The Owens Community College Board of Trustees met today unanimously approving a new three-year contract with the Owens Faculty Association (OFA). The current contract with the OFA expires February 16, 1998.
The new contract maintains all current levels of benefits for faculty and provides for salary increases of 6 percent the first year and 5 percent each of the second and third years.
OFA President Richard Sabo told the Board that negotiations went very well. "Both sides bargained in good faith and it was quite an amicable situation," Sabo said. "We set a goal to start the bargaining early and be done by the end of the Fall Semester and we are pleased to have achieved that goal."
"We feel the early and overwhelming positive ratification of this contract further demonstrates both the faculty and administration's commitment to doing what is best for our students and the community," said Owens President Daniel H. Brown. "A great deal of credit goes to the negotiating teams on both sides for settling the contract in a prompt, positive and professional manner."
The Board also approved salary increases for the College's nearly 300 administrative, professional, support staff and buildings and grounds employees as well as part-time faculty. Administrative staff will be eligible to receive up to a 4.5 percent increase, professional staff up to a 5 percent increase, and support staff and buildings and grounds staff up to a 5.5 percent increase. The Board approved an additional lump sum merit payment for administrative, professional, support staff and buildings and grounds employees of up to 1.5 percent.
"Even though some employee groups are eligible for a larger increase than others, the total cost of the staff package does not exceed 5.5 percent," explained President Brown. Part-time faculty will receive a 4 percent pay increase effective Spring Semester 1998. President Brown also received a 4 percent increase and a one year extension to his contract which will now expire on July 31, 2001.
"The Board of Trustees is very pleased to be able to reward the College's dedicated faculty and staff with salary increases," said Allan Libbe, Board Chair. "The College has seen tremendous growth in the last few years due to the hard-work and tireless efforts of the faculty, staff and administration and we feel it is very important to recognize those efforts."
In other business, the Trustees approved a $1,492,020 contract with SCT Software and Resource Management Corporation for software, service and installation of the new Owens Academic and Student Information System. Installation of the new system will begin in January 1998 with the majority of the work completed by the end of the year. All remaining components of the project are expected to be completed by August 1999.
Dr. Frank Babcock, Executive Director of Student Development, told the Trustees that preliminary enrollment figures for Spring Semester 1998 remain strong. Registration at the Findlay Campus is currently even with the same time last year while the Toledo-area Campus is ahead by 7.5 percent. Spring Semester begins January 12.
The Trustees approved the Fall 1997 graduating class of 374 including 46 from the Findlay Campus. Commencement, Thursday at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall, will also include the largest number of Arts and Science graduates (22) since the College became a comprehensive community college in July 1994, the Trustees were told.
President Brown informed the Trustees that the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) recently approved the College's capital request for Fiscal Year (FY) 1999-2000 and that the OBR had released the College's FY 1998 subsidy and basic renovation funds.
The capital request is part of the College's Six-Year Capital Program which must be submitted every two years to the OBR. The capital requests are now forwarded to the State Legislature for approval.
For FY1999-2000, the College requested $7,494,520 to fund a Student Health and Activities Center. The Center will include a Fitness Center, Food Court and Performance Center/Gym. The College's current student activities facility, Alumni Hall, was built in 1975. The Student Health and Activities Center will provide students with a facility that will meet fitness needs with health and physical education courses as well as a place for student activities, student organizations, commencement, athletic events, student development staff offices and more.
The College's FY98 subsidy totalled $20,740,059. The funds mark a 7.6 percent increase over the previous year, but fall short of the College's growth of 10.35 percent.
The College also received $833,701 in basic renovations funds for both the Toledo-area and Findlay Campuses.
The Trustees congratulated the faculty and staff in the College's Automotive and Diesel Technologies Departments for each program recently achieving the designation of number one in the nation. Head Men's Basketball Coach Jim Welling received recognition from the Trustees for recently reaching the 300th winning game milestone in his 12-year coaching career at Owens. Chuck Mann, Vice President for Business Affairs, was congratulated on the American School and University Magazine's designation of the College's new Library as an "Outstanding Building."
The Trustees also approved the College's 1998-99 Academic Year Calendar with Fall Semester 1998 to begin August 24.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees is February 17 at 12:45 p.m.