September 7, 2023, Agenda and Minutes | GCTC

September 7, 2023, Agenda and Minutes

Board of Directors Meeting

Thursday, September 7, 2023, 6:30 p.m.
room B123/Convening Center, Center for Advanced Manufacturing,
500 Technology Way, Florence, KY 41042


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

    Chair Baines asked Dr. Paul Klein to introduce himself. He gave a brief description of his work in manufacturing controls equipment sales and subsequent move into higher education. He teaches math at Gateway and is happy to represent the faculty on the board.

  2. Mission Moment
    Dr. Figueroa introduced Connor Sullivan, a Campbell County high school graduate and new participant in the KY FAME program at Gateway. Connor said that he came to Gateway because he wanted to go into the trades like his father. He was a young high school graduate, and not old enough to start in FAME, so he began in the Apprenticeship Academy. This year he is in FAME with employment at Krauss Maffei. He hopes to be a field service tech and to gain experience in multiple areas, which is also part of the FAME program design. Each semester he will move to different work departments.

    Dr. Figueroa and board members thanked Sullivan for speaking to the board and asked him about the cohort aspect of the program. Discussion followed about the apprenticeship academy, which has been in place for three years. It gives students a sampling of classes in different technical areas, and students can transition into the FAME program.

  3. Approval of Minutes - May 18, 2023
    Chair Baines called for a motion to approve the minutes from the May 18, 2023, meeting. Upon motion by Charlie Coleman, and seconded by Larry Brown, a vote was taken to approve the May 18, 2023, minutes as amended. The vote was unanimous to approve.

  4. Annual Reaffirmation of Code of Ethics
    Chair Baines called for a motion to affirm the Code of Ethics. Upon motion by Larry Brown, and seconded by Madeline Kues, a vote was unanimous to affirm the Code of Ethics. Each board member present will sign the copy to be put in permanent record. Absent members or those attending virtually will be sent individual signature pages to return to be kept on file.

  5. Committee Reports
    Chair Baines noted that there are no committee reports to present. He reminded the board that at the annual meeting on October 19 the committee statements of purpose will be renewed. 

  6. Chairperson's Report
    Chair Baines offered thanks for the service of the board members who left over the summer and said there are proclamations of appreciation for them, Dr. Justin Ervin, John Hayden, and Ruth Howell. He spoke about the biennial board self-evaluation that will be reviewed at the annual meeting on October 19. The evaluation form will be sent to board members in the next few weeks.

    Chair Baines shared reflections about the Gateway board and suggested that the board could be more strategic about bringing in information and learning about current issues. To that end, he shared his findings on recent news about community colleges which has been primarily negative and does not reflect the current Gateway story. He presented community college trends across the United States: increased competition, growth in dual credit enrollment, increased unmet basic needs and mental health concerns for students, newly available Pell grant funds for incarcerated adults, shrinking talent market for faculty and staff, and better first-year student momentum. Chair Baines said his purpose is to consider if there are opportunities for Gateway. He said that Gateway is doing well at supporting students in the first year and beyond and that Gateway is utilizing its strategic plan planks (accessible, supportive, relevant, and sustainable) to meet the needs of the community.

    Conversation followed about Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) partnership with Gateway and regional trends related to transportation, including transportation as a barrier for students. An example of addressing the barrier is the expansion of the manufacturing technologies program at the Covington campus to offer technical classes near the River City high schools.
  7. President’s Report
    Dr. Figueroa introduced Dr. Teri Von Handorf, Gateway Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, to give an enrollment update. She reported that fall enrollment is very close to the semester goals with additional students starting the 12-week term next week and the 8-week term in October. Gateway continues to make adjustments in many different areas to contribute to strong enrollment for fall and spring. Dual credit is currently at 38% of enrollment. Online class enrollment, the number of students who are 20–24 years-old, and return students are increasing. Return students are those who re-enroll after sitting out a semester or more. Some programs continue with in-person classes that are “hard-wired” to the campuses. The majority of those are in the career and technical education areas. Gateway is not following the national trend of decreasing enrollment, and many KCTCS schools are also increasing.

    Dr. Figueroa asked Paul Tontillo, Gateway Associate Vice President of Finance, to give a budget update. He said that final fall numbers will be available in late October. Tontillo shared the results on two budget assumptions that were not finalized at the time of the last meeting. They were decided with the Board of Regents’ vote over the summer to allow a 2.2% increase in tuition and for a higher than budgeted salary increase of 3.8% in the form of a fixed dollar amount for each employee. This had an unfavorable impact on the budget, but the enrollment numbers look to be on track to outweigh that budget shortfall.

    Dr. Figueroa thanked all faculty and staff who are working for enrollment gains and with student support and retention efforts. He asked Christi Godman, Gateway Vice President of Workforce Solutions, to talk about the work of that department and its impact inside and outside of the college. Everything Workforce Solutions (WS) does is in support of the three KCTCS strategic goals and within the Gateway mission as a WS mission to engage, connect, and deliver. Godman listed the internal collaboration efforts and how WS programs are different from Gateway’s programs that fall under Academic Affairs. Godman spoke about WS community engagement with 51 external organizations. WS is working with community boards, elected officials, and partner organizations such as the Brighton Center to connect people with the right resource for their needs. WS collaborates internally with various departments to advance career services, employer engagement, student programming, and recruitment. An example is their identification of the need for English as a second language (ESL) courses in the CDL program, implementing it, and looking at embedding ESL in other programs. She expanded on the Education First Employer program that was recently launched state-wide after being created at Gateway. 

    Dr Figueroa updated the board with the following information: he sent his goals for 2023-2024 to the Chair, one of the new President’s goals is to increase connection and culture by more meaningful interactions with employee groups and departments, Huron study developments, and the Edgewood campus renovation plan using asset preservation funds with a 15% match by the college.

    Dr. Figueroa noted that the ten-year Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation is finalized and successful with one monitoring report on assessment of student learning outcomes to be completed April 1, 2024. He asked for board referrals or assistance in filling an open diesel instructor position. He announced that Adrijana Kowatsch, Vice President of Development and External Affairs, is leaving Gateway at the end of the month. Discussion followed with Kowatsch offering appreciation for her time at Gateway and board questions about the CDL program.

  8. Adjournment
    Chair Baines called the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
    Prepared by Ms. Jane Frantz, Recording Secretary
    Approved: Signature on file  October 19, 2023
    Secretary to the Board         Date

Important Dates to Remember

Board Meetings 2023 - October 19, November 30