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Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – November 7, 2018

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

Present

Mr. Cox
Mr. D’Orazio
Ms. Fernandez (arrived at 5:08PM)
Mr. Forman
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. Linehan
Ms. Morin
Ms. Paley Nadel

Absent

Ms. Borislow, Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke, and Ms. Worden

Also Present

President Glenn

Call to Order

Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:05PM.

Approval of Minutes

On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Forman, it was voted unanimously to approve the October 3, 2018 minutes as presented.

Correspondence

There was none.

Unfinished Business

President Glenn introduced one new employee, David Arivella who had been hired as an Academic Technology Assistant.  The board welcomed Mr. Arivella to NECC.

Ms. Fernandez arrived at 5:08 PM.

Education Report

Accelerated Business Associate Degree at NECC (ADM-3516-110718)

President Glenn introduced Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.  Dr. Heineman noted that while the college has experienced declining enrollments over the last few years, those declines are not necessarily uniform over every sub-population of students.  The adult population is one such subset, and the new accelerated business associate degree is one learning approach that will assist adult students in completing their degree in a more timely fashion.  He then introduced Dean Kelly Sullivan who provided more information on the new program.

Dean Sullivan noted that when the economy is weak, community colleges tend to have higher enrollments, but when economy is strong, enrollments typically decline. To combat the declines, NECC recently researched possible programming that would assist the adult population in particular.  The new Accelerated Business Associate Degree provides an opportunity for the unique adult population (25 years and older) to take advantage of accelerated business programming that offers 12 credits in one semester.  Instead of concentrating on four (4) courses over the course of a 15-week semester, students take two (2) shortened courses at a time and attend year round.  Student can also take advantage of Competency-Based Education and online courses to complete the program quickly and on a schedule that fits their needs.

Trustee Forman asked how many evening students the college serves in a typical semester.  President Glenn noted that the 30-40% of students attend in the evening.

Trustee Morin asked if there were any concerns around course workload for students who take a number of accelerated courses all at once.  Dean Sullivan responded that it does depend on the student, but given these are working adults who want to complete their degree quickly, most should understand and be prepared to handle the workload.  Online, hybrid, and CBE classes will help students to persist and complete faster which is the goal of the program.

With no questions, Chairman Linehan and President Glenn thanked Dean Sullivan for her report to the Board.

Annual Report of the All College Assembly (ADM-3517-110718)

President Glenn introduced Professor Sheila Muller, Co-Chair of the All College Assembly Executive Committee who provided a brief report on the ACA activities throughout the last year.

Professor Muller thanked the board for allowing her an opportunity to provide the board with an annual report on the college’s governance process.  She noted that NECC has a strong and proactive governance system which consists of the work of five (5) standing committees.  Ms. Muller noted that much of Executive Committee work has focused on culture and inclusion activities on the campus in close collaboration with President Glenn and Dr. Kim Burns, Dean of Innovation and Professional Development.  With their support, the Executive Committee has successfully moved “pockets of work” into a more focused and comprehensive plan for the institution.  Joining forces with the Bridgewater University Consortium-Leading for Change in Higher Education Diversity Consortium has allowed for broader understanding and more focused work in the areas of culture and inclusion across the institution.  The Consortium, she noted, has provided the college with guidelines to better engage the college community going forward.

The Finance Committee has worked hard over the last year to strengthen communication and the relationship with the office of the Vice President of Administration and Finance.  The committee applauded the level of accountability and transparency of the offices, and also fully supports the LIFT Capital Campaign.

Professor Muller noted that the main concern of the Student Affairs Committee this year has been campus safety and security.  The Committee met with Vice President Michael McCarthy who has worked to address the issues and develop comprehensive programming to help train faculty and staff and address issues of concern.  The hiring of the Director of Public Safety and Risk Assessment was considered a very positive step.

And lastly, the Academic Affairs Committee is speeding up the college’s application process with a digital application.  Early College work, the Integrated Student Experience, and the development of major centers has been a major focus of the group over the last year.  Using the Business and Accounting center as a model, and under the strong leadership of Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. William Heineman, the wonderful vision is becoming a reality.  The collaboration among and with students, faculty, and staff in those centers is a testament to the work put into the centers and the progress made.  In closing, Professor Muller noted that NECC is certainly a collaborative institution and doing great work!

With no questions, the board thanked Professor Muller for her report.

Report of Board Committees

There was none.

Report of Administration

President Glenn spoke briefly about the following items:

  1.  A Report on NECC Risk Assessment (ADM-3518-110718)

    President Glenn noted that colleges today need to be hyper protective of their data and data systems even though they operate in an environment of openness through teaching and learning.  The college has proactively engaged in a recent Information Security Risk Assessment process, and Mr. Jeff Bickford, NECC’s Chief Information Officer provided a brief overview and status of that process.

    Mr. Bickford noted that for years, the college has maintained compliance with many federal and state regulations around the topic of cyber security.  Recently, the Federal Department of Education (DOE) engaged NECC with a Cyber Security Assessment Tool.  A team of NECC staff met with the DOE to review the measurements within the tool and assess NECC’s security risk level.  Mr. Bickford noted that the summary from that assessment was distributed to Trustees and included 33 assessment factors over 5 domains of risk.  Risk assessment factors were measured on a scale from “least” (minimal) to “significant” (most) risk.  On that spectrum, NECC had seven (7) factors at or below the baseline, three (3) factors evolving toward risk compliance, and twenty-three (23) below the baseline standards.  So the focus is now on bringing those 23 elements up to baseline risk.

    Mr. Bickford noted that more detail of the assessment has been distributed to trustees for review as a separate handout with the full report of the risk assessment.  In addition, Mr. Bickford supplied the trustees with copies of the college’s two (2) information security policies.  As one security factor, the board should review and understand the policies and be prepared to approve them at a future meeting.  Mr. Bickford noted that the college also utilizes the statewide PACE group to collectively review policies at the state level.

    Trustee Forman asked if NECC is responsible for monitoring its own security or is it out-sourced.  Mr. Bickford noted that in many ways, the college is responsible for its own security systems, but noted that the state does have a CIO council which provides a lot of good information on best practices. President Glenn noted that in his experience, the statewide groups provide a good resource for institutions, but ultimately, each institution is responsible for reviewing and ensuring its own level of risk and compliance.

    With no other questions, President Glenn noted that Trustees should carefully review the documents distributed tonight as they will be asked to approve the college’s information security plan at the December meeting.  He thanked Mr. Bickford for his report.

  2. 4th Quarter Employee Recognition Awards Winners (ADM-3519-110718)

    President Glenn provided a brief overview of the Employee Performance Recognition Award recipients and noted that the employees were very deserving of this honor.  The recipients were:  Erin Colstad, Margaret (Peggy) Lambert, and Domingo Torres.  The Board congratulated the recipients.

  3. NECHE 2020 Accreditation Self-Study (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that every 10 years, the college is required to go through an accreditation process.  The process involves teams of faculty and staff reviewing a series of nine (9) standards which results in the writing of a very large report of findings and ultimately reaccreditation.  The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE, formally NEASC) has been in contact with NECC regarding its next re-accreditation which will take place in 2020.  President Glenn noted that the college is now embarking on its next self-study effort under the direction of Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.  Assisting Dr. Heineman will be Michael Hearn, Director of Libraries, Dr. Kim Burns, Dean of Innovation and Professional Development and Professor Scott Lancaster (Paramedic Program).  The four of them are assembling teams of faculty and staff who will be co-chairing the nine (2) teams working on the standards. President Glenn noted that faculty and staff will spend most of 2019 researching and writing on those standards.  A NECHE team will conduct a site visit in 2020 to review the work and to finalize the process.  He noted that a reaccreditation process is one of the most important compliance-related projects an institution can and should do.  “It’s a quality control measure, and we expect that what results from that process will be the beginning our next strategic plan.”  President Glenn noted that he will keep the trustees apprised of the process as it evolves.

  4.  LIFT Campaign (Verbal)

    President Glenn reported that he and the Institutional Advancement team continue to meet with individuals and write grant proposals to support the LIFT Campaign.  The college recently received a formal commitment from Eastern Bank in the amount of $100,000 and received unofficial word from the Stevens Foundation that they will support the campaign in the amount of $250,000 which will serve as bridge funding for the Lawrence Promise Program and will allow the college to provide scholarships to students as early as next fall.  He noted that he is also working on a similar program for Haverhill as well as the college’s coastal communities in its service area.  In summary, President Glenn noted that while the college continues to see contributions for culinary, athletics, library, etc. it is also receiving good support from NECC employees, and he thanked the college’s boards and foundation for their continued support as well.

  5. NECC 2020:  Strategic Plan Progress (Verbal)

    President Glenn provided a brief update on the college’s Strategic Plan and the professional growth area.   Dr. Glenn noted that professional development has always been a priority for NECC, and it is something that the college has consistently and intentionally placed resources towards within the college’s budget.  Ten years ago, the college built its own leadership academy and consistently participates in the Northeast Leadership Development Institute and Chair Academy.  These programs allow the leadership team to identify and support the growth of the college’s future leaders.  The college also participates in the Mill Cities Leadership Institute, a community-based leadership program, by sending one or two future leaders each year.

  6. Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that earlier today, the college hosted the annual Superintendent and High School Principal’s breakfast with nearly every district in the college’s service area.  A representative from HACU attended the breakfast and provided information about a potential new funding opportunity which may extend into K-12 districts.  As a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, NECC may have an opportunity to access some of this additional funding for our high school/college partnerships.

    President Glenn also noted two additional events related to NECC in the Haverhill area.  College leaders were downtown two weeks ago for a brief Hospitality and Culinary Arts groundbreaking ceremony, and college staff will also be present for the November 15th MASSHire rebranding event, and extended an invitation to the trustees to join him if they are available.

  7. Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that Congresswoman Niki Tsongas recently hosted a DACA forum at the college’s Lawrence Campus.  The successful and informative forum was heavily attended and provided an update and Q&A for participants.  Congresswoman Tsongas provided encouragement and hope to those who participated and wanted more information on the future of DACA.

    Also, President Glenn noted that the Lawrence Partnership Advisory Board recently met and continued their discussion and action plans for the recent Merrimack Valley gas explosions. While efforts continue to help the community, many students and NECC staff remain misplaced and inconvenienced.  The Lawrence Partnership is working with the ECCF to help with relief effort.  Trustee Marianne Paley Nadel, who also chairs the Executive Board of the Lawrence Partnership, noted that she has been humbled by the support from the broader community and the ongoing work of the community non-profits to assist families and businesses during this crisis.  She noted that as small businesses are rebuilding, the Lawrence Partnership is working with them with an emphasis on building capacity with better business practices with longer vision of what could be for the City of Lawrence.

New Business

  1. Personnel Actions

    1. New Appointments (ADM-3520-110718)

      President Glenn noted that there were two new employees for approval.  One is for a data analyst for the Institutional Research department and a staff associate for the ValleyWorks/MASSHire area.

      On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Guilmette, it was voted unanimously to approve two (2) full-time personnel actions as listed in Addendum A.

Other Business

Also, President Glenn noted that the Trustees normally meet after the December meeting for a Holiday dinner.  The dinner will be held on Wednesday, December 5th at 6:30PM at Joseph’s Trattoria in Ward Hill.   Please return your dinner selection sheet to Cheryl Goodwin as soon as possible.

Adjournment

With no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 5.58 PM.

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