MCC looks at paying down debt today

College board will also consider purchasing welders

KINGMAN - The Mohave Community College Board of Governors will decide today whether or not to retire a large chunk of its bond issue debt that, if approved, would save the school nearly $1 million over the remainder of the bonds' terms.

The college board will look at retiring bonds issued in 2000 and 2001, which have a combined remaining balance of $5.84 million, saving approximately $928,000 in interest payments over the remaining life of the bonds, when it holds its regular meeting at 10 a.m. According to Vice President for Administration Lynn Cundiff, the college has been in a good spot financially of late and could take advantage of record-low interest rates to get rid of the debt now, rather than wait for it to reach the end of its lifespan.

"Should the college decide to pay off the callable bonds, it would decrease reserves and could limit the college's resources for emergency situations over the next several years," Cundiff said. "However, based upon the current level of incomes and enrollment patterns, the college should recuperate, and in fact, add to the current reserve levels within a few years."

The Board will also consider spending about $209,000 in Perkins grant funds to upgrade the welding facility and program at MCC's Kingman campus. If approved, the funds would be used to purchase and install 12 dual-weld stations and 14 stick-tungsten inert gas welders. The upgrade is part of the college's commitment to move the program toward full certification in a number of areas in welding, with the new equipment helping to make it possible for MCC graduates to compete with other welders for employment.

Elsewhere on the agenda, the board will consider a pair of intergovernmental agreements. The first is a partnership agreement between MCC and the Western Arizona Vocational Education District which would make it possible for college instructors to provide instruction at MCC facilities for students registered in the WAVE District.

The other IGA, between MCC and the Governor's Office of Economic Recovery, will qualify MCC to receive $10,788 in American Recovery Reinvestment Act stimulus funds that were mistakenly set aside by the state for administration of the ARRA grant. Once received, the money will be applied to the budget for the Nursing program at MCC.

MCC President Michael Kearns will introduce Dr. Michael Rourke, the new interim dean of instruction. A life science faculty member at MCC since 2005, Rourke holds bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Biological Sciences, master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He previously taught science courses at Santa Ana College, Bakersfield College and at the University of Arizona. He served in an administrative capacity as the dean of mathematics and natural and health sciences at Palomar College for seven years.

The appointment follows Danette Bristle's acceptance of a new assignment handling special projects for new program development for the vice president of instruction and student services.

The governing board meeting will take place in the Interactive Television classroom, Room 508, on the Lake Havasu City campus at 1977 Acoma Blvd. It will also be broadcast by ITV in Building 500 at the Bullhead City campus at 3400 Highway 95, and the Neal Campus-Kingman, 1971 Jagerson Ave, and in Room 103 on the North Mohave Campus, 480 S. Central in Colorado City.