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Trustees Tour New Technologies, Approve President’s Contract

Regular monthly meeting included visits to renovated biology labs, innovative learning labs, more

Thursday, August 17, 2017
The Parkland College Board of Trustees toured state-of-the-art classrooms, discussed budget updates and approved a new contract for President Tom Ramage during its regular monthly meeting Wednesday. 

Before meeting business began, Vice President for Academic Services Pamela Lau led trustees on a tour of some of the institution's most dynamic learning spaces. The tour included visits to newly renovated biology labs and Title III-funded innovative learning labs, which encourage collaboration by using modern, versatile seating, interconnected monitors, and a classroom layout that flexes to student learning needs.

Leaders also interacted with Parkland College's high-tech Anatomage table and Augmented Reality Sandbox (ARS). The Anatomage table provides a life-sized interface for virtual dissection of the human body. Parkland's anatomy and physiology students, along with students at leading medical schools and institutions around the world, use the table to dissect human cadavers loaded from a virtual library contained in its software. Meanwhile, the interactive ARS unit, available to Parkland geology students, uses technology that turns a classic sandbox into an interactive topographical map, with colors that change as students adjust the elevations of sand. Students interact with the map in real time to study earth science.

Trustees expressed their appreciation of the new classrooms and equipment.

Following the tour, Ramage opened meeting business with his monthly report, which included an update on a recent dual credit meeting with District 505 superintendents and high school principals; recognition of Lau for receiving the 2017 Emerging Leader Award from the National Council of Instructional Administrators; an introduction of new Dean of Counseling Services Ellen Zimmerman; and a reminder about the Parkland Foundation Gala on Aug. 19.

Ramage also reminded trustees and the community that Parkland classes begin Aug. 21 and encouraged students considering Parkland to register this week as part of the Enrollment Blitz activities in the Student Union.

Next, Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles presented an update on the Fiscal Year 2018 tentative budget. Due to the recent release of state funding, revised budget estimates indicate that Parkland's operating revenues will exceed expenditures by $1,815,851. Randles said FY 2017's unaudited ending operating fund balance was 26 percent of operating expenditures.

The Board of Trustees also approved the following items Wednesday:

• purchases for Aviation, maintenance services, and managed print services
• a new fee schedule for the Parkland Child Development Center
• four personnel appointments:
Hui Wang, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation
Terri Ducey, Nursing Instructor, Health Professions
Cole Ragle, Enterprise Applications Analyst, Campus Technologies
Chaya Sandler, Academic Success Coach/Student Engagement Specialist, Center for Academic Success
• the revised employment contract for President Ramage that extends through June 30, 2021. Ramage has served as president since 2007. 

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