VGCC Makes Significant Progress with Sustainability Efforts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sustainability efforts at Vance-Granville Community College’s four campuses are making an impact, the VGCC Board of Trustees learned at the regular bimonthly meeting on Monday, May 19.

Among North Carolina’s 58 community colleges, VGCC ranked ninth best in energy consumption per full-time-equivalent students and 12th per square footage, Steve Graham, the Vice President of Finance and Operations, told the Board.

“From 2007-2008 through 2012-2013, Vance-Granville’s energy consumption per-square-foot decreased by 21 percent and water consumption per-square-foot decreased by 18 percent,” Graham observed in a presentation to Board members.

The energy-efficiency initiatives have been undertaken as part of the college’s “strong commitment” to being “economically responsible and conserving finite environmental resources,” Graham said.

VGCC places an emphasis on sustainability in its vision statement, goals, values and strategic planning.

Graham noted that current activities focus on environmentally preferable materials and purchasing, energy and water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, and engagement by students, staff and the community.

Citing as examples of the efforts in sustainability, Graham reported that across VGCC’s four campuses in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning and related zoning is controlled remotely in all but one building.

Steps have been taken to purchase Energy Star equipment, Green Seal supplies and recyclable materials. In the Civic Center on Main Campus, 54 incandescent lamps that burned at 300 watts have been replaced with 18-watt LED lamps.

Future initiatives include the expanded use of LED lighting and occupancy motion sensors for all classrooms.

 

Distance Education

 

The Board of Trustees approved a Quality in Distance, Online and Hybrid Learning Policy, as recommended by the Executive Committee.

Under the policy, VGCC complies with the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) standards for quality online courses as well as the guidelines for reporting of distance education as set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

According to Dr. Ken Lewis, the college’s Vice President of Institutional Research and Technology, VGCC will secure authorization from states that require educational institutions to be legally authorized in their state prior to offering online, or distance education, programs and courses to students residing in that state.

The authorization will be secured for both curriculum and continuing education students, Lewis said, and it will be secured for faculty who teach online.

 

Audit

 

VGCC has received word of exceptional performance on the annual financial audit, according to VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams.

“We have just been informed of a completely clean financial audit,” Dr. Williams told the Board, expressing her appreciation to the staff.

Beth A. Wood, North Carolina’s State Auditor, informed VGCC on May 16 that the financial statement audit for the year ending June 30, 2013, at VGCC resulted in no exceptions.

While reporting on the audit, Dr. Williams also said VGCC has been selected to provide presenters for a Performance Partnership Inaugural Summit on July 31 in Cary. Staff from VGCC will be serving as mentors in presentations on best practices and success strategies at the event for representatives from North Carolina’s community colleges.

 

Capital Projects

 

Plans are progressing for renovations to Building 10 on VGCC’s Main Campus, according to a report from Trustee John M. Foster, chair of the Board’s Building Committee.

Building 10, located on Poplar Creek Road across from the college’s main entrance, will house classrooms for Emergency Medical Services, Fire/Rescue Programs, Basic Law Enforcement Training, Law Enforcement In-Service training and the Small Business Center. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in Spring 2015.

“Working drawings and construction documents have been completed,” Foster said. “Project renovation work is scheduled to be bid out by June 8.” In addition to the building renovations, water and sewer system upgrades are also being done. Drawings are being finalized to submit to the City of Henderson and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Foster also noted that miscellaneous repairs and renovations on Main Campus and South Campus and a roofing project at Warren Campus are nearing completion, while a roofing project at South is complete.

In one other item of business for the Building Committee, the Board gave approval to authorize a Quitclaim Deed for property at 478 Manson Axtell Road in Norlina.

 

Student Trustee

 

The Board of Trustees presented to Theresa Chiplis a plaque recognizing her service as the Student Trustee on the Board for 2013-2014.

“We are very proud of you and wish you very well,” said Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Brown in making the presentation. “We really appreciate the leadership you have provided as president of the Student Government Association.”

Chiplis, of Norlina, graduated this month with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. In addition to being SGA president for 2013-2014, she has served as a student ambassador for two years, including this year as lead ambassador. She was also president of VGCC’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society this year. She was president of VGCC’s chapter of the Phi Beta Lambda business student organization in 2012-2013. Chiplis plans to continue her studies at VGCC this fall to complete a degree in Global Logistics Technology and prepare for transfer to a four-year university. She is a 2014 graduate of the North Carolina Community College Student Leadership Development Program.

“I wish to express my thanks to everyone at Vance-Granville, especially the Board,” said Chiplis. “I have learned so much. Because of what you do, we are where we are. Vance-Granville really does educate, inspire and support its students.”

The SGA president serves as Student Trustee on the VGCC Board each year.

 

Other Action

 

In other action:

• The Budget Committee, chaired by Trustee Sara C. Wester, received Board approval of student, patron, proctoring, day care and facility rental fees for the 2014-2015 year. As set by the State Board of Community Colleges, the high school equivalency testing fee is decreasing from $30 per test to $20. The fee had been a one-time fee of $35 for all tests but was changed to $30 each, or $120 total, as of Jan. 1, 2014. The entire four-test battery is now $80 as of May 1.

• The Investment Committee, chaired by L. Opie Frazier, Jr., provided an update on college investments.

• The Personnel Committee, chaired by Ernest Thompson, reported on new employees and employee retirements and resignations.

• Dr. Williams reported on recent events at the college, noting that the Associate Degree Nursing class for 2014 is the largest in the college’s history, the Pharmacy Technology class included that program’s first students to graduate with an associate’s degree, and the recent golf tournament to benefit the Endowment Fund set new records with $51,017 raised.

• The Board announced its 2014-2015 meeting calendar. The regular meetings of the Board are held bi-monthly, generally on the third Monday, at 7 p.m. in the Board Room in Building 1 on Main Campus, unless otherwise noted. Committee meetings are held on the same day, beginning at 5 p.m. The 2014-2015 meetings will be held as follows: July 21, 2014; September 15, 2014; November 17, 2014; January 26, 2015; March 16, 2015; and May 18, 2015. The Chair of the Board sets and approves all agenda items that are to be presented to the Board. The Chair must receive agenda items for consideration by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the week prior to the regularly scheduled meetings. Such requests must include topics for consideration and any documents for presentation.

• The meeting was followed by a closed session for the regular evaluation of the president.

 

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on July 21.

 

Above: Theresa Chiplis, center, Vance-Granville Community College’s Student Trustee and the President of the Student Government Association in 2013-2014, was presented with a plaque by Dr. Stelfanie Williams, VGCC’s president, left, and Deborah Brown, the chair of the Board of Trustees, right, at the trustees’ May meeting to honor the newly graduated student for her service on the Board.