Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – February 3, 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 5:07PM)
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Ms. Paley Nadel
Also Present: President Glenn and Commissioner Carlos Santiago
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:03 PM. President Glenn extended a warm welcome back to Trustee Guilmette after his recent surgery.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
On a Motion by Trustee D’Orazio seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the December 2, 2015 minutes as presented.
President Glenn noted that there was no correspondence.
President Glenn noted that there were no new employees to introduce.
President Glenn then asked that agenda item 7a) Report on Massachusetts Public Higher Education System-Wide Initiatives by Commissioner Carlos Santiago under Report of Administration be taken out of order. All Trustees agreed. President Glenn introduced Commissioner Carlos Santiago. He noted that Commissioner Santiago had an extensive background in higher education with past experience as the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and also as a provost at the University at Albany, New York. A trained economist, Dr. Santiago was also named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine. President Glenn noted that Commissioner Santiago has been a strong advocate across of higher education the state, and welcomed him to the Board meeting. Dr. Glenn then asked Trustee to introduce themselves.
Trustee Forman arrived at 5:07PM.
Commissioner Santiago thanked President Glenn and the board for their warm welcome. He noted that his day-long visit to NECC has been very productive. Before starting his report on the day, he informed the board that presidential evaluation letters were sent out to campuses this week for the 2014-15 evaluations, and he thanked the board for their thoughtful and thorough evaluation of Dr. Glenn. The Commissioner noted that the process will be changing slightly and will allow for a meeting with each president to review goals after the evaluation has been submitted. The change will impact the timeline for submission next year with due dates moved up to the end of June. Materials for the new process should be received by Board Chairs and campus presidents by the end of April 2016. He thanked the board for their assistance going forward and noted that the new process will continue to be metrically driven with a quantitative approach focusing on college completion, college participation, and closing achievement gaps.
Commissioner Santiago then spoke briefly about the demographic landscape in the Commonwealth noting that Massachusetts has the highest educational attainment and the most knowledge intensive economy in the country. He noted that 80% of the jobs in the Common-wealth require a bachelor’s degree or higher, and that a demographic shift is occurring as well with the “college-age” cohort declining. The Commissioner also talked briefly about the state’s workforce and the future retirement wave (those who are 55 and older and constitute approximately a third of our labor force). “We will see a slew of retirements in the next 10 years, and they will be within our most educated segment of the population. It’s important that we bring in the populations that are underserved and adult learners, and to successfully have students go from a 2 year education to 4 year education. This will create that pipeline to college completion.” The Commissioner also spoke briefly about the majority of public higher education students attending community colleges, and the importance of that sector, in particular. “We need to be continuously thinking about how we can work further as a system – promoting the uniqueness of each campus and giving overarching goals to completion. Student navigation of the system and transfer agreements can be challenging. We are trying to create a unified system of transfer where students can get through quicker and with more affordable options – it makes sense.” Commissioner Santiago also noted the $30K Bachelor’s Degree initiative and praised President Glenn’s assistance in moving that initiative along with the support of the community college presidents.
In closing, Commissioner Santiago indicated how very impressed he was with his visit at NECC and his meetings with students, faculty/staff, local business and educational leaders. He noted that students were genuinely thankful for the education they receive and openly acknowledge the terrific faculty, staff and mentors here. It was mentioned on more than one occasion that the college is “changing lives in the community,” and he noted that students are very grateful for the exceptional work of the college’s faculty and staff. In his final observation, Commissioner Santiago noted that there is a strong link between the campuses and the communities they serve. “It takes a strong leadership team that is stable and focused, and you have that here. The Cabinet team is a consolidated group with energy, enthusiasm and optimism – that came through clearly during our meeting today. There is lots of innovation going on across the state, and this campus is a leader at that as well.”
President Glenn and Chairman Linehan thanked Commissioner Santiago for visiting NECC and for attending a Board meeting. President Glenn also introduced Mr. Michael Mizzoni, BHE’s new Director of Trustee Relations who visited with the Commissioner.
Academic Support Services Update (ADM-3310-020316)
President Glenn introduced Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs William Heineman. Dr. Heineman noted that support outside the classroom continues to be a growing need across college campuses, and noted that NECC’s Assistant Dean of Academic Support Services Donna Bertolino would provide a presentation on the highlights of the work conducted in the college’s Testing Center and PACE/TRIO program.
Ms. Bertolino first explained that the PACE (Pathways to Academic and Career Excellence) program services approximately 250 first generation and low income students each year and focuses specifically on student success (student persistence, completion and transfer to another college/university). The program provides support services in financial aid, tutoring, scholarship research and career prep. The program is in its 35th year at NECC and has been funded for another 5 year grant cycle (to 2021).
Tutoring Services, another key element of support services for students in developmental and college-level classes, saw a 28% increase in in-person visits this year a 68% increase in online contacts through the Smarthinking software. She noted that the online tutoring seemed to be well received by students and is working very well. Ms. Bertolino also noted an increase in attendance for supplemental instruction. New initiatives like Academic Coaching, a video library resource page and an Advisory Group also seem to be helping students with things like time management, resume writing. Career coaching, etc.
And lastly, Ms. Bertolino noted that an expanded Testing Services Center (now in Lawrence) offer services to students and the community by appointment, but also on a walk-in basis 5 days a week and mirrors the services at the Haverhill Campus. The center has also implemented two pilot programs – a GPA Math Placement Pilot – which uses high school GPA to assist in placing students in Math courses, and an Experimental Site Pilot to assist students with applying for and receiving financial aid services. Ms. Bertolino also noted that the Haverhill testing center was recently certified nationally as a Pearson VUE Test Center offering over 1,000 certification exams in areas like CLEP, HiSet, and ATI.
President Glenn noted that these academic support centers have assisted in developing enrollment growth in our online programming. He thanked Ms. Bertolino and her staff for the great work that they do.
REPORT OF BOARD COMMITTEES:
There were none.
REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION:
Before beginning his report, President Glenn wanted to extend birthday wishes to Chairman Jeff Linehan, and Steve Fabbrucci, Vice President of Human Resource Development.
Report on Massachusetts Public Higher Education System-Wide Initiatives by Commissioner Carlos Santiago (Verbal)
NECC Employee Recognition Award Recipients (ADM-3311-020316)
NECC 2020: Strategic Plan Progress Update (Verbal)
Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)
Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
This report was taken out of order and provided immediately after agenda item #4 Unfinished Business.
President Glenn noted that college has three new award recipients for the fourth quarter in 2015. They are: Jason DeCosta, lab tech in Computer Science and Engineering, Victor DeJesus, Information Technology Services, and Dalisa Diaz, staff assistant in Human Resources. President Glenn noted that all three employees are very worthy of the recognition and thanked them for their continued service to the college.
President Glenn noted that the college recently received approval of the college’s 5th year Interim report for NEASC. NEASC also approved the two substantive change requests – one for a branch campus at Greater Lawrence Technical High School for the automotive program and one for the college to be an experimental site to offer Competency Based Coursework. President Glenn thanked Dean of Development Wendy Shaffer who is also the Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for all of her work on the NEASC report and subsequent materials.
President Glenn also noted that the Strategic Planning process continues to evolve, but the college is holding off with the plan’s completion and approval until the MCCC contract is settled. He noted that the plan is very close to being done, but the college will wait until we can fully engage all faculty and staff and get the appropriate feedback. There will also be an Information Technology Plan and a Security Plan developed in tandem with the full strategic plan. President Glenn noted that Trustees should receive the strategic plan for approval in a couple of months.
President Glenn noted that the college has submitted a proposal for grant funding from Governor Baker’s Mass Skills Capital Grant program to purchase the initial equipment necessary for the Culinary Arts/Hospitality program that is envisioned for the downtown Haverhill development. President Glenn thanked NECC staff George Moriarty, Wendy Shaffer, and Kelly Sullivan, and partners from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and Endicott College for their assistance in putting the proposal together. The grant request was in the amount of $200,000 and would instrumental in the start-up of the program. President Glenn also noted that Haverhill Representative Brian Dempsey also is aware that the college has submitted the proposal
President Glenn noted that the Lawrence Partnership has established a very active “Lawrence Jobs for Lawrence Residents” initiative. He noted that while there is a role for the state to be involved in workforce development, there is also a need and role for employers to be involved as well. The Lawrence Partnership is actively involved in this initiative as well as the recently publicized Venture Loan Fund (VLF). The VLF has been extremely well received, and nearly half of the $1 Million has already been loaned out to businesses. The current banks involved in the Venture Fund are already considering more funding for future loans. The current funding has already produced an estimated 38 new jobs in the city of Lawrence.
President Glenn then asked Dr. Noemi Custodia Lora to provide a brief update on the college’s collaborations with colleges in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Custodia Lora noted that the recent trip to the Dominican Republic was an extension of agreement that NECC signed with the University of Santo Domingo back in the summer. The intention of the trip was to confirm the commitment between the two institutions as well as to begin to draft different ideas of how the collaboration will move forward in terms of online coursework, faculty exchanges, student exchanges, etc. The NECC delegation also met with Minister of Education who noted that there are some scholarship opportunities for Dominican students who may want to attend classes in the United States. Dr. Custodia Lora also noted that NECC signed another agreement with San Luis Community College. This agreement engages NECC to work collaboratively with SLCC to better develop future community colleges in the Dominican Republic and align the educational needs of Dominican students who reside over there, but also in this country. She noted that many residents of Lawrence already have academic credentials from the DR, but need assistance in the process of authorizing those credentials once they come to the United States. Without the authorized credentials, many cannot work in the United States in their trained field of study. We are hopeful that these collaborations will be helpful in that process.
President Glenn thanked Dr. Custodia Lora for her update and noted that the city of Lawrence has the lowest educational attainment statistic in the Commonwealth at approximately 12%. Through these partnerships and collaborations with the Dominican Republic, we hope to raise that percentage in the future. “Of our Lawrence students, about two-thirds of them are from the Dominican Republic and continue to have strong ties to their country, so this makes very good sense to assist them in attaining a degree to meet local workforce needs.” He also noted that San Luis Community College was most impressive. Opening only three years ago, SLCC recently graduated115 students and was the largest infrastructure/project built in the Dominical Republic since the Metro system.
Trustee Beverage thanked Dr. Glenn and Dr. Custodia Lora for their work with the Dominican Republic. He noted that there is great excitement about the collaboration among students, particularly Engineering students, and hopes to hear more about students and programs in the future.
New Appointments (ADM-3312-020316)
President Glenn noted that there was one (1) new full-time personnel approval as listed in Addendum A and eight (8) fulltime affirmations previously approved by him during the 2016 semester intersession as noted in Addendum B. President Glenn reminded the Trustees that they provided him with the authority to do so at the prior (December 2015) meeting. On a Motion by Trustee D’Orazio, 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 and affirm the eight (8) new full-time personnel actions as listed in Addendum B.
Motion to Approve Amended NECC Smoking Policy (ADM-3313-020316)
President Glenn noted several years ago, the college adopted a Smoking Policy as noted in materials distributed to them. This amendment to that policy is related to the banning of smoking E-Cigarettes on campus which did not exist years ago when the original policy was approved. On a Motion by Trustee Estrella, seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted unanimously to approve a change to paragraph #2 in the College’s Smoking Policy, and rename the policy the Smoke-Free Environment Policy. This change to the policy will be effective upon the approval of the Board.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Adult Basic Education Grant Projects Supplemental Funds (ADM-3314-020316)
President Glenn noted that this approval would be for two supplemental grants totally $3,772 to provide adult basic education services through June 2016. On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Estrella, it was voted unanimously to accept two supplemental grant awards of $3,772 from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide Adult Basic Education services for the period through June 30, 2016.
In closing, President Glenn noted that tours of the new Bentley Library computer lab space would take place immediately following the meeting for those who would like a tour.
With no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 5:58PM.