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Adopted Meeting Minutes
Special Meeting/Budget Workshop
April 18, 2005


The meeting was called to order at 4:09 p.m.


Present: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor
Absent: Canady, Murray, Rasmusson

Trustee Rasmusson arrived at 4:10 p.m.

Trustee Murray arrived at 4:34 p.m.


Dennis Richardson - Good afternoon. I am Dennis Richardson. I grew up here in Lansing. I had a paper route here. I am also the head coach for the LCC Volleyball program. I am here on behalf of the Volleyball Program. I understand that it is part of the budget cutting process. The Volleyball Program is under review and may potentially be eliminated. I want to highlight facts and things that you may not know about this quality program, its community involvement, and its influence. GPA - these are the guidelines that were set up when I came in. For the first time ever in any sport on campus this team was all American and all academic in 2002. We've had numerous individual all academic and all Americans. One hundred percent of our players were eligible and are eligible to play in the sport of volleyball in the last four years. In the last four years LCC has a ninety-eight percent retention rate in this sport; in this program. We have come in under budget every year. We've worked hard to do that. Within the last four years the Greater Lansing area schools have employed fifteen of our star volleyball student athletes. That equates to forty-seven percent of our past and present volleyball players coaching at local high schools around this area. Kaci Forman-Thompson, a recent volleyball student, LCC student and assistant coach, is currently coaching with the United States Volleyball Program in Colorado Springs representing Lansing Community College. Community involvement: LCC Volleyball Stars are involved everywhere. The Lansing Area Volleyball Association is a program based out of Lansing Community College and is designed to promote female involvement in the sport of volleyball and reaches out to approximately 500-700 females per year. Volleyball student athletes have worked with these girls in building volleyball skills, leadership skills and coaching experience on their own. They have also been involved in the river clean up, team charity walks for cancer, and many (inaudible). The LAVA program stars as coaches: LCC has exposured to literally hundreds of young students and potential future students here at LCC a direct contact with LCC volleyball player influence in Lansing Community College. This program has shown strong character building and role models which have helped make this program and this College successful. This program has followed the guidelines as presented to me as the coach and the performance measures set up and we have excelled and exceeded them. We as a group, together, must find a way to keep this program alive in this year and in years to come. Thank you.

Chairperson Laverty asked if Coach Richardson had what he stated in writing.

Coach Richardson stated this was just presented to him and he has scrambled and talked with people to get support and it wasn't hard to do, but has taken up a lot of time. He is a part-time coach and full-time teacher in Charlotte working with Special Education and children with special needs. He stated he?d get the information as soon as possible.

Chairperson Laverty asked that Coach Richardson get the information to Rich Howard or the Board Secretary.

Trustee Pelleran thanked Coach Richardson and asked how many volleyball students are involved in the program.

Coach Richardson stated there are twelve verbal or signed and there are girls that have come in as walk-ons trying to make the team and there is a group of fifteen student athletes that make up the team.

Trustee Pelleran asked what the annual budget has been.

Coach Richardson stated it was between $30,000 and $32,000.

Trustee Pelleran asked how many games they play and are the games played in Michigan or out-of-state.

Coach Richardson stated they have cut back on going out-of-state. Most of the tournaments are now in-state.

Trustee Pelleran stated it was significant that the women are such terrific role models for other young female athletes and females in general in the area. She is committed to looking at other alternatives.

Thomas Kane - Good afternoon, my name is Thomas Kane and I have a great deal of interest in Lansing Community College. I went to school here, I taught here, my daughter attended here. I participated in the construction of some of the buildings here in my other life. I want to make an observation. I received a call the other day, actually yesterday afternoon, that the elimination of certain sports was being considered. I want to come forward with the observation about the importance of the student athlete and the coaches and trainers and the assistant coaches that assist them. One of the things that this program has done is they are the ones who take the study hall; they are the ones that set the standards for academic performance of the student athletes. Currently I know of no less than five students who are ambassadors for LCC, who?ve won academic (inaudible) from the volleyball team. All five of those young women are currently coaching volleyball at the high school level within Lansing Community College district. My daughter is one of those head coaches at Everett High School. She was here Saturday grooming a marginal student, perhaps marginal player, I don't know, with the possibility of walking on but she was telling this young lady to just get into college. My daughter felt she?d never get into college because she had difficulty with academics. (inaudible) she?s currently at Michigan State University and her part time job is she is coaching in a Lansing area volleyball association. I think the support that this college has given my family and my daughter, I very much appreciate it. To come here today I just left the doctor?s office, I have a dislocated collar bone, I've got to go back and get it fixed, so I'm not doing very well right now. This is a very important program. People need to understand the relationship between athletics and scholarship and things that the coaches and assistant coaches and trainers bring to the table. Thanks for listening to me.

Lisa Messner - Good afternoon, my name is Lisa Messner and I'm here to support the Women?s Volleyball Program also. I am a former high school coach at the Lansing School District. I coached varsity volleyball for twenty years and was like Trustee Pelleran - a first time sports in high school and played at MSU and the benefits have stayed with me for a lifetime and unless you have been through it, it's difficult to put a price on that. More importantly, many of the kids they are talking about today have been fortunate enough to coach and some of those have gone back in the schools in the Lansing School District coaching. My husband was a teacher in the Lansing School District also. We are no strangers to budget cuts in Lansing. So, we know what it takes to be creative and think about ways to keep such a valuable program running and we are more than willing to step in and help in anyway that we can. I?d just like to mention, that Mr. Kane mentioned the kids being ambassadors and that is exactly what they are. They are phenomenal when going back to the schools. They are pushing LCC and two of the kids that I coached played here two or three years ago were both valedictorians at Lansing Eastern High School. Phenomenal student athletes who chose specifically to go to LCC because they wanted to continue their volleyball career and it's something where they didn?t have the height or refined skill to get into a college, a division I, II, or III college, but they had the opportunity to continue at the college level and they are so grateful. Especially grateful for coach Dennis Richardson?s leadership. Being a high school coach, I've been around a lot of people, my husband is a high school coach for 25 or 30 years now and we are familiar with good coaching and good programs and poor programs and this is a phenomenal program. We are fortunate enough to have had our daughter was on the team in 2002 and 2003 and it was a tremendous, tremendous experience. Helping the community, required to help with coaching, and she has also coached in high school for several years and has also coached with the LAVA program. I am willing to step in and do whatever needs to be done. I think this program brings in so many kids into LCC who seem to benefit from this wonderful community college. As a former instructor here also, we love this place and we want to be able to bring?so for the Lansing School District this is a great jumping off point for many, many of those students. We promote it constantly and the Lansing volleyball program and Coach Richardson and what he has done with this program, and the kids that come out of this are great ambassadors and literally touch hundreds of kids each year with that. Maybe they are in fifth grade or maybe they are in sixth grade but they are remembering and equating quality with Lansing Community College.

Nanette Frechen - Good afternoon, my name is Nanette Frechen. My daughter Monica plays currently for the LCC Stars. She is currently the assistant captain for the team, the 2004 team. I come to you today as one of many concerned parents. I have watched my daughter, along with the entire team this last year, excel as young adults in their athletic field with Coach Richardson. In choosing colleges early on in 2004, my daughter was approached by many colleges. She investigated all with road trips, inquiries and tours; coming to a decision on LCC for many reasons, one of which was the coaching. Part of the (inaudible) of LCC was the community service in which appealed to her working with LAVA and Special Olympics and being able to take those skills and bring them back to a community. I laughed at her at one point and said, ?I see you coaching when your career is done academically.? She said, ?Oh, yeah.? Recently back in December, January after their season had closed they had come back to our small community of Fowler, which is a class D, both she and a few of her teammates met with about 20-25 young high schoolers and they played in an open gym. I had the opportunity to supervise this open gym and what they brought to them and what they had learned was invaluable. The kids were so excited to have them there. She also assisted in coaching the varsity at Fowler this year. Recently she spent the day with channel 6 news and sat side by side with Jane Aldrich, for the 5:00 and 6:00 editions. She was introduced to Fred King, the local sportscaster, in which she plugged LCC women sports in general and invited him to come to the 2005 season along with that she has been covered in the Clinton County news by Jim McCloud who we saw this Saturday and he inquired about her. He was asking about the 2005 season saying he wanted to come, he said there is not many young adults, especially women from a class D, that get such recognition and small communities like to hear about that. I was very proud of the ladies success this year in the LCC program. As I went to every game but one, and at each game that I saw more and more people coming in because of the success these ladies were having. I would like to thank you for your support both in women?s athletics and with the LCC program. Thank you.

Monica Frechen - Hello, my name is Monica Frechen, you just heard from my mom. I also sent the e-mail and I basically just want to state what I wrote in the e-mail. First of all, I just want to say what a great opportunity for me to play volleyball here at LCC. It's really hard for me to get up here and talk about how I feel about something so important and how much, I just can't express to you how much I love it and how much everybody else on my team loves it. I know it's going to be hard for them to talk about it tonight. My reason for attending LCC was not just because they have good academic programs but also because we have a volleyball team. Coach Richardson and Mary Jo Hardy have worked very hard over the last years to bring success to LCC and that is exactly what they?ve done. We had a very successful season last year and this year we are looking for an even more successful season. Not only have I grown as an athlete but also as an individual here at LCC. I've learned dedication, commitment, discipline and those aren?t things I am just going to have during the season of volleyball. I'm going to continue to carry those with me for the rest of my life. We also get to give back to our community here at LCC. We get the opportunity to help coach LAVA and various camps and clinics. We volunteer to help at the Michigan Senior Olympics and these are not things we are required to do, we do them because we want to. We want to be there, we want to help. I?d also like to talk about maybe a solution. Maybe we can all have the athletic teams do some sort of fundraising event. Maybe instead of cutting something out, bringing money in. It's just a shame that we are trying to eliminate something that seems to be doing so much good in our community. Thank you.

Mary Jo Hardy - Hi, I'm Mary Jo Hardy. I want to give you a little historical outlook on the program. The team started in 1978. We got approved on something like August 1st and we started practice a week later so we put an ad in the paper and twelve girls showed up. So that was our first team. We went ten and nine so I thought that was pretty good. I am also one of the first timers club. In my high school I was one of the first to be able to play on a sports team, so I think we know that this really affects you and that is one of the reasons I want to provide this opportunity for a lot of these women. The goals that I started out with for this team are the goals that they still have and Dennis does a great job of carrying through and (inaudible) always had been and have been to emphasize the educational opportunities they can get by playing sports and by having that additional focus in their life. To emphasize their personal growth and when you see these young ladies up in front of their team of young kids and the kids are looking up and them and the players are very confident and mature and secure in their knowledge because they have been taught very well at their practices. They know how to run a good practice and the young kids really respect that and enjoy learning from them and it is really something that benefits the players just as much as the young kids. I've always emphasized and Dennis emphasizes hard work, commitment and persistence and that is something that is sometimes lacking among our young people. Obviously they are willing to work hard when you look at their class schedule, their work schedule; most of these kids also work at regular jobs as well as having the commitment to working with the junior volleyball teams and volunteer themselves. Their persistence is being demonstrated by their willingness to speak up and fight for their program. It's also been my goal to always to have a big emphasis on community building because within our community it's very important that the kids get to know each other. I've always enjoyed spending my time with the team and watching the team. We get kids from every school here. We get kids from Okemos and Sexton and Grand Ledge and Everett and you know the first time they get together they're?a lot of them know each other from LAVA because they?ve played junior volleyball together but it is always, when they first get together it's always, ?Oh, all your kids don't carry knives??, ?Oh, all your kids don't drive Mercedes?? and they start to (inaudible) we all have the same goals and the same dreams. that's been a big thing that I think Lansing Community College has been able to provide is that community building and having the kids get together and learn from each other. What I?d like to do is just to ask for an opportunity for the LCC community, including the athletic department, LCC as a whole and the other members of the volleyball community, including LAVA and other interested groups to be given the chance to explore some solutions. There are a lot of ways to solve this problem and a lot better solution than cutting. That is all I?d like to do is ask you to give LCC the opportunity to keep providing these opportunities. We need to retain this positive program for our students and our community. Thank you.

President Cunningham commented that it was the intent of Athletic Director Turowski and Dean Cardenas to meet with people personally to discuss the program. She apologized to the people affected and stated they did not just put the recommendation out there with the intent of not discussing it openly.

Trustee Pelleran stated she appreciated the fact that Monica Frechen and Mary Jo Hardy offered solutions. Fundraising was mentioned and she offered to work shoulder to shoulder with them on fundraising activities.

Trustee Rasmusson asked what the marginal costs were for the program. He wanted a line item breakdown on the costs for the volleyball program.

President Cunningham stated information could be gathered and distributed to the Board as requested but they would need time to respond to the requests for information. There are $2 million in cuts proposed and they do not have every minute detail in front of them at the workshop but it is something that can be gathered and distributed after the workshop.


President Cunningham thanked all people at the College involved in the budget process. She further thanked the Board for their due diligence. They have discussed the budget two or three times over the past few months and the budget proposal is based on all the input. The budget decision will not be made until the May meeting. She said now is the time to ask questions.

President Cunningham stated there is a $4.8 million deficit and it has been explained to the Board many times in the past how LCC got the deficit. The budget proposal is designed to address the deficit.

Vice President Barbara Larson gave a budget presentation. (A copy of the presentation is on file with the official budget workshop meeting materials.)


There were no comments from the public.


IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Murray that the meeting be adjourned.

Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Murray, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

Lansing Community College Trustees

LCC Board of Trustees
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Phone: (517) 483-5252
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