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Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (Official) – November 6, 2019

A meeting of the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees was held in the Hartleb Technology Center at the Haverhill Campus, Room TC-103 A at 5:00 PM.

Ms. Borislow
Mr. Cox (arrived at 5:06 PM)
Mr. Forman
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. Linehan
Ms. Morin
Ms. Worden

Absent:  Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke, Ms. Fernandez and Ms. Paley Nadel

Also Present:  President Glenn   

Call to Order

Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:04PM.    

Approval of Minutes

On a Motion by Trustee Guilmette, seconded by Trustee Forman, it was voted unanimously to approve the October 2, 2019 minutes as presented.


President Glenn announced that Ms. Janice Gilday, mother of fellow Trustee Cerasuolo-O’Rorke had passed away.  Visitation services will be held Friday, November 8th from 2:00 -4:00 PM at the Driscoll Funeral Home followed by a memorial service.  The entire board extended their deepest sympathy to Sally and her family.

Trustee Cox arrived at 5:06 PM

Unfinished Business

President Glenn introduced several new employees including:

Julio Ortiz, Staff Assistant, Enrollment Services
John Beal, Maintainer II, Building & Grounds Department
Diane Meader, Learning Specialist, Center for Adult Education                  
Daryl Fay, Learning Specialist. Center for Adult Education
Shannon Leate-Varney, Librarian, Center for Adult Education
Andrew Shapira, Senior Special Programs Coordinator, Center for Adult Education, and
Josselyn Guzman, Assistant Director, PK-12 Partnerships.

The board welcomed the new employees.

Education Report

President Glenn requested that agenda item 8a, Presentation on Public Safety Report/ Assessment be taken out of order and presented before the Education Reports.  The board agreed. 

8a) Presentation on Public Safety Report/Assessment

President Glenn introduced Deb Crafts, Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at NECC who provided a brief presentation on key findings and recommendations for public safety at Northern Essex. 

Chief Crafts noted the Public Safety Goals noting that it is important to go over what’s been done so far which will provide the foundation for what will be worked on going forward.  To date, NECC has partnered with UMass Lowell on developing and hosting emergency preparedness trainings.  As part of the assessment process, she has met with a variety of college groups (faculty, staff, students, deaf and hard of hearing, others) that may have special interests and/or needs in terms of public safety.  All of this data gathering will help in developing a comprehensive Strategic Plan for NECC.  In the interim, the department has hired a Clery-certified Administrative Assistant with 20+years of experience in public safety and increased relevant training for current security guards.  These trainings have ultimately reduced costs by allowing the department to redeploy guards based on analysis of data on parking, staffing needs, and monitoring the population attendance at each campus.  

As part of the initial assessment, Chief Crafts noted that they department is working hard to build bridges of trust and respect between Public Safety staff and the college community.  She hopes to bring new technology (card access control, camera ability, etc.) into the college to help with control and safety, and to ultimately be a leader in the public safety field.   Currently, the Chiefs from all 15 community colleges meet monthly to talk and share experiences. 

As a result of the review, the following key recommendations have been made. 

  1. Create a hybrid department consisting of both Police and contract Security.  With the proper training at both levels, this will enhance the presence of security at reduced costs.
  2. Increase the capability of the Communication Center in Public Safety.  Adding well-trained communications personnel will increase timely and accurate communications. 
    It is critical that Public Safety staff be able to answer any and all questions and guide faculty/staff/students to the correct place or provide them accurate information. 
  3. Add to existing technology base to improve overall campus safety and access.
  4. Incorporate state-of-the-art training following industry standards as part of the academy, follow a community policing philosophy, enhance mass notification, and provide police academy opportunities for our Criminal Justice students. 

Trustee Worden asked if the college has a blue light system in the parking lots.  Chief Craft said it does, and the college is investing in more of those right now.  Guards also have regular paths that they monitor each evening to assist students in the parking lots if necessary.  “50% of the strategy for safety is prevention” she said, “and visibility of the guards is key to public safety.” 

Trustee Borislow asked if NECC has a Police vehicle on campus.  Chief Crafts said that they do not, but plans to purchase one is part of the plan. 

Chairman Linehan asked about the future of armed police officers on campus.  President Glenn noted that the college is moving to that direction as part of this comprehensive plan.  “As Chief Crafts has described, the environment that we perceive to exist may culturally feel different from what we have had in the past.  We are putting together this comprehensive plan out of a need for long term campus security.  Chief Crafts is particularly skilled at these assessments, and we want to make sure the board is aware of these upcoming changes.”

Trustee Cox asked if the roll out of this implementation plan is included in this year’s budget.  President Glenn noted that the costs associated with the review and assessment were included, but the hope is that costs for future plans from the assessment will effectively be a  net zero cost as the leadership team works carefully with our outsourced costs and planning for the future.  

President Glenn noted that the plan as currently imagined, should be manageable.

With no other questions, the board thanked Chief Crafts for her presentation.

Liberal Arts at NECC (ADM-3590-110619)

President Glenn introduced Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.  Dr. Heineman introduced Interim Dean of Liberal Arts Amy Callahan who had previous roles as a faculty member and also involved in college governance in the past.  Dean Callahan provided a detailed report of the liberal arts division, majors, alumni stories and overview of faculty.

Dean Callahan noted that liberal arts is the heart of the college where students learn about the structures of society, free press, government and how to express themselves in writing.  The Liberal Arts division at NECC has over 700 students in the division with nearly 300 “pure” liberal arts majors.  Over 100 students are Art & Design majors and nearly 200 students major in psychology, many of which transfer to UMass Lowell each year.  There are also programs in writing, philosophy and music, she noted, with a plan for the theater program going forward.

Dean Callahan also noted the very successful Alumni from NECC’s Liberal Arts programming including Salem Evening News reporter Dustin Luca, Matty in the Morning/Kiss 108 programmer Justin Aguirre and Principal of the Hennessey School in Lawrence, Shalimar Quiles.    She also noted the success of the Liberal Arts programming is the result of the committed faculty who work hard to keep the programming vibrant and collaborative and whom provide a variety of opportunity for our students.  Faculty and staff have secured a variety of strong transfer relationships with other 4 year institutions and built articulation agreements that will help students easily transfer.   Ms. Callahan thanked the board for their continued support. 

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

Annual Report of the All College Assembly (ADM-3591-110619)

Vice President Heineman then introduced Professor Sheila Muller, Chair of the All College Assembly Executive Committee who provided a brief report on the ACA activities last academic 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 the report in the board packets detailed what had been accomplished over the last year, and that her report would focus on the work of the ACA moving forward.  Specifically, the ACA will work in the upcoming year to:

  1. Ensure that the various ACA committees engage and communicate with one another to ensure those links are established early on;
  2. Develop a renewed focus to deliver ACA effectiveness including increased communication so that committee chairs meet and talk consistently with each other and to eradicate some of the issues of the past;
  3. Propose an ACA annual meeting in May with all of our partners to plan for the upcoming year and to provide project management assistance to our projects;
  4. Better utilize technology (Blackboard) when communicating with different committees as a way to centralize all information for the ACA;
  5. Develop a protocol for all ACA committees to use to request information more efficiently and effectively;
  6. Review/revise the ACA Charter as appropriate after researching best practices on how other colleges are conducting their governance systems;
  7. Develop a full orientation process for committee chairs on how to be chair and create a formal process for future leaders, student representatives and members;
  8. Better integrate the Lawrence campus as an entity and part of the charter by creating a Blackboard community to better open up the lines of communication going forward;
  9. Rejuvenate the culture of college service by having more intentional and active conversations to recruit future members.

In closing, Professor Muller pointed out a new branding document that she developed for the ACA.  She noted that she hoped to raise more awareness about the ACA, and how it can be used for all faculty and staff to voice their opinions.  And lastly, she noted that student involvement is part of the ACA, but students are non-voting members. “It’s important that they are represented so they can provide input” she said.

President Glenn praised Professor Muller for the work she has done over the last year, and for the critical role that the ACA plays in getting things done on campus.  “The work of the All College Assembly is an important facet of planning for the institution, and we rely heavily on that role to help inform the process.  We thank you very much for your strong leadership.”  With no questions, the board thanked Professor Muller for her report. 

Report of Board Committees

There was none.

Report of Administration

Prior to giving his report, President Glenn noted that he had a scheduled phone call with the Governor’s office of Boards and Commissions the following day regarding new trustee appointments and hopes to have a new appointment very soon. 

  1. 4th Quarter Employee Recognition Awards Winners (ADM-3592-110619)

    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:  Patricia Portanova, Associate Professor of Liberal Arts, Martha Bixby, Academic Advisor, and Sharon McManus, Director for the Center of Professional Development.

  2. Student Advocacy Day (Verbal)

    President Glenn asked Student Trustee Courtney Morin to provide her perspective on the day.  Ms. Morin noted that it was a wonderful day filled with opportunities for students to meet with members of the legislative delegation and to advocate for all students, not just those from NECC.  She was able to meet and have lunch with Representatives Minicucci and Vargas.  The event is coordinated by the Massachusetts community colleges and had a terrific turn out this year.    She thanked NECC for the opportunity and support.

  3. Brief Report on the DHE Statewide Trustee Conference (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that a few members of the board attended the Trustee Conference this year and the agenda was focused on the Equity Imperative.  Chairman Linehan noted that it is always good to attend and meet with fellow trustees across the state to get their perspective on a variety of topics from budget to presidential evaluation as well. 

  4. NECC 2020:  Strategic Plan Progress (Verbal)

    President Glenn provided a brief update on the college’s Strategic Plan and the career development goal.  Dr. Glenn noted that last week, NECC hosted a Career fair in the Spurk building with 32 companies attending and raising nearly $1000 in revenue for the Career Center.  Hosting the event in the Spurk building generated larger number of students attending. 

    Also, the Boston Foundation visited our campus in September.  NECC was one of six community colleges to participate in a survey to assess NECC”s ability to connect with regional employers for work-based learning opportunities.  The foundation met with Deans, faculty and a group of employer partners to help generate support at the state level for this work.

    And in closing, President Glenn noted that the use of NECCLInk for employers and internships has steadily increased providing industry-specific information for students who want internships or are looking for employment.  Specifically, the increase in volume is directly related to the career center putting out email blasts to students by certain industries.

  5. Haverhill Campus Update (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that that the downtown culinary arts space, The Heights, is taking shape and the college has scheduled a walk-thru of the building next week with Sal Lupoli of Lupoli Company and Dennis Boucher, NECC’s Culinary Arts manager.  The media has been invited, and we will be noting that non-credit programming will commence in early spring.

    Also, more work around the Merrimack River is upcoming regarding the recent release of potentially harmful chemicals into the river.  NECC faculty are looking into ways that NECC students might play a role in doing some research on this project.

  6. Lawrence Campus Update (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that the college had a very successful Dimitry Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Legislative Luncheon.  The ceremony showcased the $4.5 million renovation and was very well attended.  At the luncheon, President Glenn noted that he gave a presentation on the Equity Imperative and student success.  He thanked the board members that were able to attend both events.

  7. NECHE 2020 Accreditation Self-Study (Verbal)

    President Glenn noted that the NECHE accreditation study is nearly in final draft form.  The Chair of the site visit team has been selected and per the College’s request lives and works outside of New England (California).  The visit is scheduled to take place in October 2020, and more information on the full team and a draft of the report will be sent to Trustees in the next few months.

New Business

  1. Personnel Action

    1. New Appointments (ADM-3594-110619)

      President Glenn noted that there were two new employees for approval.

      On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Borislow, 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 4th at 6:30PM at Joseph’s Trattoria in Ward Hill.   Please return your dinner selection sheet to Cheryl Goodwin before you leave tonight. 

President Glenn also congratulated Trustee Marianne Paley Nadel on her recent, well-earned award from the Lawrence Exchange Club.


With no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 6:04 PM.

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