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DCCC looks to the future

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe

Dodge City Community College board of trustees discussed the future of the college in the age of COVID-19 during its trustees meeting on Tuesday, its last of 2020.

According to DCCC president Harold Nolte, the push toward the college being more technologically advanced has helped the students thrive during the fall 2020 semester.

Nolte said the HVAC program is moving forward, along with its nursing program being one of the best in the state.

Extra funding for technology has been made available through SPARKS funds and the CARES Act.

"We were behind in technology," Nolte said. "You're going to see a lot of difference not only in the library but in our Google Classrooms and other things.

"Our faculty and staff have got to be technologically savvy now and we have the materials to do that with."

The college will still need to deferred maintenance for day-to-day operations.

"There are buildings not doing well as they probably should," Nolte said.

Trustee Jim Lewis said the college has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, particularly within the business community.

"We in business during this pandemic feel that the college has done a tremendous job in managing its students, the faculty. It seemed like a force ahead of us. The information I was getting from the college, I sent to HR. I wouldn't want to tackle that and hopefully we are on the downward slide of it."

With the pandemic changing things to the extent that it did, the college was forced to adapt in ways it hadn't anticipated, similar to what other businesses and organizations had to do.

"This gave us a chance to really advance the technology and advance that ball forward," DCCC board chairman Gary Harshberger said. "We were thirsty for funds for technology because we were behind so we had already been gearing up for that advancement so we were prepared for this opportunity."

According to Nolte, 39% of colleges and universities across the country are releasing faculty.

"We're not doing that," Nolte said. "We're not furloughing anybody. So I want to commend you guys for allowing us to continue our job and continue to grow as a college to offer new programs."

Trustees also gave a farewell address to assistant to the president and secretary of the board of trustees Carla Patee, who will be retiring from DCCC after 25 years at the college.

"I will be missing my work wife," Nolte said of Patee. "She is definitely my work wife, she is my conscience, she is my lifeblood, a great friend and a great supporter. She keeps me in line. When I first got here I started to do my own calendar and that was a no-no. But we will miss you and hope to see you more."

There were no agenda items to vote on for the trustee meeting.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.