WILKESBORO, N.C. – The Wilkes Community College (WCC) Board of Trustees met on Thursday, January 7 in the Bowman Rare Book Room located in the library.
Prior to the start of the business session, WCC President, Dr. Jeff Cox and Vice President of Strategy, Zach Barricklow provided an update on WCC’s Strategic Plan.
The business session began with the approval of the minutes from the December 10, 2020 Board of Trustees meeting.
Terry Bumgarner, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees, announced the next trustee orientation/education session scheduled for April 21-23,2021, in Raleigh.
College President’s Report
Dr. Cox recognized the 2020 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty-Staff Award recipients. The 2020 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty Award went to Randy Gambill, lead instructor for Information Technology. The 2020 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Staff Member of the Year went to Bruce Staley, WCC Custodial Supervisor.
Zach Barricklow gave an update on WCC’s Golden LEAF Foundation Application. WCC is currently seeking funding to establish a Northwest NC Rural Tech Hub to serve Alleghany, Ashe, and Wilkes counties through the implementation of the Tech Academy and Teleworks USA programs that will provide training, credentials, and job placement in high-growth technology and telework jobs.
The trustees reviewed biographical narratives on new employees who began work since the board last met. New employees are Vanessa Greer, SAGE program coordinator, effective November 10, 2020; Victor “Hunter” Norris, instructor of Psychology, effective January 1, 2021; Evan Gray, instructor of English at the Ashe Campus, effective January 1, 2021.
Employees assuming new roles are Mindy Blackburn, Advisor/ACA instructor, assumed the role of College Liaison for Wilkes Early College High School (WECHS), effective January 1, 2021.
Retirements announced since the last board meeting include Kim Tetzlaff, lead instructor, Business Administration, effective October 31, 2020; Cinnamon Martin, Dean of Advising, effective date December 31, 2020; and Sharon Mitchell, instructor of English, effective date January 31, 2021.
Resignations announced since the last board includes Annette Church, Phlebotomy instructor, and Amanda Everhart, College Liaison, Ashe Early College High School (AECHS).
Buildings and Grounds Committee
WCC’s annual energy consumption report submitted to the State Energy Office shows total energy costs for the college of $762,831 for the fiscal year 2020. This includes usage of electricity, natural gas, water, and other utilities.
The building project at the Ashe Campus continues to progress with a scheduled completion date in early May 2021.
The board of trustees gave the Building and Grounds Committee the authority to approve an architect for the cosmetology renovation project.
The 2020-2021 WCC Annual Fund drive began July 1, 2020, with the faculty, staff, and foundation/trustee board members. The goal is $63,000 for the campaign. Priorities this year are the Doc Watson Student Emergency Fund, Food Pantry, GED/HiSET Scholarships, Study Abroad, WCC SkillsUSA, and unrestricted funds.
MerleFest 2021 is scheduled for September 16-19, 2021.
Program and Planning Committee
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Annual Meeting was held December 2-9, 2020. The meeting’s sessions were switched from in-person to virtual sessions to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. WCC was represented at the meeting by Dr. Jeff Cox, President; Dr. Yolanda Wilson, Vice President of Instruction; Kim Faw, Vice President of Instruction Support and Student Services; Nicole Fogle, Executive Director of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness and SACSCOC accreditation liaison and several other faculty and staff members.
Employability Services conducted a variety of workshops and participated in numerous activities during 2020 to help students develop employability and job search skills to prepare for the workforce. Attendance was lower, due in part to many in-person events being canceled because of the impact of COVID-19. A total of 32 workshops were held with 324 participants.
Through numerous career counseling events that were provided during 2020, WCC was able to assist 835 students with their career choices. During 2020 WCC Career Coaches assisted 3,432 high school students. The six Career Coaches combined conducted 216 group information sessions, reaching 4,678 students.
For 2020, the WCC Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program featured diverse activities and programs and adapted to a virtual world in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vickie Bell, Clinical Education Coordinator of WCC’s Respiratory Therapy program, continued to pair with the WCC Prevention Program and further her cause for vaping education in the community. For all 21 educational events, approximately 806 individuals participated.
The WCC Board of Trustees will meet again on April 8, 2021 in the Bowman Rare Book Room located in the library.
Wilkes Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a public, two-year, open-door institution serving the people of Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany counties and beyond. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community, and workforce. WCC prepares learners for success in a dynamic world.