Other discussion topics at the Barton Community College Board of Trustees study session Thursday afternoon included:
• The Board addressed the administration recommendation exempting BCC from the provisions of Section 2 of House Bill 2052 for a period of four years. The bill, passed and signed this year, authorizes the carrying of concealed weapons in state and municipal buildings. This would supersede the college’s current ban.
The reasons for the exemption cited were:
– Provided adequate time to determine the implications and costs of complying with the provisions of the act.
– The major insurance companies (EMC is our current insurer) will not insure institutions that allow employees to carry weapons (does not include certified law enforcement employees).
– Without adequate training, it is extremely difficult to quickly recognize what is happening during the first minute of a violent incident. Concern of individuals lacking the proper emergency response training and how these individuals may react to an emergency situation.
– Potential danger to 1st responders as well as individuals carrying concealed weapons.
– Allowing weapons on the campus would not create a positive effect on campus safety, and may decrease the overall safety of Barton’s students, faculty, and staff.
– Allowing weapons on campus would surely increase the number of unknown weapons on campus and the potential for increased violence.
• Went over the proposal for property, liability, workers compensation insurance renewal for the year beginning July 1 from EMC/Cincinnati Insurance (Conrade Insurance Group).
The renewal rates for next year are approximately 7 percent higher than the current premium, but this increase also includes a deductible increase from $5,000 to $25,000 on the property. The increases are across the board for most of the coverage’s provided in the policy. Property increases reflect an increase in the value of our campus facilities as well as the Kansas industry trends toward damage claims. Although our mod rate decreased for this year, the increase in workers comp premiums reflect our increasing number of out-of-state online instructors.
• Discussed the Sept. 12 Great Bend Chamber Coffee the college will host. They plan on holding the renovated auditorium ribbon cutting at that time as well.
• The board reviewed the colleges Emergency Succession Plan for the temporary appointment of an acting president in the event of an unplanned absence of the president. This is done annually at the June study session.
As Bob Feldt took his seat at the Barton Community College Board of Trustees table for the last time Thursday afternoon, fellow trustee Don Learned came over to him and shook his hand.
“This is a sad day,” Learned said. “You won’t be with us any more.”
The June Board study session in the Fine Arts Building seminar room marked Feldt’s final meeting. After eight years serving Barton through one of its most turbulent periods and an ensuing renaissance, he decided not to seek re-election this past April.
“It is with a little sadness that I end my service on this board,” he said. He thanked his Board colleagues, past and present.
However, in remarks made during the meeting, he said he didn’t want to dwell on the past. Instead, he wanted to remind people just what a valuable asset BCC is to the area.
“I want to express my admiration for the staff and administration,” he said. “They are first rate.”
Barton is a first-rate college, due mostly to hard-working personnel who love and are dedicated to it, he said. “The heart of the institution are the people.”
The school and its people are not content to rest on their laurels, he said. “Barton is very progressive working to serve our community’s needs.”
It is, he said, one of the best community colleges in the nation.
He also paid tribute to the voters who put him in office.
“We appreciate your service and devotion to the college,” said Board Chairman Mike Johnson.
Glancing back, “It’s been a very positive experience for me,” Feldt said of his tenure. “This type of public service is very gratifying.”
Feldt came to the Board in 2005, smack in the middle of the athletic scandal that rocked the institution. “It was a very interesting and challenging time,” he said.
A coach and the athletic director were indicted by a federal grand jury. College President Veldon Law was fired.
“I was upset by what was taking place,” he said in an interview earlier in the afternoon of what prompted him to seek a seat at the Board table. “It brought shame on the school and on the community.”
He had always been concerned about the school through the music and drama departments. This was his opportunity to get involved at the policy level.
“We began the process of rebuilding the public trust,” he said. Today, “the trajectory is upward, strongly upward. The college has regained its footing.”
Now, he’s looking onward.
“I’ve enjoyed immensely my time on the Board,” he said. But, “it’s time for new people to come in.”
At 75, Feldt remains a practicing attorney in Great Bend. And, although it was a great experience, he said he doesn’t want to make a career out of being a trustee.
Former BCC instructor Leonard F. Bunselmeyer Jr. of Great Bend will take Feldt’s spot on the board as of July. Feldt’s last meeting would have been in July, but he has plans to be out of town at that time.
Feldt said he plans on staying involved in BCC in other capacities.