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May Trustee Notes

Submitted by on June 5, 2014 – 1:27 pm

Reports on Sabbatical Leaves

Gail Stuart, coordinator of reference services, and Marcy Yeager, professor of Natural Sciences and International Studies coordinator, recently returned from sabbaticals, feeling refreshed and inspired. They shared how they planned to implement what they had learned at the May 14 meeting of the college’s board of trustees.

Stuart, who was on leave for the fall semester of 2013, explored ways information literacy instruction could be enhanced at the college.

Information literacy—which Stuart describes as “selecting the best and most appropriate research for the task at hand and using it ethically”—is now one of the college’s core academic skills.

Stuart took courses and attended workshops and developed a series of steps, many of which have already been implemented, to improve the way information literacy is taught at Northern Essex.

Some examples include more formal consultation with faculty before their class is brought in for information literacy training; using questions and answers and electronic clickers in the classroom to engage students; and sending a post session feedback request to faculty after each class.

Yeager’s sabbatical focused on creating a framework to support International Studies at Northern Essex. Her sabbatical also related to one of the college’s new core academic skills—global awareness— which is described as helping students to develop an understanding of diverse cultures which can be used to address global issues.

Through research, Yeager wanted to grow and develop International Studies at NECC; create a formal process for developing the short courses and student semester aboard experiences that are currently offered; and investigate and apply for funding to support a more sustainable program.

In addition to creating six new short-term study abroad courses and signing the college’s first international articulation agreement with a British university, Yeager has created a semester abroad cohort model that will be piloted in the fall of 2015.

“One or two of our students do a full-time semester abroad each year. This can be discouraging for our students, who would prefer to go abroad with a Northern Essex group,” said Yeager. “Next fall, we hope to be able to offer this.”

 Trustees Approve New Alcohol Policy

 Trustees voted unanimously to repeal the college’s alcohol policy which has been in effect since November of 1997 at the April meeting of the board of trustees, and in May they voted to replace that policy with a new one.

 The new policy reads as follows:

“no alcoholic beverages may be consumed, served, sold or stored by students, guests, invitees, educators, administrators or executives of the college at any of the college campuses or satellites or in any motor vehicle owned or leased by NECC without the advance (not less than 30 days) written approval of the college president, or vice president of administration & finance, or designee.”

Under the college’s old policy, alcohol was not allowed in any buildings owned or operated by the college. According to President Glenn, it can now be served under very strict guidelines, but it would never be served with students.

The college’s policy will now be aligned with the other 14 Massachusetts community colleges as governed by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

Trustee Dan Rivera Resigns

Dan Rivera, the newly elected mayor of Lawrence, who has served on the Northern Essex Board of Trustees since 2009, has resigned as a trustee of the college, effective immediately.

Rivera decided to resign based on his responsibilities as the mayor of Lawrence. He will continue to remain closely connected with the college, and has been asked to deliver the 2014 commencement address.

“Over the last five years, Dan has offered countless hours of his time, talent, and expertise to the college. His energy and tenacity on issues facing Northern Essex (and the City of Lawrence) have had a tremendous impact on this institution and, in particular, the expansion of our Lawrence Campus,” said President Glenn.

 Two New Full-time Appointments

 Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of two new full-time employees: Daniel Kane, associate professor/program coordinator, Paramedic Technology, and Adam Cutler, admissions/academic counselor.