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June 2013 Trustees Report

Submitted by on June 19, 2013 – 11:05 am

Trustees voted to approve parking and parking violation fees that would support a new college-wide parking policy at the June 5 meeting.

According to information provided to trustees, the parking policy is being created to:

•    Provide appropriate parking for students, faculty, staff and visitors at each NECC campus location and to establish and promote walking campuses that will minimize congestion, noise and safety problems
•    Strengthen safety for pedestrians and vehicular traffic
•    Ensure that access for emergency vehicles and equipment is maintained

The college will contract with a parking management company that will manufacture parking permits, and provide software to manage parking.

Currently in collective bargaining, this new policy will be supported by the following parking fees: full-time faculty and all staff ($25.50 annually); part-time faculty ($8.50 a semester); Students ($8.50 a semester).  Violators of the policy will pay $5 for the first offense, $10 for the second offense, and $20 for the third offense.

All College Assembly Shares Highlights of 2012/13

The educational report featured the All College Assembly’s Annual Report for 2012-2013.

A highlight of the past year was the addition of a fifth standing committee, according to the report prepared by Terry Cargan, chair of the All College Assembly.

The newly added information technology committee will consider and make recommendations to the president concerning all areas of information technology.  In its first year, the committee looked at Blackboard Analytics, Software and Hardware Policy in the Classrooms, course and event scheduling packages, and more.

Additional standing committees include the executive committee, academic affairs, finance, and student affairs.

Another accomplishment of the past year was a change in the All College Assembly charter, requiring the addition of a student representative to each standing committee.

Visit the All College Assembly website for a full copy of the annual report.

Trustees Approve Potential Fee Increase

The State budget for FY14, which will take effect July 1, 2013, is currently being negotiated by a six-member conference committee.

The committee is reviewing the House budget, which would appropriate approximately $18,133,000 to NECC, and, the Senate budget which would appropriate $17,399,564 to NECC.  In the House budget, there would be additional appropriations for community colleges for specific programs/initiatives such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) totaling approximately $40,356,340.  In the Senate budget the additional appropriations for community colleges total approximately $30,524,160.

If the House budget or something close to it does not go through, NECC students will have a $14 per credit increase in the fall.

Trustees voted to increase the general operations fee from $132 to $146 per credit, which would generate an additional $1.7 million for the college.

“If we get approval of the House budget there will be no fee increase,” said Peter Dulchinos, chair of the trustee finance committee.

According to President Glenn, full-time equivalent enrollments at Northern Essex have increased 25% in the past 10 years while the state budget has decreased by 5% during the same time period.  State funding per full-time equivalent student has decreased by 24%.

“Our operating budget, even after a potential fee increase, is about a million dollars less than it should be when you look at our enrollments,” he said.

The vote generated a great deal of discussion among trustees who were torn between a desire to keep costs low for students and the importance of maintaining the same level of educational services and quality.

During the vote, two trustees (Bill Cox and Dana Haggar) voted against the increase and seven trustees (Mark Forman, Jeff Linehan, Mary Ellen Daley O’Brien, Bill Moynihan, Peter Dulchinos, Ron Guilmette and Lester Schindel voted for the fee increase), if the state budget is not fully funded.

“If we do have to increase fees, I’m confident we will remain one of the most affordable community colleges in the state,” said Glenn.  “We are doing everything we can to enhance the revenue side in ways other than increasing fees.”

New Hires

Trustees unanimously approved three new state appropriated positions: Caitlin Milhomme, financial aid counselor; Erika Callahan, academic counselor; and Minh Le, EDP Systems Analyst IV.