Tricia Latham and Doyle Jencks presentated campus security measures at the regular Board of Regents meeting at Western Oklahoma State College earlier this week. Latham commended the safety and security team for their ongoing efforts to improve various aspects of campus security. Jencks began his report with an update on the Feb. 12 dorm fire. The damage of the fire is estimated at $93,500 which includes damage to the dorm, incidentals, reconstruction and temporary lodging for the students formerly housed in the dorm rooms damaged by the fire. Payment for these items is expected to be met by insurance and risk management funds. A plan to upgrade the current fire control system in the dorms and other areas on campus is in effect. Jenks further outlined other security measures on campus to include closed circuit television, mass notification systems, redundant power and training and development for employees.
Latham next presented a proposal for the renewal of the flight training agreement between Western and Red River Flight Academy. The original contract, which expires on June 30, did not include automatic renewal for the agreement. Legal counsel advised that an upgraded contract that leaves no room for questioning the term of contract be signed. A new contract for fiscal year 2014 will be created with revised language to remove the certificate renewal language from Section 6 of the contract and placed in Section 7. The contract will require annual review and renewal by the Western Board of Regents.
Latham continued with a proposal regarding Western’s Retirement Incentive Program. The program incentives are updated to reflect fiscal year 2013 figures. Costs associated with the program and the potential savings are subject to the employee that is eligible and the position that is left vacant. The average cost of a retirement incentive benefit is $30,000. The average savings is $16,000 per year, dependent upon the position. On average, the benefit cost is recovered in two years. The board approved the continuation of the program.
Dr. Phil Birdine was next to give his report and recommendations. Birdine expressed appreciation for the board’s continued support and leadership. He also thanked them for their involvement with the 2013 Development and Alumni Recognition Banquet in February. He introduced Larry Duffy, Vice President for Development who reported that over 200 guests attended the banquet. Duffy also expressed his enthusiasm for the selection of the 2014 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee and the planning that has already begun for the next year’s banquet. Birdine informed the board of Western’s participation in Higher Education Day at the State Capitol on Feb. 12. Four members of the President’s Student Leadership Team, The Ambassadors, attended the event with their coordinator, Katie Brewer. The team delivered gift baskets to 14 legislators to show appreciation for their continued support and advocacy of higher education. Birdine next introduced Lisa Greenlee, who presented an action plan regarding the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recent response to Western’s Compliance Review Report. She detailed the many steps that have already been taken to upgrade the college’s delivery of online courses. Birdine also told the board that OSRHE Chancellor Glen Johnson will be the guest speaker for Western’s 2013 Commencement.
The board moved into executive session, and after reconvening, the personnel resignations of Amber Pascua, Child Development/Early Childhood Professional and Karen Snider, Sophomore Nursing Instructor, Lawton Campus were accepted. The employment of Traci Balderas, Accountant was also approved.
Guests in attendance included Tricia Latham, Vice President for Business Affairs; Lisa Greenlee, Vice President for Academic and Student Support Services; Larry Duffy, Vice President for Development; Chrystal Overton, Dean of Technical Education; Doyle Jencks, Director of Physical Plant; Briar Jenkins, Secretary to the President and Judith Norton, Director of Public Information.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Western Board of Regents is set for April 16, at 7:30 p.m., in the Higher Learning Center.