NICEVILLE — Randall Hanna, the chancellor of the Division of Florida Colleges for the state’s Department of Education, was a guest at the Sept. 25 business meeting of the trustee board of Northwest Florida State College. Hanna met with trustees as part of his regular schedule to visit all Florida’s 28 state and community colleges.
Chancellor Hanna spoke to trustees and the audience at the start of the meeting about the uniqueness and success of Florida’s system of 28 community and state colleges, which is the third largest system in the nation and the second largest producer of associate degrees in the U.S.
In addition, it was noted that Florida's 28 state and community colleges remain the primary point of access to higher education in Florida, with 65 percent of the state's high school graduates pursuing postsecondary education beginning at a Florida college, and 82 percent of freshman and sophomore minority students in public higher education attending one of Florida's 28 colleges.
The chancellor also noted various NWFSC achievement in recent years, including the 100 percent passing rate of nursing students on state licensure exams, the consistent top academic ranking in Florida for the NWFSC Collegiate High School, and the high percentage (66 percent) of NWFSC graduates who go on to enroll in a Florida university, among other accolades.
Additionally, Hanna presented trustees with notification of three donations totaling $19,692 made possible through various corporate and matching gift programs administered by the Florida College System Foundation. Funds included $11,077.05 in Florida Blue (formerly BlueCross/BlueShield) scholarship funds. Like last year, the NWFSC Foundation will use the Florida Blue funds to reimburse NWFSC allied health students' exam and certification fees — a measure that helps ensure allied health graduates are employment ready.
Hanna also presented $4,837 from the Helios Foundation to support First Generation in College students, with preference given to students who are preparing for a career in education with the intent to become a teacher in Florida. A $3,778.64 Dream Makers scholarship fund donation for additional support of First Generation in College students to cover, tuition, books, fees, and childcare was also announced.
During the business meeting, NWFSC trustees, acting as the governing board for both the Collegiate High School and the college approved a variety of measures, including:
• Updated conflict of interest and document retention policies for the foundation to reflect language directly from Florida statute.
• Approval of a revised donor endowment agreement with the Morell family to name room 302 of the Costa Leadership Institute facilities in memory of the late Janet Nadel Morell of Niceville as part of an original 2004 gift to the college.
• Approval of a slate of officers and directors for the college’s fundraising arm, the separate 501(c)(3) organization the NWFSC Foundation. The slate of new officers will next go before the annual meeting of the foundation for voting and approval. The slate of 2013 -14 potential officers includes Fred Thomas of Fort Walton Beach as president; Dewayne Youngblood of Destin as vice president; Scott Jackson of Niceville as treasurer; and Cristie Kedroski, foundation executive director and NWFSC vice president for College Advancement, as secretary. Proposed as new or continuing directors for three-year terms expiring in 2016 were Bethany Burke, David Costa Jr., Scott Jackson, Don Litke and Venita Morrell. Proposed for two-year appointments expiring in February 2015 were Don Howard, Lori Kelley, Lamar Conerly, Wayne Campbell, Jan McDonald, and Donnie Richardson.
• A retirement resolution honoring the service of Carla Martin of Crestview, who served 22 years at the college in a variety of roles, among them, a specialist in admissions, testing and enrollment services, and as a testing administrator and alternate chief examiner and proctor for various exams including the state’s GED diploma.
• Acceptance of an audited financial statement for the Collegiate High School for 2011-12 which reflected a clean opinion with no recommendations or findings.
In other action, trustees voted against a recommended new policy for the foundation which calls for all professional services contracts between the foundation and a third party to be re-examined every three years by the Finance Committee. Trustees who voted against it asked that the foundation’s board review the language of the proposed policy to potentially strengthen it with more precise language relating to bid and request for quotation timetables for contracts such as banking, insurance, investment management and property management.
Board meetings are open to the public. The board normally meets on a monthly basis at 4:30 p.m. in room 302 of the Student Services Center, 100 College Blvd., Niceville, except twice a year when the meeting rotates to an alternate location among the college's seven campuses and centers.
The board of trustees is also meets the governing board of the Collegiate High School immediate before meeting as NWFSC trustees. Remaining dates for 2012 Board of Trustees meetings are Oct. 16 at the college's Fort Walton Beach campus, and Nov. 27 in Niceville.