Staff Assembly Meeting Minutes

Echo Bay/Blue Creek Room, SUB
Call to Order: 2:00 pm

New Employee Introductions:

  • Marie Price, Director for WTC introduced Michael Weller, Program Coordinator for Wood Products Manufacturing 
  • Garry Stark introduced Hiedi Schrader, Sr. Administrative Assistant for Facilities.


Guest Speakers:
Mark Browning – Legislative Updates

Mark just got back from Boise and the guns on campus bill passed the Senate State of Affairs Committee by a vote of 7 to 2. Now it goes to the second reading calendar, and then goes to the floor as soon as Monday. Mark thinks the bill is going to pass and go to the House. If the bill passes it would allow two groups to carry weapons on campus, those who have an enhanced carry permit and retired law enforcement who go through a certification process. There are some ramifications of the bill we will have to deal with administratively and we will be working closely with NIC Security to do that. There are still many “what if” questions we will have to figure out. The enhanced permit requires a citizen to be 21 years old, a resident of Idaho for six months, pass a criminal background check, fingerprinting and eight hours (within the last 12 months) of in-person instruction and also 98 rounds of firing on a training range. It does not specify how good a shot you have to be! There is no mental health screening. The permit is good for five years for citizens, retired police have to renew every year. This is one of the things we argued about the bill, that it should not be harder for law enforcement to get the permit. If the bill is passed it will go into effect July 1, 2014. The college needs to budget now for this bill. A couple of other things, the legislature, and the Community College appropriation are set on March 6 so there is a lot of work to be done. Career and Technical is set on next Thursday. Career and Technical will see some increase, around 2 to 2 ½ percent. We expect to receive our base plus about $240,000 for the Sandpoint Center. As we stand now, it looks pretty good.
A bill was introduced about financial aid for students who take unsubsidized loans could get some loan forgiveness, but that would require another oversight board. I don’t think this bill will go anywhere.
A couple of dual credit bills are moving that are part of the K12 reform that say if you complete certain steps toward high school graduation by the end of sophomore year you would be eligible as a junior for money to take dual credit course, and double that money for their senior year.
To answer how the decision is made about how the budget is divided between NIC and the other colleges: there is not a scientific process, the community college budget, since 1964, has been between us and CSI. It is not based on enrollment, programs or number of employees, they just kind of go here’s the cake; we’ll cut it up this way. So then the next year, they say, ‘your slice was this much, you’ve said you’re growing or shrinking so we’ll adjust your portion.’ Generally it does not go down unless you are in a significant downward trend. So, there is no formula, it’s a base, plus system. When College of Western Idaho was added in 2007 it was not added to the existing budget, but given its own line item out of the budget. For the first three years the governor requested 5 million dollars a year to help fund them for start-up costs, since they didn’t have students until 2009. For the last two years, all three of us have been asking to combine all three colleges together in the budget and get on an FTE, or credit hour calculation to determine how much each college gets. Similar to the K12 schools, and since our enrollment is down we will not be getting an increase to the budget. Even when enrollment is growing we usually do not get those increases.
Out of the entire NIC request for budget items, the Sandpoint Center was the only one funded.

Tianna Wood—Spring Formal, Student Events:
Normally we don’t see staff or faculty at our events because our focus is the students. This event we would like to get the NIC community to come together. There are posters around campus; it is a borderline black-tie event. We having a three course meal, Big Band Northwest will be playing for the evening. We are also having free dance lessons an hour before the event. This is a great chance for the NIC community to get together for a night of elegance. It will be in the SUB, March 22 at 7 p.m. (Saturday). You need to show your NIC ID to buy tickets, but you’re encouraged to bring non-NIC friends and family! Tickets can be purchased, by March 2nd, in the ASNIC office. We would love to see you all there! Poster

Garry Stark —Levy update:
The Ad hoc committee met a couple of weeks ago and we discussed it with the engineers and they inventoried 1,075 trees, 385 are recommended for removal. But out of those about 100 are really just big bushes. There are about 285 big trees. The strip of trees by Hedlund, that are smaller trees, they are recommending taking all of those out on the land side of the road. They are bunched together and unhealthy. There would still be trees on the lake side. That also would allow them to widen the road and create diagonal parking, which would increase parking spots. We have another meeting in the SUB on the 26th so we can show the folks what unhealthy-unsafe trees will be removed. Also, we’ve had tree study and three trees have been identified as hazardous by the Children’s Center. It is recommended to take them down before the ground thaws and they fall in a high wind. So if you see trees coming down soon it is for safety reasons. There is not a time frame for the actual levy work to start.

We also have a request through public works to put in a handicap ramp from the college side to the bulkhead. Currently there is not any handicap access. We are not sure what the funding is on that but it looks good.

Matt Sebby—Meet and Confer:
We have met with the president and we’re in the process of developing a request. We are changing the way we are making the request. We make the request, it goes to PC, they come back with a recommendation of where they want to be, and if they agree with that, we’ll actually change our request so that the entire college is making the same request. Hopefully that will make it easier for the board to fund. We would like to see a two percent increase to the base and, if possible, a step for everyone. We don’t know where that money will come from, so hopefully somebody will figure that out for us! If you have anything you would like brought to the committee email me.

Pam Noah—NIC Foundation Employee Giving Campaign:
I want to thank everyone for participating last year; we had 84 percent participate and raised $47,000. Kudos to employees! It is so important to our fundraising to show our employees really care about the college. It is easy to enter and give, just click through! You can choose payroll deduction, those who already purchase a Big Raffle ticket or made a donation since July 1, 2013, are already in the drawing for prizes. Enter before February 21, for prizes and the faculty/staff competition. Staff is ahead today, it is a fun competition. The money funds the foundation grant program each year, and this year we are giving out over $900,000 in scholarships. You can direct where your money goes or give it to greatest needs and we’ll spread it out where it needs to go. It is also a tax credit, so a $50 donation may cost you as little as $8 depending on where you live and how you do your taxes.

Heather Erikson—Footsteps:
This is our third year of the exhibit. It is an interactive exhibit put on by our student groups highlighting issues of social injustice and oppression. Last year we had 490 people go through so, many of you saw me running around the building trying to get ten more! Our goal is to reach 500; many come through as a class or department. It is very impactful, the student work very hard on this. I think the exhibits this year are the best I have seen! We actually had more applications than were required. March 4- 6 sign up for reservations, it is a great activity to do as a department.

Senate Report—Lynn Covey

We are still working on policies, at the beginning of the year PC divided up all of the policies for them to review. All of the work this year will be on reviewing and revising policies.

Board Meeting Report—Nancy Edwards
The former mayors for Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls received awards. The TRIO program along with ABE/GED® were featured for celebrating success! Capital Project planning, Dave Teeter will be a consultant to help out with major projects. The Career Technical (CTE) program project was given the go-ahead. First reading for Credit for Prior Learning policy, and revised Business Office & Facilities Use, so those will come up for second readings. And Mark Browning gave a legislative report.

Dave Ramsey Financial Class- Teresa Henderson
Any employees interested in taking the Dave Ramsey financial class please email Andrea Woempner ASAP so she can determine if there is enough interest to hold the class. Those in the Wellness Program can earn up to $100 in their HRA account (employee only). Spouses can also attend.


  • To Adam Mortenson from Registrar’s Office: Not only do you do a great job when you fix our office you bring much needed fun and laughter! You are a great employee and NIC wouldn’t be the same without you!

  • To Richard King from HR for always turning in the correct paperwork and being so nice to work with. 

  • To Bob Gibson from Evie and Vickie—this man has been working upstairs every day, we see him he is very pleasant and considerate. This man is old school, every time he worked on a classroom I found it clean and his tools neatly stacked on the edge of the room. We told him he didn’t need to but he always left the room really clan. He truly is a team player!
    Adjourned: 2:50 pm