Dr. Robin Garrett was named vice president of instruction and student services Thursday when the Barton Community College Board of Trustees met. Dr. Garrett replaces Dr. Penny Quinn, who left to become president of Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Ill.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman commented on his recommendation to hire Garrett, one of three candidates who were called to visit the campuses and attend public forums. “She had a very good understanding of the requirements of the position.”
Board Chairman Mike Johnson said all three of the finalists appeared to be qualified. “It’s nice to be able to have a hard choice every once and a while,” he said.
Other new personnel approved by the board Thursday are Alexis Wingerson, secretary, Workforce Training and Economic Development, and Michael Davis, campus security officer, both at the Barton County campus; and Megan Chambers, advisement coordinator at Fort Riley.
Trustees also approved renewing insurance for property, casualty and workers compensation from the Conrade Insurance Group. The total was $293,305, which was almost $37,000 less than last year’s quote. Dean of Administration Mark Dean said the college is getting a good rate because it is now in a consortium.
“(This is) all of our insurance with the exception of athletic,” he said. “The majority of it is property.” The rate is lower this year even though the value of college property increased by $10 million, to $103 million.
Next on the agenda was athletic insurance, which will also cost less than a year ago. In following Dean’s recommendation for the low bid, trustee John Moshier said, “Mr. chairman, I move that we save $9,000.” The motion was approved for 1st Agency to supply general athletic and catastrophic insurance for a total of $82,712.
Trustee Don Learned asked if local insurance agencies could handle the college’s needs, but Dean said it is a specialized area. He said the college received more bids than usual for insurance this year, apparently because the agencies are “hungry.” The $9,000 savings was a surprise, because the college has added a new sport. “With the addition of wrestling, I would have expected exactly the opposite.”
In other business, trustees approved the 2014 audit for eduKan, the online education company created by a consortium of six community colleges, including Barton. Dean said it was a clean audit that showed no areas of non-compliance.
Dr. Adam John, the new chief executive officer of eduKan, attended the meeting and talked about efforts to improve the service.
“We’re looking for opportunities for greater collaboration,” he said. Also, eduKan may be changing its learning management system, adding more digital content and improving the student information system.
The board met in executive session for 30 minutes to discuss a matter protected by attorney-client privilege. After that time, Johnson said the executive session was also for personnel, as the board has done its annual evaluation of President Heilman. He said the board is pleased with the direction the college is going in these tough economic times.
“Barton continues to stand above the others,” he said.
Johnson also noted in his monthly Kansas Association of Community College Trustees report that he has agreed to become vice president of KCCT next year.