Northern Essex Community College Board Of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – February 5, 2020
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.
Ms. Paley Nadel
Unable to Attend
Ms. Borislow, Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke, Mr. Cox, Ms. Morin
Call to Order
Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:05 PM.
Approval of Minutes
On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette seconded by Trustee Worden, it was voted unanimously to approve the December 4, 2019 minutes as presented.
There was none.
President Glenn noted that he was introducing a new, more welcoming way of introducing newly hired employees to the Trustees. With that said, President Glenn asked Ms. Nancy Sleger, Academic Counselor for the Center for Adult Education to join him at the front of the room. President Glenn presented Ms. Sleger with a welcome kit which included NECC name tags, pins, a phone battery charger and a new lunch box. The Board welcomed Ms. Sleger to Northern Essex.
STEM Update at NECC (ADM-3599-020520)
President Glenn introduced Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs William Heineman.
Dr. Heineman noted that there has been quite an increased interest in STEM fields over the last few years. STEM is typically perceived as “hard” and some students are reluctant to go into STEM fields for that reason. But NECC has a wonderful group of STEM faculty who work very hard to help students navigate those fields. With that said, Dr. Heineman introduced Dr. Carolyn Knoepfler, NECC’s Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) who provided an update on STEM at NECC.
Dr. Knoepfler provided an overview of the STEM division which represents nearly 90 people (faculty, staff, and students). Over the last two years at NECC, the number of programs and STEM-related activities within the STEM Center has steadily increased. STEM Week was created and included activities such as:
- A Google Meet-Up event which turned into a monthly meeting for students;
- An industry expert panel event utilizing members of the college’s STEM Advisory Board;
- Math Olympics where students gather and compete to do math problems both singularly and as teams;
- A STEM speaker’s event with topics like the science of addition and evidence-based treatment, quality control at a vineyard, and the variety of jobs in STEM industries.
In addition, scholarships and internships have been developed within the Merrimack Valley where students are involved in a wide variety of programming. In collaboration with the Timberlane Regional School District, a STEAM night for K-12 was held where NECC faculty donate their time conducting STEM activities while actively recruiting students for NECC STEM programs. Dr. Knoepfler also noted activities that are offered in NECC’s STEM center like Lego Challenges for faculty and a robotics competition supported by a $20K grant from National Grid.
Trustee Forman asked about the demographics of our STEM students. Dr. Knoepfler noted there are currently 19 male and 1 female students in our engineering program, but the science and biology programs are typically split, 50/50. Trustee Worden asked how many STEM students the college enrolled overall. Dr. Heineman noted that they comprise about one-fifth of our total enrollment.
President Glenn thanked Dr. Knoepfler for the great work she does year round with STEM students.
Report of Board Committees
Audit and Finance Sub-Committee
GW&K Investment Management Update (Verbal)
Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the Sub-Committee met with the GW&K consultants and received a brief presentation which provided a recap of the college’s investments. GW&K staff reported that investments are solid and stable with a 24% return, yielding almost $1 million dollars. She noted that the college is not using those investments as operational funds, so the college is in good financial condition, and no action is required by the board at this time.
FY20 Mid-Year Actual to Budget Report (AFC-20-03)
Trustee Paley Nadel spoke briefly about the Sub-Committee’s review of the college’s mid-year financial report. She noted that the college is on target as of mid-year and enrollments are running slightly ahead in terms of enrollment projections (even though the projections were in the negative). In summary, she noted that the college is right where it should be at this point in time. President Glenn thanked the board for their continued support.
Report of Administration
Prior to providing his report, President Glenn noted that the Trustee Nominating Sub-Committee will be meeting next week to begin to review recommended candidates to fill trustee slots for those that have terms expiring including Mr. Forman and Mr. Linehan (who are both term limited) and Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke who is seeking reappointment to a second 5-year term.
President Glenn then asked if agenda item 9a) Update on the NECC Public Safety/Police Department could be taken out of order. The Trustees agreed. President Glenn introduced NECC Director of Public Safety, Chief Deb Crafts who provided an update on the NECC public safety plan.
Chief Crafts reported that the NECC Public Safety Department is working hard to complete a plan which embodies the safety and security of the college faculty and staff and is also being developed with honesty, transparency, and respect within the NECC community. Chief Crafts highlighted some of the most recent accomplishments of the plan which include: more parking availability and partnerships in Lawrence, the implementation of an electronic logging system required under the CLERY Act, and increased post-orders and information documentation training for the security guards.
As part of the comprehensive plan, moving forward and beginning in spring 2020, the department will recruit and hire a captain, determine uniforms and equipment needs, and establish accreditation level policies. By summer 2020, a new security contract will be in place, and the college will begin to recruit new officers. By the end of FY21, new trained police and communication officers will be hired. There will also be additional Active Shooter and other college-wide training offered for faculty/staff/students and a fully-developed Emergency Management Plan will be developed to address gaps in security and training that were outlined in a recent study. In addition, the department will seek to translate all department documentation into Spanish and work diligently to increase community engagement with a commitment to helping/serving the college community.
President Glenn noted that every college in the US is required to report their crime statistics in their Clery Report. While there may be some perception that Lawrence has a high crime rate, NECC crime reports show very few incidents of crime in that community, and most incidents (although there are very few) occur at the Haverhill.
President Glenn noted that part of this plan also includes hiring armed police officers. NECC’s Public Safety department has approached many areas of the NECC community to solicit their input on this. He noted that most of the public campuses across the Commonwealth have already moved forward with that step. NECC has been reviewing and considering this option for quite some time, and the department is now well-positioned to arm officers since we will be hiring fully-trained police officers who have passed academy and fire arms training. President Glenn noted that at the March 2020 meeting, he will bring forward a motion for the approval of arming our newly hired police officers as part of the Public Safety Plan, and asked for any additional questions.
Trustee Forman asked if the NECC police officers would supersede the Haverhill Police. Chief Crafts noted that the college would fall under the jurisdiction of our own officers in the event of an emergency, however, State and local officers would be brought on scene in the event of a large scale issue.
Trustee Worden asked how many police officers would be hired. Chief Crafts noted that currently, the plan is to hire a Captain, four communications officers, and also additional part-time staff. The department recently hired a well-trained staff assistant who already has a heavy police communications background. In closing, the Chief noted that it will be important to get the staffing configuration in place so that the department can respond in a timely manner.
In closing, President Glenn noted that a motion to arm police officers will be included on the March agenda. He then thanked VP McCarthy and Chief Crafts for their continuous work on NECC public safety, and he also said that it’s important to note that all of these changes will need to occur without adding significantly to the college budget.
President Glenn then reported on the following agenda items:
NECC 2020: Strategic Plan (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that he would touch upon the strategic plan items as part of his Haverhill and Lawrence Campus reports.
NECHE 2020: Accreditation Self-Study (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that a preliminary campus visit for the Chair of our NECHE visiting team, Dr. Sonya Christian from Bakersfield College, has been scheduled for March. As a reminder, he noted that this is NECC’s 10-year reaccreditation, and the team will be visiting in October of 2020. He also thanked Dr. Heineman, Dr. Burns, Dr. Lancaster, Mr. Mike Hearn and Ms. Wendy Shaffer who have done wonderful job in getting NECC prepared in drafting our 100 page NECHE report which will show how NECC is complying with each of the NECHE standards. As part of the visit in October, some members of the team may want to meet with Trustees. If that is the case, the President’s Office will reach out to you to schedule those.
Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that he and Vice President McCarthy met with the Lupoli Company today at the Haverhill Heights location to review progress on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the new Culinary Center. He noted that there are some slight delays in the timeline for completion, and it may be a little later in March. Courses at the site will commence later this spring.
Also, President Glenn noted that VP McCarthy is headed to Washington, DC next week to meet with Tom Downs, Downs Government Relations and other law enforcement agency heads in hopes that NECC may be able to add training programs at the federal level.
Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that he has been asked to serve as a member of the Lawrence Public Schools Turnaround and Earned Autonomy Framework Advisory Group which has been formed to work through the end stages of receivership for the Lawrence Public Schools. The Turnaround Plan has been highly successful, but there is more work to be done as the district seeks to leave receivership and return to local autonomy. President Glenn noted that he will keep the Trustees updated as progress is made.
President Glenn also noted that some of NECC Early College students were invited to attend Governor Baker’s State of the State Address. The Early College effort is bi-partisan and done in collaboration with and across agencies. Lawrence has the highest concentration of any of the designation programs, and NECC is very proud of this work and of our students.
NECC was recently the recipient of a $120K grant from Mass Development to help re-outfit the Revolving Test Kitchen in Lawrence. With this proposal, the space would be available to a few entrepreneurs in both the retail space as well as the basement. The funds will assist in reorganizing and outfitting the spaces to support several entrepreneurs at once. Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the Lawrence Partnership supports this effort and has been talking about starting an entrepreneurial ecosystem of food starters. There is an opportunity to use the building in other ways, she noted, and there are a lot of partners on board to move this forward. he entrepreneurs of this space will also connect with NECC’s Hospitality and Culinary programming. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Lastly, President Glenn noted that the college and the City of Lawrence are working together with a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a Performing Arts Center at St. Ann’s Church. The college hosted four community forums and received feedback from several members of the community. The consultant has been contracted for two months of work, and will be finalizing a survey, recasting operational plans, developing budgets, etc. to help us understand what it would be like to operate the space and to figure out who the best operator of the space would be. More information will be provided when it becomes available.
Motion to Approve Children’s Behavioral Health Specialist Certificate (ADM-3600-020520)
President Glenn noted that the motion for this new certificate program could be best explained by Brian MacKenna-Rice, Program Coordinator for Human Services. Mr. MacKenna-Rice noted that there was a huge push in Massachusetts for a center of outpatient care for children, and NECC has an opportunity to partner with the Justice Resource Institute. Initially, the request was for the college to offer a couple of courses to train employees on how to become partners for entry level positions in the Behavioral Health field. As the need continues to grow, there was a request to build a certificate program to meet the need. A consultant was hired to train NECC faculty and to develop this 19-credit certificate program in the fall. He thanked the Trustees for their support.
Trustee Quiles noted that she couldn’t be happier to see this certificate being developed as there certainly is a greater need today.
On a Motion by Trustee Quiles, seconded by Trustee Forman, it was voted unanimously to approve the NECC Children’s Behavioral Health Specialist Certificate.
Motion to Approve Transfer of Trustee Funds (ADM-3601-020520)
President Glenn noted that the college has some dormant funds, generously donated by Trustees and in support of college programs, activities and initiatives. This motion would approve the transfer of that $30,000 into the NECC Promise Program Account.
On a Motion by Trustee Worden, seconded by Trustee Forman, it was voted unanimously to approve the Transfer of Trustee Funds as noted in the motion.
1) New Appointments (ADM-3602-020520)
President Glenn noted that there were eight (8) new full-time personnel appointments to affirm as listed in Addendum A. These appointments were approved by him during the December 2019/January 2020 intersession. President Glenn reminded the Trustees that they provided him with the authority to do so at the December 2019 meeting.
On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Worden, it was voted unanimously to affirm the eight (8) new full-time personnel actions as listed in Addendum A.
President Glenn noted that there were two (2) grants for Trustees to consider for approval.
Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care/North Shore Community College: Career Pathways Supplemental Funds (ADM-3603-020520)
On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Forman, it was voted unanimously to accept the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care/North Shore Community College: Career Pathways Supplemental Funds grant.
- Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet: Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Program (ADM-3604-020520)
On a Motion by Trustee Forman, seconded by Trustee Paley Nadel, it was voted unanimously to accept the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet: Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Program.
There was none.
With no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 6:14 PM.