Mineral Area College had a difficult 2017. In addition to state budget cuts and a dropping enrollment, one of its long-time trustees had to retire due to physical issues and another died only a few months after he was honored with the trustees boardroom being named in his honor.

January

The MAC Board of Trustees received a preview of next month's homecoming festivities from Director of Development Kevin Thurman. He announced that homecoming was set for Feb. 25 and that the men’s and women’s basketball teams would be battling against the State Fair Roadrunners.

Trustees received a spring enrollment report from Registrar Pam Reeder. The stats showed that student enrollment is still "soft" compared to the previous year, but also starting to show signs of improvement.

February

Facing the double-whammy of state budget cuts for institutions of higher learning, along with a decline in student enrollment, Mineral Area College prepared to tighten its belt to better help the school weather its current financial storm.

Dr. Steve Kurtz, MAC president, announced that Missouri Department of Higher Education Commissioner Zora Mulligan will be this year's commencement speaker on May 13.

Music Department Chair Dr. Kevin White and Director of Jazz Michael Goldsmith updated the trustees on the upcoming Carol Moore Jazz Festival.

March

Statistics indicate that Mineral Area College’s summer and fall semesters would see a significant decline in student enrollment.

April

Three members of the MAC Board of Trustees that ran uncontested in the April 4 election, were sworn into office for a two-year term by outgoing Board President Scott Sikes. They were Subdistrict 4 Trustee Harvey Faircloth, Subdistrict 2 Trustee Lisa Umfleet, and Subdistrict 4 Trustee Dr. Don VanHerck.

The board approved the George K. Baum & Company and Gilmore & Bell Bond Counsel to prepare and come back to the trustees with a refinancing place for the school's Series 2008 Certificates of Participation to lower interest costs.

May

Mineral Area College’s 93rd commencement ceremony had 385 students awarded associate degrees in the Robert E. Sechrest Sr. Field House.

After last month’s statistics indicated that MAC’s summer and fall semesters would see a significant decline in student enrollment, Dean of Students Jean Merrill-Doss was able to present a more positive report to the school’s board of trustees.

Vice President of College Affairs/Dean of Career and Technical Education Gil Kennon announced his retirement from Mineral Area College. He began working for the college in March 1994.

June

The trustees selected Roger McMillian — long-time MAC business and computer networking instructor — to fill the vacancy left by the retiring Kennon. McMillian will serve as dean of the Career & Technical Education Division.

Kurtz presented the 2018 fiscal year budget to the trustees for approval that, because of expected cuts in the state’s funding of higher education and a decline in enrollment, has been cut wherever possible.

July

In light of Dr. VanHerck’s many years of service to the college, the board presented its longest-serving member a plaque in his honor and announced that the conference room connected to both the theater lobby and the president’s office will now be known as the VanHerck Board Room.

August

The board of trustees learned that fall enrollment is down 9 percent.

The trustees received an update on the ApprenticeshipUSA program.

The board voted to reject all bids received for the remodeling of North College Center with the use of HB19 funds.

September

Sally Parker-Nash, a 19-year member of the MAC Board of Trustees was recognized by VanHerck and the rest of the board for her many years of service. She tendered her resignation from the board in March 2016 due to serious health issues that left her wheelchair-bound.

The trustees learned that the school's fall enrollment is around 7 percent below what it was a year ago.

October

Dr. VanHerck, Mineral Area College’s longest-serving trustee, died at the age of 82.

Kurtz opened the trustees meeting with a memorial to VanHerck. The place long occupied at the boardroom table by the beloved trustee was decorated with a black ribbon and single red rose.

The trustees approved a bid of $348,820 submitted by Brockmiller Construction for upgrades to the North College Center.

November

The Mineral Area College Board of Trustees heard a less than heartening spring enrollment update when it met in regular session Thursday afternoon in the VanHerck Boardroom.

It was announced McMillian was honored with a service award presented by the Missouri Community College Association.

The school’s agriculture department, made up of agribusiness instructor Alan Bayless and horticulture instructor Dr. Chad Follis, was honored as the outstanding agriculture department in the state at the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education Conference in Springfield.

December

In the absence of Thurman, MAC President Dr. Steve Kurtz announced that the MAC Foundation's Enhancement Grant fundraising campaign had met its goal.

In her 2018 spring enrollment report, Merrill-Doss announced that numbers were still down compared to a year ago.

Facilities Director Barry Wilfong reported that work is progressing well with the North College Center construction project.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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