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Meeting Minutes March 2014

Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees Minutes of Meeting (Unofficial) – March 5, 2014

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

Mr. Cox
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Mr. Dulchinos
Ms. Estrella
Mr. Forman
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. Linehan
Mr. Moynihan
Mr. Rivera (Arrived at 5:41PM)
Mr. Schindel

Also Present: President Glenn

Call to Order:

Chairman Moynihan called the meeting to order at 5:05 PM. President Glenn introduced Commissioner Richard Freeland. He noted that Commissioner Freeland has been a tremendous supporter of the Massachusetts system of public higher education, and explained that the Commissioner will provide the board with an update of the Vision Project. The Board welcomed Commissioner Freeland to the meeting.

President Glenn also introduced Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives in the audience. Senator O’Connor Ives currently serves on the Higher Education Committee and is well tuned into NECC. President Glenn thanked Senator O’Connor Ives for her efforts and the Board welcomed her to the meeting.

Approval of Minutes:

On a Motion by Trustee Daly O’Brien seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted unanimously to approve the December 4, 2013 minutes as presented. Chairman Moynihan noted that the Board does not meet in January, and a snow storm cancelled the February 5th meeting, therefore, there were no minutes to approve from that meeting.


President Glenn noted that Trustees received a packet of information from the Vice President of the Student Senate regarding the recent implementation of Parking Policy. If Trustees have any questions on the communication, he urged them to contact him.

Unfinished Business:

President Glenn noted that there were two (2) new employees to be introduced this month. They were:

Angela Bowers, Assistant Professor of Medical Imaging
Cheryl Charest, Instructor in Medical Assisting.

President Glenn also introduced Myrna Percibal, Staff Assistant in the President’s Office. Myrna is not new to the college, but now works in the President’s Office. The Board welcomed everyone.

Education Report:

Presentation on Financial Aid at NECC (ADM-3187-030514)

President Glenn introduced Interim Dean of Enrollment Services, Tina Favara who provided a brief overview and a Powerpoint presentation entitled National Trends in Financial Aid and How NECC Compares. Ms. Favara’s overview explained how the financial aid process works and provided some highlights of national trends. For example, in 2012-13, undergraduates received more than half (52%) of their funding in the form of grants, 39% as loans, and 9% in a combination of tax credits or deductions and Federal Work Study. Also, it was noted that 33% of all Pell Grants distributed in 2012-13 went to community college students. At NECC, 65% of students receive some form of aid from the Financial Aid Office, and total NECC aid in 2012-13 was slightly more than $26 Million. More recently, in 2013-14, NECC has disbursed just under $12 Million to date, and a maximum Pell Grant award has increased to $5,645. She noted that the college’s Retention Scholarships have assisted 100 students so far, and she also noted that the college’s Lending Library assists students by allowing them borrow textbooks, workbooks, etc. if their financial aid award isn’t sufficient to cover all their books.

At the end of the presentation, President Glenn noted that over the last seven years, NECC has never turned a student away for inability to pay. He noted that Trustees need to think about these highlights as we think about our costs. “We are responsive to the needs, but we also need to be realistic in terms of our fees,” President Glenn noted. Chairman Moynihan and President Glenn thanked Ms. Favara for her report to the Board.

Report of Board Committees:

Audit and Finance Committee

Trustee Dulchinos spoke briefly on the following items that were discussed at the February 4, 2014 Audit and Finance Sub Committee meeting:

  1. FY2014 Total Cash and Investments (AFC-14-05)
    Trustee Dulchinos noted that the spreadsheet and graphics provide an overview of operating cash investments from FY2012 to FY2014. He noted that the college is at about the same position overall as last year with a shift more towards investments.
  2. December 2013 Month-End Expense Analysis (AFC-14-06)
    Trustee Dulchinos noted that for the first 6-month period, the college is about half way through its total budget and expenses for the year are on schedule at approximately 48% of budget. Last year at this time, expenses were comparable at approximately 49%. The college continues to appropriately invest whenever possible.
  3. December 2013 Month-End Revenue Analysis (AFC-14-07)
    Trustee Dulchinos spoke briefly regarding the Revenue Analysis for FY13 vs. FY14. He noted that enrollment was down 5.4% and that many colleges are experiencing an enrollment decrease. He noted that the college receives a majority of its revenue early on in the fiscal year, and the FY14 budget revenues are currently at 75% of the total budget. This is similar to last year at this time when the college’s total revenue was at approximately 76% of the total.

Report of Administration:

  1. Report on Massachusetts Public Higher Education System-Wide Initiatives by Commissioner Richard Freeland (Verbal)

    At this point, President Glenn noted that Commissioner Freeland would be providing his report on system-wide initiatives for Massachusetts Public Higher Education.

    Commissioner Freeland thanked President Glenn and the Board of Trustees for their hospitality and their work in Massachusetts Public Higher Education. He thanked the Trustees for their service and recognized them for the incredibly important role they provide to NECC. The Commissioner noted that the formation of the Office of Trustee Relations came out of Spring 2012 proposals of the legislative delegation and Governor’s office and was intended to build stronger ties to local boards and build greater support for them. The Office is intended to be a channel of support and communication for Boards of Trustees, and, he noted, that he and the Office staff have been mindful of any potential tension between the Office and trustees. He thanked NECC for working collaboratively between his office, the President’s Office and the NECC Trustees.

    Trustee Rivera arrived at 5:41PM.

    Commissioner Freeland acknowledged that “terrific things are happening here at NECC. Your work on learning outcomes assessment, and Lane’s framing of that work over the last 4 years has been superb. I also want to extend thanks for your work around the Lawrence campus, and the Hispanic community – you are helping students with difficult circumstances” he said. Commission Freeland noted that the Lawrence Campus is a driver or urban renewal. “NECC has been a leader in the single most important aspect of Vision Project and the completion agenda. No institution more than NECC has made concentrated effort to translate interventions into action. There is marked improvement in success rates in developmental education – specifically in Math. You have been involved in every aspect, and I want to express my gratitude. Congratulations.”

    Commissioner Freeland also commented on the budget. While the FY14 budget process provided some flexibility, FY15 is not quite as generous. He noted that the Governor has made public higher education a priority of the state budget and realizes that the work of the colleges and universities is critical to the economics of the state. Massachusetts continues to need college educated workers, and it is important to support our public higher education system to support that need. He continued that community colleges in particular receive strong recognition from business leadership as a key partner in training the workforce. “Above all, we are going to close the achievement gaps, particularly in the minority student population,” he noted.

    The Commissioner also briefly discussed related efforts on efficiency and cost savings. He noted that while there is some current skepticism around these topics across the system (because of structural issues), it’s important to work towards greater collaboration among institutions with items like sharing IT resources, purchasing, etc. Commissioner Freeland asked the Board members to be attentive to those kinds of efficiencies as we move forward. In closing, Commissioner Freeland noted that he admires NECC and its leadership noting “I appreciate the good work that you do.”

    Trustee Dulchinos thanked the Commissioner for his continued support of the college. Trustee Rivera also thanked the Commissioner for his report. He noted that as we work at the state level on budgetary issues, it’s important to remember that all campuses are really independent and different, with different budgetary needs as well.

    Given there were no other comments, President Glenn thanked Commissioner Freeland for his report and welcomed him to the NECC campus at any time.

  2. NECC Strategic Plan Progress Update (Verbal)
    President Glenn noted that in the interest of time, he would provide a Strategic Planning update at the April meeting.
  3. Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
    President Glenn reminded Trustees that the El-Hefni Allied Health and Technology Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, March 21st at 11AM.

New Business:

  1. Personnel Actions
    1. New Appointments (ADM-3188-030514)
      President Glenn noted that there was one (1) new full-time personnel action as listed in Addendum A. On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the one (1) new full-time personnel action as listed in Addendum A.”
    2. Approval of Sabbatical Leave (ADM-3189-030514)
      President Glenn noted that there was one (1) sabbatical recommendation at a fulltime for one half year as listed in Addendum C. On a Motion by Trustee Daly O’Brien, seconded by Trustee Rivera, it was voted unanimously to approve the one (1) sabbatical leave as listed in Addendum C).
    3. Approval of Program Coordinator (ADM-3190-030514)
      President Glenn noted that there was one (1) approval for a Program Coordinator position appointment as listed in Addendum D. On a Motion by Trustee Dulchinos, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the one (1) Program Coordinator appointment as listed in Addendum D).
  2. Grants
    1. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Rapid Response Incentive Program (ADM-3191-030514)
      President Glenn noted that this one Grant approval had been rescinded due to pending approval from the Mass. Department of Higher Education.

Other Business:

President Glenn noted that Student Trustee Emily Ramirez had resigned as she had transferred to UMass Lowell. The office of Student Life and the Student Senate will hold elections in April for a new student trustee to complete this year and to serve all of next year.


With no other business, Chairman Moynihan adjourned the meeting at 6:17PM.

After conferring with Dean of Development Wendy Shaffer, President Glenn asked Chairman Moynihan to call for a motion to reconvene in order to vote on Agenda Item # 8b1: Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Rapid Response Incentive Program. Dean Shaffer asked that the Board of Trustees approve the grant in advance, pending approval of funding in the near future.

On a Motion by Trustee Moynihan, seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted unanimously to reconvene the Board of Trustee meeting of March 5, 2014 to consider and vote on agenda Item #8b1: Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Rapid Response Incentive Program.

President Glenn noted that the notification to approve funding is expected within the next week or two.

On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Schindel, it was voted unanimously to accept a grant award, if funded, of $52,817 from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for the period through June 30, 2014.


With no other business, Chairman Moynihan adjourned the meeting at 6:21 pm.