Co-Lin looks forward to increased December grad numbers

Published 1:00am Sunday, November 10, 2013

Copiah-Lincoln Community College President Ronnie Nettles had good news to report Thursday about the college’s upcoming December graduation.

“We plan to have close to 130 graduates from our three campuses this December – so many that we are going to have to move the graduation ceremony to the gym,” Nettles told the Co-Lin Board of Trustees Thursday afternoon.

In previous years, the graduation reception has taken place in Rea auditorium. However, with an increase of approximately 40 students slated to participate in December’s graduation ceremony, the move is timely, said Nettles.

Nettles attributes the increased number of graduates to the ability of students to finish their studies early, as well as exemplary staff instruction at the community college.

Dual enrollment credit, or the ability of high school students to earn college credit before even attending one college-level lecture, has been just as instrumental in raising graduation numbers, according to Nettles.

In other action Thursday, the board approved purchase orders, reviewed revenue and expenditures for October, handled personnel matters and updated one another on coming events.

Despite announcing close to $1.4 million dollars of expenditures over revenue for the month of October, Vice President of Business Affairs Michael Tanner noted that the college still awaits receipt of $2.2 million in grant funds.

“Tuition and state funds will correct this,” Tanner said. “This is not uncommon. We aren’t going to have to borrow any money,” continued Tanner.

In personnel matters, the board approved full police powers for Graham Davis Jr. as full-time police officer for the Simpson County Center/Co-Lin District and Dewayne Thompson as District High School Equivalence manager on the Wesson Campus. Both jobs will be effective Monday, Nov. 11.

In the case of Thompson, the board noted that the college will consolidate two previous part-time positions into Thompson’s full-time duty, thus involving no additional expenditures.

The board heard the results of an audit conducted by SST Consulting that begun in June, which recommended I-9′s for all college personnel including board members. An I-9 is a federal document used to verify employment eligibility.

Budget and finance chair of the board, Steven Ammann sought approval for lodging and travel expenses that will be necessary for all winning Co-Lin sports teams to compete beyond the state level.

Additionally, Ammann brought 15 purchase orders over $5,000, totaling $635,840, to the board for approval. The board approved the items.

In the absence of board member Melton King, President Nettles updated the board on construction projects under way, or in the works, such as renovation of the press box at Stone Stadium on the Wesson campus. Nettles also received board approval for roofing projects on Stevens and Ellis Halls, both part of the Wesson campus.

Director of Institutional Planning and Research, Jeff Posey, provided the board an overview of a Smithsonian Exhibit that is coming to the Wesson campus from April 13 to May 9.

Co-Lin is one of only two community colleges approved by the Mississippi Humanities Council for the exhibit, which will include photos and items from the National Archives, as well as local artifacts from Copiah and nearby counties.

The theme of the exhibit will include a historical look at the evolution of the town of Wesson, “from mill town to college town,” according to Posey.

“This is another exciting way that Co-Lin is contributing to the community,” said Posey.