President/Superintendent's Blog

Summary of the March 3, 2020 College of the Redwoods Board of Trustees Meeting

Published on 3/3/2020.

Audit Committee Meeting

The Audit Committee met prior to the March 3 regular meeting of the Board to discuss potential funding mechanisms for our capital projects. Although the State is funding the planning and construction of the UIR, Creative Arts, and PE Complex projects, we may on occasion, experience a lag time between when we receive funding from the State Department of Finance and when we have to pay the contractors for their work. The Audit Committee discussed possible funding mechanisms to address this gap in funding.

The Trustees, at a previous Board meeting, approved conducting a feasibility study of replacing our old residence halls on the Eureka Campus with more modern buildings. The Audit Committee had a discussion related to potential funding sources for new resident halls.

Regular Meeting of the Board

Comments/Board Business

Member Comments: Trustee Dr. Deister mentioned that she attended the men's and women's basketball games, the homeless student fundraiser put on by Indivisible Ferndale. Vice President of the Board Kelley commented that he attended the Nordic Aquafarm meeting on February 14 with the Norwegian Consulate and CR representatives. President of the Board Dr. Mullery commented that she attended the Norwegian Consulate meeting and the press conference celebrating the new LVN to RN Bridget Program in Del Norte. Dr. Mullery also noted that she is serving on the Police Chief Screening Committee.

Board Committee Reports: Trustee Mathews noted that the President's Evaluation survey will be disseminated to the Trustees and constituent group leadership in April and that the Audit Committee met. She also noted that the Audit Committee will meet again prior to the April Board meeting. Trustee Dorn mentioned that the Board's Evaluation survey will be sent out in April.

Status of Board of Trustees Requests: Two of the three Board of Trustee requests are still considered “in progress”—CR History and Board Policy (BP) 7330 Communicable Disease and Vaccinations. The request related to the District’s offerings in Southern Humboldt is completed.

Consent Calendar Action Items

Approve/Ratify Personnel Actions: We welcome three new faculty to our community. The Board approved the recommendation to hire Valerie Elder as a new Assistant Professor of Forestry/Natural Resources, Emily Brown as a new associate faculty in the Noncredit area, and Matthew McClimon as a new associate faculty member in the Music Department.

The Board also ratified my acceptance of Courtney Loder’s resignation as the Academic Affairs Analyst and the employee change of status recommendations for Anthony Finck and Molly Blakemore.  

Bond Project Status: Measure Q expenditures to date totaled $44,229,894. We have less than $500,000 in unspent budget.

Action/Discussion Items

Monthly Financial Status Report: The monthly finance report covered 58.33% of the fiscal year and showed receipt of $168,614 in State Lottery revenue.  The State Lottery amount in the budget is based on the District’s 2019-20 target FTES multiplied by an estimated rate provided by the Chancellor’s Office.  The revenue to-date reflects the first quarter payment.  Future Lottery payments will be made in April, June, and September. 

The report also noted that the District’s total revenue continues to trend higher than at this point in time last year, salary and benefits continue to trend slightly under budget, and total overall expenses remain under budget. We are still projecting a 2019-20 ending fund balance of 7.9% based on current budget assumptions.

Our planned “Transfers Out” are comprised of $90,000 to the Child Development Center, $94,377 to the Shively Farm, and $520,000 to the OPEB fund for a total of $704,377.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement Between the Redwoods Community College District and the California School Employees Association/College of the Redwoods Chapter#509, 2018-2021: The Board approved the 2018-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with CSEA and the Memorandum of Understanding correcting the holiday schedule in the CBA.

College of the Redwoods Foundation Bylaws: The CR Foundation Board revised its bylaws recently. Per the bylaws, the Board of Trustees for the District must approve them. The Board of Trustees approved the bylaws with some minor revisions.

Request for Proposal for Wind Energy: We started exploring alternative energy sources for the Eureka Campus recently when the Board approved my recommendation to publish a request for proposal (RFP) for solar energy. Although solar energy is a highly used source of energy, I felt that it would be prudent to investigate the viability of wind energy as another potential alternative energy source for the campus. The Board approved the recommendation to publish a RFP for wind energy.

First Read of Board Policies and Administrative Procedures: The Trustees executed a first reading on several Board Policies (BP) and Administrative Procedures (AP) submitted by College Council and the Board’s ad hoc committees.  All of the BPs and APs numbered in the 1000s and 2000s and BPs in the 3000s and 6000s will be submitted for approval to the Board in April.

Informational Reports

Academy of the Redwoods Presentation: Alison Hodges, Program Director of the Academy of the Redwoods (AR), gave a wonderful presentation to the Trustees. I attached an abridged version of Alison’s PowerPoint to this blog article.

I want to share some of the student voices Alison included in her presentation.

Emily McTigue (3rd year)

“It’s an amazing place that values education first. It is a very safe community where there is no judgment and that safe community fosters a great education and I love it here!”

Alex Pena (Class of 2019)

“AR taught me that challenges help you become a stronger person, and having people who care about you makes everything better. It has given me a family outside of my own and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I had gone to a different school.”

Jagger Richardson (2nd year)

“At other schools I felt like an outcast but at AR I can be myself. It’s like a family. “

Skylar Cunningham (2nd year)

“AR is a really unique school the only reason I got in was because my sister went here  but I think it was a good choice. I’ve made good friends and the teachers are pretty cool. And the other day I drank half a bottle of ranch and everyone just accepted it.”

Alysia Jodrey (3rd year)

“AR, man there are so many words…. It’s really cool, safe for so many people. AR helped improve my mental disability, by helping me remember things. Now I feel like I am a good student.”

Alison’s presentation made it clear that the relationship the College of the Redwoods has with Fortuna School District/Academy of the Redwoods/Humboldt County Office of Education is mutually beneficial. I want to thank Alison and the students who attended the Board meeting for representing the AR so ably.

Assessment Report: The assessment committee has been discussing ways that the District can address the 2017 ACCJC recommendations regarding outcome assessment (recommendations 4 and 6) in instructional and student services programs. With direction from the assessment coordinator, Dr. Philip Mancus, the assessment committee made changes to the upcoming assessment cycle for instruction that include:

  • Each instructor entering quantitative data and responding to a set of reflection questions in the online assessment tool eLumen.
  • Bringing all faculty in a program together to discuss and create action plans following analysis of the individual data and reflections. 
  • Keeping outstanding action plans in a department/division coordinators inbox until they have been carried out and evaluated for effectiveness. 
  • Evaluating and following up on in program review each year to inform planning to address recommendation 4. 

Changes to the assessment process for student services programs include:

  • Changing the program review template so that all assessment data, outcome evaluation, and dialogue about necessary changes for improvement will be collected each year in the template.
  • Including necessary program changes as program plans in program review. 
  • Collecting closing-the-loop information to see if changes were implemented and effective. 
  • Changing the outcome assessment cycle for student services from a 4-year cycle to a 2-year cycle to address recommendation 6.

Organizational Reports

Academic Senate: Senate Co-President Sokolow mentioned that the Senate is working to identify a vice president.

CRFO: President Haggerty commented that CRFO is educating faculty on the concept of a "Contract College" as prelude to a membership vote at the end of March.

CSEA: President Engman thanked the Board for approving the CSEA contract.

Administrative Reports

President/Superintendent's Report:  My written report noted that:

  • Kerry Mayer is leading an effort to develop an innovative private and public partnership (PPP) between College of the Redwoods (CR) and Nordic Aquaculture. Kerry is working with Carter Cyr, Production Manager for Nordic Aquaculture, to create curriculum for a degree and/or certificate that provides students the requisite skills to get jobs in the aquafarm industry or to transfer to a baccalaureate institution. Concurrently, Kerry and Dave Bazard are working with Humboldt State University (HSU) faculty member Dr. Rafael Cuevas Uribe to build stronger curricular links between CR and HSU's Fisheries Department so CR students with a Biology degree, or the potential new Aquafarm degree, may transfer smoothly to HSU.
  • President of the Board Dr. Mullery, Vice President of the Board Kelley, Kerry Mayer, Dave Bazard and I hosted several members of the Norwegian Consulate and Scott Adair, Director of Economic Development for the County of Humboldt on Friday, February 14. Our discussion focused on economic development, innovation, and potential partnerships between CR and Norway.
  • Marty Coelho is working with Interim Police Chief Fred Flores to hold the first Redwoods Disaster Summit on April 24, 2020. 
  • Addressing the student homelessness and food insecurity issue remains an important initiative of the District. According to a January 2020 U.S. Department of Education national study on homelessness, 1,508,265 children and youth experienced homelessness in the 2017-2018 school year– an increase of 11% over the previous school year. In a study released in 2019, The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice found that 19% of California Community College students experienced homelessness, 60 % experienced housing insecurity, and 50 % struggled with food insecurity in 2018.  Our students reported that they were living in their cars, moving from sofa to sofa, living in shelters, or living in the woods behind the Eureka campus. CR is in a unique position to help these students. It is clear to the Board of Trustees and me that the consequence of not helping these students is clear—we are going to lose them from the education system now, and then pay for them later through social services. To make a lasting impact on addressing the student homeless problem in the County, CR is working with Humboldt State University, the Humboldt County Office of Education, and various other community organizations, to develop a countywide plan to reduce the number of Humboldt County students who experience housing/food insecurity by 50% by 2029. I thanked Indivisible Ferndale for hosting a fundraising event on February 29, 2020 to benefit the CR Foundation room and board scholarship fund for students facing homelessness and food insecurity. I also thanked Dr. Kintay Johnson, Marty Coelho, and Joe Hash for bringing our homeless work to state and federal notice.
  • The College is going to acknowledge the connection that Native Americans have to the land on which CR rests by erecting signs at the entrances to the Eureka and Del Norte campuses recognizing the fact that the Eureka and Del Norte campuses are built on traditional Wiyot and Tolowa Dee-ni' land. The dedication ceremony for the Eureka Campus signs will be held on Wednesday, March 4 from noon to 12:30. The ceremony for the installation of the Del Norte Campus signs will take place on April 7, 2020.
  • The screening committee for the Police Chief agreed to invite three candidates for on-campus interviews on Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Here’s the interview schedule:

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dr. Daniel Hect

12:15pm Check-in at Human Resources (Room SS 207)

12:25 – 12:55 Campus Tour (Host: Public Safety)
1:00 – 2:15 Committee Interview (Board Room SS-202A)

2:20– 2:55 Public Safety Department Meeting (Public Safety – Forum Room AD-105)

3:00 – 4:00 Open Forum (Board Room SS-202A)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 

Dr. John Vinson

8:15am Check-in at Human Resources (Room SS 207)

8:25 – 8:55 Campus Tour (Host: Public Safety)

9:00 – 10:15 Committee Interview (Board Room SS-202A)

10:20 – 10:55 Public Safety Department Meeting (Public Safety – Forum Room AD-105)

11:00 – 12:00 Open Forum (Board Room SS-202A)

 Mr. Dale Mondary

12:15pm Check-in at Human Resources (Room SS 207)

12:25 – 12:55 Campus Tour (Host: Public Safety)
1:00 – 2:15 Committee Interview (Board Room SS-202A)

2:20– 2:55 Public Safety Department Meeting (Public Safety – Forum Room AD-105)

3:00 – 4:00 Open Forum (Board Room SS-202A)

  • The importance of having an effective Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) working for the District is not lost on the Board of Trustees or me. Through the strategic work of the CHRO, we will make sure that all employees are supported and the District is seen as the employer of choice for management, faculty, and staff.  The search for a new CHRO will begin in August. I intend to finalize the screening committee membership before the end of the spring semester. Membership of the committee will include: One (1) management representative selected by the Management Council; One (1) classified representatives selected by CSEA; One (1) faculty representatives selected by the Academic Senate Co- President(s); One (1) management or administrative representative selected by the President/Superintendent, broadly reflective of the campus community; and a non-voting Equal Opportunity/Diversity representative selected by the President/Superintendent.
  • The Facilities Planning Committee (FPC) used the findings generated from the Greenway Partners, Inc. report and the outcomes from a district wide survey to create a list of 17 potential land use projects for consideration. The Executive Cabinet, Instructional Council, and Expanded Cabinet were given an opportunity to provide feedback on the list of potential projects identified by the FPC. A message was sent to the District on February 11, 2020 outlining the following list of projects selected for implementation and inclusion in the District's revised Facilities Master Plan (FMP): Develop a solar micro grid system; develop agricultural projects on the campus including a cooperative food forest, planting trees, teaching greenhouse, and agricultural ventures that support the College’s collaboration with the Wiyot Tribe; develop an interpretative trail system/art walk in collaboration with the Wiyot Tribe; develop a vegetable stand and composting area; create a cross county course; expand the partnership with the Botanical Gardens; and create general open space. We will continue to identify land use projects to include in our revised FMP. A timeline for implementation of the projects will be shared by the end of the semester.
  • My verbal comments included a congratulations to the men’s and women’s basketball teams for advancing to the Elite 8 in the Northern California division and Sweet 16 overall in the State with their recent playoff wins. I commented that I formed a Pandemic Task Force that will help develop a plan for when, or if, the virus spreads to the District. We will are also planning to hold a small COVID-19 “Myth and Reality” next week and a larger informational panel after spring break.

Vice President of Instruction Report: Angelina’s report noted that:

  • The California Acceleration Project’s CAPacity Gazette featured two of our students and two faculty. Maria Sullivan, a student at the Del Norte Campus, talked about her great success in chemistry because of a new half-unit math support course and because of extra help in the math lab. Gregory Lopez, a Pelican Bay scholar, described gaining valuable new perspectives that he acquired in statistics and how taking CR classes has encouraged, inspired, and motivated him to pursue a degree in mathematics. Mathematics professor, Levi Gill, and English professor, Ashley Knowlton, were featured for the success of several Pelican Bay students in transfer-level English and mathematics. The full article can be read here:
  • Faculty and staff are being asked to group programs (degree/certificates) into larger “meta majors” as part of our Guided Pathways efforts. Here are a few examples of meta majors that groups at CR have identified so far: People & Society, Modern Trades, Helping Professions, Earth Studies, and STEM.
  • The ACCJC is providing a series of webinars to cover the following topics:
    • Leveraging innovation with the Quality Focus Essay (QFE)
    • Tips for completing the Annual Fiscal Report and Annual Report
    • National perspectives and the Accreditor's role
    • Regional perspectives and approaches to disaggregation of data
  • The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) granted our dental assisting program the accreditation status of approval without reporting requirements. The Commission determined that the recommendations cited in the August 1, 2019 site report have been met.
  • Angelina will meet with high school administrators to discuss entering into multi-year CCAP agreements. After several years of running dual enrollment classes, the program is better understood and more stable. Approximately 450 students are anticipated to dual enroll.
  • Angelina commented that our Spring enrollment is up about 80 FTES compared to prior year.
  • Vice President of Administrative Services Report: Julia’s written report mentioned that the Student Housing Taskforce met with Servitas to discuss the overview of the project to develop an initial project timeline. Here’s a summary of the next steps and general timeline Julia developed:
  • Servitas has developed a student survey that will be distributed to students.  The survey will help inform the initial design of the new student housing facility, and will be completed in the March/April 2020.
  • Servitas will provide a presentation to the Board of Trustees at the May 5, 2020 meeting that will serve as an official project "kick-off". 
  • Feedback from student survey will be utilized to develop a concept design.  This will take approximately 3 months.
  • A feasibility study will be conducted to help determine the final scope of the project.
  • Design phase will take 6-8 months for developing design development construction documents prior to Department of the State Architect (DSA) submission.
  • DSA permitting process may take 6-9 months.
  • Financing will need to be secured, and closing will occur shortly before ground breaking commences.  
  • Ground breaking will start (pending Board approval) in the summer of 2021.
  • Opening date goal is August 2022.

The 2020 Spring Business Office Training will be held on March 12 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Contracts and Recent Updates
  • Purchasing
  • Travel
  • Budget and Budget Transfers
  • Running Various Reports in Datatel
  • Sales Tax
  • Cal Cards
  • Fiscal Year-End Processes for 2019/2020

The next Business Office Training will be held in the fall.

Executive Director of Foundation Report: Marty’s report noted that:

  • Planning is underway for the April 24 Redwoods Disaster Summit. More than 300 invitations have been sent to first responders, medical providers, community leaders, non-profits service providers, and government agencies. More than 60 people have already registered for the event.
  • The work of repurposing CR’s Challenge Grant funds is well underway with $271,000 in funds now identified for a matching gift campaign. In addition, the Humboldt Area Foundation board of directors have voted and approved releasing the Co-Op Challenge Grant Funds, valued at $418,117, as unrestricted funds for the Foundation. The Foundation Board will utilize these funds to support their 2020 strategic plan.
  • The fundraising efforts for our new Innovation Initiative is underway with Dave and Gaby Somerville contributing $30,000 and with George and Peggy Schmidbauer agreeing to move $145,000 in Challenge Grant funds over to support this new program.
  • A 2020 strategic plan for the Foundation, which included the organization’s purpose, mission, goals, and projects, was approved at the February Foundation Board meeting.
  • The Foundation will host a “Quarter Craze” fundraising event (combination of an auction and raffle) at the Eureka Women’s Club on April 28.
  • The Foundation produced a 2019 year-end report for marketing purposes. The document highlights the Redwoods Room Board Scholarship, the scholarship program, and the use of the President’s Circle funds to support students, staff, and faculty. Student scholarship recipients were also highlighted.

Marty thanked Indivisible Ferndale for holding a fundraising event for our Room &Board Program and the Humboldt Area Foundation for helping us repurpose our Challenge Grant Funds. He also mentioned that we sent out over 350 invitations for the Redwoods Disaster Summit, on April 24 and 100 people have already registered for the event.

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