President, administrators report on college to regents

regents quoteAt October’s Board of Regents meeting, President Jerry Steward recognized a former student, and talked about higher education and the future of OCCC.

Oklahoma County Commissioner and OCCC alumni Brian Maughan was recognized at the Oct. 16 meeting for his commitment and service to OCCC during last winter’s ice and snow storms.

“He has saved OCCC tens of thousand of dollars using county equipment and personnel,” Steward said. “We wanted to say thank you.”

Maughan, a former student of Steward’s, said he likes to think he was doing something productive as a concerned citizen and not as commissioner.

“It’s an honor and I’m appreciative of my education at OCCC.”

Steward also gave a higher education update that included University of Oklahoma President David Boren’s proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to fund state education.

Steward said he doesn’t have a prediction as to what the outcome will be, but said the topic has created a number of discussions he will watch with interest.

Steward then addressed guns on college campuses — a topic that continues to appear in state legislative discussions. Steward said he anticipates additional Guns on Campus legislation to be pushed forward in Oklahoma this year as a result of recent college campus shootings.

He pointed to Wisconsin and Texas now allowing guns on campus with the subject still being a major discussion in Texas.

Then, Steward turned to the OCCC campus and its new legal team.

The firm of Williams, Box, Forshee & Bullard, P.C. was introduced for filling General Counsel Nancy Gerrity’s position after her recent resignation.

John Michael Williams is the firm’s managing partner as well as a former OCCC regent.

“[Williams] has been active in community support of the college,” Steward said. “His firm has an absolutely outstanding reputation for high quality and good service.”

The meeting then turned toward OCCC as The Annual Monitoring Report on College END was presented by Planning and Research Executive Director Stu Harvey and Academic Affairs Associate Vice President Greg Gardner.

“Our students like OCCC and would recommend it to people in their family to come and visit with us,” Gardner said.

“Our graduates are satisfied and happy. Those are indicators of quality and student success.”

Acting Executive Vice President Steven Bloomberg also presented a report on the Wellness Center and employee well-being.

Bloomberg said the Fitness Center has expanded by 3,485 square feet with 12 new cardio machines and 42 new weight lifting machines.

He said the prior three years had an estimated average of 25,410 people visit the area with a projected increase of 15,000 for fiscal year 2016.

Bloomberg said the new space is making a difference.

“Wellness is important,” he said. “We are addressing moreso the mind, body and spirit of our employees and students.”

Next on the agenda was the Board Audit Committee presenting an opinion on the finances of the college and the South Oklahoma City Area School District, both of which received clean audits.

Other business conducted was the incidental enrollment report on 2015 fall enrollment, and employee recognition.

Steward also introduced the OCCC Leadership Class VIII with Employment and Emplyee Relations Director Jana Legako in charge of the class and Professional Development Coordinator Dana Culton assisting her.

Legako said the class “provides focus professional development for emerging leaders of OCCC.”

Faculty and staff involved in the class are Kevin Brannan, Building Services; Julie Hathaway, Child Development Center; Julian Hilliard, biological sciences; Charles Myrick, business professor; Darby Johnsen, Academic Student Success Director.

Jermaine Peterson, TRiO Student Support Services; Germain Pichop, business professor; Marlene Shugart, vice president of Business and Finance; Tricia Sweany, reference librarian; Nate Vanden Brook, political science professor.

For more information about OCCC’s Regents meetings and recaps, visit

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