SCCC/ATS looks at asking for 4-year exemption on state’s concealed carry law
The Seward County Community College/Board of Trustees met Monday following the swearing in of re-elected trustee members Ron Oliver and Dustin Ormiston by Pam Perkins, administrative assistant to the president.
The board adopted a resolution to temporarily exempt the college from a Kansas Senate substitute bill that would allow concealed weapons in all college buildings.
The bill requires municipalities, including community colleges, to allow individuals with concealed carry permits to bring a gun into a city or county office or into any building on a college campus.
Community colleges can apply for an exemption for up to four years. During that time the college will develop a plan to meet the requirements of the statute.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, told the board that the college has more than 167 doors. The legislation describes adequate security measures as having metal detectors and personnel at each building entrance. The cost would exceed $10 million for equipment and personnel for the first year.
Dunn also explained that such security methods would severely impact the movement of students, employees, and the public as they move from one building to another for classes, job requirements or public events.
In addition, concerts, basketball games and other campus events would be impacted as each individual attending an event would need to be screened before being admitted to a building.
Liability insurance will be an issue as well, he said. The college’s insurance carrier may not continue its coverage if faculty and students are allowed to carry weapons. Only trained campus security would be allowed to carry weapons.
Presently, individuals who are a part of campus security team do not all have adequate training or experience to meet the expectations of possessing weapons.
“It will take some time to put together a plan, but we can’t let it go for four years,” Dunn said. “It’s something we have to begin working on.”
In light of this bill, the board adopted changes to board policy 518 regarding campus safety. The basic objective of the safety program is to reduce risk with a sound campus security and accident-prevention safety program. The policy operates in compliance with present federal and state laws regarding personal safety, public health, and privacy as applicable to the college and includes operating as a weapons-free campus.
The board reviewed the three institutional goals that they established at a recent retreat. The goals include improving the college’s social media presence for marketing, recruitment and creating awareness; increasing distance education options for students in all programs; and developing a proposal for the next phase of facility planning.
The legislature passed a budget bill signed by Gov. Sam Brownback, which retains current level of state aid distribution for two-year colleges and retained the secondary student career and technical education funding. The college will continue to build its 2013-14 budget for presentation at the July meeting. The college is anticipating a decrease in county valuation for the FY2014 budget.
Dennis Sander, dean of finance, explained that the college has held total expenditures flat through careful planning and review of operations for the last few fiscal years while many operational costs have increased.
President Dunn explained that while college enrollment has increased during the last several consecutive years, there has also been an increase in student needs for advising, counseling, and instructional technology. Those costs impact the college’s potential to continue to perform at high levels of performance in student retention, graduation and placement rates.
Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, also reported that the college was selected to receive a 2013 Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award, one of three colleges and universities chosen to receive this award. The award recognizes state-of-the-art programs and services that are improving retention by promoting student success and satisfaction through a comprehensive advising program, mandatory first-year seminar course, strong academic support, early alert and at-risk team intervention systems, Student Support Services through the TRiO program and opportunities for student engagement.
Dennis Sander, dean of finance, reported that the college received a $74,693 return on their investment for the 2013-14 school year from EduKan, the college’s online consortium with five other western Kansas community colleges.
In other action, the board:
• Hired Susan Ingland and Mary Ruiz, nursing instructors; Michael Martin, mathematics instructor; Larry McLemore, division chair of industrial technology; and Judy Waters, English instructor; and Greg Unger, diesel technology;
• Accepted the resignation of Alison Chambers, communications/theater instructor; Kelly Campbell, security and safety supervisor; David Ingle, Diesel instructor; Diane Miller, nursing instructor; Jacy Sautter, director of the Student Living Center; and Jason Sautter, assistant men’s basketball coach; and James Choate, Sustainable Agriculture Resources;
• Accepted the proposal from Byron Bird and Associates of Liberal in an amount not to exceed $30,500 to perform the fiscal 2012 independent audit;
• Approved the purchase of a used Chevy Impala from Foss Motor of Liberal in the amount of $16,650;
• Approved $25,092 to upgrade the multi-media equipment in the college conference rooms from six different venders; and
• Approved the purchase of the Active Directory Services and Exchange Mail Server software from Dell of Round Rock, Texas, in the amount of $30,714.
The next board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. July 22.