Regents discuss distinguished alumni, future campus growth during April meeting

The announcement of new Distinguished Alumni and the consideration of extending a memorandum of understanding were among topics discussed during the April meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Before the meeting began, Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC, introduced Steve Green, men’s head basketball coach at SPC, and Cayla Petree, women’s head basketball coach at SPC.

“We have two of the very best basketball coaches in the nation,” said Dr. Satterwhite. “At the conclusion of our basketball season, we wanted to being them in and recognize the talents and successes we have among our head coaches.”

After Coach Green and Coach Petree were recognized, the Board gave a standing ovation to show their appreciation and support for the coaches and their hard work after a successful season.

Dr. Satterwhite commenced the meeting by discussing the proposed employment list for 2019-2020. The list includes 377 employees who receive an annual contract with SPC.

Dr. Stan Demerritt, vice president for student affairs, introduced Shane Hill as the new associate dean of students.

“I have been working in the higher education since 2002,” Hill told the Regents, “doing student activities, orientation, and housing, so this seemed like a natural fit for me.”

Hill said he has enjoyed thoroughly getting to know his new peers and is looking forward to working alongside them and becoming a part of the SPC family.

Dr. Demerritt updated the Board on student affairs, specifically student life at SPC. Currently, the student government holds an office in Region One as president and is responsible for hosting three different regional meetings for the Student Government Association (SGA) while at the state conference. During these meetings, they will collaborate with other colleges to discuss ways to improve the local community, as well as the region.

Officers from SPC’s SGA participated on the awards committee, resolution committee, and judiciary committee, and history committee at the state level as well.

“This is really impressive,” said Dr. Demerritt, “to have a Student Government Association at this level within the state of Texas.”

Miranda English, director of Student Life, has been elected for Region One to run as the Advisor Elect to the State Board for Student Government Association.

Ryan Gibbs, vice president for academic affairs, presented an update on SPC’s Guided Pathways initiative.

Dr. Gibbs explained that SPC has been working during the past two years to develop defined and intentional degree pathways for students who want to start at SPC and then transfer to one of SPC’s four-year university transfer partners, such as Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, Lubbock Christian University, and Wayland Baptist University.

Currently, Alan Worley, dean of arts and sciences, is leading the division and is conjoined with an advising staff to build plans, or “degree maps,” for the most popular transfer programs offered.

Some programs include psychology, business, engineering, computer science, government, political science, and sociology.

“This work is guided by the state of Texas’ efforts to develop mandated field-of-study curriculum,” Dr. Gibbs said, “which is guaranteed to be transferred and then applied at any four-year state institution in Texas.”

Dr. Gibbs says he hopes this will reduce time to a degree, as well as eliminate wasted credit for students.

Stephen John, vice president for institutional advancement, presented the Distinguished Alumni for 2019 to the Board.

John explained that SPC has a committee that works closely with Stephanie Smith, alumni relations coordinator, and they are in charge of managing the selection process every year. A public reception commending the SPC alumni will be held on May 9.

Members from the college or the community are allowed to present nominations to the committee for consideration. Based upon the committee’s deliberations and their scoring rubric, they identified four individuals to present to Dr. Satterwhite for consideration.

This year, there were 16 nominations, and the two recipients selected are Kathy Hutchinson and Brett Taylor.

“South Plains College takes pride in their accomplishments, achievements, and successes,” said John. “They have each made a significant contribution to their profession and community.”

Dane Dewbre, associate dean of marketing and recruitment, presented two Paragon awards received from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR).

NCMPR is the largest affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges, with more than 1,800 members, and is an organization that is exclusively comprised of two-year college marketing, public relations, and communications professionals.

“This year, I finished up my term as president of this organization,” said Dewbre. “It was nice to get the recognition that my staff got to participate in, and I had the opportunity to hand them the awards.”

At NCMPR, this year there were 1,600 entrees from 267 community colleges across the nation, and SPC was awarded the Silver Paragon for the Electronic Catalog, Schedule, or Viewbook and the Gold Paragon for the Quick-Turn Video made to honor fallen 9/11 firefighters and first-responders.

Dr. Satterwhite presented SPC’s master plan for growth of the college.  He mentioned the public forum that took place in March and recognized the need to demonstrate to the community and employees that there is a plan for Levelland to improve.

“Some areas on campus I feel we need to look closely at is our residence halls,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “But none of this is set in stone. Whenever we develop a master plan, these are just ideas and what we believe our needs are around campus, as well as what the growth of the campus might look like.”

The Board looked at locations to build new residence halls to replace older housing on campus. They also discussed building a new Student Center for additional dining facilities and to make activities for students as contemporary and up-to-date as possible.

“Right now, the most important is the expansion of our Science Building,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “I cannot stress how excited I am and how important I think this Science Building is to our campus.”

Dr. Satterwhite also mentioned possible renovations to the Aquatic Center, the visitor center, the Library, and possibly moving the Truck Driving School to the Levelland campus.

He also excitedly announced the completion of construction for the bleachers that will add 500 seats at the east end of the track.

Dr. Satterwhite presented the consideration of tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 school year to the Board.

During the past few years, the Board has been discussing the development of a tiered structure so an in-district student will come to SPC and live on campus while taking affordable classes.

Dr. Satterwhite said he does not recommend an increase in in-district tuition. However, there may be a tuition increase for out-of-district and for non-resident students for a variety of reasons.

“Our tax structure here supports our infrastructure, and that’s where a large amount of our taxes go,” said Dr. Satterwhite. “But if an in-district student decides to go to a different campus, I think there needs to be a noticeable change in charges.”

Dr. Satterwhite presented the extension of the MOU that has been in discussion. SPC, the city of lubbock, and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA), have addressed various objectives relating to the expansion of SPC to downtown Lubbock.

He mentioned he feels very strongly about the importance for SPC to be repositioned in the Lubbock region in order to start developing the community to move forward and grow.

“I think the extension was good because it opened the lines of communication and provided the opportunity to start having some healthy conversations,” Dr. Satterwhite said.

The vote for the extension has been planned to take place on June 14, but it may be considered for an earlier date.

Lastly, Dr. Satterwhite informed the Board of upcoming events on the Levelland campus, including: Student Awards Assembly on May 2 in the Texan Dome at 7 p.m.; Retirement Reception on May 3 in the Sundown Room at 1:30 p.m.; Board of Regents Meeting on May 9 in the Board of Regents Room at 4 p.m.; Employee Recognition Banquet on May 9 in the P.E. Complex at 6 p.m.; ADN Nurses Pinning on May 9 in the Texan Dome at 8 p.m.; and Commencement Ceremonies on May 10 in the Texan Dome at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Author: Kaitlyn Hyde

I am a Photojournalism major at SPC from the Houston area. Photo Editor for the Plainsman Press, this is my first semester working on the staff.

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