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MAC president updates trustees at meeting

Dr. Joe Gilgour, Mineral Area College president, covered a range of topics in his monthly report given to the community college’s board of trustees during its June meeting recently held in the VanHerck Board Room on the Park Hills campus.

The president began his report discussing the legislature’s proposed state budget that remained on Gov. Mike Parson’s desk awaiting his signature. The budget contains several line items regarding MAC construction projects.

Dr. Joe Gilgour, Mineral Area College president, gives one of many updates during the June meeting of the school’s board of trustees.

Noting that the governor had until the end of June to approve the budget, Gilgour said, “All of the indicators is that he’s not going to find any problems. Just a reminder, we do have $2.5 million that the governor has placed into the budget to help with the technology. He wants to continue funding of that for this year and next year. So, it’s $2.5 million this year, and he’s planning $2.5 million for next year. There’s also $4.3 million and the MoExcel’s grant for automotive expansion. One was the governor’s idea, and the other one, he personally told us he was going to approve, so we’re pretty confident he’s not going to veto either one of those things.

“Obviously, we won’t start moving too fast until we get those things approved in a couple of weeks, but overall, a really good session for MAC and the budget. The funding from the state has been just incredible. I just really want to again publicly thank [State Rep.] Dale Wright, [State Rep.] Mike Henderson, [State Senator] Elaine Gannon, and Governor Parson for their work on this. They did a fantastic job supporting Workforce Development, but also many other causes. We appreciate that.”

Gilgour informed the trustees that, because the school doesn’t have a dedicated grant writer at present, he had submitted a $100,000 request for a grant offered by the heavy metal band Metallica.

“Metallica has a grant they started for Workforce Development, and Career and Tech Education,” he said. “It’s a really cool thing they do. East Central got it last year. About 11 community colleges in the United States get it every year, and so we put ours in. We’ll find out sometime this week, they say. Today’s Thursday, we haven’t heard, so we’re anxious about that, but hopefully that comes in. That would help.

“[We would use the grant money to provide] scholarships for women in technology — we have more women students in our CTE programs — and then safety equipment and tools, and things for students. All the money’s going to students if we get it, but were really hoping to have that, and that’ll help us in those programs.”

In the absence of Executive Director of Development Kevin Thurman, Gilgour gave an update on the MAC Foundation.

“The foundation has ended its contract with Kinetic for capital campaign consultation management,” he said. “It’s been a few years since we started that process. The building is really completely funded by the state now, so we’ve ended that agreement. The capital campaign goes on, it has not stopped, but the agreement with the consultation firm has, which is all paid for through the foundation, but it’ll save a foundation considerable amount.”

Due to the absence of Dean of Students Julie Sheets, Gilgour also provided an update on student enrollment.

“Enrollment’s looking good right now,” he said. “You know we don’t want to jinx it of course, but to say we’ve been up in enrollment in June for the summer or the fall, that hasn’t happened since before my time. It’s looking really good right now the things we’re doing we’ve done everything right for enrollment and those things are paying off. They just take some time. The Navigators coming on, the Cape expansion, the new building, adding sports, things like this that just take time, and we’re seeing those results right now. So, we’re really excited about it, but we’re not counting those chickens yet. We’re just looking good and that’s good news.”

Gilgour informed the trustees about a recent visit to the campus by Missouri’s new commissioner for the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

“Dr. Bennett Boggs out of Colorado has been in Missouri for a couple of months,” Gilgour said. “He visited campus and had a tour last week. It was a really great visit. He’s already told me he’s using our tech building in other speeches he’s given since he visited us as an example of innovation and moving forward, so that’s good to hear. We’re looking forward to some solid, consistent leadership at the state level.”

Concluding his report, Gilgour thanked Angie Haggerty for filling in as board of trustees’ secretary following the resignation of Amy McKenna Jones who served the trustees in her role as the president’s secretary.

“Angie has not been filling in Amy’s other roles, just the board,” he said. “She’s done a great job, as you can see. You’ve got the documents, we’re here, we’re getting it done. Angie’s done fantastic stuff and I really appreciate it. Angie’s been great.”

Later in the meeting, the trustees unanimously approved the fiscal year 2024 budget presented by Dr. Ray Karasek, vice president of finance and administration.

Dr. Ray Karasek, MAC’s vice president of finance and administration, presents the fiscal year 2024 budget to the board of trustees for its approval.

During a brief discussion regarding the budget, Karasek said, “There is no increase to the local taxes within the budget. The college did put a large majority into raises for next year trying to get everybody up to where they need to be per the salary study done by [CBIZ Compensation Consulting]. And the cost of that for the next fiscal year is $308,000, with a cumulative plan cost of right around $2 million.

“We also have placed a 20% increase in health insurance by way of our broker — kind of giving us a heads up on what we’re looking at for health insurance costs. And since the college bears all of that on their own for the employee, which is a good thing, we just have to expect the increase.”

The board of trustees also heard the monthly classified staff report given by Lisa Johnson; approved the second reading of PTO (Paid Time Off) board policies; approved the summer recommendation lists; approved submission of the 2023 Nonprofit Corporate Registration Report; approved renewal of the board’s conflict of interest policy; and approved an updated agreement with Missouri Baptist University. In addition, the trustees approved bids for a field house floor covering, a theatre sound system, a Rider Auto Scrubber, and the purchase and installation of flooring and air conditioning units at College Park.


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