Trustees talk bicycling, finance, more - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Trustees talk bicycling, finance, more


The LCC Board of Trustees listens to a speaker's comments on Monday, May 21 in the Administrative Building.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

The second to last LCC Board of Trustees meeting of the 2023-24 school year occurred on Monday, May 21, at 6 p.m. in the Administrative Building of the downtown campus.

As always, the meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and then the president’s report from Dr. Steve Robinson. As one of the first orders of business, there was a commemorative video shown of this year’s commencement ceremony.

It was next announced that LCC received an award for its near-constant encouragement of city cycling, and recently a plaque was presented to President Robinson and his staff at the Capitol Building.

“The League of Michigan Bicyclists recognized LCC as the ‘Business Champion of the Year’ for a couple of reasons,” Robinson said. “We have done a little bit to promote cycling with things like ‘Pedal with the Prez’ events, but really, we have the best and most secure bike parking facility in the state

“It’s an amazing part of the Gannon ramp that has incredible murals laser cut into metal by one of our own designers, Taylor Riffle. If you haven’t seen it, you have to go over there.”

Robinson then took a moment to thank Trustee Robert Proctor for his service on the Michigan Community College Association Board. There are always two LCC appointees, the president and a trustee, on the board, but Proctor quickly climbed his way through the ranks.

“Trustee Proctor just finished a year of being chair of the entire association,” Robinson said.

He announced Proctor’s planned replacement, but focused mainly on commending Proctor, a trustee of over 22 years, for his dedication to education.

“Trustee Proctor’s successor will be Chancellor Pete Provenzano from Oakland Community College,” he said. “I just wanted everyone here to know, because you all are not always at MCCA events, what a great job Trustee Proctor did serving as the chair of a state association.”

Robinson then asked Chief Financial Officer Don Wilske to take the floor and make an announcement in regards to another recent award received by LCC.

“We were informed last week,” Wilske said, “that for the 15th consecutive year, Lansing Community College has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Outstanding Financial Reporting award.”

Robinson then introduced 15 new hires and concluded his report.

The public safety report was also given. LCC police made contact with 42 citizens during patrol, gave out 15 parking violation warnings and 21 parking violation citations.

Other financial implications were then discussed and were described as follows:

  • In order to terminate a lease, originally set to end in 2035, on a non-operational LCC property, $1.5 million in restoration costs are required and were requested. The restoration and relinquishment of the property is scheduled to save LCC approximately $2 million in utilities and maintenance costs;
  • A blanket purchase order in the amount of $5,458,928 was requested for a qualified contractor, more specifically HES Facilities Management, to provide custodial services from 7/01/24 to 6/30/27;
  • A blanket purchase order in the amount of $1,830,000 was requested to procure dental benefits for LCC employees from 7/01/24 to 6/30/27 from ADN dental, a company LCC has trusted since 2010;
  • A blanket purchase order in the amount of $398,700 was requested to secure services from “Adam’s Outdoor Advertising.” The company owns 90 percent of Lansing’s billboard inventories, and LCC is interested in both digital and print advertisements;
  • $239,243 was requested to cover the charge of a “campus-wide parking lot restoration.” The amount necessary is for a one-time purchase of services from Reith-Riley Construction Company. Construction is expected to take place from 5/21/24 to 9/19/24;
  • A blanket purchase order in the amount of $131,325 was requested to cover three years of salary for an athletic trainer required by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

After all scheduled items on the agenda were attended to, the meeting was left open to public comment.

Unusually, there were 10 speakers and all, except for one, spoke about the lack of full-time positions and competitive wages for faculty members. The outcries were seemingly sparked by the contractual negotiation in process.

LCC Web Services Librarian Suzanna Bernsten approached the podium and announced she had worked at LCC for 18 years.

“After I was hired, there was not another full-time librarian position offered for seven years,” Bernsten said. “I am here today to ask for two things: more competitive wages for part-time faculty and more full-time positions. Currently, only 13 percent of positions are full-time.”

LCC English Instructor and Educational Coordinator Ian Leighton approached the podium next and said, having spoke out before, he had begun to feel forgotten.

“I spoke here last year, via WebEx,” Leighton said.  “We are still drowning with inflation. Things have not really improved since I last spoke. Many of us are teaching or tutoring as a side hustle, while working at the state or MSU, but a great many of us want, no, NEED, the stability of being full-time.”

UniServ Director of the Michigan Education Association Greylor Walston also spoke, both on behalf of the association and on behalf of LCC employees.

“We are and will continue to lose excellent educators to institutions that recognize and reward their experience and commitment appropriately,” Walston said. “The financial reports indicate that the college is able to address these issues, the resources are available to make the necessary adjustments and to do the right thing by our LCC faculty.

“It is imperative that we prioritize fair compensation and value the contributions made by our educators.”



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