The Weatherford College Board of Trustees extended Dr. Kevin Eaton’s contract through the 2019 calendar year during their Thursday meeting.
The extension adds one additional year to the college president’s current contract, which will take him through Dec. 31, 2019. Three years is the maximum contract allowed by state law.
“I am pleased that Dr. Eaton will continue to lead and guide the college as he has so ably for the past seven-and-a-half years,” Board President Frank Martin said. “WC is in great financial position. We have one of the lowest community college tax rates in the state. Tuition rates have been able to remain flat for three years straight.”
Martin said the campus continues to be improved and be envied by its sister colleges around the state.
“We have completed nearly $25 million in capital projects without asking the public for a bond issue,” Martin said. “Our enrollment is still very strong, especially when compared to other institutions statewide.
He added that the dual credit program continues to grow in popularity.
“Dr. Eaton and his staff recently hosted a meeting of over one hundred people on the subject of dual credit, many of them superintendents from ISDs across the area,” he said. “WC even had a graduate receive her associate degree diploma a week before she received her high school diploma thanks to dual credit.”
Martin said the community’s service footprint continues to expand - from public theatre presentations, to art exhibits, athletics, scholastic competitions in mathematics, and archeology research at county historic sites.
“The faculty conducted science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) events for hundreds of elementary school students at two of our campuses,” Martin added. “The agriculture program and forensic psychology classes have made great progress. WC's support for veterans and their families is nationally recognized.”
Martin said although contentious, an issue with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, was resolved with minor annual impact to the college.
“Weatherford College is a true jewel for Parker County,” Martin said. “Overall, this has been a fantastic year under Dr. Eaton, just like all the others have been under his leadership."
The decision to extend Eaton’s contract at his current salary was approved by a 4-0 vote. Board members Dr. Trev Dixon and Joel Watson were not present at the meeting, and Dr. Luke Haynes had to leave before the final vote.
Eaton came to WC in January 2003 as the Tech Prep Director. He was selected as WC’s Interim President in July 2009, and took on the role permanently on Jan. 1, 2010.
▪ The board also called for a regular Board of Trustees election to take place on May 6, 2017, with Place 2, Place 6 and Place 7 on the ballot. These seats are currently filled by Board President Frank Martin, Secretary/Treasurer Haynes and Judy McAnally.
The filing period for the election is Jan. 18 through Feb. 17 in the Mince Administration Building, President’s Office, 225 College Park Drive.
In other business the board:
▪ Approved the 2015-16 financial audit presented by Snow Garrett Williams.
▪ Moved the June board meeting to June 1.
▪ Received the annual Equities in Athletics report from Adam Finley, Executive Dean of Student Services.
In his President’s Report, Eaton:
▪ Recognized Dr. Andra Cantrell, WC Executive Vice President of Financial and Administrative Affairs, for successfully defending her dissertation and for her upcoming doctoral graduation.
▪ Recognized Dr. Tola Plusnick, Assistant Director of Associate Degree Nursing, for receiving a Building Simulation and Skills Lab Capacity Grant in the Nursing Innovations Grant Program. The award of $173,654 will be used to develop curriculum, train faculty and to purchase needed equipment for WC’s nursing simulation labs that will allow for increased capacity in these labs.
▪ Recognized Dr. Allison Stamatis and Dr. Lisa Welch for their outstanding job organizing the first STEMania event on the Weatherford campus.
▪ Recognized Brent Baker, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, his staff and volunteers who made the 16thannual WC Foundation Golf Tournament a success. The event generated more than $19,000 in net proceeds that will be used to fund student scholarships and other support for WC and its students.
▪ Recognized the WC Wise County campus for making the recent college night a success with more than 150 prospective students and their parents attending.
▪ Recognized WC Police Chief Paul Stone, J.C. Colton and all the volunteers who made Safe Halloween at both the Weatherford and Mineral Wells campuses wonderful events. More than 7,500 people attended the Weatherford event and donated more than 2,000 cans of food that were donated to the Parker County Senior Center.
▪ Recognized Ralph Willingham and everyone who assisted in making the annual Veterans Day celebration a special event.
▪ Announced the resignation of Zohreh Mansour, Sonography Clinical Coordinator; Brandi Back, Sonography Instructor; and Charles Tucker, Nursing Instructor.