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911 director to fill MAC board seat

PARK HILLS — Alan Wells, longtime director of the St. Francois / Ste. Genevieve Counties Joint Communications Center, will fill out the remainder of Senator-elect Gary Romine’s term on the Mineral Area College Board of Trustees. The appointment was approved Thursday by school trustees at their monthly meeting. A trustee to permanently fill Romine’s seat will be elected in the April 2 election.

MAC President Dr. Steve Kurtz said Wells’ professional experience brings a new perspective to the board.

 “In my recollection, we’ve never had a board member with a law enforcement background. Mr. Wells brings to the board a wide knowledge of the region,” he said. “MAC’s scope is regional in nature, being Southeast Missouri’s first community college. The Board of Trustees, administration and I believe he will do an excellent job representing the various communities on the Mineral Area College Board of Trustees.”

Wells said he and his family have benefited from MAC, both working for MAC and attending classes, and he said he wanted to contribute something back to the community college.

“MAC brings some top quality education to attending students and I feel, with my resources and experience, I may be of some benefit to the college,” he said.

Wells will fill out the term for trustee-at-large until April, upon which time he has indicated he will run for the next full six-year term. He will take the oath of office to begin his board of trustee’s responsibilities on Jan. 10.

Wells is the director for St. Francois / Ste. Genevieve Counties Joint Communications Center, which oversees central dispatch for 911 services in those counties. He has 30 years in law enforcement in the area, and serves on the Governors’ Advisory Board to 911, the board of St. Francois County Caring Communities, and he has served as chairman of the Region C Homeland Security Committee.

Prior to the Joint Communications Center, Wells worked for the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department and was once an instructor for the Missouri Police Corps Training Academy. A graduate of Farmington High School, he has studied at MAC, Southeast Missouri University, and taken more than 2,500 hours of law enforcement accreditation training courses on local, state and federal levels.

In other action by the board:

• Julia Dill, director of Development and Alumni Relations, revealed the MAC Foundation’s new Alumni & Friends website ( Accessible from the school’s main website (, Alumni & Friends offers alumni a one-stop location to catch up on school news; and post promotions, employment and other personal information. Donations can also be made by credit card to the foundation’s annual fund and / or a specific scholarship or program.

• Jean Merrill-Doss, dean of students, reported the student enrollment for the spring semester is down slightly from where it was at the same time last year. Last year a total of 3,634 students attended classes held during the spring term.

• A brief report from Classified Staff was given by MAC Vice President Gil Kennon in the absence of Wendell Johnson.

• A report from the Faculty Forum was given by Dr. Diana Stuart. She said the faculty was busy due to it being finals week and there was also a great deal of excitement among them about the upcoming move into new classrooms, labs and the refurbished library.

• Rusty Straughan, business manager, provided trustees with an update on campus construction. Straughan said, “Things are really coming together. The move has already begun for the business office. The registrar and financial aid have all moved. Everything will be vacated by next Friday. The library move begins Monday to the mobile buildings. The labs will be ready by next semester.”

He added that a construction meeting had been held earlier in the week regarding the new air conditioning unit to be installed in the Robert E. Sechrest St. Field House.

“It will take 12 weeks for the unit to be delivered after we’ve ordered it,” Straughan said.

He assured trustees the air conditioning unit would be installed and in working order by spring graduation exercises.

• A four year budget allocated to MAC for implementation of the MoManufacturingWins Grant was approved. Trustees also approved funding for advertising to fill the position of instructor and student services staff member to work with students served under the grant.

Vice President Kennon said, “This grant is the second consortium grant awarded to the Missouri community colleges and includes eight other colleges. The fiscal agent for this grant will be St. Louis Community College and our staff has been in implementation meetings with staff from St. Louis and the other colleges.”

• A mid-year salary adjustment of $100 for all full-time MAC employees was approved.

• The board approved a contract extension between the school and iBridge, a regional technical services group specializing in technology and communications solutions. The company addresses the leadership and technical needs with MAC’s Technology Department. The extended agreement will be in effect from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2013. Chad Pipkin of iBridge will continue to serve as the main point-of-contact between the school and the company. The new agreement states that Pipkin will now work one additional day per week at the school — a total of four.

• A 5-year University Lease Financing agreement for the purchase of the new field house air conditioner was approved. The lease has a 2.9 percent interest rate.

• Notices of Intent for Job Retention Training Projects were accepted from Proctor & Gamble and SRG Global.

“The Missouri Department of Economic Development has made training commitments to Procter & Gamble in Cape Girardeau and SRG Global in Farmington,” said Vice President Kennon. “The funds for this training will come through the Missouri Community College Job Retention Training Program. These projects are funded by allowing employers to claim a credit against the Missouri Income Tax Withholding of the employees who are trained. We have been notified that Procter & Gamble is eligible for a maximum credit of $400,000 annually for up to four years and SRG will be eligible for a maximum credit of $150,000 for up to four years. These amounts will be sufficient to fund each company’s request.

“The college will also be entitled to an administrative fee of 15 percent on each of these projects. The administrative fee is paid as funds become available and MAC could receive as much as $188,229 for Procter and Gamble and $45,000 for SRG Global.”

• A dual enrollment contract between Summersville High School and Mineral Area College was approved. The contract allows the high school’s juniors and seniors to complete both high school credits and receive transcripted college credits from MAC transferable to most Missouri 4-year universities.

All SHS juniors and seniors with a cumulative high school grade point average of a “B” or better can take part. They’ll be able to take dual enrollment courses during the regular high school day, online through MAC. The cost for the Dual Enrollment classes for the 2012-13 school year is $122 per credit hour.

MAC will offer competitive academic scholarships based on competitive ACT scores. A student achieving a cumulative score on the ACT of 21 or higher will have one-third of the cost per class waived by MAC. Summersville R-2 will pay for one-third of the cost per class for each student taking a Dual Enrollment class through MAC, unless the student receives a grade below a “C” for the class. In that case, the student must pay back the one-third cost for the class to Summersville R-2.

• Liability insurance renewal for the college was approved through Missouri United School Insurance Council (MUSIC) at a cost of $237,067 for 2013.

• A contract between the school and Phillips Communications was approved for providing remote backup service of MAC’s computer systems at a cost of $20,048.

“Approximately two years ago the college began utilizing a remote backup service and discontinued the onsite tape backup process,” said Vice President Kennon.

“Since the initial contract was issued we have been utilizing Autonomy Connected Backup for this service. The contract with Phillips Communications will reduce the cost of the backup service from $4,160 per month to $2,864 per month. The new vendor will provide more space for the backups and also continue the practice of backing our system up every 15 minutes. This service is important in protecting the information that the college must maintain if there were ever to be a system failure.”

• Minutes from the previous meeting were approved and bills were approved for payment.

• A report on the investment of funds was given by Business Manager Rusty Straughan.

• The next meeting date of Jan. 10, 2013 was approved.

Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

Key Words: Mineral Area College  MAC Board of Trustees  December 2012   Alan Wells  Gary Romine

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