October Trustees Report
At the October 5 meeting of the Board of Trustees, President Lane Glenn reported on Governor Deval Patrick’s September 14 visit to the college, calling the meeting with students “the high point.” In an open forum, students, including one who introduced herself as a “grandmother,” shared their stories and encouraged the governor to continue his support of community colleges. The Governor clearly enjoyed his interaction with students and even “took a few student cell phone numbers,” according to Glenn.
After meeting with students, the Governor, who was accompanied by Secretary of Education Paul Reville, visited the Career Planning and Advising Center in the Behrakis One-Stop Student Center and labs in the E Building which were created for the college’s new Lab Science Program.
The Governor’s visit ended with a private meeting with members of the board of trustees and the president’s leadership team, where concerns were expressed about deferred maintenance needs and declining state support for public higher education.
The Governor’s visit to campus came one week after he announced a new competitive grant program—The Performance Incentive Fund (PIF)—which included $135,053 to fund a newly renovated Student Success Center on the Lawrence Campus and provide retention programs along with an early alert system to identify struggling students and implement planned interventions.
Sabbatical Benefits Basic Writing Course
Joana Fortna, professor of developmental education, reported on a sabbatical leave she took last spring. Fortna’s goal was to develop ways of improving the curriculum for Basic Writing, a course in which 1,000 students enroll each year.
Her original intent was to create grammar handouts for the course as well as to revise any course text related to grammar. Based on feedback she received from the WRAT team (Writing, Reading Alignment Team), Fortna accomplished even more, changing and revising the textbook for the course and collaborating with Adjunct Professor Lisa Mahoney to design a website in Blackboard which serves as a companion to the Basic Writing course. Thirty-three Basic Writing classes are piloting the website this fall and Fortna says “we hope to get good reports.”
Lawrence Chemistry Lab
Will be Ready by Spring
Thanks to a half million dollar private donation, the college will open a chemistry lab in Lawrence, its first in the city, in time for the spring semester.
Up until this time, any student taking chemistry was required to travel to Haverhill.
According to President Glenn, a full-time chemistry faculty member will now be located in Lawrence and students will be able to complete all of their science coursework there.
College Begins New Strategic Planning Process
Faculty, staff, students, and the community are invited to attend a series of forums in October designed to elicit input for the college’s new Strategic Plan. Based on Appreciative Inquiry—a strengths-based process—the forums will be held in both Haverhill and Lawrence.
A draft of the strategic directions will be completed by the first of December and shared with the college community for comment. By the third week in January, the plan will be finalized and released publicly.
Fee Waivers are Approved
After unanimous vote, the trustees approved a $4l,008,004 budget for the college for FY11/12 and the establishment of a Retention Scholars Fee Waiver fund. According to information provided to trustees, the fee waivers will close financial aid gaps in an effort “to better serve our students and to help them continue their education at NECC.”
For 2011-2012, the fee waiver fund will be established at $200,000. The Financial Aid Office will issue the fee waivers.
Three join Staff
Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Sharon Wolff, assistant dean of arts, business, communication & technology; Joshua Bordis, staff associate/enrollment services, technical operations coordinator; and Glennys Sanchez*, staff assistant/access and community building.
*from part-time to full-time