October 29, 2020 Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

October 29, 2020 Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Special Called Annual Meeting
Blackboard Collaborate Audio and Video Conference
Thursday, October 29, 2020, 6:30 p.m. 

Board Members Present

  • Ms. Morgan Arnold
  • Mr. John Baines
  • Mr. Larry Brown
  • Mr. Charles Coleman
  • Mr. Sam Collier
  • Mr. John Hayden
  • Mr. Erik Hermes
  • Mrs. Ruth Howell
  • Mr. David Schoenling

Board Members Absent

  • Mr. Charles L. Session, Jr. 

Gateway and KCTCS Faculty and Staff Present

  • Ms. Julie Althaver, Director of Development
  • Mr. Matt Bunning, Manager of Safety and Security
  • Ms. Amy Carrino, Dean of Business, IT and Professional Studies Division
  • Ms. Jane Frantz, Executive Assistant, President’s Office
  • Dr. Fernando Figueroa, President/CEO
  • Dr. Denise Fritsch, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
  • Ms. Christi Godman, Associate Vice President, Workforce Solutions
  • Ms. Adrijana Kowatsch, Vice President Development and External Relations
  • Mr. Patrick Lamping, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
  • Mr. Steve McGuire, Senior Instructional Designer/Developer
  • Mr. Doug Penix, Associate Vice President for Academic Services
  • Ms. Melissa Sears, Director of Information Technology
  • Mr. Paul Tontillo, Director of Budget & Fiscal Services
  • Dr. Teri VonHandorf, Vice President, Academic Affairs & Provost
  • Ms. Ingrid Washington, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Jamie Younger, Vice President, Administrative & Business Affairs


  • Ms. Erica Laaker



  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance/Moment of Silence/Roll Call
    • Board Chair Erik Hermes, called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. The board recited the Pledge of Allegiance and observed a moment of silence. Roll call was taken. The record will reflect that a quorum was present.
  2. Mission Moment
    • Dr. Figueroa introduced Ms. Erica Laaker, Gateway graduate of the Massage Therapy program. Ms. Laaker spoke about her experience of massage as a healing benefit in her own life, and her desire to work in that field. A private Cincinnati program was too expensive, but she heard about Gateway’s program when instructor Lance Nelson spoke at an event she attended. She said the Gateway environment and academic program were a great fit because she felt very welcomed and encouraged. With financial help from scholarships she could afford it and did very well academically. She earned Student of the Year award. She now owns her own medical massage
      business and helps with continuing education training.

      Dr. Figueroa thanked her for sharing her story of success and said that she makes Gateway proud. 
  3. Approval of Minutes
    • Chair Hermes called for a motion to approve the minutes from the September 10, 2020, meeting. Upon motion by Mr. John Baines, and seconded by Mr. Larry Brown, a roll call vote was taken to approve the September 10, 2020, minutes as presented. The vote was unanimous to approve. 
  4. Proposed 2021 Meeting Schedule
    • Chair Hermes asked the board members to review the draft meeting dates that were included in the meeting materials. If any board members have conflicts with any of the dates, they should let the new chair or Dr. Figueroa know before the next board meeting. 
  5. Chairperson Report
    • Chair Hermes said that executive officer elections will take place during the meeting, and those new officer terms begin immediately. He thanked everyone for professionalism and collaboration during his time as chair, and especially Dr. Figueroa and Jane Frantz for their support. He expressed appreciation for the work of Dr.
      Figueroa and Gateway staff and faculty. He said that he looks forward to continuing to serve on the board and is happy to relinquish the Chair position, as each of the board members is well qualified to serve. 
  6. Committee Reports
    1. Finance and Facilities Committee – Mr. Baines
      Mr. John Baines stated that the committee is a well-oiled machine due to Jamie Younger and his Gateway team. The collaborative nature of the committee members is great. Mr. Paul Tontillo presented the budget update which had been given to the committee at their most recent meeting. The presentation included a closeout of
      fiscal year 2020 and an overview of 2021. In 2021 revenue from strong enrollment is offset by some risks with an overall favorable outcome projected.
    2. Performance Evaluation of the President Committee - Mr. Session
      Mr. Charles Session was not able to attend the meeting. The committee report that he submitted was shared for the board members to read.
    3. Nominating Committee – Mr. Coleman
      Mr. Charlie Coleman reported that the committee met on August 11, 2020. He presented a slate of officers for the executive offices for election at the annual board meeting.
    4. Executive Committee – Mr. Hermes
      Chair Erik Hermes thanked everyone who served on committees.
    5. Strategic Planning Development Committee – Mr. Baines
      Mr. John Baines said that there is a very integrated execution of the strategic plan in the way Gateway works, and this committee did not need attention in the past year. 
    6. Governance Committee – Mr. Hayden
      Mr. John Hayden said that the Governance committee did not meet in the past year. He has been in contact with previous committee chair Dr. Julie Smith-Morrow, and they will meet to discuss the work of the committee. 
  7. Election of Officers
    • Chair Hermes asked Mr. Coleman to read the nominations from the slate presented by the Nominating Committee. They are Mr. John Baines, Chair; Mr. Charles L. Session, Jr., Vice Chair; Mr. Sam Collier, Secretary. Chair Hermes asked if there were any additional nominations from the floor. There being none, he asked for a motion to approve the slate of officers as presented. Upon motion by Mr. Dave Schoenling, and seconded by
      Ms. Ruth Howell, a roll call vote was taken. The slate of officers was passed with all voting in favor.

      Mr. Erik Hermes turned the meeting over to the new Board Chair, Mr. John Baines. Chair Baines thanked Mr. Hermes. Dr. Figueroa thanked Mr. Hermes for doing such a fine job serving as chair and representing Gateway in the community. 
  8. President’s Report - Dr. Figueroa
    • Dr. Figueroa asked the board members for responses to the question prompt he sent a week before the meeting, which was a request for suggestions for organizing principles or a theme for the 2021 meetings of the board. He stated that in past years the board presentations were organized on the five planks of the college strategic plan. Other ideas for meeting presentations to help the board learn about the college are the Three Commitments or the Mission, Values and Vision Statements. Feedback will provide a framework to design the agendas and reports/discussions for the next five meetings of the board to advance the impact of Gateway and the board in concrete ways. Ms. Morgan Arnold liked the idea of exploring topics that inform the board of the
      ways that Gateway supports students outside the classroom. By informing the board, this theme could translate into informing students and the community of the ways that Gateway is ready to help students. Dr. Figueroa asked the board to share other thoughts for a theme with Chair Baines and himself.

      Dr. Figueroa spoke about the CARES funds information card that was sent to local elected officials and shared with the board. The information highlights the student support and institutional support expenditures. 

      Dr. Figueroa said that the feedback given at the September meeting is still being digested, and that one of the takeaways was to increase messaging about Gateway with the local community in creative and targeted ways. With relevance to materials that will be developed, Dr. Figueroa said that the college would like to collect
      information of contacts that board members have with local elected officials, including the NKY caucus members. The development department is creating a document called the Value of Gateway, that will be shared with the board as soon as it is complete.

      One of the board recommendations was to share more Gateway stories, and Dr. Figueroa spoke about the social media posts and alumni highlights that have contributed to that effort. Dr Figueroa asked that if board members know any local leaders who attended community college, Gateway would like to know about them to include in the story of community college’s impact on the region. There is a new impact page being developed for the Gateway website.

      Dr. Figueroa said that Gateway commissioned a study of the outlook for local high demand and high wage jobs.

      He introduced Dr. Amy Carrino, Dean of Business, IT and Professional Studies Division, to share information on a program that was identified from that study. Dr. Carrino presented the data that led Gateway to identify the need for a Paralegal Technology program. Gateway is currently developing it, and when approved it will be the
      only one in Northern Kentucky. She said that Gateway will submit the program for approval from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and from the accrediting body, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). Gateway is asking for board members who have connections with law firms, judges, and government offices, to reach out to them for letters of support. Demonstrations of community support are part of the requirements for program approval. One question was where the current supply of paralegals is coming from if there is no local program. Some working paralegals do not have certification or a degree, but many firms do prefer that they have a degree or certificate in paralegal studies. There is currently a
      program at Cincinnati State. Several board members offered to send out sample letters of support. Dr. Carrino also asked board members to ask their contacts to serve on an advisory board for the paralegal program.

      Dr. Figueroa gave highlights on final fall enrollment numbers. Firefighter enrollment across the state is down, and that did affect Gateway’s numbers. As of the final census date the numbers are strong and met budget goals. Estimates for spring 2021 include budgeting for a decline from spring 2020. Efforts to increase spring enrollment include an expanded winter session, which offers 4-week classes.

      Gateway is continuing to work with community partners such as the Workforce Investment Board to give furloughed employees a pathway to re-employment. Advertising spending has been increased with data to support the purchases based on ROI. Chair Baines asked about the impact of four-year universities converting
      from in-person to online classes. Dr. Figueroa asked Dr. VonHandorf what the state is seeing. She said that overall students who decided not to go away to school in fall 2020 enrolled at NKU to save on room and board.  
  9. Adjournment
    • Chair Baines said that he is excited to serve as chair to assist Gateway to further establish itself as a key partner for Northern Kentucky, students, businesses and for regional transformation. He said that with any transition it’s a great time to revisit old assumptions and to continue to challenge ourselves and those around us to define
      what we do and strive to do it better. He asked the board to share their thoughts on how it can be more effective. He hopes to improve relationships among the board members, that have not been able to develop as they would have through regular face-to-face board meetings. He would like to continue to learn more about
      the strategic plan and educational offerings of the college.

      Upon motion by Mr. Collier, and seconded by Mr. Hermes, Chair Baines adjourned the meeting at 7:53 p.m. 

Important Dates to Remember

  • Board Meeting dates
    • December 10