On Tuesday, August 9, 2022, the Sampson Community College (SCC) Board of Trustees (BOT) gathered for their monthly meeting with three main topics to address: the opportunity to adopt a new leave type for full-time faculty and staff: Personal Observance Leave; budget approval; and an update for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

The addressal of the Personal Observance Leave was presented by Dr. Bill Starling, SCC President, for review at the precedent. The original mandate was set by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 262 and implemented on June 6, 2022. With this order, the Office of the Governor and all Cabinet agencies allowed for eligible employees to receive up to eight hours of fully paid leave on a single day of personal significance each calendar year. The day of personal significance may include, but is not limited to, days of cultural and/or religious importance. At the conclusion of his meeting, Governor Cooper encouraged all other state institutions to also adopt this policy for their employees.

The Personal Observance Leave policy requires the approval of each agency’s board before taking effect– in accordance with 1C SBCCC 200.94(a)(20). On Tuesday, it was unanimously voted that SCC would instate Personal Observance Leave for faculty and staff effective immediately.

The SCC Board of Trustees and meeting attendees review information presented at Tuesday’s board meeting.
The SCC Board of Trustees and meeting attendees review information presented at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Addressing the second topic of the night, Ms. Kelly Jackson, Vice President of Finance and Administration, presented the Board with a budget update for the next fiscal year. However, at this time, SCC’s budget allowances have not been approved by the State Board. This matter will be tabled until September 2022, when a final budget has been presented to the College.

Ms. Larinda Haight, Board Vice-Chair, introduced the final topic of the meeting by giving a brief statement on the DEI Committee. This committee was formed at the request of the Board to focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at SCC. The committee includes Ms. Larinda Haight; Ms. Blair Hairr, Vice President of Academic Affairs; and SCC BOT members: Ms. Barbara Faison, Ms. Vivian Maynor, and Dr. Paul Viser.

At the formation of the committee, it was decided that Equity was going to be specifically prioritized to ensure that all components of the DEI ideals are adequately represented in this initiative undertaking. The decision stems from the information received through the Values Surveys administered by the Planning and Policy Committee. In the future, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis is to be completed by all faculty and staff to assist in developing a complete Strategic Plan, one that is currently in the rough draft phase.

“It’s not about one group or the other group, it’s about all groups and how to make the playing field level for everyone no matter what [the issue] is.” Haight stated. “I am highly impressed with how much equity has been included in the goals [of the strategic plan rough draft]. An equity statement has been developed, so rather than only our mission statement to the College, there is now also an equity statement.”

The Strategic Plan by the DEI Committee is currently planned to be presented to the Board for input in September 2022.

The Board of Trustees will meet for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 5:30PM in Occupational Room 140 at Sampson Community College.

For more information about the SCC Board of Trustees, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/board-of-trustees

About Sampson Community College

Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.