Tim Wynes Guest Speaker on MPR News

Student Ethan Merseth preps a vehicle for painting at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn. Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Photo courtesy of MPR News/Jeffrey Thompson

Student Ethan Merseth preps a vehicle for painting at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn. Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Photo courtesy of MPR News/Jeffrey Thompson

IHCC president and DCTC interim president on The Daily Circuit

Tim Wynes, J.D., president of Inver Hills Community College and interim president of Dakota County Technical College, was a guest speaker on the MPR News show The Daily Circuit, Feb. 17, 2014.

Can free community college improve state economies?

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam announced a proposal this month to make community college in the state free.

Haslam said he plans to use excess money from the state’s lottery to create a $300 million endowment.

“Net cost to the state, zero. Net impact on our future? Priceless,” he said.

The announcement came as other states are looking at measures to drive students toward community college as a way to guarantee residents get some level of education beyond a high school degree, or provide a cheaper alternative to the first two years of a post-secondary education.

On The Daily Circuit, we discuss the benefits of community college. Does making them more accessible keep students from moving to four-year programs? We look at the state of community colleges in America and ask how they fit into our education system.

LISTEN to the Story

Guests Speakers

  • Richard Kahlenberg: Senior fellow at The Century Foundation and the author of ‘Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Strengthening Community Colleges and Restoring the American Dream’
  • Sophie Quinton: Staff correspondent for National Journal
  • Tim Wynes: President of IHCC and Interim President of DCTC
For more information, contact:
  • Erin Edlund
    Director of Institutional Advancement, DCTC
    Director of Marketing, IHCC

Nominate a DCTC Supporter

DEADLINE EXTENDED to March 14castyourvote1200x800-570x380

The deadline has been extended to nominate a DCTC supporter for Dakota County Technical College’s 2014 recognition awards. DCTC established the Recognition Award Program to recognize excellence in the work of higher education in support of DCTC’s mission of “education for employment.”

This year’s award recipients will be recognized at DCTC’s annual True Blue Gala on Thursday, April 24, 2014, at Brackett’s Crossing in Lakeville, Minn.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders may nominate individuals who meet the criteria for the following awards:

  • DCTC Advocacy Award – The DCTC Advocacy Award recognizes and individual or business that has displayed extraordinary support for the college mission through partnerships, community engagement and the promotion of technical education as a pivotal component in the quest for economic prosperity.
  • Spirit of DCTC Award – The Spirit of DCTC Award recognizes an individual who has contributed selflessly to the college mission while showing boundless support for student success in the classroom and beyond.
  • Outstanding Alumni Award – The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes an individual who has shown exceptional leadership, work ethic and dedication as a part of the DCTC community.
  • Rising Star Award – The Rising Star Award recognizes a young alum (having received their degree or diploma within the last 10 years) who is making significant contributions to society through professional or philanthropic work.

Criteria for the awards and nomination forms can be found at www.dctc.edu/nominate.

DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED! Nominations must be received by Friday, March 14, 2014.

Once nominated, the selection process will be administered by the Awards Committee, a subcommittee of DCTC’s Institutional Advancement Steering Committee. The chairperson of the subcommittee will eliminate any conflicts of interest with members of the subcommittee during the evaluation process.

Thank you in advance for your nominations.

For more information about the DCTC Foundation and the DCTC Recognition Award Program, contact:
  • Tharan Leopold
    Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni

Card Your Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day from Student Senate!


Make your Valentine a Card

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

11 a.m–1 p.m.

Central Commons in front of the Student Life Center

  • Make a card for your valentine at the card decorating station
  • Enjoy some valentine candy
  • Event open to all DCTC staff, faculty and students

Two tickets for an all-day pass to Nickelodeon Universe will be raffled off! Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 to support the Student Senate’s Special Olympics polar plunge.

Sponsored by the DCTC Student Senate

SkillsUSA: Champions at Work

DCTC SkillsUSA National Competitors 2013

DCTC SkillsUSA National Competitors 2013

Learn how you can get involved in SkillsUSA

Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
11:30 a.m.
Dakota Room

About SkillsUSA

Check out the photo gallery from DCTC’s SkillsUSA National Competition 2013!

For more information about SkillsUSA at DCTC, contact:
  • Anna Voight
    SkillsUSA Advisor
    Assistant Director of Student Life

Fences, fauna and fume: The south’s legislative wish list

Prison fence: Instead of a fenced property, the women's prison at Shakopee has a hedge and a low fence. Dayton last week offered support for a $5 million fence as part of his bonding request. (photo by: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune)

Prison fence: Instead of a fenced property, the women’s prison at Shakopee has a hedge and a low fence. Dayton last week offered support for a $5 million fence as part of his bonding request. (photo by: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune)

In a year that could bring a large bonding bill, local interests are making their case to bring home a piece of the pie

Article by: Laurie blake and David Peterson, Star Tribune staff writers

An ambitious plan to remake the Minnesota Zoo, a fence for an open-campus prison and a technical college work space that “hasn’t been touched since 1970” are among the big-ticket priorities south of the river as the 2012 legislative session approaches.

Gov. Mark Dayton last week offered support for a $5 million fence for the women’s prison at Shakopee but took a giant whack out of a $53 million request to tackle the zoo’s new master plan, including $16 million for a new Asian Highlands area. Zoo officials were betraying no disappointment.

“We are pleased that Gov. Dayton’s proposed bonding bill includes $12 million to address critical infrastructure and facility improvements that will help transform the Minnesota Zoo’s main entry and building, including the completion of renovations to Discovery Bay,” the aquatics area that used to house dolphins, said spokeswoman Kelly Lessard.

Dakota County Technical College welcomed the governor’s support for a $7.6 million allotment for transportation and emerging technologies, saying it’s a part of the facility that has long languished.

Said Erin Marie Edlund, director of Institutional Advancement:

“These are all programs preparing students for high-paying, high-skill jobs, yet the space we’re talking about has not been touched since 1970 — to the point that really, ventilation became a problem and fumes were not escaping the building properly.”

Scott County isn’t asking for anything major for itself this year, said former legislator Claire Robling, now the county’s communications and legislative coordinator, but is backing proposals that could benefit it along with others.

A case in point, she said:

The county’s civic leaders are “supporting the request from the Metropolitan Council for $10.5 million in bonding for regional parks. Scott County has always been a beneficiary of these funds,” indeed a major one in recent months, “and it is disappointing the governor only included $5 million in his proposal. We will join other metro park entities to lobby for additional funds.”

The governor’s weigh-in, in fact, is hardly the last word on legislation, and it neither guarantees passage nor condemns anything to doom.

Dakota County seeks to tuck six building projects into the state’s bonding program for 2014 — none of which made the governor’s list.

Among them:

• $6 million to start the design and construction of a new stop for the bus rapid transit line, the Cedar Avenue Red Line, in Eagan;

• $1.4 million to start the design of transit improvements on S. Robert Street in St. Paul and West St. Paul, and

•  $787,500 to build a trailhead for the Big Rivers Regional Trail in Mendota Heights.

Facing a funding shortfall of nearly $600 million to meet county road needs between now and 2030, the county also is urging legislators to increase state funding for roads, provide more money for transit and consider new revenue sources based on transportation user fees.

Scott, meanwhile, is keenly interested in Carver County’s desire for help to build a key link from the new Hwy. 101 bridge that will be going up in Shakopee, across the Minnesota River.

Carver wants help connecting old Hwy. 212, now 61, with the new bridge, which will be built beginning this spring, Robling said.

“Carver County is going to go ahead with the project but they will have to pay for it upfront and may need to wait up to 10 years to get reimbursed from the state,” she said. “This creates an additional financial burden on the county, but it makes sense to do the project now, when the bridge is being constructed.

“The governor did put $30 million in his bill for local bridges and $10 million for local roads, and Scott County may benefit from these funds, but of course the demand for these dollars is very high.”

Both counties also have a variety of other items on their wish lists.

Dakota County has a list of 15 legislative initiatives this year, and is pursuing policy changes that give it more freedom to handle its own administration, finances and tax levy.

High on the list is the request that legislators “allow local governments to make their own tax levy decisions.’’

Tax levy limits imposed by the state leave little time for cities and counties to adjust their budgets and services, the county says in a position paper.

Although legislators did impose levy limits for 2013, the restriction was lifted for Dakota through special legislative consideration. Otherwise the limits would have foiled the county’s plan to pay down debt and use that money for operating costs, resulting in property taxes slightly below the previous year.

The county was singled out by Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans for holding property taxes down. But had the property tax levy limit imposed by legislators applied to the county, the flexibility and creativity Frans recognized would not have been possible, said Matt Smith, deputy administrator for the county.

The county’s position is that “local elected leaders of cities and counties are accountable to local voters and taxpayers.’’

Dakota is also asking legislators to give the county more control over what property is tied up by cities in tax increment financing districts. Specifically, the county would like legislation requiring Dakota County’s consent for all city tax increment districts.

In 2013 the county was required to distribute more than $3.6 million in county property taxes to tax increment districts. “This was revenue from the county’s tax levy which was paid by residents who did not benefit directly from the district. Thus Dakota County’s consent should be required before a TIF district is established in the county.’’

Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz pleaded with commissioners to take the tax increment issue off the county priority list. She said the county and city have always cooperated in the past and she objected to what amounts to a county veto of city redevelopment efforts. The county declined to remove it.