IVCCD Board handles many key issues
The IVCCD Board of Directors approved tuition and room/board rate increases for both Ellsworth Community College and Marshalltown Community College/Iowa Valley Grinnell, and it also heard public comments about the Orpheum Theater Center when it met this week in Marshalltown.
The Board approved a $4 increase per credit hour for the 2013-2014 academic year, affecting students at ECC, MCC and Iowa Valley Grinnell. The increase brings total tuition to $148 per credit hour. IVCCD Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree noted that the Iowa community college statewide average tuition increase this year is $4.36; he said Iowa Valley was pleased to be able to keep its increase below the state average.
Also related to student costs, the Board approved increases in student housing and meal plan rates for the Marshalltown and Ellsworth campuses. It was noted that the increase in housing rates provides funds for the colleges to improve and update student housing facilities as they are able.
For MCC, a new five-year food service contract was approved with Great Western Dining Service of Tipton, MO. MCC Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal said of the five food service vendors who bid on the contract, Great Western had the lowest cost to students and the highest food quality. For FY14, all MCC students who live on campus will be required to purchase an 18 meal per week food plan at a cost of $1,100 per semester. MCC housing rates increased by $100 per semester, for a total of $2,300 per student per semester.
At Ellsworth, the Board approved an addendum to the current food service contract with Consolidated Management Co., which resulted in a 1.7 percent increase in meal plan rates and a higher percentage increase for walk-in meals. The new ECC meal plan costs will be $860 per semester for 10 meals a week, $888 for 15 meals, and $932 for 19 meals. There are separate costs for athletes who purchase a Training Table meal plan, and for summer session plans. ECC housing rates increased by $100 per semester for the College Apartments and College Suites, and increased by $48 per semester for double rooms in Thompson and Wall Halls.
Several community members spoke and asked questions about current and future plans for the Orpheum Theater Center during the public comment portion of the meeting. Chancellor Duree said an advisory group will meet to discuss issues and ideas on July 22. The list of those invited includes a broad range of stakeholders, and Dr. Duree said he’s hopeful the meeting will be very productive. Asked what part the community can play in that conversation, the Chancellor invited the public to contact him, Orpheum Executive Director Pip Gordon, or IVCCD Board Chair Conrad Dejardin with comments and ideas. The advisory group may choose to conduct a public forum where other individuals could participate at a different place and time.
In other matters, the Board: approved a one-year free trial license of Blackboard Learn Software, which may replace ANGEL as the District’s online distance learning system; approved an agreement between the MCC Construction Trades program and Gary and Sheryl Edwards for construction of a residential home during the FY14 academic year; approved a lease agreement to rent space at the South Tama County Partnership Center for adult basic education/GED and English as a Second Language courses beginning in September; approved revisions to policies related to gifts and grants; renewed agreements with McFarland Clinic to provide limited nursing services to ECC students and to provide athletic training services to ECC; and renewed an agreement with Iowa Falls School District for ECC’s use of the school district’s football and baseball fields, as well as a football practice field.
Jennifer Wilson, Director of Adult Literacy Programs at the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center, gave a short presentation about a new ESL partnership with Emerson Process Management whereby several engineering students from Saudi Arabia receive English language and cultural training at the ETC while they’re in Marshalltown as guests of Emerson. It was reported that the effort has been a great success, and it’s hoped that similar exchanges can take place in the future.
Several gift donations were accepted by the Board, including a $75,000 equipment donation from Brownells of Montezuma for the new Gunsmithing program at Iowa Valley Grinnell. Other donations included $1,000 from Church Women United for the Iowa Falls GED and ESL programs and $10 from Elizabeth Siemers, $30 from Ann Sillman, $100 from Jeffrey and Marguerite Edelnane and $400 from Fauna and Mark Nord to the Friends of the Orpheum Campaign.
The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board of Directors will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the IVCCD administrative office in Marshalltown.