Call to Order
The meeting was called to order
at 6:23 p.m.
Present: Brannan, Laverty,
Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Trustee Brannan led the pledge
Chairperson Laverty requested
that everyone remain standing to observe a moment of silence for the
victims of Hurricane Katrina.
to the Agenda
Trustee Pelleran requested that
the Oracle System as it relates to financial aid be added to the
There were no objections from
It was added under the
Public Comment Regarding Agenda Items
Lynn Savage - Good evening, my
name is Lynn Savage and I'm addressing you this evening as Chair of
the LCC Labor Coalition. We have been working extremely hard along
with the College to evaluate all of our options for healthcare
coverage. And we are here to pledge our continued commitment to
that effort. We have an agreement in place that will take us to
October 6th. However, it does not address all of the
concerns we have related to healthcare benefits for all of our full
and part-time members. We encourage you, as a Board, to ensure that
adequate resources are made available to address these concerns as
we continue our work to offer appropriate healthcare benefits to the
employees of the College. Thank you for your attention.
Sally Pierce - (She distributed
packets to the Board and President. A copy is on file with the
official Board materials.) Good evening Board members, President
Cunningham, and members of the LCC community. I'm Sally Pierce,
proud president of LCC MAHE.And I'm proud because I represent a
proud and talented group of faculty, teaching laboratory
technicians, librarians, counselors and advisors, interpreters, and
other instructional folks here at LCC. We are the largest single
group of employees and we know you to be people of good will, why
else would you donate the hours you do to our institution. We are
also people of good will, but we are worried. We are worried that
healthcare coverage and costs are unresolved and the rest of our
contract, including calendar and salary, are also. We are watching
the College budget being spent and stretched and meanwhile we are
working without a contract. One hundred and eleven of us got raises
this fall. They were individuals on the steps of the salary
schedule and moved up. But the rest of us, over 1,200 part-time
faculty and about 110 full-timers received no raise because we
haven?t settled. No raise will not help us match comparable
institutions or make things better between full and part-time
faculty. As chief spokesperson I can tell you that we have yet to
see any proposal for part-time healthcare. Even though we have had
fruitful discussions about salary we are a long ways from
settlement. I know settlement is possible - I'm looking for Tim, he
knows this too - I'm here to urge Board members to help our managers
find a will to get a settlement and I'm here to urge managers to
find time in their busy schedules to get together to work with MAHE
negotiators. Unfortunately, I must show you some ugly statistics
tonight. LCC has the longest academic calendar for faculty. that's
this one - you guys have these in your packets. LCC uses more
part-time faculty than any other community college - that's this pie
chart. We use the MEA?s data set to get the top chart for national
community college comparisons. This one here with A3.8 and 16.2
came from using data that was supplied to us at the negotiating
table and we sat and counted how many people are actually faculty
teaching. And then the last one is the full-time rate is the lowest
when you look at all the other community colleges in the state. As
one of my bargainers said, ?last is last.? We do not believe LCC
needs to be last, but that will require that you take care of
employees first and perhaps wait on some other expenditures. Please
make contract negotiations your first priority. Thank you. The
only other thing to mention is that we gave you a spreadsheet too
because we think that may actually be a lot easier to deal with, but
it didn?t make good posters. Thank you very much.
Jack Rotman - I'm Jack Rotman
and I wanted to follow-up with what Sally said to put a personal
face on it. I've been a professor of Mathematics here for over of
32 years. I think I'm pretty well known in the community,
especially in the national Mathematics education community at
community colleges. I'm a leader in a national organization
involved with the establishment of our national standards
(inaudible) professionalism. I believe I've been successful in my
classroom because of two principles: respect and investment. I
want to talk about those things. I respect my students. Some of
them overcome barriers just to attend college. Some of them have a
great fear of a Math class. Many of them are balancing jobs,
family, and class. I respect their efforts and I think they're
willing to work harder because I do. Without respect I cannot
expect them to put forth the effort. I invest in my students. I
invest more than some people think they deserve. I literally invest
more than some people think they deserve. Getting ready for class
is not just a routine for me. I am thinking about what each of my
students needs and what I can do to help them. Even though when
it's all said and done it is their responsibility to do the work.
Investing is a commitment that we're in this together. I want to
tell you some things about me personally. I started here in 1973.
I've worked hard professionally with a very diverse group of
students over that period of time. I've been a key leader in our
program?s growth. Has the College shown respect and investment? My
family has had two out-of-state vacations in the last 20 years.
Both of them were paid for with loans. When my mother died 10 years
ago, I had to borrow money to help pay for the funeral. Does that
show respect on the College's part in investment? And it doesn?t.
When my father died seven years ago, I had to borrow money to help
pay for the funeral. Does that show investment from the College?
My cars were made in 1996 and 1999. My stereo was sold by
Montgomery Ward in 1974 and has an 8-track tape player on it. If
anyone is interested, I can make a deal with you. My computer at
home costs $65 at our surplus store. I'm not a snappy dresser. I
don't waste a lot of money on parties. Does this show anything
about the College's investment in me? I am paid less than the
average faculty at comparable colleges in Michigan. In fact, I am
paid a lot less than people with similar expertise and background at
those colleges. What does this say about the College's investment?
we're in the fifth week in working without a contract. My team has
been trying hard to get agreement with the College on known issues
and compromises. The College has not managed, somehow, to find
agreements. Does this show respect for our work? Our time and
efforts are being focused on a labor dispute when our efforts should
be entirely on our students. Does this show respect for our
students? The College has the resources to invest more in faculty
and say this is a priority. It is time for the College to show that
investment and show respect for our faculty that we deserve. Our
settlement is needed and reach it now. Thank you.
New speaker - I just have two
quick comments. I was so excited to get my Masters and start my PhD
in English as a Second Language. I love working with international
programs. And having come out of a high school to a community
college was ideal. I love the fact that the community college
bridges high school and universities and also is a college that
serves the community. When I came here 15 years ago I worked for a
few years in a department that I really liked and as more and more
faculty came in I was the temporary lead faculty. A woman came up
to me and said, ?how do I get insurance? I'm dieing and my daughter
is sick.? I said, ?let?s talk to our director.? To make a long
story short, of the seven faculty in that small department every
person in that department was getting welfare. We were faculty with
Master degrees and we were all getting welfare checks, Medicaid
cards and food stamps on salaries we make as faculty at a college.
Point made I hope. The second thing is kind of correlated is about
that time I interviewed for a position at Jackson Prison as a
counselor. Immediately after touring the cell blocks I realized
that the counselors didn?t have much success. So I asked about
education and the role of education in the prison system. I found
out that in the 70s and 80s it cost $40,000 a year to keep each
prisoner. I said why aren?t we putting that $40,000 a year into our
faculty, into our communities, into education rather than into
prison? Which you know is one of the largest industries in the
state of Michigan. I would just ask you to respectfully consider
and realize that as faculty, the majority at this school being
part-time faculty, that we're worth our money and that we are
shaping the future. And hopefully not the future that's going to go
into Jackson prison.
Steve Klimecky - My name is
Steve Klimecky, I teach in the Science Department. I am a member of
the large contingent grossly obscenely exploited part-time faculty
at this college over 80% of the faculty. As a faculty who's been
here around eight years I make $7 less per hour than the average GM
assembly line worker. And that's having 15 years of college
teaching experience. Well, basically I'm here as a faculty member
to impress on you the importance of fair pay for this majority of
faculty. And to encourage you to do the right thing and put your
support behind our proposal of proportional or pro-rated pay for
proportional work. For those of you who aren?t mathematicians that
would mean something along the lines of if someone does 50% of the
work of a full-timer, they get 50% of the pay. If someone does 60%
of the work of a full-timer, they get 60% of the pay. I have been
both part-time and full-time. I started here as a part-time
faculty. I've had temporary full-time positions for two and a half
years. I know how much I'll be earning if I were full-time. When I
compare my full-time income to my part-time income, it's really
astounding. It's absolutely amazing. Right now I'm teaching 75% of
a full-time teaching load. Would any of you possibly guess as to
what my proportionate full-time pay is for that 75% of full-time
work? Mr. Proctor, want to guess? Mr. Brannan? Ms. Pelleran?
Trustee Pelleran - I don't want
to guess. I?d just like to have you tell us.
Steve Klimecky - Fine enough.
For getting 75% of a full-time teaching load I am making 23% of
full-time pay for that work that I'm doing. When you add on the
full-time benefit package on to the salary, I'm making around 18% of
a full-time faculty person for doing 75% of a full-time faculty
person, by doing 75% of a full-time teaching load. How is this even
remotely accessible by any stretch of the imagination? Thanks.
I'll probably be talking to you again.
Debbie Harris - Good evening.
My name is Debbie Harris and I am a full-time faculty member in the
Learning Assistance Department. Like some of the other speakers
tonight I?d like to give you a little background information on how
the part-time pay situation affects our department and our
students. In the Library we currently have four full-time library
faculty and we have five part-time faculty and so as you can guess
they're really essential to the work that we do. And we couldn?t
operate without our part-time faculty. Some of the things that they
do. They work one on one with students who come to our reference
desk. Sixty percent of the time when a student comes to our
reference desk they are going to see or interact with a part-time
reference faculty member. These part-time employees also teach
library instruction sessions to the many classes that visit the
Library. In addition, they do a number of other essential functions
such as managing the collection of books and other resources in the
Library. The pattern is very similar to faculty in other
departments. They do very much the same work as full-time faculty
members for significantly less pay. What I thought would interest
you is to have some comparison with pay for part-time reference
librarians at other Michigan community colleges. We did a survey at
the beginning of spring semester this year. And it was very
interesting. At Jackson for example, a part-time reference
librarian?s pay scale ranges from $19.07 to $21.57. At Macomb it's
$15.54 up to $20.18. And at Oakland it's $22.98 up to $30.89 per
hour for a part-time reference librarian. Compare that to LCC where
in our contract for this year that we just finished the pay rate for
beginning is under $16 per hour. Excuse me the maximum is under $16
per hour. So, we don't compare very well with other community
colleges. Our highest pay is almost $4 below Jackson?s lowest. I
think that is a disservice for our part-time faculty and also for
our students. In the past our department has had a terrible time
filling these part-time positions because our pay rate was not
competitive. We've had to compromise on the qualifications that
we've asked for this part-time faculty to have. And I want to think
that you would agree with me that we owe it to our students to give
them the very best part-time faculty that we can. Not just for our
department, but for all the departments on campus.
Camille LaGuire - Hi, I wasn't
going to speak, but I thought to give you a little perspective. My
name is Camille LaGuire. I'm a part-time instructional lab faculty
in MAIT department. I am at pretty much at the top of my pay scale.
I've been here a long time. I'm better off than just about anybody
in my class. I don't have a family so I don't have as many
expenses. But I still can't afford health insurance. I used to be
able afford health insurance when I wasn't at the top of the pay
scale, but I had to drop it in order to pay my rent. When the VIBA
program came out, I thought, ?good, maybe I can do it.? But when
the figures came up even though it's catastrophic insurance it
doesn?t cover office visits anything like that. I still can't
afford it. And I'm at the top of the pay scale. I'm thinking
people with families, people who have not been here for 20 years how
are they getting by. that's basically all I want to say.
Mary Murphy - I'll be brief, but
my comment relates so closely to hers that I thought this was the
time for it. My name is Mary Murphy and I teach Writing here at
LCC, which I've been doing since 1989. In the first 13 years my
husband?s job provided the family with health insurance. November
2003 I undertook that responsibility because his job didn?t do that
for us anymore. And at that time we were paying between $900 and
$1000 per month for the family to have health insurance. July 1st,
2004 that went up to somewhat over $1,100 a month. July 1st,
2005 it went up to $1,234 per month out of my salary which is not
astronomical and now before the end of the month we have to decide
should we continue, should we switch over to the VIBA and hope that
in the negotiations that possibility is not lost or should we just
plain try going with no health insurance. I would like you to make
sure that our choices don't get any worse than that.
Joseph Warren - Good evening
Board Members, President Cunningham. As you know my name is Joseph
Warren. I've been here 37 years 38th year with respect
to the Department of Humanities and Performing Arts. I would like
to remind the Board that it faces some very, very important
decisions that will determine the future quality of the College. As
a long term employee and as a member of the negotiation team working
on the salary section of the contract I would like you to consider
the following three points. (1) LCC salaries are about 30% behind
competitive schools, which makes it very difficult to attract highly
qualified faculty and staff. In a previous negotiation we were told
that LCC didn?t want highly qualified faculty and staff. The reason
we were told was that if we faculty with minimum qualifications to
save money. that's doing the community and the students a terrible
disservice. (2) If the Board chooses to follow its edifice complex
and not hire sufficient numbers of highly competent faculty to teach
the programs housed in those buildings, it will have essentially
created an educational mausoleum to house dead and dying programs.
(3) LCC is developing a reputation of being a very hostile work
place. If the faculty treated the students like many of the
administrators treat the faculty, the College would be faced with
skyrocketing legal costs. The Board should realize that the stress
caused by bad administration is driving up the healthcare costs.
Because we can go through the departments and document the
illnesses due to the stress. To see the breadth of the problem, the
Board should survey those who have left LCC in the last few years to
see the level of anger and frustration that caused many of them to
leave before they were ready to leave. It is time to build in an
evaluation process of administrators from the bottom up. Hurricane
Katrina showed us what happens when FEMA is staffed by friends and
political cronies, not competent professionals skilled in dealing
with the problems. This is not the model for LCC to follow. The
longer LCC goes without a contract that does not put LCC on the road
to competitive excellence, the more harm to the College's reputation
will suffer. I am requesting that the Board to order the
administrative negotiators to return to the table to negotiate in
good faith to close the gap between LCC and other community colleges
to once again make LCC competitive in order to serve the students
and the community. In conclusion, given the College's obsession
with buildings, I leave the Board with the following question: does
the faculty have to picket the campus dressed up like bricks and
mortar to remind the Board that it is staff, not buildings that
determines the quality of the programs? The public knows what needs
to be done. Now it's time for the Board to set the priorities and
order the administration back to the table. Thank you for your
David Marty - Good evening, Mr.
Chair, Ms. President, Board members. I want to be very brief. I
can tell your plate is very full. I want to make sure that the item
that was just added concerning the problems with the Oracle system
with regards to the issuance of Financial Aid. I want to make sure
that that issue is not completely subordinated to some of the other
things you are dealing with tonight. To my knowledge I only
represent one student, but I expect that there are many students
that still have not received this month?s disbursement and I just
want to make some connections. we're post Katrina and even before
Katrina we're having some legitimation issues at all levels of
government. And I think it's important to think about the
(inaudible) being able to call today to try to get information about
Financial Aid and basically being told the history, ?well, it was a
computer program problem.? That just doesn?t work anymore. that's
the kind of thing people are upset about. We want to see who's
responsible. What?s being done to correct issues. And I'll leave
at that. Thank you for your time.
Connie Peterson - Good evening,
Trustees and President Cunningham and colleagues. We have some work
to do and I think we can do it in our own house. Thank you.
Tamikia Foster - As I stand here
I'm hoping that my one lone voice helps not just myself, but many in
my situation. My name is Tamikia Foster and I'm a last semester
Nursing student. And I am proud to say that I came to LCC because
of the rave reviews from the teachers and from friends. I sold
everything I own to move to Lansing to get an education and to
become a nurse?excuse me. I'm a single mother of two little girls
and I'm struggling hard to get through school. And due to your
computer glitch I have not received my money for school. I'm
standing here because I had to take time off work because Nursing
school is very grueling and very time consuming. And without my
financial aid, I can't make it. I'm having to beg and borrow and go
to food banks to try to feed my kids because of your wonderful
computer program that you all installed. Nobody is paying attention
to us that's standing in line hours after hours. And I sympathize
with you all and your contracts and everything, but your blues ain?t
mine. You understand what I'm saying? I got two kids to feed. I'm
in my last semester and I'm trying to make it. I've done so much
for this college. I've done poetry slams. I've initiated talks.
I've sat on conferences. Ms. Cunningham knows if you need me, I'm
there. But now that I need you, you're not there. I'm standing in
that line trying to feed my kids to get by and nobody?s listening.
And I need to know how many of you are willing to roll up your
sleeves and stand in that line and help these people in the
Financial Aid office to get our money to us. Because I'm not alone,
but I am a voice that's standing here telling you that I need help.
I need to finish this semester. I'm on the verge of dropping out
because I can't take it anymore. I?d rather drop out and feed my
kids, so I shouldn?t have to decide on my education. This is a
dream I've had all my life and I don't want to defer it any longer.
So, if you can get back there and help us, that would be awesome.
So I thank you for your time.
Trustee Rasmusson - Mr. Chair.
I don't see Glenn Cerny here. I think we should require for him to
be here. He is here? Glenn, your guy from IT at our last dinner
could not answer questions about the IT protocol. I think we need
to question Glenn as part of tonight?s meeting.
President Cunningham - I'll take
that questioning on his behalf. I'm ultimately responsible for this
student and for all the students here. And if there's any
responsibility that needs to be blamed or blame that needs to be
taken, I'll take it. I?
Trustee Rasmusson - Then tell me
the answer to my question last time. What is the protocol as to the
avoidance of catastrophic failure?
President Cunningham - The
protocol as to the avoidance of catastrophic failure is absolutely
inevitable. In all systems all the time. And we can talk about that
on the agenda item or we can talk about it now. It's on the agenda
to address that.
Chairperson Laverty - Let?s
complete public comment and move on. I want to hear if we've got
more students here particularly. Next?
Trustee Rasmusson - It's
absolute fallacy to say that systems must fail. I can point you to
a number of systems that are designed never to fail. For example,
the naval, the type the Navy uses in certain situations.
Chairperson Laverty - Any other
Elaine Pogoncheff - My name is
Elaine Pogoncheff. I'm a professor of Management in the Business
Careers department. One of my students is here giving me support.
And I'm here to give him support as well. Our last speaker spoke
about her travails in getting financial aid. I have at least 10
students who have pleaded with me to help them find a book to help
them?to give them a little leaway in terms of meeting assignments.
I have never had this kind of outpouring from students who are
reliant on financial aid in all of the years I have taught here.
And I would also like to support the students in terms of let?s get
this resolved. we're in the fourth week of the semester now and
this is the time that people either make it or they fail. And I
hate to see that they fail because the resources aren?t there for
them. Thank you.
Chairperson and Board Member Reports
Chairperson Laverty presented
the Board bylaws. He reminded the Board that he had met with
General Counsel, Tim Zeller and Vice President Rich Howard to review
the bylaws to ensure they are in line with Policy Governance. He
asked for additional feedback prior to the next Board meeting.
Chairperson Laverty felt that the bylaws need a lot of work
considering they contain a lot of common sense items. However, the
suggested changes should help in bringing them in conformity with
Policy Governance. He?d like to see the bylaws approved at the next
Board meeting. He opened the floor for discussion.
Trustee Pelleran appreciated
another opportunity to review the bylaws as she was unable to review
them before due to some family issues. She also agreed that the
bylaws need more work.
Trustee Smith also appreciated
the opportunity to review the bylaws. She agreed that the bylaws
need to be consistent with Policy Governance.
Calendar of Meetings
Chairperson Laverty presented
the calendar of meetings for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. He
stated that the proposed meeting dates reflect having a May
election. Based on the resolution that was passed last fall
the Board selected the November date, but by law had to hold the
election in May because the majority of the school districts in the
College's service district held their elections in that month.
However, since that time the statute has changed and the Board may
proceed in having its election in November. He stated that
this change will extend the terms of office through December for
those Trustees up for election in 2007. The organizational meeting
should be on January 1 however, the community college act still
reflects the July organizational meeting.
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran
and supported by Trustee Smith to accept the calendar as is until
the community college act changes.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Information and Announcements
Chairperson Laverty reported on
the following events he attended:
August 24, 2005 - Employee
Service Awards in Dart Auditorium.
September 16, 2006 - Health &
Human Services and Administration Buildings grand opening. He and
Trustee Proctor enjoyed touring the Health & Human Services
He announced the following
September 23, 2005 -
Presentation from Dr. Willard Daggett in the Dart Auditorium
October 3, 2005 - Presentation
from Dr. Stephen Covey at the Kellogg Center.
October 16, 2005 - Lip Sync in
Dart Auditorium, 6 to 8 p.m., and the tickets are $25.
Chairperson Laverty asked the
Trustees to return the Conflict of Interest Disclosure statement as
soon as possible.
Trustee Rasmusson - Audit
Trustee Rasmusson reported that
the Audit Committee is required to meet with the Auditor before,
during and after the audit. The meeting before the audit has
occurred and everything is in place to go forward without any
He also reported that he
reviewed the Directors and Officers insurance policy the College
has. He believed it is a very good policy. Trustee Rasmusson
stated that the Audit Committee voted to recommend to the Board that
someone conduct a preliminary investigation of the State pension
system. The pension system is costing the College approximately $3
million now. According to the records on the web, it shows that they
lost 22% of their assets in the period of 1999 to 2002. He
explained that the reason for the Committee?s inquiry is that there
have been several large settlements with companies for giving bad
advice to a pension fund. Trustee Rasmusson believes maybe there's
someone out there who is misleading the State.
Trustee Proctor - Workforce
Development Board and ACCT Leadership Congress
Trustee Proctor reported that at
the last Workforce Development Board meeting additional funding in
the amount of $29,500 was approved for Lansing Community College's
WorkFirst program bringing the total award to $435,000. He stated
that he did not, nor Chairperson Laverty, vote on that issue. He
was unable to attend the Michigan Works Conference in Mount
Pleasant, but asked Chairperson Laverty to give a report.
Trustee Proctor attended the
Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress
September 8 to 11. He provided a written report on the conference
(it is on file with the official Board materials.) Trustee Proctor
shared that the keynote speaker at the plenary session of the
morning breakfast was Dr. Thomas Parnum of the University of
California Irvine. This session was related to the consequences of
the decline of black males on college campuses. He read aloud
excerpts from the session, which are included in his written
Chairperson Laverty reported
that while Trustee Proctor was at the ACCT conference he attended
the Michigan Works Conference in Mt. Pleasant, MI. He shared the
following highlights of the conference: guaranteed high school
diploma going on in the Grand Rapids community college district and
emphasis on using work keys at the high school level.
Trustee Pelleran - Leslie
Local Finance Development Authority
Trustee Pelleran reported that
she did not attend the Leslie Local Finance Development Authority
meeting because she attended the grand opening of the Administration
and Health and Human Services buildings.
Trustee Smith - Foundation
Board of Directors and ACCT Leadership Congress
Trustee Smith reported that she
had an orientation and looks forward to working with the
Foundation. She was very excited to announce that the Foundation
will be receiving a large donation from the Dart Foundation toward
the Capital Campaign. She distributed materials about the Capital
Campaign (which are on file with the official Board materials) and
encouraged all Trustees to purchase at least one share.
Trustee Smith reported on the
ACCT Leadership Congress. She shared that she has attended
conferences for other industries and was very impressed with the
quality of speakers. Trustee Smith also highlighted on the session
with Dr. Parham that Trustee Proctor reported on. She attended
another session on strategic thinking and is proud that the College
is light years ahead in terms of inclusion with over 3,000 people
having participated in the College's strategic plan. Trustee Smith
also reported on a session regarding Shared Governance and maybe it
is something that can be implemented at the College.
Trustee Pelleran gave her
commitment to the Capital Campaign by 10 shares toward the capital
campaign and gave a check towards her first installment.
President Cunningham welcomed
everyone to the new Administration Building Board room. She thanked
everyone that attended the grand opening and everyone who was
involved in changing the venue in less than six hours.
College Spotlight -
Administrative Services Division
President Cunningham introduced
Ms. Barbara Larson, Vice President of Administrative Services.
Vice President Larson and Ms.
Beckie Beard gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Administrative
Services ISO 9001-2000 certification (it is on file with the
official Board materials.)
There was a question and answer
period after the presentation.
It was shared that the Business
& Community Institute has been certified for several years. The
Assessment Center, the Financial Aid and the Business, Media and
Information Technology departments are also seeking certification.
Human Resources - New Hires,
Leaves and Sabbaticals
Patricia Bouman, Dental Hygiene, Dental Hygiene, Human Health &
Menadier-Thomas, Therapeutic Massage Therapy, Massage Therapy, Human
Health & Public Services
Financial Aid Update
President Cunningham asked the
Board to allow her first to share information with them about this
issue and she will then answer questions. She stated that this was
done collectively and if blame needs to be placed on anyone, it is
her. We are not proud or pleased with the impact that this has had
on students particularly the students who are most vulnerable who
need financial assistance in order to attend classes here. However,
she said that 25% of our students were impacted, but we are proud of
the fact that we have been able to serve almost 10,000 students.
Whether it's one, two, three or 200 students is one too many. She
is very proud that everyone from the front line folks in financial
aid to ISCD are working 24/7 to figure out what needs to be
implemented to serve students.
President Cunningham shared the
following information: staff began training for this particular
transition since April or May parallel systems were run 80/20
testing was conducted, which means if 80% of anything tested worked,
you moved forward at one time the system launch was postponed until
the 80/20 testing results were reached. The financial aid portion
of this is more impacted for fall registration because students
apply for financial aid for the academic year. There were too many
customized individual externally driven factors that the system did
not handle for some, not all, but for some of our students. As a
result when we were notified that this was becoming an issue, we
were able to problem solve. Not one student was dropped. An
emergency loan fund was immediately established. The College worked
with Gibson?s to take post dated checks. President Cunningham
shared that the young woman that spoke earlier at the Board meeting,
her issue was not Oracle related, it was another issue, which is
private and everything has been resolved. Students could get up to
$1,000 as an emergency loan and that was at the discretion of the
counselors and the first line people. Even though we tried to
respond to this issue as best we could, we recognize it was not
enough. She has asked for an external audit to be conducted to
help avoid this happening again. She was asked respectfully by
staff to wait at least two weeks because checks are trying to be
disbursed and students are still being attended to. Once these
issues have been addressed a full review can take place.
Communication was sent out to the Board about pioneering this system
because there is no system that's full-proof. We cannot make
certain that there aren?t any glitches in this system because the
College does not have unlimited financial resources to do that.
President Cunningham reiterated
that a review will take place to find out what went wrong. All
representatives will be at the table - Oracle, Student Services, and
ISCD. You need all the players at the table because Financial Aid
is an extremely complex system.
Trustee Rasmusson expressed
frustration that back in June after he asked for an appointment with
President Cunningham and that meeting has not been scheduled. He
felt that most of the Board was frustrated at the Board dinner in
June when the IT person couldn?t answer a basic question. Did he
consider that revenue generation activity failures are considered
catastrophic. Bridges are built to never have a catastrophic
failure, but it doesn?t mean they never fail. However, it is
extremely rare because they are built to avoid that.
President Cunningham stated that
she remembered him asking that question and she clarified that it
was at the Board dinner on May 16 when the Trustees received a
briefing. She said Mr. Marti Pennoni was present and he did not
have the resources to answer his question. However, at the June 20,
2005 Board meeting there was a college spotlight with Oracle and
Lansing Community College representatives there and it was
communicated to the Board that the representatives would be present
to answer questions. President Cunningham stated that was staff?s
attempt to answer his and other Trustees? questions. She apologized
if his specific question did not get answered, but the spotlight was
intended to have Trustees ask their questions with the experts in
Trustee Rasmusson thought he was
absent at the June 20 meeting.
Trustee Rasmusson excused
himself from the meeting due to a personal matter he had to attend
He left the meeting at 7:48
Trustee Proctor asked if there
were any students whose emergency needs have not been met as of this
President Cunningham responded
not that she was aware of. Correspondence has been sent to students
and all counselors and advisors are aware of the emergency fund.
Financial Aid awards are still being packaged and students have not
been denied emergency loans.
Trustee Proctor asked if she
knew if any students did not follow through with admissions process
because of the challenges with financial aid.
President Cunningham responded
that there was no data collected, but human nature would tell you
that might have happened due to frustrations. She stated that we
will attempt to collect data on that issue.
Trustee Pelleran asked what do
the lines look like and what is the level of morale with staff and
President Cunningham responded
that people are frustrated. Staff are feeling inadequate and
frustrated with not having the answers and for being unable to serve
students appropriately. She asked Dr. Rebekah Woods or Dr. Evan
Montague to further address Trustee Pelleran?s question.
Dr. Woods responded that office
hours have been extended and staffing has been increased to help
students. This has helped decrease the frustration that students
President Cunningham also shared
that three financial aid experts and other individuals with
financial aid expertise are being hired to assist in packaging
Trustee Pelleran asked after
students wait in line, what are they learning about their financial
Dr. Woods responded that it is
on a case by case basis. Many are standing in line to find out the
status of their situation. They do not have to stand in line to get
packaged because as they become eligible their loans are packaged.
With the help of the three individuals being brought in to help
package the remaining loans, she estimated that outstanding loans
will be packaged by the end of next week.
Trustee Pelleran asked why would
students stand in line if they weren?t eligible and what does that
student look like.
Dr. Woods responded that there
are many eligibility requirements that are federal guidelines such
as grade point average and course completion ratio. Other factors
might be verification that includes the government is requiring
additional documentation to support the information on their
Trustee Pelleran asked why the
students wouldn?t have been informed of the required documentation
well before the day they started school and needed a check.
Dr. Woods responded that once
they receive those documents it gets posted on their accounts and
communication is sent out weekly to the students that have
outstanding to do items.
Trustee Pelleran asked wouldn?t
the student know whether they were eligible or ineligible when
applying for financial aid initially.
Dr. Woods responded that if they
apply directly with FASA they immediately are informed by the
government of their eligibility.
Trustee Brannan asked what would
cause a second-year student who had couple of scholarships last year
and this year have none.
Dr. Montague responded that it
could be various factors such as donor requirements.
Trustee Brannan stated that he
knows of a few students in that situation that did not return to the
President Cunningham asked that
if anyone has a student who has questions to contact us.
Trustee Smith stated that
financial aid can be a very complicated and cumbersome process. It
can be a very intimidating process to not only students, but parents
as well. For as much as we try to make things as simple as we can,
it is still a very complicated process. She admitted that it was
alarming to hear that 25% of our student population was having
trouble with financial aid, but knowing that it was financial aid
she understood the complexity involved. Trustee Smith stated that
these are the kinds of things you cannot anticipate or put a dollar
value on. She was with President Cunningham when she was notified
of this crisis and she thinks leadership is what you do during the
crunch times. She saw President Cunningham step up to the plate and
begin to assess things and have a plan in place to move things
forward very quickly. Trustee Smith commended the staff for their
strong commitment to have an outside audit. She felt that it is
very important for everyone to take responsibility for what has
happened. Trustee Smith asked of the 25% of the students that did
not receive their financial aid, to date what percentage of them
have now been processed.
President Cunningham responded
that she had last heard it was 700 that still needed to be package.
She asked someone to confirm her statement.
Dr. Woods responded that they
have packaged 700 loans and still needed to package 1,100.
Trustee Smith again commended
the staff and President Cunningham for stepping up to the plate to
President Cunningham thanked her
and said everybody has done whatever they could, which is why she is
so proud of working with these folks. She had an open forum and
they were frustrated and upset. She applauded their passion and
their commitment to serving students. President Cunningham shared
additional information with the Board. She said that it was
communicated to the Board on April 21 that there are information
technology challenges that can only be addressed with a live
launch. She shared that she checked with other organizations such
as the American Cancer Society out of Atlanta, Georgia that industry
standard is 60% of systems that are launched historically fail. The
more complex the system the less likely it is to work initially.
She said this information does not make her feel better however, a
lot of things did work. When the finance portion was launched there
were some issues with payroll, but those have all been worked
through. During April and May there were issues with registration
that were shared with the Board, but those were also worked
through. President Cunningham said everyone will be at that table
including Oracle and an objective review will take place.
Assessments will then be made as to whether or not this will be
outsourced next semester until it is fixed because we cannot afford
to let this happen again. She stated that both she and Dean Judith
Cardenas will be sending communication on a regular basis to all
students who should have received financial assistance. In October
or November they will be invited to campus and given the ?red
carpet? treatment to assist them in registering for next semester.
There is a plan in place to continue to reach out to those
Trustee Proctor responded that
Trustee Pelleran asked what the
estimated timeline is to finish packaging the 1,100 loans.
Dr. Woods responded that with
the help of the three individuals and barring no other issues, the
remaining outstanding loans should be packaged by the end of next
Approval of Minutes - June
20, 2005 Regular Meeting and July 1, 2005 Organizational Meeting
President Cunningham presented
the June 20, 2005 and the July 1, 2005 meeting minutes for the
There were no changes.
Finance - Approval of Bids
The following bids were
presented for the Board's approval:
- GVT Exterior Masonry
Restoration 2005 in the amount of $411,090. The bid was awarded
to Davenport Masonry of Holt, Michigan.
- Truck Driver Training
Modular Buildings in the amount of $190,768. The bid was
awarded to Carl?s Portables of Holland, Michigan.
There was a brief discussion
regarding the bids.
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran
and supported by Trustee Brannan to approve the President's Report.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Smith
Absent: Canady, Rasmusson
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Brannan
and supported by Trustee Smith for the Board to go into closed
session for the purpose of discussing a strategy connected with
negotiations of a collecting bargaining agreement and specific
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Smith
Absent: Canady, Rasmusson
The Board entered into closed
session at 8:15 p.m.
Trustee Rasmusson returned
during closed session.
The Board returned to open
session at 10:48 p.m.
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran
and supported by Trustee Rasmusson for the Board to return to open
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
There were no comments from the
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran
and supported by Trustee Smith for the meeting to adjourn.
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty,
Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
The meeting adjourned at 10:49