GRCC Board of Trustees Meeting (January, 2012)


Uploaded by GRCCtv on 02.02.2012

Transcript:
>> GOOD AFTERNOON.
WELCOME TO GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING,
MONDAY, JANUARY 23rd, 2012.
DO ANY OF THE BOARD MEMBERS OR PRESIDENT ENDER
HAVE ANY GUESTS IN THE AUDIENCE THEY'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE?
>> YES, I DO.
I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE MY SON, TOM.
TOM, CAN YOU STAND UP? (scattered chuckling)
HE'S 15 YEARS OLD AND HE DOESN'T HAVE SCHOOL TODAY,
AND HE'S MY CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR... (all laughing)
SO IT'S GOOD TO HAVE HIM HERE. >> WELCOME.
(applause)
ANY OTHER GUESTS OF TRUSTEES?
OKAY, FOR OUR AUDIENCE BENEFIT, I'D LIKE TO EXPLAIN THE TECHNOLOGY
YOU SEE AT THE TABLE TODAY.
TRUSTEE BLEKE...
IS ATTENDING THIS AFTERNOON'S MEETING VIA SKYPE.
AS WITH ANY BEST-LAID PLANS, KNOW THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME
WE'VE USED THIS TECHNOLOGY AT THE BOARD TABLE,
AND WE APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE AND ASK FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING...
(all laughing)
IF THINGS DON'T WORK EXACTLY AS WE HAD PLANNED.
OUR FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS TODAY IS APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA.
TRUSTEES, PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE TIME TO REMOVE AN ITEM
FROM THE CONSENT AGENDA FOR SEPARATE CONSIDERATION,
IF NECESSARY.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONS, DELETIONS,
OR CORRECTIONS OF THE AGENDA?
>> YEAH, I HAD TWO THINGS THAT I THOUGHT WE SHOULD, PERHAPS--
THAT MAYBE THERE'D BE INTEREST IN DISCUSSING.
AND ONE IS, SINCE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME
THAT WE'VE HAD A TRUSTEE
LINKED IN REMOTELY,
AND OUR BYLAWS DON'T SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS IT.
I'M WONDERING...
DO REMOTE TRUSTEES GET TO VOTE?
>> THE ANSWER IS "YES."
>> ACCORDING TO THE "OPEN MEETINGS ACT," THEY ARE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE.
>> UM, I DO HAVE A RULING
FROM THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
ABOUT THE "OPEN MEETINGS ACT" THAT ADDRESSES THIS POINT,
AND IT BASICALLY SAYS-- THE WAY I READ IT--
THAT IT'S NOT A VIOLATION
OF THE "OPEN MEETINGS ACT" TO DO THIS.
BUT THAT-- IT SAYS THAT BOARDS MAY PERMIT
A MEMBER TO PARTICIPATE REMOTELY,
BUT IT DOESN'T SAY THAT BOARDS MUST PERMIT BOARDS--
ER, TRUSTEES OR MEMBERS TO...
PARTICIPATE REMOTELY.
AND SO, UM...
AND I THINK WE JUST NEED TO CLARIFY
WHETHER A REMOTE TRUSTEE CAN VOTE OR NOT.
>> HOW WOULD WE CLARIFY THAT?
ARE YOU JUST GONNA ASK EACH ONE OF US?
IS THAT THE IDEA? >> WELL, I UNDERSTAND THAT--
MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT IT-- THAT EACH BOARD CAN DECIDE FOR ITSELF
WHAT ITS POLICIES ARE.
THEY MAKE THEIR OWN BYLAWS.
AND SINCE WE DON'T ADDRESS IT IN OUR BYLAWS--
>> I THOUGHT WE HANDLED THIS LAST MEETING WHEN WE AGREED THAT MR. BLEKE
WOULD BE ON THE-- >> WE TALKED ABOUT IT,
AND I KNEW AT THAT TIME THAT, UM...
DR. RYSKAMP DIDN'T LIKE THE IDEA, BUT WE DID TALK ABOUT IT.
THE MAJORITY SEEMED TO INDICATE THAT WAS FINE WITH THE BOARD,
SO THAT'S WHY WE WENT ALONG THIS WAY. >> UH, DR. RYS--
UH, MR. CHAIR, DR. RYSKAMP, ARE YOU ASKING US TO VOTE ON IT?
>> UH, THAT'S NOT FOR ME TO DECIDE.
I THINK THAT'S UP TO THE CHAIRMAN TO DECIDE.
>> JUST FOR CLARIFICATION, IF WE WERE TO EACH INDIVIDUALLY VOTE
ON WHETHER TRUSTEE BLEKE COULD VOTE,
WOULD THAT SUFFICE THE REST OF THE TRUSTEES?
'CAUSE I'D BE HAPPY TO ENTERTAIN THAT MOTION.
>> WELL, I REALLY THINK IT'S THE CHAIRMAN'S CALL.
IF HE SAYS THAT THIS IS THE WAY IT IS, THEN THIS IS THE WAY IT IS.
OR IF HE WANTS TO PUT IT UP FOR VOTE, I THINK IT'S HIS CHOICE.
>> WELL, I DON'T THINK IT'S THE CHAIRPERSON'S CALL.
I THINK ALL OF US-- I DON'T THINK HE CAN CALL IT--
I THOUGHT WE HAD RESOLVED THIS ISSUE,
BUT LET ME JUST SAY THAT I WOULD BE HAPPY TO MOTION
THAT WE ALLOW TRUSTEE BLEKE,
WHO IS... "SKYPIN"?
(chuckling) TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE IN THIS MEETING.
THAT IS MY MOTION. >> I'LL SECOND THAT MOTION.
>> OKAY, WHY DON'T THE TRUSTEES JUST GIVE THEIR INDICATION?
>> IS THERE NO MORE DISCUSSION ON THIS? >> ANY MORE DISCUSSION?
GOOD QUESTION. >> DISCUSSION, YES.
>> UM...
ARE WE, BY TAKING THIS VOTE, THEN, SETTING PRECEDENT?
>> WELL, SURE.
I MEAN, BUT WE HAVE ONE PERSON WHO WANTS A CALL ON IT.
SO, HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THIS? >> I JUST THINK IT NEEDS TO BE CLARIFIED.
IT JUST NEEDS TO BE OUT IN THE OPEN.
THIS IS THE WAY THIS MEETING IS GOING TO BE RUN.
>> OKAY, THIS IS JUST FOR THIS MEETING.
>> THAT'S-- I THINK THAT'S UP TO THE CHAIRPERSON.
>> OKAY, JUST FOR THIS MEETING.
WE'RE NOT SETTING A PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE MEETINGS, OR--
>> I DON'T SEE THIS SETTING A PRECEDENT, BUT I SEE IT AS--
>> LET'S GO BACK TO TRUSTEE JAMES, WHO MADE THE MOTION.
IS THE MOTION THAT YOU MADE TO ALLOW TRUSTEE BLEKE
TO PARTICIPATE VIA SKYPE FOR THIS MEETING? >> YES, THAT IS CORRECT.
>> THAT'S WHAT I SECONDED.
>> ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION?
>> THE ONLY THING I HAVE TO SAY IS THAT THIS IS NOT AT ALL PERSONAL, BERT...
(laughing) BUT I JUST THINK IT NEEDS TO BE CLARIFIED.
I HAVE MY FEELINGS.
I THINK THAT... IT'S SUBOPTIMAL.
I THINK IT'S MUCH BETTER TO HAVE TRUSTEES HERE IN PERSON.
I THINK IT DEGRADES THE QUALITY OF THE MEETING SOMEWHAT.
AND SO, I DON'T THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA.
BUT, OF COURSE, I ABIDE BY THE CONSENSUS.
>> WELL, LET'S NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT WE'RE ASKING HIM
TO GIVE UP HIS THREE HOURS AS WELL.
YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S A SACRIFICE WHEN YOU'RE OUT OF TOWN
TO BE IN SOMEONE'S DEN AND GET TECHNICALLY HOOKED UP,
AND THIS IS 2012, WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A LOT OF SOCIAL MEDIA GOING ON.
I MEAN, I DON'T THINK IT'S JUST FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE--
THE SIX OF US THAT ARE LEFT--
HE'S ALSO WILLING TO GIVE UP HIS TIME.
>> I'M GONNA CALL FOR THE VOTE RIGHT NOW, IN REGARDS TO THIS MOTION ON THE TABLE.
>> DID YOU HEAR BERT CALLING? >> OKAY, BERT, YES.
DO YOU WANT TO SPEAK A SECOND? >> JUST A POINT.
YOU KNOW, DR. RYSKAMP DID CALL ME REGARDING THIS ISSUE AND HIS CONCERN.
AND, YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND IT, AND IT'S CERTAINLY NOT A PERSONAL THING.
AND I WOULD PROBABLY AGREE THAT IT IS NOT OPTIMUM.
HOWEVER, THE BOARD DOES NOT HAVE A POLICY ON THIS--
AND I SUSPECT THAT IT SHOULD, BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE LAST TIME
THIS IS GONNA COME UP, WITH ALL THIS TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE TO US.
SO, I SUSPECT-- I WOULD CERTAINLY SUPPORT THAT MOTION FOR TODAY,
SO IT DOESN'T SET A PRECEDENT.
I THINK THE BOARD NEEDS TO MAYBE CREATE A BYLAW
THAT WE CAN LIVE WITH FOR THE FUTURE.
>> I THINK I ALSO SEE IT'S IMPORTANT TO SAY THAT, IN THE PAST,
WE'VE HAD PEOPLE ON THE PHONES.
I AM OUT OF TOWN QUITE A BIT, AND I AM ALWAYS ASKED,
IF IT HAPPENS TO BE THE NIGHT OF A MEETING,
IF I WANNA DO THE SAME THING AS MR. BLEKE IS DOING.
SO, IT'S NOT LIKE WE'VE, ALL OF A SUDDEN, JUMPED IN THERE, "OH, WHAT A COOL IDEA!"
WE'VE BEEN GIVEN THIS CHOICE BEFORE.
AND I'VE DECLINED IT FOR REASONS, YOU KNOW, PERSONAL.
BUT WE'VE HAD PHONE CALLS BEFORE.
WE'VE HAD THE UNIT SITTING HERE WITH PHONES, SO...
I'M NOT DISAGREEING WITH, YOU KNOW--
IT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED, BUT I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW
THIS ISN'T JUST SPRINGING-- WE DIDN'T JUST SPRING THIS ON US.
>> AND THE MOTION IS THAT--
FOR FULL PARTICIPATION, INCLUDING VOTING, CORRECT?
>> CORRECT. >> FOR TODAY.
>> FOR TODAY. >> THAT IS THE MOTION ON THE FLOOR.
>> CALL FOR THE QUESTION.
>> YEAH, OKAY, WE'LL CALL FOR THE QUESTION ON THAT.
>> THERE'S A MOTION ON THE FLOOR.
TRUSTEE JAMES MADE THE MOTION TO ALLOW TRUSTEE BLEKE TO PARTICIPATE IN--
FULLY IN TODAY'S MEETING VIA SKYPE, INCLUDING VOTING PRIVILEGES.
>> ALL IN FAVOR, SAY "AYE." >> (almost all) AYE.
>> THOSE OPPOSED? >> (Ryskamp) AYE.
>> OKAY, MOTION CARRIES. >> HOW MANY-- EXCUSE ME--
>> SIX.
SIX TO ONE, IS WHAT I HAVE. >> SIX TO ONE?
OKAY. >> OKAY--
>> AND I HAVE ANOTHER POINT OF ORDER THAT I THINK SHOULD BE CLARIFIED
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEETING,
AND THAT IS THAT I DID COME PREPARED TO SHOW SOME SLIDES.
AND, UM...
I UNDERSTAND THERE'S BEEN SOME CONVERSATION ABOUT THAT.
>> MMM-HMM. >> UM, AND I WAS WONDERING
IF WE COULD HEAR WHAT THE FINAL VERDICT WAS ON THAT.
>> WELL, I HAD TALKED WITH THE OTHER TRUSTEES,
AND THE MAJORITY WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE SLIDES TODAY.
THAT WAS-- I DON'T KNOW IF THE OTHER TRUSTEES WANNA COMMENT ON THAT?
>> WELL, IT SEEMS TO ME, THAT FALLS IN THE SAME CATEGORY, AS...
YOU KNOW, SHOULD THIS BE IN OUR BYLAWS?
SHOULD THIS BE PRECEDENT?
AND SHOULD WE TALK ABOUT IT BEING JUST FOR THIS MEETING
VERSUS IF EACH ONE OF US WANNA POP UP AND GIVE SLIDES...
ON THINGS WE'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT?
AND WE NEED SOME GUIDELINES ON THAT.
JUST LIKE THE ISSUE THAT YOU JUST BROUGHT UP.
>> SHOULD WE WAIT ON THAT TILL THE TRACKING SYSTEM COMES ALONG,
AND ADD THAT TO THE TRACKING SYSTEM FOR FUTURE DISCUSSION,
AS TO, YOU KNOW, TRUSTEES USING VISUALS IN MEETINGS?
>> I THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA. >> EXCEPT HE HAS A QUESTION RIGHT NOW.
>> OKAY. >> RIGHT?
>> YEAH, MY QUESTION IS "WHAT ABOUT TODAY?"
>> TODAY, THE ANSWER WOULD BE "NO."
>> OKAY. >> OKAY.
>> MR. CHAIR? >> YES.
>> I HAVE A BIT OF A PROBLEM WITH THAT, IN TERMS OF FAIRNESS.
IT SEEMS TO ME...
THAT IF THE BYLAWS
DO NOT SPECIFICALLY DENY THAT,
THEN I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC FOR HIM NOT BEING ABLE TO DO THAT...
EVEN IF I DON'T PARTICULARLY THINK IT'S A GREAT IDEA.
I WOULD PUT IT IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS THE PREVIOUS ONE,
IN THAT, YOU KNOW, TO BE ALLOWED TO USE THESE MATERIALS TODAY,
AND THEN, WE OUGHTA TAKE A LOOK AT IT, AS A BOARD, FOR THE FUTURE.
>> UM, BERT, LET ME REMIND YOU HE MERELY ASKED WHAT WAS OUR REACTION.
WHAT DID WE WEIGH IN ON, BEING POLLED.
AND THEN, DR. RYSKAMP WAS THE ONE THAT SAID, "OKAY."
SO, I DON'T SEE IT AS NECESSARILY SAYING "NO" AT THIS MOMENT.
I SAW IT AS A QUESTION.
WHETHER OR NOT HE WANTS TO TAKE THAT, YOU KNOW, ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
BUT I AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT, YOU KNOW, SETTING A PRECEDENT.
BUT HIS QUESTION WAS MERELY... WHAT DID THE REST OF US THINK?
"YES" OR "NO"?
AND I THOUGHT THE CHAIR GAVE HIM AN ANSWER.
I DON'T KNOW IF THAT WOULD NECESSARILY CHANGE HIS DECISION.
>> I ACQUIESCED TO WHATEVER THE CHAIR SAYS.
I DO THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO DISCUSS, FOR THE LONG-TERM.
>> OKAY, SO, FOR TODAY, I WOULD SAY "NO."
BUT WE WILL-- WHEN THE TRACKING SYSTEM COMES UP LATER IN THE MEETING,
IF YOU HAVE TWO TRUSTEES TO GO ALONG WITH,
WE CAN ADD THAT TO THE TRACKING SYSTEM AS A FUTURE ITEM TO DISCUSS.
ALL RIGHT.
MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA. >> I'LL MOVE, MR. CHAIR.
>> IS THERE ANY DISCUSSION?
ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY "AYE." >> (all) AYE.
>> THOSE OPPOSED?
MOTION CARRIES.
PUBLIC COMMENT TIME.
NOW, WE OPEN THE MEETING UP TO THE PUBLIC.
IF THERE'S ANYONE IN THE AUDIENCE THAT WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE BOARD,
YOU MAY DO SO AT THIS TIME.
PLEASE, COME TO THE PODIUM TO SIGN IN, AND STATE YOUR NAME.
I REMIND YOU THAT ALL COMMENTS ARE LIMITED TO THREE MINUTES,
AND THE BOARD WILL NOT RESPOND TO YOUR COMMENTS AT THIS TIME.
YES?
>> NOW THAT I'VE SIGNED IN, I CAN SPEAK?
(all laughing) >> YES.
>> MY NAME IS MIKE SHIBLER,
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, ROCKFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
I'VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING IN THAT POSITION-- I'M ON MY 23rd YEAR.
SO, I'VE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO NOT ONLY TO OBSERVE WEST MICHIGAN,
THE GRAND RAPIDS AREA, BUT ALSO, GRCC-- GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE--
EVEN WHEN IT WAS CALLED "GRAND RAPIDS JUNIOR COLLEGE."
WE'VE HAD A STRONG RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN K-12 AND KENT COUNTY
AND THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
WE VALUE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT OUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE
IN GRAND RAPIDS PROVIDES TO OUR STUDENTS
WHO GRADUATE FROM OUR HIGH SCHOOLS IN KENT COUNTY.
PERSONALLY SPEAKING, WITH ROCKFORD AND GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
I HAVE A DAUGHTER THAT'S CURRENTLY ATTENDING CLASSES HERE AS WELL.
YOU DO AN OUTSTANDING JOB.
YOU DO AN OUTSTANDING JOB IN PREPARING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
FOR THE WORLD OF WORK OR FOR FURTHER EDUCATION.
YOUR BOND ISSUE THAT YOU'RE CONSIDERING FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT,
I THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT.
I THINK IT IS AN INITIATIVE THAT NEEDS TO OCCUR,
BECAUSE YOU DO HAVE FACILITIES
THAT NEED SIGNIFICANT RENOVATION AND IMPROVEMENT,
YOU DO HAVE TECHNOLOGY NEEDS, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREA OF INSTRUCTION
AND IN THE AREA OF PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE WORLD OF WORK.
AND SO, I WOULD STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THE BOARD,
AS YOU DISCUSS DR. ENDER'S RECOMMENDATION,
THAT YOU GIVE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION TO THIS PROPOSAL,
IN ORDER TO KEEP NOT ONLY GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
IN THE FOREFRONT OF HIGHER EDUCATION,
AND FOR OUR COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT KENT COUNTY AND BEYOND.
BUT CERTAINLY, ALSO FOR THE POTENTIAL THAT EXISTS IN PARTNERSHIPS
BETWEEN K-12 AND THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
WE HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD TO DEVELOP THAT TYPE OF A PARTNERSHIP,
PARTICULARLY WHERE OUR JUNIORS AND SENIORS IN HIGH SCHOOL
CAN TAKE FURTHER ADVANTAGE OF THE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
PROVIDED BY COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
SO, MY PURPOSE HERE IS JUST TO DO THAT--
TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO GIVE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION TO THIS PROPOSAL.
I HAVE A BOARD MEETING AT 5:15.
I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT STAYING HERE,
BUT I'VE GOT TO DO THE SAME TYPE OF WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING.
SO, THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. >> THANK YOU FOR COMING.
(all laughing)
>> GOOD AFTERNOON.
MY NAME IS JoANNE KELTY.
I APPRECIATE YOU GIVING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY
TO TALK WITH YOU THIS AFTERNOON.
GREAT TO SEE SOME OF MY OLD FRIENDS ON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T KNOW ME, I'M JoANNE KELTY.
I'M THE DIRECTOR OF EARLY CHILDHOOD FOR GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
FOR MOST OF THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, I'VE WORKED IN COLLABORATION
WITH THE EARLY CHILDHOOD DEPARTMENT, HERE AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
TO IMPLEMENT AN EARLY READING FIRST GRANT.
WE WROTE THAT GRANT COLLABORATIVELY,
AND IT WAS AIMED AT CREATING EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE.
I ALSO SERVE AS THE CHAIR
OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE HERE AT THE COLLEGE...
AND HAVE PROBABLY SERVED ON AT GROUP FOR THE LAST 20-PLUS YEARS.
AND IT'S BEEN THAT LONG-- 20 YEARS--
THAT I'VE BEEN HEARING DISCUSSIONS REGARDING A NEW FACILITY
FOR THE GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE LAB SCHOOL.
I'VE HEARD THOSE DISCUSSIONS ARE SURFACING AGAIN,
AND I WANT TO REINFORCE THE NEED FOR THAT LAB SCHOOL-- A NEW LAB SCHOOL.
GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS REALLY FORTUNATE TO HAVE A LAB SCHOOL
WITH AN EXCELLENT REPUTATION THAT'S DUE, IN PART,
TO THE TREMENDOUS LEADERSHIP
FROM BECKY BRINKS AND JANEANN BENSON AND THEIR STAFF.
THEIR FACILITY, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS SORELY LACKING.
THEIR PRESENT FACILITY, LOCATED AT THE FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH,
REQUIRES THEM TO "MAKE DO" IN MANY WAYS.
THE CLASSROOM'S SHARED WITH THE CHURCH.
THEIR OFFICE SPACE IS EXTREMELY CROWDED.
THERE'S NO PRIVATE SPACES FOR THEM TO MEET WITH STUDENTS OR PARENTS--
THAT'S PRACTICALLY NONEXISTENT.
THERE'S NO OBSERVATION ROOMS THAT ARE SO HELPFUL
IN TEACHING TEACHERS HOW TO TEACH.
THE JOB THEY DO AT THE LAB SCHOOL--
THE TRAINING OF TEACHERS AND CHILDCARE CENTERS--
ER, CHILDCARE WORKERS OF TOMORROW--
IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT VENTURE,
AND THEY DESERVE A STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY TO DO THAT IMPORTANT WORK.
A NEW LAB SCHOOL HAS BEEN SOMETHING
THAT'S BEEN DISCUSSED FOR MANY, MANY YEARS.
I REMEMBER MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO,
WITH PHYLLIS FRATZKE ON THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE CHURCH
TALKING ABOUT IT AT THAT POINT.
UM, BUT I WOULD ASK THAT YOU CAREFULLY EXAMINE THE NEED
AND PROCEED WITH THE NECESSARY STEPS
TO ENSURE THAT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE HAS THE FACILITY
TO MATCH THE HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION THAT THEY PROVIDE
TO THE STUDENTS OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
AND THE SERVICE THAT THEY OFFER TO OUR COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
(all laughing) >> BETTER HURRY, BOB!
>> BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE RAN UP HERE.
(all laughing)
MY NAME IS BOB DEAN,
THE PASTOR AT NEW LIFE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST
FOR 32 YEARS COMING UP THIS JUNE...
FORMER JUNIOR COLLEGE TRUSTEE...
AND THIS ROOM DOES LOOK VERY FAMILIAR.
(all chuckling)
UM, FORMER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, FORMER CITY COMMISSIONER,
FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE.
AND I'M HERE TO ENCOURAGE YOU, TRUSTEES,
UNDERSTANDING GOOD STEWARDSHIP AND UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE THAT YOU PLAY
AND WHY YOU WERE ELECTED--
TO LOOK OUT FOR THE TAX PAYER
AND TO BE MINDFUL
THAT WE ARE IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES--
BUT WHAT WE MUST REMEMBER IS THAT IF--
SOME SAY THAT EDUCATION IS EXPENSIVE.
TRY IGNORANCE.
TRY ALLOWING OUR FACILITIES TO FALL DOWN AROUND OUR YOUTH,
OUR CHILDREN, ADULTS THAT HAVE COME TO LEARN.
EDUCATION IS VITAL.
IT'S VITAL FOR THE FUTURE.
IT'S VITAL FOR THE VIBRANCY OF OUR COMMUNITY.
IT'S VITAL FOR OUR CITIZENS AND ALL OF OUR RESIDENTS.
AND I WHOLE-HEARTEDLY ENDORSE AND ENCOURAGE YOU...
THAT THIS CAPITAL CAMPAIGN REQUEST, THE NEEDS FOR, COMING UP--
THAT IT WOULD GO FORTH IN MAY.
WHY?
SOME JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBER THAT THEY'VE HEARD RECENTLY,
AND THEY SAY THAT THAT'S A BIG EXPENDITURE-- $250,000--
BUT WHEN YOU BEGIN TO LOOK AT THE OVERALL COST OF BONDS
AND THE BOND MARKET,
AND THE UP AND DOWN OF THE BOND MARKET AS IT IS PRESENTLY,
IT WOULD COST OUR TAX PAYERS
ROUGHLY $2 TO $4 MILLION MORE IN INTEREST.
THAT'S WHAT WOULD HIT WORST THAN WHAT WOULD BE ON THE FOREFRONT.
SO, I ENCOURAGE YOU, IN ANY WAY THAT I CAN--
UH, $2.19 A MONTH
IF THE BOND IS ADOPTED...
IS REALLY LESS THAN SOME PEOPLE PAY FOR A PACK OF CIGARETTES.
HOPEFULLY, IT WILL DETER THEM IN THE FUTURE.
THE $26.25 PER YEAR...
ADDITION IN TAX...
IS NOT VERY MUCH
TO HAVE 21st CENTURY FACILITIES.
21st CENTURY.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MINISTERS, REVERENDS, IN THE AUDIENCE
THAT HAVE COME WITH US ON TODAY,
AND SO, WE'VE COME TO EXPRESS OUR SUPPORT
AND HOPE THAT YOU WOULD DO THE SAME.
DO I NEED TO JUST SIGN IN HERE? >> YES, SIR.
>> ALL RIGHT, THANK YOU.
I JUST MADE SURE I RAN OVER HERE BEFORE SOMEBODY ELSE RAN UP HERE.
(all chuckling) THANK YOU.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON...
AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU.
MY NAME IS JOHN COCOMILE.
I LIVE IN BELMONT, MICHIGAN.
AND I MOVED HERE
FROM CHICAGO IN 1978, IN LATE JANUARY,
AND SOME OF YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THE HUGE SNOWFALL.
WELL, I MOVED HERE AT THAT TIME WITH MY WIFE AND OUR TWO SONS.
I STARTED USING THE FACILITIES HERE
IN FEBRUARY OF 1978.
I SWAM EVERY DAY, FIVE DAYS A WEEK,
ANYWHERE FROM A HALF TO A MILE A DAY,
AND I, TOO, URGE YOU TO CONSIDER THIS CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
THIS IS A FABULOUS FACILITY.
I LEFT ACADEMICS AND EDUCATION-- THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE,
I SPENT AS A SECONDARY EDUCATOR IN CHICAGO AND DETROIT.
I MOVED HERE WITH MY WIFE AND I CHANGED CAREERS.
FOR THE LAST 30-PLUS YEARS,
I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE.
I'VE DEALT WITH 42 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD,
AND I SEE WHAT THEY'RE DOING
IN TERMS OF EDUCATION WITH THEIR YOUNG PEOPLE.
THE YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY ARE IN COMPETITION FOR JOBS WITH THE WORLD MARKET...
NOT JUST HERE.
SO, WHATEVER WE CAN DO TO PROVIDE THEM WITH AN ENVIRONMENT
THAT'S SAFE AND CONDUCIVE TO ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE,
I URGE YOU TO CONSIDER THAT.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
MY NAME IS CHUCK DAWSON, AND I'M A MEMBER OF THE SENIOR HEALTH CLUB
HERE IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE...
FOR THE LAST SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS.
WE, UH... HAVE...
BEEN HERE WEEKLY...
FOR THAT AMOUNT OF TIME, AND WE...
THIS MORNING, WE RAN OUT OF EQUIPMENT
FOR THE ATHLETIC PROGRAM BECAUSE IT WAS--
THERE WAS SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WE-- WE HAVE TO--
WE LET THE KIDS THAT PAY TO HAVE THE EQUIPMENT,
AND WE HAD TO SUBSTITUTE A DIFFERENT PROGRAM
FOR OUR PLANNED ONE.
FORTUNATELY, EVERYONE WAS WILLING TO DO THAT, AND WE HAD A GREAT TIME.
I'D ALSO LIKE TO SAY THAT I HAD MY--
A GRAND-DAUGHTER THAT ATTENDS THE CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM.
AND I...
I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT MANY STUDENTS--
POSSIBLE STUDENTS HAVE NOT COME HERE
BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE ADEQUATE...
EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
TO DO THEIR PROGRAM THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.
MY GRAND-DAUGHTER HAS WANTED, FOR TWO YEARS,
TO GET HIGHER COURSES, AND THAT...
SHE COULD NOT GET IN 'EM,
SO SHE HAD TO TAKE OTHER COURSES IN THE INTERIM
TO WAIT FOR HER TURN.
I'D ALSO LIKE TO SAY THAT I'VE BEEN A VOTING PERSON HERE FOR 55 YEARS,
IN GRAND RAPIDS, HAVING COME TO GRAND RAPIDS TO ATTEND COLLEGE.
I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT BOTH MY WIFE AND MYSELF
HAVING VOTED FOR EVERY MILLAGE
THAT HAS COME UP IN THOSE 55 YEARS.
AND I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT BOTH MY WIFE AND MYSELF WILL CONTINUE
TO VOTE FOR THE UPCOMING MILLAGE.
THANK YOU. >> CAN YOU SIGN IN, SIR?
>> OH, YEAH, EXCUSE ME. >> THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON. >> GOOD AFTERNOON.
>> MY NAME IS CARLOS SANCHEZ.
I SERVE AS THE SECONDARY DIRECTOR
OF THE WEST MICHIGAN HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
AND IT'S GOOD TO SEE FRIENDS--
UH, FRIENDS OF THE CHAMBER, FRIENDS, MY FRIENDS,
AND ALSO FRIENDS OF PROGRESS,
FRIENDS OF THE 21st CENTURY, AS SOMEBODY EARLIER SAID HERE.
WE ARE LI-- WE LIVE IN DIFFERENT TIMES,
AND WE NEED TO ADAPT TO THE TIMES,
AND THAT IS WHY I ENCOURAGE YOU TO APPROVE THE BALLOT--
UH, THE BALLOT PROPOSAL, BECAUSE--
I AM A PRODUCT OF GRCC.
I CAME TO GRCC FOR SEVERAL YEAR-- NOT THAT MANY, AS IT SOUNDS--
(all laughing)
I CAME HERE IN ORDER TO FINISH A COLLEGE DEGREE.
AND I SAW THAT THE FACILITIES, AT THAT TIME, WERE GOOD.
BUT SEEING WHAT IS OUT THERE IN OTHER COLLEGES
AND WHAT IS REQUIRED NOW
OF OUR STUDENTS AND OUR PROFESSIONALS,
I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THAT NEEDS TO BE UPDATED.
I'M SPEAKING OF I.T. BUT, OF COURSE, IT'S ACROSS THE BOARD.
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BUSINESS ORGANIZATION, OF COURSE,
WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT "NO MORE TAXES," PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO INCREASE THE TAXES.
HOWEVER, PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO SPEND MORE, BUT THEY DO INVEST IN OUR CHAMBER.
WHY THEY INVEST IN OUR CHAMBER?
BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IN WHAT WE DO.
THEY BELIEVE THAT WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS INVESTING, NOT--
IS NOT AN EXPENSE, BUT IT'S AN INVESTMENT.
AND AS SUCH, I TRULY, TRULY TRUST IN THE LEADERSHIP OF THIS COLLEGE
THAT WHEN THEY ARE ENTRUSTED WITH THE MONIES
OF THE TAX PAYERS,
THEY WILL DO THEIR BEST
TO PUT THOSE MONIES TO THE BEST USE.
I TRULY TRUST-- YOU'VE SEEN IT.
A CLEAR EXAMPLE IS THE NEW FACILITIES ON FULTON...
AND THEY'RE JUST FANTASTIC.
SO, AGAIN, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONSIDER THAT.
AND HOPEFULLY, THAT WILL BE THE CASE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH. >> THANK YOU, SIR.
(coughing)
>> CHAIRMAN VERBURG, TRUSTEES, DR. ENDER,
AND MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S CABINET,
MY NAME IS JOE JONES, AND I AM INTERIM PRESIDENT AND C.E.O. OF THE--
OF YOUR GRAND RAPIDS URBAN LEAGUE.
WE ARE A SPRY 69 YEAR OLD ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS ON BEHALF
OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND OTHER MINORITIES,
AND SEEKS TO PROVIDE THE MEANS TO EMPOWER AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND OTHER MINORITIES
TO ACHIEVE ECONOMIC SELF-RELIANCE, PARITY, AND CIVIL RIGHTS.
ON LAST THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY
TO PUBLICLY ENDORSE THE $100 MILLION CAPITAL NEEDS PLAN
THAT YOU ARE CONSIDERING TAKING TO THE VOTERS THIS YEAR.
THEY ALL AGREE THAT GRCC IS A VITAL INSTITUTION IN OUR COMMUNITY,
AND THAT IT SERVES, QUITE OFTEN,
AS THE MOST VIABLE OPTION FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS IN THE COUNTY.
AS ARETHA FRANKLIN COMMUNICATED SO ELOQUENTLY,
"THE COLLEGE SERVES, QUITE OFTEN, AS A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS."
SO, IT'S UNDERSTOOD THAT WE NEED A STRONG AND VIBRANT COMMUNITY COLLEGE
HERE IN KENT COUNTY, ONE THAT CONTINUES TO MAKE HIGHER ED
AFFORDABLE, RELEVANT, AND ATTAINABLE.
AND IF A TAX INCREASE IS THE PATH THAT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN
TO GET THE COLLEGE WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE IN THIS NEW MILLENNIUM, THEN SO BE IT.
NOW, MORE THAN EVER, WE NEED FORESIGHT.
OUR BOARD WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH THE LEVEL OF TRANSPARENCY OFFERED
BY PRESIDENT ENDER,
BY WAY OF THE POWERPOINT THAT OUTLINES HOW THE MONIES WILL BE SPENT.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, TECHNOLOGY UPGRADES,
AND WARM, SAFE, AND DRY REPAIRS
ARE ALL CONSIDERED TO BE WORTHWHILE INVESTMENTS IN OUR EYES.
THE COLLEGE HAS PROVEN TO BE GOOD STEWARDS OF PUBLIC RESOURCES,
AND WE HAVE ALL THE CONFIDENCE IN THE WORLD IN THE EXISTING BOARD
AND EXECUTIVE LEVEL STAFF.
WE ALSO ARE COGNIZANT OF THE FACT THAT THE DEDICATED FACULTY
OF THE COLLEGE DESERVES HIGH-QUALITY,
CUTTING EDGE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH TO TEACH FROM.
WE BELIEVE THIS WILL BE A WIN-WIN FOR ALL THE CITIZENS OF KENT COUNTY
AND GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
ACCORDING TO YOUR INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING FALL ENROLLMENT REPORT,
GRCC IS HOME TO NEARLY 28 PERCENT PEOPLE OF COLOR.
ACCORDING TO G.V.S.U.'S COMMUNITY RESEARCH INSTITUTE,
KENT COUNTY IS HOME TO NEARLY 115,000 AFRICAN- AND HISPANIC-AMERICANS,
WITH THE GREAT MAJORITY BEING UNDER THE AGE OF 18.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN, I WOULD GUESS THAT THEREIN LIES A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT
OF YOUR FUTURE STUDENT BODY.
HAT'S OFF TO THE COLLEGE FOR THE JOB YOU'RE CURRENTLY DOING
TO REACH COMMUNITIES OF COLOR BY REACHING OUT TO MIDDLE SCHOOLERS,
VIA COLLEGE READINESS SLASH PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM
WITH FORD MIDDLE SCHOOL AND NEWHALL MIDDLE SCHOOL IN WYOMING.
WE'RE ALSO AWARE OF THE SUCCESS THAT'S OCCURRING
WITH YOUR "UPWARD BOUND" PROGRAM
AND ITS ABILITY TO GIVE PREDOMINANTLY STUDENTS OF COLOR
A HAND UP ON ATTENDING COLLEGE,
ESPECIALLY THOSE GRADUATING FROM G.R.P.S.
YOUR RECORD OF SUCCESS WITH "UPWARD BOUND" IS ASTOUNDING.
WHETHER IT'S THE LEARNING CORNER'S PROGRAM,
THE SKILL TRADES PROGRAMS AT THE TASSELL CENTER,
OR THE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS THAT YOU LEAD,
THE GRAND RAPIDS URBAN LEAGUE IS APPRECIATIVE
OF ALL OF THE VERY IMPORTANT AND COMMUNITY-ENHANCING PROGRAMS
AND SERVICES THAT GRCC OFFERS.
SO, ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE GRAND RAPIDS URBAN LEAGUE,
I WOULD LIKE TO ONCE AGAIN EXPRESS OUR SUPPORT
FOR GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND YOUR PLANNED BALLOT QUESTION
FOR SUPPORT IN 2012.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
>> HELLO, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD.
MY NAME IS RODNEY COBBINS.
I PREFER TO BE CALLED ROD,
AND RATHER THAN GO OVER MY LONG LIST OF NOTES,
I'D RATHER JUST SPEAK FROM THE HEART, AS I'VE ALWAYS DONE.
GRCC WORKS, AND SO, WE DEFINITELY NEED THIS BUDGET TO BE PASSED.
IT WORKS AS IT RELATES TO GIVING PEOPLE A LIFE, A FUTURE, EDUCATION,
AND BUILDING OUR COMMUNITY.
THE REASON THAT WE HAVE TO PASS THIS BUDGET IS THERE IS NO EXCUSES.
ONE OF THE MAIN LESSONS I'VE LEARNED AT THIS INSTITUTION--
THERE IS NO EXCUSES FOR ME NOT TO PASS ALL CLASSES WITH AN "A."
THERE IS JUST NO EXCUSES TO DO WHAT WE MUST DO.
SO, I ASK THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD-- WHATEVER YOU NEED THE STUDENTS TO DO HERE,
YOU MAKE US AWARE OF THAT.
IF IT'S KNOCKING ON EVERY DOOR OF THE CITY, I'LL DO SO.
THIS SCHOOL HAS GAVEN ME MORE THAN A LIFE.
IT'S GAVEN MY CHILDRENS A LIFE, BECAUSE GRCC WORKS.
ONE THING THAT I'D LIKE TO MENTION THAT I'VE LEARNED
IS ABOUT MARKETABILITY BEING IN FIRST POSITION.
SO, WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT PRODUCT IN THIS FACULTY,
WORKING WITH THEIR BARE BONES, JUST PULLING OUR SLEEVES UP--
AND THEY'RE RIGHT, THAT CHILD DEVELOPMENT LAB NEEDS A LOT OF ATTENTION.
BUT THERE'S OTHER DEPARTMENTS THAT NEED ATTENTION, TOO.
I WON'T FOCUS ON JUST ONE.
SPEAKING FROM THE HEART, WHAT I'M SAYING IS,
IS THAT IF THE FACULTY MEMBERS ARE PULLING THEIRSELVES UP BY THE STRAPS,
AND IF THE BOARD MEMBERS ARE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN
TO RUN AS THIN AS WE CAN, AND THE STUDENTS ARE GETTING THE GRADES,
THEN WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT STATE-OF-THE-ART, EXCELLENT FACILITY.
I'VE TRAVELED AROUND.
I'VE BEEN IN DIFFERENT MARKETS...
UH, AND SAW THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES THERE, AND THEY KICK OUR BUTT.
BUT NOT WHEN IT COMES TO PRODUCING THE BEST STUDENT.
SO, IT JUST HAS TO MATCH.
THERE'S JUST NO EXCUSES FOR THE STUDENTS, FOR THE FACULTY,
OR THE BOARD MEMBERS, OR OUR COMMUNITY.
WE GOTTA GET THIS DONE.
WE CAN'T MAKE ANY EXCUSES.
THE LAST THING WE WANNA DO IS PULL MONEY AWAY FROM WHAT WORKS,
AND THAT'S GRCC-- IT WORKS!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. >> DID YOU SIGN IN, SIR?
>> YES, SIR. >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON.
MY NAME IS LOUISA VASQUEZ, AND I DON'T HAVE THE FANCY WORDS.
I'M SO PROUD TO SAY THAT GRCC TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH.
I CAME FROM FOREIGN COUNTRY-- THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC--
AND I ENROLL IN GRCC TO LEARN.
I'M SO PROUD TO BE THE MOTHER OF STUDENT, AND A STUDENT MYSELF.
AND I AM A SECOND ASSOCIATE DEGREE RIGHT HERE,
AND I GOING FOR MY BACHELOR IN FERRIS.
AND I SAY THAT IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US TO KEEP UPGRADING OUR SCHOOL,
BECAUSE I'M SO PROUD TO BE AT SCHOOL HERE,
AND IT'S GONNA BE REALLY GOOD FOR OUR STUDENTS, FOR OURSELF,
TO BE IN A GREAT SCHOOL.
AND GRCC PROVIDES ME A LOT OF BENEFIT OF THE EDUCATION.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG, TRUSTEES, PRESIDENT ENDER.
I'M JOSEPH BYRON, VICE PRESIDENT OF STUDENT CONGRESS, HERE AT GRCC,
AND I'M GOING TO READ A LETTER TO YOU ON BEHALF OF A FELLOW STUDENT,
WHO'S NOT ABLE TO MAKE IT.
"MY NAME IS ANDREW DEL ROSSO,
"AND I AM APPEALING TO YOU ON BEHALF OF THE NEW MILLAGE.
"I WOULD LIKE IT KNOWN THAT THIS MILLAGE WILL BENEFIT MYSELF,
"AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE MUSIC DEPARTMENT GREATLY,
"SINCE WE ARE CURRENTLY SITTING IN A BUILDING
"THAT IS POORLY SUITED FOR MUSIC.
"THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO SPRINKLERS IN CASE OF A FIRE,
"THE INSULATION IS CURRENTLY RELEASING THE HEAT,
"AND THE ROOMS ARE NOT SUITED FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE FOR AN ENSEMBLE.
"WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH PRACTICE SPACE, WHICH IS A HUGE PROBLEM,
"SINCE MOST OF US LIVE IN AN APARTMENT IN WHICH OUR LANDLORDS
"DO NOT ALLOW US TO MAKE SUCH LOUD NOISES.
(all laughing) "I OFTEN MUST WAIT HOURS,
"AND PREY UPON PRACTICE ROOMS LIKE A HAWK TO GET MY PRACTICE TIME IN,
"USUALLY LEAVING OTHER STUDENTS LEFT OUT TO WAIT FOR ANOTHER.
"EVEN WITH TIME CHARTS SIGNED OUT ON THE PRACTICE ROOMS,
"THEY'RE USUALLY ONLY SELECTED TIMES A STUDENT CAN USE THEM,
"WHICH IS LARGELY DEPENDENT ON CLASS SCHEDULING,
"WHICH ALSO HAPPEN TO BE AT THE SAME TIME THAT OTHER STUDENTS CAN USE THEM AS WELL.
"WHILE PRACTICING IN THE MORNINGS,
"WE FIND IT DIFFICULT TO HEAR ACROSS THE ROOM AND BLEND A TUNE
"AND WORK WITH OTHER SECTIONS THAT SIT ACR-- THAT SIT FAR FROM US,
"BECAUSE THE LARGE ENSEMBLE ROOM, ROOM 200,
"IS NOT ACOUSTICALLY SUITED FOR THIS PURPOSE.
"THE SOUND IS LOST, AND LOOKS LIKE IT WAS CONVERTED
"STRAIGHT FROM A GYMNASIUM INTO AN AUDITORIUM,
"WITH LITTLE OR NO IDEA FOR ACOUSTICS OR PRACTICALITY OF THE SPACE.
"THERE IS AT LEAST ONE CHAIR IN THIS ROOM THAT IS BROKEN,
"AND OF WHICH HAS A CUSHION THAT CANNOT MAKE A--
"ER, THAT IS NO LONGER GLUED TO THE SEAT, AND FALLS THROUGH,
"SO THE SITTER CANNOT SIT ON IT.
"THOSE WHO CANNOT MAKE IT INTO A PRACTICE,
"FIND THEIR WAY INTO THE COMMONS ROOM,
"WHERE THERE IS LIMITED SEATING AND MOST OF THE CHAIRS ARE BREAKING.
"THESE ARE THE SAME CHAIRS USED BY THE BANDS,
"ORCHESTRA, CHOIR, CLASSROOMS,
"AND ANYONE ELSE WHO DECIDES TO ENTER THIS SPACE
"AND TAKE A LESSON IN THE BUILDING,
"GUESTS AND STUDENTS ALIKE.
"SEVERAL OF THE LOCKERS ARE OLD AND DIRTY,
"WITH SKETCHES AND STICKERS FROM YEARS AGO.
"I BELIEVE THAT IT WOULD BENEFIT NOT ONLY THE STUDENTS OF THE MUSIC BUILDING,
"BUT THE ENTIRE MUSIC DEPARTMENT, SINCE STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO USE
"AND BUILD AURAL SKILLS IN THEIR ENSEMBLES,
"AS WELL AS HAVE MORE TIME TO DEVELOP THEIR SKILLS,
"WHICH WILL GET THEM INTO THE FOUR UNIVERSITIES
"IN WHICH WE MUST GO TO FINISH OUR STUDIES.
"THANK YOU." >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD EVENING, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG, TRUSTEES, AND PRESIDENT ENDER.
MY NAME IS ADELIN BURGOS,
AND I AM THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE HISPANIC STUDENT ORGANIZATION
AND CURRENT STUDENT AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
TODAY, I WILL BE DISCUSSING
WHY I'M HONORED TO BE PART OF THE GRCC COMMUNITY.
HOWEVER, SINCE I DO CARE ABOUT THIS INSTITUTION,
I ALSO WANT TO DISCUSS SOME OF THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF THE CAMPUS
THAT NEED TO IMPROVE, SO THAT THE INTELLECTUAL IMPACT ON THE STUDENTS
WILL ALSO IMPROVE WITH IT.
I CHOSE GRCC BECAUSE IT WAS AN AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TO A FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION.
BUT SOON-- BUT I SOON DISCOVERED THAT THIS COLLEGE
WAS A TRULY EXTRAORDINARY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.
FIRST, THE STUDENT BODY OF THE COLLEGE IS COMPRISED
OF INDIVIDUALS OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, RACES, BELIEFS, AND AGES,
WHICH SHOWS THE COLLEGE'S ABILITY TO OFFER HIGHER EDUCATION TO ALL.
IN ADDITION, THERE ARE A WIDE VARIETY OF SUBJECTS
THAT ARE BEING TAUGHT BY WONDERFUL PROFESSORS.
IN MY EXPERIENCE,
MY INSTRUCTORS' PASSION FOR THEIR SUBJECTS HAS INSPIRED ME
AND MOTIVATED MY LEARNING PROCESS
BY KEEPING CLASS DISCUSSIONS INTERESTING AND INVOLVED.
LASTLY, THE COLLEGE OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW AND GAIN VALUABLE LIFE SKILLS
THAT WILL BENEFIT STUDENTS IN THE YEARS AFTER GRCC.
FOR EXAMPLE, "ART AND BEVS," A STUDENT-RUN RESTAURANT,
ALLOWS FOR THE CULINARY ARTS STUDENTS TO GAIN ON-THE-JOB EXPERIENCE.
FURTHERMORE, BEING A PRESIDENT OF THE H.S.O. HAS ALLOWED ME
TO ACQUIRE LEADERSHIP AND PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS
THAT I WILL CONTINUE TO BENEFIT FROM LATER ON IN LIFE.
THIS COLLEGE HAS ALLOWED ME TO RECEIVE AFFORDABLE EDUCATION
FROM GREAT EDUCATORS,
AND HAS INCREASED MY LIFE SKILLS OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS,
FOR WHICH I WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL.
HOWEVER, THERE ARE CERTAIN PHYSICAL ASPECTS
THAT HINDER MY EXPERIENCE AS A STUDENT.
THIS INSTITUTION HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE 1914,
BUT IT HAS NOT RECEIVED CONSISTENT AND MAJOR RENOVATIONS DURING THIS TIME.
THE CONSTANT USE OF THE BUILDING, ALONG WITH THE MICHIGAN WEATHER,
HAS UNDOUBTEDLY CAUSED THE BUILDING TO DETERIORATE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS.
AESTHETICALLY, THE BUILDINGS ARE UNATTRACTIVE.
THIS CAN BE SEEN IN ISSUES SUCH AS PAINT CHIPPING OFF THE WALLS AND CEILINGS,
EXPOSED WIRING, AND LEAKS BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY PLACING BUCKETS BENEATH THEM.
THESE FLAWS COULD CAUSE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION
AND DETRACT FROM THE INTEREST OF PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS.
ALSO, CERTAIN AREAS OF THE CAMPUS ARE EXTREMELY COLD
AND ACTUALLY DETRACT FROM MY ABILITY TO STAY FOCUSED IN CLASS.
BETTER INSULATION WOULD KEEP THE STUDENTS WARM AND FOCUSED,
WHILE ALSO KEEPING HEATING COSTS DOWN.
I ENJOY ATTENDING THIS COLLEGE,
AND IT WOULD BE GREAT TO SEE THE SCHOOL IMPROVE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME.
LEARNING IS A PRODUCT OF GREAT PROFESSORS,
BUT THE ENVIRONMENT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE, TOO.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO APPROVE PLACING THE MILLAGE ON THE BALLOT.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD EVENING, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG, AND TRUSTEES, PRESIDENT ENDER.
MY NAME IS DENEA MAHUE,
AND I WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU
TO BE IN FAVOR OF THIS PRIVILEGE TO BE IN THE MILLAGE.
GRCC IS A GREAT COLLEGE, BUT IT COULD BECOME OUTSTANDING
WITH THE FUNDING FROM THIS MILLAGE.
AS A PARENT, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THIS COLLEGE STAYING STRONG
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT INVESTMENT, NOT JUST FOR OUR CURRENT STUDENTS
AND THE STUDENTS WHO WILL BE TAKING CLASSES IN OUR NEAR FUTURE.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, THIS IS AN INVESTMENT FOR THE CHILDREN OF OUR COMMUNITY.
I WANT THEM TO HAVE AN EXCELLENT COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
WHERE THEY CAN PURSUE THEIR HIGHER EDUCATION AND GOALS,
AND BECOME OUR FUTURE LEADERS.
FROM LIMITED PARKING, BAD OPERATING SYSTEMS,
SMALL CLASSROOM SIZES, NON-FUNCTIONING PAY-PHONES,
LET ALONE MANY OF OUR ENTIRE BUILDINGS' STRUCTURES ARE PASSED DUE AN UPDATE.
WE NEED OUR CAMPUS TO BE DRASTICALLY IMPROVED.
IT'S REALLY HARD FOR ME TO ATTEND A COLLEGE
THAT DOES NOT LIVE UP TO ITS ALL-RAIDER VALUES.
THIS MILLAGE WOULD DEMONSTRATE THAT WE ARE EXCELLENT, RESPONSIVE,
INNOVATIVE, AND SUSTAINABLE INSTITUTION.
>> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD EVENING, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG, TRUSTEES, AND PRESIDENT ENDER.
MY NAME IS WHITNEY CUNNINGHAM, AND I'M A SOPHOMORE HERE AT GRCC.
I'LL BE GRADUATING AFTER THIS SEMESTER WITH MY ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE.
I'M ALSO THE PRESIDENT OF CAMPUS ACTIVITIES.
I HAVE BEEN A SMALL GROUP PEER TUTOR AND A STUDENT AMBASSADOR,
HELPING WITH ORIENTATIONS IN THE SUMMER.
AS A STUDENT AMBASSADOR, WE LED ORIENTATIONS,
AND ONE THE FIRST PLACES THAT PEOPLE STOP WITH THEIR PARENTS
AND THE NEW STUDENTS IS IN THE AUDITORIUM IN THE A.T.C.
AND IN THE MILLAGE, IT TALKS ABOUT HOW...
THEY WANTED TO REDO THE COMFORTABLE SEATING,
SO THAT THEIR FIRST IMPRESSION CAN REALLY BE A GOOD ONE AND A POSITIVE ONE.
I'M ALSO TAKING A WATER AEROBICS CLASS THIS SEMESTER,
SO I USE THE POOL, LOCKER ROOMS, AND SHOWERS
IN THE FORD FIELDHOUSE TWICE A WEEK.
IN THE PROPOSAL, A FEW OF THE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE COLLEGE WOULD BE FOCUSED THERE.
THE ONES THAT WOULD DIRECTLY AFFECT ME INCLUDE THE REPLACEMENT
OF THE LOCKER ROOM FLOORING, WHICH COULD REALLY USE IT,
UM, AND NEW LOCKER ROOM SHOWERS, WHICH ALSO NEED TO BE UPDATED.
AS A STUDENT, I'VE REAPED THE BENEFITS OF THE 2009 RENOVATIONS.
I'VE BEEN IN THE CLASSROOMS WITH THE NEWER FURNITURE
AND IT HONESTLY MAKES MY EXPERIENCE MORE POSITIVE.
I FEEL COMFORTABLE AND I'M ABLE TO PAY BETTER ATTENTION IN THE CLASSROOMS.
I HAVE, HOWEVER, BEEN IN THE CLASSROOMS THAT DID NOT RECEIVE THE FURNITURE
DURING THAT RENOVATION AND IT'S INCREDIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE.
THE DESKS ARE ATTACHED TO THE CHAIRS, WHICH MAKES GROUP WORK DIFFICULT.
I'VE ALSO WITNESSED PEOPLE NOT BEING ABLE TO FIT IN THE SPACE ALLOTTED
BETWEEN THE DESK AND THE CHAIR,
AND WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE WORRYING ABOUT THAT KIND OF THING
WHILE WE'RE TRYING TO RECEIVE AN EDUCATION.
AS A STUDENT, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO APPROVE THIS MILLAGE CONSIDERATION
AND PLACE IT ON THE BALLOT.
I STAND BEHIND IT BECAUSE I SELFISHLY WISH
THAT THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED SOONER,
SO I COULD HAVE REAPED THE BENEFITS.
(all chuckling) I'VE READ OVER THE PROPOSAL
AND I SEE ONLY POSITIVE THINGS FOR THE COLLEGE.
IT'S A WONDERFUL PLACE TO LEARN.
I HAVE ENJOYED MY TIME HERE SO MUCH, BUT IT NEEDS TO BE KEPT UP-TO-DATE
OR IT WILL CONTINUE TO FALL BEHIND.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
>> GOOD EVENING, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG, BOARD OF TRUSTEES, AND PRESIDENT ENDER.
MY NAME IS VINCE JAMES, THIS IS MY SOPHOMORE YEAR
AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
I AM THE PARLIAMENTARIAN OF STUDENT CONGRESS.
I ALSO FOUNDED A CLUB ON THE CAMPUS CALLED "GRCC CARES."
OUR MISSION IS TO HELP COLLEGE STUDENTS FIND THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING BACK
AND MAKING COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS.
UM, I SEE MYSELF AS KIND OF A STUDENT ADVOCATE,
TRYING TO PROMOTE STUDENT LIFE,
TRYING TO ENHANCE THE EXPERIENCE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS HERE AT GRCC.
WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT THIS MILLAGE
WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO BROUGHT TO YOUR GUYS'S ATTENTION,
I WENT OUT AND ASKED FELLOW STUDENTS
WHAT THEY THOUGHT OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
SOME STUDENTS SAY THAT IT'S A GOOD COLLEGE, UM...
THE BUILDINGS ARE OBVIOUSLY OUTDATED,
AND THERE'S A LOT OF WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN THE CLASSROOMS.
THEY ADDRESSED THEIR CONCERNS TO ME AND STATED THAT THE FURNITURE'S OUTDATED.
UM, THE CHAIRS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE.
UH, THE WALLS-- ALL OF Y'ALL OBVIOUSLY KNOW THAT THEY'RE WHITE, PLAIN, BLEAK.
UM, STUDENTS SEE THAT AS A DISTRACTION.
SOME OF THE STUDENTS HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN WHAT THE CURRENT RE-- RES--
EXCUSE ME, RENOVATIONS, AND COOK OF-- FIRST FLOOR OF COOK,
AND THEY LIKE WHAT THEY SEE.
THEY LIKE THE VIBRANT COLORS, THEY LIKE THE UPGRADED FURNITURE,
THEY LIKE THE CHAIRS, THE STUFF LIKE THAT.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IS THAT, UM, GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
IS A GREAT INSTITUTION.
EVEN THOUGH THIS IS MY SOPHOMORE YEAR AND I WILL BE LEAVING AFTER THIS YEAR,
I DO SEE IT AS SOMETHING THAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR OUR COLLEGE
TO MOVE FORWARD IN THE FUTURE.
I DO STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO PASS THIS,
TO IMPROVE THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE FOR OUR INCOMING STUDENTS
AND OUR CURRENT STUDENTS HERE AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
>> HELLO, GOOD AFTERNOON, UH, TRUSTEE VERBURG--
UH, CHAIR VERBURG, TRUSTEES, PRESIDENT ENDER.
SORRY, I'M A LITTLE-- LISTENING TO EVERYBODY--
LOSING MY CONCENTRATION.
SHOULDN'T HAVE TO ANNOUNCE TO YOU GUYS WHO I AM.
YOU GUYS ALREADY KNOW MY POSITION HERE ON CAMPUS.
BUT I, TOO, STAND BEHIND THIS MILLAGE.
I AM A STUDENT AT GRCC,
AND I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE MY SUPPORT TO THE MILLAGE
TO BE PLACED ON THE MAIN BALLOT.
I HAVE BEEN A STUDENT SINCE THE SUMMER OF 2007.
I'M A DUAL-ENROLLED STUDENT WITH FERRIS
BUT SPEND A GREAT DEAL OF TIME HERE AT GRCC,
IN THE CLASSROOMS, IN MEETINGS, AND AT EVENTS.
I THINK THE ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU SPEND YOUR TIME IN IS VERY IMPORTANT.
AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER, I HAVE HAD CLASSES IN THE MAIN BUILDING,
THE COOK BUILDING, THE A.T.C., AND OTHER BUILDINGS ON CAMPUS.
I CAN REMEMBER WALKING TO CLASS, ONLY TO REALIZE
THAT I ARRIVED BEFORE THE PROFESSOR AND FOUND THE DOORS LOCKED.
IT WAS NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE LATE, BUT BECAUSE I WAS EARLY.
IN ANY EVENT, I TOOK MY SEAT ALONG THE WALL ON THE FLOOR.
ONE BY ONE, OTHER STUDENTS SAT WITH ME.
WE SAT THERE, SOME WITH LEGS EXTENDED AND OTHERS WITH LEGS CROSSED,
WHO THOUGHT IT WAS POLITE BECAUSE, AT TIMES,
THERE WERE STUDENTS WHO WERE IN WHEELCHAIRS
AND NEEDED TO PASS THROUGH.
MY POINT BEING-- IN THE HALLS IN THE MAIN BUILDING
ARE JUST BARELY WIDE ENOUGH.
THEY DON'T ALLOW SPACE FOR STUDENTS TO SIT AND STUDY IN BETWEEN CLASSES
WITHOUT BECOMING A BARRIER FOR SAFE PASSAGE.
I HAVE ALSO NOTICED, AS A STUDENT WORKER IN THE A.T.C. COMPUTER LAB,
ISSUES WITH THE INCOMPATIBILITY WITH THE COMPUTERS AND ACCESS ISSUES.
ACCESS TO THE NETWORK HAS BEEN VERY SLUGGISH AND DIFFICULT AT TIMES.
I AM ONE OF THE MOST PATIENT PEOPLE YOU WILL EVER MEET,
BUT I DON'T HAVE GUARANTEE THAT MY PROFESSORS ARE AS TOLERANT
WHEN IT COMES TO THE INABILITY TO HAND IN ASSIGNMENTS VIA BLACKBOARD.
ALTHOUGH GRCC IS A FANTASTIC LEARNING INSTITUTION,
IT HAS ITS FLAWS AND ISSUES.
AS THE TWO EXAMPLES I SHARED INDICATE,
THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT CONCERNS WITH SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY.
IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG TO LOOK AROUND THE CAMPUS
AND OBSERVE MANY INSTANCES OF CLASSROOMS THAT ARE TOO SMALL,
CLASSROOMS THAT ARE FILLED WITH OUTDATED FURNITURE,
A SEVERE LACK OF STUDENT SPACE TO STUDY AND CONGREGATE,
AND CHALLENGES HAVING ACCESS TO CONSISTENT TECHNOLOGY.
I WANT THOSE TO COME BEHIND ME
TO HAVE THE BEST LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AS POSSIBLE,
SO THEY CAN BE AS SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR STUDIES AS POSSIBLE.
I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO PLACE THIS MATTER ON THE MAIN BALLOT.
I KNOW MANY IN THE NEWSPAPER, PUBLIC COMMENTS,
SAY THAT THOSE WHO USE EDUCATION SHOULD PAY FOR THAT EDUCATION.
HOWEVER, I BELIEVE THAT A STRONG COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS A GOOD ONE
FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT ENROLLED RIGHT NOW.
LET'S KEEP GRCC A STRONG AND SAFE, SECURE, AND EXCELLENT LEARNING SPACE FOR ALL.
THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU.
ANYBODY ELSE WISHING TO ADDRESS THE BOARD AT THIS TIME?
IN THAT CASE, WE'LL MOVE ON.
WE'RE GONNA MENTION SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS.
I'M NOT AWARE OF ANY AT THIS TIME.
MONITORING REPORTS.
I'M NOT AWARE OF ANY AT THIS TIME.
NOW, IT'S TIME TO CONSIDER ADDITIONAL AGENDA TOPICS.
DO TRUSTEES-- >> (indistinct speaking).
>> YES?
DO TRUSTEES-- (clearing throat)
HAVE ANY ITEMS THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO ADD
TO THE TRACKING SYSTEM AT THIS TIME?
REMEMBER, YOU NEED TO RELATE YOUR TOPIC TO POLICY
AND YOU NEED TWO SUPPORTS TO HAVE YOUR ITEM ADDED.
>> I HAVE SEVERAL-- I HAVE SEVERAL TOPICS TO SUGGEST.
THE FIRST IS THE TOPIC, AS WE PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED,
OF REMOTE PARTICIPATION.
GETTING SOME BYLAWS IN PLACE TO DEFINE WHAT OUR...
HOW WE'RE GONNA HANDLE THESE SITUATIONS IN THE FUTURE.
>> MMM-HMM.
>> UH, THE SECOND IS A VISUAL AIDS POLICY...
WHO MAY SHOW THEM AT THE MEETINGS...
AND WHATEVER OTHER DETAILS WOULD NEED TO BE ARRANGED.
>> DO YOU MEAN WHO MAY USE THEM OR WHO MAY SHOW THEM?
I MEAN, WHAT WOULD YOU SHOW?
I THINK YOU MEAN-- >> UH, POWERPOINT SLIDES.
>> RIGHT.
BUT YOU SAID WHO MAY "SHOW" THEM.
SHOW THE SLIDES THEMSELVES, IS WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT--
>> RIGHT, WELL, YOU KNOW, WE DO HAVE, IN OUR BYLAWS,
THAT SAY THAT THE PUBLIC MAY NOT...
HAVE VISUAL AIDS.
UM...
STAFF MEMBERS, IN THEIR PRESENTATIONS TO US,
DO USE VISUAL AIDS.
BUT IT'S NOT DEFINED REGARDING TRUSTEES USING VISUAL AIDS.
IT'S BEEN DECIDED THAT, TODAY, THERE WILL BE NO VISUAL AIDS FROM TRUSTEES,
BUT I THINK WE SAID THAT THAT WAS ONLY A DECISION FOR TODAY.
SO, I THINK THIS SHOULD BE DISCUSSED.
AND I SUPPOSE I SHOULD HAVE WAITED...
I THINK THESE NEED TO GET TWO SUPPORTS,
SO MAYBE I SHOULD STOP
AND SEE IF THERE'S ANY SUPPORT FOR THESE IDEAS.
>> OKAY.
TRUSTEES, COMMENTS? >> I WILL SUPPORT BOTH OF 'EM.
>> OKAY. >> I WILL, AS WELL.
>> OKAY, SO THERE'S THE TWO SUPPORTS,
SO THESE WILL BE ADDED TO THE TRACKING SYSTEM-- BOTH ITEMS.
>> AND WHAT OF THAT-- WHAT ENDS DO THEY FALL UNDER?
>> (indistinct speaking). >> UM...
>> KEEP EVERYTHING ON THE UP-AND-UP.
YOU'RE REFERRING TO OUR ENDS HERE, RIGHT?
>> UH, I BELIEVE THEY CAN REFER TO ANY POLICY OTHER THAN THE ENDS.
ANY OF THE POLICIES IN OUR-- >> PORTFOLIOS.
>> HEY, UH, WE HAVE POLICIES-- WE HAVE A POLICY REGARDING, UH,
UNDER "BOARD GOVERNANCE" FOR MEETINGS. >> MMM-HMM.
>> AND BOTH OF THESE, UH, WOULD FIT IN THAT POLICY.
>> OKAY, JUST ASKING. >> MMM-HMM.
KEEPING ‘EM HONEST. >> YEP.
>> UM, UH...
THE THIRD SUBJECT--
TOPIC I'D LIKE TO, UH, SUGGEST
IS A TUTORIAL AT A BOARD RETREAT
TO TEACH US TRUSTEES, TO SHOW US,
HOW TO USE ONLINE DATA THAT'S AVAILABLE REGARDING--
COMPARING COMMUNITY COLLEGES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,
THROUGH THE I.P.E.D.S. SYSTEM AND THROUGH THE STATE GOVERNMENT
THROUGH THE A.C.S. DATA.
AT THE LEARNING DAY, EARLIER THIS MONTH,
I ATTENDED A WORKSHOP ON THAT DATA
AND I FOUND IT VERY HELPFUL.
AND, UH...
IT'S A GOLD MINE OF INFORMATION
ABOUT COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN MICHIGAN AND ELSEWHERE,
AND I REALLY THINK WE TRUSTEES
NEED TO... DELVE INTO THAT DATA,
IN ORDER FOR US TO DO OUR JOBS AS WELL AS POSSIBLE.
SO, I WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE HAVE A TUTORIAL
AND ARE SHOWN WHERE THIS DATA IS
AND WHAT'S THERE AND HOW TO USE IT.
>> COMMENTS?
>> I WOULD SUPPORT THAT, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A TEST.
(all laughing) >> NO TEST.
>> ONE MORE SUPPORT IN THAT REGARD?
TRUSTEE STEWART.
OKAY.
SO, THAT GOES IN THE TRACKING SYSTEM, ALSO.
OKAY.
ANY OTHER ITEMS?
TOPICS? >> UM, YES.
A MONITORING REPORT.
THE SLIDES THAT I WAS HOPING TO SHOW TODAY...
I, UM, I PUT TOGETHER AS A HANDOUT.
THEY'RE MY ATTEMPT TO GATHER INFORMATION
AND SHARE IT WITH THE OTHER TRUSTEES.
I'M A NOVICE AT THIS INFORMATION,
AND I ADMIT THAT I MAY HAVE NOT INTERPRETED IT CORRECTLY,
BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE IT
AND I HAVE A HANDOUT HERE THAT I WILL PASS AROUND
BECAUSE I'LL BE TALKING ABOUT IT LATER.
UM...
BUT I WOULD APPRECIATE...
THE STAFF OF THE COLLEGE LOOKING AT THE DATA
THAT I HAVE ACCUMULATED, AND...
CORRECTING WHATEVER IS WRONG.
MAYBE HELPING US INTERPRET IT,
UM, AND AS FAR AS THE PRECISE DATA.
YOU KNOW, I WOULD JUST SAY THE DATA THAT'S ON THE SHEET,
AS WELL AS I GAVE YOU ALL A HANDOUT LAST WEEK AT THE BOARD RETREAT.
NOW, IF YOU COULD GO OVER THAT AND I THINK IT'S VERY RELEVANT DATA,
NOT ONLY TO THIS DISCUSSION ON THE MILLAGE
BUT ALSO JUST IN GENERAL,
AND SO I WOULD APPRECIATE A REPORT GETTING THE OFFICIAL--
PROFESSIONAL VERSION OF THIS INFORMATION.
>> SO, HOW DOES THAT TIE INTO TOPICS FOR THE TRACKING SYSTEM?
I'M LOST.
I MEAN, THAT'S A REQUEST THAT WE'RE ALL--
WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO REQUEST,
BUT HOW DOES THAT, UM, TRANSLATE INTO A RETREAT?
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NOW.
>> UM, WELL, I WAS TOLD THIS WAS-- THE POINT--
IT WOULDN'T NECESSARILY BE A RETREAT.
IT COULD BE AT A REGULAR MEETING.
SOMETIMES, WE GET MONITORING REPORTS ELECTRONICALLY.
UM-- >> SO, DO YOU WANT US
TO LOOK INTO THE MONITORING REPORTS?
BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S ON TRACK, SOMEWHERE.
>> WE COULD MAYBE PUT THAT UNDER A BOARD BRIEFING MEMO?
>> LET ME-- LET ME INTERJECT THAT DR. RYSKAMP
SHARED ALL OF HIS, UM, WORK OVER THE WEEKEND
AND THE VARIOUS DATA SOURCES THAT HE USED IN THE SPREADSHEETS
THAT HE'S PUT TOGETHER, AND POWERPOINT SLIDES,
AND AS I ASSURED OVER EMAIL,
AND PERHAPS DIDN'T READ THAT EMAIL LATER THIS MORNING,
I'VE PASSED THAT WORK OFF TO OUR FINANCE FOLKS
AND THEY ARE PRESENTLY VERIFYING ALL OF YOUR WORK.
AND WE WILL ABSOLUTELY MEET WITH YOU
OR MEET WITH THE ENTIRE BOARD,
IF YOU'D LIKE THAT POINT FOR LISA TO WORK BEHIND YOU, IF YOU WILL,
AND VERIFY THE NUMBERS. >> OKAY, I--
>> BUT I DON'T THINK THE BOARD NEEDS TO DO ANYTHING FORMALLY AS A TRUSTEE
THAT'S DOING SOME WORK.
UH, IT'S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE COLLEGE,
QUITE FRANKLY, IF WE VERIFY THOSE NUMBERS.
>> OKAY, YEAH, I'M SORRY.
I DIDN'T CHECK MY EMAIL-- >> YEAH.
>> AFTER THIS MORNING, SO I DIDN'T READ YOUR EMAIL.
UM, BUT, UH...
ANYWAY, I THROW THAT OUT AS A SUGGESTION TO MY FELLOW TRUSTEES.
WHETHER THEY WOULD...
LIKE TO...
SEE THE INFORMATION ALSO,
OR WHETHER I ALONE WILL RECEIVE THE FEEDBACK.
IT'S A SUGGESTION FOR A MONITORING REPORT. >> WITHOUT YOUR--
>> I HAVE A QUESTION.
WELL, I THINK DATA'S ALWAYS PRETTY CRITICAL,
BUT I THINK WE HAVE A PROCEDURAL ISSUE HERE,
TO MY POINT OF VIEW,
AND THAT WOULD BE THAT CAN ANY INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBER,
UH, ASK OF THE STAFF TO DO WORK.
THAT SEEMS TO ME TO BE A BIT OF SLIPPERY SLOPE
AND, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY,
THE PRESIDENT HAS AGREED TO DO THAT, AND I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE DATA,
BECAUSE I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT.
BUT I THINK THAT MIGHT WARRANT SOME FURTHER DISCUSSION
LATER ON DOWN THE ROAD.
AND HOW DOES THAT WORK
IF AN INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBER WANTS THE STAFF TO DO WORK?
UH, THAT, TO ME,
COULD BECOME PROBLEMATIC IN THE FUTURE.
>> WELL, I'M NOT--
I DIDN'T GO DIRECTLY TO THE STAFF AND ASK THEM TO DO ANY WORK.
I, UH...
I AM COMING HERE TO THE BOARD MEETING
AND ASKING FOR A COUPLE SUPPORTS,
IN WHICH CASE, I UNDERSTAND...
THE REPORT NEEDS TO BE DELIVERED.
OR, IF THE PRESIDENT ASKS HIS STAFF TO DO SOME WORK
BASED ON THE INTERESTS OR REQUESTS OF ONE BOARD MEMBER,
THAN THAT'S THE PRESIDENT'S PREROGATIVE,
BUT I DID NOT COMMUNICATE AT ALL WITH--
DIRECTLY WITH ANY STAFF MEMBERS.
EVERYTHING HAS GONE THROUGH THE PRESIDENT
AND NOW IS COMING TO THE BOARD.
>> I UNDERSTAND THAT FULLY, AND I UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED.
I STILL THINK IT'S AN ISSUE BECAUSE, I THINK, IT PUTS THE PRESIDENT
IN THE PARTICULAR POSITION WHERE IF HE SAYS, “NO,”
THEN HE'S GOT AN ISSUE OR A PROBLEM.
AND SO, I'D JUST LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HOW DO YOU REALLY PROCESS THAT
BEFORE IT GOES TO THE PRESIDENT,
AND BECAUSE I THINK THAT THAT COULD BE A PROBLEM.
>> BERT, BUT WE ALL HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO ASK THE QUESTIONS
THAT ARE ON OUR MINDS.
HOW WOULD YOU SEE THAT DIFFERENTLY, IF I HAD A QUESTION FOR DR. ENDER?
HOW DO WE SEPARATE THAT?
>> I THINK A QUESTION TO DR. ENDER IS ONE THING,
BUT A QUESTION THAT REALLY ENTAILS BOARD WORK,
UH, STAFF WORK, IS ANOTHER.
I WOULD CHANGE THIS PROCESS BY SAYING--
COMING TO THE BOARD AND SAYING, YOU KNOW,
“DOES THE BOARD WANT THIS INFORMATION AND DATA TO STUDY?”
>> SO, IT WOULD BE OUR DECISION, IS WHAT YOU'RE SUGGESTING,
BEFORE WE BRING IT ANY FURTHER?
LIKE-- >> THAT'S CORRECT.
>> RIGHT. >> SO DR. RYSKAMP COULD--
YOU KNOW, YOU COULD'VE-- AS YOU'RE GOING TO TONIGHT--
BRING THE ISSUE TO US, AND THEN, WE MIGHT HAVE QUESTIONS AFTER THAT.
>> I JUST THINK IT'S-- YOU KNOW, IF ALL SEVEN OF SEVEN BOARD MEMBERS
REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT TO BRING ADDITIONAL WORK TO THE STAFF,
THAT, TO ME, IS NOT A GOOD PROCESS.
THAT'S ALL I'M SAYING.
>> I THINK WE'VE COVERED THAT OVER THE YEARS,
AND WE'VE COLLECTIVELY DECIDED THAT WE WOULD NOT USE THAT PROCESS,
BUT IT'S GOOD THAT IT'S RESURFACING TO GET CLARITY.
>> I THINK, IN THE PAST-- AND THERE MAY BE A POLICY ON IT--
BUT IN THE PAST, IT WAS-- WE'D GO TO THE PRESIDENT
AND IF THE WORK
WAS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF WORK TO THE STAFF,
IT'D BE THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION, YOU KNOW.
IF IT'S JUST ONE TRUSTEE-- IF IT'S MORE THAN ONE TRUSTEE,
I GUESS IT'D BE A DIFFERENT SITUATION.
>> AND ACTUALLY, THAT'S WHAT YOUR PRESENT BOARD POLICIES STATE.
IN THIS INSTANCE, I FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT--
WELL, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT
REGARDLESS OF WHO IS REQUESTING INFORMATION
FROM MY COLLEAGUES ON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES,
THAT, IF THAT INFORMATION IS GOING TO BE USED IN A PUBLIC WAY,
AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT INFORMATION THAT IS, QUITE FRANKLY,
BURIED IN DIFFERENT REPORTS THAT THE INSTITUTION USES
AS PART OF OUR OWN SELF-MANAGEMENT, AND DECISION MAKING,
THEN IT BEHOOVES US, AS A COLLEGE, TO VERIFY THOSE NUMBERS.
AND IN THIS CASE, I FELT LIKE IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE VERIFY THOSE NUMBERS.
>> AND LET ME MAKE MYSELF CLEAR AGAIN.
I'M NOT OPPOSED TO THAT,
AND I THINK IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF CASES, YOU HAVE TO DO THAT.
IT'S JUST AN ISSUE OF PROCESS TO ME, THAT'S ALL.
>> I AGREE.
IF WE HAVE SEVEN BOARD MEMBERS
THAT ARE RUNNING THEIR OWN EXCEL SPREADSHEETS,
AS A RESULT OF AN I.P.E.D.S. TUTORIAL,
I MEAN, WE GET INUNDATED WITH THE NEED
TO GO BACK AND DO THAT WORK.
I THINK IT WOULD BE MORE HELPFUL IF THE BOARD FRAMED QUESTIONS
THROUGH MONITORING REPORTS, THAT THEY WANT THE STAFF TO ANSWER
AND GO THROUGH OUR NORMAL PROCESS.
>> SO, WHERE ARE WE ON THIS SPECIFIC ISSUE, AT THIS TIME,
IN REGARD TO THE MONITORING REPORT?
ANY FURTHER COMMENTS?
>> WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT
THAT I THINK WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS COMING,
WE SHOULD ALL BE AWARE OF IT AS WELL,
AND I DON'T THINK IT'S THE PRESIDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DO THAT.
LIKE, I UNDERSTAND THAT HE HAD SOME DOCUMENTS OUT THERE TODAY
THAT I HEARD ABOUT AND REQUESTED THEM,
BUT I THINK IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SAY, “DEAR COLLEAGUES,
"PLEASE BE AWARE I'M BRINGING THIS UP TONIGHT.
“PLEASE BE AWARE THAT I HAVE THIS CONCERN.
“PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.”
AND I THINK-- I THINK, THEN, WE CAN-- NUMBER ONE-- BE READY.
NUMBER TWO... NEED THE INFORMATION, TOO.
IF ANY ONE OF US IS CONCERNED ABOUT ANYTHING,
I THINK WE ALL NEED IT, BUT I THINK IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MONITOR OURSELVES
AND NOT WORK THROUGH THE PRESIDENT AND HIS DEPUTY ASSISTANT.
>> SO, YOU'RE SAYING I SHOULD HAVE TALKED TO ALL OF YOU BEFORE THE MEETING
TO SEE WHETHER YOU WERE INTERESTED IN THIS INFORMATION ALSO?
>> I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD'VE SAID,
“OH, YEAH, I'M INTERESTED IN THIS INFORMATION.
“UGH, I'M NOT INTERESTED.”
I'M JUST SAYING, I THINK IT'S JUST A MATTER OF POLITENESS TO SAY,
“COLLEAGUES, THIS IS WHAT I'M GOING TO PRESENT TONIGHT."
I DON'T THINK THAT'S ASKING TOO MUCH,
BECAUSE NOW, WE'RE PUT IN A POSITION
THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE GRAPHS AND CHARTS AND REPORTS...
AND THE FIRST DRAFT I SAW HAD PLENTY OF COMMENTS ON IT.
WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF I'M THE ONLY ONE THAT SAW IT, SEE?
I JUST WOULD ENCOURAGE US.
TRY NOT TO FEEL ON THE DEFENSIVE-- I'M SAYING, FROM THIS POINT OUT,
I'M TRYING TO ENCOURAGE US TO CONSIDER IT JUST A MATTER OF POLITENESS
THAT WE KNOW WHAT'S COMING.
SO, THERE ARE NO SURPRISES.
>> I'D LIKE TO-- I'M JUST SITTING HERE-- YOU KNOW, I'D LIKE TO WEIGH IN.
SEVERAL TIMES, WE'VE GOTTEN INFORMATION AT THE TABLE.
I'M EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THAT, BECAUSE I DON'T WANT--
I THINK IF ALL OF US, OR ANY OF US, HAVE INFORMATION,
WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE PAST IS JUST KIND OF, YOU KNOW, EMAIL
AND SAY, “I'M GOING TO DO THIS,” OR “I'M GOING TO DO THAT.”
AND THAT WAS PART OF OUR "NO SURPRISE" KIND OF INFORMAL POLICY
THAT WE KIND OF KEPT AS TRUSTEES?
IT SERVES ME NO PURPOSE, REALLY, TO RECEIVE INFORMATION
THAT I DIDN'T KNOW I WAS GOING TO GET AT THE TABLE,
AND SO, I WOULD LIKE TO CERTAINLY SUPPORT WHAT TERRI'S SAYING
IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO COME TO EVERY MEETING,
AND THEN, SOMEBODY'S PASSING OUT SOMETHING TO ME
THAT I WAS NOT EVEN AWARE THAT I WAS GOING TO GET.
SO, THAT IS, YOU KNOW-- THAT'S HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT.
>> WELL, MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE "OPEN MEETINGS ACT"
IS THAT IF I WERE TO EMAIL YOU-- SAY, IF I HAD A HANDOUT--
AND IF I WERE TO EMAIL IT TO ALL OF YOU, BEFORE THE MEETING,
THAT WOULD BE A VIOLATION OF THE "OPEN MEETINGS ACT."
>> ARE WE SURE?
CAN YOU-- CAN YOU, UM... ARE YOU SURE THAT,
AS A BOARD COMMITTED TO THIS COMMUNITY AND THIS COLLEGE,
WE CAN'T RECEIVE INFORMATION FROM EACH OTHER?
I MEAN, THAT'S WRITTEN?
‘CAUSE THAT'S A SURPRISE TO ME AFTER 21 YEARS, BUT...
>> WELL, I SPOKE TO A MUNICIPAL ATTORNEY.
A FRIEND OF MINE. >> I HOPE HE CHARGED YA.
>> HE DID NOT. >> OH, OKAY.
>> BUT, UH, YOU KNOW, IF I SPEAK TO ONE OR TWO OF YOU,
OR IF I SPEAK TO THE CHAIRMAN, OR THE PRESIDENT ABOUT SOMETHING,
THEN THAT'S FINE.
BUT IF I, UH, EMAIL SOMETHING TO EVERYBODY--
>> FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES?
>> THEN THAT'S-- YOU KNOW, RELATED TO SOMETHING,
ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH A DELIBERATION,
IT'S A VIOLATION OF THE "OPEN MEETINGS ACT."
>> BUT THERE'S YOUR KEY.
WHAT ARE WE DELIBERATING?
THIS IS JUST INFORMATIONAL.
WE'RE NOT VOTING OR DELIBERATING.
I CAN UNDERSTAND IF WE WERE VOTING. >> YEAH.
>> BUT DELIBERATION, INFORMATIONAL... I'M GLAD YOU DIDN'T CHARGE YOU,
BECAUSE I THINK THAT PERSON'S PROBABLY NOT--
>> BUT YOU COULD HAVE TOLD ME, COMING THROUGH THE DOOR--
>> SURE. >> JUST AS WE WERE WALKING
IN THE CHAMBERS, YOU COULD HAVE SAID, “WELL, THERE'S A HANDOUT.”
YOU KNOW, JUST TO PASS IT TO ME COLD, I'M NOT REAL COMFORTABLE WITH THAT.
>> I WON'T GIVE IT TO YOU THEN.
THAT'S FINE. >> NO, NO.
I DON'T THINK WE'RE-- I HOPE WE'RE DISCUSSING THIS,
BECAUSE I THINK WE NEED CLARITY TO IT, BUT, LIKE I SAID EARLIER,
I JUST THINK IT'S JUST A MATTER OF COURTESY.
IF WE'RE BREAKING ANY RULE-- I'M NOT ONE FOR BREAKING RULES,
BEING RAISED CATHOLIC, BUT, UM-- (laughing)
BUT I DON'T AGREE WITH THAT.
I WAS JUST MERELY ASKING IF THAT PERSON'S CORRECT.
>> IF THERE'S NO SUPPORT FOR IT, THEN NOTHING HAPPENS HERE.
>> BUT BERT, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE--
I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ASKING ME TO SUPPORT.
>> WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR THIS REPORT FOR?
>> THIS IS WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO GET TO.
YEAH. >> I'M LOST.
WHAT ARE YOU ASKING? >> I'M ASKING THAT...
WE GET A, UM...
PROFESSIONALLY CHECKED AND INTERPRETED...
UH, SET OF INFORMATION.
THE INFORMATION THAT I GAVE TO YOU IN THE HANDOUT AT THE RETREAT,
THE WEEK BEFORE LAST,
AND ALSO, AN OFFICIAL, PROFESSIONALLY CHECKED,
AND INTERPRETED VERSION OF THIS HANDOUT THAT I HAVE HERE,
WHICH LOOKS AT...
VARIOUS EXPENDITURES... UH, TOTAL EXPENDITURES,
COMPENSATION EXPENDITURES, AND NON-COMPENSATION EXPENDITURES
FOR THE 11 LARGEST COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN MICHIGAN
ON A PER-STUDENT BASIS.
>> UH, TRUSTEE RYSKAMP... TRUSTEE RYSKAMP?
I THINK, AT THIS POINT, PRESIDENT ENDER'S LOOKING AT YOUR FIGURES ALREADY.
I THINK, AT THIS POINT, WE WON'T PUT IT ON THE TRACKING SYSTEM.
>> THAT'S FINE. >> AND LET HIM VERIFY THAT THE FIGURES
AND MOVE ALONG AT THIS POINT IN THE MEETING.
>> AND I SHOULD PROBABLY DO JUST THAT, BUT I HAVE TO SAY THIS.
THE BOARD IS A BOARD OF ONE, COMPRISED OF SEVEN ELECTED OFFICIALS,
AND THE INFORMATION THAT DR. RYSKAMP PASSED OUT AT THE RETREAT
AROUND RETIREMENT EXPENSES,
AND THEN, THE WORK THAT HE'S BEEN DOING IN THE COMPARISON
OF OUR INSTITUTION TO OTHERS,
IF WE FOLLOW OUR...
POLICY GOVERNANCE MODEL,
UM, IN THESE SITUATIONS,
IT IS MY BELIEF THAT DR. RYSKAMP SHOULD ASK HIS COLLEAGUES
IF THEY WOULD LIKE A REPORT ON WHATEVER THOSE ITEMS OR ISSUES ARE
THAT HE'S PERSONALLY INVESTIGATING, AND IF THE BOARD HAS TWO SUPPORTS,
THEN THE BOARD WILL FRAME THE QUESTION THEY ASKED TO THE COLLEGE
TO THEN AND GO OUT AND GET THE INFORMATION TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.
THAT IS THE WAY I BELIEVE THE BOARD WAS,
IN THE FRAMING OF ITS OWN FRAMING DOCUMENTS,
DESIGNED TO WORK.
SO, AGAIN, WE HAVE A PROCESS, AND YOU'RE FOLLOWING IT TONIGHT.
YOU'VE ADDED TWO MORE ITEMS, THREE ITEMS, TO YOUR TRACKING SYSTEM.
THAT WOULD BE, IN MY OWN VIEW OF BOARD WORK,
THE WAY THAT THIS ADDITIONAL WORK WOULD HAVE COME TO THIS BOARD FOR A DECISION
TO LET THE COLLEGE THEN GO OUT AND DEVELOP THE MATERIALS
AND BRING IT BACK TO THE BOARD.
>> OKAY, I'M CERTAINLY WILLING TO LIVE BY THAT
AND I APOLOGIZE FOR BEING OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC
IN MY...
SEARCHING THROUGH THE ONLINE DATA,
AND SO, I WILL DO THAT--
I WILL FOLLOW THAT PROCEDURE IN THE FUTURE
AND REFRAIN FROM GIVING YOU HANDOUTS.
>> THANK YOU.
>> ANY OTHER TOPICS ANY OTHER TRUSTEES WANT TO ADD TO THE TRACKING SYSTEM?
>> UM, YES. (all chuckling)
NOW, I WOULD NOTE THAT AT THIS MEETING TODAY
WE WERE PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED TO HAVE A MONITORING REPORT
ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM, UM, BUT BECAUSE WE ANTICIPATED
THAT THIS WOULD BE A LONG MEETING, I UNDERSTAND THAT THAT HAS BEEN POSTPONED,
AND THAT THE IDEA WAS
WE WOULD PUT IT AT A RETREAT NEXT MONTH AND--
IS IT ON THE TRACKING SYSTEM NOW? >> I WAS JUST GOING TO ASK THAT.
>> NOT THE TRACKING SYSTEM-- IT'S YOUR BOARD CALENDAR.
>> OKAY. >> IT'S YOUR MONITORING CALENDAR.
>> SO, IT DOESN'T NEED TO GO ON THE CALENDAR?
> IT DOESN'T GO ON THE TRACKING SYSTEM BECAUSE IT'S ON YOUR CALENDAR.
>> FEBRUARY 22nd IS THE RETREAT. >> MONITORING.
>> IT'S ON THE MONITORING CALENDAR. >> IS THAT'S WHEN IT'S ON
THE MONITORING CALENDAR-- FEBRUARY 22nd?
IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING? >> YES.
>> AND THEN, I HAVE ONE LAST, UM, OBSERVATION,
AND THAT IS THAT WE HAVE A DISCUSSION ON RETIREMENT EXPENSES
ON THE TRACKING SYSTEM, AND WE PUT IT ON THERE IN JUNE,
AND NOW, IT'S JANUARY,
SO IT'S BEEN SEVEN MONTHS SINCE WE'VE BEEN WAITING
TO HAVE THIS DISCUSSION.
IT'D BEEN SCHEDULED FOR EARLIER THIS MONTH,
BUT IT WAS BUMPED FOR A DISCUSSION ON THE MILLAGE CAMPAIGN...
WHICH I THINK IS A LITTLE IRONIC,
BECAUSE I DON'T THINK WE WOULD BE NEEDING THIS MILLAGE CAMPAIGN
IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE OUT-OF-CONTROL,
SKYROCKETING RETIREMENT EXPENSES.
>> THAT'S A PRETTY BIG STATEMENT,
SEEING THAT WE HAVE LITTLE CONTROL OVER THAT.
>> WELL, I WOULD-- >> IT'S A STATE-RUN PROGRAM.
>> I WOULD DISAGREE.
I DO THINK THERE ARE WAYS THAT--
I DO THINK THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE MUST BE DOING--
CAN DO, AND MUST DO. >> TO THE TUNE OF $100 MILLION?
>> AND I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO DETAILS,
BUT I WOULD REALLY LIKE-- I WOULD PLEAD WITH YOU,
CAN WE PLEASE DISCUSS THIS
AND NOT POSTPONE IT ANY LONGER?
UM, I THINK THERE MAYBE A NARROW WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
TO GET THIS SYSTEM REFORMED.
IT'S EATING US ALIVE, SO-- >> WHAT I'D LIKE TO ASK, THOUGH,
IS DOES IT DIRECTLY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO--
THAT WE WOULD HAVE SOMETHING TO BE ABLE TO DO WITH IT AS TRUSTEES?
>> WELL, I THINK SO.
I'LL COMPARE THIS DISCUSSION ON RETIREMENT COSTS
TO THE MILLAGE CAMPAIGN.
THE MILLAGE CAMPAIGN IS INTENDED TO GIVE US AN INFUSION
OF $5 MILLION PER YEAR FOR 20 YEARS?
IF THIS PASSES IN MAY,
WE GET THAT INFUSION STARTING THIS YEAR.
THIS NEXT FISCAL YEAR.
IT'S A GOOD, SHORT-TERM SOLUTION.
BUT THIS RETIREMENT COST DISCUSSION, YES, I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYTHING
THAT CAN HAPPEN THAT'S GOING TO GIVE US ANY IMMEDIATE RELIEF.
BUT...
IT'S OUR LONG-TERM PROBLEM,
AND IF IT'S NOT ADDRESSED, OUR COSTS KEEP GOING UP.
I THINK THEY'VE GONE UP NEARLY $3 MILLION THIS YEAR.
$2.5, $2.8-SOMETHING MILLION THIS YEAR.
I MEAN, IF THAT KEEPS GOING UP, YOU KNOW, WITHIN TWO YEARS,
WE'RE GOING TO NEED ANOTHER MILLAGE CAMPAIGN
BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO BE $5 MILLION IN THE HOLE AGAIN.
NOW, YOU ASKED ME WHETHER WE-- CAN WE DO ANYTHING?
WELL, YOU KNOW, FOR THE LONG-TERM SOLUTION,
YOU NEED TO CONVINCE
A COUPLE HUNDRED OR SO STATE LEGISLATORS
TO FIX THE SYSTEM.
TO GET THE MILLAGE, YOU GOTTA CONVINCE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOTERS.
IT'S JUST A MATTER OF “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND YOUR RESOURCES
"CONVINCING TO HELP YOU?”
THE VOTERS OR THE LEGISLATORS?
IT'S BOTH A MATTER OF LOBBYING AND CONVINCING.
BUT THE THING IS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE AS A BOARD
ARE MORALLY AND LEGALLY PROHIBITED, AS AN INSTITUTION,
FROM LOBBYING THE VOTERS.
THERE'S NOTHING PROHIBITING US, AS AN INSTITUTION, FROM LOBBYING
THE STATE LEGISLATORS.
>> THAT, UM-- >> AND SO, PERHAPS WE'RE ALREADY
GETTING INTO THE DISCUSSION THAT I WAS HOPING THAT WE WOULD HAVE,
BUT YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD NOT HAVE THIS DISCUSSION
BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO.
>> THAT, UM, THAT RETIREMENT COST IS GOING TO BE ON OUR DISCUSSION
ON THE FEBRUARY 22nd RETREAT.
IT'S ON THE AGENDA.
WE WILL SPEAK ABOUT IT AT THAT TIME-- WE WON'T DELAY IT ANY FURTHER.
>> THANK YOU. >> MR. BLEKE'S BEEN TRYING TO GET IN HERE.
>> YES, TRUSTEE BLEKE?
>> UM, THE CHAIRPERSON JUST SAID WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR, SO WE'RE DONE.
THAT'S GREAT. >> OKAY.
UH, NO OTHER TOPICS FROM ANY OTHER TRUSTEES?
OKAY, HEARING NONE, PRESIDENT ENDER,
WOULD YOU REVIEW THE TRACKING SYSTEM?
>> ON THE 22nd OF FEBRUARY,
WE WILL BE REVIEWING THE RETIREMENT COST ISSUE.
ON MARCH THE 21st...
IS THE ROLE OF THE BOARD IN CREATING CULTURE.
ON JUNE 13th IS THE PROGRAM AT ALICE'S,
AND THIS IS THE WORK WE'VE BEEN DOING
AROUND THE COST FOR ALL OF OUR PROGRAMS HERE AT THE CAMPUS--
IT'S ABOUT 100 DIFFERENT PROGRAMS THAT WE'LL BE REVIEWING.
AND MISS MULLINS IS GOING TO HAVE TO SCHEDULE,
IT LOOKS LIKE, TWO TO THREE MORE.
WE MAY BE ABLE TO COMBINE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF REMOTE PARTICIPATION,
THE USE OF VISUAL AIDES BY TRUSTEES AT ONE MEETING,
AND THEN, THE TYPE OF TUTORIAL YOU'RE ASKING FOR WITH I.P.E.D.S.
AND COMMON COST ACCOUNTING WILL TAKE A MEETING ONTO ITSELF
FOR US TO DO A GOOD JOB THERE,
SO WE'RE CLEARLY GOING TO ADD AT LEAST TWO MORE TO THIS.
OKAY. >> MR. CHAIRPERSON?
I'M LOOKING AT ALL THE BOARD MEMBERS,
AND I SEE ONLY ONE PERSON WHO'S ACTIVELY WORKING?
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THAT'S GOOD OR BAD, BUT, UM--
>> IS THAT ME?
OH. >> IT'S NOT YOU, TERRI.
>> (laughing) PICK ME, PICK ME!
>> YEAH, I THINK I HAD JUST TWO COMMENTS.
ONE IS THAT I REALLY BELIEVE
THAT WE'VE GOT SO MUCH, REALLY, TO DISCUSS.
I'M GOING TO PUSH AGAIN FOR A LITTLE LONGER SESSIONS.
AND NUMBER TWO, THE ABILITY OF THE BOARD
TO PRIORITIZE THOSE, AS A GROUP.
>> SO, THEY'RE ALREADY PRIORITIZED THOUGH?
ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE TRACKING SYSTEM TOPICS?
>> THERE WAS A BUNCH OF OTHER THINGS THAT WILL--
>> OH, PRIORITIZE THE NEW THINGS... I SEE.
>> THE THINGS THAT ARE NOT PRIORITIZED, RIGHT.
I DIDN'T EVEN HEAR THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE BOARD EVALUATING ITSELF, EITHER.
>> WELL, RIGHT.
IT'S ALREADY, YEAH. >> THAT'S ALREADY SCHEDULED.
>> OKAY. >> THAT'S NOT ON THE TRACKING SYSTEM.
>> DID WE ALL RESPOND?
WHEN IS IT SCHEDULED? >> IT'S SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 24th,
9:00 TO 11:00.
IT WAS IN YOUR EMAIL THIS AFTERNOON.
>> OKAY, AT THIS TIME, IT'S TIME FOR THE STUDENT CONGRESS REPORT.
I'LL CALL UP TONJA LOFTON TO THE PODIUM.
>> HELLO AGAIN. >> HI THERE.
>> GOOD AFTERNOON, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG,
TRUSTEES, PRESIDENT ENDER.
MY LAST REPORT TO YOU GUYS WAS LAST YEAR.
I HOPE THAT YOU GUYS ALL HAD A VERY-- A GREAT HOLIDAY BREAK.
I KNOW IT'S KIND OF LATE, BUT ANYHOW,
I HOPE YOU GUYS HAD A GREAT BREAK.
UM, WITH IT BEING THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER,
CLUB ORGANIZATIONS ARE STILL TRYING TO GAIN THEIR FOOTING FOR THE SEMESTER,
AND I WILL BE GLAD TO GIVE UPDATES ON THE ORGANIZATIONS
AND WHAT THEY HAVE GOING ON,
WHEN-- OR WHAT THEY HAVE BREWING IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
FIRST ITEM ON MY AGENDA,
FOR THE UPDATE FOR THIS MONTH IS STUDENT CONGRESS.
ALTHOUGH IT SADDENS ME TO ANNOUNCE THAT MY BUDGET DIRECTOR, MICHAEL FOSTER,
IS NO LONGER WITH US--
HE TOOK A JOB OFFER TO WORK WITH HIS SISTER--
HER FAMILY-- IN CALIFORNIA.
I'M EXCITED FOR THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES THAT HE WILL HAVE.
WE HAVE A NEW INTERIM BUDGET DIRECTOR, ANTHONY PROVENZANO.
ANTHONY HAS SERVED ON THE BUDGET COMMITTEE FOR THE LAST TWO SEMESTERS
AND HAS ALREADY HIT THE GROUND RUNNING.
UM, WORKED EXTREMELY CLOSE WITH ANTHONY,
AND HE WAS DEFINITELY THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR THE POSITION.
WE ARE VERY EXCITED THAT OUR STUDENT FOOD PANTRY
WILL OFFICIALLY BE OPEN FEBRUARY 17th.
IT WILL BE HOUSED IN OUR OLD STUDENT LEADERSHIP OFFICE
ON THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE STUDENT CENTER, NEXT TO STUDENT LIFE.
ALL CURRENT STUDENTS FROM ANY OF THE GRCC CAMPUSES
WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACCESS THE PANTRY, IF THEY QUALIFY.
I HOPE YOU HAVE SEEN THE “MY LIVE” ARTICLES
AND THE UPDATES IN GRCC TV FOR MORE DETAILS.
ANOTHER ORGANIZATION THAT I'D LIKE TO BRING RECOGNITION TO
IS CAMPUS ACTIVITIES.
THEY HOSTED “WELCOME BACK WEEK” LAST WEEK, AND-- ER, LAST WEEK.
AND THE THEME THIS YEAR WAS “A BLAST FROM THE PAST.”
THEY HAD CANDY AND GAMES THAT FEATURED FAVORITE PASTIMES
FROM DIFFERENT GENERATIONS... UM, (indistinct).
ALSO, THEY HOSTED CLUB DAY.
INSTEAD OF GAMES, FOOD, OR GIVEAWAYS,
THEY ARE HAVING A COMPETITION BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS TO RAISE--
TO SEE WHO CAN RAISE THE MOST FOOD FOR OUR PANTRY.
UM, THAT IS THE END OF MY REPORT,
AND I WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS
THAT YOU GUYS MAY HAVE. >> I HAVE A QUESTION, TONJA.
UM, THE FOOD PANTRY.
HOW OBVIOUS IS IT WHERE TO DROP THINGS OFF?
ARE YOU REALLY GETTING OUT ON CAMPUS?
BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE ARE INTIMIDATED, IF THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE TO BRING IT.
ARE THERE BARRELS OR-- >> UM, I'D LIKE TO HAVE MY V.P. JOE BYRON
ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS WITH THE FOOD PANTRY. >> OKAY, JOE.
>> I'M THE MEMBER OF THE STUDENT CONGRESS EXECUTIVE BOARD
THAT IS OFFICIALLY IN CHARGE OF THE FOOD PANTRY PROJECT.
IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE FOOD--
THAT DONATIONS ARE GOING TO BE DROPPED OFF AT THE STUDENT LIFE OFFICE CURRENTLY,
AND I'M NOT EXACTLY CERTAIN AS TO HOW MUCH THIS HAS BEEN ADVERTISED
TO THE GENERAL STUDENT BODY?
THAT IS THE DUTY OF CAMPUS ACTIVITIES. >> HMM.
>> SO THEY WOULD HAVE A MUCH MORE IN-DEPTH ANSWER FOR YOU?
BUT AS FAR AS I KNOW, THAT IS OUR CURRENT POLICY.
IT'S JUST-- ANYBODY WHO HAS ANY DONATIONS
CAN JUST BRING THEM TO STUDENT LIFE,
DROP THEM OFF THERE.
I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THAT'S ACTUALLY BEEN COMMUNICATED.
>> COULD I HAVE OUR ADVISER, ERIC MULLEN--
HE MIGHT HAVE MORE SPECIFICS ON DATES
AND EXACTLY WHAT'S BEEN DONE
THE DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS HERE ON CAMPUS--
OR CAMPUS ACTIVITIES.
OH! (all laughing)
>> LIKE A NINJA, OKAY.
ALL OF OUR MATERIALS, UH, DIRECT PEOPLE TO BRING THEM TO STUDENT LIFE.
BECAUSE WE'RE ONE OF THE OFFICES THAT WILL BE OPEN MOST,
SO THAT'S WHERE WE WANT TO RECEIVE THAT.
HOWEVER, WE HAVE HEARD FROM OFFICES THAT ARE ACCEPTING THEM IN THEIR LOCATION,
JUST GIVING US A SHOUT WHEN WE CAN COME PICK THEM UP.
SO, WE'D LIKE TO HAVE EVERYBODY BRING THEM TO A CENTRAL LOCATION,
BUT WE'LL BE FLEXIBLE IN COLLECTING FROM OTHER LOCATIONS AS WELL, SO YEAH.
>> GOOD... HOPE SO, THANKS.
>> ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
SORRY, I DON'T KNOW THE EXACT DETAILS.
>> NO QUESTIONS?
OKAY. >> OKAY, THANK YOU, GUYS!
>> THANK YOU, TONJA.
>> NEXT TODAY IS THE GRCC FOUNDATION UPDATE
WITH DR. ANDY BOWNE.
>> GOOD EVENING, CHAIRPERSON VERBURG, TRUSTEES, AND PRESIDENT ENDER.
WE'VE HAD A SOLID END TO THE YEAR FOR 2011
FOR THE GRCC FOUNDATION.
I AM VERY PLEASED TO REPORT THAT WE HAD THE LARGEST YEAR-END GIVING
IN OUR HISTORY.
TYPICALLY, WE WOULD SEE YEAR-END GIFTS IN THE $28- TO $30,000 RANGE.
THIS YEAR, YEAR-END GIVING EXCEEDED $58,000,
THANKS TO SOME INCREDIBLE DONORS IN THIS ROOM
AND ACROSS OUR COMMUNITY.
SO, WE'RE VERY PLEASED WITH THAT YEAR-END GIVING.
SECONDLY, WE TRIED SOMETHING NEW THIS YEAR
AND THAT WAS OUR ANNUAL REPORT BY SENDING OUT POSTCARDS
AND ALLOWING PEOPLE TO SEE IT ONLINE.
IT WAS OUR HOPE TO ALIGN WITH THE INSTITUTIONAL VALUES
AROUND SUSTAINABILITY AND SO FORTH.
THERE WAS A DOWNSIDE TO THIS--
AND WE KNOW THAT OTHER FOUNDATIONS EXPERIENCED THIS--
THAT WITH JUST AN ELECTRONIC OPTION,
SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON'T READ YOUR REPORT.
AND SO, WE'VE HAD A NUMBER OF FOLKS SUGGEST--
AND WE'VE MADE A DECISION, WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE--
TO SEND OUR ANNUAL REPORT OUT BY MAIL.
SO, THOSE ARE IN THE MAIL, AS WE SPEAK.
AND OUR DONORS WILL BE GETTING THEIR REPORT IN THE DAYS TO COME.
THIRD ON MY LIST, "CREATING CONNECTIONS."
YOU HAVE AN INVITATION AT YOUR SEATS--
THIS EVENING, YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED ONE IN THE MAIL.
"CREATING CONNECTIONS" IS AN EVENT THAT WE HOLD WITH DONORS.
THE LEAD DONOR FOR EACH OF OUR SCHOLARSHIPS
AND THE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS.
IT'S A CHANCE FOR DONORS AND STUDENTS WHO RECEIVE THEIR SCHOLARSHIPS
TO CONNECT AND TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP BEYOND JUST THE SCHOLARSHIP,
AND WE'VE HAD TREMENDOUS SUCCESS WITH THAT EVENT OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS,
AND ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT ON FEBRUARY 23rd.
AND THEN, FINALLY, IT WOULD BE OUR HOPE THAT, FOR THE MARCH BOARD MEETING,
WE COULD BRING TO YOU AN UPDATE ON OUR STRATEGIC PLAN,
WHICH ALIGNS VERY NICELY TO THE COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN,
FOCUSING ON THE NEEDS THAT WE HAVE AS AN INSTITUTION,
NEEDS THAT OUR STUDENTS HAVE,
AND HOW WE CAN RESPOND BEST TO THOSE, AS A FOUNDATION.
SO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. >> THANK YOU.
NEXT IS THE BOARD CHAIR UPDATE,
AND THERE'S ONE ITEM I WANT TO MENTION--
THE GIANTS BANQUET IS THIS SATURDAY,
JANUARY 28th, AT 6:00 P.M.
IT'S BEEN A LONG-TIME EVENT IN THE GRAND RAPIDS AREA,
HONORING AFRICAN-AMERICAN--
AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE COMMUNITY THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
AND I JUST WANT TO MENTION THAT-- THIS SATURDAY.
UM, ALSO, WE HAVE A DUTY EVERY YEAR TO--
THE CHAIRPERSON DOES--
TO APPOINT AN AD HOC COMMITTEE FOR THE PRESIDENT'S EVALUATION AND COMPENSATION.
AND I WILL SERVE AS THE CHAIR OF THAT COMMITTEE,
AND TRUSTEE JAMES AND TRUSTEE RYSKAMP
HAVE ACCEPTED APPOINTMENT TO THAT COMMITTEE.
AND THAT'S ALL I HAVE, AS FAR AS MY BOARD SHARE UPDATE.
AND NOW, IT'S TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT'S UPDATE.
>> I DON'T HAVE A LENGTHY UPDATE THIS EVENING.
I HAD PLANNED TO FOCUS MY COMMENTS
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BOARD VOTE TONIGHT,
ALLOWING THE COLLEGE TO PLACE THE QUESTION OF THE BOND REFERENDUM--
THE .35 MILL INCREASE FOR 20 YEARS-- ON THE MAY ELECTION.
I WILL SAY TO MY BOARD COLLEAGUES
THAT I THINK IT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VOTES THAT YOU WILL TAKE
DURING MY TENURE HERE AS PRESIDENT OF GRCC.
WE HAVE ACQUIRED...
A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF NEED AT THIS INSTITUTION
IN THAT PAST MANY YEARS-- WHEN YOU HAVE BUILDINGS
THAT WERE BUILT IN THE '20s AND '30s UP UNTIL NOW--
THAT WILL NOT BE SOLVED
BY COST-CUTTING, PROGRAM-CUTTING,
OR ANY SOON TO BE RELIEF
IN OUR RETIREMENT COSTS AT THE INSTITUTION.
THIS INSTITUTION, SINCE I HAVE BEEN HERE,
HAS RESPONDED TO COMMUNITY NEEDS
IN WAYS THAT, I THINK, ARE QUITE HEROIC,
ON THE PART OF OUR FACULTY AND STAFF, TAKING 3,000 MORE STUDENTS
IN A TWO AND A HALF YEAR TIME PERIOD,
EDUCATING NOW ONE OUT OF THREE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
LEAVING THE HIGH SCHOOLS IN KENT COUNTY, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE,
CHRISTIAN OR NON-CHRISTIAN, HOME-SCHOOL-- BEGIN THEIR COLLEGE CAREER AT GRCC.
IT'S REALLY INTERESTING.
OUR REACH IS FAR GREATER
THAN THE 33,000 STUDENTS WE WORK WITH IN THE CLASSROOM.
I HAD A REPORT TODAY FROM OUR I.T. FOLKS
AND, YOU KNOW, WE RUN A LITTLE THING AROUND HERE CALLED "YOUTUBE,"
WHERE WE HAVE YOUTUBE CLIPS THAT HIGHLIGHT THE WORK OF OUR FACULTY AND STAFF.
OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL JUST SURPASSED THE MILLION VIEWER MARK
WITH 1,120,000 VIEWS,
AND LET ME READ WHAT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING.
140,000 VIEWS
WAS ON L.E.E.D. HOME S.I.P. CONSTRUCTION.
THIS WAS POSTED BY OUR CONSTRUCTION TRADE STUDENTS,
WHICH DEMONSTRATED METHODS
FOR ASSEMBLING STRUCTURAL, INSULATED PANELS, METAL ROOFING,
AND OTHER BEST PRACTICES IN GREEN HOME CONSTRUCTION.
IN OUR BUSINESS DEPARTMENT-- IN BUSINESS LAW, UH,
GARRET BRAND HAS PROVIDED AN OVERVIEW
OF HIS SPECIALTY WITH 70,000 VIEWS.
IN OUR MUSIC DEPARTMENT,
BRAIN MORRIS HAS HAD 44,000 VIEWS
AS HE TALKS ABOUT HOW YOU CONSTRUCT A GUITAR.
IN THE PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT, PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR FRANK CONNER
HAS 32,000 VIEWS ON "THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LOVE."
GREG FORBES, "NATURE OR NURTURE--
"GENES, ENVIRONMENT, AND FREE-WILL AFFECTING HUMAN BEHAVIOR," 19,800 VIEWS,
AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON.
YOU CANNOT BEGIN TO PUT A VALUE
OF THE IMPACT OF THIS INSTITUTION ON KENT COUNTY
AND THIS REGION.
AND IT'S JUST NOT AS SIMPLE AS COUNTING NUMBERS.
WE HAVE A DEMONSTRATED IMPACT ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,
ON WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT,
ON THE EDUCATION OF STUDENTS THAT WANT TO START HERE
AND MOVE ON TO A FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION,
OF STUDENTS THAT ARE WORKING IN OUR TRADE AREAS
ON CLOCK-HOUR PROGRAMS,
RATHER THAN CREDIT-HOUR PROGRAMS.
AND WE DO THIS, QUITE FRANKLY, AT A MILLAGE RATE
THAT IS LESS THAN THE STATE AVERAGE,
AND WE ARE DOING THIS IN AN ENVIRONMENT
WHERE WE SEE OUR REVENUE STREAMS GOING DOWN,
AND TRYING OUR VERY BEST, AS A BOARD, TO KEEP TUITION RATES REASONABLE,
SO THAT A PELL GRANT STUDENT CAN HAVE THE COST OF HIS OR HER EDUCATION
SUPPORTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
WE ARE WORKING WITH OUR STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS--
WE'VE BEEN WORKING WITH THOSE SINCE THE DAY I ARRIVED AT THIS INSTITUTION.
I BELIEVE THE BOARD HAS DONE VERY GOOD WORK
IN THE AREA OF COMPENSATION
AS WE'VE LOOKED AT OUR COMPENSATION PATTERNS
AND WHAT WE PAY PEOPLE TO DO JOBS.
THAT'S ONE PART OF THIS EQUATION OF SUSTAINABILITY,
BUT THIS PHYSICAL PLANT IS A HUGE PART OF THIS EQUATION OF SUSTAINABILITY,
AS WE THINK ABOUT THE NEXT 100 YEARS AT THIS INSTITUTION.
I AM VERY PROUD OF OUR FACILITIES GROUP AND OUR I.T. GROUP,
THAT WE CAN POST ON OUR WEBPAGE FOR THE TAX PAYER TO GO IN
AND EXAMINE EVERY COST ASSOCIATED
WITH THIS $98.7 MILLION IN TAX MONEY
THAT WE SO DESPERATELY NEED.
WE HAVE TRIED, TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY,
TO KEEP THIS MILLAGE AS MODEST AS POSSIBLE.
NO TAX IS A GOOD TAX,
BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE GREATER GOOD IS WORTH THE TAX,
AND I BELIEVE THIS IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES.
I WILL APPEAL TO ALL OF YOU,
AS I HAVE BEEN DOING NOW FOR THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS,
TO CAREFULLY THINK ABOUT THE VOTE YOU'RE GONNA TAKE TONIGHT,
BECAUSE I DO THINK WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY RIGHT THIS SHIP
AND CREATE A BASELINE THAT WE CAN SUSTAIN, GOING FORWARD.
THIS IS MONEY THAT WOULD BE WELL-SPENT BY GOOD STEWARDS,
FOR KENT COUNTY TAX PAYERS.
THANK YOU.
>> "COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS."
NOW, IT'S TIME FOR THE OPEN COMMENT PORTION OF OUR MEETING, AGAIN.
IF YOU HAVE ANY ITEMS YOU'D LIKE TO ADDRESS TO THE BOARD,
PLEASE COME TO THE PODIUM, STATE YOUR NAME, AND SIGN IN.
I REMIND YOU THAT ALL COMMENTS ARE LIMITED TO THREE MINUTES,
AND THE BOARD WILL NOT RESPOND TO YOUR ITEM AT THIS TIME.
>> GOOD EVENING, MY NAME IS KEITH VAN HOLLANDER.
I'M A CITIZEN OF KENT COUNTY.
THIS IS ONE OF THE FIRST TIMES I'VE ATT--
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE ATTENDED A GRCC BOARD MEETING,
AND I ATTENDED BECAUSE I HEARD ON THE RADIO TODAY
ABOUT THE DISCUSSION REGARDING THE MILLAGE
THAT WAS GONNA BE PLACED BEFORE THE BOARD TODAY.
AND, UH, QUITE FRANKLY, AFTER LISTENING TO THE DISCUSSION SO FAR,
I APPLAUD DR. RYSKAMP FOR THE HOMEWORK HE'S DONE
IN LOOKING UP THESE REPORTS...
AND FINDING THIS INFORMATION.
AND THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT CONCERN THAT THIS INFORMATION
SHOULD HAVE BEEN MAYBE SHARED AHEAD OF TIME
AND OTHERS SHOULD HAVE HAD THE CHANCE--
I WOULD COUNTER THAT, AS BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED BY THIS COMMUNITY
TO DO YOUR BEST TO REPRESENT ALL OF US,
THE TAX PAYERS WITH THE MONEY THAT IS GIVEN,
THAT I'M SURPRISED THAT ALL OF YOU HAVEN'T DONE THIS HOMEWORK ALREADY...
AND THAT THIS INFORMATION WOULD BE ANY SURPRISE TO YOU.
WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT $100 MILLION OF OUR TAX PAYER MONEY,
I WOULD EXPECT THAT YOU WOULD HAVE DONE ALL THE NECESSARY DUE DILIGENCE
IN YOUR POWER TO HAVE LOOKED THROUGH EVERY STONE
AND TURNED OVER EVERY STONE TO MAKE SURE THAT IT'S NECESSARY
TO COME TO US IN AN ECONOMIC TIME LIKE THIS
AND ASK US TO BEAR MORE OF THE COST.
ONE OF THE SPEAKERS THAT SPOKE EARLIER MENTIONED THAT, "WELL, IT'S ONLY $26,"
AND I'M NOT SURE-- I'M ASSUMING HE'S PROBABLY BASING THAT ON $100,000 HOME,
WHICH IS USUALLY WHAT YOU USE IN RELATION TO THAT NUMBER.
YES, IT MAY ONLY BE $26 AND SOME CHANGE.
BUT THAT'S WHAT THE RAPID ASKED US FOR,
AND THAT'S WHAT THE KENTWOOD FIRE DEPARTMENT JUST ASKED US FOR
IN THEIR MILLAGE.
AND SO, LET'S ADD THESE THINGS ON AND ON AND ON AND ON,
AND WE HAVE WHAT?
RECORD NUMBERS OF FORECLOSURES GOING ON RIGHT NOW,
PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD TO STAY IN THEIR HOME,
AND YOU'RE COMING TO US, ASKING US TO GIVE MORE OF OUR TAX PAYER DOLLARS TO YOU
TO HELP THE COLLEGE.
AND IN WALKING IN TODAY, I DO NOT DISAGREE THAT THIS FACILITY NEEDS SOME WORK.
THERE'S OBVIOUS SIGNS WHERE IMPROVEMENTS COULD BE MADE.
AND I DON'T NECESSARILY EVEN QUESTION
WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE A MILLAGE PUT FORTH BEFORE THE VOTERS.
I DO, CERTAINLY, QUESTION RUSHING IT ONTO THE MAY BALLOT.
I DO, CERTAINLY, QUESTION THE EXTRA $250,000 THAT'S BEING SPENT.
IT MAY NOT SEEM LIKE A LOT IN RELATION TO SOME OF THESE BOND INTEREST RATES
AND THINGS THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT,
BUT TO THE AVERAGE TAX PAYER, LIKE MYSELF, $250 WOULD BE A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY,
IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE
THAT MAKE OVER THAT AMOUNT-- IT'S VERY SMALL.
AND, UH...
SO, I THINK THAT TO RUSH INTO THIS,
AND SELF-ADMITTEDLY ALMOST SAYING THAT THE INFORMATION
THAT DR. RYSKAMP IS GONNA SHARE WITH YOU
MAY NOT BE SOMETHING YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH.
IT APPALLS ME, BECAUSE I'M CONCERNED
AS TO WHETHER YOU'VE DONE ALL THE DUE DILIGENCE POSSIBLE
TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE NOT ASKING US FOR MONEY THAT'S NOT NECESSARY
AND THAT THERE'S NO OTHER PLACE THIS MONEY COULD COME FROM.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU, YES, HAVE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE MILLAGE.
YES, CONSIDER IT.
BUT I WOULD ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU--
CONSIDER PUTTING IT ON THE BALLOT WHERE MOST OF US PARTICIPATE,
WHICH IS IN THE FALL.
THERE'S SUCH A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE THAT PARTICIPATE IN THE MAY ELECTIONS.
I'VE SEEN THIS YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR--
I'M A PRECINCT DELEGATE, AND I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING ELECTIONS.
AND IT WOULD SEEM THAT THIS WOULD BE MORE OF A STEALTH ELECTION, ALMOST--
GET IT IN ON A BALLOT WHERE FEW PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION, FEW PEOPLE VOTE.
LET'S DO IT WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE HAVE THEIR VOICE,
WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE ARE VOTING.
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT THAT PEOPLE DON'T VOTE IN MAY.
BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY
HEARD THE LOUDEST AND THE CLEAREST,
PUT IT ON THE BALLOT WHERE MOST OF THE PEOPLE ARE GONNA SPEAK TO IT...
AND DO THE DUE DILIGENCE, LOOK AT THE REPORTS,
WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE THOSE RESULTS.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. >> THANK YOU, SIR.
>> WHAT WAS HIS NAME?
DID HE SIGN IN? >> KEITH VAN HOLLANDER.
>> OKAY, ANY OTHER COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC?
SEEING NONE.
I HAVE A COMMUNICATION HERE THAT I WOULD--
TO THE BOARD, THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE.
DATED JANUARY OF 2012,
AND THIS IS FROM SECRETARY--
BOARD SECRETARY, MARGO ANDERSON.
"DR. AND MRS. ENDER, KATHY MULLINS, ALL MY FELLOW TRUSTEES,
"ELAINE AND ALL THE GRCC FAMILY,
"WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS MY THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT.
"THE PLANT, CARDS, PHONE CALLS, AND ALL ACTS OF KINDNESS
"DURING THE LOSS OF MY DEAR SISTER, JONINE."
AND THE FINAL COMMENT, "I LOVE YOU ALL, FROM MARGO."
AND THAT WAS A COMMUNICATION THAT-- FOR THE BOARD, FROM MARGO,
AND THIS TIME, I'LL ASK-- >> (indistinct speaking).
>> YEAH, MARGO HAS SOME COMMUNICATIONS.
I'LL TURN IT OVER TO MARGO AT THIS POINT.
>> "DEAR DR. ENDER AND MEMBERS OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
"BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
"I AM WRITING TO EXPRESS MY PERSONAL SUPPORT
"TO GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOND REQUEST,
"AND TO INFORM YOU THAT...
"I WILL BE ASKING THE GRAND RAPIDS BOARD OF EDUCATION
"TO CONSIDER TAKING A POSITION IN SUPPORT OF THIS, AS WELL.
"GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
"IS ONE OF OUR COMMUNITY'S MOST VALUABLE ASSETS,
"AND IS MORE THAN DESERVING OF THE SUPPORT NECESSARY
"TO IMPROVE THE EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES FOR IMPROVED TEACHING AND LEARNING.
"WHILE I CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THAT THE BOND REQUEST
"IS FOR FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS,
"FOR MAJOR RENOVATIONS,
"AS WELL AS ESSENTIAL WARM, SAFE, AND DRY PROJECTS,
"BUT I BELIEVE THAT THIS ISSUE AND THIS VOTE
"IS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN THAT.
"THIS ISSUE IS ABOUT THE VITAL ROLE
"THAT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE PLAYS
"AS AN ECONOMIC AND EDUCATIONAL DRIVER FOR OUR REGION,
"AND THE NEED FOR OUR COMMUNITY TO MAKE A COLLECTIVE INVESTMENT
"IN THE FUTURE OF OUR REGION.
"IT'S ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT,
"AND PREPARING OUR STUDENTS AND WORKERS TO COMPETE IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY.
"IT'S ABOUT ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS,
"YOUNG AND OLD.
"OUR STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND EVEN STAFF MEMBERS
"COUNT ON GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE AS A PATHWAY TO HIGHER EDUCATION,
"FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION,
"AND FOR RETAINING FOR THE JOBS OF THE 21st CENTURY.
"IN FACT, NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF ALL GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOL GRADUATES
"ENROLL AT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
"THE INVESTMENT OF $26 PER YEAR FOR THE AVERAGE TAX PAYER IN KENT COUNTY
"PALES IN COMPARISON TO THE TREMENDOUS ECONOMIC IMPACT
"AND RETURN ON INVESTMENT THAT COMES FROM THE VALUABLE SERVICES
"THAT GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROVIDES
"FOR THE CITIZENS OF OUR COMMUNITY.
"YOU, YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM,
"AND THE GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE TRUSTEES
"ARE TO BE COMMENDED FOR BEING GOOD FISCAL STEWARDS
"DURING DIFFICULT ECONOMIC TIMES,
"AND ALSO KEEPING THE FOCUS OF ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE EDUCATION
"THAT POSITIONS STUDENTS AND WORKERS FOR THE DEMANDS OF A GLOBAL ECONOMY.
"YOU CERTAINLY HAVE MY SUPPORT.
"SINCERELY, TERESA WEATHERALL NEAL,
"INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS,
"GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS."
MY NEXT LETTER IS FROM CASCADE ENGINEERING.
"DEAR TRUSTEES, I AM PLEASED TO ADD MY VOICE IN SUPPORT
"OF THE MILLAGE CAMPAIGN FOR GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
"AND ITS BUILDING AND TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE.
"THE BACKING OF THIS MILLAGE IS TRULY AN INVESTMENT
"IN THE COMMUNITY'S ABILITY TO ATTRACT, TRAIN, AND EMPLOY
"THE BEST TALENT IN WEST MICHIGAN.
"GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S EXCELLENT PROGRAMS
"PRODUCE HIGHLY CAPABLE PEOPLE,
"WHO HELP TO DRIVE ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENT
"AND KEEP OUR REGION STRONG AND PROSPEROUS.
"CASCADE ENGINEERING HAS BENEFITTED DIRECTLY
"FROM GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S INNOVATIVE PLASTICS MANUFACTURING PROGRAM,
"WHICH HAS PROVIDED US WITH EXCEPTIONAL TALENT--
"PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ONLY HELP--
"PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT ONLY HELPED US TO RETAIN COMPETITIVE--
"REMAIN COMPETITIVE, BUT HAVE PUSHED US TO GREATER ACHIEVEMENTS.
"OURS IS JUST ONE OF MANY WEST MICHIGAN COMPANIES
"WHO RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S TARGETED TRAINING
"AND UNDERSTAND THE WISDOM OF SUPPORTING CONTINUED INVESTMENT IN IT.
"FURTHERMORE, GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S VALUE
"TO THE WEST MICHIGAN BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS OUTSTANDING.
"WHEN I CHAIRED THE FUNDRAISING DRIVE
"FOR THE APPLIED TECHNOLOGY CENTER IN THE 1980s,
"I RECOGNIZE HOW...
"YOUR QUALITY FACILITIES, EQUIPPED WITH THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY,
"WERE HELPING TO PREPARE US FOR THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21st CENTURY.
"NOW, YOU ARE HELPING US TO LEAD THE WAY AS 21st CENTURY INNOVATORS,
"AND TO PREPARE FOR EVEN GREATER CHALLENGES AHEAD.
"ON BEHALF OF THE CASCADE ENGINEERING FAMILY OF COMPANIES,
"I WISH YOU SUCCESS IN THE MILLAGE CAMPAIGN
"AND URGE THOSE THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY TO JOIN IN SUPPORTING THIS EFFORT.
"KIND REGARDS, FRED KELLER, CHAIRMAN, C.E.O., CASCADE ENGINEERING."
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...
"DEAR STEVE AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES,
"I WANTED TO REITERATE SOMETHING TO YOU THAT WE HAVE DISCUSSED MANY TIMES
"AT 'THE RIGHT PLACE' AND WITH YOU AND YOUR TEAM.
"AS REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION FOR NEARLY 27 YEARS,
"WE HAVE HAD, IN GRCC, A VERY STRONG AND CRITICAL PARTNER
"FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.
"THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT,
"AND THUS, THE ROLE OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
"IN OUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS,
"HAS INCREASED EXPONENTIALLY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS.
"THIS-- THIS-- THE SEARCH FOR TALENT,
"FROM THE TECHNICALLY-TRAINED WORKER TO THE PhD,
"IS NOW ONE OF THE KEY DRIVERS OF COMPANY EXPANSIONS AND NEW LOCATIONS.
"COMPANIES ALREADY HERE AND THOSE SEEKING NEW LOCATIONS
"ARE COMPETING GLOBALLY.
"THIS MEANS THAT A GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE WORKFORCE IS KEY TO THEIR SUCCESS,
"AND THUS, OUR REGION'S SUCCESS.
"THIS MEANS THAT OUR COMMUNITY COLLEGE
"MUST REMAIN COMPETITIVE AND LEADING-EDGE, AS WELL.
"THIS INCLUDES A BOARD THAT IS FORWARD-LEANING,
"A FACILITY THAT UNDERSTANDS GLOBAL COMPETITIVE ISSUES,
"AND FACILITIES THAT ARE WORLD CLASS.
"ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IS TRULY A TEAM EFFORT.
"THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTNERSHIP TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE.
"SINCERELY, BIRGIT KLOHS,
"PRESIDENT, C.E.O., OF 'THE RIGHT PLACE.'"
THAT CONCLUDES MY COMMUNICATIONS. >> THANK YOU, TRUSTEE.
NOW'S THE TIME WE MOVE TO THE CONSENT ITEMS.
MAY I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE CONSENT ITEMS AS PRESENTED?
>> SO MOVED.
>> ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY "AYE." >> (all) AYE.
>> THOSE OPPOSED? (silence)
MOTION CARRIES.
OUR NEXT ITEM IS THE ACTION ITEMS-- PURCHASING ITEMS OVER $100,000.
THERE'S NONE AT THIS TIME.
AND AT THIS POINT,
WE CONSIDER
THE MAY 8th, 2012, BALLOT QUESTION.
AND AT THIS POINT, I'LL TURN THE MEETING OVER TO PRESIDENT ENDER.
>> AND I'D LIKE TO INVITE VICE PRESIDENT FREIBURGER TO THE PODIUM
THAT WILL, AGAIN, OVERVIEW THE PROJECT...
AND THE ACTUAL BALLOT QUESTION
THAT WOULD GO TO KENT COUNTY VOTERS IN MAY.
LISA? >> AND GOOD EVENING.
I DO HAVE A VERY BRIEF PRESENTATION.
WE'LL GO THROUGH IT VERY QUICKLY, BUT IF YOU'VE GOT QUESTIONS--
MUCH OF THIS INFORMATION YOU HAVE SEEN BEFORE--
BUT WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW IT ONE MORE TIME
BEFORE YOU CONSIDERED... THE QUESTION.
FIRST, AGAIN, WE'VE BEEN THROUGH THIS SEVERAL TIMES,
BUT THE RECOMMENDATION FOR THE BOND ISSUE IS, IN TOTAL, $98.6 MILLION.
IT INCORPORATES THREE BIG PROJECTS--
OUR MAIN BUILDING, OUR MUSIC BUILDING, AND OUR PRE-SCHOOL FACILITY.
IT INCLUDES MANY OTHER BUILDING RENOVATIONS.
WE'VE TALKED BEFORE.
THESE ARE ALL VERY DETAILED
AND HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE IN A PROJECT BY PROJECT LEVEL.
THEY ARE PRIMARILY LOOKING AT BUILDING RENOVATIONS
THAT HELP US KEEP OUR FACILITIES WARM, SAFE, AND DRY, IF YOU WILL...
AS WELL AS PROJECTS LIKE ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS, HEATING,
H.V.A.C. SYSTEM, ROOF AND BOILER REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENT,
UM, THAT BRING A RETURN ON INVESTMENT AND WILL,
IN TURN, HELP US REMAIN SUSTAINABLE AND LOWER THOSE ENERGY COSTS.
AND THEN, FINALLY, PROJECTS THAT WILL IMPROVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
IN OUR CLASSROOMS.
THERE ARE NO EXTRANEOUS EXTRA PROJECTS INCLUDED IN THOSE,
AND THEN, AGAIN, THE DETAIL HAS BEEN PROVIDED.
FINALLY, WE HAVE TECHNOLOGY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $22.7 MILLION.
AS WE HAVE SHARED EARLIER, MUCH OF THAT IS REPLACEMENT-- ON A REPLACEMENT CYCLE--
TO KEEP OUR INSTRUCTIONAL AND FACULTY-STAFF TECHNOLOGY CURRENT,
AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE NEXT EIGHT TO TEN YEARS.
FINALLY, SOME BOND ISSUANCE COSTS,
WHICH ARE VERY TYPICAL WITH A BOND ISSUE OF THAT MAGNITUDE,
DOWN TO THE $98.6 MILLION.
WE HAVE SEEN THOSE CATEGORIES-- GOOD INVESTMENT,
IMPROVED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, WARM, SAFE, AND DRY,
AND OUR MAJOR RENOVATIONS.
WE HAVE TALKED AT AN ESTIMATED HOME VALUE OF $150,000,
NOT THE $100,000 THAT WAS REFERENCED EARLIER, OR A TAXABLE VALUE OF $75,000.
THE ESTIMATED AVERAGE MILLAGE, WHICH YOU'LL SEE IN A MINUTE
IN THE BOND RESOLUTION LANGUAGE, IS .35 MILLS.
THE ACTUAL LEVY, AS CALCULATED WITH PROPERTY TAX VALUES,
WILL RANGE OVER THE 20 YEAR TERM OF THE MILLAGE COLLECTION
IN THE BOND ISSUE FROM .38 TO .32 MILLS.
AND THE ESTIMATED MONTHLY COST IS $2.19.
I'D LIKE TO PAUSE FOR JUST A MOMENT AND REVIEW THE ACTUAL RESOLUTION
THAT WILL BE BEFORE YOU FOR CONSIDERATION THIS EVENING.
I BELIEVE THAT YOU ALL HAVE A COPY.
UM, DR. ENDER HAS SOME EXTRA COPIES, SHOULD ANYONE NEED ONE.
THEY WERE DISTRIBUTED AS PART OF THE BOARD PACKET LAST WEEK.
JUST A COUPLE THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THERE.
THE ACTUAL BALLOT LANGUAGE
THAT WOULD BE PENDING YOUR RECOMMENDATION
AND VOTE PUT FORTH IN MAY TO THE VOTER IS EMBEDDED IN THE RESOLUTION,
SO IT'S PART OF WHAT YOU WILL ACTUALLY BE CONSIDERING.
THE RESOLUTION ITSELF STARTS OUT WITH DESCRIBING
WHAT THE BOARD WOULD BE CONSIDERING.
THE FACT THAT IT'S NECESSARY FOR HEALTH, SAFETY, WELFARE OF THE COLLEGE
TO PURCHASE, ERECT, CONSTRUCT, REMODEL, RENOVATE, FURNISH, AND EQUIP.
MY POINT THERE IS THAT THESE DOLLARS ARE RESTRICTED
FOR ITEMS FOR WHICH WE CAN BOND.
THEY ARE RESTRICTED FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY OTHER OPERATING PURPOSES IN THE COLLEGE.
THE RESOLUTION REFERENCES THE $98.6 MILLION BOND ISSUE...
AND AUTHORIZES, IF VOTED BY QUALIFIED ELECTORS,
TO LEVY TAXES IN AMOUNT
NEEDED TO REPAY THE $98.6 MILLION.
AGAIN, WE'RE ASKING FOR PERMISSION TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A BOND ELECTION.
PROPERTY TAXES WOULD THEN BE LEVIED TO REPAY THE BOND,
COULD NOT BE USED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE.
THE MILLAGE CALCULATION AT .35 TO .38 IS CALCULATED
BASED ON ESTIMATED PROPERTY TAX VALUES.
IF PROPERTY TAX VALUES WERE TO GO UP,
THAT MILLAGE RATE WOULD COME DOWN,
BECAUSE WE ARE ONLY ABLE, BASED ON THE RESOLUTION BEFORE YOU,
TO LEVY THE AMOUNT NEEDED TO REPAY THE BOND.
IF YOU FLIP OVER TO THE SECOND PAGE,
THE ACTUAL GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BONDING PROPOSITION,
WHICH WOULD BE WHAT WOULD BE ON THE BALLOT LANGUAGE IS EMBEDDED.
AGAIN, VERY SPECIFICALLY DESCRIBING THE ITEMS
FOR WHICH PROCEEDS MAY BE USED.
AND INCORPORATING THE ESTIMATED AVERAGE MILLAGE RATE,
AS WELL AS THE FIRST-YEAR MILLAGE RATE.
CONCLUDING WITH A "YES" OR A "NO,"
AND THEN, THE RESOLUTION FOLLOWS ON THE FINAL PAGE,
WITH DIRECTIONS ON HOW THE INFORMATION
WILL BE SHARED, POSTED, AND DISTRIBUTED.
I TALKED A BIT ABOUT ELECTION DATE-- MAY OR AUGUST, SPECIFICALLY.
AS WAS SHARED EARLIER-- AS-- AS WE SHARED--
AS I SHARED IN OUR POINT-OF-VIEW-- MY POINT-OF-VIEW PAPER--
IN-- ARTICLE IN THE PAPER-- GOODNESS.
A MAY ELECTION, RATHER THAN ONE LATER, BE IT AUGUST OR NOVEMBER,
ALLOWS US, MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO MOVE FORWARD
AND ISSUE BONDS IN EITHER LATE MAY OR JUNE AND PUT THE TAX--
FIRST TAX COLLECTION ON THE TAX COLLECTION ROLES IN JULY.
THEN, WE CAN HAVE THE TAX COLLECTION PROCEEDS,
WE CAN MAKE INTEREST PAYMENTS, AND WE CAN MOVE FORWARD WITH PROJECTS.
IF WE WERE TO DELAY THAT ELECTION TO AN AUGUST OR A NOVEMBER--
SOME OTHER DATE AFTER MAY--
BECAUSE WE COLLECT PROPERTY TAXES AT THIS POINT IN TIME IN JULY,
WE WOULD THEN HAVE TO DEFER THE SELLING OF THE BONDS,
RISKING SOME INTEREST RATE FLUCTUATION,
AND POTENTIALLY DEFER CAPITAL PROJECTS STARTING
AND RISK ESCALATION IN COSTS.
JUST WANT TO CONCLUDE WITH SOME OF THE OTHER ITEMS
THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY HEARD.
CERTAINLY, WE ARE VERY FOCUSED, AS A COLLEGE,
IN MEETING EDUCATIONAL, WORKFORCE NEEDS OF KENT COUNTY AND THE ENTIRE REGION.
AS DR. ENDER REFERENCED EARLIER,
ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS
IN KENT COUNTY ARE NOW COMING TO GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
IT IS CLEAR THAT OUR AGING FACILITIES NEED SOME SIGNIFICANT WORK,
MOST SPECIFICALLY IN HEATING, AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS,
FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS, TECHNOLOGY.
WE HAVE SOME SIGNIFICANT NEEDS.
AND THEN, FINALLY, THIS BOND WOULD REPRESENT
AN INVESTMENT OF APPROXIMATELY $2-- $2.19.
WE SAW, SPECIFICALLY, SEVERAL SLIDES EARLIER FOR--
IN THE OWNER OF $150,000 HOME.
WITH THAT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS
THAT ANYONE MIGHT HAVE.
>> LISA, I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT...
WHEN WE FIRST WENT OUT FOR THIS MILLAGE,
IT WAS 1.9--
OKAY, THAT WAS IN 1991. >> OKAY.
>> NOW, IT'S DOWN TO 1.723-SOMETHING. >> CORRECT--
>> BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT THE $12 A MONTH ACTUALLY EQUATES TO,
FROM WHAT WE WERE PAYING BACK IN 1991.
ALSO, WHAT PORTION
OF THAT 1.723, RIGHT NOW-- WHATEVER THAT IS--
IS RESERVED FOR BUILDINGS?
'CAUSE I THINK IT'S SO IMPORTANT THAT BOND IS FOR BUILDINGS,
LIKE YOU SAID, AND WE CAN NOT USE IT FOR ANYTHING ELSE.
AND THAT PEOPLE WHO REALLY THINK, "OH, WE CAN DO ALL OF THESE THINGS,"
ARE REALLY MISUNDERSTANDING WHAT THAT BOND IS.
CAN YOU TELL US RIGHT NOW HOW MUCH OF THAT MILL
IS PUT INTO USAGE FOR BUILDINGS AND THAT?
>> THE BOARD HAS AUTHORIZED, OF OUR CURRENT OPERATING MILLAGE--
AND YOU ARE CORRECT, IT WAS 1.9-- DUE TO A SERIES OF HEAVY ROLLBACKS,
IT IS NOW APPROXIMATELY 1.78 MILLS THAT WE COLLECT ANNUALLY
FOR OPERATING PURPOSES.
THE BOARD, PRIOR TO MY ARRIVAL HERE,
HAS DESIGNATED .4 MILLS FOR CAPITAL ITEMS,
TO BE TRANSFERRED ANNUALLY TO MEET OUR ONGOING MAINTENANCE REPAIR,
DEFERRED MAINTENANCE ITEMS.
THAT IS AN OPERATING MILLAGE, AND THE BOARD HAS ELECTED
TO DESIGNATE .4 MILLS IN ORDER TO DO THAT.
>> AND IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THAT .4 ISN'T GOING TO COVER THE DEED--
THE CURRENT NEEDS, AS WELL AS FUTURE NEEDS, CORRECT?
>> THAT .4 IS MAKING A VERY, VERY SMALL DENT
IN A LIST OF DEFERRED MAINTENANCE THAT CONTINUES TO GROW.
THAT IS ALSO BEING USED TO HELP REPAY DEBT ON PRIOR PROJECTS
THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. >> SO, WHEN YOU TAKE MORE MONEY--
AND LET'S SAY WE WENT TO .7 OR .8-- YOU'RE ERODING THE ACADEMIC SIDE,
EVEN IF YOU WERE TO ALTER THAT .4. >> CORRECT.
THAT IS AN OPERATING MILLAGE, AND WE, AS A COLLEGE,
COUNT ON THOSE OPERATING PROCEEDS TO HELP RUN THE ENTIRE ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS,
OR HELP COVER THE ENTIRE ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS OF THE DISTRICT--
ER, OF THE COLLEGE.
IF WE WERE TO TRY TO REALLOCATE MORE OF THE 1.78 MILLS,
WE WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE TO MAKE SOME VERY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
IN PROGRAM REDUCTIONS, ELIMINATIONS, OR SOMETHING ELSE
ON THE OPERATING SIDE TO COVER THAT. >> WELL, I JUST--
>> THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH RESOURCES THERE TO GET AT THE $98.6 MILLION NEED
THAT HAS BEEN CLEARLY IDENTIFIED.
>> I JUST THINK IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO FIND OUT--
AND YOU KNOW, WE CAN TALK LATER-- WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS, OVER THE YEARS,
WE'VE ACTUALLY NOT MADE ANY INCREASES
BECAUSE IT'S GONE DOWN BECAUSE OF THE HEADLEE,
WHICH HAS ACTUALLY SAVED PEOPLE MONEY.
>> ABSOLUTELY, AND THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.
>> AND YET, OUR EXPENSES AND OUR NEEDS GO UP AND UP AND UP,
SO IF IT WERE TO REALLY EQUATE THIS,
THAT WOULD BE KIND OF AN INTERESTING FIGURE.
I MEAN, NOT EVEN $12-- >> WE CAN GET THAT FOR YOU.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 1.9 ORIGINAL MILLAGE COLLECTION
AND THE 1.78 WE ARE NOW COLLECTING.
>> AND IF I COULD INTERJECT, AND I THINK IT'S A...
TRUSTEE HANDLIN, I'M GLAD YOU BROUGHT UP
THE .4 MILL THAT WE PRESENTLY DEDICATE
TO PHYSICAL PLANT AND I.T.
SO, THAT GENERATES FOR THE COLLEGE, RIGHT NOW, ABOUT $7 MILLION A YEAR,
OF WHICH $6 MILLION
GOES TO OUR PRESENT BOND INDEBTEDNESS,
AND WE INCURRED THAT DEBT BY BUILDING THE SCIENCE BUILDING,
THE APPLIED TECH BUILDING THAT MR. KELLER REFERENCED,
AND THE PURCHASE OF THE DAVENPORT CAMPUS.
WHAT I THINK IS SO IMPORTANT IN THE WORK THAT WE ARE PROPOSING
IS THAT THAT $6 MILLION, OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS,
IS GONNA DROP DOWN TO ONE, AND THEN, ZERO.
AND IT, THEN, IS VERY ENCUMBERED ON US--
BACK TO DR. RYSKAMP'S POINT ABOUT IF WE HAD $5 MILLION MORE A YEAR.
THAT $6 MILLION HAS TO BE DEDICATED
TO THE PLANT FUND AND TO I.T.
TO SUSTAIN WHAT WILL BE A VERY STRONG, PREVENTATIVE,
AND DEFERRED MAINTENANCE PROGRAM FOR THIS INSTITUTION,
BECAUSE DR. RYSKAMP IS CORRECT.
IF WE HAD $5 TO $6 MILLION-- BECAUSE WHEN WE DO THE FIRST PROJECT HERE--
I DON'T CARE WHAT IT IS-- IT STARTS A DEFERRED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
THE DAY YOU GET IT DONE, YOU KNOW?
(chuckling) FROM THAT POINT ON.
SO, WE HAVE TO-- I MEAN, THAT'S WHY I THINK THIS--
WHEN I SAY ABOUT SUSTAINING THIS INSTITUTION
FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS,
OUR PROBLEM IS WE'RE $98 MILLION BEHIND.
THIS BOND REFERENDUM ALLOWS US TO COME BACK TO A POINT OF EQUILIBRIUM
WHERE WE CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE,
BUT IT'S ONLY AS GOOD AS WHAT WE CAN SUSTAIN.
THE PRESENT BOND PAYMENT, AS IT DROPS IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS,
THAT IS THE REPLACEMENT FUND FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THIS CAMPUS.
IT'S A GREAT QUESTION.
THANKS FOR BRINGING IT UP.
>> I HAD A QUESTION.
IT WAS ON YOUR SLIDE-- THE RECOMMENDATION BOND ISSUE.
AND BY THE WAY, I'M JEALOUS OF YOUR SLIDES.
(all chuckling)
THE LAST ITEM-- "BOND ISSUANCES AND RELATED COSTS."
I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD EXPLAIN WHAT THOSE COSTS INCLUDED.
>> THOSE ARE THE FEES ASSOCIATED WITH ISSUING BONDS.
THEY ARE NOT THE FEES ASSOCIATED WITH RUNNING AN ELECTION--
THEY ARE THE FEES ASSOCIATED WITH ISSUING THE BONDS THEMSELVES.
>> DOES IT INCLUDE INTEREST?
>> DOES IT INCLUDE INTEREST EXPENSE ON THE BONDS?
>> RIGHT. >> NO.
INTEREST EXPENSE ON THE BONDS IS BUILT INTO THE OVERALL BOND ISSUE.
>> SO, THIS IS $1.5 MILLION, BASICALLY,
THAT GOES TO...
THE PEOPLE WHO SET UP THESE BONDS AND...
BASICALLY, IT'S GONE.
>> ESTIMATED PERCENTAGE, BASED ON THE TOTAL BOND VALUE.
I DON'T, WITH ME, HAVE A BREAK-DOWN THAT IS A TYPICAL AND TRADITIONAL PERCENTAGE,
BASED ON THE VALUE OF THE BONDS.
>> SO, IT'S $1.5 MILLION UP IN SMOKE IN ADMINISTRATIVE FEES.
>> $1.5 MILLION THAT IS PAID TO PROFESSIONALS
TO ISSUE THE BONDS THEMSELVES, YES. >> OKAY.
>> YEAH, THEY DON'T SEE IT AS "UP IN SMOKE."
(all laughing) >> I'M SORRY.
>> WOULDN'T USE THOSE WORDS. >> JUST LIKE THE MEDICAL CLAUSE--
THAT'S NOT UP IN SMOKE EITHER. >> WORDS.
>> LISA, DO WE KNOW HOW MUCH--
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION ABOUT WHETHER WE SHOULD GO IN MAY
AND WHETHER WE SHOULD GO LATER IN THE YEAR.
AND I KNOW THAT YOU DID COVER THAT IN YOUR PRESENTATION.
AND ALSO, THE LETTER--
AS THE GUEST EDITOR IN THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS--
BUT COULD YOU SHARE WITH US, APPROXIMATELY--
OR DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE REALLY WOULD SAVE
OR IN THE AREA THAT WE WOULD SAVE?
BECAUSE THERE'S A PERCEPTION THAT, UM...
YOU KNOW, LIKE, WE'RE GONNA LOSE--
WE'RE GONNA SPEND MORE MONEY BY HAVING IT IN MAY.
>> THERE IS NO PERFECT ANSWER TO AN ACTUAL TIMING OF THE ELECTION.
BASED ON ALL OF THE FINANCIAL ANALYSIS THAT WE HAVE DONE,
BASED ON THE FACT THAT BOND MARKETABILITY RIGHT NOW IS VERY FAVORABLE,
WE HAVE AN ESTIMATED INTEREST RATE THAT WE HAVE BUILT INTO OUR CALCULATIONS,
TO GENERATE OUR TOTAL .35 OR .38 MILLS.
THAT HAS BEEN DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR.
IF, ON JUST THE FIRST SERIES OF THE BONDS ALONE--
BECAUSE AS WE'VE TALKED EARLIER,
WE WOULD PROBABLY ISSUE THESE IN MORE THAN ONE SERIES.
ON THE FIRST SERIES ISSUANCE OF BONDS ALONE,
IF THAT INTEREST RATE WERE TO JUMP EVEN A QUARTER OF A PERCENT
FROM WHEN WE COULD ISSUE-- AS EARLY AS LATE MAY OR EARLY JUNE--
TO SIX MONTHS TO A YEAR LATER, IF THAT VOTE WAS DELAYED--
AGAIN, BASED TO THE FACT THAT WE COLLECT PROPERTY TAXES IN JULY.
IF THAT INTEREST RATE WERE TO GO UP EVEN A QUARTER OF A PERCENT,
IT COULD COST TAX PAYERS,
OVER THE LIFE OF THAT BOND SERIES, $1.1 MILLION.
WITHOUT KNOWING WHERE WE ARE,
KNOWING THAT THE MARKET IS VERY FAVORABLE TODAY,
BASED ON OUR ANALYSIS AS WELL AS THAT FROM OUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR,
IT IS ADVISABLE TO ISSUE THOSE BONDS AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN,
IN ORDER TO MITIGATE POTENTIAL INVESTMENT RISK.
>> OKAY, THANK YOU.
>> WELL, AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT IF WE DELAY THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS
UNTIL THE WINTER OF '13--
SO THAT WE WOULD COLLECT TAXES IN THE SUMMER OF '13--
WE HAVE DELAYED PROJECTS THAT TOM WOULD HAVE STARTED
AND I.T. WOULD HAVE STARTED THIS SUMMER OF '12.
WE'VE BUILT INFLATION INTO ALL OF OUR COSTS WITH THIS--
THESE PROJECTS, BEGINNING IN THIS SUMMER.
SO, EVEN A ONE PERCENT INCREASE ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY
THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SPENDING ACROSS THIS CAMPUS
WOULD BE $980,000...
WITH INFLATION COSTS OF ONE PERCENT.
SO, WE TALK ABOUT THE LIKELIHOOD
BECAUSE WE ARE IN AN EXTREMELY FAVORABLE BOND ENVIRONMENT.
YOU KNOW, THE FINANCIAL ADVISOR WOULD SAY "SELL THEM YESTERDAY IF YOU CAN
"AND GET INTO THIS RATE."
VERY SIMILAR TO PEOPLE BUYING HOMES RIGHT NOW,
WITH THE INTEREST RATES BELOW FOUR PERCENT.
WE TRULY BELIEVE-- I MEAN, AND I THINK THE GENERAL PUBLIC
SHOULD KNOW THAT THIS COLLEGE DOES NOT TAKE $250,000 LIGHTLY.
THAT IS SERIOUS MONEY.
AND WHEN I READ IN THE PAPER FOR THE FIRST TIME
IT WAS GONNA COST US $250,000,
I SAID TO LISA, "WHY NOT AUGUST?"
SHE SAID, "STEVE, IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE.
"LET ME SHARE WHAT OUR FINANCIAL ADVISORS AND OUR BOND PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
"AND WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT INFLATION."
WE BELIEVE THAT GOING IN MAY FROM A PURE COST ANALYSIS
IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE TAX PAYER
AND THE COST OF THE PROJECTS THAT WE'RE GONNA TAKE ON.
YOU KNOW, IF INFLATION-- IT WILL.
IT'LL GO UP A PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT.
TOM WILL HAVE TO BACK SOME PROJECTS OFF OF WHAT WE HAVE SCHEDULED TO DO,
BECAUSE WE GET A FIXED AMOUNT OF MONEY OUT OF THIS BOND REFERENDUM.
>> AND I-- GO AHEAD. >> MMM-HMM.
LADIES FIRST. >> THANK YOU.
AND I JUST WANT TO REITERATE THAT, FOR OUR VIEWING AUDIENCE, LISA,
THAT THIS IS COUNTY-WIDE.
ALL OF KENT INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT COUNTIES--
NOT JUST AT GRAND RAPIDS, YOU KNOW-- >> YES.
WE CERTAINLY SERVE COUNTY-WIDE AND BEYOND,
AND THIS WOULD BE A COUNTY-WIDE ELECTION. >> OH, THANK YOU.
>> THAT WAS GONNA BE MY FIRST COMMENT.
(laughing) THAT IT'S COUNTY-WIDE.
>> MY QUESTION WAS...
WHAT INTEREST RATE ARE YOU ASSUMING THAT YOU...?
>> FIVE PERCENT IS BUILT INTO THE CALCULATIONS,
BASED, AGAIN, ON ADVICE FROM OUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR.
>> OKAY.
UM...
WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO TELL US HOW MUCH INTEREST WILL BE PAID ON THIS BOND--
HOW MUCH OF THIS BOND IS TO COVER INTEREST?
>> UM, I WOULD NEED TO LOOK THAT NUMBER UP FOR YOU.
I DON'T HAVE THAT-- AND I DON'T WANNA ESTIMATE A NUMBER LIKE THAT
OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD.
I CAN CERTAINLY GET THAT FOR YOU.
>> IT'LL PROBABLY BE TOO LATE.
(laughing) NO, IT'S NOT THAT IMPORTANT.
>> IT IS CALCULATED BASED ON A FIVE PERCENT INTEREST RATE.
>> THAT'S REALLY WHAT I NEEDED TO KNOW.
THANK YOU.
>> AT THIS TIME,
I'D LIKE TO CALL FOR A MOTION TO...
APPROVE THE RESOLUTION AS PRESENTED.
>> UH, MR. CHAIR AND TRUSTEES.
I MOVE TO THE APPROVAL OF THE RESOLUTION,
AUTHORIZING THE BONDING PROPOSAL
AS PRESENTED BY VICE PRESIDENT FREIBURGER.
>> OKAY.
IS THERE ANY DISCUSSION?
THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR BOARD MEMBERS
TO ARTICULATE WHY THEY SUPPORT OR DO NOT SUPPORT THE MOTION.
AND WHY DON'T WE START WITH TRUSTEE RYSKAMP?
>> DO WE NEED A SECOND OR NOT? >> YES.
>> WE DO NOT NEED A SECOND. >> DO NOT... OKAY.
I KEEP FORGETTING.
>> WE'LL START WITH TRUSTEE RYSKAMP.
GO AROUND THE TABLE HERE.
ANY COMMENTS.
>> OKAY, LET ME ASK FIRST, MR. CHAIRPERSON,
MAY I GIVE HANDOUTS TO ANY TRUSTEE WHO WOULD LIKE ONE?
>> I DON'T SEE WHY NOT.
>> WOULD ANY TRUSTEES LIKE ONE OF MY HANDOUTS?
>> SURE, HAND 'EM OUT. >> WHAT ARE YOU HANDING OUT?
>> A HANDOUT. (all laughing)
>> THAT'S WHY WE CALL IT A HANDOUT!
>> YOU'LL FIND OUT WHEN YOU GET IT,
AND IF YOU DON'T WANT IT, YOU CAN GIVE IT BACK.
>> OKAY, ALL RIGHT, FAIR ENOUGH, FAIR ENOUGH. (laughing)
>> ANYONE ELSE? >> YEAH, I WISH IT WAS A SLIDE.
SO, BERT, HAS THE SUN GONE DOWN THERE IN FLORIDA YET, OR WHAT'S THE DEAL?
STILL OUT-- STILL TIME TO GET OUT THERE AND GET SOME RAYS?
>> (indistinct speaking)-- THIS MEETING'S SO LONG!
(all chuckling)
>> RICH, RICH.
NO, NO, I BROUGHT THIS-- I PICKED THIS UP ON MY COMPUTER.
>> OH, OKAY. >> I MEAN, I'LL KEEP IT, BUT...
>> (indistinct speaking). >> HMM?
>> THIS ONE'S (indistinct)-- >> OKAY.
>> ALL RIGHT. >> WELL, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
>> I'M GOING TO STAND HERE.
I HOPE YOU DON'T MIND.
I LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SEE WHO I'M TALKING TO,
AND IF I SIT THERE, I HAVE TROUBLE SEEING...
YOU, FOR EXAMPLE. >> I THINK THE TRUSTEES--
THE POINT OF ORDER-- TALK TO THE OTHER TRUSTEES AT THE TABLE,
NOT FROM THE PODIUM. >> OKAY.
>> OKAY, THERE'S THREE TOPICS THAT I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT.
FIRST OF ALL, I ASK FOR YOUR INDULGENCE--
I KNOW IT'S BEEN A LONG MEETING...
AND I DO HAVE QUITE A BIT TO SAY.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE-- $100 MILLION.
IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE DISCUSS IT THOROUGHLY.
THE FIRST ISSUE IS THE BOND PROPOSAL ITSELF.
THE SECOND, OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A BOARD REGARDING THIS BOND PROPOSAL.
AND THIRD, THE DATE OF THE ELECTION.
FIRST, MY COMMENTS ON THE BOARD PROPOSAL ITSELF.
THERE'S A LOT TO LIKE IN THIS PROPOSAL.
FIRST, I LIKE THE DETAIL.
ON OUR FIRST MEETING ON THIS SUBJECT,
I QUESTIONED WHAT EXACTLY WE WOULD BE PAYING FOR.
A WEEK LATER, WE HAD ANOTHER MEETING,
AND WE RECEIVED AN INCREDIBLY DETAILED LIST
OF ITEMS AND PROJECTS AND PRICES,
AND I APPRECIATE THAT.
SECOND, I LIKE HOW THE ITEMS AND PROJECTS ON THIS LIST
ARE NECESSARY.
I CAN'T SPEAK TO EVERY DETAIL OF THIS OVERWHELMING LIST
OF PROJECTS AND PURCHASES,
BUT OVERALL, I WOULD SAY, "IT'S GOOD STUFF."
IT'S NECESSARY.
IT'S-- THEY'RE GOOD INVESTMENTS.
WE HAVE HEARD A CONVINCING CASE FOR THE NEED FOR SIGNIFICANTLY MORE FUNDS
TO BE SPENT ON OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.
THIRD, I LIKE HOW THIS PROPOSAL IS PROACTIVE.
IT LOOKS MANY YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
THIS PROPOSAL ADDRESSES OUR INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEMS
FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS.
INDEED, I MUST COMPLIMENT PRESIDENT ENDER,
BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN CHARACTERISTIC OF HIS PRESIDENCY.
HE DOESN'T LET PROBLEMS FESTER.
HE DOESN'T SWEEP ISSUES UNDER THE RUG.
HE TACKLES THEM, HEAD-ON.
THE NEXT TOPIC I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT
IS THE BOARD'S RESPONSIBILITIES.
THE PRESIDENT HAS DONE HIS JOB AND PRESENTED A WORTHY PROPOSAL TO US.
NOW, IT'S THE BOARD'S TURN.
WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO THOUGHTFULLY EVALUATE IT.
IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR US TO RUBBER-STAMP IT.
WE, THE BOARD, HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY-- A UNIQUE ROLE--
AND IT'S NOT JUST THE ROLE OF CHEERLEADER.
WE NEED TO LOOK THIS PROPOSAL OVER, IN CONTEXT,
WITH THE EYES OF THE CUSTOMERS,
THE CITIZENS WHOM WE REPRESENT.
YOU SAY, "IT'S THE PRESIDENT'S JOB TO LOOK AFTER THE COLLEGE,
"AND WE NEED TO TRUST HIM."
YES, WE DO HAVE A CAPABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PRESIDENT AND STAFF.
BUT WE, THE BOARD, REPRESENT THE CUSTOMER.
IT'S LIKE BUYING A CAR FROM A DEALER THAT YOU TRUST.
YOU STILL WANNA LOOK UNDER THE HOOD AND TAKE IT FOR A TEST DRIVE.
OUR SCRUTINY IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IN THIS MATTER,
BECAUSE THIS IS SUCH A BIG PROPOSAL.
$100 MILLION.
IT IS WORTH A THOROUGH EVALUATION, DISCUSSION.
WE NEED TO ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT DOES-- THAT IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY...
NOT NECESSARILY TO SAY "NO," BUT PERHAPS TO SAY "NOT YET...
"UNTIL WE GET ADEQUATE ANSWERS TO ALL QUESTIONS
"AND ADEQUATE EVIDENCE FOR THE NEED FOR THIS MILLAGE."
IF WE GET ADEQUATE ANSWERS AND ADEQUATE EVIDENCE,
I WILL VOTE FOR A MILLAGE.
BUT FIRST, WE NEED TO ADDRESS A VERY OBVIOUS QUESTION,
"WHY CAN'T WE PAY FOR THESE ITEMS
"OUT OF THE MONEY WE ALREADY HAVE?"
IT'S LIKE IF I KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS A BANK ACCOUNT WITH $100,000 IN IT,
AND THEY ASK ME TO GIVE THEM $5,000--
NOT LOAN, BUT GIVE THEM.
IF THEY'RE A REALLY GOOD FRIEND
AND I DON'T MIND THEM TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ME,
I MIGHT JUST GIVE IT TO THEM, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
BUT I MIGHT WANT TO ASK TWO QUESTIONS.
FIRST, "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE $5,000?
"WHAT DO YOU NEED IT FOR?"
AND THAT QUESTION HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY ANSWERED IN THE CASE OF THIS MILLAGE.
SECOND QUESTION, "WHY CAN'T YOU PAY FOR THAT ITEM,
"USING THE $100,000 THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE?"
IN THE CASE OF GRCC, WE COLLECT 36 EACH YEAR--
$36 MILLION IN PROPERTY TAXES.
WE GET $16.5 MILLION IN STATE APPROPRIATIONS.
AND WE CHARGE $54 MILLION IN TUITION.
ALTOGETHER, WE HAVE REVENUES OF MORE THAN $116 MILLION.
THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY.
WHY ISN'T IT ENOUGH?
THIS IS A QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE ANSWERED WITH EVIDENCE,
WITH DATA, WITH NUMBERS, AND CHARTS, AND GRAPHS.
AND SO FAR, I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION.
MOSTLY, I'VE HEARD, HERE TODAY AND PREVIOUSLY,
UNSUPPORTED ASSERTIONS
AND ARGUMENTS DESIGNED TO APPEAL TO A MOTION.
"IT'S ONLY $20 A YEAR."
BUT AS WE HEARD,
THAT'S $20 HERE AND $20 FOR THERE--
I THINK CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS HAD A MILLAGE,
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THE RAPID.
IT'S AS IF--
DON'T ALL THESE SMALL, INCREMENTAL TAX INCREASES ACCUMULATE?
ANOTHER-- "PUTTING MORE MONEY INTO EDUCATION
"IS ALWAYS A GOOD INVESTMENT."
WELL, ONLY IF WE INVEST IT WELL.
AND WE, AS A BOARD, WE HAVEN'T DONE A FINANCIAL PROGRAM REVIEW
OF OUR DOZENS OF PROGRAMS.
HOW ABOUT THE QUESTION OF JOBS?
"MORE EDUCATION, MORE JOBS."
WELL, THAT'S TRUE IN MANY CASES...
BUT THERE'S ALSO SOMETHING THAT'S TRUE ALWAYS,
WHICH IS THAT HIGHER TAXES STRANGLE JOBS.
"WE DO SO MUCH GOOD."
YES, WE DO.
BUT WITH $116 MILLION, ANYONE CAN DO A LOT OF GOOD.
OR, "WE NEED THE MONEY.
"OUR BUILDINGS ARE RUN-DOWN."
YES, BUT "NEED" IS A RELATIVE TERM.
HOW BADLY DO WE NEED IT?
DO WE NEED IT WORSE THAN THE TAX PAYERS WE'RE GETTING IT FROM?
AND THE OTHER QUESTION,
"WHY CAN'T WE PAY FOR THESE PROJECTS
"WITH THE MONEY THAT WE ALREADY HAVE?"
THERE IS DATA AVAILABLE THAT, I BELIEVE, IS ESSENTIAL FOR US TO LOOK AT,
TO DETERMINE WHETHER THIS MILLAGE REQUEST WOULD BE JUSTIFIED.
I GAVE YOU A HANDOUT WITH MY UNCHECKED, UNAPPROVED,
PRELIMINARY ATTEMPT TO COLLECT DATA.
THESE TABLES COMPARE US, ON A PER-STUDENT BASIS,
TO SIMILAR COMMUNITY COLLEGES--
THE 11 LARGEST COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN MICHIGAN,
OF WHICH GRCC IS THE SIXTH LARGEST.
SO, THERE ARE FIVE LARGER AND FIVE SMALLER IN THE COMPARISON.
AND THE MOST RECENT YEAR FOR WHICH THIS DATA IS AVAILABLE
IS 2009 TO '10.
I'D LIKE TO NOTE THAT THIS IS THE YEAR THAT PRESIDENT ENDER ARRIVED,
AND SO, NONE OF THIS IS HIS FAULT.
ON TABLE ONE, YOU SEE A COMPARISON OF THE COLLEGES
AND THEIR EXPENDITURE, PER STUDENT,
ON NON-COMPENSATION EXPENDITURES.
IN OTHER WORDS, INFRASTRUCTURE.
WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ON THIS MILLAGE.
YOU SEE THAT OUR EXPENDITURES ON INFRASTRUCTURE ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS.
AND ACTUALLY, YOU DON'T SEE THAT NUMBER ON THE SHEET,
BUT YOU DO SEE THAT WE ARE SECOND FROM THE BOTTOM IN...
IN THE AMOUNT OF EXPENDITURES THAT WE DO ON INFRASTRUCTURE.
AND IF YOU CALCULATE THE NUMBERS,
YOU'LL SEE THAT OUR EXPENDITURES ARE 17 PERCENT LESS
THAN THE AVERAGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
IT'S NO WONDER WE HAVE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS.
BUT WE'RE NOT DONE YET.
TABLE TWO SHOWS A COMPARISON OF THE COLLEGES AND THEIR EXPENDITURES,
ON A PER-STUDENT BASIS, FOR COMPENSATION,
WHICH IS SALARIES AND FRINGE BENEFITS.
YOU SEE THAT WE HAVE GREATER COMPENSATION EXPENDITURES,
PER STUDENT, THAN ANY OTHER COLLEGE,
ABOUT 22 PERCENT MORE.
OR AT LEAST WE DID IN 2009-'10.
TABLE THREE LOOKS AT TOTAL EXPENDITURES.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE SUM OF TABLES ONE AND TWO.
YOU'D EXPECT THAT A COLLEGE THAT NEEDS A MILLAGE INCREASE
WOULD BE STRUGGLING TO GET BY, WITH BELOW-AVERAGE EXPENDITURES.
BUT YOU SEE THAT OUR TOTAL EXPENDITURES, PER STUDENT,
ARE SECOND HIGHEST AND 14 PERCENT ABOVE AVERAGE,
IF YOU CALCULATE IT...
WHICH I'VE DONE THE CALCULATIONS ON THE THIRD PAGE.
THE LAST PAGE.
THE LAST PAGE HAS THE REFERENCES,
WHERE THE DATA COMES FROM, AND SOME COMMENTS,
INCLUDING A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT.
SUPPOSE WE TOOK HALF
OF THE EXCESS COMPENSATION EXPENDITURES--
IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT WE SPEND ON COMPENSATION
THAT EXCEEDS THE AVERAGE--
WE TAKE HALF OF THAT AND WE INVEST THAT IN INFRASTRUCTURE.
THAT WOULD MEAN AN INFUSION OF $7.9 MILLION--
AT LEAST TWO YEARS AGO.
$7.9 MILLION GOING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE,
WHICH IS MORE THAN 50 PERCENT MORE
THAN WHAT THIS MILLAGE WOULD CALL FOR.
AND WE WOULD STILL BE SPENDING 11 PERCENT MORE ON COMPENSATION,
PER STUDENT, THAN THE AVERAGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
I'M SORRY THAT THIS DATA IS TWO YEARS OLD,
BUT IT'S THE MOST RECENT I COULD FIND.
IF THERE IS BETTER COMPARISON DATA, I'M EAGER TO SEE IT.
AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING THE NUMBERS
CHECKED BY THE COLLEGE,
IN CASE I MESSED UP OR MISINTERPRETED THE DATA.
UM...
BUT IN THE MEANTIME,
I'D BE HAPPY TO LOOK AT OTHER DATA, OTHER NUMBERS.
I THINK WE NEED TO SEE NUMBERS.
AND MY QUESTION REMAINS UNANSWERED, "WHY ISN'T $116 MILLION PER YEAR ENOUGH
"TO RUN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF OUR SIZE?"
I THINK THAT THERE'S ANOTHER OBVIOUS QUESTION
THAT I HAVEN'T HEARD AN ANSWER FOR, EITHER, AND THAT IS THIS--
IT APPEARS TO ME THAT WHILE SOME OF THE PROJECTS IN THIS BOND PROPOSAL
ARE ONE-TIME, MAJOR PROJECTS,
OTHERS-- I WOULD SAY THE MAJORITY-- ARE ROUTINE MAINTENANCE TASKS
AND RECURRING PURCHASES, LIKE WINDOWS AND COMPUTERS.
WHY DO WE NEED TO BORROW MONEY
TO PAY FOR WINDOWS AND COMPUTERS?
WE DON'T BORROW MONEY FOR FREE.
THERE'S INTEREST,
AND THERE'S ALSO THE $1.5 MILLION JUST FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE FEE.
IN THE PAST, WE'VE BEEN PAYING FOR WINDOWS AND COMPUTERS
OUT OF THE GENERAL OPERATING FUND.
WHY CAN'T WE CONTINUE TO DO THIS?
IS THERE SOMETHING CONSUMING OUR GENERAL FUND BUDGET,
SO THAT WE CAN'T AFFORD WINDOWS AND COMPUTERS ANYMORE?
WHAT IS IT?
WILL IT GET WORSE?
AS A BOARD, IT'S OUR JOB TO KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE
AND TO ENSURE THAT WHAT IS NECESSARY
TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM IS BEING DONE.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IT IS THAT'S DRAINING A HOLE IN OUR BUDGET.
IF WE DON'T, PASSING THIS MILLAGE
IS JUST LIKE PUTTING AIR INTO A TIRE BEFORE MENDING THE HOLE IN IT.
IT WILL JUST GO FLAT AGAIN...
AND WE'LL RUN OUT OF MONEY AGAIN,
AND WE'LL NEED TO DO ANOTHER MILLAGE
OR DO A STIFF TUITION HIKE.
YOU'VE ALREADY HEARD MY ANSWERS TO WHAT I BELIEVE THE PROBLEM IS,
WHICH IS RETIREMENT COSTS.
THE WAY I SEE IT, THE UNDERLYING REASON FOR THIS MILLAGE
IS TO FREE UP MONEY FROM THE GENERAL OPERATING BUDGET,
SO THAT WE CAN USE MORE MONEY FROM THE GENERAL FUND
TO PAY FOR SKYROCKETING RETIREMENT COSTS.
AND AS I SAID EARLIER, I BELIEVE THERE ARE THINGS THAT WE CAN DO AND MUST DO.
I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR DISCUSSION ON THE TOPIC NEXT MONTH.
ANOTHER RESPONSIBILITY THAT WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF, AS A BOARD,
BEFORE WE ASK FOR MORE MONEY IS A FINANCIAL PROGRAM REVIEW.
I TALKED ABOUT THAT LAST MONTH.
HOW CAN WE SAY THAT WE NEED MORE MONEY
WHEN WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING, PROGRAM-BY-PROGRAM?
AND WE'VE COMPARED THE COST OF THE PROGRAMS--
EACH PROGRAM-- TO THE BENEFIT.
OUR CARVER POLICY MANUAL-- OUR CARVER POLICY GOVERNANCE BOOK...
ABOUT EFFECTIVE BOARDS, PAGE 52,
SAYS THAT THIS SHOULD BE OUR CHIEF INTEREST, EVEN OUR OBSESSION.
LIKEWISE, WE NEED TO LOOK AT ALL THE PLACES WHERE MONEY IS GOING
TO SEE IF SOME CAN BE SAVED.
I THINK WE NEED TO SOLICIT AND WELCOME SUGGESTIONS
FROM ANY INTERESTED PARTY
ON HOW TO CUT EXPENSES OR INCREASE OUR REVENUES.
THIS WOULD INCLUDE SUGGESTIONS FROM STAFF, STUDENTS, COMMUNITY MEMBERS,
AND EVEN BOARD MEMBERS.
AND I DO HAVE A LIST OF SUGGESTIONS THAT I'D BE HAPPY TO SUBMIT,
IF THE BOARD IS INTERESTED.
AND THE THIRD TOPIC IS THE ELECTION DATE.
THERE ARE THREE REASONS WHY WE SHOULD DELAY THIS ELECTION,
AND NOT HOLD IT IN MAY.
THE FIRST IS TO ALLOW US, THE BOARD, TIME TO DO OUR JOB,
THE THINGS THAT I'VE JUST SUGGESTED.
THE SECOND REASON IS THE $250,000
THAT WE HEAR WILL BE THE COST TO US
IN ORDER TO HOLD A MAY ELECTION.
THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY.
THAT'S MORE THAN $20 PER FULL-TIME STUDENT EQUIVALENT.
THAT MAY NOT SOUND LIKE A LOT OF MONEY TO US,
BUT FOR MANY OF OUR STUDENTS, THEY'RE STRUGGLING SO MUCH,
THEY'RE DEPENDENT ON OUR FOOD PANTRY.
AND FOR THEM, THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY.
WE CAN HOLD THIS ELECTION LATER THIS YEAR FOR FREE.
AND REMEMBER THAT THE $250,000
IS ONLY OUR PART OF THE EXPENSE
OF A SPECIAL ELECTION.
WE NEED TO REMEMBER
THAT WE ARE INCONVENIENCING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE,
ASKING THEM TO MAKE A SPECIAL TRIP TO THE POLLS.
THEIR TIME IS WORTH SOMETHING, TOO.
ALSO, CONSIDER THE COST OF THEIR MILEAGE
AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
OF ALL THOSE GREENHOUSE GASES EMITTED AS THEY DRIVE.
NONE OF THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR GRCC VALUE OF SUSTAINABILITY.
NEVERTHELESS, WE'RE BEING GIVEN THE RUSH ACT...
"WE HAVE TO PASS THIS MILLAGE NOW IN MAY!
"IT CAN'T WAIT UNTIL LATER IN THE YEAR!"
THE WAY I SEE IT, THE ARGUMENTS FOR THIS HOLD NO WATER.
THE TWO ARGUMENTS THAT I'VE HEARD AND SEEN IN THE PRESS EARLIER THIS MONTH...
FIRST, "INTEREST RATES MIGHT GO UP."
YES, MAYBE THEY WILL GO UP.
OR MAYBE THEY'LL GO DOWN AND WE'LL SAVE MONEY.
NO ONE KNOWS.
I FOUND THIS ARTICLE IN THE "U.S.A. TODAY."
THE QUESTION WAS ASKED, "WHERE WILL INTEREST RATES BE
"THREE TO FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?"
THE ANSWER FROM THIS EXPERT,
"THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS I JUST CAN'T ANSWER,
"AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM."
HE GOES ON TO SAY, "ACCURATELY PREDICTING WHERE INTEREST RATES WILL BE
"ONE MONTH OR ONE YEAR FROM NOW, MUCH LESS FIVE YEARS FROM NOW,
"IS SO COMPLEX, I'D SAY IT'S IMPOSSIBLE."
AND THEN...
SEVERAL WELL-KNOWN BOND MUTUAL FUND MANAGERS
HAVE TOLD ME THAT TRYING TO PREDICT INTEREST RATES IS SO DIFFICULT,
IT'S ALMOST NOT WORTH THE EFFORT.
NO ONE CAN PREDICT WHETHER INTEREST RATES WILL GO UP OR DOWN.
THE OTHER ARGUMENT
FOR RUSHING THIS PROPOSAL ONTO THE BALLOT IN MAY
IS THAT THE PRICE OF ALL THESE PROJECTS MAY GO UP BECAUSE OF INFLATION.
YES, THE PRICE CERTAINLY WILL GO UP WITH INFLATION,
BUT THAT'S NO BIG DEAL.
IF THE PRICES ARE HIGHER A YEAR LATER,
IT'S BECAUSE MONEY IS LESS VALUABLE BECAUSE THERE IS MORE OF IT.
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DOLLARS INVOLVED IS HIGHER...
AND WE MIGHT NEED TO ASK FOR $101 MILLION INSTEAD OF $100 MILLION.
BUT THE TRUE PRICE FOR MILLAGE-- OF THE MILLAGE-- IS THE SAME.
IF YOU BELIEVE THIS ARGUMENT,
THAT YOU NEED TO BUY THINGS NOW BEFORE THE PRICE GOES UP,
YOU'LL GO OUT AND BUY YOUR GROCERIES FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW,
BECAUSE I CAN GUARANTEE YOU, THE PRICE OF THE GROCERIES WILL GO UP
SEVERAL YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
SO, THERE ARE REALLY NO VALID FINANCIAL REASONS
TO FEEL RUSHED INTO THIS MILLAGE.
WE DO HAVE TIME TO DO OUR DUE DILIGENCE, PROGRAM REVIEW, ETCETERA.
MAYBE WE'LL CONCLUDE THAT WE DON'T NEED THE MILLAGE,
AND WE'LL SAVE THAT $1.5 MILLION IN ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS
AND THE FIVE PERCENT INTEREST.
OR MAYBE WE'LL FIND THAT WE DON'T NEED AS MUCH.
LET ME GIVE YOU ANOTHER REASON
FOR NOT HOLDING THIS ELECTION IN MAY-- VOTER TURNOUT.
WHAT KIND OF VOTER TURNOUT CAN WE EXPECT IN A MAY ELECTION?
ABOUT 15 PERCENT.
WHAT KIND OF TURNOUT CAN WE EXPECT IN A NOVEMBER ELECTION?
ABOUT 70 PERCENT.
THAT'S MORE THAN FOUR TIMES AS HIGH.
WHAT'S BETTER?
A MINISCULE VOTER TURNOUT...
OR A ROBUST VOTER TURNOUT?
WELL, IF YOU ONLY WANT CERTAIN PEOPLE TO VOTE, YOU HOLD THE ELECTION IN MAY.
YOU MAY SAY, "IF THOSE OTHER PEOPLE DON'T CARE ENOUGH TO VOTE,
"THEY DON'T DESERVE TO HAVE A VOICE."
LET ME TELL YOU, MOST PEOPLE WHO MISS THE ELECTIONS
DON'T DO SO BECAUSE OF APATHY.
THEY DO SO BECAUSE THEY HAVE BUSY LIVES
AND THEY ARE STRUGGLING TO TAKE CARE OF FAMILY AND TO MAKE ENDS MEET.
THEY DON'T HAVE THE LEISURE TO FOLLOW THE LOCAL NEWS CLOSELY.
THEY ARE DELUGED WITH NEWS
ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FOR YEARS IN ADVANCE.
AND SO, THEY ARE EXPECTING THE NOVEMBER ELECTION,
AND WHEN IT COMES, THEY'RE READY AND THEY'VE DONE THEIR HOMEWORK.
BUT THEY MISSED THE ONE OR TWO ARTICLES IN THE PRESS,
WHICH ARE THE ONLY CLUES TO THEM THAT AN ELECTION IS COMING.
AND SO, THEY ARE EFFECTIVELY DISENFRANCHISED.
WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT OUR ROLE
TO TRY TO PREDETERMINE THE RESULTS OF THIS ELECTION...
BY CHOOSING THE DATE.
GRCC WILL SURVIVE WITH OR WITHOUT THE MILLAGE.
IF WE ARE UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO TIGHTEN OUR BUDGET,
THE COMMUNITY,
YES, THEY'LL NEED TO COUGH UP ANOTHER $5 MILLION PER YEAR.
WE'LL GET IT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
IF WE DON'T GET IT FROM THE TAX PAYERS, YES, WE'LL HAVE TO RAISE TUITION.
NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT, BUT HOW MUCH WOULD WE HAVE TO RAISE TUITION?
ABOUT $10 PER CREDIT HOUR.
I UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY DOLLAR PER CREDIT HOUR
BRINGS US A HALF A MILLION DOLLARS IN REVENUES.
SO, THAT MEANS WE'D HAVE TO RAISE TUITION $10 PER CREDIT HOUR
TO GET $5 MILLION.
SO, THAT PUTS OUR TUITION AT $105.50 PER CREDIT HOUR,
WHICH IS STILL A BARGAIN.
THAT'S JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN ONE-FOURTH THE COST
OF THE NEXT CHEAPEST LOCAL ALTERNATIVE, GRAND VALLEY.
IT'S STILL LOW ENOUGH THAT A FEDERAL PELL GRANT FOR THE NEEDY STUDENTS
CAN PAY FOR ALL OF TUITION AND BOOKS,
WITH SOME MONEY LEFT OVER TO HELP COVER LIVING EXPENSES.
SO, IT'S REALLY UP TO OUR TAX PAYERS TO DECIDE
WHETHER THEY WANT TO PRE-PAY TUITION IN THE FORM OF A MILLAGE,
OR PAY-AS-YOU-GO WITH TUITION.
IT'S THEIR CHOICE AND WE SHOULD NOT TRY TO MAKE IT FOR THEM.
REMEMBER THAT ONE OF OUR GRCC VALUES
THAT WE OURSELVES CHOSE FOR THIS INSTITUTION
IS RESPONSIVENESS.
SPECIFICALLY, RESPONSIVENESS TO THE COMMUNITY.
IF WE TAKE OUR VALUES SERIOUSLY,
WE WILL NOT CONSIDER HOLDING THIS VOTE ON A DATE
ON WHICH PEOPLE ARE NOT EXPECTING AN ELECTION.
AND WE SHOULD NOT BE ABDICATING OUR OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES
IN ORDER TO RUSH--
IN ORDER TO HAVE AN ELECTION ON A DATE
WHICH IS MORE FAVORABLE FOR THE MILLAGE,
THE PROPOSAL PASSING.
SO, THERE ARE THREE GOOD REASONS NOT TO HOLD THIS ELECTION IN MAY.
FIRST, VOTERS AREN'T EXPECTING IT.
SECOND, IT WILL WASTE $250,000.
AND THIRD, WE, AS A BOARD, HAVE NOT COMPLETED OUR NECESSARY WORK.
LET'S SPEND SOME TIME AND LOOK AT THE NUMBERS.
LET'S DO A PROGRAM REVIEW.
LET'S GO THROUGH THE BUDGET, LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO TIGHTEN IT UP.
IF WE CAN DO THIS WORK, AND THEN, CAN LOOK VOTERS IN THE EYE
AND SAY THAT WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN DO,
THEN WE CAN STILL PUT A PROPOSAL ON THE BALLOT LATER THIS YEAR.
THE IDEA OF A MILLAGE...
I REMAIN OPEN.
AND MY VOTE... IS REALLY, "NOT YET."
UNFORTUNATELY, THAT MEANS I NEED TO VOTE "NO" ON THIS SPECIFIC PROPOSAL.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
>> TERRI.
TRUSTEE HANDLIN.
COMMENTS?
>> WELL, UM...
I REPRESENT ALL THE VOICES THAT VOTED FOR ME,
25,000 AT A TIME,
AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE, SITTING AT THIS.
I HAVE NO WAY TO ANSWER,
YOU KNOW, A COLLEAGUE'S ISSUES.
YEAH, I DO TRUST THE ADMINISTRATION.
I DO TRUST THE COLLEGE.
THAT'S WHAT I'M ENTRUSTED TO DO.
I WASN'T VOTED IN TO RUN THE COLLEGE.
I WASN'T VOTED IN TO INVESTIGATE.
I WAS VOTED IN
TO LISTEN TO THE FINANCIAL PEOPLE
WHO ARE VICE PRESIDENTS OF THOSE DEPARTMENTS.
THERE'S A LAYER OF UNDERSTANDING HERE THAT I HAVE.
I DON'T AGREE THAT WE DON'T-- WE HAVEN'T HAD THE INFORMATION.
I THINK WE'VE HAD A LOT OF INFORMATION
ON THIS UPCOMING BOND ISSUE.
I, UH...
LIKE I SAID, YOU KNOW, MY COLLEAGUE SPEAKS FOR A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT,
AS EVIDENCED, DIDN'T COME TO THE MEETING--
ER, YEAH, THE MEETING AND THE, UM... MICROPHONE,
BUT ONE PERSON VERSUS THE TEN OR TWELVE THAT WE HEARD FROM
THAT ARE READY, ABLE, AND WILLING TO TAKE ON THIS RESPONSIBILITY
WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY FOR THE COMMUNITY, FOR EDUCATION,
FOR THE GROWTH OF OUR ECONOMY.
SURE, WE COULD WAIT A YEAR, WE COULD WAIT TWO YEARS--
I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE HOW LONG THIS WOULD TAKE TO DO--
NOT THAT I'M CHALLENGING, YOU KNOW, THE TIME TABLE HERE.
I'M...
UM, I THINK IF WE HAD ISSUES, WHICH I DIDN'T HAVE ISSUES UP TO THIS POINT--
AND WHEN I DID HAVE THOSE ISSUES,
I TIMELY CONTACTED OUR VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE
AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE TO GET MY ANSWERS.
SO, I'M NOT AS ENGRAINED
IN DOING THE POPULATION'S THINKING FOR THEM.
THE PEOPLE I'VE HEARD FROM SUPPORT THE BOND, 100 PERCENT.
THERE WAS A LITTLE UNREST ABOUT THE MAY OR AUGUST,
BUT THEN AGAIN, I WENT BACK IN AND I TRUSTED OUR VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE.
SHE'S DOING MY INVESTIGATION FOR ME.
IN FACT, THAT'S EXACTLY WHY WE HAVE A TEAM OF ADMINISTRATORS,
AND LED BY THE PRESIDENT.
UM...
ONE THING I'D LIKE TO SAY, THAT I THINK...
IF THE PRESIDENT IS NOT DOING THE KIND OF FINANCIAL JOB
WE EXPECT FROM THAT POSITION, I THINK THAT'S AN EVALUATIVE THING.
I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT IN AN EVALUATION, UP TO THIS POINT.
AS PRESIDENT ENDER KNOWS,
I HAD A BUNCH OF QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF THE BOND ISSUE.
DO I THINK THAT THIS COLLEGE NEEDS THIS MONEY?
I DON'T-- YOU KNOW, I DON'T BELIEVE FOR A SECOND
THAT THE $116,000 BUDGET CAN TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDS
TO MAKE THIS THE COLLEGE FOR THE FUTURE.
I'VE BEEN SITTING IN THIS SEAT FOR 21 YEARS
AND NO ONE HAS EVER PROVEN TO ME THAT WE ARE WASTING A DIME.
DO WE WANT TO RAISE TUITION TO--
WHAT DID YOU SAY THAT WOULD BE, $10 A CREDIT HOUR?
THAT'S A BIG ONE.
I THINK WE'D GET SOME BACKLASH ON THAT.
BECAUSE, TO ME, THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS JUST EXACTLY THAT--
IT'S A COLLEGE FOR THE COMMUNITY.
WE DON'T COMPETE WITH THE FOUR-YEAR UNIVERSITIES.
WE DON'T COMPETE WITH THE PRIVATE, RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS
THAT CAN CHARGE $4- OR $5-, $600 A CREDIT HOUR.
I WOULDN'T BE IN SUPPORT OF THAT.
UM...
YOU'RE WELL-RESEARCHED, DR. R.
I CAN'T SIT HERE AND DENY ANYTHING THAT YOU'VE LOOKED INTO.
I JUST WANT TO PUBLICLY STATE THAT I TRUST THE PEOPLE
IN OUR ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS
THAT WE PAY TO BRING THESE THINGS TO US.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE PART OF...
ANY COMMENTS MISTRUSTING OR THINKING THAT THEY'RE RUSHING THIS.
WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR MONTHS.
I DON'T FEEL RUSHED.
THERE'S DEBATE, MAY VERSUS AUGUST...
MISS FREIBURGER HAS PROVEN TO ME-- AND I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR ME--
THAT IT'S TIME TO GO OUT.
SO, UM...
I FEEL THE PRESIDENT HAS DONE HIS JOB.
WE HAVEN'T AGREED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY,
BUT I REALLY WANT, PUBLICLY, TO SAY THIS IS NOT A RUSHED DEAL.
WE'VE HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS,
BRING UP THESE COMPENSATION EXPENDITURES,
LONG BEFORE A COUPLE MINUTES BEFORE WE HAVE TO VOTE.
SO, MY COMMENT IS...
I CAN'T SUPPORT A POSTPONEMENT FOR OUR COMMUNITY,
BECAUSE WE ARE A COMMUNITY COLLEGE
AND THE COLLEGE IS A BIG PART OF THIS COMMUNITY.
I WONDER, IS THAT A TRUE STATEMENT?
THAT WE COULD HOLD AN ELECTION FOR FREE?
HAS AN ELECTION EVER BEEN DONE FOR FREE?
ISN'T THERE SOME EXPENSE EVERY TIME WE GO OUT FOR AN ELECTION?
>> IF WE GET INVOLVED WITH AN ELECTION CYCLE
AROUND FEDERAL ELECTIONS,
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS FOR THE ELECTION.
>> SO, IT'S NOT REALLY FREE, 'CAUSE THROUGH OUR TAXES,
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THEN PAYS FOR 'EM, TOO.
OKAY.
AND AS FAR AS VOTER TURNOUT, UM...
SOUNDS TO ME LIKE YOU'VE TALKED TO 7,000 VOTERS
TO SEE WHY THEY AREN'T TURNING OUT.
I, FOR ONE, THINK THAT WE HAVE WONDERFUL TURNOUT,
BECAUSE PEOPLE BELIEVE IN THIS COLLEGE AS AN INSTITUTION
AND THEY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH JOBS,
WITH ECONOMY, WITH PEOPLES' FUTURES.
SO, THE PEOPLE THAT I TALK TO
COME OUT FOR A VERY STRONG REASON--
TO SUPPORT GRCC.
SO, UM...
I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF...
RESEARCH INTO THIS.
I'VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION.
I'VE BEEN LISTENING.
AND I FIRMLY BELIEVE
THAT THE BOND ISSUE IS NECESSARY.
>> THANK YOU, TRUSTEE HANDLIN.
VICE CHAIR BLEKE, YOUR COMMENTS?
I DON'T HEAR THE AUDIO-- >> WE DON'T HEAR YA, BERT.
>> HANG ON JUST ONE SECOND.
>> WE MAY HAVE TO GO PAST MR. BLEKE
AND COME BACK IF WE HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE AUDIO HERE.
>> LET'S GO AHEAD AND GO TO MARGO. >> OKAY, WE'LL GO ONTO MARGO
AND HAVE OUR TECHNICIAN WORK ON THE AUDIO FOR BERT,
BECAUSE WE AREN'T HEARING HIS COMMENTS.
TRUSTEE ANDERSON. >> I FEEL THAT, UH...
ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN OUR ADMINISTRATION HERE AT THE COLLEGE
HAVE GONE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY
TO GIVE US ALL THE STATISTICS, ALL OF THE RATIONALE,
ALL OF THE REASONS
WHY THIS PROPOSAL, AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME-- MAY--
AND I FEEL THEY HAVE RESEARCHED IT.
WE HAVE LISTENED-- WE HAVE MET-- WE HAVE LISTENED TO DR. ENDER
AND TO ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE
WHO HAVE PRESENTED THIS BOND PROPOSAL TO US.
I DISAGREE WITH... "WE HAVE NOT HAD ALL THE FIGURES.
"WE HAVE NOT HAD ALL THE STATISTICS."
ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO MAKE A EDUCATIONAL...
JUDGMENT AT THIS TIME.
MY VOTE IS "YES" FOR THE BOND FOR MAY.
>> TREASURER TRUSTEE ELLEN JAMES, YOUR COMMENTS?
>> OKAY, UM...
I'M JUST WRITING A NOTE, SO I WON'T FORGET IT.
(chuckling) THANK YOU.
>> OOP, JUST A PICTURE. >> THANK YOU, MR. CHAIR AND TRUSTEES.
FIRST OF ALL, LET ME COMPLIMENT THE STAFF--
LISA AND YOUR STAFF--
FOR THE FINE WORK THAT YOU HAVE DONE
IN PUTTING THIS PROPOSAL TOGETHER.
I THINK WHEN WE FIRST STARTED OUT, WE HAD A LOT OF QUESTIONS
AND ALL OF US ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS-- "WHAT ABOUT THIS?
"WHAT ABOUT THAT?
"WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THIS?"
AND I WAS REALLY SOMEWHAT-- IT WAS MORE--
YOU GAVE ME MORE INFORMATION THAN US-- MORE INFORMATION THAN--
AND-- THAN QUESTIONS WE ASK.
SO, I APPRECIATE THAT.
I KIND OF KNOW HOW THIS PROJECT, WHAT WE'RE ASKING--
YOU KNOW, I ALMOST KNOW WHAT NAIL
WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO USE TO, YOU KNOW, TO FIX THIS.
WHAT KIND OF PAINT WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO DO.
JUST ALL OF THE ELEMENTARY THINGS
THAT YOU NORMALLY DON'T GET INVOLVED IN IN A PROJECT.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW THEM BUT YOU DON'T--
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE NOT REALLY WALKED-THROUGH EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY.
AND I WOULD, FIRST OF ALL--
AND THEN, SECONDLY, I'D LIKE TO SAY, AS A TRUSTEE--
A FOUNDING TRUSTEE OF THIS BOARD--
I, TOO, WAS ELECTED AT THE SAME TIME THAT MISS HANDLIN WAS.
AND...
I FEEL THAT MY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO REPORT TO--
LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY,
UM, AND REPORT BACK TO THE COMMUNITY WHAT THE COLLEGE NEEDS,
AND THE THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING AT THE COLLEGE.
THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND
THAT WE NEED TO GO OUT FOR A BOND PROPOSAL.
WHEN WE SEPARATED FROM GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN 1991,
OUR COMMITMENT WAS WE WOULD NOT GO BACK TO THE VOTERS
FOR TEN YEARS.
WE HAVE KEPT THAT PROMISE.
YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE YOUR HOUSE.
IT'S LIKE A HOUSE.
I MEAN, HOW LONG DO YOU GO
WITHOUT DOING SOMETHING ON YOUR HOUSE?
IT'S-- THERE HAS NOT BEEN AN UPKEEP
OF THE THINGS THAT WE SHOULD BE DOING.
AS WE HEARD TONIGHT--
AND IT WAS A VERY GOOD QUESTION THAT TRUSTEE HANDLIN ASKED--
JUST A SMALL PORTION OF THE 1.9, WHICH IS NOT 1.9 ANYMORE.
IT'S 1.7-SOMETHING, BECAUSE OF THE HEADLEE ROLLBACK.
BUT OUT OF THAT MONEY, WE HAVE A VERY SMALL AMOUNT
THAT WE PUT TO THE FACILITIES PORTION.
AND THAT IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH.
IT IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH FOR US TO DO THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO DO.
I THINK-- UH, I THINK THAT, UM...
OH, I PROBABLY SHOULDN'T SAY THAT, SO I WON'T.
BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ENSURE THE CITIZENS OF THIS COMMUNITY
THAT THIS IS A NEEDED BOND.
IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE NEED IN ORDER TO STAY-- WE'RE NOT EVEN--
IN MY OPINION, WE'RE NOT EVEN COMPETITIVE IN TERMS OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED.
WE HEARD 16 SPEAKERS TONIGHT,
AND I KEPT TAB OF NAMES AND COMMENTS.
FIFTEEN OF THOSE PERSONS,
FROM A VAST CROSS-SECTION OF THE COMMUNITY,
WERE HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE BOND ISSUE.
NOW, IF I'M SITTING HERE AND I DON'T KNOW--
OR IF I DON'T KNOW THAT WE SHOULD GO OUT FOR A BOND ISSUE,
CERTAINLY, THE COMMUNITY IS SAYING TO US THAT WE SHOULD.
WE HAVE THE BEST--
I THINK WE HAVE THE BEST PROFESSORS HERE AT THE COLLEGE.
I THINK THAT WE HAVE SO MANY THINGS GOING FOR US.
BUT AGAIN, WE HAVE TO BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE.
YOU TALK ABOUT THOSE LITTLE CHAIRS, WHEN YOU WALK DOWN THE HALL.
I PROBABLY COULDN'T EVEN SIT IN THEM.
YOU KNOW, THIS IS NOT-- AND SOMEONE IN THE EARLIER MEETING,
ONE OF THE TRUSTEES SAYS,
"WELL, ARE YOU LOOKING AT DOING COSMETICS KIND OF THINGS?"
NO, THESE ARE NECESSITIES.
THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSITIES.
SO, I'M NOT SURE THAT EVERYONE WOULD VOTE FOR THIS-- WOULD--
ON OUR BOARD, WOULD SUPPORT IT.
IF WE DID ANY-- EVERYTHING-- IF WE--
NO MATTER WHAT WE DID,
I DON'T THINK WE WOULD GET
THE 100 PERCENT SUPPORT FOR THE MILLAGE.
SO, I'M CLEARLY, CLEARLY IN FAVOR
OF US HAVING THE MILLAGE.
AND IT'S NOT JUST FOR-- IT'S NOT FOR ME, YOU KNOW?
IT IS FOR OUR COMMUNITY.
IT IS FOR OUR COMMUNITY.
AND I THINK THAT WE DESERVE--
OUR COMMUNITY DESERVES THE RIGHT TO LET THEM MAKE THE DECISION.
WE'VE GONE OUT TWICE BEFORE.
AND THE LAST TIME, WE-- IT WAS A VERY, VERY NARROW MARGIN.
AND OUR NEEDS ARE MORE IMPORTANT OR MORE VITAL NOW
THAN THEY WERE WHEN WE WENT OUT SEVERAL YEARS BACK.
SO, I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT I WILL GO ON RECORD--
I HAVE ALREADY GONE ON RECORD-- AS SAYING THAT I SUPPORT IT.
AND I THINK THERE HAS TO BE A TRUST FACTOR.
I DON'T THINK YOU CAN HAVE IT TWO WAYS.
YOU SAY YOU COMPLIMENT THE PRESIDENT AND HIS STAFF FOR THE FINE JOB,
BUT THEN, THEY BRING THE MATERIAL TO US,
AND THEN, WE, AS TRUSTEES, HAVE TO DO FURTHER SEARCH.
I JUST HAVE A-- I REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT.
EITHER...
I TRUST WHAT THE PRESIDENT AND HIS STAFF
IS TELLING ME...
UM, IF I'VE ASKED THE QUESTIONS,
IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS THAT I CAN THINK OF,
I WOULD CERTAINLY ASK THOSE QUESTIONS,
TO MAKE SURE I WAS GETTING PROPER INFORMATION.
SO, I'M COMFORTABLE, I AM CONFIDENT,
AND I THINK THAT WE NEED TO MOVE AHEAD.
I THINK MISS FREIBURGER
HAS EXPLAINED WHY WE SHOULD GO IN A MAY ELECTION...
AND THAT WAS A PROBLEM-- OR NOT--
THAT WAS A QUESTION THAT CAME BEFORE US,
AND WE ALL WANTED TO KNOW THE ANSWER.
AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, FROM TIME TO TIME,
WE'VE SAID, "OKAY, WELL, SHOULD IT BE HERE OR SHOULD IT BE THERE?"
AGAIN, I'M GONNA RELY ON THE PRESIDENT AND HIS STAFF
TELLING US WHEN THEY BELIEVE IT WILL BE THE BEST TIME FOR US TO GO OUT FOR THIS.
I AM NOT GOING TO SPEND TIME--
IF THERE ARE QUESTIONS THAT I HAD, THEY WERE ANSWERED.
I'M NOT GOING TO SPEND TIME GOING BACK
AND RE-GUESSING
OR, RE-- UM...
UH, RE...
SECONDHANDING WHETHER WE'VE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.
MY VOTE IS THAT WE MOVE AHEAD WITH THIS.
>> TRUSTEE BLEKE, CAN YOU SPEAK NOW?
CAN WE HEAR YOU? >> I DON'T KNOW.
CAN YOU? (all chuckling)
>> YES, WE CAN. >> OKAY, YEAH.
SO, YOU CAN HEAR ME FINE? >> YES.
>> OKAY, GOOD.
WELL, I WAS GETTING A LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT THAT, YOU KNOW,
BECAUSE THE GRAND EXPERIMENT WOULD HAVE DIED WITH THAT.
(chuckling) YOU WOULD'VE LOST THE AUDIO.
UM, AS I STARTED SAY, I'M GONNA TRY TO BE BRIEF AND CONCISE
AND, I HOPE, LOGICAL.
I HAVE FOUR OR FIVE POINTS.
POINT NUMBER "A," THE NEED.
I HAVE NOT HEARD ANY BOARD MEMBER
CONTEST THE NEED FOR THIS BOND ISSUE.
EVERYBODY HAS SAID THAT WE HAVE A NEED.
IN FACT, I THINK WE'RE WAY BEHIND A CURVE ON THE NEED.
AND SO, TO ME, THAT SEEMS TO BE A MOOT POINT,
IF I UNDERSTAND THE DISCUSSIONS WE'VE HAD OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS.
SO, THE NEXT QUESTION TO ME, THEN, IS "HOW?"
HOW DO WE TAKE CARE OF THIS NEED
THAT WE ALL AGREE WE HAVE AND WE FACE?
AND THERE ARE PROBABLY THREE OR FOUR WAYS YOU CAN LOOK AT THAT.
ONE... THAT HAS BEEN ESPOUSED BY SEVERAL BOARD MEMBERS
IS THAT WE TAKE THIS FROM THE CURRENT BUDGET.
I, FOR ONE,
BELIEVE THAT IS NOT A POSSIBLE--
IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.
WE'VE TAKEN A VERY CLEAR LOOK
AT THE FIVE YEAR PROJECTIONS OF OUR BUDGET.
AND EVEN--
WE WILL PROBABLY BE FACED, DURING THAT FIVE YEAR SPAN,
TWO OR THREE TIMES WITH CONSIDERING RAISING THE TUITION,
EVEN IF WE DON'T TAKE A PENNY OFF
FOR ADDITIONAL CAPITAL LEADS.
SO, TO ME,
THAT JUST DOESN'T HOLD A GREAT DEAL OF WATER.
NOW...
I WOULD LIKE TO REFER TO DR. RYSKAMP'S 2009-2010 DATA,
WHERE HE COMPARED US
TO DIFFERENT COLLEGES IN THE STATE.
AND I HAVE NO-- IN FACT, I'VE SEEN DATA MUCH LIKE THAT.
AND I HAVE NO REASON TO DISBELIEVE THAT DATA.
BUT MY POINT WOULD BE THAT IS EXACTLY THE QUESTION
THAT DR. ENDER ADDRESSED IMMEDIATELY WHEN HE GOT TO THIS CAMPUS,
TALKING ABOUT THE WAY WE WERE DOING BUSINESS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.
SO, IF WE HAVE IGNORED THAT QUESTION,
I WOULD THINK THAT WOULD BE A LEGITIMATE POINT.
UH, WE HAVE NOT IGNORED IT,
OR IT'S SOME VERY SERIOUS DISCUSSION WITH THE FACULTY,
AND I BELIEVE WE MADE SOME TOUGH CHOICES
AND I BELIEVE NOT ONLY THE ADMINISTRATION,
BUT THIS BOARD HAS BEEN VERY CONCERNED ABOUT RUNNING A LEAN ORGANIZATION...
AND I BELIEVE WE HAVE BEEN.
NOW, OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS,
WE'RE GONNA FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FACULTY CONTRACT.
BUT THE POINT OF THE MATTER IS,
IS THAT HERE
IN 2012,
I BELIEVE WE ARE MAKING DRASTIC CHANGES
TO THAT ISSUE, AND--
BUT I'LL GUARANTEE YOU, IT DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.
NOW, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE RETIREMENT ISSUE.
THAT IS A HUGE ISSUE.
AND I THINK THAT THE GOOD DOCTOR IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT--
THAT'S EATING US ALIVE.
BUT IT'S NOT ONLY EATING US ALIVE-- I BELIEVE IT'S EATING K-12 ALIVE,
AND WE ARE ALL FACED WITH THAT DILEMMA.
FORTUNATELY OR UNFORTUNATELY, THIS BOARD CANNOT CORRECT THAT PROBLEM.
WE CAN TALK TILL WE'RE BLUE IN THE FACE-- IT'S NOT GONNA CORRECT THE PROBLEM.
DR. ENDER HAS MET WITH LEGISLATIVE FOLKS.
WE HAD A MEETING HERE ON OUR CAMPUS,
TO DIRECTLY DISCUSS THAT ISSUE OF RETIREMENT.
IT'S UNDER CONSIDERATION IN LANSING,
AND, I BELIEVE THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT NEXT MONTH,
I'M GREAT WITH THAT AND I THINK WE OUGHT TO DECREE THAT WE NEED SOME HELP.
BUT FRANKLY, THAT RETIREMENT,
IN TERMS OF OUR EXISTING BUDGET, IS A MOOT POINT,
BECAUSE WE ARE POWERLESS TO REALLY MAKE ANY IMPACT ON THAT.
SO, A QUESTION OF...
"CAN WE REALLY GET THIS MONEY
"OUT OF OUR CURRENT BUDGET?"
FRANKLY, I BELIEVE THAT IS, AT BEST, WISHFUL THINKING.
ANOTHER SUGGESTION THAT CAME FROM OUR DISCUSSIONS OVER THE MONTHS WAS,
"WELL, YOU KNOW, WE'VE HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL CAPITAL FUND DEVELOPMENT."
IN FACT, MUCH OF THE NEW CAMPUS IS BASED ON FUND DEVELOPMENT.
"WHY NOT DO THAT?"
WELL...
I SUPPOSE WE PROBABLY COULD, BUT I'VE GOT A SIX YEAR TERM,
AND I SUSPECT I'LL BE OFF THE BOARD BEFORE YOU RAISE $100 MILLION.
I THINK IT'S VERY DIFFICULTY-- IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO DO THAT--
UH, EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.
AND I BELIEVE THAT THE FACT THAT THE PAST TWO YEARS
HAS BEEN SPENT RAISING $15 MILLION
WOULD MAKE THAT EVEN MORE-- MUCH MORE DIFFICULT.
I DO NOT SEE THAT AS A LEGITIMATE WAY TO RAISE THE RESOURCES.
OUR NEXT QUESTION THEN BECOMES--
ALL RIGHT, IF WE ALL AGREE THAT WE HAVE THE NEED,
THEN LOGIC LEADS ME TO THE BOND ISSUE, THEN THE NEXT QUESTION,
I GUESS, IS "WHEN DO YOU DO THIS?"
I THINK THIS PROBABLY IS THE TRICKIEST ISSUE FOR ME, PERSONALLY.
I THINK IT HAS BEEN FOR OTHERS OF YOU.
YOU HAD MENTIONED THAT TONIGHT.
UH, I HAVE COME DOWN ON THE SIDE OF MAY...
FOR A COUPLE REASONS.
ONE...
I BELIEVE THAT IT IS--
WE ARE PREPARED TO DO SO.
NUMBER TWO, I BELIEVE IT IS IMPORTANT
THAT YOU RUN A VERY PUBLIC CAMPAIGN.
AND I BELIEVE TWO BIG REASONS FOR THIS.
ONE IS...
IN A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN,
WE WOULD GET LOST IN THE RANCOR
AND ALL THESE OTHER THINGS THAT...
HAPPEN IN A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.
TWO, I BELIEVE IN AUGUST, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE RUNNING AROUND--
I DON'T THINK THAT'S FAIR.
SO, TO ME, MAY IS A VERY LEGITIMATE TIME TO RUN A CAMPAIGN.
I REALLY DISAGREE WITH THE DOCTOR ABOUT-- I THINK IF EVERYBODY--
IT'S NOT A STEALTH CAMPAIGN.
EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS EXACTLY WHEN THE ELECTION IS.
AND SO-- JEEZ, I OWN A PRIUS.
I THOUGHT THAT EVERYBODY WAS CONCERNED ABOUT GOING TO THE POLLS,
EVERYBODY'D HAVE A PRIUS.
I DON'T SEE TOO MANY OF THOSE AROUND.
SO, I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH WATER THAT HOLDS.
BUT, UM...
THE MONEY THING, TO ME, ISN'T AN ISSUE.
I HATE TO SPEND $250,000.
I THINK IT'S A TON OF MONEY.
BUT I CANNOT TELL YOU
IF INTEREST RATES ARE GONNA GO UP OR DOWN.
I'M BETTING THEY'RE GONNA GO UP,
AND I'M BETTING IT'S GONNA COST US A LOT OF MONEY IF WE DON'T DO IT.
SO, THAT HAS PERSUADED ME
THAT THE BEST TIME FOR US
TO RUN THIS ELECTION IS IN MAY,
BECAUSE I THINK IT'S FAIR.
UM, SO...
THAT'S REALLY, BASICALLY, MY LOGIC.
I THINK THAT THERE'S NO DISAGREEMENT ABOUT NEED.
I BELIEVE THAT THE BOARD-- AND I FEEL, PERSONALLY,
THAT I'VE DONE THE HOMEWORK NECESSARY TO PREPARE TO VOTE.
I FEEL COMFORTABLE ABOUT THAT.
I ALSO BELIEVE THAT...
THESE ARE HARD TIMES.
AND I THINK MAYBE ONE OF THE BIGGER ISSUES I HAVE IN MY MIND
WAS THE FAIRNESS FOR THE COMMUNITY,
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE JOBS
AND ARE SUFFERING REALLY DIFFICULT TIMES.
BUT I THINK WHEN YOU WEIGH
KINDA TWO DIFFICULT ISSUES, THE--
UH, WHEN YOU ARE IN DIFFICULT TIMES,
IT'S NOT TIME TO WITHDRAW.
IT'S TIME TO MOVE AHEAD, TO BE AGGRESSIVE,
AND TO BUILD FOR THE FUTURE.
AND IF YOU DON'T DO THAT, I BELIEVE OUR REGION AND OUR COMMUNITY
IS GONNA SUFFER DRAMATICALLY IN COMPARISON TO OTHER PEOPLE.
THIS IS A VERY MOBILE SOCIETY, AND PEOPLE CAN GO ANY PLACE THEY WANT.
IN MY MIND, I'M CONVINCED OF THE NEED.
I'M CONVINCED THAT THE BOND ISSUE IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THERE.
AND I'M CONVINCED THAT,
EVEN THOUGH IT MAY PUT A HARDSHIP ON SOME INDIVIDUALS,
IN THE LONG RUN,
I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE BEST THING FOR THE COLLEGE
AND FOR, UH, THE COMMUNITY, THIS REGION.
ONE LAST POINT-- AND BECAUSE I THINK IT'S AN INTERESTING ONE--
I, TOO, WITH DR. RYSKAMP,
AM CONCERNED
ABOUT RUNNING A VERY LEAN, EFFICIENT SYSTEM.
AND, UH...
I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE WAYS
THAT WE CAN MAKE THIS SYSTEM MORE EFFICIENT.
THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND.
ON THE OTHER HAND, DO I THINK THAT THIS, RIGHT NOW,
THE SYSTEM IS EFFICIENT AND WELL RUN?
THE ANSWER IS "YES."
DO I THINK WE NEED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND DO A BETTER JOB?
THE ANSWER IS "YES."
BUT THAT IS NEVER-ENDING.
THAT IS A CONTINUAL CYCLE OF CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT, SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT,
THAT I THINK THIS BOARD IS COMMITTED TO.
SO, THAT, TO ME, IS NOT PARTICULARLY PERSUASIVE ARGUMENT.
AND BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT I DO BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE AN EFFICIENT SYSTEM NOW,
THAT I BET ALL, OBVIOUSLY, CAN BE IMPROVED.
SO, THAT'S WHERE I'VE COME DOWN ON-- "YES."
UM, AND I...
BELIEVE THAT I'VE GOT HERE THROUGH SOME LOGIC.
I BELIEVE I GOT HERE BY DOING HOMEWORK.
AND I BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE RIGHT THING
FOR THE COMMUNITY TO GRAPPLE WITH.
THANK YOU.
>> IF I COULD JUST CLARIFY, THAT I DID NOT USE THE TERM "STEALTH CAMPAIGN."
THAT WAS ONE OF OUR GUESTS. >> YES.
>> BUT I DID NOT...
I DID NOT SAY THAT IT WAS A STEALTH CAMPAIGN.
>> I DON'T THINK HE ATTRIBUTED IT TO YOU.
HE JUST SAID THIS IS NOT A STEALTH CAMPAIGN.
>> THAT'S CORRECT.
TRUSTEE STEWART, COMMENTS?
>> WELL, COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS,
HERE WE ARE AT THE CUSP OF MAKING A VERY IMPORTANT DECISION.
SINCE OUR MEETING ON DECEMBER 5th,
I'VE BEEN SEEKING TO PINPOINT SOME BASIC ISSUE
THAT I SENSE LIES AT THE CORE OF THE CONSIDERATION AT HAND.
AND THEN, TO COME UP WITH A SHORT, PITHY STATEMENT
THAT CLEARLY IDENTIFIES WHAT IT IS.
WELL, I'VE GIVEN IT SOME THOUGHT,
AND HERE'S THE STATEMENT THAT I FINALLY HIT UPON...
HERE GOES.
GRCC SUDDENLY FINDS ITSELF BEING SQUEEZED
BETWEEN AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE
AND AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT.
THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE IS THIS--
NAMELY, THAT THE UPGRADES NEEDED FOR OUR PHYSICAL PLANT
UNQUESTIONABLY MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED.
THE EVIDENCE FOR THIS IRRESISTIBLE FORCE IS THE TESTIMONY
OF OUR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND OPERATIONS MANAGER.
LISA FREIBURGER AND TOM SMITH ARE BOTH SUPERBLY QUALIFIED,
HIGHLY ACCOMPLISHED PROFESSIONALS, WHO ARE TOPS IN THEIR FIELDS,
WHO RIGHTLY COMMAND THE RESPECT OF THE ENTIRE COLLEGE COMMUNITY.
SO, WHEN THEY TELL US THAT SOME SYSTEMS ARE SO ARCHAIC
THAT THERE ARE NO LONGER EVEN PARTS AVAILABLE TO REPAIR THEM,
THAT ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS WOULD ENHANCE THE LIFE OF COMPUTERS
AND SOON PAY FOR THEMSELVES,
OR THAT THE MUSIC BUILDING IS AN "ACOUSTICAL DISASTER."
I CAN RELATE TO THAT.
I CONSIDER THAT COMPELLING EVIDENCE.
AND I'LL ADD THIS, ALSO-- I CONSIDER COMPELLING EVIDENCE
THE STATEMENTS FROM THE STUDENTS, THE STATEMENTS FROM STAFF...
FROM EVERYONE THAT STOOD UP THERE AND SAID, "THIS STUFF HAS TO BE DONE."
THAT IS COMPELLING EVIDENCE AND THANK YOU FOR IT.
NOW, THE "IMMOVABLE OBJECT" IS THIS--
NAMELY, THAT THE COLLEGE'S REVENUE PRODUCERS--
SPECIFICALLY, TAX PAYING HOUSEHOLDS AND BUSINESSES--
CAN NOT MUCH LONGER SUSTAIN THE DECADES-LONG PROGRESSIVE,
SMALL, INCREMENTAL BUT INEXORABLY CONTINUOUS TAX AND FEE INCREASES
FROM ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT...
THE VERY SORT OF THING OUR MILLAGE REPRESENTS.
AT THE DECEMBER MEETING, I ENUMERATED STATISTICALLY VERIFIABLE REALITIES
THAT REFLECT, REALLY, AN INCREASINGLY PRECARIOUS ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT.
THE LIST INCLUDED SHRINKING HOUSEHOLD INCOMES, INFLATION,
LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT, PERMANENT LOSS OF PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS,
ERODING PROPERTY VALUES,
REDUCED HOURS AND WAGES IN SOME REMAINING JOBS,
THE UNABATED HIGH RATE OF HOUSING FORECLOSURES.
AND NOW, ADD TO THAT,
THE $11 MILLION DEFICIT FACING THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS.
I CONSIDER THESE,
ALONG WITH THE EVEN MORE TROUBLING EVIDENCE OF...
UH...
PUT BY THE SHRINKING NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS PAYING TAXES,
AS COMPELLING EVIDENCE
THAT UNCHECKED, PROGRESSIVE, INCREMENTALISM SUCH AS THIS
COULD SOON PUSH OUR ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT OVER THE TIPPING POINT
INTO UNSUSTAINABILITY.
AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE AND AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT
CONSTITUTE A "CLASSICAL CONUNDRUM,"
AND WE ASK OURSELVES, "WELL, HOW DID WE GET WHERE WE ARE?"
THE FULL ANSWER IS THAT MIGHT HAVE MULTIPLE LAYERS,
BUT CLEARLY, ONE MUST LOOK AT THE POSITION THAT WE ARE IN
AND QUESTION WHETHER THE ASSUMPTIONS AND PROCEDURES WE HAVE HITHERTO FOLLOWED
NEED SOME REEXAMINATION.
WELL, THINKING ABOUT THIS OVER THE LAST WEEKS,
I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH, ON TWO SEPARATE UNRELATED OCCASIONS,
TO HEAR SOME WISE INSIGHT FROM TWO HIGHLY QUALIFIED PEOPLE
WITH EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN NOT-FOR-PROFIT INSTITUTIONS,
BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC.
THEY EACH ARTICULATED A CHARACTERISTIC OF NOT-FOR-PROFITS
THAT HE HAD OBSERVED DURING HIS PROFESSIONAL LIFE.
THE FIRST OBSERVED THIS-- ALL NOT-FOR-PROFIT INSTITUTIONS,
WHETHER THEY BE GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES, CHARITIES, HOSPITALS,
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, CHURCHES, AND SO-ONS,
WILL ALWAYS HAVE MISSION THAT EXCEEDS REVENUE.
THE SECOND SAID THIS--
"ALL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES AND INSTITUTIONS
"HAVE THE PROCLIVITY FOR PURSUING REVENUE FIRST,
"RATHER THAN FOR BALANCING THE BUDGET."
AS WE CONSIDER HOW HIGHER PUBLIC EDUCATION HAS OPERATED
IN THE LARGEST SENSE OVER THE PRIOR DECADES,
WE REALIZE THAT THESE TWO MAXIMS HAVE BECOME SYMBIOTICALLY LINKED TOGETHER
IN A PROCESS THAT NOT JUST GRCC
BUT VIRTUALLY ALL OTHER PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE FOLLOWED.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS-- CERTAIN NEEDS OR PROGRAMS,
NOT BEING DONE OR FULFILLED AT THE TIME, ARE DEEMED NECESSARY AND WORTHY.
NUMBER TWO, EITHER THE AGGREGATE ACTIVITY WITHIN THE DEFINED LIMITS OF MISSION
OR THE VERY SCOPE OF MISSION ITSELF IS EXPANDED
TO INCLUDE THE MEETING OF THE NEW RULES AND THE DOING OF THE NEW PROGRAMS.
NUMBER THREE, THE INSTITUTION CONDUCTS RESEARCH TO ESTIMATE THE COST
OF MEETING THE NEW NEEDS AND ADDING THE NEW PROGRAMS.
NUMBER FOUR, THE NEW REVENUE TO SUPPORT SUCH EXPANSION IS SOUGHT
FROM SOME COMBINATION OF THE THREE BASIC SOURCES--
PUBLIC MONIES, TUITION, AND PHILANTHROPY.
HAS THIS FOUR-STEP PROCESS WORKED FOR US?
WELL, DURING MY BRIEF TENURE ON THIS BOARD,
I AM CONTINUALLY BEING AMAZED BY OUR SCHOOL'S DEPTH, ITS BREADTH,
ITS VIBRANCY, ITS ADMINISTRATIVE SKILL AND PROACTIVITY,
AND ITS FOCUSED COMMITMENT TO STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY
THAT PERVADES THIS ENTIRE INSTITUTION.
HENCE, I'D HAVE TO ASK MY QUESTION,
"YES, THE PROCESS UP TILL NOW HAS WORKED FOR US."
HOWEVER, TO MY MIND, THAT IS NOT THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION AT HAND.
RATHER, THE QUESTION IS THIS--
GIVEN THE UNPRECEDENTED ECONOMIC REALITIES FACING OUR SCHOOL,
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STATE, AND OUR NATION,
IS THIS A PROCESS THAT SHOULD OR EVEN CAN BE SUSTAINED ANY LONGER?
IF WE DO PASS THE MILLAGE, WILL IT BE--
WHAT I REFERRED TO IN DECEMBER AS, I QUOTE--
"ANOTHER SUPPOSEDLY SMALL DROP IN THE BUCKET OF TAXATION," UNQUOTE,
A BUCKET THAT IS ALREADY CLOSE TO FILLING, OVERFLOWING,
AND OVERWHELMING OUR TAX BASE?
IS REQUIRING DIMINISHING NUMBERS OF HOUSEHOLDS
TO PAY A GREATER PERCENTAGE OF THEIR SHRINKING HOUSEHOLD INCOMES
REALLY A SOUND, LONG-RANGE FISCAL POLICY?
AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IS IT REALLY AN ETHICAL ONE?
AND FURTHER, IF THE MILLAGE, INDEED, IS PASSED,
DO WE HAVE ANY ASSURANCE THAT,
EVEN IN A FEW YEARS FROM NOW, WE WILL NOT FIND OURSELVES
IN THE MIDDLE OF ANOTHER SQUEEZE,
BROUGHT ABOUT BY A WHOLE NEW SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES,
SUCH AS RETIREMENT COSTS?
THE ANSWER TO THE INEVITABLE QUESTION OF "WHAT SHOULD WE DO NOW?,"
I THINK IS FOUND IN A BOOK BY JOHN CARVER,
ENTITLED, "BOARDS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE."
"POLICY GOVERNANCE"-- THAT TERM CONNOTING THOSE PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNANCE
PROPOUNDED BY CARVER HAS BEEN SPECIFICALLY EMBRACED BY OUR BOARD-- US--
AS THOSE VERY PRINCIPLES AND METHODS
BY WHICH WE PLEDGE TO LEAD THIS INSTITUTION.
IN CONSIDERING THE RESULTS TO BE ACHIEVED THROUGH POLICY GOVERNANCE,
CARVER STATES THE FOLLOWING ON PAGE 32, "WHAT SHOULD THE RESULTS BE?
"HOW WILL OUR BEING IN BUSINESS AFFECT THE WORLD?
"OUR CHOICES RANGE FROM THE BROAD,"
THAT IS, EFFECTS ON WHOLE POPULATIONS,
"TO THE SPECIFIC," OUTCOMES FOR A PARTICULAR CLIENT, STUDENT, PATIENT,
OR OTHER BENEFICIARIES.
"THEY RELATE TO BOTH THE LONG- AND THE SHORT-TERM.
"THIS SET OF VALUES ABOUT AN INTENDED IMPACT ON THE WORLD
"IS AT THE ROOT OF AN ORGANIZATION'S REASON FOR EXISTENCE.
"BOTH THE COST AND THE BENEFIT TO THE WORLD MUST BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
"WHEN THE BOARD CONSIDERS AN ORGANIZATION'S TRANSACTION
"WITH ITS ENVIRONMENT.
"THIS MOST CRITICAL OF ALL POLICY AREAS CONCERNS ITSELF
"WITH WHAT HUMAN NEEDS ARE SATISFIED,
"FOR WHOM, AND AT WHAT COST.
"THE GOVERNING BOARD'S HIGHEST CALLING
"IS TO ENSURE THAT THE ORGANIZATION PRODUCES ECONOMICALLY JUSTIFIABLE,
"PROPERLY CHOSEN, WELL-TARGETED RESULTS," END OF QUOTE.
THE LAST TWO SENTENCES, WITH CRYSTALLINE CLARITY,
DISTILL THE ESSENCE OF WHAT WE HAVE SIGNED ON TO DO, AS A BOARD.
I THINK THAT WE ARE SOMEHOW-- IT'S SOMETHING OF A CROSSROADS,
AND OUR TWO CHOICES OF DIRECTION ARE THESE--
WE CAN SIMPLY FOLLOW THE USUAL PATH OF IDENTIFYING NEW NEEDS
AND PURSUING INCREASED REVENUES TO FULFILL THEM,
OR, IF I CAN USE CARVER'S TERMS AGAIN, WE CAN REEXAMINE OUR RESULTS
TO BE SURE THAT BENEFIT AND COST ARE IN PROPER PROPORTION...
AND THAT THE RESULTS WE HAVE CHOSEN AND TARGETED
ARE ECONOMICALLY JUSTIFIABLE.
IN FACT, THIS IS PRECISELY THE WORK THAT WE NEED TO DO,
EVEN BEFORE WE CONSIDER A MILLAGE REQUEST.
IN THIS REGARD, I APPLAUD PRESIDENT ENDER AND HIS CABINET
FOR ALREADY HAVING INITIATED PROGRAM REVIEW
AND COST AND ANALYSIS BEFORE THE SUGGESTION WAS MADE.
FURTHER KUDOS TO DR. ENDER FOR HIS ONGOING TENACIOUS EFFORTS
TO CONTAIN OTHER BALLOONING OPERATIONAL COSTS.
THESE ARE STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION,
YET REPRESENT ONLY THE BEGINNING OF THE WORK WE, AS A BOARD,
SHOULD BE QUICKLY AND URGENTLY PRESSING TO ACCOMPLISH.
SO, INSTEAD OF TAKING THE WELL-TRAVELED PATH
WE'VE ALWAYS FOLLOWED,
LET'S TAKE THE PATH THAT WE HAVE PLEDGED TO PURSUE--
THAT OF POLICY GOVERNANCE.
I'LL CLOSE WITH A FEW MORE QUOTES FROM CARVER.
NUMBER ONE, "THE BOARD'S RIGHTFUL FIDELITY
"IS TO THE OWNERSHIP THAT IS THE PUBLIC,
"NOT TO THE MANAGEMENT."
NUMBER TWO, "IN THE POLICY GOVERNANCE MODEL,
"THE BOARD REACHES UP WITH EXTENSIVE MECHANISMS
"TO TAP INTO THE GENERAL PUBLIC WILL."
NUMBER THREE, "THE BOARD SHOULD CONTINUALLY STRUGGLE TO DEFINE
"AND LINK WITH ITS OWNERSHIP.
"IT SHOULD DO SO WITH THE SAME VIGOR AS IF OWNERS
"WERE ORGANIZED AND LOOKING OVER THE BOARD'S SHOULDER."
NUMBER FOUR, "THE BOARD'S PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP IS WITH THOSE
"TO WHOM IT IS ACCOUNTABLE--
"THE GENERAL PUBLIC, THE SHAREHOLDERS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION.
"THE BOARD IS THE PURCHASING AGENT FOR THE EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT."
AND LASTLY, "THE FORMAL LINK FROM THE OWNERS TO THE TRUSTEES
"IS THE ELECTION PROCESS."
COLLEAGUES, AFTER WHAT WE HAVE JUST HEARD FROM DR. CARVER,
CAN WE HONESTLY MAINTAIN THAT WE WOULD BE PRACTICING POLICY GOVERNANCE
IF WE KNOWINGLY PLACE A MILLAGE ELECTION ON A DAY
THAT WILL HAVE A MINISCULE VOTER TURNOUT?
CLEARLY, THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS
THROUGH THE STRIVING TO KNOW THE PUBLIC WILL
DEMANDS THAT WE PLACE THE ELECTION ON THE DATE
THAT WOULD HAVE THE MOST COPIOUS VOTER TURNOUT...
ON NOVEMBER.
I WOULD URGE US IN THIS VOTE AND IN ALL ELSE THAT WE DO, AS A BOARD,
TO PURSUE POLICY GOVERNANCE
WITH DETERMINATION, THOROUGHNESS, AND INTEGRITY.
THIS IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN ENSURE THE LONG-RANGE SUSTAINABILITY AND HEALTH
OF BOTH COLLEGE AND COMMUNITY.
>> THANK YOU, TRUSTEE STEWART.
AT THIS POINT, I'M GOING TO MAKE A FEW OF MY OWN COMMENTS.
I'M GOING TO BE IN SUPPORT OF PLACING THIS ON THE BALLOT IN MAY.
I AGREE WITH...
MY COLLEAGUES THAT IN AFFIRMATION
OF PUTTING THE BALLOT UP TO THE VOTERS.
I'VE BEEN ON THE BOARD FOR OVER 14 YEARS
AND I'VE TRUSTED THE COLLEGE'S FIGURES THROUGH THREE PRESIDENTS--
UH, PRESIDENT ENDER'S THE THIRD PRESIDENT--
I'VE TRUSTED THEIR FIGURES.
I KNOW THAT THE COLLEGE IS--
MANY OF THE BUILDINGS NEED MAINTENANCE,
AND IT'S TIME TO GET THAT DONE.
WHEN I LOOK AROUND DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS
AND I SEE ALL THE NEW BUILDINGS,
AND I JUST CANNOT SEE LETTING THIS COLLEGE RUN DOWN.
WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND DOWNTOWN
AND LET THINGS RUN DOWN FURTHER THAN THEY ARE?
I JUST BELIEVE IT'S TIME TO BRING THIS TO THE VOTERS.
AS FAR AS THE VOTERS, THIS HAS BEEN IN THE PAPER MANY TIMES,
AND IF THE VOTE'S IN MAY, IT'S GONNA BE ON MLIVE--
EVERYBODY'LL KNOW THAT THERE'S A VOTE IN MAY, AND...
THEY CAN GO VOTE IN MAY.
I DON'T SEE THE ISSUE WHY IT HAS TO BE IN NOVEMBER,
WHY PEOPLE FEEL IT SHOULD BE THEN.
EVERYBODY'S GONNA KNOW IT'S IN MAY
AND THEY'RE FREE TO VOTE IN MAY.
I CAN'T SEE DELAYING THE VOTE-- AND THEN, THE MOST IMPORTANT,
WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL ASPECT, I AGREE WITH WHAT'S BEEN SAID,
THAT THE INTEREST RATES-- I BELIEVE THE INTEREST RATES'LL GO UP,
CONSTRUCTION COSTS WILL GO UP, AND AS FAR AS THE TAX PAYERS ARE CONCERNED,
NOW WOULD BE THE TIME TO PASS THIS MILLAGE,
BEGIN WORK ON THE BUILDINGS NOW, WHILE CONSTRUCTION COSTS ARE LESS
AND INTEREST COSTS ARE LESS.
FINANCIALLY, THAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE TO ME.
SO, I'LL BE VOTING IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.
UM...
I BELIEVE THAT-- >> (indistinct speaking).
>> TIME FOR A ROLL CALL VOTE ON PLACING THE BALLOT--
UH, PLACING THIS UP ON THE BALLOT
FOR MAY 8th, 2012.
ROLL CALL VOTE.
>> TRUSTEE ANDERSON? >> YES.
>> TRUSTEE BLEKE? >> YES.
>> TRUSTEE HANDLIN? >> YES.
>> TRUSTEE JAMES? >> YES.
>> TRUSTEE RYSKAMP? >> NOT YET.
UH, I MEAN, NO. (Bleke laughing)
>> TRUSTEE STEWART? >> NO.
>> CHAIRPERSON VERBURG? >> YES.
>> WE HAVE FIVE TO TWO COUNT.
THE MOTION CARRIES AND THE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING BOND PROPOSITION
IS APPROVED AS PRESENTED.
>> THANK YOU ALL FOR ATTENDING THIS MEETING.
(gavel banging) THIS MEETING'S ADJOURNED.