December 9, 2021 Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

December 9, 2021 Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Thursday, December 9, 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. Charles Coleman
  • Mr. Sam Collier
  • Mr. Erik Hermes
  • Mrs. Ruth Howell
  • Mr. David Schoenling
  • Mr. Joshua Wade

Board Members Absent 

  • Mr. Larry Brown
  • Mr. John Hayden
  • Mr. Charles L. Session, Jr.

Gateway and KCTCS Faculty and Staff Present

  • Mr. Mike Baker, Director of Maintenance & Operations
  • Mr. John Clancy, Director of Development
  • Dr. Paul Czarapata, KCTCS President 
  • 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
  • Mr. Patrick Lamping, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
  • 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. Brian Perry, KCTCS Government Affairs Liaison
  • Mr. Josh Risch, Information Technology Project Manager
  • Ms. Autumn Shuler, Grants and Contracts
  • Mr. Paul Tontillo, Director of Budget and Fiscal Services
  • Dr. Teri VonHandorf, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Mr. Andre Washington, Associate Vice President Enrollment
  • Ms. Ingrid Washington, Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Mr. Jamie Younger, Vice President, Administrative & Business Affairs


  • Ms. Alexxys Lona – Gateway student 


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

    Board Chair John Baines was delayed in arriving and asked Dr. Figueroa to start the meeting. Dr. Figueroa 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. Lexi Lona to speak to the board about her experience as a first generation college student. She is studying business administration and is participating in the Gateway2NKU program.

    She started in the nursing program while attending Grant County high school. She continued at Gateway as a full-time student and was invited to join TRIO Project Aspire (support for first generation college students) around the same time she made the decision to switch from nursing to business. She appreciates all the help she receives from the TRIO staff and is happy to be making progress in her degrees. She is the first person they asked to participate in the TRIO ambassador program for recruiting and increasing awareness among students about the program. She is also in the Student Government Association.

    Ms. Lona likes the low cost and accessibility of education at Gateway, and she takes advantage of online and hybrid courses that fit with her Amazon work schedule of strange hours. TRIO helps her stay on track with setting goals and motivation. Ms. Lona feels that staff at Gateway prioritize the person instead of thinking of a student as just a number, and Gateway’s focus is trying to help people. She is excited to see what else she can do in TRIO to help her fellow students. It feels like a family to her.

  3. Introduction of KCTCS President Czarapata 

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Dr. Paul Czarapata, who attended by Teams. He was recently appointed as the President of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS.) 

    Dr. Czarapata said that he just wrapped up a tour of the 16 KCTCS colleges with Board of Regents Chair Lisa Desmarais. Theme of his listening tour was “All E.A.R.S. – Equitable, Agile, Responsive, Streamlined”. His first goal for KCTCS is to be THE solution for Kentucky’s workforce needs.

    The competitive environment that Gateway is in makes it especially challenging. Gateway is good at  communicating the value proposition that Gateway brings to NKY. What makes Gateway great is the dedication and commitment of faculty and staff to help students be successful – our students have children, full-time jobs, and other challenges. The pandemic hit our students hard, especially around childcare.

    Dr. Czarapata is passionate about paying more attention in the state to the K-12 pipeline. KCTCS needs to educate all Kentuckians on what KCTCS colleges have to offer the state for workforce options, which are great jobs that don’t need a four-year degree.

    In answer to the question, what does an effective board look like to him, Dr. Czarapata said that it’s a board that is wired into local legislators, so that members can effectively advocate for the system and for the college.  

    Dr. Figueroa then called on Mr. Brian Perry, KCTCS Government Affairs Liaison, to speak to the board about current advocacy priorities for KCTCS.  Mr. Perry said the next Kentucky legislative session will focus on the budget. KCTCS is putting forward a large budget request because there is more money available to allocate than the state has ever had. CPE postsecondary budget requests include KCTCS and are: 1. Increase in performance based funding, 2. Pension relief, and 3. Asset preservation needs. The KCTCS portion of the total state performance funds is 22%, but KCTCS serves 40% of the undergraduate population in the state. Mr. Perry explained the request for asset preservation needs, which is only for deferred maintenance. Any money for KCTCS will go to instructional facilities because we don’t have dorms, recreational, or athletic venues.

    CPE is also requesting a workforce initiative for KCTCS for high demand fields. A separate CPE Agency request is for healthcare education. CPE would administer the funds to support and grow healthcare programs across the Commonwealth. The last request is an increase in the KCTCS mandated program – TRAINS, which is for incumbent training and requires a company match of 25%.

    Mr. Perry was asked how KCTCS allocates the funds among the colleges in the system. For the largest pool of money for performance funding, KCTCS money is separate from the universities’, and it goes through the KCTCS model for distribution to the 16 colleges. There are conversations among the presidents about adjusting the distribution. For the two new workforce initiatives, Dr. Czarapata, his cabinet, and the college presidents will have more flexibility for distributing the money.  

    Mr. Perry listed the non-budget legislative requests, which are for dual credit scholarships, tuition waivers, and property conveyance.  Dual credit is now reimbursed to the college by the state at 40% of the tuition rate, and the student doesn’t pay any tuition. The request is to increase the state payment from KHEEA funds to 50%, which is still below the break-even point for providing the courses. Tuition waiver applications should be accompanied by FAFSA application so that available Federal dollars can be used, with the waiver covering any remaining need, instead of the college absorbing all the expense for the tuition being waived.  The property conveyance request is to put into law the current temporary budgetary language that allows institutions to retain proceeds on the sale of property or major equipment.  

    One-pagers and information cards with details on all the KCTCS advocacy issues were distributed to the board members and will be filed with the meeting minutes.  

  4. Approval of Minutes - October 21, 2021

    Chair Baines called for a motion to approve the minutes from the October 21, 2021, meeting. Upon motion by Mr. David Schoenling, and seconded by Mr. Sam Collier, a vote was taken to approve the October 21, 2021, minutes as presented. The vote was unanimous to approve.
  5. Committee Reports

    Finance and Facilities Committee – Mr. Hermes
    Committee Chair Erik Hermes reported that enrollment is down across KCTCS as an effect of Covid-19. It is down across KCTCS 10%, while Gateway enrollment is down 7%. Enrollment decreases are in all student groups and divisions. Dual credit enrollment is growing as a percentage of enrollment. Despite these numbers, Gateway is maintaining budget stability. The budget gap has been filled by federal stimulus funds and by careful spending controls. Efforts to address spring enrollment are focusing on a new scholarship for first-time students. The committee will begin meeting monthly in January to layout out the 2022-23 budget.
  6. Board Member Spotlight

    Chair Baines introduced Mr. Erik Hermes for the board member spotlight. He presented some of the wildlife photos he has taken as one of his hobbies. His community involvement is with St. Philip church, on the board of the Care Net Pregnancy Center, and as a coach with the Campbell County 4-H Sharp Shooters. His other interests are fishing, archery, and travel with his adult children. He is active in local government and owns Hermes Construction, which is a design-build commercial construction company. He answered the question of what brought him to Gateway by saying that he was asked to serve on the board and that he was interested to learn more about addressing the shortage of an educated workforce. He supports Gateway in bringing more skilled labor to Northern Kentucky.

    He nominated Ruth Howell to present the board member spotlight at the next meeting.  

  7. Chairperson's Report

    Chair Baines spoke about his practice of reflecting and looking forward at this time of year. The advocacy conversation covered what we can look forward to. There is a lot that we’ve gone through. He said that he is proud of the perseverance of everyone at Gateway. This is a very special organization, with a consistent culture of being positive about the mission. Although there are many things to let go of as 2021 ends, one of the things to hold onto is who we are as a college.

    Chair Baines said that Gateway is included and wanted in the important conversations and solutions for the Northern Kentucky community. There is a lot to be proud of and still a lot of work to do. The board is committed to doing what they can to support the school.  

    Chair Baines asked each board member to share a take-away from their board experience this year.

    o      Ms. Howell said that she appreciates hearing from Mr. Perry about advocacy for KCTCS.

    o      Mr. Coleman said that he appreciates Dr. Figueroa’s leadership of the faculty and staff to navigate through 2021.

    o      Mr. Hermes said that he appreciates that Dr. Czarapata joined the board at this meeting and conducted a listening tour of each KCTCS college. He has high hopes for KCTCS with the new President.

    o      Mr. Collier said that 2021 has been a rough year, and that the Gateway faculty have continued to adapt. He is amazed to see what the staff and faculty can do in all scenarios and learn from to improve things moving forward. An example of this is the welding videos that the instructor created when we were in a remote learning situation, but that are now becoming a valuable part of the coursework for students to have even more access to lab content while they are practicing.

    o      Mr. Schoenling said that he has enjoyed working with this board. His second term will end in June 2022. He loves hearing the students speak to the board.

    o      Mr. Wade said that he is appreciative of everyone’s work and for the students who speak to the board. He said it is evident that the board and administration care about and prioritize the success of our students.

  8. President’s Report - Dr. Figueroa

    Dr. Figueroa said that Mr. Perry’s legislative advocacy update and supporting documents make up the President’s report. He added that in concluding 2021 he is proud of his executive team and all of Gateway. This is a time of dynamic uncertainty, which has brought stress to Gateway and especially to the executive team. The faculty and staff have responded heroically to the challenges and shifting environment. The lights are on for the people at Gateway. The mission is clear and key to the people who work here. It means so much to the faculty and staff that the board supports our work. The board is key to helping us maintain our reputation of being of service to the community.

  9. Adjournment

    Chair Baines called the meeting adjourned at 7:50  p.m.

Important Dates to Remember

Tri-ED NKY Target Industry Cluster & Workforce Report at Gateway Convening Center - January 12, 2022

Gateway Commencement - May 12, 2022