April 7, 2022, Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

April 7, 2022, Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 6:30 p.m.
room B123/Convening Center, 500 Technology Way, Florence, KY 41042

Board Members Present: 
Mr. Larry Brown
Mr. Charles Coleman
Mr. Sam Collier
Mr. Erik Hermes
Ms. Ruth Howell
Mr. David Schoenling
Mr. Charles L. Session, Jr.

Board Members Absent: 
Mr. John Baines
Mr. John Hayden
Mr. Joshua Wade

Gateway and KCTCS Faculty and Staff Present:
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. Amy Hatfield, Associate Vice President, Human Resources
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. Chris Russey, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics
Mr. Paul Tontillo, Director of Budget & 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


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

    Board Vice Chair Chuck Session led the meeting in place of Chair John Baines who was out of town and could not attend the meeting. Vice Chair Session 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 Mr. Chris Russey to speak to the board about his experience as a Gateway faculty member. He is an Assistant Professor in Mathematics and Statistics and has been at Gateway since 2018. He is working on his doctorate in STEM education.

    Mr. Russey tries to impart hope and encouragement to students. He guides them along the path that starts with  learning math and progresses as students find success in learning and establish self-confidence. He also works with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts at Gateway. Mr. Russey said that since Gateway is a young institution its story is still being written. We are still establishing our identity and brand in the region. He said that Gateway has a daily challenge of attracting more students, and that sometimes Gateway must extend to places we haven’t gone before to reach underrepresented students. Gateway provides a welcoming environment to students who might have had a previous bad experience with school. Gateway gives them the resources they need to be successful.

    Mr. Russey sees that there is a challenge for everyone to continue to be open to the possibilities of what Gateway can be while it takes a critical and leading role in making this region successful.

    The board members posed questions about collaborating with high schools, students who are not prepared for college level work, partnerships with four-year colleges and universities for transfer, and trends in general education math courses. Mr. Russey, Dr. Figueroa and Provost VonHandorf discussed these topics.

    Vice Chair Session thanked Mr. Russey for his leadership and for encouraging students to achieve. He offered best wishes for continued success. 

  3. Approval of Minutes - February 17, 2022

    Vice Chair Session called for a motion to approve the minutes from the February 17, 2022, meeting. He noted that the word “annual” will be removed from the heading on the front page. Upon motion by Mr. Brown with second by Mr. Coleman, a vote was taken to approve the February 17, 2022, minutes as amended. The vote was unanimous to approve.

  4. Annual Mission Statement Review

    Dr. Figueroa reported that there has been a process change at the Board of Regents for the mission statement review and approval. There used to be individual cycles for each college in a three year rotation. The reviews are now aligned with the four-year strategic plan cycle, which is 2022-2026. All college mission statements will be ratified at the June 2022 Board of Regents meeting and every four years thereafter. Gateway’s mission statement went through the full review, revision and ratification process 2 years ago. The next formal review for Gateway’s mission statement will be 2026, and that process will begin in 2025. He asked the board to endorse the current mission statement so that it can be sent to KCTCS for the June Board of Regents ratification.

    Vice Chair Session made a motion to accept the current Gateway mission statement and forward it to the Board of Regents as requested. Mr. Schoenling seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous to endorse.

  5. Committee Reports

    A.     Finance and Facilities Committee – Mr. Hermes
    Committee Chair Hermes introduced Mr. Paul Tontillo to present a budget update that he previously presented to the committee. Mr. Tontillo said that the spring outlook is -2% from the budget, but that is 1% better than last year at the same time. It is expected that Gateway will end with +$725K and expenses totaling $325K less than planned, in part because of federal stimulus relief. Looking forward to fiscal year 2023, there are encouraging signs for funding from the legislature in the form of dual credit tuition and state appropriation. The Gateway budget process will be in the planning phase in the next four to six weeks. The Finance and Facilities committee will meet again to review the budget that will be presented to the full board at the May meeting.

    Mr. Brown congratulated the staff and faculty who worked on every area of the college to improve the numbers.

    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.

    Committee Chair Session stated that Ms. Frantz will distribute the evaluation forms and return envelopes. There will be a committee meeting to review and summarize the results later in the month. Then Mr. Session will meet with Chair Baines and Dr. Figueroa before the presentation at the May 26 board meeting. Dr. Figueroa has led the faculty and staff through another successful year. Mr. Session asked board members to be engaged and complete the evaluations to provide feedback that will help Dr. Figueroa move the college forward for the 2022-2023 year.

    C.     Strategic Planning Development Committee – Mr. Collier
    Committee Chair Collier reported that the committee is working to find a date to meet to look at the new strategic plan and key performance indicators.

  6. Board Member Spotlight

    Vice Chair Session spoke as the board member spotlight. His father was one of 13 children, and they have held a  weekend long family reunion yearly since 1940. He and his wife hosted the reunion in 2010 with 250 people attending from across the country. They are hosting this year and expect 175 people. It is critically important for him to carry on the tradition and honor his family. His life opportunities are due to the work, sacrifices and achievements of those before him.

    Mr. Session shared that he has worked at Duke since age of 17 as a sub-station construction employee. In over 40 years at Duke Energy, he has held 16 jobs and relocated 13 times. He currently leads the government affairs work for Duke’s business in Ohio and Kentucky. He’s a native Hoosier and is happy to work and live in the Commonwealth.

    Mr. Session appreciates the opportunity to serve on the Gateway Board. He was appointed by Governor Bevin and reappointed by Governor Beshear. He is proud of the work of the faculty and staff and the leadership of Dr. Figueroa. He thanked the people he works with on the board, for working together and looking onward and upward.

    Mr. Session nominated Sam Collier and Dave Schoenling to be the board member spotlights at the May meeting.

  7. Chairperson's Report

    The Chair was not present.

  8. President’s Report 

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Gateway Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Teri VonHandorf to present an update on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation reaffirmation process. Dr. VonHandorf reminded the board that Gateway is accredited by SACSCOC and every five years we are responsible to report to them in some way. Five years ago, we submitted a successful five-year report. We have been working on our 10-year reaffirmation since July 2021. In early February, the SACSCOC Vice President who is leading our process completed an advisory visit with us. He said that we are in very good shape. The full report was submitted in mid-February to the offsite committee, which will report back at the end of April. They’ll let us know if we have any issues to address. If there is anything, we will present answers and further documentation to the onsite committee in September. Their visit will include meetings, tours of our campuses, and a focus on the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP.) Our QEP project is an expansion of the efforts to increase workplace skills of all graduates.

    Dr. Figueroa presented a legislative update. He said that Gateway and KCTCS are encouraged by the joint version of the state budget. The dual credit waiver that increases to 50% of the tuition rate is in the budget bill, and we will continue to advocate in future years for it to be placed into law. The state appropriation funds will not be a large wave of cash to the colleges. The Board of Regents is committed to a plan for compensation for faculty and staff, and most of the state appropriation will go to that.

    Dr. Figueroa introduced Dr. Tiffany Minard to present the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) report submitted to the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE). Dr. Minard presented a summary of the report covering four focus areas from the 2020-2021 academic year.

    The four sections are as follows:

    1. Recruitment marketing with the goal of targeting 5 KY schools and 5 Cincinnati schools measured by the enrollment numbers of underrepresented students.

    2. Recruitment and retention of underrepresented employees.

    3. Increasing student success with the goal of reducing academic and non-academic barriers by measuring the results of success coaching, counseling and student resources; intentionally promoting services to the URS population; and utilizing more communication with the student success connector program.

    4. Development of infrastructure with the goal of identifying key personnel and creating programming and initiatives that support the academic success of underrepresented students at Gateway.

    Dr. Minard asked Ms. Amy Hatfield, Vice President of Human Resources to share details on employee engagement strategies. Ms. Hatfield spoke about efforts to hire and welcome diverse faculty and staff while incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into the entire cycle of professional development and engagement efforts for all faculty and staff.

    The board members asked questions about increases in student populations and tracking of success based on graduation rates. There was a request for data on where students go when they leave Gateway.

    Dr. Figueroa reported that the Board of Regents met in March and approved the KCTCS strategic plan. The Gateway strategic plan will be presented for approval at the May 26 board meeting. KCTCS will affirm it with the other college plans in June. Our plan is aligned to the structure of the KCTCS plan which has three planks - employer success, learner success, and organization success.

    Dr. Figueroa concluded with three items of business. 1. Ms. Frantz will be reaching out to schedule meetings for Dr. Figueroa to meet individually with board members over the summer. 2. Board members are invited to the Foundation fundraiser luncheon on May 10 at the Oddfellows Hall in Covington. Gateway is pleased to honor Duke Energy as outstanding business partner and Lisa and Norm Desmarais as outstanding community college champions. 3. Board members have been invited to join the Gateway Commencement on May 12 at Truist Arena. Board participation is meaningful for everyone and greatly appreciated.

  9. Adjournment

    Vice Chair Session motioned to adjourn at 7:55 p.m. with a second by Mr. Brown and all in favor.

    Prepared by Ms. Jane Frantz, Recording Secretary

Important Dates to Remember

Gateway Commencement - May 12, 2022

Board Meeting - May 26, 2022

Board Meeting - Sept. 1, 2022

Board Meeting - October 20, 2022

Board Meeting - December 8, 2022