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NECC Trustees’ November Meeting Notes

Submitted by on November 16, 2018 – 4:32 pm

NECC Trustees’ Meeting Notes


An accelerated business degree geared toward working adults is in the pipeline at Northern Essex Community College.

Dr. Kelly Sullivan, NECC’s dean of business and professional studies, reported to the NECC Board of Trustees on Wednesday, November 7, that the associate degree is in the process of being developed. NECC hopes to begin accepting enrollments for the fall of 2019.

Through internal research, Northern Essex realized working adults seeking a business degree were an untapped market. The intent of the accelerated degree is to offer four courses per semester enabling student to earn 12 credits in just 15 weeks. All the business courses in this program will be hybrid – students spend one night a week for each of the seven weeks and complete the remainder of the course work online.

“It is our plan that students will take two courses in each seven-week session, attending classes on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings,” said Sullivan. “While there are other colleges that provide accelerated programs, we will be able to offer an affordable program.”

The hybrid model seems to be the most popular and fits working adults schedules, she noted.

Educational Report

Sheila Muller, assistant professor of business and co-chair of the executive committee of the All College Assembly presented the assembly’s annual report.

The executive committee’s efforts to address the culture of inclusion on campus has been ongoing. NECC has recognized a need for less fragmented actions and a more campus-wide effort, Muller shared. Northern Essex has joined the Bridgewater University Consortium – Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium – to help structure the efforts.

Because of a collaboration with the student affairs committee, safety and security concerns were addressed by Mike McCarthy, NECC’s vice president of finance and administration. Subsequently active shooter trainings were scheduled and a new director of public safety – Chief Deb Crafts has been hired to strategize current and future needs.

The finance committee under the new leadership of Professor Patricia Machado has worked to strengthen the communication and relationship with McCarthy and controller Michelle Tremblay. The committee applauds their commitment to accountability and transparency. The committee supports the capital campaign fund, recommends a review and innovative approach to collecting bad debt, and a review of NECC facilities given declining enrollment.

Academic affairs is digitizing the process for submitting program and course proposals.

With the roll out of the Integrated Student Experience and the opening of the Academic centers (meta major centers), their operations are being closely examined. “I am happy to report that given the insurmountable challenges faced by all involved, the centers are a beacon to the students and faculty alike,” Muller said.

Comprised of faculty and staff the All College Assembly advises on executive and operating policies, both before they are adopted and after implementation. There are four committees: academic affairs, executive committee for planning and policy, finance, information technology, and student affairs.

Report of Administration

Jeff Bickford, NECC’s chief information officer, reported on the college’s security status. A federal cybersecurity assessment tool was used. The risk level was determined to be “minimal”.

Capital Campaign

The college’s capital campaign, LIFT, continues in its silent phase while the president and the capital campaign team solicit early donors.  President Glenn reported that the college has recently secured two major donations to support the Lawrence Promise, including an Early College program developed in partnership with the Lawrence Public Schools.

NECC 2020

The last accreditation of NECC took place in 2010. The next accreditation will be completed in 2020 by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states. Bill Heineman, vice president of academic and student affairs will oversee the process. President Glenn said it’s an opportunity “for us to look at and get better at what we do.”

New Hires

Trustees approved the hiring of two new employee: Gerard Byron – data analyst in institutional research,  and Shirley Lusty, staff associate/Valleyworks Career Center.