Board of Regents waives distance education fee for summer classes

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents on Wednesday voted to waive the $35 distance education fee for all internet courses for summer 2020 sessions.

Dr. Myles Shelton, college president, said all students would be exempt from paying the fee because all summer classes, with the exception of some technical courses, will be taught online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The board also set room and board fees for 2020-2021 at $1,500 per semester or $3,000 annually for the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Residences, the Whitecaps Apartments and Avenue Q ½ housing and at $1,350 per semester or $2,700 annually for housing on Avenue R.

Board is set at $1,812 per semester or $3,624 annually plus tax for a 14-meal a week plan, which includes “Dining Bucks” that can be used to purchase bottled drinks, bagged chips and candies.

Regents approved Lagniappe Dining Service as the campus dining service provider, authorizing a contract that will run from June 1 through May 31, 2022.

In other business, the board ratified a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding agreement for emergency financial aid to students. Federal funding in the amount of $606,113 will be used to provide direct aid to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Meghann Nash, director of financial aid, told board members that approximately 320 Galveston College students had applied for CARES Act funding as of May 11. She said the students are able to use the funds for eligible expenses, including food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare.

The board also ratified a CARES Act funding agreement for $606,113 in emergency funding for institutional costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus, as well as $76,677 in emergency relief funds awarded to the college as a minority-serving institution with both Title III and Title V grants.

The board approved instructional agreements for dual-credit and early-admissions enrollment classes for the 2020-21 academic year with the Galveston Independent School District, O’Connell College Preparatory School, Odyssey Academy and Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District.

Carla Biggers, executive assistant to the college president, administered the oath of office to Regent Raymond Lewis, Jr., Regent Michael B. Hughes, Regent Carroll G. Sunseri and Regent Mary R. Longoria, who were re-elected to fill their positions on the board.

The board also re-elected Regent Karen F. Flowers, chair; Regent Fred D. Rasche, vice chair, and Regent Hughes, secretary, to serve for the 2020-2022 term.

In other business, board members:

• appointed Regent Rebecca Trout Unbehagen as voting delegate and Regent Longoria as alternate voting delegate to the Community College Association of Texas Trustees 2020 Annual Conference.
• approved the reappointment of full-time faculty for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
• extended the college’s bank depository contract with Moody National Bank through August 31, 2022.
• approved an agreement with The University of Texas Medical Branch to provide UTMB Department of Orthopaedic Surgery program residents the opportunity to provide collegiate team sports coverage under the supervision of faculty.
• approved the purchase of mobile workstations and desktop computers for faculty and staff at a cost of $161,875.26.
• approved a proposal to repair equipment in the college’s Information Technology server room at a cost of $80,885.59.
• approved the purchase of audio/visual equipment for the main campus at a cost of $57,135.58.
• approved the purchase of tablets for staff at a cost of $3,480.
• approved an agreement between UTMB and Galveston College to provide student health and counseling services for the 2020-2021 academic year.
• extended the college’s vending machine services contract with Brown Food Service, Inc. through May 17, 2022.
• awarded a contract for disaster restoration and recovery services to Cotton Commercial USA, Inc.
• authorized the college president to enter into a contract with an electricity provider through the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Interlocal Agreement.

Above: Carla Biggers, executive assistant to the Galveston College president, administers the oath of office to Galveston College Regents Michael B. Hughes, Mary R. Longoria and Carroll G. Sunseri, who were re-elected to fill their positions on the board. Regent Raymond Lewis, Jr., also re-elected to the board, participated in the meeting by conference call and took the oath of office, as well.