February 17, 2022, Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

February 17, 2022, Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Thursday, February 17, 2022, 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. John Hayden
Mr. Erik Hermes
Mrs. Ruth Howell
Mr. David Schoenling
Mr. Charles L. Session, Jr.

Board Members Absent: 

Mr. Sam Collier
Mr. Joshua Wade

Gateway and KCTCS Faculty and Staff Present:

Mr. Mike Baker, Director of Maintenance & Operations
Mr. Matt Bunning, Manager of Safety & Security
Mr. John Clancy, Director of Development
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. Rebecca Johnson, Knowledge Analyst
Ms. Adrijana Kowatsch, Vice President Development and External Relations
Mr. Larry Kraczek, Information Technology Specialist
Dr. Tiffany Minard, Associate Vice President of Inclusion and Intervention Services
Mr. Doug Penix, Associate Vice President for Academic Services
Mr. Steve Popple, Director of Knowledge Management
Ms. Melissa Sears, Director of Information Technology
Mr. Chris Stout, Student Affairs Specialists -Early College Opportunities
Ms. Nicole Stout, Senior Administrative Assistant to the Provost
Mr. Paul Tontillo, Director of Budget & 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



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.


Dr. Figueroa introduced Ms. Nicole Stout to speak to the board about her experience as a long-time Gateway employee. She is the senior administrative assistant to the provost and has held various roles as a staff member for more 20 years. Ms. Stout said that when she started at Gateway, the college staff she worked with saw more in her than she saw in herself. Gateway has provided her with opportunities to pursue leadership and professional development. She is proud to be a Gateway graduate and employee.

When asked about her most significant challenge in coming to campus as a high school student, she said it was not knowing what to say when answering the phones. She learned that callers may not know what to ask. With Gateway’s support and programs available to them, people don’t have to know what they want to be in order to be successful and find their way.

Ms. Stout said Gateway has always faced constant change and is good at working through obstacles, such as when the technical school became a community and technical college. Gateway faculty and staff approach challenges and changes with an open mind, keeping a focus on what is best for the students.  


Chair Baines called for a motion to approve the minutes from the December 9, 2021, meeting. Upon motion by Mr. Session, and seconded by Mr. Hermes, a vote was taken to approve the December 9, 2021, minutes as presented. The vote was unanimous to approve.


A.     Finance and Facilities Committee – Mr. Hermes
Committee Chair Hermes introduced Mr. Paul Tontillo, Gateway Director of Budget & Fiscal Services, to present a budget update that was previously given to the committee. Mr. Tontillo said that they thought Gateway would be 10% down for fall, but we ended at -7%. The budget gap is continuing to be filled by Federal stimulus grant and spending controls. Spring enrollment numbers are 2% down from budget, but that is also 1-1.5% above spring semester last year. The slight uptick since 2021 might indicate that we are improving from the bottom of the curve due to the pandemic.

Mr. Tontillo presented information on what is shaping fiscal year 2023. The Kentucky legislature is in session and they are setting the state budget and enacting changes that will have an important impact on Gateway. Some of the bills to watch are HB85 on dual credit tuition and HB1 for state appropriations.

B.     Performance Evaluation of the President Committee – Mr. Session
Committee Chair Session reported that evaluation forms will go out in the first week in April to be signed or returned anonymously to Ms. Frantz. The committee will meet the week of April 28 to review and summarize the responses. Their recommendation will go to the board chair to review with Dr. Figueroa. That recommendation will be approved at May meeting and sent to KCTCS President Czarapata. Each board member’s feedback is valuable and needed. He encouraged board members to provide the kind of feedback they would want themselves in order to improve. The board’s goal is to support Gateway in providing optimum service to greater Northern Kentucky.

C.     Strategic Planning Development Committee – Mr. Collier
Board Chair Baines gave a brief update since Committee Chair Collier is not able to attend. The committee met with Dr. Fritsch, Gateway Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, regarding the college strategic plan process, which is moving forward.   


Chair Baines introduced Ms. Ruth Howell. Ms. Howell spoke about her parents meeting in Kansas when her father was in the military and their move to greater Cincinnati in the 1950’s. Ms. Howell attended Holmes high school, married at a young age, and entered the new nursing program at Northern Kentucky University when her children were young. She worked at Good Samaritan Hospital before they moved to Baltimore, MD for her husband’s job, where they took advantage of visiting the many historical sites. She continued her nursing career working at a dialysis clinic, and she enjoyed getting to know her clients in that healthcare setting. Her family moved back to Northern Kentucky, where she is now retired, volunteers at New Hope Center, participated in the Tea Party, and serves on the Gateway board. Ms. Howell said that she is grateful for her education and how it transformed her life and opened opportunities for her children to pursue education. She has three children, five grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Ms. Howell loves to travel to national parks and historical places. She lost her husband in the past year. Her faith in God has seen her through all the events in her life.  She shared a photo of her family.

She is very impressed with Gateway’s programs, particularly the nursing program which she recently toured. She said the academics are incredible and the support to the students is outstanding.

Ms. Howell nominated Mr. Session to present the board member spotlight at the next meeting, April 7, 2022.  


Chair Baines said that we are experiencing shifts in workforce demographics. He spoke about generational differences in attitudes toward work. In German, the word for employer is work giver, and the word for employee is work taker. That approach doesn’t exist anymore, and there is an increasing burden on employers. He asked, “What can the community college do?”  One answer is to invite into the workforce those who are overlooked as employees. Gateway has done great planning to accomplish that by fostering an ecosystem that includes business partnerships. Chair Baines said that he sees that Gateway models the values that welcome and include everyone. He said that the board needs to help promote that in the community, at a business partner level and with individuals.


Dr. Figueroa presented Gateway as a regional talent development strategy in the Northern Kentucky landscape. He said that Gateway is persistent, customized and a leader in the community to solve problems for Northern Kentucky workforce. As evidenced by new academic programs and initiatives, Gateway has persistent presence and ongoing growth. Gateway has multiple pathways for people to discover interests and find their talents. Gateway Workforce Solutions provides customized workforce training and is embedded in regional workforce efforts. Gateway is engaged as a partner with companies to train their workforce and improve onboarding and employee retention. Gateway participates in developing solutions with the leadership of Northern Kentucky in the Workforce Investment Board (NKWIB), the OneNKY Alliance, TriED, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber.   

Mr. Session said that the board can help take this message, that you’ve cultivated with business and industry, to our legislators to secure more state funding and other opportunities with our partners. Mr. Brown asked about sharing the TriED report with the board members and commented on neighboring counties that are part of NKY.

Dr. Figueroa invited Dr. Denise Fritsch, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, to speak about the Office of Knowledge Management. She presented an overview of the primary work the office does to collect and report data for the college. The office also interacts with other sectors of the college to make the data actionable Knowledge management enhances a positive culture of assessment for continuous improvement. It is important to have collaboration among all departments to take meaningful measurements and put the data to use. The spring enrollment tracker is representative of much of the numbers we track. The streamlined report is the result of identifying key data points, collecting it comprehensively, condensing it, and sending it to everyone consistently. The report is enhanced with the addition of a list of ways to help with enrollment and retention, that is also the result of collaboration with the people who own the data and are working for improvement. 

Knowledge Management supports and leads several college-wide efforts, including SACSCOC reaffirmation reporting, the quality enhancement plan, the college strategic plan development, Mission, Vision and Values statements, academic program reviews, student learning outcomes, strategic enrollment management, and departmental annual plans. We are working to strategically align everything the college does so that we can clearly answer the question, “If it is not adding to the strategic plan, why are we doing it?”

Dr. Figueroa announced that Commencement will be on May 12 at the Truist (formerly BB&T) arena.  


Chair Baines called the meeting adjourned at 7:46  p.m.

Prepared by Ms. Jane Frantz, Recording Secretary

Important Dates to Remember

Board Meeting - April 7, 2022

Gateway Commencement - May 12, 2022

Board Meeting - May 26, 2022