Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – December 7, 2016
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.
Ms. Sally Cerasuolo-O’Rorke
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Ms. Paley Nadel
Absent: Mr. D’Orazio, Mr. Forman,
Also Present: President Glenn
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:04 PM.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
: On a Motion by Trustee Daly O’Brien seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted unanimously to approve the November 9, 2016 minutes as presented.
There was none.
President Glenn introduced one new employee. Ms. Karin Croucher is the college’s new Enrollment/Academic Counselor in the Admissions Office. The Board welcomed Ms. Croucher to NECC. President Glenn also noted that Michael Mizzoni, DHE’s Director of Trustee Relations was attending this evening’s meeting as a guest. He noted that Mr. Mizzoni assists in organizing the Statewide Trustee Conference each year and is currently in search of trustee-related, higher education articles that could be included in updates and/or publications from his office. The board welcomed Mr. Mizzoni to NECC.
Sabbatical Report: Inspirations from Reggio Emilia, Italy (ADM-3367-120716)
President Glenn introduced Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. Heineman introduced Professor of Early Childhood Education Gail Feigenbaum who presented a report on her sabbatical leave on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Professor Feigenbaum travelled to Reggio Emilia Italy for her spring 2016 sabbatical, and she provided a brief history and overview of the Reggio Emilia philosophy which promotes learning based on building relationships with children, families and the community.
While taking a class at Lesley University last year, she observed local classrooms that utilize the Reggio approach and then attended an international conference in Reggio Emilia Italy where she was able to get a global perspective of the approach by talking to and participating with people from all over the world who use the Reggio method. She noted that she was inspired by the philosophy where respect for children is paramount to all learning, and children are encouraged to seek out what they want to learn. She was impressed with the materials they used, and noted that family and community collaboration is heavily imbedded in the approach.
Upon her return to the United States, Professor Feigenbaum has visited other schools across the Commonwealth who have adopted the philosophy, and she has begun to share resources from those schools and her research in Italy with her Early Childhood students at NECC. She closed by noting that she hopes to continue her association with those programs and will participate in a local Reggio event in May, 2017.
President Glenn thanked Professor Feigenbaum for her report and noted that the demand for Early Childhood Education graduates continues to be high regardless of the lower hourly wage.
REPORT OF BOARD COMMITTEES:
There was none. President Glenn noted, however, that the Nominating Committee would be meeting sometime in January to discuss/develop a recommended roster of potential Trustee candidates for upcoming open positions. A report to the full board will be made at the meeting in February, 2017. The Public Education Nominating Council (PENC) will be meeting in mid-February to assist the Governor in making recommendations for open positions.
REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION:
President Glenn spoke briefly about the following items:
NECC Official Audit Report (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2015) (ADM-3368-120716)
Institutional Advancement Report: Private Sector Fundraising (ADM-3369-120716)
NECC 2020: Strategic Plan Progress Update (Verbal)
Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)
Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
Update on Strategic Framework for Mass. Higher Education Regional Workshop Meetings (Verbal)
Update on Statewide Committee on Police Education and Training (Verbal)
Update on Joint UMass Chancellors/Provosts and Community College Presidents Meeting (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that all Trustees received the Official Audit Report. The report had become recent (but not new) news and the college leadership was not pleased with how the State Auditor’s office chose to re-forward the results to the media. NECC had already addressed the report’s findings, but given how the Auditor’s Office re-released the results, the college has asked DHE to step in and communicate with the Auditor’s Office with hopes that they can do a better and less misleading job when releasing this information in the future. As noted previously, the real news is that the college did very well on expenditures, safety, and security. The section of the report on inventory was a little misleading, as our IT inventory system is currently the best in the state.
Trustee Acosta commended President Glenn and his staff on a critical audit. Trustee Cerasuolo-O’Rorke asked if any recommendations were made regarding the inventory issues. President Glenn noted that a designee was appointed immediately to remediate any inventory issues in the future.
President Glenn introduced Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jean Poth who provided a brief update on private sector fundraising efforts. During FY2016, she noted, the college raised over $3.5 million in private, public and in-kind donations and grants. The college starts each fiscal year with substantial donations to the college’s annual fund, and events like Giving Tuesday have helped to raise additional funds. Vice President Poth also noted the generous support and fundraising efforts of the Women of NECC who gave out over $30,000 in scholarships and have raised over $200,000 in the last 20 years. She noted that the Foundation and Alumni groups also continue to be very generous in their support in providing donations and scholarships to needy students.
Trustee Cerasuolo-O’Rorke asked if the public sector grants in the report are competitive grants. Ms. Poth noted that some were a continuation but some were, in fact, competitive. Dean of Development, Wendy Shaffer, also noted that faculty and staff continue to work extremely hard at grant development and closely monitor grant shifts and changes in an effort to consistently improve chances for funding. Trustee Cerasuolo-O’Rorke thanked Ms. Poth and Ms. Shaffer for their detailed report and noted that knowing the detail of the funders is helpful in keeping Trustees informed as they are out in the community and at local events.
President Glenn thanked Vice President Poth and the entire Institutional Advancement staff for their continued work and support of the college and its students.
President Glenn provided a brief update regarding the Strategic Planning progress to date. The strategic plan will be going to the printer soon and copies will be sent to Trustees when they are available. The plan is being developed with meaningful performance measures for each goal. The Integrated Student Experience Goal team is preparing a proposal for a Title III grant to support its work and for the Academic Master Plan. The recent visit from the college’s Achieving the Dream coaches provided meaningful and helpful input for this team. The coaches also provided a “capacity café” workshop which will assist all goal team members in defining how to best prioritize and develop action plans for each goal.
Also, in the next couple of weeks, Gray Associates will be on campus to assist college academic leaders in assessing academic programs in terms of relevancy and workforce needs. It’s important to evaluate aging programs to ensure that they are still relevant to employers so that students will be gainfully employed after graduation. The college’s advisory boards will also be involved in the evaluation process and Trustees will be kept apprised as the college goes through this process with Gray Associates.
President Glenn reported that by the end of the calendar year, an RFP should be completed for the hospitality and culinary space in the downtown Haverhill area. The college has applied for a Mass Skills Capital Grant to purchase equipment. Endicott College continues to be an interested partner for this project, and additional funding may be sought through private sources.
President Glenn noted that the Lawrence Partnership had a wonderfully successful annual event on November 17th at Salvatore’s Wood Mill in Lawrence. Over 380 attendees gathered to hear about the work around Lawrence Partnership and to hear keynote Lt. Governor Karyn Polito speak about the continued influence that the partnership has had on the economic development in the city of Lawrence. In particular, the new Revolving Test Kitchen was highlighted. Sal Lupoli donated the equipment at his former restaurant site at 420 Common Street, and with the assistance of the Lawrence Partnership chose Coco Ray’s as the first entrepreneur to use the space to incubate and expand their business.
President Glenn noted the MassINC award to the Lawrence Partnership to establish a training consortium which is focusing on training for hospitals and health care providers as well as Mechatronics (a combination of mechanical and electrical manufacturing) which will be housed at the Greater Lawrence Technical High School.
At the end of his report to the Board on the Lawrence Campus, Trustee Acosta noted the recent tragedy in the city with the murder of a 15 year old boy. The community of Lawrence is grieving the death of this young man, and she noted it would be helpful if the college also offered assistance and counseling to students and their families during this time of crisis and grief. President Glenn agreed and noted that he would follow up with college staff to ensure that assistance is available to all those in need. He thanked Trustee Acosta for her support.
President Glenn reported that NECC has been working with the strategic framework group for a year now with a main purpose on how to best allocate minimal resources across the state. It was noted from their research that the Commonwealth needs in excess of a billion dollars to meet the deferred maintenance needs across the state. He noted that the process that the group is putting into place is useful, and the data is illuminating. Public colleges and universities will continue to be underfunded in terms of deferred maintenance. The work of the group also has leaders rethinking how space is attained. Until recently, leasing space was viewed as something to avoid, but is now rising up as a prominent and preferred strategy since the state doesn’t have the resources to build/buy. NECC has been fortunate in securing deferred maintenance funding in the past, but in looking ahead, the challenge is very clear. President Glenn noted that he would keep the Trustees informed as more details of the group’s work become available after the first of the year.
President Glenn noted that the committee will be meeting in December and January, and he will provide an update to Trustees at their February meeting.
President Glenn noted that this group began convening about a year ago with a purpose of finding ways to help students transfer, to provide contingent admissions, and for the Commonwealth Commitment agreement. The group is making some progress, but it is taking longer than expected. The group does not yet have a final agreement with UMass which means students cannot yet transfer chemistry and biology courses until further discussion and an agreement has been resolved. President Glenn noted that he will update the Trustees on the progress as it is made.
President Glenn also noted that an RFP for the One-Stop Career Center will be submitted for both Lawrence and Haverhill. Initially, college leaders were concerned with some of the details of the RFP regulations, but as the college reviewed the guidelines more closely, the decision was made that the potential benefits of having the college manage the centers, for both NECC and the community, outweighed any concerns. The college’s employer outreach is significant, he noted, and pairing that up with the center would be a major benefit not only to our students but their parents, families and communities. The proposal will be submitted by the January 20th deadline.
And lastly, President Glenn noted that he attended the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education meeting yesterday at Mount Wachusett Community College. At that meeting, Commissioner Santiago provided a public statement on the status of DACA students in light of the presidential election. DACA is the federal policy that provides protection of undocumented immigrants who are accessing the educational system in the United States. President Glenn noted that the Commissioner was clear and forceful in his comments, and noted that it is the intention at the Department of Higher Education to do whatever they can do to make sure our students feel safe on campus and have access to education. President Glenn noted that he does not intend to make a separate public statement, but wanted to Trustees to know that he supports the Commissioner’s remarks.
Motion to Approve College Marijuana Policy (ADM-3370-120716)
Motion to Approve College Bathroom and Locker Room Use Policy and Changing Biographical Data Policy (ADM-3371-120716)
President Glenn noted that regardless of the new state law on marijuana use, students, faculty and staff still cannot smoke on campus. The attached policy supersedes the recently passed referendum and aligns with the college’s already existing policies for smoking on campus. This policy is being utilized by all 15 community college campuses and aligns with the federal regulation as NECC receives funds for student financial aid from the federal government. President Glenn noted that enforcement will be handled on a campus by campus, student by student basis, as needed.
On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly-O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the new marijuana policy for Northern Essex Community College.
President Glenn noted that the Trustees had two (2) policies in front of them: one for the Bathroom and Locker Room Use and one for Changing Biographical Data Information for Students.
President Glenn noted that the Bathroom and Locker Room Use policy is the result of the recently passed public accommodations law which led to students being able to utilize bathroom or locker room facilities that are gender-neutral or that are consistent with a student’s sincerely held gender identity. While the college is not considered a place of public accommodation, the college leadership felt the attached policy was the right thing to do to ensure that all students had adequate accommodations in place.
On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the Bathroom and Locker Room Use Policy for Northern Essex Community College as presented.
Next, President Glenn spoke briefly about the Changing Biographical Data policy. This policy is related to the Bathroom and Locker Room Use policy in that students may follow this policy when they choose to change their biographical data as provided in their official college record.
On a Motion by Trustee Acosta, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the Changing Biographical Data Policy for Northern Essex Community College as presented.
New Appointments (ADM-3372-120716)
Delegation of Authority to Appoint New Full-Time Employees to Existing Vacancies during December, 2016 and January 2017 (ADM-3373-120716)
Chairman Linehan noted that there was one (1) new full-time personnel action to approve.
On a Motion by Trustee Cerasuolo O’Rorke, seconded by Trustee Estrella, it was voted unanimously to approve the one (1) New Appointment as listed in Addendum A.
President Glenn noted that the board customarily approves this motion 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.
Trustee Cerasuolo O’Rorke asked if there were any executive positions that will be filled during this timeframe. President Glenn noted that a finalist for the college’s Comptrollers position will most likely be approved.
On a Motion by Trustee Acosta seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the Delegation of Authority to the President to appoint new full-time employees during the months of December 2016 and January 2017.
President Glenn and Chairman Linehan wished all board members a very happy holiday season.
With no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 6:15PM.