasis on using work keys at the high school level.

Trustee Pelleran - Leslie Local Finance Development Authority

Trustee Pelleran reported that she did not attend the Leslie Local Finance Development Authority meeting because she attended the grand opening of the Administration and Health and Human Services buildings.

Trustee Smith - Foundation Board of Directors and ACCT Leadership Congress

Trustee Smith reported that she had an orientation and looks forward to working with the Foundation. She was very excited to announce that the Foundation will be receiving a large donation from the Dart Foundation toward the Capital Campaign. She distributed materials about the Capital Campaign (which are on file with the official Board materials) and encouraged all Trustees to purchase at least one share.

Trustee Smith reported on the ACCT Leadership Congress. She shared that she has attended conferences for other industries and was very impressed with the quality of speakers. Trustee Smith also highlighted on the session with Dr. Parham that Trustee Proctor reported on. She attended another session on strategic thinking and is proud that the College is light years ahead in terms of inclusion with over 3,000 people having participated in the College's strategic plan. Trustee Smith also reported on a session regarding Shared Governance and maybe it is something that can be implemented at the College.

Trustee Pelleran gave her commitment to the Capital Campaign by 10 shares toward the capital campaign and gave a check towards her first installment.

President's REPORT

Informational Items

President Cunningham welcomed everyone to the new Administration Building Board room. She thanked everyone that attended the grand opening and everyone who was involved in changing the venue in less than six hours.

College Spotlight - Administrative Services Division

President Cunningham introduced Ms. Barbara Larson, Vice President of Administrative Services.

Vice President Larson and Ms. Beckie Beard gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Administrative Services ISO 9001-2000 certification (it is on file with the official Board materials.)

There was a question and answer period after the presentation.

It was shared that the Business & Community Institute has been certified for several years. The Assessment Center, the Financial Aid and the Business, Media and Information Technology departments are also seeking certification.

Human Resources - New Hires, Leaves and Sabbaticals

Appointments?

Faculty?

Patricia Bouman, Dental Hygiene, Dental Hygiene, Human Health & Public Services

Mable Menadier-Thomas, Therapeutic Massage Therapy, Massage Therapy, Human Health & Public Services

Financial Aid Update

President Cunningham asked the Board to allow her first to share information with them about this issue and she will then answer questions. She stated that this was done collectively and if blame needs to be placed on anyone, it is her. We are not proud or pleased with the impact that this has had on students particularly the students who are most vulnerable who need financial assistance in order to attend classes here. However, she said that 25% of our students were impacted, but we are proud of the fact that we have been able to serve almost 10,000 students. Whether it's one, two, three or 200 students is one too many. She is very proud that everyone from the front line folks in financial aid to ISCD are working 24/7 to figure out what needs to be implemented to serve students.

President Cunningham shared the following information: staff began training for this particular transition since April or May parallel systems were run 80/20 testing was conducted, which means if 80% of anything tested worked, you moved forward at one time the system launch was postponed until the 80/20 testing results were reached. The financial aid portion of this is more impacted for fall registration because students apply for financial aid for the academic year. There were too many customized individual externally driven factors that the system did not handle for some, not all, but for some of our students. As a result when we were notified that this was becoming an issue, we were able to problem solve. Not one student was dropped. An emergency loan fund was immediately established. The College worked with Gibson?s to take post dated checks. President Cunningham shared that the young woman that spoke earlier at the Board meeting, her issue was not Oracle related, it was another issue, which is private and everything has been resolved. Students could get up to $1,000 as an emergency loan and that was at the discretion of the counselors and the first line people. Even though we tried to respond to this issue as best we could, we recognize it was not enough. She has asked for an external audit to be conducted to help avoid this happening again. She was asked respectfully by staff to wait at least two weeks because checks are trying to be disbursed and students are still being attended to. Once these issues have been addressed a full review can take place. Communication was sent out to the Board about pioneering this system because there is no system that's full-proof. We cannot make certain that there aren?t any glitches in this system because the College does not have unlimited financial resources to do that.

President Cunningham reiterated that a review will take place to find out what went wrong. All representatives will be at the table - Oracle, Student Services, and ISCD. You need all the players at the table because Financial Aid is an extremely complex system.

Trustee Rasmusson expressed frustration that back in June after he asked for an appointment with President Cunningham and that meeting has not been scheduled. He felt that most of the Board was frustrated at the Board dinner in June when the IT person couldn?t answer a basic question. Did he consider that revenue generation activity failures are considered catastrophic. Bridges are built to never have a catastrophic failure, but it doesn?t mean they never fail. However, it is extremely rare because they are built to avoid that.

President Cunningham stated that she remembered him asking that question and she clarified that it was at the Board dinner on May 16 when the Trustees received a briefing. She said Mr. Marti Pennoni was present and he did not have the resources to answer his question. However, at the June 20, 2005 Board meeting there was a college spotlight with Oracle and Lansing Community College representatives there and it was communicated to the Board that the representatives would be present to answer questions. President Cunningham stated that was staff?s attempt to answer his and other Trustees? questions. She apologized if his specific question did not get answered, but the spotlight was intended to have Trustees ask their questions with the experts in the room.

Trustee Rasmusson thought he was absent at the June 20 meeting.

Trustee Rasmusson excused himself from the meeting due to a personal matter he had to attend to.

He left the meeting at 7:48 p.m.

Trustee Proctor asked if there were any students whose emergency needs have not been met as of this moment.

President Cunningham responded not that she was aware of. Correspondence has been sent to students and all counselors and advisors are aware of the emergency fund. Financial Aid awards are still being packaged and students have not been denied emergency loans.

Trustee Proctor asked if she knew if any students did not follow through with admissions process because of the challenges with financial aid.

President Cunningham responded that there was no data collected, but human nature would tell you that might have happened due to frustrations. She stated that we will attempt to collect data on that issue.

Trustee Pelleran asked what do the lines look like and what is the level of morale with staff and the students.

President Cunningham responded that people are frustrated. Staff are feeling inadequate and frustrated with not having the answers and for being unable to serve students appropriately. She asked Dr. Rebekah Woods or Dr. Evan Montague to further address Trustee Pelleran?s question.

Dr. Woods responded that office hours have been extended and staffing has been increased to help students. This has helped decrease the frustration that students are experiencing.

President Cunningham also shared that three financial aid experts and other individuals with financial aid expertise are being hired to assist in packaging loans.

Trustee Pelleran asked after students wait in line, what are they learning about their financial aid.

Dr. Woods responded that it is on a case by case basis. Many are standing in line to find out the status of their situation. They do not have to stand in line to get packaged because as they become eligible their loans are packaged. With the help of the three individuals being brought in to help package the remaining loans, she estimated that outstanding loans will be packaged by the end of next week.

Trustee Pelleran asked why would students stand in line if they weren?t eligible and what does that student look like.

Dr. Woods responded that there are many eligibility requirements that are federal guidelines such as grade point average and course completion ratio. Other factors might be verification that includes the government is requiring additional documentation to support the information on their application.

Trustee Pelleran asked why the students wouldn?t have been informed of the required documentation well before the day they started school and needed a check.

Dr. Woods responded that once they receive those documents it gets posted on their accounts and communication is sent out weekly to the students that have outstanding to do items.

Trustee Pelleran asked wouldn?t the student know whether they were eligible or ineligible when applying for financial aid initially.

Dr. Woods responded that if they apply directly with FASA they immediately are informed by the government of their eligibility.

Trustee Brannan asked what would cause a second-year student who had couple of scholarships last year and this year have none.

Dr. Montague responded that it could be various factors such as donor requirements.

Trustee Brannan stated that he knows of a few students in that situation that did not return to the College.

President Cunningham asked that if anyone has a student who has questions to contact us.

Trustee Smith stated that financial aid can be a very complicated and cumbersome process. It can be a very intimidating process to not only students, but parents as well. For as much as we try to make things as simple as we can, it is still a very complicated process. She admitted that it was alarming to hear that 25% of our student population was having trouble with financial aid, but knowing that it was financial aid she understood the complexity involved. Trustee Smith stated that these are the kinds of things you cannot anticipate or put a dollar value on. She was with President Cunningham when she was notified of this crisis and she thinks leadership is what you do during the crunch times. She saw President Cunningham step up to the plate and begin to assess things and have a plan in place to move things forward very quickly. Trustee Smith commended the staff for their strong commitment to have an outside audit. She felt that it is very important for everyone to take responsibility for what has happened. Trustee Smith asked of the 25% of the students that did not receive their financial aid, to date what percentage of them have now been processed.

President Cunningham responded that she had last heard it was 700 that still needed to be package. She asked someone to confirm her statement.

Dr. Woods responded that they have packaged 700 loans and still needed to package 1,100.

Trustee Smith again commended the staff and President Cunningham for stepping up to the plate to handle things.

President Cunningham thanked her and said everybody has done whatever they could, which is why she is so proud of working with these folks. She had an open forum and they were frustrated and upset. She applauded their passion and their commitment to serving students. President Cunningham shared additional information with the Board. She said that it was communicated to the Board on April 21 that there are information technology challenges that can only be addressed with a live launch. She shared that she checked with other organizations such as the American Cancer Society out of Atlanta, Georgia that industry standard is 60% of systems that are launched historically fail. The more complex the system the less likely it is to work initially. She said this information does not make her feel better however, a lot of things did work. When the finance portion was launched there were some issues with payroll, but those have all been worked through. During April and May there were issues with registration that were shared with the Board, but those were also worked through. President Cunningham said everyone will be at that table including Oracle and an objective review will take place. Assessments will then be made as to whether or not this will be outsourced next semester until it is fixed because we cannot afford to let this happen again. She stated that both she and Dean Judith Cardenas will be sending communication on a regular basis to all students who should have received financial assistance. In October or November they will be invited to campus and given the ?red carpet? treatment to assist them in registering for next semester. There is a plan in place to continue to reach out to those students.

Trustee Proctor responded that was commendable.

Trustee Pelleran asked what the estimated timeline is to finish packaging the 1,100 loans.

Dr. Woods responded that with the help of the three individuals and barring no other issues, the remaining outstanding loans should be packaged by the end of next week.

Action Items

Approval of Minutes - June 20, 2005 Regular Meeting and July 1, 2005 Organizational Meeting

President Cunningham presented the June 20, 2005 and the July 1, 2005 meeting minutes for the Board's review.

There were no changes.

Finance - Approval of Bids

The following bids were presented for the Board's approval:

  1. GVT Exterior Masonry Restoration 2005 in the amount of $411,090. The bid was awarded to Davenport Masonry of Holt, Michigan.
  1. Truck Driver Training Modular Buildings in the amount of $190,768. The bid was awarded to Carl?s Portables of Holland, Michigan.

There was a brief discussion regarding the bids.

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Brannan to approve the President's Report.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady, Rasmusson

Motion carried.

CLOSED SESSION

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Brannan and supported by Trustee Smith for the Board to go into closed session for the purpose of discussing a strategy connected with negotiations of a collecting bargaining agreement and specific pending litigation.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady, Rasmusson

Motion carried.

The Board entered into closed session at 8:15 p.m.

Trustee Rasmusson returned during closed session.

The Board returned to open session at 10:48 p.m.

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Rasmusson for the Board to return to open session.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no comments from the public.

ADJOURNMENT

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Smith for the meeting to adjourn.

Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 10:49 p.m.

LCC Board of Trustees
Administration Bldg
Phone: (517) 483-5252
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