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September 2013 Trustees Report

Submitted by on September 16, 2013 – 8:34 am

Academic Affairs Unveils Changes in Art Program

Students majoring in art-related fields now need more than an associate degree, according to Bill Heineman, vice president of academic affairs and student activities, which is one of the reasons why the college re-designed its art program.
“Art fields have become very competitive and there’s been a shift away from print media toward multi-media,” he told trustees, before introducing Shar Wolff, assistant dean of technology, arts and professional studies, who shared details of the new curriculum.
As of this fall, art students will major in General Studies: Art with a choice of four focus areas including fine arts, visual communication (formerly graphic design), multimedia and, for the first time, photography.
“We wanted more flexibility in the curriculum,” explained Wolf. “Art majors now have only four required courses; the rest of the program is program electives.”

Emily Ramirez is the New Student Trustee

President Lane Glenn introduced Emily Ramirez, an engineering science major from Lawrence, who works 30 hours a week for Microsoft, while studying full-time and playing a leadership role on campus.
The former president of the Student Senate, Ramirez was elected by her peers to represent them on the board of trustees.
“Being a part of NECC’s Student Senate helped shaped me,” Ramirez said. “I learned a lot about myself and met so many people. I’m looking forward to continuing my involvement with the college as a member of the board of trustees.”

Art & Design Professor Gets Go-Ahead for Semester Sabbatical

Design Professor Trish Kidney will spend the spring semester of 2014 upgrading her graphic design skills as part of a sabbatical which was unanimously approved by the trustees.
Kidney will spend her time taking courses in typography, digital imaging and software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and In-Design.
“I will use these new skills to update and upgrade the courses that I teach,” she wrote in her sabbatical application.
Kidney is also planning to develop an online art course which will be a first for the department.

President has Concerns about the FY14 Budget

Trustees approved a preliminary budget in June before the college’s state budget had been announced and before fall enrollments were known.
At the October meeting, trustees will be asked to approve a supplemental budget, and President Glenn is concerned that it will be “reduced significantly.”
While Northern Essex received a $600,000 increase from the state in the FY14 budget, this funding does not cover all salary increases and other climbing costs. And with enrollments looking flat, the revenue from fees will not be as high as originally budgeted.
In 2012/13, Northern Essex was the third most affordable community college of the state’s 15 community colleges, according to figures posted on the DHE’s website.
“We’re an extremely low cost institution and we’re now paying the price for that,” Glenn told the trustees. “We’ve kept our fees low and that’s not being factored into our state funding.”

Parking Policy is Delayed for a Semester

Implementation of the new parking policy which trustees approved at the June meeting will be delayed until the spring, 2014 semester so the college has more time to communicate the new plan to key audiences including students, faculty and staff, and visitors.

Fifteen New Faces this Fall

Trustees voted unanimously to appoint 15 new full-time employees.
State appropriated professional staff included Brian Knoth, assistant professor, art & design; Kathleen Holmes, assistant professor, behavioral sciences; Wendy Leeman, assistant professor, developmental reading; Sharon Hamel, instructor, nursing; Adrianne Holden-Gouveia, assistant professor, computer information sciences; Christopher Firth, web integration specialist, information technology services; Linda Meccouri, dean of professional development; Catherine Aronoff, assistant librarian*; Erin Galvin, staff assistant, administration and finance; Elisabeth Leekley, reference librarian**; and Ashley Bragger, staff assistant, enrollment management/student services**.
State appropriated classified positions included Sharon Schoolcraft, administrative assistant I, corporate & community education; Sarah Comiskey, administrative assistant I, institutional advancement; Linda Fagan, administrative assistant I, foundational studies & liberal arts & sciences*; and Theresa Mullin, EDP systems analyst IV, information technology.
*from part-time to full-time status
**temporary appointment