Co-Lin sees projects coming to fruition around the campus

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College is abuzz with student activity. Classes have begun, sports are underway and the faculty is settling in for another semester.

“We are off to a great start,” said Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles at the Co-Lin Board of Trustees meeting Thursday. “There are a lot of exciting things going on. It has been a smooth start to this semester.”

Several improvements have been made throughout the summer to prepare for this year and more are on the way.

The Write Path is coming to fruition. The program is part of Co-Lin’s Quality Enhancement Plan for their Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation reaffirmation visit which is scheduled for Sept 22-25. If approved by the commission, the five-year plan to improve student’s writing skills will begin on the Wesson campus in the fall of 2015.

“Our plan is very simple and is based on our students becoming better writers,” said Jane Hulon, Co-Lin vice president of instructional services. She said that there are two main focuses for the plan: working with educators to develop new writing curriculums and creating support systems for students outside of the classroom.

Also during the trustees meeting, Nettles reported that the Co-Lin Foundation has raised $424,730 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year resulting in $7,504,687 in total valued assets as of June 30. The foundation is separate from the college, but contributes significantly to students through scholarships, faculty and staff grants, athletic contributions, campus equipment and various other projects.

“The foundation is supporting the mission of the college,” said Nettles. He added that in the eight years he has been at Co-Lin, he has seen the foundation double in funds.

Nettles also noted that the new brick football press box has been completed just in time for the start of the season. The new building is fully equipped and has a meeting room beneath that can be used year-round.

“It is a very nice facility and is well built,” said Nettles. “It is something we can be proud of for years to come. Now that we’ve got it done, we’re ready to move on to the next project.”

Other business discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting included:

• A report of the revenues and expenditures that showed revenue exceeded expenses by $2.3 million.

• A report of the fall enrollment figures showing a net increase in the head count for fall 2014 enrollment of all campuses, but a net decrease for full time equivalent enrollment.

• The approval to authorize the initiation of a project that will upgrade the roof and mechanical systems on the roof of the Tom Reid Academic Center at the Natchez Campus. The buildings will be equipped with newer and more energy efficient air conditioning units that will in turn reduce heating and cooling costs. The project will cost $1.2 million and will be finance by $1.3 million given to the school by the state for capital improvements.

• The report of the completion of a student parking lot at the Simpson County Center which adds 51 new spaces to the facility.

• Nettles reported the implementation of the tobacco-free policy has been going smoothly.

• Approval of the lowest and best bid for basketball uniforms and supplies from BSN Sports for $20,377.58.

• The approval of purchase orders over $5,000, totaling $416,242.81.

• The approval of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges special assessments for 2015 in the amount of $4,565.

• The approval of the resignation of Drafting and Design Technology instructor/coordinator Bruce Thomas at the Wesson campus effective Aug. 27.

• The approval of the granting Robert Smith with full police powers as a part time police officer on the Wesson campus effective Aug. 21.

• The approval of the employment of Robert McCall and Robin Mitchell as a Workforce Development coordinators/trainers on the Wesson campus effective Sept. 8. McCall specializes in industrial safety training and Mitchell specializes in health related training.

• The approval of the transfer of Brent Duguid to Assistant Dean of Career and Technical Education on the Wesson campus effective Oct. 1.

• The approval of the transfer of Monica Morris to assistant dean of career and technical education on the Natchez campus effective Oct. 1.