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Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Unofficial) – May 3, 2017

A meeting of the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees was held in room TC103A in the Hartleb Technology Center at the Haverhill Campus at 5:00PM.


Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke
Mr. Forman
Mr. Cox
Mr. Garcia
Ms. Daly O’Brien
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. D’Orazio
Mr. Linehan
Ms. Paley Nadel

ABSENT: Wendy Estrella

ALSO PRESENT: President Glenn


Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:07 p.m.


On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the April 5, 2017 minutes as presented.


President Glenn noted that Commissioner Santiago was ill, and unfortunately would not be in attendance this evening. He noted that he will be in touch with Commissioner Santiago’s office to reschedule his meeting with the board.


President Glenn introduced Stephen Surprise from the NECC Student Senate. Mr. Surprise is graduating in May and will be attending Salem State University in the fall. The Board welcomed Mr. Surprise to the meeting.


  1. Presentation on the English Portfolio Assessment (ADM-3389-050317)

  2. President Glenn introduced Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs who then introduced Professor Steve Mathis who provided a presentation on the English Portfolio Assessment.
    Professor Mathis thanked the trustees for the opportunity to talk about the portfolio assessment process. He noted that the college has been conducting portfolio assessment for about 10 years. The English department conducts this large-scale assessment of 60-70 sections of Composition 1 and 2 nearly each year. The courses are taught by 10 fulltime and 20 adjunct faculty with approximately 70% of the sections are taught by adjuncts.
    Professor Mathis first spoke about the issue of accountability and why it is important to ensure that all sections end up with the same learning outcomes to show consistency across all sections. He noted that it’s important that any suggested curriculum changes are based on real data and learning outcomes, and to assist in that process is the portfolio assessment project. Portfolio assessment has been around since 1960s, and Northern Essex has been doing them since 2008. Students in every section of Composition 1 and 2 put together a portfolio and submit it for faculty review. Professor Mathis noted that faculty contractually mandated outcomes were not clear enough, so the faculty met and debated the rubrics and values aligned to them. Once students submit their portfolio (which includes a letter from the student as well as two essays and a resource paper), the English faculty score the portfolios norming them over a 2-day period and including 10-20 faculty. The results of this process provides a tremendous professional development opportunity for faculty. Academic freedom is supported and met, and the courses maintain the right kind of consistency necessary. During those portfolio reviews, faculty groups review and discuss real student work which can sometimes change the discussion, bring value to the assessment process, and develop consistency within the English Department.
    Student Trustee Garcia asked about the value of employer feedback, how that is considered and what they may be looking for in a worker. Professor Mathis noted that employers want a worker that can communicate clearly, so the portfolio rubric takes that into consideration.
    President Glenn noted that the professors take the student feedback from this process and make themselves better instructors by analyzing the work that can be improved. With no other questions, President Glenn and Chairman Linehan thanked Professor Mathis for his presentation.


  1. Presidential Evaluation Sub-Committee Update (VERBAL)

  2. Trustee Forman noted that the sub-committee had met and noted that they will be completing the evaluation a lot earlier this year as the due date has been moved up from October to June 30, 2017. The final evaluation will be forwarded to the full Board for approval at their June meeting. Once approved, the complete evaluation will be sent to the Commissioner of Higher Education.

  3. Audit and Finance Sub-Committee

    • Third Quarter Financial Report (VERBAL)
    • Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the Audit and Finance sub-committee met to review the third quarter report which was included in the board packet. The FY2017 budget to actual report notes that the college’s revenues are down approximately $1.4 million due to enrollment and other factors, but the college’s expenditures have also been reduced to reflect the revenue decline. She noted that the college will be ending the year with a balanced budget. Trustee Paley Nadel thanked the college administration for their continued good work in keeping the budget balanced, and she looks forward to meeting in June to review the FY18 budget.
      President Glenn noted that the leadership team has spent a fair amount of time looking at how the budget is developed and has made some modifications to that process in the development of the FY18 budget. At the onset of the process, the proposed budget requests showed a nearly $4 million shortfall, but thanks to the work of the leadership team, modifications to expenses, technology replacement costs, program review, and structural changes in personnel, the shortfall has been whittled down to approximately half that amount. In addition, it was also important to note that the college doesn’t anticipate that the capital budget will grow for projects. In terms of fees, a high cost course fee and a facilities fee were implemented in the past, and this year a general student fee increase for FY18 will be forwarded to the board for approval in June. “We will bring you a balanced budget in June,” he noted, “but it is getting increasingly difficult to do.”
      Trustee Paly Nadel thanked the board for their continued support and commended the leadership and their whole approach of leading the community through this very difficult budget process.


  1. FY18 Budget Update (Verbal)

  2. President Glenn noted that in addition to the process of FY18 budget development, the college is in the early stages of developing a capital campaign study. A consultant has been hired and has conducted an initial meeting with respected community members. While the capital campaign won’t directly impact the FY18 operational budget, it may have an indirect impact later on in terms of support for student scholarships and student aid. President Glenn noted that affordability for students will be a major focus of the campaign. Athletics, culinary arts, the Lawrence library, student success centers and Information Technology refreshments will also be critical pieces of the possible campaign. He noted that the campaign may focus on raising approximately $7 million, and trustees will be updated on the campaign throughout the year.

  3. NECC 2020: Strategic Planning Progress Update (Verbal)

  4. President Glenn noted that one featured goal of the plan is external partnerships. This goal will be particularly important as we raise the profile of NECC during the capital campaign. The Goal Team is working on a database of external partners and putting together resources and tools for faculty and staff so that they can be better ambassadors for the college when out in the community. President Glenn thanked Ernie Greenslade and Elle Yarborough as Goal Team leaders and Kelly Saretsky, Dean of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness for her leadership.

  5. Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)

  6. President Glenn noted that the Haverhill Education Coalition recently sponsored an educational panel entitled REACH HIGHER: A Haverhill Community Discussion on School Success which was earmarked for the Haverhill public schools. President Glenn facilitated a panel with the Haverhill School Committee president John Michitson which also included Ben Forman from MASS Inc. who spoke from the state perspective.

  7. Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)

  8. President Glenn noted that tomorrow evening, the pitch contest for restaurateurs sponsored by the Lawrence Partnership will be held in El Hefni building at the Lawrence Campus. This event will be a pre-curser to selection of a restaurant to replace Coco Rays who won last year.

  9. Appointment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council (ADM-3390-050315)

  10. President Glenn noted that he had been appointed by Governor Baker to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council and will start meeting with that group very soon. It’s important to note that Northern Essex actually confers the largest number of STEM certificates to graduates in the state, and he is very much looking forward to working with this group.

  11. Reminder: Mass. Community College Trustee Assoc. Spring Meeting with Senate President Stan Rosenberg, May 11 @ 4:30PM, Bunker Hill Community College, Boston

  12. President Glenn reminded all Trustees of the May 11th MCCTA Meeting and encouraged them to attend. He asked Trustees to please let Cheryl Goodwin know tonight if they will be attending.

  13. Awards Convocation, May 16 @ 7PM (ADM-3391-050317)

  14. President Glenn reminded Trustees that the college’s Awards Convocation is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 at 7PM in the Sports and Fitness Center at the Haverhill Campus. He hoped Trustees are able to attend, and noted that it is a spectacular evening of awards for students.

  15. Reminder: NECC Commencement, Saturday, May 20 at 11AM (Verbal)

  16. President Glenn reminded Trustees that Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 20th. Trustees will meet in the robing room (D129) in the Sports and Fitness Center at 10:15AM. This year’s Commencement speaker will be Matt Noyes, Chief Meteorologist at NBC Boston. President Glenn encouraged the Trustees to attend.

  17. End-of-Year Board Dinner on June 14, 2017, 6:30PM (Verbal)

  18. President Glenn noted that normally after the June Board meeting, Trustees go out to dinner. It was agreed that the Board will go to Joseph’s Trattoria after the June meeting.

Also, President Glenn spoke briefly about his recent attendance at an immigration panel at which the Community College’s General Counsel, Ken Tashjy presented a variety of material on the interpretation of the laws around immigration. Mr. Tashjy provided an outline of language in place for federal protections. President Glenn noted that it is important to note the NECC is not sanctuary campus, but we are also not required to share student information unless served by a warrant from Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection agents. President Glenn noted that he had distributed a one-page sheet describing the college’s existing policies around the issue of immigration and how the college should respond to any requests as necessary.
And to end his report, President Glenn displayed a picture of him kissing a frog. He noted that he was the “winner” voted to kiss the frog in an on-campus contest, the Frog Fundraiser, which was sponsored by the NECC Professional Association which raised over $1,300 for student scholarships. He thanked the NECCPA for their continued support of students.


  1. Personnel Actions:

    • New Appointments (ADM-3392-050317)
    • President Glenn noted that there was one (1) new appointment recommended for approval.
      On a Motion by Trustee Cox seconded by Trustee Linehan, it was voted unanimously to approve the one (1) new fulltime personnel action as listed in Addendum A.

    • MCCC/MTA Reappointments and Tenure (ADM-3393-050317)
    • President Glenn then noted that these are contractual obligations for tenure and have been reviewed by the College’s Academic Affairs division.
      On a Motion by Trustee D’Orazio, seconded by Trustee Daly O’Brien, it was voted unanimously to approve the motion which includes fifty-seven (57) personnel actions as listed in Addendum B.



Being no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 5:56PM.

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