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Monthly meeting followed by annual joint meeting with college foundation

The Edwards Campus

The Edwards Campus

Glenwood Springs – The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees met Feb. 1 at the Spring Valley Center near Glenwood Springs, and heard updates on several key issues. Following their regular meeting, they also held their annual joint meeting with the CMC Foundation Board.

College President Dr. Stan Jensen informed the trustees that the number of students throughout the college increased 19 percent this January compared to last. Another measure of enrollment, full-time equivalency or FTE, increased 33 percent over the same period.

The trustees received an update on the college’s initiative to introduce a limited number of bachelor’s degrees. A bill is now in the Colorado Senate’s Education Committee, and Feb. 4 will be the first hearing in the Senate. A number of supporters of the college will be testifying in support of the bill, and those not able to testify have been encouraged to write letters to their legislators.

If the bill is passed by the education committee, it then goes to the full Senate for a vote. If the Senate passes the bill, a similar bill would be introduced in the State House of Representatives for a parallel process.

Because in recent months the Colorado Department of Higher Education has started a process to develop a new strategic plan, it’s unknown whether that might cause a delay in getting the baccalaureate program started.

The board also received updates on the college’s next phase of its ongoing facilities plan, with plans for an expanded campus in Edwards. The trustees voted unanimously for an amendment of the ground lease the college holds with Partners for Education of Eagle County. Through that agreement, the 16-acre parcel of land where the campus is currently located is leased. After the college builds on acreage within that parcel, the land underneath the building transfer over to ownership of the college.

Because the Vail-Eagle Valley Campus has experienced a 25 percent growth in students enrolled since that building opened in 2004, outpacing the rest of the college, an expansion of the campus there has been under consideration for a number of years.

Current plans call for an additional 33,000 square feet to be added. Features would include a library and study area, a language lab and a student center that includes a career center where students and members of the community can get support in finding a job or new career.

The architect, TAB Associates, has been requested to build toward a LEED silver or higher standard, but without incurring the $300-400,000 expense of getting the full certification.

In other updates from the college president and vice presidents, trustees heard that Dylan Derryberry, a second-year student from Spring Valley, was selected by Microsoft in a national contest to report on the Winter Olympics in Vancouver via blog. As part of Microsoft’s publicity preceding the games, the company has already flown Derryberry to Dallas, where he was interviewed by the local NBC affiliate.

During the meeting with the foundation board, the college’s fundraising arm in support of scholarships and capital projects, the trustees heard that in 2009 the foundation raised $5 million from other foundations and individuals. They also learned of the upcoming retirement of long-time foundation CEO, Alexandra Yajko, in summer 2010. A search is now underway for her successor.