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Meeting Minutes March 4, 2015

NORTHERN ESSEX COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
MINUTES OF MEETING (OFFICIAL) – March 4, 2015

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.

Present

Mr. Cox
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Mr. D’Orazio
Mr. Dulchinos
Mr. Forman (Arrived at 5:11PM)
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. Linehan
Mr. Moynihan
Ms. Terry            

Also Present:  President Glenn   

Absent:  Ms. Estrella and Ms. Paley Nadel

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Moynihan called the meeting to order at 5:06 PM. 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 

On a Motion by Trustee Dulchinos seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the February 4, 2015 minutes as presented. 

CORRESPONDENCE: 

There was none.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 

President Glenn noted that there were eight (8) new employees to be introduced this month.  They were:

Ireni Rose, Staff Assistant, Financial Aid
Rosalba Conde, Financial Aid Counselor, Financial Aid
Laura Mondt, Reference Librarian, Library
Laurie Hillson, Director of Nursing Education, Health Professions   
Nivedita Bagchi Williams, Interim Dean of Student Life
Clayton Ross, Facilities Engineer/Project Management
Mark Pearson, Project Manager, Police Academy
Tyler Finno, Administrative Assistant I, Human Resources

The Board welcomed everyone.

EDUCATION REPORT:      

Report on NECC Retention Scholarship (ADM-3259-030415)

President Glenn introduced Director of Financial Aid, Alexis Fishbone and Interim Dean of Enrollment Services, Tina Favara who provided a brief overview and a Power Point presentation on NECC’s Retention Scholarship.

Ms. Favara explained how the driving principle is need based scholarship including pieces of a merit scholarship which will bridge the financial gap for students in need.  The Retention Scholarship was created in 2011 and covers tuition and fees, health insurance, books and supplies.  She noted that the scholarship assists students with demonstrable academic success which is defined by accumulated college level credits (12 for Certificate Program students and 24 for Associate Degree students), a 2.0 minimum GPA, an academic plan, and a demonstrated financial gap.  

Ms. Fishbone then explained the role of the Retention Scholarship Coordinator who is responsible for review of the student data and the award/denial of all scholarship applications.  She noted that the coordinator is in constant contact with scholarship recipients reminding them to complete their academic plan, register for the next semester and eventually to petition to graduate.  “The coordinator is their liaison,” she noted and provides “a much more holistic look at the student.”

Trustee Forman arrived at 5:11PM

Ms. Favara then provided a brief overview of the retention/graduation data for scholarship recipients.   She noted that the graduation rate for recipients is higher than the college’s overall rate, and notes that the demographics reveal that this aid helps a very diverse group of students in terms of family income, age, gender and race/ethnicity.  In closing, Ms. Favara noted that this academic year, approximately $147K in scholarships has been awarded so far.

Trustee Cox asked if the $200K allotted is adequately meeting the need.  Ms. Fishbone replied that it usually is enough and in the past, the college has expended close to the full amount.

Trustee Forman asked why the number of recipients has declined over the last two years.   Ms. Fishbone noted that during first year, the scholarship covered a college graduation fee, so there were several students who applied for that fee.  Since the college no longer charges a graduation fee, there was a reduction in awards, so there was a large decline in actual number of awards.

President Glenn thanked Ms. Favara and Ms. Fishbone for their presentation.  He also thanked the Board for their past and future support of the Retention Scholarship.  “The move you made as a Board to create this scholarship is your way of not turning students away at the door.”

REPORT OF BOARD COMMITTEES: 

Audit and Finance Committee

Trustee Dulchinos spoke briefly on the following items that were discussed at the March 4, 2015 Audit and Finance Sub Committee meeting:

  1. Motion to Approve Northern Essex Community College Entrepreneurial/Enterprise Funds Revenue and Expenses (AFC-15-07)
    Trustee Dulchinos noted that page 2 of the motion provides Trustees with a list of projects that were covered by college Enterprise Funds.  The list also provides income and expenditures for each project.  He noted that the Enterprise Funds were established as a result of entrepreneurial activity of college employees and provides revenue for approved projects.  The revenues and expenditures listed are part of the college’s overall budget.   The Audit and Finance Committee recommends Trustee approval.

    On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the Northern Essex Community College Entrepreneurial/ Enterprise Funds Revenue and Expense

  2. FY2014 Total Cash and Investments (AFC-15-08)
    Trustee Dulchinos noted that the spreadsheet and graphics provide an overview of operating cash investments from FY2013 to FY2015.  He noted that the college is at about the same position overall as last year, but taking more from investments and putting it into cash.  He noted that some of the investment cash draw down has been deposited into local banks as we continue to build our relationships with local banks in the communities we serve.

  3. December 2014 Month-End Expense Analysis (AFC-15-09)
    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 46% of budget.   Last year at this time, expenses were comparable, but slightly higher at approximately 48%.  The college continues to monitor the FY15 budget and upcoming FY16 budget process being mindful of past 9C cuts and what the future may hold in FY16. 

  4. December 2014 Month-End Revenue Analysis (AFC-15-10)
    Trustee Dulchinos spoke briefly regarding the Revenue Analysis for FY14 vs. FY15.  He noted that one large item that impacted the overall budget was energy savings.  The college has made great strides whenever possible to limit or reduce operating costs in terms of energy efficiencies.  These efforts have affected the bottom line in a positive way.   He noted that the FY15 budget revenues are currently at 93% of the total budget.  

Presidential Evaluation Sub Committee – Letter from Commissioner Freeland (ADM-3260-030415)

Chairman of the Presidential Evaluation Sub Committee Jeff Linehan spoke briefly about the letter received from the Commissioner after the submission of President Glenn’s evaluation.  He noted that the Commissioner gave a favorable response to the Sub Committee’s review and agreed on all points of their very positive evaluation of President Glenn.  

Trustee D’Orazio noted that Commissioner Freeland appeared to be in agreement with the Board’s evaluation, yet did not provide any additional monetary compensation beyond the standard 3.5% recommendation even though it was recommended.  He asked if the Board of Trustees has any authority to raise the President’s salary without the Commissioner’s approval.  Chairman Moynihan noted that he had met with the Commissioner, and to his knowledge the Board does not have the authority to elevate a president’s compensation, and he also noted that there is currently no appeal process in place.   Chairman Moynihan noted that the Sub Committee can certainly pursue the issue again in the upcoming evaluation cycle which begins in June. 

President Glenn thanked the Board for their support.  He also wanted the Board to know that he was very appreciative of the approved 3.5% merit, but has not yet agreed to accept the increase due to budget outlook.  He noted that he appreciates the thoughtfulness and concern of both the Commissioner and the Board of Trustees, but for this year, the matter is best considered settled. 

REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION:

  1. Update on the Trustee Nomination Process (Verbal)
    President Glenn spoke briefly about the Nomination Sub Committee and the Public Education Nomination Council (PENC) within the new Governor’s administration.  He noted that he received a communication from Secretary Peyser’s office noting that a new Trustee appointment process has not yet been clearly defined, but if campuses had vacancies to fill within the next month, then names and credentials of candidates should be forwarded to the Secretary’s office by the end of the week.  President Glenn noted that given quick timeline, the Nominating Committee did not have a chance to meet.  Chairman Moynihan noted that he met with Mr. Guilmette (chair of the Nominations Committee) to discuss potential candidates.  Also, as part of the submission process, the college will submit a Trustee Profile/Matrix which outlines demographics and professional information for Board members.    President Glenn asked Trustees to review the matrix and let Cheryl Goodwin know of any corrections to be made as soon as possible.  He also noted the recommendations will be submitted to Secretary Peyser’s office by the end of the day tomorrow (Thursday).
    Trustee D’Orazio asked if there were other candidates considered from prior submissions.  President Glenn noted that there were other candidates to consider, but there has been heavy interest in diversifying the Board to include more representation of females and candidates with a business background. President Glenn thanked the board for their support.
  2. Trustee Email Addresses (Verbal)
    President Glenn reminded Trustees about the discussion at the February meeting regarding the recommendation from legal counsel to establish college email addresses for Trustees.  He reminded Trustees that they received the paperwork to complete the process.  Those forms should be returned to Cheryl Goodwin as soon as possible.  She will then be in touch with instructions and guidelines.
  3. Trustee Compliance for State Ethics Commission (Verbal)
    President Glenn reminded Trustees to submit their signed acknowledgement form to Cheryl Goodwin prior to April 1, 2015 in order to comply with the State Ethics Commission.  He thanked the board members for their cooperation.
  4. NECC Strategic Plan Progress Update (Verbal)
    President Glenn reminded the Board that the College’s Mission Statement is still awaiting approval which should happen at the March 10 Board of Higher Education meeting.  He also noted that Dean of Development, Wendy Shaffer also informed him today that the she is nearly complete with the NEASC report.  He reminded Trustees that the college is accredited by NEASC, and every 10 years needs to submit a lengthy report on how the college continues to comply with the accrediting agency and how it continues to improve.  A public draft will be available in less than 2 weeks.
  5. Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
    President Glenn noted that the college continues to make progress with acquiring 4 year partners at the Lawrence Campus.  The Commonwealth requires special approval for an outside college (Lyndon State from Vermont) to come to Massachusetts.  The college is currently working through those steps and processes now.  He noted that it may take several more months to complete the process and acquire BHE approval.  He is hopeful that the process will be completed by May 2015.

    President Glenn also noted that Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora, Executive Director of the Lawrence Campus was recently recognized at Lawrence City Hall for Dominican Independence Day by special proclamation.  The Board congratulated Dr. Custodia-Lora.

    President Glenn also provided a brief update regarding the Haverhill Campus.  Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jean Poth, along with the Haverhill Chamber and downtown business leaders have joined together to pursue the research of a hospitality and culinary arts program in the downtown area.  The college is working with a consultant and is in the process of reaching out to other colleges and universities in the area with hopes of a larger partnership which will contribute to the overall success of this proposed project.  More information to come.

NEW BUSINESS:

  1.     Grants
    1. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:  Adult Basic Education Grant Projects Supplemental Funds (ADM-3261-030415)

President Glenn noted that there was one grant approval to be considered. 

On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to accept three supplemental grant awards totaling $27,676 from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide Adult Basic Education services for the period through August 31, 2015.

OTHER BUSINESS:    

Chairman Moynihan asked for any Other Business items.  Student Trustee Kelsey Terry noted that she had received several complaints from students on the quality of the food on campus.  She noted that a number of food offerings are actually made off campus and brought here.  The food items for sale at the college Bookstore were similar and not very fresh.  She noted that the students have expressed interest in having a cafeteria again. 

President Glenn thanked Trustee Terry for voicing the concerns of her fellow students.  He explained that the food service changes were made for a variety of reasons.  He suggested that she and/or the Student Senate make an appointment with Vice President of Administration and Finance, David Gingerella, who oversees that operation.    Mr. Gingerella would be happy to explain the way the college handles the food service process as well as the challenges the food service vendor faces in bringing fresh food to campus.  Trustee Terry agreed that she would meet with Mr. Gingerella and would be prepared to discuss this and other options around cost, quality, etc.at a future meeting.

Chairman Moynihan also suggested that she conduct a survey of students to see what they like, what they don’t like and provide recommendations to Mr. Gingerella.  Ms. Terry thanked the board and Mr. Gingerella for their consideration.

ADJOURNMENT: 

With no other business, Chairman Moynihan adjourned the meeting at 6:04PM.