Archive for the ‘Board of Trustees’ Category

The St. Petersburg College (SPC) Board of Trustees will hold five special meetings in May to interview five finalists for the position of college president who were selected by the college’s Search and Screen Committee.

Each finalist will spend two days visiting SPC, where they will meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

The finalists, their interview times and dates, in chronological order, are:

4 p.m. Thursday, May 4

  • Edward Bonahue, PhD, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, Santa Fe College, Gainesville, Florida.

4 p.m. Tuesday, May 9

  • Stan Vittetoe, PhD, Provost, St. Petersburg College, Clearwater, Florida.

4 p.m. Tuesday, May 16

  • Tonjua Williams, PhD, Vice President, Student Services, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Florida.

4 p.m. Monday, May 22

  • James Henningsen, EdD, President, College of Central Florida, Ocala, Florida.

4 p.m. Friday, May 26

  • Frank A. Biafora, Jr., PhD, Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences at University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

All of the interviews will be held at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL.

The Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 31 to select the college’s next president. That meeting will be held at the SPC EpiCenter, Room 1-453, 13805 58th St. N, Clearwater.

For more information, visit the college’s Presidential Search website.

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Katherine Cole

Recently Governor Scott announced the appointment of Katherine E. Cole as the newest St. Petersburg College Trustee.

Cole will join the board alongside Chair Bill Foster, Vice-Chair Nathan Stonecipher and Trustee Deveron Gibbons.

Cole, of Belleair, is an attorney with Hill Ward Henderson, where her practice primarily involves representing real estate owners in the development of commercial projects and residential subdivisions. Her practice areas also include land use and zoning, real estate acquisition and development and governmental relations.

Cole earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee in 1995, and her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 2007.

Cole has been an active community member in Pinellas County, and is currently the Chair-Elect for the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. She is also a former member of both the City of Clearwater Business Task Force and the Charter Review Committees for the City of Clearwater and Pinellas County.

Additionally, Cole currently serves on the Board of Directors for Morton Plant Mease Hospital. Since 2009 Cole has served on the Omelette Party committee, an annual fundraising event for The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation. In 2013, Cole co-chaired the event.

Cole fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term that began March 24 and ends May 31, 2017.

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St. Petersburg College will host two community forums to discuss the college’s search for a new president. The public is invited to attend to give input into the attributes and qualifications they wish to see in presidential candidates.

The forums will be held:

  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Tarpon Springs Campus, Room FA 132, 600 Klosterman Rd.
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Midtown Center, 1300 22nd S, St. Petersburg.

The forums are intended to inform the work of the Board of Trustees (BOT) as it finalizes the job description for a new president. SPC is seeking applicants for its seventh president after current president Bill Law announced his retirement – effective July 1 – in November. Law previously served as president of Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College and Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., and was the founding president of Montgomery College in suburban Houston.

In December, at a special Board of Trustees meeting, the BOT created a 13-member Presidential Search Committee that includes current and former trustees, community members, students, faculty and staff. Former BOT Chair Terry Brett is chairing the search committee, and the nationwide search is being led by Dr. Jeff Hockaday, the college’s search consultant.

Once the forums are held and feedback is received, the BOT will finalize the job description and advertise the position. Brett, Hockaday and Faculty Governance Organization (FGO) President Dr. Rich Mercadante will review all of the applications before narrowing a list to about 20 candidates for examination by the search committee. In the next phase, committee members will narrow the list to about 10 candidates, who will all be asked to submit an 8-minute video responding to questions posed by the committee.

The committee will review the videos and present the BOT with a list of 4-6 finalists. Each finalist will come to SPC for a two-day visit, in which they will visit with a variety of stakeholders. Committee members will make final recommendations and Trustees will vote on the final selection.

Please visit the college’s presidential search website for updates.

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At its Jan. 19 meeting, the Board of Trustees at St. Petersburg College welcomed its two newest board members, Bill Foster and Nathan Stonecipher, who were appointed in December by Gov. Rick Scott.


Bill Foster

Bill Foster is the former mayor of the City of St. Petersburg, and an attorney and shareholder at Foster and Foster PA. For 10 years, he was on the St. Petersburg City Council, two years as chairman. He has been a participating member of St. Petersburg Vision 2020, the Pinellas County Annexation Task Force, the NAACP and the St. Petersburg History Museum.

Foster is a graduate of Northeast High School, Samford University and the Cumberland Law School at Samford University. He succeeds Bridgette Mill and was appointed for a term beginning Dec. 18, 2015, and ending May 31, 2019.

Nathan Stonecipher

Nathan Stonecipher

Nathan Stonecipher is co-owner of Green Bench Brewing Co. and a member of the Board of Directors of the EDGE Business District Association. A Pinellas County native, he is a graduate of St. Petersburg College and the University of Florida.

Stonecipher previously was vice president of Directed Capital Resources LLC and was an assistant bond trader with Raymond James Financial. Stonecipher succeeds Robert Fine and was appointed for a term beginning Dec. 18, 2015, and ending May 31, 2018.

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Bridgette Bello

Bridgette Bello

St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees member Bridgette Bello will address SPC Women on the Way meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Clearwater Campus, ES-104.

Publisher of the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Bello was named Business Woman of the Year in 2011 by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. Bello will introduce Bizwomen.com, a subsidiary of the Tampa Bay Business Journal that provides women with information and inspiration.

The meeting is open to SPC students, faculty, staff and the community.

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Months of efforts to get students enrolled this fall at St. Petersburg College have paid off, as enrollment for the term is up 2.2 percent over Fall 2013. As of Monday, the first day of fall classes, 32,350 students were enrolled in 276,620 semester hours at SPC.

“We’re in good shape and I’m very glad to present these numbers because it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to report enrollment gains,” Patrick Rinard, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, told SPC’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday. “A number of our sister institutions across the state are reporting enrollment declines” the first day of classes.

At SPC, First-Time-In-College student enrollment was up 8.8 percent, with even stronger gains among minority FTIC students. Enrollment among FTIC African-American students was up 19.7 percent while FTIC Hispanic student enrollment was up 18.3 percent.

Bachelor’s degree programs saw a 6.7 percent increase in students, continuing a trend of several years. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree now make up 12.7 percent of overall enrollment at SPC, up from 9.4 percent in Fall 2009. The top bachelor’s degree programs at SPC by enrollment and student hours are nursing, business administration and education.

“We’re really proud of the data,” said Tonjua Williams, Senior Vice President for Student Services. “This would not have happened without changing the way we did business. We had to undo some of our processes and remove some obstacles to enrolling.”

“As an institution, it’s easy to give yourself kudos, but it’s much harder to look at yourself and say maybe we need to change some processes,” said BOT member Lauralee Westine. “This came from all of you and we are thankful.”

Rather than attend a required orientation and get a student ID, new students at SPC now see an advisor when they register for classes to make sure they are on track. Previously, students were also required to take a career assessment, apply for financial aid, activate their SPC OneCard and get their textbooks before they could register.

Other strategies implemented by college staff to increase enrollment included:

  • Enhanced marketing and publications, particularly on social media
  • Stronger student communications that are more personal and timely
  • A weekly Fall 2014 enrollment webinar among staff so enrollment efforts could be better coordinated and communicated

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At the June Board of Trustees meeting, St. Petersburg College officials presented information on the college’s strategic priority of providing baccalaureate education and the success rates and demographics of those students. The typical SPC bachelor’s degree graduate is a 31-year-old female who works at least part-time and takes classes online.

This spring, the Florida Legislature barred all 28 Florida colleges from creating new bachelor’s degree programs for a year. Legislators want to review the rapid growth of such degree programs at state colleges, which produced 5,009 graduates in 2012-2013, nearly double the number from the previous two years.

Since 2001, state colleges have offered bachelor’s degrees to meet workforce needs, such as shortages of nurses and teachers. But lawmakers worry state colleges are competing with state universities. Today, 24 state colleges offer 175 bachelor’s degrees.

SPC began with three bachelor’s degrees, in nursing, education and information technology in 2001. It now offers 24. Since 2008, a total of 7,355 students have earned bachelor’s degrees from SPC, which averages 1,000 graduates a year. Baccalaureate students make up 12% of SPC’s enrollment and 20% of its graduates.

“Our baccalaureate students are not traditional students,” said Jesse Coraggio, Associate Vice President Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants. “When we talk about competition that may exist between the state college and the university, once you look at the data, there really is no competition. We’re talking about very different needs of students and very different student groups.”

Typically, bachelor’s degree students at SPC outperform lower division students “because they’ve already made it through that part of their academic career,” Coraggio said. They are more committed to graduating and earn their degrees in an average 6.7 semesters. Nearly 90% complete their program within three years. Their course success rates average 85%, compared to lower division course success rates of 74%.

They also earn more money. A report commissioned by the Legislature shows graduates with bachelor’s degrees earn about $18,000 more than those with associate degrees at the mid-point of their careers.

“These programs have been very instrumental in helping mid-career adults get a credential that will move them forward,” said SPC President Bill Law. “There is not a single program on that list that (University of South Florida) president Judy Genshaft did not sign off on in her office, and in fact most of them started in her office” as a way to take pressure off the university, he said.

BOT Chairman Deveron Gibbons called SPC’s bachelor’s degrees essential for those who cannot afford to attend a state university.

“I’m telling you right now, some of these folks would not be going to college at all if they had to travel, or they had to move,” Gibbons said. “They just wouldn’t be able to go through a full baccalaureate program. They couldn’t do it without all the things that are right here in this county that help them be successful.”

To learn more, view the presentation at the 37:20 point of the video.


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