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Meeting Minutes December 2013

Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees Minutes of Meeting (Official) – December 4, 2013

A meeting of the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees was held in the Hartleb Technology Center at the Haverhill Campus at 5:00PM.

Mr. Cox
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Mr. Dulchinos
Ms. Estrella (arrived at 5:09 pm)
Mr. Forman
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. Lineha
Mr. Moyniha
Ms. Ramirez (arrived at 5:29 pm)
Mr. Rivera
Mr. Schindel

Also Present: President Glenn

Call to Order:

Chairman Moynihan called the meeting to order at 5:04 PM. .

Approval of Minutes:

On a Motion by Trustee Dulchinos seconded by Trustee Daly-O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the November 6, 2013 minutes as presented.


There was no correspondence.

Unfinished Business:

President Glenn noted that there were no new employees to be introduced this month.

Education Report:

  1. Sabbatical Reports

    1. Research on Writing of Scientific Papers in English at Brazilian Universities (ADM-3178-120413)
      President Glenn introduced Professor Ethel Schuster, Ph.D. of NECC’s Computer Science Program who provided a brief overview of her sabbatical year at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil from August 2012 to August 2013. Professor Schuster noted that she had a blog in Brazil with the students and encouraged everyone to read it. She noted that researchers in Brazil have to publish their work in English, but the native language is Portuguese. For this reason, many don’t get their work published because they don’t’ write comprehensive English.

      Wendy Estrella arrived at 5:09PM

      Professor Schuster noted that all students need to write well. NECC uses a variety of tools to assist students in the process of thinking and writing, and she encourages our students to write their research, lab reports, etc. in other languages as well. Professor Schuster also spent time on MOOCs (open online courses) with the goal of learning to design and implement a MOOC with a learning centered environment.

      President Glenn thanked Professor Schuster for her work, and noted that we don’t always think about community college students and international education. But Northern Essex has offered some very rewarding international experiences to students (faculty and student trips to study the rain forest and a more recent agreement with Bath Spa University in England) and the college would like to do more in the future.

    2. Creating Music from Desktop Music Writing Software (ADM-3179-120413)

      President Glenn introduced NECC’s Coordinator of the Music Program and Professor of Music Ken Langer who provided the board with an overview of his sabbatical on creating music from music software. Professor Langer noted that his sabbatical research could be broken down into two parts: 1) the development and distribution of a book of his original works/compositions (14 books of compositions were done in all), and 2) development of a web page which includes all the books and links to live video for instruction. Professor Langer noted that the work can be used by individual students, but is also being utilized by some of the college’s music ensemble groups as well. NECC’s music students are very talented overall, and most of the students who transfer will begin as a junior in other music programs. Students have transferred to UMass Lowell, University of Vermont and Berkley.

Chairman Moynihan and President Glenn thanked Professor Langer for his report to the Board.

Report of Board Committees:

There were no sub-committee reports this month.

Trustee Ramirez arrived at 5:29 pm.

Before the report of Administration, Chairman Moynihan wanted to recognize and congratulate Trustee Dan Rivera on his recent election as Mayor of the city of Lawrence.

Report of Administration:

President Glenn spoke briefly about the following items:

  1. Sightlines/Deferred Maintenance Study (ADM-3180-120413)
    President Glenn introduced Vice President of Administration and Finance David Gingerella and Director of Facilities Richard Goulet who provided a brief overview of the Sightlines/Deferred Maintenance Study. Sightlines is nationally recognized company that works throughout the state and country for both public and private institutions. With the support of DCAM, there was funding to engage Sightlines to prepare an assessment of the deferred maintenance needs across all 15 community colleges. Mr. Goulet encouraged the board to review the entire report, but spoke specifically about three specific areas of the report:
    1. Page 10 – Mass CC System Estimated Backlog. He noted that in terms of repair, equipment, etc. there is currently a $1.1 billion backlog across the community college system. The graph on the right shows the ranking of each campus with NECC in third place behind Mass Bay and Springfield in terms of need. The report provides a unified front for the community college system and states a better case for collectively talking about the system’s facility needs.
    2. Page 15 – Total spending on existing space. This slide shows that NECC is not spending at the level of the other community colleges, and, he noted, this does not include the $7Million in Spurk.
    3. Page 21 – Net Asset Value by Campus – shows the system in “Catch-Up” mode. David Gingerella noted that this is probably the most important slide of the entire presentation. Institutions like Middlesex have younger buildings, so their replacement value is lower. Size of campus also plays a factor in how campuses played out in this graft. Greenfield is good example – it is a small campus with approximately 2,000 students, so there is not much to keep up. When you compare that scenario to Northern Essex with multiple locations and 7,000+ students, it makes a significant difference on where the institution falls on this NAV Index.

    After a brief question and answer period on specific items on the slides, Chairman Moynihan asked for a more detailed breakdown for the FY15 budget cycle on what our deferred maintenance list entails. Trustee Cox and Rivera also indicated that they would like to see the FY15 capital plan as well. President Glenn agreed and noted that VP of Administration and Finance David Gingerella will be providing that information at a future meeting as we prepare for the FY15 budgeting process.

  2. Eagle Tribune Article Recognizing NECC’s work with Hispanic Students (ADM-3181-120413)
    President Glenn noted that the trustees had received a copy of a recent article published by the Eagle Tribune recognizing the college’s work in not only increasing, but improving student success. The recent Vision Project report also highlighted these successes.
  3. NECC Strategic Plan Progress Update (Verbal)
    President Glenn provided a brief update regarding the Goal 2 Team work which involves improving student learning and retention and graduation rates. We know that students tend to drop out in the first semester of the first year. In that light, the College has reviewed Early Alert systems with the idea that we can get to these students earlier before they drop out. Recently, the college purchased the Starfish software which allows college faculty and administrators to better and more quickly reach students who are in need of assistance. Starfish will allow college employees to communicate more effectively and efficiently, thus reaching more students at a faster pace to prevent dropout.
  4. Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
    President Glenn provided the board with a brief Powerpoint presentation on the Lawrence Campus Expansion. There will be additional parking where the Registry building was located. President Glenn also showed an artist rendition of what the renovated 420 Common Street building would look like. With a first floor bookstore, bank and café, the building which has been named The Hub will be open to faculty, staff, and students and also to the public. The second floor will be used for classrooms and a 4 year university partner, and the third floor with more classrooms and administrative offices. In general, this building at 420 Common Street will provide great services to students and to the public/residents in Lawrence.

    President Glenn also showed slides for the alleyway connecting the Allied Health Building to Essex Street. A $2Million Mass Works grant was submitted for the alleyway, crosswalks, etc. and the college was recently awarded $1M for this Essex Street connector. Finally, President Glenn showed a slide of the new Goudreault parking lot and thanked the Foundation Board and Jean Poth again for all their hard work in obtaining that space which provides the college with 62 additional parking spaces.

  5. Public Education Nominating Council (PENC) for Trustee Nominations (Verbal)
    President Glenn spoke briefly about this organization noting that all Trustee nominations must go through this entity and process in order to become a member of the NECC Board of Trustees. The Governor’s Office uses the PENC group to select boards of trustees. Presidents put together rosters of recommendations and provide them to the nomination council when an opening on their campus exists. Often, Legislators also send names to the nominating council for consideration. However, there have been discussions among the Presidents regarding changes to the process of board appointments, and how we might try to better engage current trustees in that process. It’s important to find a greater role for this board in nominating its future members.

    Currently NECC has two (2) members whose terms will expire in March 2014. Both of those members have expressed an interest in renewing for another 5-year term. As a rule, the college puts forth a second name for consideration for each seat. President Glenn noted that due to the timeliness of this round of submissions, Mark Forman and Pentucket Bank’s CEO Scott Cote will be submitted for the first seat and Daniel Rivera and Ralph Abislaiman, Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Incentive Board will be submitted for the second seat. The PENC Nominating Council will meet in early February, so all information for these submissions was due in late December/earlyJanuary. Going forward, President Glenn proposed a Trustee Nominating Sub-Committee that will work with him on future submissions. Agreeing to serve on that Nominating Sub-Committee were: Trustee Daly-O’Brien, Trustee Guilmette, Trustee Estrella, Trustee Dulchinos, Trustee Linehan and Trustee Moynihan. Trustee Moynihan appointed Trustee Guilmette as the Chair of the Sub-Committee. All Sub-Committee work and nominations will be forwarded to the full board for consideration.

    President Glenn thanked the Board for their assistance in the future with Trustee nominations.

New Business:

  1. Motion to Name the One-Stop Center in Lawrence the “Mary Ellen Ashley Career Planning and Advising Center” (ADM-3182-120413)
    President Glenn noted that the motion before the trustees has his full support. “This recognition is fully deserved and fitting. I want to thank Mary Ellen for continued work on the Lawrence Campus, and I ask the Trustees to support this request.” On a Motion by Trustee Rivera, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the naming of the One-Stop Center in Lawrence the “Mary Ellen Ashley Career Planning and Advising Center.”
  2. Motion to Approve Electronic Health Record Specialist Certificate Program (ADM-3183-120413)
    President Glenn noted that this program was developed as a result of program research and a need as noted by the community and business in and around the Merrimack Valley. On a Motion by Trustee Estrella, seconded by Trustee Rivera, it was voted unanimously to approve the Electronic Health Record Specialist Certificate Program.
  3. Personnel Actions:
    1. New Appointments (ADM- 3184-120413)
      Chairman Moynihan noted that there were three (3) new full-time personnel actions to approve. On a Motion by Trustee Dulchinos, seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted unanimously to approve the three (3) New Appointments as listed in Addendum A.
    2. Delegation of Authority to Appoint New Full-Time Employees to Existing Vacancies during December, 2013 and January 2014 (ADM-3185-120413)
      President Glenn noted that the board customarily approves this every year so that the college can continue to hire full time faculty/staff during the months when the Board of Trustees do not meet. All new hires will be brought to the board in February. On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Dulchinos, it was voted unanimously to approve the Delegation of Authority to the President to appoint new full-time employees during the months of December 2013 and January 2014.
  4. Grants:
    1. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education/Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office: STEM Starter Academy (ADM-3186-120413)
      President Glenn noted that there is one grant from the Mass. Department of Higher Education in the amount of $300,000 for approval. On a Motion by Trustee Dulchinos, seconded by Trustee Linehan, it was voted unanimously to accept the grant award of $300,000 from the Mass. Dept. of Higher Education administered through the Mass. Community Colleges Executive Office for the contract period January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014.

Other Business:

There was no other business.


With no other business, Chairman Moynihan adjourned the meeting at 6:10PM.