Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – March 2, 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.
Mr. Forman (arrived 5:05PM)
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Ms. Paley Nadel
Also Present: President Glenn
Absent: Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:02 PM.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
On a Motion by Trustee D’Orazio seconded by Trustee Beverage, it was voted unanimously to approve the February 3, 2016 minutes as presented.
There was none.
President Glenn noted that there were no new employees to be introduced this month.
Trustee Forman arrived at 5:05PM.
The Accelerated Criminal Justice Program @ NECC (ADM-3315-030216)
President Glenn introduced Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs who then introduced Professor Paul W. Cavan, Program Coordinator for NECC’s Criminal Justice Program. Professor Cavan provided a brief overview on NECC’s Accelerated Criminal Justice program which will start in the fall 2016. The program is intended to attract individuals who are already employed in the field of law enforcement.
Professor Cavan noted that based on feedback from NECC’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board, there is significant interest by employees who work in the field to obtain an associate degree. Some local criminal justice practitioners have encouraged officers to go back to school to get an associate degree. This accelerated program targets those officers, and it is estimated that there are approximately 20-30 officers in the Merrimack Valley that would be likely candidates for this program.
Mr. Cavan noted that Sheriff Cousins of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department recently developed a policy whereby all officers will be required to have an associate degree. It was noted that prior to 2009, the Quinn Bill provided significant pay incentives to current law enforcement officials to obtain an educational credential. Completing an associate, bachelors, masters or JD degree lead to a percentage-based salary increase. When the Quinn Bill went away, the incentive for officers to get a degree was greatly diminished.
President Glenn noted that in many states across the country, officers receive their training on a community college campus with many requiring, at a minimum, an associate degree. Massachusetts is very well known for its achievements, but police officers only need a high school diploma to become a police officer. NECC is the first community college to offer the accelerated program, and candidates will earn college credits and will be self-paying with no sponsorship in place saving local communities some much needed cash. President Glenn noted that he has met with the Massachusetts Police Training Commission and the college continues to employ a number of different strategies to secure funding for the Regional Public Safety Center in Lawrence. He noted that he will soon be chairing a statewide committee which will analyze 1) what the minimal academic requirement should be for a Massachusetts police officer and 2) whether and how we should extend the credit for the police academy experience. He noted that there is still a very long way to go, and this is a fairly bold initiative. “We hope that this statewide feasibility committee will produce some required legislation for changes, and I also hope that NECC will be well-positioned to help with those educational needs.”
President Glenn thanked Professor Cavan and the board for their input on this topic. He noted that he will keep the board apprised as the program and the committee work moves forward.
REPORT OF BOARD COMMITTEES:
Audit and Finance Committee (AFC-16-05)
Trustee Paley Nadel spoke briefly about the Second Quarter Financial Report which was discussed at the March 2, 2016 Audit and Finance Sub Committee meeting:
FY2016 Operating Budget
Presidential Evaluation Sub Committee – Response from from Commissioner Santiago (Verbal)
Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the spreadsheet in the trustee packets provided an overview of FY16 budget vs. actual comparisons. She noted that for the first 6-month period, the college is about half way through its total budget and expenses for the year and is on schedule.
Trustee Forman asked how the enrollment decline affects state support. President Glenn noted it does not affect the college’s budget in the current year, but could affect us in future years due to the performance measurement metrics within the funding formula. But he also noted that a budget increase or decrease also depends on how much cash is put into the funding formula. With the Governor’s current budget proposal, NECC’s base, plus 1% hardly accounts for any difference at all. It’s important to note that all community colleges are experiencing enrollment drops right now. It is unlikely that it will effect next year in a significant way, but 2 or 3 years from now, it may affect us greatly depending on how other colleges’ enrollments are as well.
Trustee Paley Nadel then noted the report on the Student Activity Fund which is primarily used for student enrichment activities. She noted that this fund is also used for the student shuttle so that students can participate in activities at both campuses. The next summary page on Enterprise funds provides budget vs. actual data for these accounts. Enterprise accounts are funds that are generated by college staff for entrepreneurial efforts on campus. The increase in Enterprise revenue is a result of growth in these activities which are above and beyond what the college currently offers in terms of academics. If these activities/projects become sustainable, they can be moved back to the mainstream academic area.
And finally, Trustee Paley Nadel noted the last report on cash investments. She noted that the college is in a good and appropriate cash position at this time.
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. The issue of a merit increase is still under consideration by the Commissioner, but no action has been taken.
Trustee Cox noted that the Sub Committee was pleased that the Commissioner agreed with the evaluation and looks forward to the upcoming process for FY16.
President Glenn thanked the Board for their continued support
REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION:
Update on the Trustee Nomination Process (Verbal)
NECC 2020: Strategic Plan Progress Update (Verbal)
Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)
Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
Massachusetts Community Colleges Key Priorities for FY17 (ADM-3316-030216)
Higher Education Partners (HEP) Partnership (Verbal)
MCCC Contract (Verbal)
Location of Board Meetings for April and May 2016 (Verbal)
Save the Date: Commencement 2016 – Saturday, May 21st (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 the new Director of Trustee Relations, Michael Mizzoni, noting that Trustee vacancies and re-appointments needed to be submitted by the end of February. With that deadline, there was not sufficient time for the Nominating Committee to meet. In consultation with Chairman Linehan and Sub Committee Chair Trustee Guilmette, President Glenn submitted Trustee Cox’s credentials for reappointment and two other candidates, previously approved by the Nominating Committee, for the seat vacated by Mr. Moynihan.
President Glenn noted that in order to prepare for the next future submission, a Nominating Committee meeting will be scheduled in March and potential candidates will be discussed. As a reminder, he noted that a Trustee Profile/Matrix is utilized to outline Trustee demographics and professional information. President Glenn thanked the board for their continued support.
President Glenn noted that due to work-to-rule, progress on the college’s new strategic plan was limited over the last two months. Given the tentative agreement on the MCCC contract and the release of work-to-rule, progress has again begun. NECC’s Chair of the All College Assembly, Professor Amy Callahan, utilized a recent All College Assembly meeting to solicit feedback from faculty and staff on the draft goals. President Glenn noted that he is hopeful that the plan will be presented to the Board at their June meeting for approval. In addition, the college is also continuing its work on developing an Academic Master Plan, an Information Technology Plan, and a Safety and Security Plan.
President Glenn noted that he met with Mayor Fiorentini this morning to provide him with an update on the proposed Culinary Arts project for downtown Haverhill. He also noted that the college now has some preliminary cost estimates for the project. President Glenn has been in close communication with Chairman Dempsey’s office regarding this project and is also working with Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Jean Poth, to come up with additional resources for the project. Mayor Fiorentini is aware of all of this and knows that NECC would like to contribute to the downtown Haverhill rehabilitation. He noted that the program will have to support itself by diversifying with many partners, and will need to align with workforce needs of the Merrimack Valley.
President Glenn provided an update on the partnership between NECC and Higher Education Partners (HEP). He reminded the Trustees that HEP is a private organization that provided funding for the IHeath building and the NECC HUB at 420 Common Street. HEP has been working on other projects across the country and the business model is moving beyond this area. In addition, NECC is working very hard to also find adequate space for Regis College who wants to become an active partner in the buildout of the buildings. He noted that while it is too soon to provide exact details at this time, he wanted to let Trustees know that by April, the College’s partnership with HEP may be dissolved. He ensured Trustees that the move would be transparent to students. The intent is that the College will build out the second floor of 420 Common Street to provide the space it needs, and the College is hopeful to get the construction done just as soon as possible. President Glenn noted that he would provide updates as things progress.
President Glenn referred the Trustees to the handout in their packet which outlines the key priorities that the Massachusetts Community Colleges have developed collectively for budget projects in FY17. In particular, he drew attention to the first item of Community College Collective Bargaining Reserve. The MCCC tentative agreement will cost about $2 million across the system, then another $5 million in the 2nd year, and then more in the 3rd year. He noted that for many years, the state has funded those contracts, but we are uncertain if that will be the case going forward. President Glenn noted that the college’s strongest push with the legislative delegation right now is to get collective bargaining funded. For NECC, it has a $200K cost associated with it for next year, but the college also needs to be looking forward at the next few years as well. He also noted that raises in the AFSCME, DCE, and NUP contracts are also not funded by the state, but are the responsibility of the college to find funding.
President Glenn also noted the 2nd item regarding the funding formula. He noted that last year the colleges received just over $9 million but the year before it was $20 million. He noted that the funding is inadequate to address inefficiencies in the colleges deferred maintenance. He also added that the system lacks incentive, and for the system to be a true performance measurement system, the state would need to fund the formula with tens of millions of dollars. President Glenn noted that Trustees should be aware of this inadequate funding. In June, Trustees will be voting on the college’s FY17 budget which will include a fee increase, so it’s important to know why the college isn’t adequately funded. It is estimated that all of the community colleges across the state will be requesting a fee increase for FY17. He noted that as more information becomes available, he will send it to the Trustees.
President Glenn spoke about this issue under the Lawrence Campus Report above.
President Glenn noted that a tentative agreement had been reached. The Executive Board of the MCCC has agreed to a proposed contract and is now soliciting a vote of the membership. The agreement is also subject to approval by the Secretary of Education. The next step in this process is getting the contract fully funded. He noted that most campuses are coming off work-to-rule, and faculty are starting to attend meetings again. Dean of Development Wendy Shaffer, Professor Mark Reinhold and Dean of Professional Development Linda Meccouri are now moving forward with our Strategic Planning process. The college currently has a meeting scheduled with the Department of Higher Education in early April to provide them with an update of the plan to date.
President Glenn reminded Trustees that the April 6th meeting will be held in the El Hefni building at the Lawrence Campus in Room LC301, and that the May 4th meeting will be held at the Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center in Windham, NH, so that Trustees can be provided a tour and see the facility.
President Glenn reminded Trustees that the college’s Commencement Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 21st at 11AM under a large tent on the grassy Quad at the Haverhill Campus. Trustee Wendy Estrella is this year’s Commencement speaker. Cheryl Goodwin will be in touch with Trustees in April to confirm attendance.
New Appointments (ADM-3317-030216)
Sabbatical Recommendations (ADM-3318-030216)
Emeritus Status Recommendations (ADM-3319-030216)
President Glenn noted that there were four (4) new full-time personal actions to approve. He also noted that three (3) out of the four (4) are internal transfers. The college is closely analyzing positions as they become available and posting them internally as a budget saving measure to see if there are qualified people interested. Eventually, the college may have lower level positions that won’t need replacement.
On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve four (4) fulltime personnel actions as listed in Addendum A.
President Glenn noted that the college occasionally receives requests for sabbaticals. Sabbaticals are a great way for an employee to improve themselves professionally but to also contribute to the college with the work they bring back from their proposal. This sabbatical, he noted, is for a half workload/full salary for the 2016-201 academic year. Ms. Hurajt is a professor of English and Coordinator of the Honors program. Her sabbatical will allow her to create a version of the First Year Seminar for the Honors program students.
On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the sabbatical for Professor Hurajt for fall 2016 and spring 2017, Full Year Leave/Half Workload/Full Salary.
President Glenn noted that at Commencement each year, the college honors those employees who have been granted Emeritus status. Emeritus status is conferred to employees who have retired and had exhibited years of dedicated and exceptional work.
On a Motion by Trustee D’Orazio, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve five (5) emeritus status recommendations as listed in Addendum C.
David Gingerella, Vice President of Administration and Finance notified the Trustees that he would be leaving the college as he had accepted a position back in his home state of Rhode Island. He noted that he has been honored to work at NECC and for President Glenn. He noted that the college has an outstanding and talented leadership team,and he thanked the Trustees for the opportunity over the last five years.
President Glenn noted that he is in the process of developing a transition plan for the Administration and Finance area and will keep Trustees informed as a search for a new Vice President progresses. He thanked Mr. Gingerella for his service.
With no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 5:54PM.