September Trustee Notes
Board Welcomes New Student Trustee
At its September meeting, the NECC Board of Trustees welcomed Sam Beverage, the newly elected student trustee.
A resident of Lawrence, Beverage is an engineering major, who plans to transfer for a bachelor’s degree after graduating from Northern Essex this coming spring.
Educational Report Focuses on Mental Health Counseling
Bill Heineman, vice president of academic and student affairs, provided an update on the college’s mental health counseling services, which have been available since the fall of 2013, when the college hired a part-time mental health counselor.
In the summer of 2014, due to increased demand for services, Heineman reported that the college hired a second mental health counselor.
The college’s mental health counselors consult with faculty and staff who are dealing with students with mental health issues and also meet with students.
“We try not to get into long term counseling,” explained President Lane Glenn. “Our goal is to help students with more minor issues, and refer them to long-term counseling for more major issues.”
College Prepares for a New Round of Strategic Planning
President Glenn reported that a new strategic planning process would be launched at the college’s September 8 convocation. Wendy Shaffer, dean of development, will be leading the development of the plan, which will run through 2020.
“At convocation, we will launch the new process and identify themes and topics that we want to explore,” said Glenn. “We know what some of those themes will be—student success, for example—but there may be new initiatives.
Quarrybrook will Bring New Resources to NECC
Northern Essex has entered a new partnership with Quarrybrook Learning Center, a private non-profit outdoor education center, located in Windham, NH, according to President Glenn.
Starting this month, Northern Essex is managing the operations and growth of Quarrybrook, which is funded by the El Hefni Technical Training Foundation, a generous supporter of the college.
Opened in 2014, Quarrybrook offers hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences to a K-12 audience on a 245-acre campus featuring trails and outdoor gathering spaces and a 20,000 square foot facility with a large fireplace and gathering room and multiple flexible “classroom spaces.”
Partnering with Quarrybook provides many benefits for the college, said Glenn, including opportunities to strengthen relationships with K-12 students and educators and further develop inquiry- based learning. College faculty and staff will also have access to the facility, and Quarrybrook is expected to generate revenue for the college as enrollment and programming grows.
Marcy Yeager, who is currently interim director of NECC’s Cultural and International Studies Institute, has been named the executive director of Quarrybrook, and Kirsten Kortz, coordinator of the college success course, will be education development director.
Fall Semester Begins without MCCC Contract
Because the state’s Administration and Finance office has not provided salary negotiation figures, a new contract has not been agreed on, so faculty and professional staff will start the fall semester without a contract, according to President Glenn.
The Department of Higher Education is negotiating with the Massachusetts Community College Council (MCCC), which represents faculty and professional staff.
Glenn is the chair of the community college president’s council, which supports ongoing negotiations, including salary parameters as soon as possible.
“Community college faculty members and professional staff are underpaid in Massachusetts,” said Glenn. “It’s not unusual to hire someone with a doctorate and teaching and research experience at right around $50,000 or less.”
Faculty and Staff Join the College
Trustees affirmed the appointments that were approved by the president of the college during the summer of 2015, based on authority delegated by the Board of Trustees.
There were 15 full-time state positions and three non-state appropriated positions approved.
State appropriated positions included Carol Emerson, associate professor, Respiratory Care; Edward Flanagan, associate professor, Paramedic Technology; Rachel King, associate professor, Mathematics; Brian MacKenna-Rice, assistant professor/program coordinator, Human Services; Sheila Pierre, associate professor, Behavioral Sciences; Stacy Tsionis, assistant professor, Nursing; Eldiane Elmeus, assistant professor, First Year Seminar; Mayra Bonet, associate professor, Foreign Languages; Susan McHugh, associate professor, Nursing; Lori Heymans, professor, Mathematics; Jeidy Urena, special programs coordinator, Student Success Center; Izabela Kaczynska, admissions/academic counselor, Enrollment Services; Leann Klocke, staff assistant, Library; Kelly Sullivan, dean of Technology, Arts & Professional Studies; and Brian Monaghan, EDP systems analyst II, Center for Instructional Technology.
Non-state appropriated positions included Brianne McDonough, program manager, Department of Labor Guided Pathways to Success in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Project; Marcy Yeager, executive director, Quarrybrook; and Kirsten Kortz, K-14 educational development director, Quarrybrook.