NSCS Trustees Approve Program Statement for Peru State College Student Center Renovation During Meeting at Peru
Meeting at Peru State College (PSC) Friday, March 15, the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State College System (NSCS) approved a program statement for renovation of the Peru State College Student Center.
In January, the trustees appointed an architecture selection committee to prepare a program statement for the PSC Student Center upgrade and renovation. The board also authorized Chancellor Stan Carpenter to sign the professional services contract. Bahr Vermeer Haecker and Clark Enersen Partners were selected to do the programming for the program.
The NSCS officials recommended the trustees accept and approve the final program statement and authorize submitting the document to the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.
The program statement provides detail for a project to renovate the PSC Student Center up to 21st century design and functionality, and to renew its importance as the centerpiece of the college.
Dan Hanson, PSC president, said a fairly significant expansion of space is involved. The renovation and upgrading will allow more casual interaction and programs for students. It will also provide more opportunities to be the site of Southeast Nebraska conferences and community meetings, he said.
“The design is to support our whole focus on engagement. We need to figure out what we want and what it costs. This is the first step in saying we need to figure out how to fund the renovation once we get the funding. We will get an architectural design as how the building will look like. This allows us to begin talking to determine what we need to do to obtain funding,” Hanson explained.
He told the trustees students, faculty and staff was involved in discussion on the renovation last fall.
Student Affairs, Marketing & Enrollment
Trustee Bob Engles of Auburn called the recent reception with state senators “a resounding success.” Twenty-seven legislators attended.
“We have as good if not a better response as any similar entity,” said Engles, who thanked the NSCS central office staff for its efforts.
Engles called the student input at the state senators’ reception valuable. At least one representative from the three state colleges attended. Engles said the state senators want to talk more with the students than with trustees or administrators.
He also said the board was grateful for the input provided by the student trustees.
Programs are planned across Nebraska to inform students and parents about the three state colleges, Engles said.
It was discussed that representatives of the state colleges need to recruit hard, since University of Nebraska representatives are also trying to increase NU’s enrollment gradually.
The scholarship luncheon is at Lincoln in April. Engles called the event a great opportunity to intermingle with incoming freshmen.
Outgoing, Incoming Student Trustees Recognized
Joseph Fauver of PSC and Morgan Nelson of Chadron State College (CSC) were recognized for their service during the 2012-2013 school year. Introduced were 2013-2014 student trustees Jessica Merrill of PSC and Danny Reynaga of CSC. They will begin their service at the trustees’ June meeting in Lincoln. Madison Becker of Wayne State College (WSC) will continue as student representative for 2013-2014.
Merrill is a sophomore business administration and marketing major from Murray. Her activities include Residence Life. Merrill said she believed she can provide a good outlook to the trustees. She also added her service on the NSCS board would be beneficial with her career path, which is higher education administration.
Reynaga is a legal studies major from Alliance who plans to attend law school.
“I am looking forward to helping the board with anything I can offer. I have a good perspective of what students need on campus,” Reynaga said.
Institute of Community Engagement Explained in Peru State’s President’s Report
In his President’s Report, Hanson informed the trustees about the Institute for Community Engagement (ICE). It helps PSC officials achieve the transformational goals of creating excellence through essential engagement and increased prominence.
The mission of ICE is to foster a greater understanding of the leadership role students can play in community development by creating opportunities for students to engage with society and apply what they have learned in meaningful ways. It coordinates relevant learning experiences with the college’s academic programs, Hanson said.
Julie Taylor-Costello is institute director.
“The programs give students a great learning experience as well as benefiting Southeast Nebraska,” Hanson said.
Some current engagement initiatives include:
–planning an international studies experience for spring 2014. Participants will earn credit that meets general studies program criteria. Scholarships are available through the generosity of the Omaha Alumni Association.
–this spring’s Sociology 395 Community Development class is working with Auburn city officials to assist in identifying strengths and opportunities, and creating a marketing and branding strategy for Auburn.
–the History of Nebraska class is working with Auburn city officials to assist them in applying for National Historic District designation.
–the Peru Publishers was developed with Calvert Elementary School. PSC students are assisting Calvert students in authoring, illustrating and publishing a children’s book.
–the Children’s Health, Activity & Nutrition Community Engagement initiative with Calvert Elementary School, college students are helping Calvert students develop good health and nutrition habits.
–a new community engagement/service learning initiative in conjunction with the Food Bank of Lincoln and Catholic Social Services. Peru State AmeriCorps volunteers are facilitating the logistics, marketing, volunteer recruitment and grant writing to help distribute food to places of need in Nemaha County.
–the third Inside-Out course at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) is offered this semester. The class of 15 PSC students (outside) and 15 TSCI inmates (inside) focuses on contemporary corrections issues.
Hanson told the trustees “it was great to have you on campus.” He thanked Linda Moody of his office and Regan Anson, director of marketing and communications, for their efforts in preparation for the trustees’ meeting. Hanson praised Fauver for “exceptional service” as well as Merrill.
“It’s great to have you on board,” the PSC president said of Murray.
Reports were also presented by Curt Frye of WSC and Randy Rhine of CSC.
Frye reflected on the 24 winter sports student-athletes who earned Northern Sun Conference All-Academic recognition.
“Students in high school don’t understand the rigors of competing at the NCAA Division II level. Students succeed because they are engaged from the start. Students need to get engaged while in college. The importance of athletics, activities and education is why students stay at our college,” Frye said.
Rhine noted fall enrollment for continuing students is ahead of 2012.
Carpenter said the state colleges are not just educating students.
“We’re important in our region. That’s a critical important function for our institutions,” he said.
The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee scheduled a hearing Monday, March 18, to discuss the NSCS officials’ request for the biennium budget. Capital requests will be discussed. Gov. Dave Heineman has suggested a tuition freeze. The 3 percent preliminary budget increase is a good starting point and better than in the past, Carpenter said. He also thanked the Appropriations Committee for its consideration.
In welcoming the new student trustees, Carpenter said he was impressed with the high standards of past student trustees.
Student Trustees’ Report
Fauver reported on the improvement in the Bobcat men’s and women’s basketball teams during the 2012-2013 season, calling both seasons a positive turnaround. Both teams had an improved following among PSC students, he said.
Eight Peru State students of Sara Crook attended President Obama’s second inauguration, which was “exciting for the students who got to go,” Fauver said.
Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 and 13, students participated in the Stand for Freedom, to raise awareness of ending slavery internationally.
The February appearance of Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Nobel Peace Prize winner, was well-received on campus, Fauver said.
“She went to classrooms. It was good to have the students think beyond Southeast Nebraska,” he said of Ebadi, who was part of the college’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
The student trustees are also involved with contacting prospective students, Fauver said.
He said student representatives attended college fairs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Southeast Community College-Lincoln. Fauver said students have a lot of influence on convincing prospective students to attend their colleges.
The Florida Georgia Line concert Friday, April 12, sold out within 36 hours. It is during Spring Fling Week.
Fauver said he was accepted into the doctor of philosophy program at Colorado State University, where he will study microbiology, pathology and immunology, focusing on diseases affecting Third World nations. He plans to enter the higher education profession following graduate school.
He thanked the board for allowing him to serve as a student trustee and thanked Hanson and the other trustees.
“It was a great learning experience for me. You will be in good hands with Jessica,” Fauver concluded.
Reports were also given by Nelson and Becker. Nelson reported on a foreign policy program she attended in Washington, D.C., which featured Vice President Joseph Biden and U.S. Sen. John McCain. She also reported on a community outreach event this spring, where students will volunteer to help businesses and organizations off campus. Nelson said she learned a lot through the college’s presidential search process. Nelson will attend the George Bush School of Government and Public Policy at Texas A&M University.
Becker recognized the student-athletes who received All-Academic recognition and said “it was hard to understand how they can do it.”
She expressed her appreciation to serve as a student trustee and being able to continue in 2013-2014.
“It’s a great experience. I love meeting the students,” Becker said.
Trustee John Chaney of Auburn said the student trustees “do a wonderful job. They’re enthusiastic,” he said.
Engles and Chaney will represent the trustees at the Saturday, May 4, PSC commencement ceremonies.
Michelle Suarez of Lincoln, trustee, said she enjoyed the performances by the PSC Madrigal Singers and Jazz Band while on the PSC campus.
The trustees approved a Resident Plus One Tuition Rate for students attending CSC. Effective the fall of 2013, Chadron State onsite undergraduates will pay the resident tuition rate plus $1. It is a three-year pilot project which will be renewed annually unless other action is taken by the trustees.
Rhine said he was excited about the possibilities of trying the rate. Rhine said the more students at the CSC, the more students in Chadron, Dawes County and western Nebraska.
The project is similar to the One Rate Any State tuition at PSC. Hanson said the number of PSC out-of-state students has substantially increased since that concept was initiated.