Board of Regents discuss student demographics, fall retirees

by Autumn Bippert

A construction report for the Science Building, student demographics, and fall retirees were among the topics discussed during the November meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC, provided a construction update on the renovations for the Science Building.

“We’ve been working very diligently with the architects and construction management trying to prepare for the renovations,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “There is a lot of complexity of trying to tie several 60-year-old buildings together, in addition to another building that’s about 15 years old. It’s just very challenging. I really think they’ve done a fantastic job of getting us where we are today.”

Dr. Satterwhite explained that David Etheridge and Ronnie Watkins spent countless hours working to prepare for the renovations.

“They have gone through room by room, cabinet by cabinet, light switch by light by outlet, trying to find out what does this look like,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “Seeing what we currently have and what it needs to change. I want to thank them publicly; they’ve done a fantastic job.”

Dr. Satterwhite explained that after talking with the architects while looking at the current budget for the renovations, the renovations need to be done in phases.

“Because we’ve discovered the complexity of the building and the complex construction project,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “And also we’re not going to be able to get this all done with $13.5 million.”

The first phase would consist of a large additional building that is 22,799 square feet. That would house a variety of new areas, such as a large student study area, private study rooms, classrooms, and offices.

“The estimated costs associated with that is approximately $6.5 million for the new addition,” Dr. Satterwhite said.

Phase 2 would include hallways and classrooms for chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. The second phase also would include new roofing for the entire building, since the roof was planned to be replaced in the next year. The estimated cost for the second phase is $4.8 million.

A third phase would be needed for the rest of the building. But Dr. Satterwhite explained they have not yet sent for bid estimates for the third phase, because additional money needs to be raised.

Stephen John, vice president for institutional affairs, presented the student demographics for the semester.

The total fall headcount is 9,179 students, a 1.1 percent decline from a year ago.

“What we see from these numbers is about 78 percent of our students are what I would classify as being college-level students,” John said. “They’re not dual credit students. They’re students that have already graduated high school and have come here to South Plains College, and that’s 7,168. The remaining 22 percent are going to be students that concurrently enroll in dual-credit courses for this fall, that’s 2011 students.”

Gender demographics are 41.4 percent, or 3,797, students who are male, and 58.6 percent, 5,382 students, who are female.

“We’ve had a 10-percent decline in the number of men enrolling at South Plains College, over the last five years,” John said, “whereas women enrollment increased.”

The number of students who are age 22 and younger are 68.7 percent of enrollment, or 6,307 students. Students ages 22 to 24 are 10.8 percent of enrollment, or 990 students. Students ages 25 and older are considered to be non-traditional, and they make up 20.4 percent of enrollment, or 1,877 students.

Full-time students make up 46.3 percent, or 4,252 students enrolled, while part-time students are 53.7 percent of students, or 4,927 students.

“In terms of ethnicity and race, each year our student body becomes more diverse,” John added. “Overall, 57 percent of our students are minorities. Hispanic students account for 49 percent of our student body. White students represent 42 percent of students. African-Americans make up 5.8 percent, and Asians male up 1.2 percent. We have 102 international students, which is 1.1 percent.”

John said that when in comes to residency, 96.8 percent of students, or 8,885, are Texas residents. Out-of-state students are 2.1 percent of enrollment, or 192 students.

Academic majors are 81 percent of enrollment, or 7,437 students. Technical majors are 19 percent of enrollment, or 1,742 students.

Dr. Ryan Gibbs, vice president of academic affairs, talked about the retirees for the fall of 2019.

A total of 14 faculty and staff members are retiring this year. The 14 had a total of 329 years of service. Danny Vest, transportation supervisor, had the most years of service with 36 years.

The retirees for the fall of 2019 are: Becky Arrant, testing assistant; Judy Brunner, instructor in vocational nursing; Glenda Bryant, professor of English; Helen Delgado, custodian; Sarah English, professor of psychology; Kiyomi Kaskela, assistant professor of mathematics; Jennifer Morris, assistant professor of vocational nursing; Ginger Mulloy, administrative computing specialist; Tony Ortiz; professor of diesel services; Whitney Owen, professor of diesel technology; Randy Rowan, professor of history; Danny Vest, transportation supervisor; Vickie Vest, payroll and retirement contributions manger; and Randy Wall, assistant professor of English.

There will be a fall retirement reception held Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. in the foyer of the Student Services Building on the Levelland Campus.