The North Central Texas Board of Regents voted last night to accept a donation of over $500,000 from an anonymous source. The money is earmarked to assist with the construction of a 13,500 square foot Career and Technology building.

President Dr. Eddie Hadlock said the building could be used in a collaborative project between Gainesville Independent School District to offer technical education for high school students.

In their proposal, NCTC officials also stated that the college is committed to providing space for a welding program beginning in the fall of 2008.

The college could possibly save money if it acted as its own contractor, Hadlock said. He said he believes the savings to the college could be as much as 30 percent.

The Career and Technology Center would consist of a computer lab, welding lab, meeting and conference room, two multi-purpose industrial training areas, two general purpose classrooms and offices for faculty and staff.

“This facility will allow NCTC to offer multi-entry and exit point workforce training to provide credentialing, certifications and degrees in the high-growth technical industries,” the proposal stated.

After some debate about the details of the new building such as finishing costs and how the space inside the building might be utilized, the board voted to accept the donation.

The board also voted to approve the reinstatement of funds earmarked as a result of the Governor’s veto.

Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of health benefit appropriations for 2008-2009, meant that $362,075 was had to be set aside from the 2007-2008 NCTC budget to help counteract the effect of the veto.

Projects that were put on hold included an increase in the college’s electrical contract, the purchase of a 37-passenger bus, about $69,000 in salaries for instructional departments, document imaging, campus signage, painting, computers in the community relations office and travel for various departments.

Although the reinstatement was approved, regent Steve Gaylord said he was concerned about the $30,000 allocated for campus signage.

He said the sign cost, “seems an awful lot.”

Community Relations director Rodger Boyce said the signs are not cheap, but they are necessary “to direct people to buildings and that sort of thing.”

“I know that sounds expensive, but unfortunately that’s how much it costs...It’s just outrageously expensive,” Boyce said.

Next, the board considered software which would track student costs. This issue opened up a debate on an old issue — how much, if any, Cooke County tax money is being spent to subsidize NCTC campuses in other counties.

Regent Lynn Williams said keeping tabs of the costs of college courses is important, but that such information is not always easy to quantify.

How much monetary value a poetry or literature course actually provides is not the issue, he said.

“This is a regional college with great potential...No one would deny that we need to know what the costs are,” he said.

He said he believes attempts to quantify the value of courses is “very dangerous.”

Hadlock said he knows there are more sophisticated, complex allocation systems than the software the college currently uses, but that he questions the need to purchase the expensive software.

No action was taken on the tracking software issue.

The board also voted to:

• Accept the 2008-2009 academic calendar.

• Approve polling places for the May 10, 2008 board election.

• Approve election judges for the board elections. “We need good, responsible people,” Board chairman Dr. Bill Ledbetter said. The board voted to approve the rate of pay for the election judges and the election clerks.

Finally, Gaylord presented a list of his grievances against the board. Most of his accusations and antecdotes concerned what Gaylord said he percieved as Hadlock’s and other adminstrators misdeeds.

His disagreement with the board and the president on the handling of the lease agreement with Pinnell Square in Corinth was one of Gaylord’s chief complaints.

He called some of the administration’s statements regarding Denton County physical education courses as “at best erroneous” and spoke of possible violations of the open meetings act with regard to the purchase of fitness equipment for these classes.

He said he did not view a series of complaints made by NCTC administrators as valid and accused the president of not following DGBA policy.

Reading from a 15-page prepared statement, Gaylord used about 35 minutes of open meeting time, stating that he originally asked to do the presentation in executive session but that his request was denied.

When he finished reading the statement most inside the boardroom seemed stunned.

Ledbetter said, “I don’t have too much to say.”

He said he felt he should not respond to Gaylord’s statement because it would lead to another statement from Gaylord and then “we’ll be here all night.”

“I’m going to consider the source,” Ledbetter said. “I’m not going to respond to it. I’m going to let it go..Mr. Gaylord’s going to do what he’s going to do,” Ledbetter said.

Many at the meeting expressed indignation and anger at Gaylord’s statements.

Others, such as Hadlock were more introspective.

“I don’t want to respond to all of that..” Hadlock said.

Ledbetter seemed to want to be a peacemaker in the contentious situations.

“We’ll just look forward from now on...in a spirit of harmony,” Ledbetter said.

In his update, Hadlock asked that the regents take an active role in trying to get state legislators to give colleges a fair break in funding.

He said Feb. 20 and Feb. 22 are the dates for Black History month programs at the Corinth and Gainesville campus respectively.

He said groundbreaking for the Bowie campus’ Oil and Gas program is set for March 27.