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Plan for in-county tuition break gains momentum
Road to Camp Aldrich moving
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The next tuition increase at Barton Community College may include a price break for local residents. The idea was suggested at a recent BCC Board of Trustees study session, and discussed again briefly on Thursday, at the January study session.

Last year, trustee Mike Johnson said he’d like to see Barton County residents pay less for tuition, since they already support the college with their tax dollars. On Thursday, trustees saw a scenario in which the in-county tuition rate was reduced by $3 per credit hour, while out-of-country students’ tuition increased by $1 and out-of-state tuition increased by $2. The college would see a net revenue increase of $9,424.

Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said the suggestion has merit. "It lets our stakeholders know we value their tax support."

However, the same thing could be achieved without setting up different tuition rates for in-county vs. out-of-county students. This would be done with a $1 tuition increase, but an automatic $4 per hour scholarship to in-county students. Butler County Community College handles its tuition in a similar way, trustees were told.

Heilman said no board action is needed until April. In March the board will look at the issue again, comparing the college’s tuition and fees to what other institutions are doing.

In other discussion issues:

• CKMC impact —

Elaine Simmons, dean of Workforce Training and Community Education, said there will be no changes in the Medical Lab Technician program at the college, but there could be changes in other programs. "We have a meeting next week with CKMC administration," she said.

Legislative linkage/retreats — Since board members haven’t been able to schedule a dinner here with area legislators, the trustees are considering a trip to Topeka later this month or in the first half of February. This may replace the February study session. The board will also plan a retreat at the Fort Riley Campus, with may include a stop at the Camp Aldrich Conference Center.

Camp Aldich — A feasibility study for the conference center near Cheyenne Bottoms is close to completion, Heilman said, but the draft wasn’t available for Thursday’s meeting. An outside consultant is doing the work.

Meanwhile, Dean of Administration Mark Dean said work on the road to Camp Aldrich is 75 percent. It has included actually moving the Logan County Township road in places. "They surveyed it and the road was in the wrong place," he said. Widening and straightening the road has required moving power poles and phone lines.

Right now there’s just a dirt road, and some sort of surface will need to be added, Dean said. But what has been done is an improvement: "It looks like a highway going into Camp Aldrich."

Heilman said the college has committed up to $5,000 toward the road enhancements, but will not shoulder more of the cost. In fact, he said he has concerns about providing the $5,000, because it might set a precedent. "We do pay taxes," he said of the Camp Aldrich property.

• Reviewing contracts and benefits —

"I would like to know what the basic contract is," McKinney reiterated, asking chairman Paul Maneth to put that on the March study session agenda.

But, after trustee Robert Feldt objected, saying the board does not write the contracts, Maneth decided copies of the information will be made available to trustees, and if McKinney has any questions after reviewing them he can put that on an agenda. Trustees agreed they were not seeking information about individual employees.

Policies — Trustee John Moshier will work on possible wording for a policy on board member travel, based on policies at other community colleges. Barton has never had a formal policy on this. The board also reviewed "ENDS statement" (policy) wording concerning Barton’s service regions and strategic planning.

Agreements — Each month, Dr. Heilman reports on agreements he has signed with other institutions. The latest include Concurrent Enrollment Partnership agreements with Unified School District 401, Chase High School; and with USD 112, Wilson High School, Claflin High School and Quivira Heights High School; a Nursing Clinical Affiliation agreement with Cherry Village, Great Bend; and an EMS Education agreement with Community Memorial Healthcare in Marysville.

Trustee Frank McKinney said that before the trustees vote to renew employee contracts this year, he would like them to review contracts and fringe benefits as a board. "I’d like to see the basic contract — what we offer," he said. Dean Dean said benefits are not spelled out in contracts, and vary depending on the classification of employees.
At the end of the study session, trustee Don Learned asked what impact the changes at Central Kansas Medical Center will have on the college’s medical education programs. In the near future, CKMC plans to stop offering in-patient care.