Board of Trustees Meets for Last Meeting of 2022

Aubreanna Miller, Editor-in-Chief

The Nebraska State College System’s Board of Trustees met at Wayne State College on Nov. 10, focusing the agenda on budgets, allocations and projects, including the athletic recreation upgrades at Wayne and Peru. 

President Marysz Rames welcomed the board members to campus and highlighted recent accomplishments by WSC.  

The first of these overviewed the college’s plans of utilizing the funds from the Title 3 grant given last year, which will allocate WSC with $2.1 million over the course of five years. These funds, the president expressed, will continue to aid Wayne in reaching its attainment goal as well as support first generation, rural and low-income students.  

Through this process, five distinct segments have emerged to facilitate student success. These include supplemental instruction, Center for Faculty Development and Innovation, First-year Experience Courses, improvement of Wildcats360 and the support of Brandenburg renovations.  

Rames focused most of her speech on explaining the First-year Experience Courses and Center for Faculty Development and Innovation, saying these two segments have especially fostered advancements in learning at both the student and staff levels.  

The first round of five motions came from the Academic and Personnel Committee, beginning with the approval of the first and final round of revisions to Board Policy 5501. This changed the time for the college’s Foundations to submit their annual list of employee salaries. 

Next, the board approved Peru State’s request for two new graduate-level focus areas in the field of Strategic Leadership and Communication and Healthcare Administration.  

Also for PSC, Sterling College in Kansas appealed to use Peru’s athletic facilities for its students’ athletic training to finish their immersive clinical experience, which the master’s study program requires.  

The board then approved PSC’s continuation of their Interlocal Agreement with Educational Service Unit #4 (ESU 4). 

“This Agreement allows PSC to accept students, aged 18 years or older in training programs for the purpose of allowing ESU 4 to provide vocational experience of instructional value to students in districts within ESU 4,” the Academic and Personnel Committee said.  

The final motion presented by the Academic and Personnel Committee revised the “Collaborative Agreement” held by the NSCS and the Wayne State Foundation. All updates passed unanimously, but the committee focused on explaining six facets.  

This motion first affirmed the Board of Trustees holds principal responsibility for the employment, compensation and evaluation of all employees. Next, the college president will consult with the Foundation to prioritize fund-raising and the acquisition of all real estate.  

Furthermore, the motion formed an annual President and College Executive Expense Account of $25,000, which can carry forward, but not over $50,000 for the year and reduced the Chancellor Support Account from $1,500 to $500. Finally, the act mandated WSC to support the Foundation’s operations in office space, IT services, insurance coverage, human resource services and more.  

The Fiscal, Facilities and Audit Committee presented 13 motions for the board’s consideration, the first of these revised 6400, 6401 and 8064 focusing on the definitions of fixed equipment, maintenance and repair.  

Board members then considered changing Gifts and Bequests and Board Policy 8002 to have the Board approve gifts of property.  

Agenda Item 4.3 accepted the Revenue Bond Audit Report for the time frame ending in 2022.  

Following the Revenue Bond Report, Item 4.4 removed Crites Hall and West Court Housing at CSC from the ownership and management of the Board, deeming the constructions unfit for use as residence halls.  

Also at Chadron, Trustee members unanimously authorized the use of uncommitted cash funds to expand the College Coffee Agriculture Pavillion. This structure, though completed in 2013, had the potential for an expansion once funds became available. Now, the college has around $800,000 of unused cash to put toward the project.  

PSC, having $73,312.89 of unused Capital Improvement Fee Funds from a previous project on their theater/event center, asked the board for permission to transfer this extra money toward their Indoor Recreational Complex project. Trustee members approved this reallocation along with an additional $11,478.39 taken from unused cash from the PSC Plant Capital Projects Program.  

With Agenda Item 4.7, PSC will put $200,000 of Capital Improvement Fee Funds toward landscaping and streetlights along 5th Street.  

Board members then approved the WSC Athletic and Recreation Project design documents. According to the proposal, the total cost of the renovation has increased by $4,441,186, taking the original estimate up to $30 million.  

For its Growing Together Program, WSC has agreed to a partnership with developers in Norfolk to build housing units for students. These units, comprising of 15 beds in the fall of 2024 and 30 beds in the fall of 2025, will cost the college $1,532,520 over the course of the four-year lease. Students will live free of rent for the nine-month school year but will have to pay utilities. 

Item 4.10 reallocated $114,850.60 of unused cash from the WSC Benthack Hall renovation to the Peterson Fine Arts project. Additionally, with the new Fine Arts project, 12 donors have given $2.4 million toward the project. The Board approved the naming of buildings and facilities after these generous donors.  

$86,356.20 of unused funds from the parking lot West of Peterson will go back into the Capital Improvement Fee Fund for use in the future.  

Finally, the last motion discussed the approval of the 2023-2025 Biennium Budget.  

Following the deliberations on presented motions, Board members offered several informational items including their meeting schedule for the upcoming year, grant applications, the Rural Health Opportunities Program and more.  

The Board of Trustees will meet again in Lincoln on Jan. 12, 2023.