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Learned resigns; vacancy announced on BCC board
Dr. Heilman attends last meeting before his retirement
Heilman-retirement-w Simpson
Elaine Simmons, left, praises the retiring president of Barton Community College, Dr. Carl Heilman, at his final board of trustees meeting, on Tuesday, June 25. - photo by Susan Thacker
Don Learned
Don Learned

The resignation of Don Learned from the Barton Community College Board of Trustees became official on Tuesday when the board voted to accept his letter of resignation. Tuesday’s board meeting was also the last one for retiring president Dr. Carl Heilman, who served the college for 18 years.

Learned, who will be moving to Texas, was not present at Tuesday’s meeting but his resignation won’t go into effect until after he attends his last meeting on Aug. 27. At Tuesday’s meeting the board approved publishing a public notice of a board vacancy in the Great Bend Tribune.

The notice directs anyone interested in applying for the vacant board position to contact the college president’s office by phone, 620-792-9302, or email, to request information and material relative to the college, the application process, and the process to be used in filling the vacancy. Applications must be received no later than 3 p.m. on Aug. 9.

The trustees will appoint someone to fill the remainder of Learned’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2025.

Under the proposed timeline, trustees will publicly discuss applications at the Aug. 13 meeting, a study session where no action is taken. Applicants are encouraged to attend. The board will vote on the candidate to replace trustee Learned at the Aug. 27 meeting, which applicants are also encouraged to attend. The entire selection process will take place in open session in accordance with the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved contracts for two new instructors on the Barton campus in Great Bend. Kaitlin Sill will teach accounting and Shawn Galloway will teach welding.

The board also approved the renewal of property, casualty, workers compensation and other insurance as discussed at the June 11 study session. These reflect:

• A 1.56% increase in the total KICS coverage rate.

• A 3.35% increase in United Heartland’s Work Comp rate.

• An overall increase of 2.1% in the total insurance package.

The total comes to $701,682, compared to $687,251 last year.

The trustees will appoint someone to fill the remainder of Learned’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2025.

This story was updated on June 26, 2024.