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Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees
Minutes of Meeting (UNOFFICIAL) – September 4, 2019

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


Ms. Borislow
Ms. Cerasuolo-O’Rorke
Mr. Cox
Ms. Fernandez
Mr. Forman
Mr. Guilmette
Mr. Linehan
Ms. Paley Nadel


Mr. D’Orazio, Ms. Morin, Ms. Worden

Also Present

President Glenn 

Call to Order

Chairman Linehan called the meeting to order at 5:06 pm.

Approval of Minutes

On a Motion by Trustee Cerasuolo-O’Rorke, seconded by Trustee Fernandez, it was voted unanimously to approve the June 5, 2019 minutes as presented.


There was none.

Unfinished Business

Introduction of Newly Hired Employees (Verbal)

President Glenn introduced the following two new employees:  Doris Buckley, Director of Early Childhood Career Pathways and Amy Callahan, Interim Dean of Liberal Arts.  The Board welcomed all new employees.

Education Report

  1. Sabbatical Report – Increasing Retention Through the Use of Multiple Intelligence Strategies (ADM-3572-090419)

    President Glenn called upon Dr. William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs who then introduced Professor of Early Childhood Education, Deirdre Budzyna who provided her Sabbatical Report. 

    Professor Budzyna thanked the administration and trustees for supporting her sabbatical.  The Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory was created by Howard Gardner who studied students from preschool through college age, but is not typically talked about at the college level.  In an environment of declining student enrollment, the sabbatical explored the practical implications of using MI Theory and to see if that type of instruction could help retain students. 

    Professor Budzyna’s research was conducted in the spring 2019 semester and was based on books written by Thomas Armstrong, Thomas Hoerr and Branton Shearer.  She then briefly reviewed and summarized the research and alternative forms of assessment around the MI Theory by each author.  As a result of that research, Professor Budzyna developed a first draft of a book based on Howard Gardner’s theory which shows how it can be used to engage and retain community college students.  She noted that she will be actively seeking a publisher to help her publish her work at a later date.

    She also developed a two-hour professional development workshop for NECC Faculty.  The workshop will provide hands-on strategies and activities for providing differentiated instruction based on the MI Theory. 

    In closing, Professor Budzyna provided a brief outline of her book which provides an overview of multiple intelligences, how to create assessments that meet the needs of different learners, the connection between MI and Universal Design for coursework, and using MI as a tool in advising students.  She noted that this project gave her a lot to think about as students are intrinsically motivated do better. 

    With no other questions, President Glenn thanked Ms. Budzyna for her report to the Board.

  2. Sabbatical Report:  The Development of for Decision Based Editing Strategies (ADM-3573-090419)

    Dr. William Heineman then introduced Professor Clare Thompson from the college’s Department of Academic Preparation her sabbatical report on

    Professor Thompson noted that the driving force for this project was her questioning how she could better teach her students to more thoroughly understand the use of proper grammar.  Ms. Thompson noted that she has always loved teaching writing, drafting, revising, editing and has used a variety of techniques, goofy sentences, etc. to teach  her students, but could never really moved the needle with them.  Most of her grammar strategies did not transfer into the students’ work and papers.  Her sabbatical provided an opportunity for her to figure out how students could edit their grammar in a different way.  Instead of asking students to find the error (fragments, run-ons, etc.) and always coming from the deficit approach, she developed a website called which focuses on decision based editing strategies providing a different approach for students to review their work.  In this approach, students are asked to look for one small word change that will cause them to pay more attention to the surrounding sentences and more deeply engage them in their work. 

    The website provides mini lessons that can be used by students and each workshop comes with instructions on how to conduct the lesson.   The website also provides a video workshop that deals with metacognition and shares examples of how students make their own editing choices.  Professor Thompson noted that this practice has also worked well in writing fusion classes resulting in students being stronger editors. All lessons can be downloaded, come with a video, and have been reviewed for the course Universal Design protocol. 

    In closing, Professor Thompson showed the Trustees the Writing Project webpage where students have an opportunity to showcase their work.  Students also have access to Open Educational Resource (OER) materials which are free to use during all phases of the writing process.

    Trustee Paley Nadel applauded Professor Thompson’s work and suggested that it be open and extended to all community colleges across the system. 

    President Glenn noted that these sabbatical reports are wonderful opportunity for faculty to explore new and innovative teaching and learning methodologies, and noted that the college is fortunate to have faculty doing this work.  “Both of these faculty are tremendously talented,” he noted.  He thanked Professor Thompson for her report.

Report of Board Committees

There was none.

Report of Administration

In lieu of reporting on the standard monthly items below individually, President Glenn provided a presentation and review of the recent Convocation presentation on the Equity Imperative.         

  1. NECC 2020:  Strategic Plan (Verbal)
  2. LIFT Campaign (Verbal)
  3. Haverhill Campus (Verbal)
  4. Lawrence Campus (Verbal)

President Glenn provided a PowerPoint presentation on the Equity Imperative and noted that the Board of Higher Education recently released an Equity Strategic Framework statewide.  While Massachusetts is the most educated state in the nation, there is still much work to do.  While some believe that college is no longer a wise investment, there are several reasons to the contrary.  On average, college graduates earn $1 Million more over their lifetime, are satisfied with their jobs, have better retirement plans, are less likely to divorce and overall live a longer life.   President Glenn noted that while these are all good benefits to attending college, they have to finish to attain them.  Nationally, just over 50% of students complete their degree, and in the community college sector, on average, completion rates are lower and are different when you analyze them by race and ethnicity.

The good news, he noted, is that completion rates are improving, and in Massachusetts, since 2000, Latino degree attainment has improved by more than 5%, and the gap in degree attainment between Latino and white students has improved by nearly 5%.  However, the number of Hispanic enrollees is climbing, and the completion rates for that population in particular still needs improvement.  Despite improving success, still only 58% of all students complete a degree within six years and fewer than a quarter of Latinos held a 2-year degree in 2016.  In Massachusetts, the gap between Latino and White college students overall degree attainment is 33%.  With the recent local increase in population of Hispanics in Lawrence (with 1000 more students expected to attend Lawrence High School next year), NECC is well positioned to serve this fast growing population, but the gap between Latino and White completion continues to be significant and there is still much work to be done. 

NECC’s goals and priorities address this Equity Imperative and are framed to close this completion gap with practical financial strategies.  The Integrated Student Experience, EAB Navigate system, Early College and Competency-Based Education strategies are just some of the ways the college is addressing the needs of this upcoming population.  In addition, one million dollars raised for the LIFT Campaign is supporting the Lawrence Promise Program, a program that supports Lawrence High School students and provides them with seamless financial assistance from LHS to NECC for degree attainment.  Other projects like the credentialing program of Pies Latinos de NECC and NECC’s Faculty/Staff Dominican Republic Experience Program in collaboration with the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) are all opportunities to advance the equity agenda and provide more opportunities for Latino engagement and completion.

Trustee Paley Nadel asked how trustees can help to amplify this message in the community.  President Glenn noted that trustees understanding of the demographics of our student population and their cultural challenges is a first step.  He noted that as trustees work and move through the local communities, it’s helpful for them to be versed in the work NECC is doing to assist this growing population and advocate for the students and the work the college is doing to help them along the road to educational attainment.

In closing, President Glenn noted he would provide the trustees with a brief set of talking points with stats to help them as they advocate for NECC in the community.  He also noted that Community College Advocacy Day is coming up in October, and he encouraged them and all NECC students to participate.

The following items will be presented at the October 2019 board meeting.

  1. FY2020 Performance Incentive Fund Grant Award (Verbal)
  2. Employee Recognition Award Winners for 3rd Quarter 2019 (ADM-3574-090419)

New Business

  1. Personnel Actions

    1. New Appointments (ADM-3575-090419)

      President Glenn noted that over the summer months, the trustees had delegated to the President the authority to hire employees and that trustees affirm those appointments at the September meeting.  In addition to the twenty (20) full-time personnel actions in Addendum A, he noted that an Addendum B with an additional four personnel appointments was distributed to each trustee at the table to be included in this vote of approval.  With that said, the college is seeking affirmation for a total of 24 new appointments. 

      On a Motion by Trustee Cerasuolo-O’Rorke, seconded by Trustee Cox, it was voted unanimously to affirm the personnel actions as listed in Addendum A and Addendum B.

    2. Programmatic Name Changes
      1. Computer and Information Sciences:  Computer Science (ADM-3576-090419)

        President Glenn noted that from time to time, programmatic name changes are necessary in order for the programs to stay relevant to the changing workforce language and practices as they evolve.  The college is seeking approval to change the name of this program and the Educational Studies program.

        On a Motion by Trustee Forman, seconded by Trustee Fernandez, it was voted unanimously approve changing the name of CIS:  Computer Science Transfer to CIS:  Computer Science while reorganizing the degree into two concentrations.

      2. Educational Studies (Gr. 1-12) (ADM-3577-090419)

        President Glenn noted the attached motion.

        On a Motion by Trustee Forman, seconded by Trustee Fernandez, it was voted unanimously to approve changing the name of Elementary Education to Educational Studies (Gr. 1-12) while reorganizing the degree into two concentrations.

  2. Grants:  Chairman Linehan noted that the Trustees generally approve all grants collectively in one vote.  All Trustees agreed.

    On a Motion by Trustee Cox, seconded by Trustee Borislow, it was voted unanimously to approve Grant motions agenda items 7c1 thru 7c6 as listed below.

    1. Gallaudet University Regional Center-East Grant (ADM-3578-090419)
    2. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary (ADM-3579-090419)
      Education: High School Equivalency Test Center Grant
    3. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education:     (ADM-3580-090419)
      Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program Grant
    4. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education:       (ADM-3581-090419)
      Performance Incentive Fund Grants
    5. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education:     (ADM-3582-090419)
      STEM Starter Academy Grant
    6. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education/     (ADM-3583-090419)
      Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary
      Education:  Early College Planning Grant – Whittier Regional
      Vocational Technical High School.

Other Business



Being no other business, Chairman Linehan adjourned the meeting at 6:07 PM.

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