Meeting at a glance
Here’s a quick look at the monthly study session conducted Tuesday by the Barton Community College Board of Trustees:
• Mark Dean presented the March financial statement. The college’s cash reserves as of March 31 were 50.48 percent as compared to 48.48 percent at the same time last year.
• Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman talked about “re-centering,” the plan to change funding distributions among Kansas community colleges and technical schools.
• Faculty contract reviews were discussed. Staff must be notified by May 18 if the college does not intend to renew their contracts. The board will act on this at the April 24 meeting.
• The board was reminded about changes in Kansas driver’s licenses that go into effect in 2020.
• There was a report on Army deployments and the effect they could have on Barton enrollment.
• Jane Howard and Elaine Simmons gave an update on Barton programming at the Larned correctional facility.
Administrators at Barton Community College said upcoming deployments of U.S. soldiers at military bases where the college offers courses could have a negative effect on enrollment. Deployments affect the number of soldiers enrolled in Military OnSite Training (MOST) as well as regular college courses. It can also affect the number of military spouses who stay in the area and take classes offered by the college.
Deans from BCC’s Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley campuses joined the board of trustees study session via video conferencing when Barton trustees met Tuesday on the Barton County campus. Board Chairman Mike Johnson was also away from Great Bend and attended the meeting via a conference telephone call.
“Fort Leavenworth rarely deploys — in my four years as dean they have not deployed at all,” Dean Ashley Anderson said. “However, I just got news last week they have already deployed soldiers that were stationed there to Iraq.” Fort Leavenworth’s soldiers are correctional officers — Military Police — Anderson said, adding news they would spend about nine months in Iraq “came as a very big surprise. I wrote the education services officer, Mr. Kelly, and we actually spoke today and he is confident that this isn’t going to hurt our enrollment too badly, but it’s sort of a wait-and-see. Some have left already and others are on their way over there,” she said.
“Because we don’t have a lot of track record with deployments in Fort Leavenworth, we don’t know if those spouses will stay or if they will leave. We hope they stay,” Anderson said.
At Fort Riley, Dean Kurt Teal said the Second Brigade, which consists of about 4,500 soldiers, will return around June after being deployed in support of the European Command’s NATO Response Force Rotation.
“First Brigade consists of about the same, 4,500 soldiers,” Teal said. “They’re currently participating in field training exercises in preparation for their soon-to-be trip to the national training center in the deserts of California. That’s planned for around the August timeframe, and all that training is in preparation for their deployment in December or January of 2019 to the European Command. They’ll also be supporting Nato’s Response Force Rotation,” Teal said.
“We also have elements of Fort Riley’s Combat Aviation Brigade." They are scheduled for deployment in February of 2019 to assignments in Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said the deployment schedule has affected college enrollment, which may remain “flat” with fewer soldiers on base to take classes. As some soldiers return, others are scheduled for departure.
“This may be the new normal,” Heilman said. “Circumstances are always evolving and changing.”
In his monthly report on agreements signed, Heilman reported MOST contracts were signed for Unit Armorer Training and the Physical Readiness Training Leader’s Course, both with the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Meade, Maryland; and the Combat Lifesaver course for the 73d Civil Support Team at Topeka. The college was also set to teach an Equipment Records Parts System course to Air Defense Artillery at Okinawa, Japan, but Teal said the MOST agreement for that class had been canceled.