The conversation at Barton Community College’s board study session Thursday centered on the ENDS.
That’s what college trustees call the keys to how they oversee Barton. "ENDS," as in goals, final outcomes and desires, are usually referred to in all capital letters and are presented in the form of six ENDS statements, such as ENDS Statement No. 1: "Students will have the essential skills to succeed in the workplace." ENDS identify the focus of the institution, from the trustees’ perspective, Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said. They give the president direction and set parameters.
Much of Thursday’s discussion dealt with issues that came out of last month’s board retreat, Dr. Paul Maneth, chairman, said. One item that will continue to receive board consideration is expanding the list of ENDS Statements from six to eight.
One potential new policy deals with defining the college’s service area. Once that was a simple matter, as the Legislature drew a map and assigned territories to the state’s universities and community colleges. In that regard, Barton serves all or part of seven central Kansas counties. But technology and the challenges of "distance education" have changed the picture. Barton now has a campus at Fort Riley and a learning center at Grandview Plaza. Through online courses, its classrooms can reach students anywhere in the world. For that reason, it may be time for trustees to take a more active role in stating the ENDS for the service area.
A suggested ENDS Statement in this area reads: "The College service regions will support the institutional mission and be in accordance to available resources."
As with all ENDS statements, this one is followed by related policy statements:
• The College will identify regions of enrollment and student support services that are compatible with institutional mission.
• The College will identify regions of enrollment and student support services that are in accordance with available resources.
• The College will identify regions of enrollment and student support services that maximize revenues and minimize expenses.
• The College will identify regions of enrollment and student support services that minimize local tax reliance.
• The College will identify regions of enrollment and student support services that complement growth of student learning services.
Trustees had positive comments about the statements.
"These show the importance and the benefit of having an expanded region," trustee John Moshier said.
Trustee Mike Johnson said it’s important to make minimizing local tax reliance one of the goals, along with making sure staff aren’t "spread too thin" through expansion. But the college does need to continue to find areas where services are needed, he said. "This helps keep us competitive."
The second new ENDS Statement under consideration is: "The College mission will be supported by strategic planning emphasis." Related policy statements in the draft are:
• The College will develop strategic planning goals that support the institutional mission.
• The College will develop strategic planning goals that satisfy Higher Learning Commission accreditation requirements.
• The College will develop strategic planning goals that satisfy Kansas Board of Regents policies and mission.
• The College will develop planning goals that can be measured for effectiveness and provide accountability to the public.
Trustees are also considering how ENDS are measured.