October 28, 2008

COMMENTARY: J Advice for new Prez

Guarding our Watchdogs

Frank LoMonte, director of the Student Press Law Center penned a terrific column on the Education Advice for the New President blog.
In the column, "Protect Student Journalism," LoMonte wrote that today's student journalists face more challenges and carry more responsibility.

"With professional journalism outlets slashing staff, the watchdog role of student journalists in holding our schools accountable for their performance is more important than ever," he wrote.

I've made a few emergency calls to SPLC while a staffer on the student newspaper The Campus Ledger. I wouldn't have been able to investigate and publish my 13-month investigative story on the allegations of sexual harassment against my college president, who immediately stepped down and retired when the story broke.

Student journalists give voice to the campus community and ensure public business takes place in public. Thank goodness there is an organization like SPLC that strives to ensure the rights and voices of student journalists.

Become a fan of SPLC on facebook here.

October 21, 2008

COMMENTARY: College Employee Endorses Candidate

Walking on the Ledge:
JCCC should not approve this message

With the transitions going on at Johnson County Community College, it might be difficult for some to understand the influence and limitations of these new campus positions.

Take the case of Jerry Wolfskill, director of Public Safety, as he assumes more responsibility with the newly formed JCCC Police department.

Terry Calaway, president of JCCC, posted an item Sept. 15 on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist, noting Wolfskill's new responsibilities with the JCCCPD.

"I have asked Jerry Wolfskill to take on the added leadership role for the Campus Police department," he wrote. "He will work with Chief Ramirez to continue to assess all means needed to assure a safe environment for all on our campus.

"In his new role Mr. Wolfskill will work to expand opportunities with our community police and law enforcement entities and will assure, along with the chief, that officer training and community policing are of the highest priority."

I doubt Calaway meant for these expanded opportuntites to include endorsing political candidates. Yet, Wolfskill has done just that.

Frank Denning a candidate for Johnson County Sheriff lists Wolfskill's endorsement on his website.

While inappropriate, the endorsement does not violate college policy.

According to college policy 422.02, "All college personnel enjoy the rights and privileges of any free citizen in matters of a political nature. Employees shall not use time for which college pay is received, nor college property, students, school equipment or materials for the purpose of solicitation, promotion, election, or defeat of any candidate for public office or of passage or defeat of any election issue."
To my knowledge Wolfskill has not used college time, resources or students to promote Denning's candidacy. However, he is using college property -- it's name -- and by making a public endorsement, Wolfskill suggests to the public that JCCC supports Denning.

As a private citizens, Wolfskill and JCCC employees can advocate for whomever they wish. However as an official of the college, Wolfskill should retract his endorsement and the Board of Trustees should amend college policy to prohibit employees from using their titles to endorse political candidates or issues.

October 17, 2008

NEWS: Keeping Krebs

An Offer She Couldn't Refuse
Representative Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), a former JCCC trustee, and Virginia Krebs celebrate her 87th birthday at the college in 2006.

JCCC names Virginia Krebs, the college's first employee, it's first Trustee Emeritus

Last night Johnson County Community College trustees unanimously voted to grant former trustee, Virginia Krebs, Trustee Emeritus status.

"To me, Virginia is a lady of vision," said Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, board chair.

Brown-VanArsdale said Krebs approached her at the end of the board meeting last month, took her hand and said, " I'm really ready. I'm ready to retire."

Before the vote, trustees heard from representatives of the Faculty Association and the college's administration urging them to inaugurate the new position by selecting Krebs the first to hold the title, Trustee Emeritus.

"She's helped build a foundation for what the college is," said Mike Martin, president of the Faculty Association. "We hold her up in high honor and we request that you do as well."

"It seems fitting that as we celebrate our 40th anniversary that we also honor one who has been an integral part of Johnson County Community College for more than 40 years," said Jerry Baird, executive vice president, Administrative Services.

"As the newest member of the board, I was only privileged to serve with Virginia for one year," said Don Weiss, trustee. "I don't often have a brush with greatness but serving with her was certainly one of those."

Jon Steward, trustee, recalled working with Krebs in the college's alumni association. Stewart said he was grateful to not only serve with her as a trustee but that he had the opportunity to know her before he was seated on the board.

"Her passion, commitment and dedication to this college is amazing and will probably go unmatched," he said.

"She recognized the role that a single citizen can play in improving their community," said Lynn Mitchelson, trustee and vice chair.

Krebs served as trustee for six consecutive terms numbering over 23 years of service on the board.

WATCH the video from the board meeting here.

According to college policy 116.00, the position allows a former trustee to continue serving the college.

"Trustees are welcomed and encouraged to continue participating in college activities and will be provided invitations to special college activities and events," the policy reads.

However, the policy does not specify the extent to which a trustee emeritus may participate in board activities.

The board created the emeritus position in April. Early in the creation of the position, Benjamin Hodge, trustee, voiced concerns that the emeritus title could be used to reward cronies rather than individuals who served the college. The board adopted a provision that requires all acting trustees must vote unanimously in favor for an individual nominated to the position in order for the emeritus status to be granted.

The board also met in executive session to create a time line for appointing an interim trustee.

  • Candidates must submit applications by Nov. 10.
  • Trustees will select finalists Nov. 12.
  • Trustees will interview finalists at their monthly board meeting Nov. 20.
  • Trustees will seat an interim trustee at their monthly meeting Dec. 12.
DOWNLOAD the trustee application here.

*Krebs' letter of resignation (as read by Brown-VanArsdale):

Please accept this letter as my official notice of resignation from the Johnson County Community Board of Trustees [sic] effective September 25, 2008.

I have greatly enjoyed my involvement with the college over the last 40 years and I appreciate having had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people. Thank you for the support, guidance and encouragement you have provided me during my time at JCCC.

Even though I will miss my colleagues and and the college, I know the college is in good hands and the future of JCC [sic] is very bright.


Virginia Krebs

**Trustee meeting summary (posted to the Johnson County Community College electronic mail server, Infolist):
The JCCC board of trustees met for their regular monthly meeting Oct. 16.

Trustee emeritus
Mike Martin, president of the Faculty Association, asked the board to honor long-time trustee Virginia Krebs, who has resigned from the board. Dr. Jerry Baird, executive vice president, Administrative Services, made the same request on behalf of the administration. The board voted to accept Mrs. Krebs’ resignation and to distinguish her as the first trustee emeritus. Trustee emeritus status may be granted to a former trustee who has demonstrated significant contributions to the college and the community as a trustee.

Awards and recognition
· Penny Shaffer, program director, Health and Human Services, was recognized for the $25,000 grant she received to fund a new advanced dementia care certificate program. The grant is from the International Longevity Center under the 2008 Community College Caregiver Training Initiative, funded by MetLife Foundation. The new 30-hour program will train family caregivers and in-home care workers to provide long-term home care services to older adults with cognitive deficits due to Alzheimer’s, dementia or stroke.
· Sara McElhenney and Claire Ehney from the Hiersteiner Child Development Center were also recognized. The center is one of the first early childhood programs to earn accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.
· Members of the Marketing Communications staff were honored for awards they received from District V of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. The awards received were gold, Stacy Boline and Ian Nance (poster series, related – International Homestay series); silver, Melanie Tull (poster series, related – 08-09 performing arts season) and Tim Barnhart and Peggy Graham (newsletter – Places) and bronze, Randy Breeden (special events – Master Chef series), Peggy Graham and Randy Breeden (magazine – People and Places at JCCC), and Bret Gustafson (color photo – Up and Under). Tyler Cundith was also recognized for 13 awards he received from the College Sports Information Directors Association, including five sports publications judged best in the nation. This year, JCCC was tied with Texas A&M for fourth overall in the country for sports publications awards, behind UCLA, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

Actions taken
· The board approved new courses in animation and practical nursing , course fee changes for the certified nurse aide program, an articulation agreement with Missouri University of Science and Technology and modifications to the content of the practical nursing program.
· The board approved the college’s participation in the Kansas Debt Setoff Program, which will enhance the collection of unpaid student accounts.
· The board approved a resolution authorizing signatories for fiscal year 2009 for a depository account for student loan payments with U.S. Bank. This account will function as a clearing account, with the balance being transferred monthly to the college’s main depository account at First National Bank of Olathe.
· The board agreed to renew the volume purchase agreement with Dell Computers for one year. The college benefits from the agreement through competitive pricing, decreased administrative and technical support, and reduced warehouse and storage requirements.
· The board approved hiring Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company Inc. to provide energy auditing services in an amount not to exceed $100,000. The audit will look at how the college can improve energy efficiency on campus, enhance building environmental controls, develop the implementation of sustainable operational practices, recognize LEED existing building certification opportunities and identify renewable technology demonstration practices.
· The board approved the purchase from Verizon Select Services Inc. for a call pilot system and the first year’s maintenance on the telephone switch at a cost of $194,873.46. This system will replace the current Meridian voice mail system that has reached the end of its useful life. The initial term of the contract for maintenance will be from Dec. 12, 2008, through Nov. 12, 2009. The contract is renewable for three additional years in one-year increments, upon the approval of both parties.
· The board approved the purchase from Blackboard Inc. of a one-card system at a cost not to exceed $85,489. The system will enable the college to issue cards to students, faculty and staff that can be used for identification purposes as well as financial transactions for areas such as the bookstore and dining services. It is anticipated that additional banking functionality may be added to this program in the future by contracting with a financial institution as a result of a separate competitive bidding process.
· The board approved the purchase of seven trucks for Campus Services from Midway Ford Truck Center at a cost of $139,297.16.
· The board approved the purchase of Adobe software and maintenance from En Pointe Technologies at a cost of $72,577.88 for use in computer labs and offices.
· The board approved the annual renewal of contracts for lamps with Voss Electric and Light Bulbs, Etc., for an annual expenditure not to exceed $80,000.
· The board approved the purchase from Infolink Consulting of implementation services for Cognos report-writing software at a cost of $50,903.
· The board also approved the purchase of two spectrometers for chemistry classes, track equipment, theatre equipment for Yardley Hall and Polsky Theatre, theater audio equipment, carpet for ATB and ITC, and theater lamps.

Trustee search process
The board discussed the search for new trustee during a workshop following the regular meeting. The board invites interested persons to fill Krebs’ vacancy and will announce the position in local newspapers. Persons interested in the position are asked to submit an application and a resume to the office of the president, Johnson County Community College, Attn: Dorothy Friedrich, vice president, policy and strategic initiatives. Applications may be picked up in the office of the president, room 112 of the General Education Building, and may also be found online at http://www.jccc.edu/home/depts.php/000001. (Internal note: The application will be posted Friday morning.)
Applications to fill Krebs’ vacancy on the JCCC board of trustees will be accepted until 5 p.m. Nov. 10.
The board will review the applications and narrow them to a list of final candidates at a special meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 12.
The trustees will start their regular November meeting early on Nov. 20, at 4 p.m., to be followed by interviews with the candidates at 6 p.m.
The successful candidate will be seated at the regular monthly meeting Dec. 11.
The applicant chosen by the board will serve the remainder of Krebs’ term, which expires June 30, 2009.

At the workshop following the regular meeting, the board also covered these topics:
  • A resolution regarding the addition of a seventh member to the board will be on the agenda for the November meeting.
  • The board also discussed facilities, including the proposed addition to the Library. The board met in executive session for 30 minutes to discuss matters related to real property and attorney-client privilege.
Next meeting
The next meeting of the JCCC board of trustees is at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Hugh W. Speer Board Room, 137 GEB. Board of trustee meetings are open to the public. For more details, see a copy of the board packet at http://www.jccc.net/home/depts.php/000001/site/BoardMeetingInfo/JCCCBoardReports

October 15, 2008

NEWS: JCCC Connection to San Antionio CC Shooter

Community of Colleges
Library and President's office linked to Northeast Lakeview College

Yesterday's shooting at Northeast Lakeview College (NLC) in San Antonio, Texas provided multiple shocks for staff at the Billington Library in Overland Park, Kan.

Library Ties
The Johnson County Community College (JCCC) library staff found it difficult to learn of another campus shooting much less one that took place in a college library and was allegedly perpetrated by a librarian against another librarian. Yet for some staff, the name of the man police identified as the shooter left them stunned.

Alan Godin, the alleged assailant and librarian at NLC, is married to former JCCC librarian, Christine Godin.

Christine worked in the JCCC library from the mid-seventies until the late nineties when she joined the staff at North Vista College (NVC) in San Antonio, Texas, as director of Learning Resources. In June, Christine was promoted to Dean of Learning Resources.

Both NLC, where Alan worked as a librarian, and NVC, where Christine works, are two of the five colleges in the San Antonio Community College system. Christine also teaches theatre courses at NVC.

Second Connection
Eric Reno, president of NLC, where the shooting took place, applied for the presidency at JCCC in spring 2007 after JCCC's president, Charlse Carlsen, resigned amid allegations that he unlawfully harassed female employees. Reno visited JCCC for an interview with the college's Board of Trustees February 5-6, 2007.

Today the chancellor of the San Antonio Community College system posted this message on the system's webpage:
TO: The Alamo Community Colleges Family
FROM: Dr. Bruce Leslie, Chancellor
DATE: October 14, 2008
SUBJECT: Northeast Lakeview Shooting
Yesterday's tragic shooting at Northeast Lakeview College has deeply affected all of us, especially those who personally knew Donald Devin Zimmerman, as well as those who know his alleged assailant, Alan Godin.
On behalf of the entire Alamo Community Colleges' family, I would like to express our deepest sympathy and our condolences to Mr. Zimmerman's family, colleagues, students and friends and to the family of Mr. Godin. We will inform you about funeral arrangements and memorial services for Mr. Zimmerman when that information becomes available.

Counseling for Northeast Lakeview College faculty and staff is being offered at both Northeast Lakeview College campuses and at Northwest Vista College as well.

All classes at Northeast Lakeview college have been cancelled for today. Classes will resume Wednesday morning, October 15, at 8 a.m. Counseling for students will be available at both campuses when they return to their classes tomorrow.

We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

October 9, 2008

NEWS: Krebs on Krebs

The Campus Ledger's Matt Gallaway and Cameron Fletcher interviewed Fred Krebs, professor, History, and son of Virginia Krebs, trustee, who recently resigned her position.
"My mom's always been the shining light up there," he says in the audio interview.
Fred discusses his mother's stint as the college's first employee, her tenure as a trustee and what to expect in a replacement.
"We're gonna miss that -- not that sense of legacy -- but that sense of carrying out a trust with the community," he says.
The Ledger story and listen to the audio interview

October 8, 2008

NEWS: Trustee Vacancy Process

Julie Haas, executive director of Marketing Communications for Johnson County Community College, explained the process for selecting an interim trustee now that Virginia Krebs has submitted her resignation.

Haas posted this message on Johnson County Community College's Diversity Discussion Group listserv:
Carmaletta [Williams, executive director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] and everyone, this is the process that will be used for filling the vacancy on the board of trustees.

Kansas statute spells out the procedure for appointing a new board member.

The board will first publish a legal notice in the newspapers announcing the vacancy and their intention to fill it.

Those interested in the vacant seat on the board can pick up an application from the president’s office and then return the completed application along with a resume to Dorothy Friedrich.

The board will review the applications, select a number to interview, interview those selected during a public meeting, and then choose someone to fill the seat.

The board will set the dates for when all this will occur at their regular monthly meeting next week (Oct. 16).
The Board's monthly meetings usually take place at 5 pm in the Hugh Speer board room (GEB 137) at JCCC. However the Oct. 16 meeting will begin at 4 pm. Board meetings are open to the public.

Board documents including reports, meeting minutes and videos of the meetings are available here.

October 3, 2008


Posted today on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist:
Virginia Krebs, Johnson County Community College’s first employee and a trustee since 1985, has resigned from the college’s board of trustees. The board will accept her resignation at their regular meeting Oct. 16.

The trustees will appoint someone to complete the rest of Kreb’s term, which ends June 30, 2009. Her seat on the board is up for election in April 2009. An announcement regarding the appointment process will be made at the trustee meeting.

“Virginia has been an inspiration to her fellow board members and the JCCC college community,” said Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, chair, JCCC board of trustees. “She recognized the dynamic role of the community college to be responsive to the needs of students and employers. Her knowledge and historic insights have been invaluable as we look to keep JCCC in the forefront of the community college movement.”
“Mrs. Krebs dedicated her life to the education of children and adults throughout Johnson County,” said Terry A. Calaway, JCCC president. “She truly was a leader in making JCCC one of the best community colleges in the United States. Our community is forever indebted to her and her family for all they’ve done to improve the quality of life in this county.”

Krebs spent a lifetime contributing to the community and to Johnson County Community College. She began on a small scale, as she helped establish the Crestview-Merriam PTA and served as its first president. Later, she served as the president of the Hocker Grove Junior High School PTA, president of the Shawnee Mission North High School PTA Council and president of the Shawnee Mission Area PTA Council. Her articulate and forceful support of public education in Johnson County earned her statewide recognition, and she was named program chairman for the Kansas State PTA.

In this position, she was able to help lead the movement for a number of key bond issues that began to establish the county’s public school infrastructure. This leadership role also gave her a broad perspective on the key issue of school consolidation, and she was appointed to state task forces responsible for revision of the state school code and the consolidation of area school districts. From this, the Shawnee Mission Unified School District was formed.

In 1963, following her PTA involvement, Krebs was appointed by the board of county commissioners to a task force charged with studying the feasibility of building a community college in Johnson County. She worked for three years on this task force, which organized the creation of the community college taxing district and put the issue to the voters. The proposal was approved 2-1 by Johnson County voters in 1967.

Krebs was urged by many in the community to run for the new college’s board of trustees, but she chose instead to become the college’s first employee, the assistant to the first board of trustees. She kept the official board records, was instrumental in helping the original board establish the philosophy and mission of the college, and helped the board hire the first college president. She and her late husband, Al, also helped the college find and occupy its first buildings in Merriam.

In 1969, Krebs was hired as the first director of community services at JCCC and figured prominently in the development of what became one of the largest and most successful continuing education programs in the Midwest. She helped identify needs and mobilize cooperation to create women’s programs, programs for senior county residents, a county-wide group to support the arts, a world affairs discussion program and family-oriented events, both educational and entertaining, and was instrumental in establishing cooperative agreements with community organizations. She retired in 1984.

In 1985, Krebs ran for JCCC’s board of trustees and won. She was then re-elected to the board for six consecutive terms, the last in April 2005. As a college trustee, she served as clerk, treasurer, vice chairman and chairman. She received the American Association of Community College’s regional trustee award in 1993 and the Regional Leadership Award from the National Council on Community Services and Continuing Education, Region VII, in 1996. She has been also been recognized by the American Association of Women in Community Colleges, which conferred on her its prestigious Woman of the Year Award. In 2004, she was named to the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

# # #
Read Krebs' bio here

October 1, 2008

LIBRARY: Banned Books - Weak

Since it's Banned Books Week, I'm cloning my post from the Billington Library's JCCCLIB blog :
The book in question
Banned books usually make us think of inappropriate library materials at middle schools, maybe intense subject matter at high schools. Yet one would think a library on a college campus is immune; after all, this is where free thinking is encouraged.
That’s why I was surprised last spring when a patron demanded that the Billington Library ban a book. The book, Mapplethorpe, contained nude images along with other photographs.
She complained that children shouldn’t have acess to it.
I urged her to put that in our suggestion box.
But what I really wanted to say was, “Hello? Earth to crazy lady: this is a college library not childrens’ story hour at Borders.”
Materials at college libraries differs from those at public libraries because our primary charge is to provide materials that support courses. That matierial provide is selected to provoke thought, expand minds and facilitate discussions. Librarians work with instructors to procure material that enhances the required and suggested texts students purchase.
Sometimes that material is ugly, violent, sacrilegious or even naked.
If you can’t find material in a college library that offends you, then they aren’t doing their jobs.