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Adopted Meeting Minutes
April 18, 2005
Regular Meeting


The meeting was called to order at 6:18 p.m.


Present:  Brannan, Laverty, Murray, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson
Absent:  Canady 


Trustee Brannan led the pledge of allegiance.


There were no additions or deletions to the agenda.


Lynn Savage - Hello, my name is Lynn Savage and I'm chair of the LCC Labor Coalition.  I am here to again address you on behalf of the coalition on the subject of budget for the coming year.  As you review the proposed budget we clearly identify the priority given to buildings and facilities, technology and quality programs and services.  Three of the four major budget priorities we cited in our last statement.  The proposed solution package addresses these three issues plus proposes to restore the fund balance.  But, it doesn?t adequately address employee compensation.  On page four of the Board packet on salaries and wages.  It states ?a minimal increase on salaries and wages? is projected.  This concerns us greatly because it implies lesser priority to a critical need for qualified employees for the College than the other priority areas.  We again encourage you to consider a substantial tuition increase beyond the proposed increase of $7 for in district tuition in order to adequately address all of the priorities for the College.  Human resources cannot be left behind as you make your budgetary decisions.  As we have said before we do not make this recommendation lightly and we would be very willing to meet with you to discuss these issues.  Thank you for your attention.

Les Cox - My name is Les Cox and I am professor at Jackson Community College and I came here to talk to you tonight about proposed budget.  I?d like to talk about my experience at LCC.  My daughter had free tuition at Jackson Community College for her entire time while going to school but chose to attend LCC for one reason - the volleyball program.  My daughter came here and looked over the program and it made a wave of difference in her life.  I don't know what your considerations are or what your decisions might be but I wanted to add this public comment.  Most of the kids that attend the volleyball program are local.  They get a wonderful opportunity and experience out of it.  As a faculty member at Jackson Community College I can tell you that we do not have intercollegiate athletics.  That has been a problem because as I recruit and talk to students on a daily basis, they come to me and ask me why should they attend JCC.  I say that we have great programs, we have great instructors, we have great faculty.  They say but you don't have athletics, why should I not go to Kalamazoo Valley or Lansing Community College.  I don't have an answer for them.  I don't know what the considerations are or what your budgetary restraints might be and what you are considering to add or change at this point.  However, I will tell you from being on the athletic committee, as I have been twice over the last ten years, we have tried to bring athletics back to Jackson Community College and we've been unsuccessful.  The reason is the cost to bring back a program after it is eliminated or reduced is prohibited.  Our studies show it would cost us over a $1 million to bring back athletic programs to JCC.  We have since tried over that time to bring back and have added, as you might know, a hockey program, which is a club sport.  It is the best we can do at the time to bring it back gradually.  What we found after having eliminated the program, and there wasn't a budgetary consideration when we did this, it was for other reasons.  The Board decided in 1984 that it would be easier to eliminate athletics because we basically are an academic institution.  Within three years our enrollment dropped almost fifty percent and still to this day we have not recovered.  Sometimes when we look at things it looks like programs cost a lot of money, and they do.  But sometimes it's those extra things that students get that makes the difference to them on whether to go to college and where to go.  Thank you.

Monica Holland (spelling) - Good evening, my name is Monica Holland.  I'm a 2001 graduate of Lansing Eastern High School.  After graduating from Lansing Eastern High School I was trying to contemplate where I wanted to go to college.  I graduated as valedictorian from Eastern with a 4.0 g.p.a. and received over $76,000 in scholarships.  When making my decision to attend a certain college I looked at many factors.  The one thing that drove me to LCC was its volleyball program and the athletics that are offered here.  It gave me an opportunity not only to continue my academic career but also to continue my athletic career.  I just wanted to share with you a few things that the Lansing Community College athletic program did for me.  First, as I mentioned, it allowed me to continue to achieve great things academically.  I was a distinguished All American academic athlete at Lansing Community College.  I also have had the opportunity to be involved in many different community aspects through Lansing Community volleyball.  Some of these include:  Making Strides breast cancer walk, Grand River clean up, Athletes for Kids program, Lansing Area Volleyball Association camps and clinics and volleyball programs at a local YMCA.  Without this athletic program here at LCC I would not have grown as the person I am today.  This definitely made me more social person.  I am able to communicate better with people.  I've had lots of contacts with students.  I've been able to be an ambassador for Lansing Community College, not only its academic programs but also its athletic program.  It just did a world for me.  I just wanted to express to you how much this program means to me and how much it means to other people in this area, local people.  It is a great program.  Thank you very much.

Leslie Coxan - Ladies and gentlemen of the Board thank you for allowing me to speak.  My name is Leslie Coxan and I was a part of the LCC volleyball program during the 2001-2002 academic years.  I am currently at Wayne State University where I just finished my senior year playing volleyball.  I wanted to tell you today about the difference that LCC has made in my life.  When I graduated from high school I didn?t intend to play volleyball because the cost of going to a large school was too high.  A lot of times in high school the players are overlooked because of how the recruiting process goes.  It's been a big issue about the seasons, Michigan is not the same recruiting season as all the other states in America.  When I went to LCC I was just going to go for a couple of years and then just transfer to a regular school like Michigan State.  But, the LCC program gave me a chance to flourish as a player.  During the 2001-2002 season I was first in the nation for assists, I was voted All-League, All-State, and All-Region.  I was picked up by ?? State Mavericks where I played for one season but then transferred back to Detroit for a better program and like I said finished my senior year this year at Wayne State.  I am not unique at all.  I see these girls sitting in the front row, they too were passed over directly out of high school and given a second chance to play at LCC.  I'm also not the last player or the first player to go to a bigger institution on a paid scholarship because of the LCC volleyball program.  I attended my first LCC camp when I was in sixth grade and that's the year before organized sports started for volleyball players.  Ever since then I have been involved in programs that have been offered by LCC.  I would say that it was LCC volleyball and not Michigan State volleyball that have been successful because the reason Lansing puts out such good volleyball players, Michigan State is more detached than LCC in the community and it is LCC that you connect with in volleyball.  Perhaps you go to one Michigan State camp per year but LCC, when I was going there, we?d run camps in the Fall and Spring at a reasonable price that lots of people in the area could afford.  Some of the communities that are affected by this are Grand Ledge, Okemos, Haslett, Leslie, Mason, Waverly, Owosso, Portland, Dansville, DeWitt, Charlotte, Eaton Rapids, Holt, St. Johns, and Lakewood, and I'm sure there are communities that (inaudible).  So if the LCC program was to be cut from the budget, I would say the definite factor that you might consider is the loss of the volleyball community and the loss of the LAVA program.  The longer you set apart any quality volleyball program it is because of the partnership with LCC that makes that program so successful.  If the LAVA program and the LCC program were cut, it would be a very sad day for me and other players in the area that would not be given the same chance that I had to make something of myself in volleyball.  I think we should look to find a solution to keep LCC volleyball.  Thank you.

Chris Cannan - Hello, I am Chris Cannan and I was trying to decide how much is too much, but I think if we get one shot at this and so I am going to put my two cents in.  I also am a professor at Jackson Community College who has a daughter who is attending Lansing Community College.  I live in Lansing.  Coach Richardson has produced some of the most wonderful and talented young women over the last three or four years.  Prior to that I am sure we had the same types of players.  We have five ambassadors out of this program that are now coaching in the Lansing area.  Young women need good role models and this volleyball program has produced these type of role models.  We have given these young women an opportunity and the confidence to step up and now begin to coach children and young adults, high school and all different levels.  For you guys to?I would just like you to be sure before next month.  I know you were just given this budget but as you begin to think about this please think about the volleyball program and other athletic programs affect the local players.  When my daughter came here she talked to other players and she now coaches at Everett.  She talks to her Everett players.  Sometimes its not even about playing volleyball, its about the academics that she received at LCC that now she can transfer from LCC to Michigan State to Eastern to Western.  that's my two cents.  Thank you.

Todd Heywood Letter to Board of Trustees read into the record by Board Secretary - To the Honorable Trustees of Lansing Community College

It has come to my attention that today you will consider paying Trustee Timothy Brannan a sum of nearly $3,000 for legal expenses as a result of allegations of wrongdoing on his part while he was an employee of the college. I oppose this reimbursement on both ethical and legal grounds.

First, while Dr. Brannan may indeed have waited 18 months and no criminal charges have been brought against him, the fact is both the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation appear to have open criminal probes into the allegations against Mr. Brannan and Mr. Stearns. This in itself is enough to end the conversation about reimbursement.

However, when this fact is taken with the additional following facts, it makes reimbursement out of the question.

  1. This Board voted to end, in violation of its responsibility to the taxpayers, to end a probe into Dr. Brannan?s alleged wrong-doing and in so doing, made it such that the community does not have closure on Dr. Brannan?s participation in this alleged wrong-doing.
  2. The President's independent investigation, done by Fred Todd, clearly showed wrong doing on the part of Mr. Stearns, and by implication by Dr. Brannan. However, because Dr. Brannan was then a Trustee, Fred Todd was not allowed to investigate and probe his involvement in this alleged wrongdoing.
  3. Legal counsel for the college has written clearly and concisely that the Board ought NOT pay this expense, as it would be in violation of the Michigan Community College Act which bars payment to Trustees.

Now, I understand that Dr. Brannan believes this was a politically motivated occasion. I want to put on the record and very clearly for all to read and hear the following information:

  1. I presented as part of my criminal complaint filed with LCC Department of Public Safety only documents I personally could vouch for as authentic. Those documents I got through my own Freedom of Information Act request.
  2. The packet delivered to the Board offices were not mine, and I found a similar package only a few days before in my front door. I do not now, nor did I then, know from whom those documents, many of which were in violation of FOIA, came. I would encourage the Board to direct the President to conduct an investigation into the documents and how they were released.
  3. I attempted to provide my complaint to Chairperson Laverty, explaining that this was a serious breach of trust and he had an obligation to look into the allegations. I was told, and I quote, ?Whatever, Todd.? It was at this point I filed the criminal complaint with LCC Department of Public Safety to assure a thorough investigation would be done.
  4. Had I known of the allegations before July when I was informed the first time, this Board can rest assured I would have addressed them at that time. This was not politically motivated, it is motivated by my commitment and care for the College.

In the past, The LCC Board has voted to provide reimbursement for legal expenses incurred by a Trustee and several employees. Your current Board, against my and other?s consent, agreed to pay former Trustee Dave Patterson legal fees as well.  However, the cases prior were different. Let me explain:

  1. Dr. Olga Holden: Legal counsel SUPPORTED the reimbursement. I personally did not support this, and had I been on the board at the time it was voted on I would have voted no.  Dr. Holden was sued in her residency capacity not in her capacity as a trustee.
  2. Becky Beard and Glen Cerny: These two employees were clearly shown to have been wrongly accused of wrong doing by one trustee. The expenses they incurred were a result of FALSE allegations, and thus it was a moral and ethical responsibility to reimburse those costs.

Dr. Brannan does not meet either of these conditions. The wrongdoing he is alleged to have been involved in occurred while he was an employee thus had nothing to do with his position as Trustee. They merely arose after he had taken his seat on the Board. Secondly, Dr. Brannan has not been cleared of any wrongdoing and in fact, the independent investigation appears to support the claim he may have been involved in the alleged wrongdoing.

Lansing Community College's Board of Trustees has an obligation to protect the scarce resources of the College. Paying frivolous claims such as Trustee Brannan?s smacks more of political pay back than legitimate College related expenses. The money, nearly $3000 could go a long way towards a student learning how to be a nurse, supporting the performing arts department, solidifying student services or any other myriad of responsible, mission oriented realities for the college. Paying your political chum, as a reward for allegedly attempting to defraud the college, is NOT in the best interest of the college or this Board.  

Sincerely, Todd A. Heywood, Former LCC Trustee, Lansing resident, cc: Local media outlets


Chairperson Laverty

Trustee Indemnification

Chairperson Laverty stated it was ironic that someone would speak of $2,700 that a trustee member is asking to be reimbursed for as a result of legal fees that he incurred as a result of false and malicious allegations made about him eighteen months ago.  This individual has made allegations upon allegations to other Board members prior to becoming a member of the Board and made several allegations and caused several lawsuits and has cost this College thousands of dollars while he was on the Board with frivolous actions he has taken over the past three to five years.  He?s still trying to cause the College problems. 

Chairperson Laverty stated he would not be asking for action on the Trustee Indemnification item this evening. 

Trustee Pelleran added there is a reason why the individual who had the letter read into the minutes identified himself as a former trustee, and that is because the electorate of this district wanted a Board that was going to get some work done and it is the electorate who made the decision not to rehire the former Board member.  The letter was written with conviction and intensity and is full of false facts and things that would stir the pot and breed ill feelings. 

Information and Announcements

Chairperson Laverty congratulated President Cunningham, who has been elected to the American Association of Community Colleges.  This Association represents 1,300 community colleges across the United States.  It's staffed in Washington DC and is overseen by a Board of Directors who governs the Association.  Its mission is to build a nation of learners by advancing America?s community colleges.  President Cunningham was elected by her community college peers throughout the country to fill one of eight seats for a three year term. 

Chairperson Laverty recognized a thank you letter to the Board from Norma Mendez, Board Secretary, who is on maternity leave.  A picture was displayed of Sofia Emma Mendez, who was born March 19.

LCC Foundation Report - Chairperson Laverty gave a report on the last Foundation Board of Directors meeting.  There was a spotlight presentation on the Dental Hygiene Program, which included a tour of the new Human, Health and Public Services facility, there was an update on the $3.5 million Capital Campaign which is still on-going, and the Eric Zimmerman Visual Arts Awards reception, which highlighted artwork throughout the campus.  Chairperson Laverty encouraged Board members to attend a few Foundation upcoming events, the annual Scholarship Breakfast on May 11 and also the annual Lip Sync which will be October 16.

On March 29, there was an orientation session for the Board of Trustee candidates.  Topics included the policy governance process, strategic plan, and budget. 

Chairperson Laverty gave a report on the last Workforce Development Committee that was held at the West Campus.  The Michigan Manufacturers Association and Lansing Community College are planning a reception on May 9 at the West Campus.  Former Governor John Engler is the Chair of the National Manufacturers Association.  Information was distributed on the state?s jobless rate.  Cuts in the Workforce Investment Act are being considered at the federal level.

Michigan Works Agency, LCC and others were to co-sponsor a job fair for youth.  Because there was low employer interest this year, this job fair had to be cancelled. 

Chairperson Laverty discussed the high school drop-out initiative and referenced an article entitled 1/3 of the Nation--Lansing Drop-out Rates and Declining Opportunities.  President Cunningham, himself and approximately 50 other people from the community are working on an initiative to figure out how to reduce the dropout rate of high school students in our community.

The Red Team held their annual Regional Excellence Awards on April 7.  President Cunningham had the honor of giving out awards to several different organizations throughout our community. 

Chairperson Laverty attended several events recently including the annual Student Recognition Ceremony and reception, the Cesar E. Chavez 10th annual Commemorative Event, and LCC's dedication of a Learning Center in honor of Cesar Chavez. 

Chairperson Laverty indicated that he, Rich Howard, and Tim Zeller will be meeting to review policy governance and bylaws. 

Chairperson Laverty highlighted several upcoming events and encouraged Board members to attend. 

On April 1 of every year, Lansing Community College provides a scholarship to the first baby born in recognition of National Community College month.  This year the award went to Benjamin Richard Lambert.  He is the 12th child born to his family, the children ranging in age from newborn to 15.  A picture was displayed of the family.   

President's REPORT

Informational Items

College Spotlight - Wellness

President Cunningham stated that this spotlight is a result of the $500,000 the administration requested that the Board set aside for wellness last year.  Those funds were to be used for the employees of Lansing Community College.

Jan Stewart, Heather Kesselring and Denny Morse gave the presentation of the LCC Wellness Program.  (A copy of the presentation is on file with the official Board materials.)

Trustee Laverty stated that he supports this initiative and shared a personal experience relating to his health and how LCC was beneficial to him.

Human Resources - New Hires, Leaves and Sabbaticals

Administrative Appointments:

Marian Frane, Director, Accounting and Payroll, Administrative Services Division

2004-2005 Revised Budget

Vice President Barbara Larson gave a presentation on the revised budget for 2004-2005.  (A copy of the presentation is on file with the official Board materials.)

2005-2006 Proposed Budget

Vice President Barbara Larson gave a presentation on the proposed 2005-2006 budget.  (A copy of the presentation is on file with the official Board materials.)

University Center

President Cunningham mentioned that part of the Facilities Master Plan was to look at a University Center and increasing access for students to be able to go to 4-year colleges and universities and not have to leave the Lansing area.  LCC was successful in getting a $5 million match from the State for a University Center.  Rich Howard indicated the College has received several calls from many interested potential partners, and the College has received nonbinding letters of commitment from Central Michigan University, Ferris State University, Sienna Heights and Western Michigan University.  Barbara Larson gave an update on how the College plans to come up with the matching $5 million which included options such as using fund balance, selling buildings on campus, and traditional borrowing avenues.

Associates in Applied Technology Degree

Vice President Dr. Gary VanKempen gave a presentation on the Associates in Applied Technology Degree.

Action Items

Approval of Minutes

President Cunningham presented the March 21, 2005 Strategic Plan Renewal Update meeting and regular meeting minutes for approval.

There were no changes from the Board.

Annual Results Inventory Report - Access

Vice President Glen Cerny gave an overview on the LCC Results Inventory Report on Access.  He recognized Bev Morse and Gina Karasek on their efforts with this.

Dr. Gina Karasek gave a presentation on the Results Inventory for 2004-2005 Access.  (A copy of the presentation is on file with the official Board materials.) 

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Murray to accept the President's Report as presented.

Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Murray, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson
Absent:  Canady 

Motion carried.


There was no closed session.


There were no comments from the public.

Trustee Murray stated she appreciated the way Trustee Brannan conducted himself with regard to the indemnification issue.


IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Murray that the meeting be adjourned.

Ayes:  Brannan, Laverty, Murray, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson
Absent:  Canady 

Motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Lansing Community College Trustees

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