Board of Regents discuss housing cost increase, curriculum changes

by SARA MARSHALL//Editor-in-Chief

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Increases in housing costs, curriculum changes and the proposed 2017 employment list were among topics discussed during the April meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Cathy Mitchell, vice president for student affairs, presented the Board with a comparison of SPC’s housing and dining costs to comparable colleges in the area and across the state.

“It’s been several years since we have increased these costs,” Mitchell said. “Even though our board costs continue to increase on our side, we have not increased the cost of housing for the students in several years.”

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC, continued Mitchell’s housing discussion, asking the Board to approve an increase in student housing cost.

“Our room and board is, on average, about $550 less than our counterparts,” Dr.  Satterwhite said. “This increase would only affect those in the residence halls.”

The total recommended increase is $150, which Dr. Satterwhite explained would cover a $100 increase in fall housing costs, as well as provide resident students with free washer and dryer access for another $50 increase.

“This is becoming more and more of a benefit that colleges provide to their students,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “We have many students that don’t have the opportunity to wash and dry their clothes as much as they’d like. Fifty dollars would more than offset what we were receiving on the current machines. Upkeep costs will go up, but we feel like this will be an opportunity for our students to have access to that, which they don’t currently have.”

The Board voted upon the proposed Fall housing increases, unanimously agreeing upon the change.

Further changes happening for the Fall 2017 semester include several curriculum changes. Dr. Ryan Gibbs, vice president for academic affairs, presented the Board with 34 courses which were brought up for deletion by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Of these 34 courses, 99 percent of them were deleted.

SPC has also added 40 courses for Fall 2017, many of which are substitutions for courses which have been deleted. Ninety three courses have also been revised for the Fall 2017 semester.

“Sometimes that’s as simple as a name change,” Dr. Gibbs said. “Most of the time, it’s an addition of a special course fee or a raising of a special course fee to meet the needs of the supplies of a particular course.”

Dr. Gibbs also presented the Board with a list of faculty for the 2017 – 2018 school year. According to Dr. Gibbs, there will be 453 faculty members at SPC. This number includes both full-time and part-time faculty members, with more than 50 percent being composed of full-time members.

Stephen John, vice president for institutional advancement, presented the proposed 2017 Distinguished Alumni: Jennifer Galey and Kenneth Alan Foster. Graduating from SPC’s Nursing Program in 2004, Galey has pursued a career in nursing and is now a Family Nurse Practitioner in Littlefield. Graduating from SPC’s Welding Technology Program in 2004, Foster has pursued a career in mechanical engineering and is currently employed by Lyondell Basell as a technical assurance manager for global projects.

“Our Distinguished Alumni awards selection committee reviewed nine different nominations this year, and these two individuals rose to the top,” John said. “We’re proud of both of these former students and the success they’ve achieved in their careers.”

As the end of the spring semester nears, Dr. Satterwhite updated the Board on upcoming events. The Student Awards Assembly will take place on May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Texan Dome. The Retirement Reception will take place the following day on the Levelland campus in the Sundown Room of the Student Center, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The Employee Recognition Banquet will take place on May 11, in the PE Complex at 6 p.m., and the ADN Nurses Pinning will happen in the Texan Dome at 8 p.m., also on May 11.

The Commencement Ceremonies will take place on May 12 in the Texan Dome, with ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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