Board of Regents discuss CampusShield app, rank promotions

The new CampusShield Smartphone App, the Scholarship Gala Update, and the Online Resume for Prospective Students, Parents, and the Public were among the topics discussed during the March meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Dr. Stan DeMerritt, vice president for student affairs, presented the Emergency Preparedness Efforts which include classroom posters that will be available on all SPC campuses. The posters provide information for students and faculty, as well as telephone numbers to call during an emergency.

“These will be hung in every classroom and every public space around campus, across all facilities,” Dr. DeMerritt said.  “People will look at these posters and immediately see what to do in an emergency, and we are looking forward to that.”

Dr. DeMerritt also discussed the new CampusShield Smartphone App which was launched March 18. Features of the new app include an anonymous tip button which allows photos and/or video to be submitted to law enforcement, Safety Escort, which allows an individual to request a safety escort on all SPC campuses, and an Emergency Button, which can immediately connect to campus safety forces.

“Students can also do a Friend Watch, which can help students around campus but also when they are outside of the community,” Dr. DeMerritt explained. “A person can set up three to four friends at a time, and the app will let their friends know then they are leaving a destination, and it can also tell their friend(s) how long it will take them to arrive to their next destination.”

The CampusShield App also has maps of all SPC campuses and a Bus Tracker, which provides contact information for Spartan. The new app is easy to use, and it is free to download.

Dr. Ryan Gibbs, vice president for academic affairs, reported information regarding the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 5th Year Report update. SPC has until Sept. 13 to present a report that address 24 of 33 standards that are reviewed for the 10-year accreditation, along with a summary of the college’s quality enhancement plan impact report.

“This process started in May 2018,” Dr. Gibbs explained. “Currently, we are on schedule to have a final draft complete and mailed a month before the due date.”

Steven John, vice president for institutional advancement at SPC, discussed the Online Resume for Prospective Students, Parents, and the Public that is available on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s website.

The resume provides comparative data from a peer group that SPC has been assigned to which is comprised of Amarillo, Central Texas, Navarro, Tyler JC, Blinn, North Central, Del Mar and SPC. The report also presents enrollment, financial aid costs, and student success, as well as degrees and certificates awarded by peer institutions.

John said that overall, the college is performing on par with its peers. From data given, it shows that students at SPC are successful in the classrooms.

Julie Gerstenberger, director of development and alumni relations, presented the results from the 21st annual Scholarship Gala. The gala raised more than $228,000, with 100 percent of the going to to benefit SPC scholarships.

“This is what that Scholarship Gala does,” explained Gerstenberger. “We want to reward excellence, and we really look for the students who have earned the opportunity to have an award.”

Gerstenberger also announced that next year’s gala could possibly be held on the third Thursday in February of 2020.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC, presented the Faculty Rank Promotions, along with the Faculty Tenure Recommendations.

Faculty promoted to the rank of professor include Hye-Gyung Ji, John Kennedy, Glenda Bryant, Kay McClellan, Sharon Race, and Stephen Williams.

Faculty promoted to the rank of associate professor include Debra Gelber, Keila Ketchersid, Amanda Rakhshandeh, Angela Roberts, Christopher Neal, Nancy Smith, Brent Wheeler, and Robert Wood.

Faculty promoted to the rank of assistant professor include Kevin Beaugh, Sherley Bedore, Tamie Coltharp, Janine Fox, Janet Hargrove, Ryan Heth, Timothy Holland, Benjamin Keltz, Kiley Leone, Fausto Montes, Raylene Nuffer, Michael Slaughter, Tara Strawn, Jessica Williams, Camy Brunson, Caleb Humphreys, Stephen Sanders, and Sarah Thompson.

Faculty granted tenure include Laci Alexander, Kevin Beaugh, Clinton Bishop, Rodney Busby, Kristie Cole, Janine Fox, M. Travis Hawk, Susan Horn, Megan Keith, Larry Kirk, Allison Maddox, Fausto Montes, Eric Niederhauser, Patti Thompson, Bang Wang, Darren Welch, and Marc Wischkaemper.

Community comments were made at the end of the meeting by Levelland residents Joe D. Brooks and Mary Siders regarding the new facility in downtown Lubbock.

Brooks addressed the Board of Regents by asking for transparency among the college’s leadership.

“I have visited with some of the Board of Regents members, and not once has this issue been on your agenda,” said Brooks. “I take it personal, because I am from Levelland, and I know the tax dollars don’t make up for it. But when we haven’t been asked, or been given a rod to fish with, how do we know if and when these things are already done?”

Mary Siders, with the Levelland Chamber of Commerce, also addressed the Board. She, along with Brooks, expressed concern and asked the Board to find options to bring more students to South Plains College.

“South Plains College does a lot for our community,” Siders said, “and we realize that. But the Board should reach out to the business community and ask for our input. Business owners are very fluent in sharing things with the Chamber of Commerce… So we just ask that you communicate with us.”

Both Siders and Brooks asked the Board to think of what is best for South Plains College and for the community.

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