Board Report from the May 29, 2019 Meeting of the CF District Board of Trustees

■ General Counsel Rob Batsel introduced his summer intern, Sydney Simmons, who will begin her third year of law school at Florida State University this fall.
■ Lockheed Martin Director and General Manager Bill Paul and other leadership staff presented a plaque to the Board of Trustees in recognition of their partnership with CF and commemorating the STEMcon event held in March. The event welcomed middle school students to the Ocala campus for demonstrations and hands-on activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
■ Dr. Saul Reyes, vice president of Student Affairs, and Marjorie McGee, director of Student Life, introduced Mikel James, Student Activities Coordinator, who was recently inducted into the Florida College System Activities Association Hall of Fame for his contributions and achievements during his time as a CF student from 2008-2010.

Bob Zelinski, director of Athletics and Wellness Education, presented the annual athletics report. He shared that 46 of 86 student-athletes (54 percent) made the Mid-Florida Conference All-Academic Team, and all sports teams have a combined GPA for the year of more than 3.0. The National Junior College Athletic Association honored eight student-athletes for First Team All-State and 18 student-athletes for First Team All-Conference. He also introduced Softball Coach Kevin Fagan, NJCAA State Coach and Conference Coach of the Year. The women’s softball team won the conference and the first state championship for the college. They continued on to finish third in the NJCAA National Tournament in Utah and, because of the team’s exposure there, most of the sophomore class will be going on to play at Division 1 schools. The men’s baseball team won the conference and Coach Marty Smith was named Conference Coach of the Year. Zelinski also shared the story of James Nix, a walk-on baseball player who worked hard to achieve success and a scholarship at CF. He has received many awards, including Mid-Florida Conference Baseball Player and Male Athlete of the Year, FCSAA Baseball Player and Male Athlete of the Year and NJCAA First Team All-American. Nix tried out for the Houston Astros and could not make it to the board meeting because he was in Tampa at a workout with the New York Yankees. With a commitment to provide opportunities not just in athletics, but in every area, CF has opened this young man’s future as it has for many others.

■ Approved a loan agreement between the Appleton Museum of Art and the Museum of International Folk Art.
■ Approved RFQ 19-1 Energy Performance Savings and authorized the president or his designee to negotiate an agreement with the first-ranked firm on the list, Siemens Industry.
■ Approved the 2018-2019 Annual State Requirements for Educational Facilities Fire Safety, Sanitation and Casualty Inspection Report, which found no deficiencies during the college’s required formal inspection in April 2019.
■ Held the first reading of proposed board policies/actions regarding Student and Mandatory Fees for 2019-2020 and Board Policy 3.17 Public Records.
■ Acknowledged receipt of the Monthly Financial Summary Report and List of Warrants.
■ Acknowledged receipt of the Appleton Cultural Center Inc. Annual Financial Audit for the period ending Dec. 31, 2018.
■ Received the 2019-2020 Technology Plan developed by the college’s Technology Resources Committee, a representative group of faculty, staff and administrators.
■ Received the proposed 2019-2020 Board Calendar.
■ Received a legislative update from Jessica Kummerle, director of Governmental Relations, who reported that the legislative session ended May 4. She reviewed higher education bills that passed through the house and senate and those that are awaiting the governor’s signature. CF is expected to receive a budgetary increase of 3.4 percent and the system a 2.2 percent increase. The college is preparing for next year’s early legislative session, which begins Jan. 14, 2020; committee meetings will begin in September 2019.


1. Florida #1 in Higher Education for Third Consecutive Year. Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the U.S. News & World Report has named Florida the top state in the country for higher education. Metrics considered by U.S. News & World Report include the share of Floridians holding college degrees, the time it takes students to complete both two- and four-year college programs, the cost of in-state tuition and fees, and the burden of debt that college graduates carry.

2. Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus Update. The Levy Campus hosted “Senior Round-up” events at Chiefland (April 23), Bronson (April 24) and Williston (April 25) high schools. The events provide students assistance in completing the college application and information regarding financial aid, course offerings, and more.

Leah Gamble, Manager of Instructional Services, represented the Levy Campus at the awards ceremony for the S.A.L.T. (Shark Aquaculture Life Training) program in Cedar Key on May 20. The program is sponsored by the Florida Aquaculture Association (FAA) and requires 300 hours of hands-on training in shell-fish aquaculture and certifications in several relevant areas. The Levy Campus provided the forklift training component, in coordination with the CF Corporate College, for the second year.

3. Citrus Campus Update. Citrus County Schools has agreed to sponsor an Early Childhood Education cohort to prepare Citrus County School Board paraprofessionals to become classroom teachers. Cohort classes are projected to begin January 2020. A program orientation is tentatively scheduled for July 17 at the Citrus Campus.

On May 2, 2019, the Citrus Campus hosted the Saint John Paul II Sports Awards Banquet with 224 guests attending. 2009 CF Distinguished Alumni winner Clint Hart was the guest speaker. Clint Hart had a seven season career in the NFL, playing defensive back for the Saint Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Clint is now the owner of Healthy Harts Fitness in Ocala.

4. Employee Service and Recognition Awards. The 31st Annual Employee Service and Recognition Awards Ceremony was held May 3. PRIDE awards were presented to Rachel Cote in Marketing and Public Relations, Mike Crosby in Plant Operations, Cheryl Metz in Student Services and Lori Wesley in Printing and Postal Services. In addition, 52 team members were recognized for service milestones of five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years, with a combined total of 830 years of service to CF. Carol Smith, Student Affairs Executive Assistant, was recognized for 35 years of service.

5. Higher Education Happenings Radio Show. The WOCA Higher Education Happenings radio show on May 30 will focus on financial aid. Financial Literacy Specialist Kathy Vasquez and Associate Director of Financial Aid Gene Kirkland will represent CF along with CF alum Crystal Flynn, who will represent Webster University. The talk radio show is facilitated by the CF Marketing and Public Relations department.

6. Friday Talks Business Advancement Series. The Friday Talks Business Advancement Series on May 31 featured Associate Professor Mark Davis on “Logistics: What is it and Who Does it Impact?” The monthly program is held at the Hampton Center and begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday Talks is facilitated by the CF Marketing and Public Relations department.

7. Citrus County Public Schools. Dr. Vernon Lawter, Vice President for Regional Campuses, and I met with Citrus County Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel on May 8 to review and discuss partnership opportunities.

8. Hurricane Emergency Shelter Visit. Joe Mazur, Vice President of Administration and Finance, and I joined a delegation from Marion County that included Representative Charlie Stone, County Commission Chair Michelle Stone, County Administrator Mounir Bouyounes, in addition to other county, city, fire and sheriff offices staff. The purpose was to tour and learn more about the Mike Fasano Pasco County Special Needs Hurricane Shelter and how we could create a similar facility for Marion County. Currently, there is a shortage in the county of special needs shelters.

9. Department of Education. The Education Commissioner of Florida Richard Corcoran called a meeting of college presidents on May 21 to discuss a shared vision for growing our system and improving our legislative funding support.

10. Program Advisory Committee Breakfast. Members of the College of Central Florida’s many advisory committees were honored at the first annual Advisory Committee Appreciation Breakfast on May 23. The featured speaker was Beth McCall, member of the Marion County School Board and Executive Director of the Marion County Children’s Alliance. The first ever Outstanding Advisory Committee Member award was presented to Mr. Jeromy Williams, owner and operator of Chick-fil-a Ocala. Mr. Williams is a dedicated and long-time supporter of the college who recently celebrated his 100th speaking engagement at CF. Over three hundred industry leaders and community representatives serve each year on CF’s advisory committees and provide input in order to keep our programs relevant and effective.

11. Foundation Update. The 30th Annual CF Foundation Gabor Awards winners are:

• Category 1, Faculty: Nancy Abshier, Associate Professor
• Category 2, Career Service: Max Montalvo, Trades Specialist-Locksmith and Facilities
• Category 3, Administrative/Professional: Lana Lutz, Business Analyst.

The Gabor Awards were part of the Employee Recognition program held on May 3, 2019. The Gabor Awards are given to outstanding employees by a peer reviewed committee. These three individuals, and our many past winners, exemplify the commitment and pride faculty and staff have in transforming lives of our students at CF. Endowed Chair/New Initiatives: Dr. Renae Robinson, Faculty, Teacher Education, was awarded the Regions Federal Endowment Challenge Endowed Chair for a three year teacher education enhancement program; Dr. Charles “Mac” McIntosh, Dean of Public Service/Criminal Justice, and Dr. Lisa L. Smith, Director, Student Services, were awarded the Administrative/Professional New Initiative Grant for a joint project focused on recruitment and retention of black males. Peggy Recanzone, Recruiter/Outreach Specialist, Health Sciences, was awarded the College Wide New Initiative Grant for Allied Health/Nursing camps for middle and high school students.

12. Spring Commencement. CF wants to thank Board of Trustees Chair Rusty Branson, along with Trustees Bill Edgar, Joyce Brancato, Avis Craig, Randy Ewers, and Robert Winsler, all of whom participated in the May commencement ceremony. During the ceremony, the President and Trustees conferred diplomas to 488 out of 1086 graduates for the spring semester. Of those 1086 graduates: 370 earned an Associate in Arts, 127 earned an Associates in Science, 64 earned a Bachelor of Applied Science and 32 earned a Bachelor of Science. Additionally, 446 earned a College Credit Certificate, 23 earned a Vocational Certificate, and 24 earned an Advanced Technical Certificate. CF would also like to thank Ms. Loida Beatriz Garcia Flores for sharing her incredibly inspiring story with the graduates and their guests, along with Mr. Kevin T. Sheilly, President and CEO of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership, the spring commencement speaker. Finally, the Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Mr. and Mrs. John S. and Shirley B. Rudnianyn.

13. Admissions/Recruitment. In the last month, admissions/recruitment participated in many high school recruitment events including Dual Enrollment Information Night at CF (30 students & parents), Dual Enrollment Information Session at Trinity Catholic High School (39 participants), West Port High School’s College and Career Fair (250 juniors and seniors), 3 group tours to local high schools (150 students) and Belleview High School’s College and Career Fair (500 students). Other events include Magical Night at the Museum at the Appleton (150 attendees), YMCA Healthy Kids Event, Wildwood Middle School group tour at CF (32 students), Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary School group tour at CF (30 students). On May 15, Marissa Brown, Admissions and School Relations Specialist, and Keith Bracey, Educational Opportunity Center Coordinator, presented at the AFC Conference on our partnership – “EOC Student Services and Admissions Collaboration.” Dr. Raphel Robinson, Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment, graduated from Leadership Ocala/Marion County Class XXXII, through the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership. Leadership Ocala/Marion is a nine-month program which runs from September through May. Participants are selected each spring through an application process based upon their past involvement in the community and their ability to set and achieve high personal goals.

14. Financial Aid. Patrick Hoffman, Director of Financial Aid, reported that during spring 2019, $13,241,109 in financial aid was disbursed to 3,873 students. CF recently partnered with FATV’s award-winning GetAnswers service to launch “Ask CF” which is an artificially intelligent chatbot available to answer financial aid questions 24/7/365. The chatbot can quickly answer questions using a combination of short text-based answers, engaging videos and links to website information. “Ask CF” can communicate complex financial aid information to current and prospective students in an easy-to-understand style. It also covers a wide array of topics including: financial aid, financial literacy, loans, grants and more. The “Ask CF” chatbot is a great tool for training new staff and cross-training other departments on financial aid. Since going live on Monday, May 6, there have been 66 conversations and 209 interactions. “Ask CF” can be accessed by visiting the Financial Aid page of the CF website.

On May 21 through May 24, Patrick Hoffman and Jean Imes, Financial Aid Assistant Director, attended the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators annual conference in Bonita Springs. Financial Aid professionals from around the state met to receive federal and state financial aid updates, attend topical financial aid sessions and discuss best practices with other financial aid professionals.

15. Appleton Museum of Art Exhibits, Education and Events Update.
 Through May 26: America’s Everglades: Through the Lens of Clyde Butcher. This exhibition of large format black and white photographs spans three decades and captures the rugged and remote beauty of the Everglades.
 Through July 7: Familiar Beauty: Drawings by Vicki Jones. Jones’ realistic and sometimes surreal works vary in subject matter including landscapes, portraiture, still-lifes and architecture.

■ April 5: First Friday Art Walk. The museum’s booth and art making station was visited by more than 125 people.
■ April 13: Our First Saturday event was rescheduled to April 13 due to a Culinary Festival Brunch held April 6. Thirty-five people attended First Saturday.

■ April 20: Magical Night at the Museum. Over 650 people attended the 4th annual Magical Night at the Museum and enjoyed unicorn carriage rides, artwork that came to life and created their own wands and orbs.
■ April 29: Volunteer and Docent Appreciation Luncheon. Forty-six volunteers and docents attended the annual luncheon which recognized the time and talents they donate in support of the museum.
■ May 1: More than 800 people attended the reception for the Superintendent’s Art Exhibition which featured artwork by Marion County middle and high school students.
■ May 7: Forty-five members of the 2019 Leadership Ocala Class attended a Culture Session hosted by the museum.
■ May 9: Over 160 Director’s Circle members attended a reception at The Vintage Farm. Amy Townsend, CF’s Vintage Farm Manager, provided a history of the property and gave a guided tour of the grounds and the house.
■ May 11: Vicki Jones presented an Artist’s Talk on her work to over 60 people.
■ May 12: Over 350 people visited the museum’s booth and art activity station during Fine Arts for Ocala’s Symphony Under the Stars event.

Next Board Meeting. Our next meeting will be held Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at 3 p.m. on the Ocala Campus.