[Garden City, KS] - Sept. 8, 2020 -- Members of the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees voted to approve an agreement with Ramona Munsell and Associates to have the firm write and apply for a $5 million Title III Hispanic Serving Institution grant during their monthly meeting Tuesday night inside the President's Conference Room.  

"There's such an intricate and particular way that you have to write grants," President, Dr. Ryan Ruda said. "It's extremely important to have someone who can help navigate the waters. This is a group (Munsell and Associates) who we've had prior experience with. She's very reputable and very well connected at the federal level." 

Any institution whose Hispanic enrollment is at least 25 percent is eligible for the grant, which is geared toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. If awarded, the grant would be paid out over five years.  

"It's kind of a no brainer," Board Chair, Dr. Blake Wasinger explained. "And their upfront fee is very reasonable. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who would dedicate all that is needed to write and secure a grant like this for that reasonable of an amount." 

Under the terms of the agreement, RM&A will charge the college an initial fee of $2,500, which is due by Oct. 15, 2020. In addition, if the grant is awarded, the firm, upon request, will manage appropriate program and fiscal controls, technical assistance with program implementation, and assistance with revision requests and annual performance reports during the term of the grant.   

"It's very inexpensive in my eyes," board member, Beth Tedrow said. "You have national competition for this grant, and I have no problem with it at all. From experience, once you lose these kinds of things, it's very hard to get them back." 

Based in Rogers, AR, RM&A has more than 30 years of grant-consulting experience, which includes project planning, external evaluation, and grant management. They've helped clients obtain more than 300 Title III/V grants since 2002 with 17 of those coming in the past five years.  

"The significance of this grant would really move the needle with the STEM programming," Dr. Ruda added. "It will help to bring on some new programs, and cover construction, personnel, and equipment."

In other action, the board unanimously approved the college's negotiated agreement for the 2020-21 school year, which encompasses employee salaries and wages, hours of work, professional workload, evaluations, benefits, retirement, grievance procedures and non-tenured status. Vice-Chair, Dr. Merilyn Douglas focused specifically on grievances.  

"I think the policy is very clear, and it was very well put together," she stated.  

In Dr. Ruda's monthly President's Report, he informed the board that enrollment is down just three percent in headcount and only 0.19% in credit hours compared to the same time last year. As of Tuesday morning, there were 1,848 students enrolled in 20,910 credit hours. Of those, 1,069 were full time and 777 part time. 

"This is only a snapshot of where enrollment stands to date, but it is a moving target, and we will continue to enroll students in later starting sessions, Dr. Ruda added. "To be in the position that we are is thanks to everyone who has been involved in the process. It is a collective effort. The numbers tell a strong story as far as the work and effort that's gone into being able to close the gap. We have definitely placed an emphasis on enrollment." 

Dr. Ruda also spoke about former Broncbuster track star Denim Rogers, who recently announced plans to open the Denim Rogers Athletic Club in Monrovia, Liberia. Rogers, who's now at Houston Baptist, was a National Champion and an All-American in the heptathlon during his sophomore year at Garden City.  

Lastly, Dr. Ruda reminded the board about Gov. Laura Kelly's plans for the Kansas Department of Health to begin releasing names and locations for any business that has five or more reported cases of COVID-19. The new reporting guidelines go into effect on Wednesday.  

The next meeting of the trustees will be held on Oct. 13, 2020 at 6 p.m. CST.  

Garden City Community College exists to produce positive contributors to the economic and social well-being of society.  


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