Thursday, June 23, 2011

College Board

The Casper College board of trustees reauthorized two property tax levies, designated an honorary name for a theater building and approved an updated college strategic plan during Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
The college has authorized an optional 1-mill levy since 1991 to pay personnel and general operating costs. The mill is projected to bring $1.3 million to the college.
The second, a half-mill levy, supports the Central Wyoming Board of Cooperative Education Services, or the BOCES program.
Neither levy will increase taxes for residents. Both were unanimously approved after a public comment portion of the meeting at which no one spoke in favor of or against the levies.
Trustees praised the success of the BOCES program, which creates education opportunities by pairing the college with the Natrona County School District.
“There have been a number of innovative programs that have resulted from this mill levy that are so worthwhile to our schools, both high school and college level,” said trustee Bill Hambrick. “It’s something we can take great pride in.”
Hambrick also spoke in favor of renaming the college’s Black Box Theatre for former theater director Tom Empey. The board names buildings after people who have given “distinguished service” or substantial monetary gifts, according to a new policy approved by the board last year.
Empey created the college’s theater department and taught for 31 years at the college. The board unanimously approved the naming.
“The theater is not just recognized in this area — it’s recognized regionally, and Tom is responsible for so much of that,” Hambrick said.
Trustees also approved a strategic plan built from the college’s plan drafted in 2008 and aligned with goals released by the Wyoming Community College Commission in 2010.
The plan sets goals for the college, such as forming a diversity committee, working more with the Casper business incubator and creating a campus-wide technology plan. A study earlier this year revealed deficiencies and below-average spending on the college’s technology.
The plan also prioritizes building a new early childhood learning center in addition to finishing the Gateway Building and residence halls and starting construction on a music building and the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center and college student union.