Photo of Diana DeGraaf

Glen Oaks Board greets new Trustee

The Glen Oaks Community College Board of Trustees greeted Three Rivers businesswoman Diana M. DeGraaf on Wednesday, Nov. 10 as the newest member of the organization. DeGraaf was unanimously elected by the Board to complete the term of Dr. Paul Schubert who recently resigned and moved to be closer to family in the Detroit area. David Allen said he nominated DeGraaf because, ”She has a vital interest in education and I has made continuing education a part of her life.” DeGraaf is President Three Rivers printing company DeGraafx, Inc. and was recognized as a 2008 Top Woman Owned Business leader in the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

DeGraaf’s education includes the University of Notre Dame Executive Education Program at Mendoza College of Business, Printing Management/Marketing Program at Western Michigan University/Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Small Business Management Program with the Stryker Center, Kalamazoo College, Printing Management classes at KVCC, Business Diploma from Patricia Stevens Career College, Milwaukee, and Business Diploma from Decatur High School, Decatur, Michigan. Community and professional involvement includes past President of the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, past Vice-Chairperson of the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority, past member St. Joseph and Kalamazoo County Workforce Development Board, Three Rivers Health Board of Trustee, Three Rivers Rotary Club, St. Joseph County United Way Board of Directors, St. Joseph County Republican Party Executive Committee, and volunteer coach in boys youth basketball. DeGraaf has been married 35 years to Everett DeGraaf, a Central Engineering Manager at Parker Aerospace, and they have two grown children.

Following the election of DeGraaf, the Board voted on leadership positions for the coming year. Pat Haas was elected Chairperson, David Allen was elected Vice Chairperson, Bruce Gosling is Treasurer and MCCA Representative, James Moshier is Secretary, Ruth Perry is Alternate MCCA Representative.

In other action, the Board accepted an annual audit report by Vicki VanDenBerg, CPA, Plante & Moran, PLLC. The 2010 Auditor’s Report said Glen Oaks Community College was in compliance and accordance with all financial statements. The favorable Plante & Moran report said GOCC was consistent with peer group colleges. VanDenBerg noted Federal Pell Grant funds at Glen Oaks had nearly doubled in the last couple of years, and “That is consistent with what we are seeing at other community colleges due to the large increases in enrollment.” She said it was noteworthy that the largest percentages of Glen Oaks operating expenses last year followed the college’s mission of student services, instructional support, and instruction. “Yet, despite big enrollment increases, Glen Oaks kept expenses relatively low,” concluded VanDenBerg.

Marilyn Wieschowsk, CPA, Chief Operations Officer, gave the October 2010 Treasurer’s Report for the College. Total revenues are $3.2 million or 27 percent of the annual budget. The revenue rate, as a percentage of the budget, was approximately seven percent lower than last year’s revenue at the same time. Expenses year-to-date were $3.3 million or 29 percent of the annual budget. Wieschowski said revenues were down slightly in property tax revenue, state funds revenue and tuition, but higher in fees, interest, and miscellaneous revenue sources. Expenses were lower in most categories, though travel and professional development spending increased by $10,000 due largely to costs for the Achieving the Dream program.

The Board also:

  • Approved a Conflict of Interest Policy at Glen Oaks Community College requiring completion each year by those in leadership positions. The form discloses any potential Conflict of Interest and is required for college accreditation and non-profit status.
  • Voted not to meet in February 2011 due to a conflicting Achieving the Dream conference.
  • Greeted Jennifer Buikema as the new Director of Student Support Services, a TRIO grant program at Glen Oaks Community College. Buikema comes from Grand Rapids Community College where she served as Academic Counselor to the Upward Bound Program. The former English and Developmental Reading teacher earned her Bachelor Degree at Hope College and Master’s Degree at Western Michigan University.
  • Received communications from Dr. Gary Wheeler, President, explaining that Glen Oaks Community College was compared in an IPEDs Federal Report to 77 similar institutions. The report showed GOCC remains a bargain in tuition and fees compared to these colleges. “When you look at the last four years of fairly steady tuition and fee increases, Glen Oaks is still $459 less per student overall than the peer group,” said Dr. Wheeler.