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Raises approved for Barton employees
BCC receives STEM grants
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Brian Howe, dean of academics, talks about the success of Jack Kilby STEM Day, Tuesday at the Barton Community College Board of Trustees meeting.

Barton Community College’s employees will receive a 2 percent raise, thanks to the action taken Tuesday by the BCC Board of Trustees. The across-the-board pay increases are for regular full- and part-time employees who have been at the college since the new fiscal year started on July 1.

Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman recommended the mid-year pay increase. Trustees approved a “salary enhancement” in July that amounted to an overall increase of 3.5 percent, with some employees receiving bigger increases than others. But Trustee Don Learned had voted against that, saying he favored a 4.5 percent increase. It was agreed that the topic would be revisited at mid-year.

“The 2 percent can be supported without strain, based on current circumstances,” Heilman said Tuesday. “We are at a good point financially to support it.”

Earlier in the meeting, Vice President of Administration Mark Dean presented the November financial report and said, “the financial statement looks pretty good.” Revenue is up by more than $1 million compared to a year ago and expenses are down about $250,000. Cash reserves are up by $1.4 million. “We are in very good shape right now.”

Jack Kilby STEM Day

Dean of Academics Brian Howe reported on the success of Jack Kilby STEM Day on Nov. 19. About 300 high school juniors and seniors attended, which was approximately double last year’s attendance, he said.

The event used to be called Jack Kilby Science Day but the name change incorporated science, technology, engineering and math — STEM. The college has received two grants this fall that are STEM-related and has started a STEM Club, Howe said.

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program funds scholarships to Fort Hays State University through the National Science Foundation. The program aims to expand the workforce in STEM areas by training teachers of science and mathematics. Howe said FHSU has 12 Noyce scholarships in the amount of $4,000 per year over five years and one is designated for a Barton student. For each year a student receives the scholarship, he or she must work as a teacher in an under-served area — any Kansas school except those in Johnson County. “It’s a fantastic opportunity,” Howe said. (Earlier in the meeting, it was noted that Barton and FHSU also offer a program called Degree in Three that allows students to complete teaching degrees in three years.)

The second grant related to STEM comes from the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation. This grant aims to increase the number of minority students in STEM fields. With this grant, the college plans to host a STEM Camp next summer and offer free tuition to minority students.

Other business

In action items, the board:

• Awarded the bid for audits for the next five years to the low bidder, Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, Great Bend, for a total of $217,650. Mark Dean said the college saved money by bidding the contract for five years.

• Approved hiring Mike Perry as the head coach for bowling and Taylor Stoltz as the assistant coach for softball. Perry continues to teach for Great Bend USD 428 so he won’t be offered a contract at this time, but he will be able to begin recruiting efforts for next year when Barton bowling is added as a team sport.

Meeting at a glance:

The Barton Community College Board of Trustees combined its monthly study session and business meeting into one meeting on Tuesday. Here’s a quick look at what the board did:

• Heard the November financial statement

• Reviewed audit bids and a possible salary increase

• Learned about videography and the Barton YouTube Channel

• Heard about STEM Partnership Grant projects

• Discussed Higher Education Day, where trustees will meet with legislators in Topeka in January

• Heard a Faculty Council report and Strategic Planning report

• Approved 2 percent pay increases for employees

• Awarded the audit bid to Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, Great Bend

• Named a bowling coach and assistant softball coach