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College trustees approve contracts
new slt trustees-howe
Brian Howe is shown during the 2009 commencement, when he received a Distinguished Instructor award.

The Barton Community College Board of Trustees approved contracts for administrators, management staff and head coaches Tuesday. Changes in staff included offering math instructor Brian Howe a contract as Dean of Academics. Dr. Richard Abel has stepped down from that job and will be in charge of the theater department.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said Howe’s promotion to dean will be on an interim basis.
“I want to recognize and applaud Dr. Abel for accepting the challenge,” Heilman said of his new position. Abel will also teach theater classes.

There was also a change among head coaches, with Alan Clark filling the spot of head women’s basketball coach.
“The emphasis was placed on stability,” Heilman said. “We’ve had eight head coaches in the last 12 years.”
Amanda Schnoebelen will continue to coach dance line and cheer leading, but her position will be moved back to the athletics department (from fine and performing arts).

Among management staff, Angie Sullivan has stepped down from dean of distance learning and will return to the faculty ranks as a full-time math teacher.
In 2009, when Sullivan and Howe were both full-time math teachers at Barton, they both received the Distinguished Instructor award.
The position of executive director of institutional advancement, left vacant with the resignation of Nancy Wiebe earlier this month, remains open until filled. Coleen Cape has been handling the duties of that office.
In addition to the contracts, there were also some new employees hired. They are: Kent Knaple, mechanical systems technician; Nicole Serpan, career adviser; Randolph Newman; campus security officer; and Zachary Bauman, systems analyst, all at the Barton County campus.
BioSig and Nex-Tech Inc. proposals were discussed earlier this month at the board study session and were approved Tuesday as part of the consent agenda.

Labor ruling
Dean of Administration Mark Dean reported on the U.S. Department of Labor’s final ruling concerning overtime for “exempt” employees — those typically thought of as salaried. He said it is still unknown how much it will cost the college to follow new regulations when they go into effect Dec. 1.
Dean explained that all of Barton’s salaried employees are exempt from overtime, but the terms “salaried” and “exempt” are not synonymous.
Currently, an “exempt” employee who earns less than $23,660 a year must be paid time and a half for overtime beyond 40 hours. In December, that threshold will increase to $47,476.
However, the new ruling will not apply to teachers, either at the college or in K-12 schools, Dean said. “They’re not included in this.”
One of the college’s major concerns was coaching salaries, Dean said, adding it was a concern shared by many institutions. However, a coach who is also an instructor at least 25 percent of the time will be treated like a teacher.
Barton has 64 exempt employees who fall under the new threshold. Simply increasing their salaries to the new level would cost over $600,000. The college will use several options, which include:
• Raise salaries to maintain exemption
• Pay current salaries with overtime paid after 40 hours
• Reorganize workloads, adjust schedules or spread work hours
• Adjust base wages and overtime wages (down).