October 21, 2021 Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

October 21, 2021 Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 6:30 p.m.
Teams Audio and Video Conference and in room B123/Convening Center, 500 Technology Way, Florence, KY 41042

Board Members Present

  • Mr. John Baines
  • Mr. Larry Brown
  • Mr. Charles Coleman
  • Mr. Sam Collier
  • Mr. John Hayden
  • Mrs. Ruth Howell
  • Mr. David Schoenling
  • Mr. Charles L. Session, Jr.

Board Members Absent 

  • Mr. Erik Hermes
  • Mr. Joshua Wade

Gateway and KCTCS Faculty and Staff Present

  • Mr. Mike Baker
  • Mr. Matt Bunning 
  • Mr. John Clancy
  • 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. Amy Hatfield, Associate Vice President, Human Resources
  • Ms. Adrijana Kowatsch, Vice President Development and External Relations
  • Ms. Erica Marye, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
  • Dr. Tiffany Minard, Associate Vice President of Inclusion and Intervention Services
  • Mr. Doug Penix, Associate Vice President for Academic Services
  • Mr. Josh Risch, Information Technology Project Manager
  • Mr. Paul Tontillo, Director of Budget and Fiscal Services
  • Dr. Teri VonHandorf, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Ms. Ingrid Washington, Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Mr. Jamie Younger, Vice President, Administrative & Business Affairs


  • Ms. Stephanie McElhaney


  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance/Moment of Silence/Roll Call

    Board Chair John Baines, 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

    credit students. Ms. McElhaney said that their family’s Gateway story started with their son Adam, who always wanted to be a firefighter. As a homeschool family, they knew about the Gateway fire science program, and Adam enrolled as a dual credit student with the help of Shelby Krentz, Gateway Director of Early College Opportunities. Together, they mapped out a two-year plan, and he graduated from the fire science program at the age of 17 and was hired as a firefighter at the age of 18. He then completed the paramedic program at Gateway, and is now working on a nursing degree, so that he can be a life flight nurse. 

    Ms. McElhaney added that her daughters went to Ignite high school, and the Gateway dual credit classes they took made both want to go to Gateway after high school. They appreciated Shelby Krentz and the process at Gateway. Ms. McElhaney congratulated Gateway on the attention and education her children received. She said they enjoyed the study groups and activities. As a parent, she saw that students are not considered just a number at Gateway. The success her son has had in firefighting is a result of the mentorship and education he received here. She is thrilled they are all in the Gateway family. 

    Chair Baines thanked Ms. McElhaney for her kind words and congratulated her on the success of her children that was due to her support as an involved and engaged parent. 

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Ms. Adrijana Kowatsch, Vice President Development and External Affairs, to show the new video advertisement created by Dye Brothers with Title III grant. Discussion followed on where the video will be shown. Board members were requested to share suggestions and contact names for locations and groups that might benefit from the video.

  3. Approval of Minutes 

    Chair Baines called for a motion to approve the minutes from the September 2, 2021, meeting. Upon motion by Mr. Coleman, and seconded by Mr. Schoenling, a vote was taken to approve the September 2, 2021, minutes as presented. The vote was unanimous to approve.

  4. Governance Committee - Board Self-Evaluation

    Governance committee chair Hayden presented the results of the board self-evaluation. He summarized that the self-evaluation was sent to each board member as a survey for two measurements: each board member evaluated themselves and evaluated the board. Questions included the board’s understanding of the constituency, the ethical operation of the board, and level of working with the President. The questions were all answered on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest or best rating. Some questions received the highest marks from all board members, and some questions received a mix of 3’s and 4’s.

    The main conclusions are that the board feels very positive about their own participation and about the board. Mr. Hayden would expect to see even higher ratings when the evaluation next occurs and the board has had more of a chance to interact and attend college events.

    Chair Baines said that he will follow-up with sending the results to the board members.  

  5. Annual Committee Reports

    A.     Finance and Facilities Committee – Mr. Hermes
    Committee Chair Hermes was not present at the meeting, and Mr. Jamie Younger reported that the committee has met several times. They have established dates for the FY 2022-23 budget discussions and that a budget update is included in the President’s report. A submitted annual report was distributed to board members and kept on file.

    B.     Governance Committee – Mr. Hayden
    Committee Chair Hayden said that the committee has nothing further to report that was not already covered in the self-evaluation report.

    C.     Nominating Committee – Mr. Coleman
    Committee Chair Coleman summarized the report that he gave at the previous board meeting – the committee  meets every two years or when a new executive committee member is needed. The next meeting will be spring 2022, to prepare for the end of the terms of the chair and vice chair.

    D.     Performance Evaluation of the President Committee – Mr. Session
    Committee Chair Session reported that the updated goals from Dr. Figueroa will be shared with the committee and the board. He encouraged everyone to work with the evaluating committee to support Dr. Figueroa in achieving the goals for himself and the college. The committee will meet in January, March, and April. They will send out evaluations as scheduled. Mr. Session said that his goal in 2022 is 100% board participation with the evaluation of the President. He wants all board members to actively support Dr. Figueroa in achieving, acknowledging, and calling the college to be better at supporting NKY and the students.

    E.     Strategic Planning Development Committee – Mr. Collier
    Committee Chair Collier reported that the committee met a few times this year. They are figuring out a new direction and narrowing the scope of the KPIs with Mr. Younger and Dr. Fritsch. In October and November the committee will look at the three initiatives (dual credit matriculation, under-represented students, adult learners), college communication, and annual plans. The college will have a new strategic plan in 2022. A survey will be sent out tomorrow to board members. Answers will help Gateway with the strategic plan process. A submitted annual report was distributed to board members and kept on file.

    Chair Baines asked all chairs to provide a written annual report to Ms. Frantz to keep on file. The reports can be given to the next committee chairs.   

  6. Proposed 2022 Meeting Schedule

    Board Chair Baines asked the board if they had any questions or comments about the draft meeting dates sent to them before the meeting.

    Upon motion by Mr. Brown, and seconded by Mr. Session, a vote was taken on the approval of the 2022 meeting dates as presented. The vote was unanimous to approve.

  7. Board Member Spotlight

    Chair Baines introduced Mr. John Hayden for the board member spotlight. Mr. Hayden shared that he is a practicing attorney and the assistant attorney for the city for Newport. His practice focus is on bankruptcy and domestic law. He attended Newport schools, Thomas More College and Chase Law School. He served eight years as city commissioner in Newport. He has been married for 10 years and has four children. One of his children is a dual credit Gateway student. She will have a full year of college credits when she graduates high school. He is encouraged by what he hears from her experience of online classes while working full time.

    He is a Bengals fan, likes to travel, and his hobby is baseball memorabilia. As one of last appointments by Gov. Bevin, has learned a lot about Gateway by serving on the board. He is looking forward to getting to know the rest of the board. 

    He nominated Mr. Hermes to present the board member spotlight at the next meeting.  

  8. Chairperson's Report

    Chair Baines spoke about the theme of collaboration. He highlighted the Moon Shot for Equity initiative that will provide intentional collaboration for the region. This will hopefully lead to a more efficient educational system for the community. He spoke about creating a sustainable workforce and his meeting with Board of Regents Chair Desmarais on that topic. His call to action for the board is to consider how to redirect one’s own limited resources to focus on areas where each person can have the biggest impact.

  9. President’s Report - Dr. Figueroa

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Ms. Kowatsch, Vice President Development and External Relations, to give an update on the Foundation and Advocacy. She presented the Foundation scorecard that includes goals and year-to-date reports for constituents served, donors reached, and funds raised. Strategic priorities for FY2022 include scholarships, health programs, student support services, staff/faculty professional development fund, and career placement services. Ms. Kowatsch noted that the last Foundation real estate, the Point Property, was sold to the City of Covington. Discussion followed with a board member interested in participating in meetings and writing personal thank you notes to help connect with legislators and donors.

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Dr. VonHandorf, Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs, to give an update on enrollment.  She said that Gateway did fall short of the goal for fall semester enrollment, and some adjustments will be made on spring targets. We are now marketing the spring scholarship for free tuition and  recruiting for next fall.

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Mr. Tontillo, Director of Budget & Fiscal Services, to share current budget projections. He presented information on revenue and expense drivers in a consistent one-page dashboard format. Gateway is maintaining a balanced budget despite the significant fall and spring tuition risks because of stewardship of the federal stimulus funds. Enrollment is the biggest driver of revenue, and all departments and teams at Gateway are focusing on enrollment and retention.

    Dr. Figueroa pointed out the advocacy card that is in the board packets and asked them to give feedback to him and Ms. Kowatsch. It will be given to legislators, with a final draft going soon to the legislative caucus. Copies will be provided to board members for their meetings with elected officials.

    Dr. Figueroa shared highlights of the retreat KCTCS President Czarapata held with the college presidents. One decision they made is to focus on fewer priorities, which is also what Chair Baines asked for. The three areas of focus will be student enrollment, workforce, and advocacy.  Gateway Associate Vice President of Workforce Solutions, Christi Godman, is one of the leaders in KCTCS workforce efforts.  She is sharing her expertise with the other colleges in conversations about how to partner with business leaders. KCTCS will be shifting advocacy and marketing from the KCTCS brand to individual colleges because legislators are more connected to the schools in their own areas of the state than to the whole system. Dr. Figueroa is meeting monthly with Board of Regents Chair Desmarais, and she will be at Gateway on November 8 with Dr. Czarapata’s Listening Tour. All board members are invited to attend that luncheon event.

    Dr. Figueroa spoke about the Moon Shot for Equity initiative. Gateway is critical to the regional strategy for education. Dr. Vaidya from NKU and Dr. Figueroa met on Zoom with each school’s Moon Shot Champion and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, who is interested in what Moon Shot is and its potential impact on Kentucky. Today Dr. Figueroa and Dr. Vaidya met with Senator David Givens and Representative Samara Heavrin to discuss Moon Shot. To communicate that Kentucky is a welcoming state, DEI is a workforce imperative. States that have a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy to attract talent are going to be at the forefront. Dr. Figueroa asked the board members to give him feedback as they hear what is most important to Northern Kentucky and the Commonwealth in the next few months as Tri-ED releases data on its study of Target Industries to pursue for NKY economic vitality.

    There was discussion about the origin of Moon Shot and the next steps for Moon Shot, including the selection of targeted best practices to work on by the four partner institutions and the opportunity for Gateway to select others to work on individually.  

  10. Adjournment

    Chair Baines called the meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m.

Important Dates to Remember

Board Meeting - December 9