News broke at the Richmond Community College Board of Trustees’ meeting on Tuesday night that Bucky Covington and Kellie Pickler — of “American Idol” fame — will be headlining the 2012 DeWitt Performing Arts Season at the Cole Auditorium in October.
Cole Auditorium Director Joey Bennett presented the board with a line-up of the season’s shows. Amy Grant, Sandi Patty and Emile Pandolfi are among some of the artists in the series.
Season ticket holders have received their renewal notices, and single tickets for shows are also available.
“We will have an additional performance with Bucky and Kellie on Friday, October 26th, as part of the Cole Performing Arts Series,” said Bennett. “Tickets range from $25 to $50. This is the night before the Seaboard Festival, so we hope this will draw people to that event as well. Tickets will go on sale August 20th.”
Also at the meeting:
• RCC Foundation Director Olivia Webb said the membership drive for the RCC Foundation Director’s Circle is under way. Members have reserved parking, receive dessert before the shows and meet performers before they go on stage. Proceeds support student needs as well as other college projects.
• As part of the college’s reaccreditation process, the RCC board approved updates to several administrative policies to ensure compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) standards. Employees throughout the institution are involved in the reaffirmation process, and students are made aware of the impact SACS accreditation makes in the quality of instruction they receive, their ability to transfer credits to senior institutions, and their ability to receive financial assistance to pay tuition.
• RCC employees will receive a minimum pay increase of 1.2 percent after three years with no increases. The board approved the increase, the salary schedules and employees’ salaries.
• The board also approved the college’s 2012-2013 budget of $26,319,664. After the board approved new hires for fall, RCC President Dale McInnis pointed out the seven new employees are faculty posts, and noted the college reinvested its growth money in the classroom. With growth came the need for additional Spanish, biology, Early Childhood Education, and Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology professors.
• The board approved the college’s Critical Success Factors report for 2012. RCC met six of the seven standards set by the state. Standards measure the passage rates of students taking licensure and certification exams for the first time, the performance rates of college transfer students, the passage rates of students in developmental courses, the subsequent performance of those students in college-level courses, student satisfaction, retention and graduation rates and client satisfaction with customized training. RCC exceeded state standards and the system average on all but the college transfer performance. Measurement of that standard involves the success of students after two semesters at a UNC institution. The college met the standard last year and continues to improve the quality of instruction and student support needed to meet this challenge. The numbers of students evaluated are small, so their performance has a tremendous impact on data.
• RCC Trustee Bert Unger updated the board on the fund-raising project for expansion of the John E. Forte Building. The project has received strong support from the trustees, the RCC Foundation board of directors, and several local industries. A $2 million grant from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will assist with the $3.2 million needed to have the facility meet the growing needs of the college’s engineering programs and the Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program.