Black River Technical College (BRTC) Board of Trustees held its quarterly meeting recently at the BRTC Pocahontas location and via zoom due to the recent ice storm.
In the president’s report, BRTC President Dr. Martin Eggensperger said, Governor Sarah Huckabee declared February “Career and Technical Education” month, which he is “really excited about.” He informed the Board that he, along with Gunsmithing Instructor Chuck Coe and BRTC Foundation members Graycen and Alex Bigger and Scott Trammel attended Shot Show 2023 in Las Vegas representing the BRTC Gunsmithing program. He said it “was a good experience and opportunity to work with new leaders in economic development.”
Vice President of Finance and Administration Rhonda Stone reported that fiscal year 2023 is on track and in alignment with last year. She said the coffee shop and grill are having some growing pains, but they are getting better as another part-time employee was added. Plans to have Bermuda turf are in progress and the administration department are working with insurance providers on three buildings affected by the recent freezing temperatures. She also reported that the site of The Armory at BRTC, located in Piggott, renovations are close to completion and the expectant fall opening is on track.
Vice President of Student Affairs Jason Smith reported a 17 percent drop in enrollment from the Fall to Spring semester. He said typically there is a 10 percent decrease, but the number is slightly higher this semester due to five things: the law enforcement training academy capped its classes at 45 students, the Registered Nursing Program decided to move away from ARNEC due to concerns about quality education and replaced that class with a smaller Practical Nursing course, the number of financial aid suspensions have increased, “which may be due to Covid,” there is a decrease in transfer students, and a lack of a paramedic director made it impossible to hold the paramedic course. Smith said, “those five things make up 96 percent of the enrollment gap.”
Vice President of Institutional Advancement Karen Liebhaber reported RiverBank will be the headlining sponsor of the BRTC Foundation Spring Fling, Baltz Feed is the venue sponsor, and Randolph Liquor is the beverage sponsor.
Executive Director of Human Resources Julie Edington reported 11 positions filled with three being internal promotions, and 11 positions open.
In other business:
- The board approved a resolution to revise policy 2118, employment of relatives, to include nieces and nephews, which is now aligned with state policy.
- The board approved a resolution to amend policy 6115 that states sick leave can be used for guardians to care for their children/children in their custody.
- The board approved the annual plan proposal for fiscal year 2024.
- The board approved a resolution to increase tuition $5 per credit hour, effective fall 2023.
- The board approved a resolution to authorize expense reimbursement for Board of Trustees members during the calendar year of 2023.