The Crowder College Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on Monday in the Fireside Room, located in the Student Center at the Neosho Campus. Board members reviewed and approved the minutes of the January 2018 work session and regular business.

The Crowder College Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on Monday in the Fireside Room, located in the Student Center at the Neosho Campus. Board members reviewed and approved the minutes of the January 2018 work session and regular business.
A proposal to increase room and board rates for the 2018-19 year was approved by board members on the second and final reading.
"Nothing's changed," Board President Andy Wood told his fellow trustees. "We talked about this. It still leaves us significantly lower than anyone else. One thing we don't talk about enough is the quality of our facilities."
The increase will hike rates by 3 percent in each housing and meal plan category. Summer rates for Roughrider Village is the sole exception where a 7% increase scheduled to begin in Summer 2019.
"I believe these rates help us keep pace with increases in operations while staying competitive and offering our students above average housing our area, if not the nation," Crowder College President Dr. Jennifer Methvin said.
A proposal to close the Scott Regional Technology Center in Monett was approved on first reading and will be scheduled for final action at the March meeting. In 2012, Crowder College partnered with the Monett School District to open the center.
"Last year, in the wake of state budget cuts and the need for resources to advance the initiatives in Crowder's strategic plan, I made the very difficult decision to recommend to our Board of Trustees tat we discontinue instruction at our Mount Vernon and Carthage sites," Methvin said. "At that time, we decided to retain our operation at the Scott Regional Technology Center in Monet with the goal of growing enrollment, particularly in career and technical areas. Today, in the wake of recommendation for an additional 10% reduction in next year's core funding and with Governor Greitens' recommendation for an additional 10% reduction in net year's core funding for higher education, I have to prepare once more to make an unfortunate recommendation to our Board of Trustees."
Methvin noted that Crowder has not had the necessary recourses to support the Monett center or to foster growth. "With the current state budget outlook, I do not expect that to change," she stated. "For this reason, I have recommended that we discontinue instruction at the Scott Regional Technology Center at the conclusion of the spring semester and conclude Crowder's operations there by May 31, 2018."
Methvin also stated that the regional centers were never full campuses that offered certification or diplomas. Students had to attend additional classes at other locations.
"I did not come to this decision lightly," she said. "However, as president of Crowder College, it is incumbent upon me to continually monitor our operations and make certain we are using our resources to most effectively meet our mission. We cannot continue to ask our employees in every department to do more with less. Instead, Crowder must more tightly focus our resources."
On a lighter note, the board heard the first reading of a proposal to rename the Lee Library Rare Books archive as the Herb and Barbara Schade Rare Books Archive. Last year, on the realization that the Lee Library possessed a number of rare books, a rare books archives was established in October.
"That project was made possible by the ongoing generous support of the Schades," Methvin told the board. "It's always been the desire of Eric Deatherage (Lee Library Director) to rename it in their honor. This request is not made just looking at their (financial) donations but their service."
Both Schades are former Crowder College employees. Barbara Schade served as the Crowder library director, then called the LRC (learning resource center) from 1974 to 2002. From 11975 to 2015, Herb Schade served as physics and math instructor, math and physical science division chair, interim Dean of instruction, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and Physics Instructor Emeritus."
Wood commented, "If you put it together, that's about 75 years of service. It is the recommendation of the board, it is the sole responsibility of the board when it comes on the agenda next month to pass it."
Helen Hale, Student Success Center Director, presented a program review of the center, detailing the multiple functions of the center, including testing, Crowder Cares, assisting students in taking the right courses for their program, student retention and graduation efforts.
Dr. Melissa Oates, director of the MARET (Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology) Center made a presentation about a program Crowder will implement for high school CTEC students in Fall 2018. Project Lead the Way (PLTW). Oates outlined some of the program's key points and described how it will work for junior and senior students.
In personnel matters, the Board accepted the retirement of Dr. Stephanie Watson-Bruto, the veterinary technology program director for the past 16 years and the resignations of Alyssa French, Early Childhood teacher assistant and Susie Murphy, a part-time departmental assistant for the Communications department.
Board members approved the employment of Shelby Larkin, as a secondary paraprofessional/community education coordinator, of Noel Moffet, Upward Bound Academic Coordinator, Phillip Witt, Associate Vice-President of Career and Technical Education, Donnaka Wagner, CTE part-time office assistant, and Heather Winesburg, part-time seasonal advisor for the Webb City campus.
The next meeting of the Crowder College Board of Trustees will be on Monday, March 26, 2018.