May 24, 2017
National Park College (NPC) Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, May 24. Items for report included adoption of the fiscal year 2018 budget, simplification of the tuition and fee structure and an update from the NPC Foundation.
The Board welcomed special guest, Mike Preston, Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Preston was appointed by Governor Hutchinson in 2015 and is responsible for the state’s business recruitment efforts. He spoke to the group about the important role higher education plays in recruiting business and industry to Arkansas, and commended NPC’s investment in educating the workforce.
The Board welcomed new hire, Ryan Acevedo, web developer. They also recognized Outstanding Faculty member, Dr. Rebekah Robinette and Outstanding Staff member, Bill Ritter.
The May student of the month is Terri Bland. Bland was introduced at the April meeting. She is originally from Arkansas, but graduated from Harrison Central in Gulf Port, MS in 1983. She is an office administration major and graduated this month. She likes to travel, fish, and raise goats and llamas. Her instructors say she always works hard on her assignments and assists others with coursework. She is regarded as a hard worker, a great communicator and an all-around good student.
Vice President for Finance and Administration, Steve Trusty presented the financial report. He asked the Board to approve resolutions to adopt the fiscal year 2018 budget, approve changes to the fee structure and concurrent credit model, and approve selection of an architect for completion of the master plan and learning commons.
The fiscal year 2018 budget includes funding for new full-time faculty positions, an honors program, the National Park Promise scholarship, increased transfer initiatives, and a club sports program. Tuition remains flat at $88 per credit hour for in-district students.
Changes to the fee structure will eliminate six fees including a security fee of $25 per student, technology fee of $8 per credit, registration fee of $50 per student, one-time infrastructure fee of $50, wellness fee of $1 per credit, and an online fee of $10 per credit. The revised model will implement a single per credit hour fee of $27 for in-district students. It will also decrease the tuition cap from 18 credit hours to 15 credit hours, incentivizing students to complete more hours and graduate on time. This will result in an annual cost of attendance that will decrease for some students and increase slightly for others, but remains at less than half the cost of the average university. Trusty said the goal is to create a structure that more accurately reflect costs, is fairer to students, and simpler for students to understand.
Sara Brown, Director of Development provided a foundation report. Last month, the NPC Foundation Board of Governors approved a contract with Convergent Non-Profit Solutions to begin work on a feasibility study. The study will begin in June and take approximately 10 weeks to complete. The primary purpose of the study is to cultivate potential investors and gauge their perception of the need for a capital campaign and other initiatives that would benefit the area. The report will also provide an analysis of the economic impact the College has in the area. Mrs. Brown also reported fundraising at the Foundation is up 4% over last year at this time. The foundation works to support students and the NPC campus, providing resources to enhance the College’s ability to sustain its position as a community innovator and leader.
Dr. John Hogan concluded the meeting with the president’s report. He commended the team for a successful graduation ceremony and expressed excitement about the announcement of the National Park Promise scholarship for National Park Technology Center students. Hogan discussed the fiscal year 2018 budget proposal and praised campus leaders and budget managers for their commitment to quality faculty and student success initiatives.
Hogan said, “This budget is really our strategic plan and the set of initiatives in which we are investing as a college. Those investments by in large are into students and student success. It is a very aggressive budget in that sense. I’m very proud of that… This is a very significant day for the college.”