TORRINGTON – Colby Ochsner has taken the Eastern Wyoming College Trustee Oath and is the new At Large Trustee as of the July 9 board meeting. Ochsner was unanimously voted in by the board after interviewing him, as well as, Danny Tadewald and Ruth Van Mark. He takes the place of Dr. Darrell Wilkes, who resigned recently.
Chairman John Patrick said prior to the public interviews, “I’m sure I can speak for every trustee here, but thank you all for applying for this position.”
The three candidates were interviewed in a public work session, each asked a series of questions from the board members. Then, the board motioned to appoint Ochsner as the new At Large Trustee in the work session, and he was sworn into office at the beginning of the EWC Trustee Board meeting. He took a seat at the table and began getting to work right away.
Ochsner told the board in his interview that he has his BA in business administration from the University of Wyoming and his masters in sustainable business systems from a school in Seattle, Washington. Ochsner went to high school in Lingle and said he is life time resident of the county. He said he farms and ranches with his father and son east of Lingle. He went on to tell the board that he sees the role of EWC in this community is “to educate the workforce in the area, and to meet the needs of the area. Education is important to me.”
Ochsner said he is interested in serving on the board because “education is really important to (him). It’s played a major in my life. Being involved in this board supports that role of education and what I’d like to contribute to.”
Ochsner was excited to be selected to the position and took a few moments to comment after being chose.
“I enjoy contributing to the community and I think that education has had a huge role and opened a bunch of doors for me,” he said. “It can be a springboard into a lot of different opportunities. I’m excited and enthusiastic about the future of EWC and I want to be a part of it.
“I hope that my perspective is different and that I can bring those to those meetings. If anything, maybe some youthful exuberance. I will grow into the position.”
Ochsner thinks the ag tech building is a great addition and that the community will only continue to see that grow. Furthermore, he thinks this new opportunity is great.
“I’m definitely excited to get started, learn more about it,” Ochsner said. “At the same time, I know both the other two candidates would of done an amazing job. So, I feel privileged to have the opportunity, just general excitement really. The role of the position is to serve the community. I’m available for the public to visit with. I’m just excited to get to work because I think this place (EWC) is a gem of Torrington and an asset of our community. I hope I can work with the other board members to leverage that asset to better our area.
In other business
n The board had a public hearing for Fiscal Year 2020 College Budget. There were no comments.
n The board unanimously approved the financial report prepared by Kwin Wilkes, as well as the Fiscal Year 2020 College Budget.
n The board had the first reading for Board Policy 5.14 Student Grievance and Student Complaint. All board members voted in favor of it except Marilyn Fisher.
n The board unanimously approved to change the title and job duties for the Dean of Instruction to the Dean of Faculty/Student Services.
n The board unanimously approved reclassification, title and job duties for the Financial Aid Specialist to the Financial Aid Outreach Specialist.
n The board unanimously approved to upgrade from Associate Vice President of Academic Services to the Vice President of the Douglas Campus, effective Aug. 1, 2019.
“Margaret has done an incredible job,” President Dr. Lesley Travers said.
n In a 5-2 vote, with Trustee Dr. Judith Bartmann and Mike Varney voting no, the board approved the recommendation by chairman John Patrick, for the reorganization of the Eastern Wyoming Community College District to be all At Large Trustee positions, as discussed at the last months Board meeting. The boards attorney David Evans will look into how this will be implemented and will report back at the next board meeting.
n Updates were given by Dr. Heidi Edmunds on academic services, by Tami Afdahl on college relations, by Keith Jarvis on construction projects and major maintenance, by Dr. Margaret Farley on Douglas’ campus, by Crystal Smith on human resources, by John Hansen on institutional development, by Sue Schmidt on staff alliance and by Roger Humphrey on student services and HLC updates.