Butler Community College is considering a new joint-program with Kansas University’s nursing program.

Butler Community College is considering a new joint-program with Kansas University’s nursing program.

The Butler Board of Trustees learned more about the program from a report given by Division of Nursing, Allied Health, Early Childhood Education, and Early College Health Sciences Academy Dean Anita Mills.

“The job market is tight right now – even in the nursing field,” explained Mills. “A growing number of hospitals are now requiring nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree. I don’t agree with this because I know the quality of graduates we have. The KU School of Nursing approached us and asked what we can do to help make that seamless transition. Some of the hospitals are now doing some preferential hiring. They want to new hires to have that degree. We have been working for almost a year on how we can do a program that would go from the traditional associate’s program and one that would have a bachelor’s program.”

The program proposed will involve select students completing the nursing program currently offered at Butler while taking coinciding online classes through KU. That would enable them to graduate with their bachelor’s degree while still attending regular classes at Butler.

“This program is not for everyone,” said Mills. “Those students in the program would take their prerequisites up front and then move into their nursing classes in their junior year. They would carry anywhere from 15-18 credit hours per semester, but those classes that they would be taking in their final semesters would be a more nursing focus. We will never step away from what our mission is at this community college.”

There is a hopeful view on the job market for those interested in nursing.

“The bigger hospitals are moving toward this magnet status that would require the bachelor’s and there’s only so long a time period that a baby boomer can do what they’re doing at the bedside.”

Records from previous years have shown a recent drop in enrollments in Butler’s nursing program and it is the hopes of those involved that this program will change that.

“In 2010, the total applications were 198,” said Mills. “Only 128 of those applicants were qualified for one reason or another. In comparison, back in fall 2011 we had 386 applicants with 218 qualified.”

The Trustees also recognized several faculty members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Skylar Joyner was the first to be recognized. He recently published a textbook titled “Marriage and Family: the Twenty-First Century Approach” and will be starting a textbook tour in June of next year.

Steve Cless and the BCTV crew were recognized for their efforts in filming a basketball camp called Camp Pray and Play, which focused on developing the basketball skills in young children with the help of some of the basketball players from KU and WSU.

Several member of the faculty load and compensation project were also recognized. They were: Sandy Dunn, Kelly Eisenman, Susan Gilliand, Debbie Klassen, Peggy Krause, Vicki Long, Kelly Price, Diana Turner, Laura Weis and Lon Winningham.

One of the main topics for discussion was the finalization of the project involving the Schneider contract and its financing.

“The interest rate is certain,” explained Vice President of Finance Kent Williams. “It is locked in for a period of 30 days. What we need to do now is negotiate the language of the lease to conform to the Kansas statutes. Since this is an out-of-state leasing company, we have to make sure that those passages conform to Kansas’s law. Our recommendation is to go ahead and go with the lease.”

“About two weeks ago we distributed a notice of sale for the securities as a bid scenario,” explained John Harms, a financial advisor from Gilmore & Bell. “We received two bids from commercial banks and then we received a bid from capital one. The best bid we got was from Country Club Bank with a 2.9 percent average interest rate and an average annual payment of $492,000. The other bid was from SunTrust Capital. It had a 2.7 percent interest rate and an annual payment of $482,000. For whatever reason, SunTrust Capital did not comply with the terms of the bidding. SunTrust has done a rigorous review, but it would take 7-10 days for them to approve the transaction.”

“The debt service would be $10,000 more roughly a year and we could say with 100 percent certainty that the deal is done,” added Williams.

“If SunTrust would decide that they don’t want us, then we would start over and it would take us an extra 45 days out,” said Harms.

The board moved to approve the energy services contract for the amount of $5,813,288.00, Resolution 13-16 as presented and a lease purchase transaction for the certain energy conservation project. The motion was carried 4-0.

The board then moved on to approve the appointment of several staff members including Brett Trimpe as engineering/manufacturing technology instructor, Mark Jaye as automotive technology instructor, and Beth Cunningham as business systems instructor.