MARSHALLTOWN – When the Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors met March 16, the tone remained determined despite some heavy clouds of uncertainty overhead. With one state proposal for education’s appropriation for FY 2012 at the same level as 1999, and portions of the Iowa Works (formerly Iowa Workforce Development) programs on both Federal and State chopping blocks, the District is preparing for the possibility of some very real changes.
Sue Greenwood, Director of Iowa Works, and Pat Acton, Career Counselor, discussed the June 30 end of the National Emergency Grant (NEG) that funded the retraining of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) participants whose jobs were eliminated at Lennox and ACE Mfg. They explained that significant funding reductions are expected for WIA, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Promise Jobs, meaning fewer IVCCD students will receive tuition assistance from this source in the future.
The board approved the purchase of Higher Reach software and professional support services from Jenzabar to provide Iowa Valley Continuing Education with online registration and bill pay functions that it currently does not have. IVCCD Chancellor Chris Duree explained that this has been a major initiative that IVCE channeled through the District’s Strategic Action Plan process and funding for the software will come from the 3-cent/6-cent levy fund. Jacque Goodman, Vice Chancellor of IVCE, said the new services will be especially helpful in the area of distance education.
The board gave the first reading to a revision of the voluntary early retirement incentive plan for IVCCD employees, changing the deadline for submitting the application from March 1 to June 1, 2011. Dr. Duree said the reason for the extension was, “to allow employees to take another look at the incentive program. The anticipated budget program is going to force us to make some staff reductions. We will know more in the next four to six weeks. It is inevitable; there will be ramifications for our employees.”
The board approved three voluntary early retirement applications submitted by the March 1 deadline from Barb Hagstrand, Monica Schneider and Gloria Stewart. The board will address the policy again when it meets in regular session at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, on the Ellsworth Community College campus in Iowa Falls. The board heard a preliminary report from TSP, Inc., architects Dave Schultz and Justin Sorensen, regarding projected plans for a 4,440 sq. ft. addition to the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center, at 206 E. Church St., Marshalltown. The proposal would remodel existing restrooms and add classrooms. Jennifer Wilson, Director of the Education & Training Center, reminded the board of the two $500,000 grants they received for the Center’s expansion. The grants enabled them to pursue several options prior to making the decision to purchase the building and request plans for the addition.
The ETC served 932 students in 2010, a growth of 20% since 2008. Students overflow the classrooms into the hallways on a regular basis, a sight that board members Yvonne Mallory and Deb Jones witnessed in a recent surprise visit to the ETC.
Wilson said they continue to pursue additional local grants the ETC is eligible for now that the project is moving forward to make-up the $182,000 estimated shortfall for the building construction. There were many questions about the bidding climate, future costs of materials, and returns on programming at the ETC. Wilson noted there are several programs that would be very successful at the ETC but they haven’t been able to offer them because there isn’t room. The ETC project will be an action item on a future board agenda.
Marshalltown Community College Provost Robin Shaffer Lilienthal asked the board for permission to continue discussions with Viryd Technology regarding its desire to install a functioning wind turbine on campus at no cost to MCC, with the power going to the college, and the board agreed she should pursue details.
Cindy Schulte, IVCCD Director of Governmental Affairs, talked to the board about the status of current legislation regarding education funding for community colleges.
he IVCCD Board will hold its regular April meeting a week early, April 6, at 3 p.m., in Reg Johnson, Room 100, on the Ellsworth Community College Campus in Iowa Falls. The public is invited.
GLORIA D. STEWART
Supervisor, Media Relations
Iowa Valley Community College District
3702 S. Center St. l Marshalltown, IA 50158
Ph: 641.844.5570 l F: 641.754.1442