Northern Essex Community College Board Of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – May 9, 2018
A meeting of the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees was held in the White Fund Room (LA101) in the Louise Haffner Fournier Center at the Lawrence Campus at 5:00 PM.
Ms. Fernandez (arrived at 5:06PM)
Ms. Paley Nadel
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 Benning, it was voted unanimously to approve the April 11, 2018 minutes as presented.
Trustee Fernandez arrived at 5:05 PM.
President Glenn introduced Matt Noyes, Director of Trustee and Government Relations at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The Board welcomed Mr. Noyes.
President Glenn noted that the NECC commencement is a week from Saturday. He extended his congratulations to all graduates and noted that NECC is once again hosting a social media campaign #NECC2018. Similar to last year, there will be a contest for students and their families that will hopefully be a lot of fun. He asked all trustees to stand together while their picture was taken, and he would post it under #NECC2018.
Integrated Student Experience and the Meta Major Centers (ADM-3474-050918)
President Glenn introduced Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs who provided a presentation on the college’s Integrated Student Experience and the Meta Major Centers.
Dr. Heineman noted that one of the four goals of the college’s Strategic Plan, NECC 2020 is the Integrated Student Experience (ISE) goal. The ISE is a huge initiative, but is really all about only one thing – student success. NECC is working hard with the ISE so that students in the future will succeed at a higher rate than they are right now. Dr. Heineman then showed a brief video about the integrated student experience.
After the video, Dr. Heineman noted that research shows that the ISE plan will allow students to perform better and persist longer. When students feel comfortable and “at home,” they become more resilient and tend to persist. Also, when students are provided with a structured, less distracting environment, they also tend to persist at a higher rate. And lastly, when students experience a seamless application and financial aid process (as set up in our One-Stop Centers), they also tend to persist longer. In summary, Dr. Heineman noted that the ISE is about changing the pathway to student success and positive outcomes, as well as providing for a sense of belonging in the Center for Student Success. Students will also have other areas/centers where they can meet with their peers, faculty, and advisors in a Meta major center. The centers are more narrowly focused from five broad areas and will be helpful to students in better defining the program they wish to study. Dr. Heineman then introduced Professor Judi Ciampi who provided a brief report on the development of the Business Meta Major Center.
Professor Ciampi noted that the goal is to have both types of centers (broad and more narrowly focused) that are staffed with all types of employees to help the students in every step of their process from application to degree fulfillment. Professor Ciampi noted that about a year ago, without a budget or space, the Business Department piloted a center and had some ideas of what it wanted to accomplish. The centers are really about connecting students and giving them a sense of belonging. The centers help students to get to know faculty, employers, and their peers. For example, in the pilot, Accounting tutoring is now held in the center where is it is easy to find (for both students and alumni), and also aligns with a peer mentor program which helps students with the logistical and technical side of taking classes (portal, Blackboard, etc.). The center is staffed with professional and faculty advisors who can assist with program advising and registration both during the day and in the evenings. Having these centers right in same building as classes has proved to be very beneficial for evening students as well given they are typically rushing to campus after 5PM and may need an advising question answered or tutoring for an assignment.
The center has also coordinated with the college’s Career Services department offering workshops on resume writing, interviewing, LinkedIn, and networking and linking students with peers and employers along the way. This year, over 100 students visited the center for workshops and assistance, and TD Bank also conducted a presentation and networking. In addition, the college hosted a “College for a Day” event where students attended a class and were able to get a feel of the center. Current students conducted presentations on different careers and participated in Q&A with these potential students. Feedback has been really important to the improvement process of the centers, so a forum with the Vice President on what you really want from these centers was also held. Students noted that they want more personalized advising, financial aid assistance, and tutoring services.
In summary, Professor Ciampi noted that the centers certainly have experienced the challenges of staffing and budget for this year, and she would recommend that a full time administrative assistant be hired to help oversee the day-to-day operations and tend to the details of the industry-specific events and guest speakers that are invited to attend.
Dr. Heineman thanked Professor Ciampi for her work and report, and noted that the hope is that these centers make a significant impact in student success and retention.
Report of Board Committees
Presidential Evaluation Sub-Committee Update (VERBAL)
Trustee Forman noted that the Sub-Committee had met twice and conducted interviews of staff to help inform the evaluation. The Sub-Committee will be completing the evaluation by the end of May and will present it to the full board at its June 6th meeting for approval. Once approved, the complete evaluation will be sent to the Commissioner of Higher Education. Trustee Forman thanked the NECC staff who were interviewed.
Audit and Finance Sub-Committee
Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the full board had received FY19 budget request in advance. There were a series of items that the Sub-Committee is bringing forward, and she provided the following general comments on those items:
- It has been a particularly challenging year, and on behalf of the full board, Trustee Paley Nadel extended her appreciation to President Glenn and the leadership team for their work in bringing a balanced budget before the Trustees;
- In looking book at 2017, the college had a budget of just under $46 Million which has now been reduced to just over $42 Million for 2019. This budget reflects $900K in human resource reductions and has a particular emphasis on rebuilding resources while addressing intermediate measures such as the drop in the number of high school students and enrollments decline.
- This budget reflects a 5% drop in enrollment and is the lowest fee increase to be approved in several years. This year, the increase is $4 whereas last three years have seen an increase of $9 per credit hour.
FY19 College Fee (AFC-18-07)
Trustee Paley Nadel reiterated that the fee has been raised by $4 (to $181 per credit) which is less than half of the increase from last year.
On a MOTION by Trustee Forman seconded by Trustee D’Orazio, it was voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the FY2019 College Fee-Regular which is assessed on all credit courses that are non-Health to be $181 per credit.
FY19 College Fee-Allied Health Courses (AFC-18-08)
Trustee Paley Nadel noted that this increase is also $4 more per credit and read the motion as presented.
On a MOTION by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Borislow, it was voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the FY2019 College Fee for Allied Health Courses to be $261 per credit.
FY19 Facility Fee (AFC-18-09)
Trustee Paley Nadel noted that this fee is temporary and will generate funding for technology upgrades as well as facility projects and operational needs.
On a MOTION by Trustee Forman, seconded by Trustee Linehan, it was voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve an increase to the FY2019 NECC Facility Fee by $20.
FY19 College Operating Budget (AFC-18-10)
Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the Audit and Finance Committee fully recommends that the board approve the college budget of $42,666,128 as detailed in the attached summary report in the packet.
On a MOTION by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Forman, it was voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the FY2019 College Budget of $42,666,128 as detailed in the Summary Report.
FY19 Student Activity Fund Fee (AFC-18-11)
Trustee Paley Nadel read the motion as presented.
On a MOTION by Trustee Forman, seconded by Trustee Borislow, it was voted unanimously to approve the FY2019 Student Activity Fund Fee to be $8 per credit.
FY19 Student Activity Fund Budget (AFC-18-12)
Trustee Paley Nadel read the motion as presented.
On a MOTION by Trustee Benning, seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the FY2019 Student Activity Fee Fund budget of $634,032.
In summary, Trustee Paley Nadel noted that the minimal fee increase is reflective of the population the college serves and their financial struggles. President Glenn also noted that in looking forward, the college continues to research and create new programs that will build enrollment (like early college) and that the college is well underway with a Capital Campaign to help with the investment of resources into the college. With no questions, the board considered the following motions brought forth by the Sub-Committee on Audit and Finance:
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.
Report of Administration
LIFT – Leading Into the Future Together (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that the Capital Campaign Leadership Team met over dinner last night, and were presented with a set of campaign materials. Trustees were also provided with copies of the materials. He reminded trustees that the campaign is still in the quiet stage, so these materials have not been widely distributed nor is there a website just yet. The materials include testimonials and descriptions of the various parts of the campaign. President Glenn asked trustees to review the materials and hoped that each trustee would find something of interest that they would want to contribute to. He also noted that contributions to the campaign are making progress and updates will be provided periodically.
NECC 2020: Strategic Plan (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that Dr. Heineman’s presentation on the ISE and Meta Major Centers covered his Strategic Planning Report this month.
Haverhill Campus (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that in honor of one of NECC’s past students and in recognition of May being Mental Health Awareness month, the college hosted Rubin’s Run in honor of one of our biology students who passed away in December by suicide. Rubin struggled with mental health challenges, and in his memory, his family and college faculty and staff wanted to draw attention to the issue of mental health and the services and resources available to students who may also be struggling. The run was well attended.
President Glenn also noted that the college is in the process of relocating the Valley Works Career Center. The Center is slated to open in the new space downtown next to the Culinary Arts Center, but for now will temporarily move it to the Opportunity Works building as the college’s student success center needs the space that they currently fill. The college will ensure transportation services to those who need to access.
Lastly, President Glenn noted that the college is concluding its Director of Public Safety Search and thanked Trustee Guilmette for his assistance on that committee.
Lawrence Campus (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that the Dimitry is now off line for renovation. There have been some initial challenges, but all things seem to be working out fine. The project is on time and on budget, the building is slated to reopen in March 2019, and we will offer classes in the building beginning in the fall 2019. Trustees can see some work on the outside already taking shape, and when completed, all coloring on the outside will match the El Hefni and 420 Common Street buildings to provide a feel of a unified campus.
State of NECC All-College Meeting (Verbal)
President Glenn noted that a couple of weeks ago, he held an all-college meeting “The State of NECC” to offer college faculty and staff information on college programming, enrollment, partnerships in the community, budget, etc. etc. and an opportunity to ask questions. Although some of the content was challenging news related to budget and staffing reductions, some of the dialogue acknowledged that we (as an institution) are not alone – our two neighboring community colleges (Middlesex and North Shore) are also feeling the stresses of lower enrollment and staff reductions. However, he noted that much of the dialogue also had to do with looking forward and despite the challenges, many talked about what is going well for the college. At the end of the meeting, there was a call to action for all employees– how can we ALL help students? The discussion let to talking about utilizing new software (NAVIGATE software) which will assist us in looking at patterns of student behavior and providing better and more thorough information on extracurricular activity, graduation and employment information. Through this new system, the college is adopting a process to better help identifying patterns of behavior and hopefully providing us with data to better close the gaps between White and Latino students. In closing, President Glenn noted that every member of the senior leadership team is committed to moving the college forward, and we remained committed to our core mission of serving our students.
Awards Convocation, May 15 @ 7PM (Verbal)
President Glenn reminded Trustees that the college’s Awards Convocation is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 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.
Reminder: NECC Commencement, Saturday, May 19 at 11AM (Verbal)
President Glenn reminded Trustees that Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 19th.
Trustees will meet in the robing room (D129) in the Sports and Fitness Center at 10:15AM. This year’s Commencement speaker will be Representative Andy Vargas of Haverhill. President Glenn encouraged the Trustees to attend.
End-of-Year Board Dinner on June 6, 2018, 6:30PM (Verbal)
President Glenn noted the annual end of year board dinner is scheduled for 6:30PM after the June meeting.
Also, President Glenn noted that the MCCTA end of year meeting will be held on June 4th at Middlesex Community College in Bedford, Ma. He encouraged all Trustees to attend.
MCCC/MTA Reappointments and Tenure (ADM-3475-050918)
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 Worden, seconded by Trustee Linehan, it was voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the motion which includes seventy-five (75) personnel actions as listed in Addendum A.
There was none.
Being no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 5:57 PM.