April 10, 2008





Executive Session


Executive Session was called at 8:01 am to discuss the qualifications of applicants for Public Employment. The Executive Session continued at 9:05 am for the purpose of discussion of an issue related to real estate.  Executive Session adjourned at 9:30 am.


The Study Session continued at 9:30 am and the following topics were discussed:

Legislative Update

The MaST Project

The Interim Accreditation Process

Board Discussion


The Study Session adjourned at 9:58 am.




Call to Order

Karen Vander Ark, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m.


Remembrances of Board Member Rita Creighton


Board Member Rita Creighton passed away unexpectedly on March 16, 2008.  Board members shared some personal thoughts on their memories of Rita:


Karen Vander Ark said that after her first meeting as a member of the Board of Trustees in November of 2005, she had a conversation with her husband who asked her about the other members on the Board.  When she mentioned Rita’s name, he said, “Oh, I just love her.”  Karen expressed that a description of Rita would include that she was wise, funny, strong, loyal, intelligent, and a great communicator.  She thought of Rita as passionate about her community, about education, about fairness, and her family.  She thought her illness made everything more important.  She said the favorite thing she will miss is Rita’s sense of humor.


Elizabeth Chen said her deepest impression about Rita was that she was always open and very fair.  She felt that Rita was a good listener and you could trust what she said to you.  She felt that her contributions could not really be evaluated.  She had told Rita that she always handled things so well and Rita said her intentions were to try to be sincere and to be calm.  Elizabeth said she will always miss Rita’s quick wit.



Mike Regeimbal spoke of Rita’s dedication to the college and to education.  She was always concerned with how the College connected with the Community.  Mike felt she was very helpful to him in providing good counsel on Board decorum.  He said that whenever the Board members might have differing views on a subject, that she was always willing to listen.  He thought of her as passionate and firm.  He said this was a great loss for the Board, and he will miss her personally, as well.


Ed Davila remembered Rita as a person with lots of laughter.  He said she knew how to deal with the facts and try to keep emotions out of a decision in order to develop a fair outcome.  He said that you can get to know a lot people and many of them are really acquaintances, but that Rita was a true friend.  He said she could be tough and gentle at the same time.  He said she could give him a kick when he needed it.  He added that Rita was always there for him.  He appreciated her love and kindness and his friendship with her family.  He expressed that he will miss her greatly.


Jack Bermingham wished to express his thoughts on behalf of the College.  He said that in order to capture the essence of what Rita meant to the College, it could not be said without also saying what Rita meant to the Community.  Rita was truly authentic.  She was a volunteer who tired to the make the College better, and tried to make the Community better as well.  She really lived social justice.  She lived fairness.  She felt that these were values to be lived and when a line was crossed on the issues that were dear to her, it hurt her.  When the College had success, she was excited about it.  When the College encountered challenges, she tried to make things better.  Jack expressed that her presence will be greatly missed by all.


Roll Call

Members Present:                              Karen Vander Ark

                                                            Mike Regeimbal

                                                            Elizabeth Chen

Ed Davila


Attorney General Representative:       Derek Edwards


Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees on March 13, 2008 were approved.




Jack Bermingham noted that is was very timely to see the recent article in the Highline Times concerning Highline Community College’s Small Business Development Center, given last month’s Board Report by Mary Averett and Zev Siegl on the activities of the Small Business Development Center.  The article was very complimentary to the resources provided.  Also, Highline Community College took another top honor recently in being chosen as the 2008 Best Educational Facility, as rated by readers of the Federal Way Mirror.  The ceremonies were well attended and a plaque was presented to Lisa Skari for the Award.


Dr. Bermingham also noted that Steve Simpkins was recognized at the March 20th ceremonies as a Member of the 2008 All-Washington Academic Team for his academic achievement and community service.  Steve’s Award will be presented at the May Board meeting.




Standing Reports


Associated Students of Highline Community College

Student Body President, Steven Simpkins reported.


  • Steve wished to thank Dr. Bermingham for attending the All Washington ceremonies and was pleased to announce that just this last week he had been accepted to the University of Washington School of Nursing.


Steve received a round of applause and congratulations from the Board of Trustees.


  • Steve said that the International Leadership Summit is moving ahead under the leadership of Diah Adinata.  She is working with one of the South African students to celebrate Highline’s Pakistani students.  Steve said he is working on laying the groundwork for the application process in order to select a Highline student for the Summit Leadership Study Abroad project.
  • The Student Body unanimously approved to support the Foundation’s MaST fundraising capital project.
  • The Student Body also decided to assist in starting a full scale recycling program through their support for building a docking port for a dumpster.
  • Steve offered a few highlights of the Phi Theta Kappa conference in Philadelphia in early April.  Several thousand students attended from the US and internationally.  Steve said it was an inspiring event.  Some of the speakers were the author, Amy Tan, and Christiane Amanpour, CNN correspondent.
  • Phi Theta Kappa’s Book Exchange proved a huge success last week with more than 300 students posting books for sale.
  • Steve reminded everyone to purchase their Globalfest tickets which will be held on May 10th this year.
  • Clubs are very active right now, and April brings the Earth Day Celebration.  In May, the Latino Association will sponsor Cinco de Mayo, and the Pacific Islander Club will hold a Luau on Friday, May 9.


Board Members Ed Davila and Elizabeth Chen complimented Steve on his achievements and how well he represented Highline.


Washington Public Employees Association

Lydia Bracco was unavailable for this meeting, and will report during the May meeting.


Highline College Education Association

Ruth Windhover reported.


Ruth expressed how much Highline Community College will miss the presence of Rita Creighton.  She said she had had a conversation with former WEA President Charles Hasse about Rita and her strong commitment to public education in which Rita was described as unwavering and resolute in that commitment.  Ruth said that she and faculty member Allan Walton had attended the services for Rita, and all joined with the Board of Trustees in mourning her loss.


Ruth explained that the Thunderword had recognized Rita’s efforts in an article which was published in the latest edition.  Also, another article in the same edition stated that six presidential candidates would be named, which she felt was overly optimistic.  Ruth wished to express her thanks to the Board for efforts to continue the process in light of Rita’s loss.


  • As an update to State wide issues, Ruth said that the State Board Task Force was continuing to work on the issue of salary compensation.  It has become an issue that the longer a president has been at a college, the lower the salary level becomes because of the State’s inability to provide salary increases.  She expressed that removing the barriers to increasing the salary of a president will be a huge concern in attracting good candidates.
  • Ruth said that she will be bringing the proposals of the Task Force forward to the Board of Trustees and though it is possible that the State Board will have a differing viewpoint, she hopes that they will agree with the proposal.



Faculty Senate

Ruth Frickle reported.


  • Ruth Frickle reported that the Faculty Senate had not met since the last Board meeting but would be doing so in the next week, and she would be reporting on those events at the next Board meeting.
  • Ruth also said that she and faculty member Glen Avantaggio would be meeting with the accreditation interim evaluation team members during the week of

April 21.



Update on Presidential Search Process


Karen Vander Ark said that as Ruth had mentioned, the Board would not be naming the finalists.  She expressed there was a need to discuss some critical questions with the consultant prior to naming finalists.  She announced that there would be a Special Meeting next Wednesday, April 16th, and that they were still on track with the schedule of candidate visits to begin on April 21st.  Karen expressed her appreciation of support from the Executive Staff in efforts to move forward in the process.




Achieve the Dream


Dr. Bermingham introduced Jeff Wagnitz, Dean of Instruction, Transfer and Pre-College Education.  Mr. Wagnitz indicated that last September, the Achieve the Dream group had given a preliminary report to the Board on the goals of the Achieve the Dream project.  He said that in the first year, they had been tasked to go forward with evidence-based interventions, and now they are on the verge of looking at the first annual review.  He asked Erik Scott, from Math, Rolita Ezeonu, from Speech, James Peyton, from Economics, and Tonya Benton, from Institutional Research, to speak to different aspects of this program:


Erik Scott:

  • Erik described the efforts which concentrated in the beginning and intermediate Algebra classes, with Bob Baugher and Angi Caster assisting.  Fifty-four students participated in the mentoring process.
  • The focus was on broader success attributes than just math, such as attention to details, and pattern recognition. 
  • The program had success in many regards.  There was an increase in student retention and there were a number of good comments from the students on the program.
  • Difficulties arose in meeting schedules and in choosing the right mentors for the mentees, as well as the data collection process.  There would be new strategies in trying to close the loop on data collection. 
  • Erik also suggested that they will be addressing pedagogy and the design of the curriculum to improve meeting the needs of the students.


Rolita Ezeonu

  • Rolita described experiences in the area of working on ESL to credit classes.  She said that in thinking of her own life and own experiences, that this was helpful in thinking about how to move students from the highest level of ESL into a college credit course.
  • She said that relationships play a big factor.  Another area of focus in on the Bridge Classes and ESL 4 and 5.
  • Rolita said that when she met with the coaches, she was concerned about what would happen next year.  She said she feels it is necessary to continue to have that structure in place and to make sure the support is still there to move these students forward.  She said this was mindful of the Chief Seattle quote, “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”


James Peyton

  • James described the area of the gatekeeper classes in which most students are commonly enrolled such as, Writing 101, Psychology 100, etc. 
  • He described the “intrusive advising model” in which there would be an identified pool of about 60 students and 10 advisors to recruit participants.  Out of the pool of 60, they ended up with 13 at the end of the program.
  • James said that they learned that it took lots of time and energy to put forth in the recruitment process alone; that that process needed to be re-engineered for more efficiency.  He said it was also more difficult to identify students at the beginning and that this disparity of when they are identified versus the timeframe of the test taking becomes problematic.
  • Part of the discussion of the identifying timeframe centered around looking at coursework through the Writing 101 instructors, and to identify course-based intervention criteria.


Kate Bligh, of Student Services/Registration, added that it was much less expensive to retain a student in the intervention program than to keep recruiting students again and again.  She said these are pilots and there is no way that we can gear up to this intensity for all students who would fit this profile.


Tonya Benton

  • Tonya distributed a Data Collection report, “College Spark One-Year Report of 2007-2008 Intervention Outcomes for Achieving the Dream.”

Developmental Math:

-College Spark One-Year Outcome 1:  Increase by 3 to 5 percent the rate of intervention-group members who complete Math 091 and 097 successfully, as compared to control group.

-College Spark One-Year Outcome 2:  Increase by 3 to 5 percent the rate of intervention-group members who enroll continuously in subsequent math courses.





-College Spark One-Year Outcome 1: Increase second-to third-quarter retention rate of MP3-11 students in intervention group by 7 to 10 percent, as compared to control group.

-College Spark One-Year Outcome 2:  Increase the rate of MP3-11 students in intervention group who reach 15-college credit “solidly on pathway” benchmark by 3 to 5 percent.

            ABE/ESL-to credit

-College Spark One-Year Outcome 1: Increase by 3 to 5 percent the rate of ESL Level 4 or 5 students transitioning to for-credit college level classes among intervention group, as compared to control group.


  • Tonya indicated that many positive things were occurring and there were increases across all goals.  These outcomes are part of the annual report scheduled to be delivered to the funders by April 30th.


Brenda Beckman, an Achieve the Dream Coach, addressed the Board.  She said that there are over 80 national school programs involved, and six of them are in Washington State.  She has been impressed by the serious commitment to this program at Highline and the numbers may not reflect the serious effort that has been put forth.  She said that this program is an attempt to move away from short term efforts.  This year, the implementation year, shows that what you might be seeing is a reflection of the policies and concerns that go along with the initial entrance into the program.  She said this is a timely program and the leadership shown at Highline is integral to Achieve the Dream.


Ms. Beckman added that a Strategy Institute has recently been held in which institutions can share strategies and successes and that the ups and downs can often be re-directed.  She suggested this was only appropriate to make these changes along the way.


Dr. Bermingham added that prior to Tonya Benton’s arrival at Highline that a collaboration of individuals had stepped in to assist in data collection.  One thing that might have worked to Highline’s advantage was that this allowed a blending of participation across many units.




General Administration

Larry Yok reported.


  • Larry offered an update as to where the capital funding is being used in various facilities.
  • Building 9 is not air conditioned and has not had sound proofing.  This has caused considerable discomfort around July, so hopefully this summer air conditioning can be installed in that building.
  • The South Parking Lot water seepage may seem like a small thing, but when it freezes, it becomes hazardous, so that is an issue that will be addressed.
  • Building 19 is an example of how the partnership with the Port of Seattle can be beneficial to Highline.  We hope that the soundproofing of that building will be leveraged to include some remodeling funding which will improve its functionality.
  • The elevators in Building 25 are also a problem; however steel items have seen a sharp increase in pricing so we may be limited in replacing both these elevators at this time.



Student Services

Kate Bligh reported for Toni Castro who was attending the Washington State All Student Services Conference.

·         Kate announced that the Spring Clubs Fair was held last week and this was an excellent opportunity to recruit new student leadership.  Students also had a chance to see the value of the new resource center and become familiar with the process of the student caucus system.

·         The transfer center has been very busy hosting five colleges and universities this week who are interested in recruiting our students into their programs.  They have also updated their website.

·         To piggyback on what the Achieve the Dream program is doing; Kate mentioned that Student Services is reviewing high school transcripts of Running Start students.  It appears that if students coming to Highline with a grade point average of under 2.0, they are not usually successful here.  Also, overall grades have been slipping down a little.  Kate felt there is a need to focus on getting more information out to Running Start students and their parents.

·         Kate wished to highlight Lance Frank as the student success story of the month.  Lance is a member of PTK and spearheaded the Book Exchange Program.  He is active in the student S & A practices and tutors other students.  His long term goal is to become a physician and to practice in this community.



Marie Zimmerman reported.


  • Marie reported that this is the season of hiring new faculty.  There are eight Tenure-Track positions open, and three of those have been completed in Chemistry, Economics, and also in the Library.
  • Marie said there has also been a great deal of success in the Phlebotomy classes.  This is a short term course and is allowing many students to become employed quickly.  It also allows students to continue into other Allied Health programs.  Through externships for 15 students, four of them have already gotten job offers out of their Winter Quarter classes.
  • Marie wished to remind the Board members of the opportunity to visit campus during the May 5 & 6 when the Washington State Supreme Court Justices will be here.  There will be a luncheon and a reception in the afternoon.  There will be an opportunity to hear three cases.


Institutional Advancement

Lisa Skari reported.


  • Lisa said that Institutional Advancement has been working on building awareness for opportunities to get students onto the campus to see all of our activities.  On May 24, there will be approximately 200 students on campus from over 20 educational institutions.  Also in early May, there will be the Annual Spring Festival in which hundreds of high school students will visit.  This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our Professional/Technical programs.
  • Lisa wanted to remind everyone that they are now taking applications for the Distinguished Alumni Award and wanted to encourage people to send in their nominations.
  • Vision Media will be on campus on April 15th for the filming of a documentary.




President’s Remarks 


Dr. Bermingham said that he enjoyed the activities surrounding the visit of the C-SPAN bus to campus on April 9.  Many students were able to wander through and interact with everyone which was a great opportunity for them. 


Dr. Bermingham wished to thank Marie Zimmermann for filling in for him at last month’s Board meeting and also to thank Karen Vander Ark for her excellent suggestion in sending Steve Simpkins to Washington DC to participate in meetings with the Legislators.  More than just Steve’s experiences, Dr. Bermingham felt that Steve was also able to make a real impact because of his passionate statements about the affect that international students have on everyone on the campus.


Dr. Bermingham expressed his thanks to Mike Regeimbal for his participation in the trip to Egypt.  Mike’s engaged conversations about governance were very helpful and Dr. Bermingham felt that this trip was important in the ability to understand a lot more of what some of the challenges might be and how to prepare for this group of international students.


Dr. Bermingham also expressed his thanks and praise to Jeff Wagnitz and all those who have been working so diligently on the Achieve the Dream project and the interim accreditation evaluation.  Jeff has been a lead in organizing both these efforts and keeping the group energized.


Unscheduled business



New Business




The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.


Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Board of Trustees

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be on May 8, 2008.







Karen Vander Ark, Chair                                             Jack Bermingham, Interim Secretary