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NECC Trustees Notes

Submitted by on June 13, 2019 – 7:38 pm

June Trustees Meeting Notes

A Fall sabbatical took Northern Essex philosophy professor Meredith Gunning in search of open educational resources (OER) for her students, but what she found was an opportunity to introduce her students to a more diverse group of philosophers.

(OER includes teaching, learning, and research resources that are available for free or low cost to anyone with access to a digital device such as a tablet, phone, or computer. The resources reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits free use and repurposing of the material.)

Gunning shared her findings with the NECC Board of Trustees during the Wednesday, June 8, monthly meeting.

“Any good project answers questions and finds new questions,” Gunning told trustees.

Such was the case with her Fall 2018 sabbatical. Her intention was to develop OER textbooks for some of her courses. While researching the project Gunning discovered that many of her students rarely encounter philosophers from their own tradition. Despite the fact that so many NECC students hail from the Dominican Republic, they have not been exposed to Dominican philosophers primarily because few philosophical writings from Dominican philosophers have been translated into English, Gunning explained.

“This is a lacuna that I hope to rectify in the coming years,” she said. “The semester of sabbatical leave has catapulted me on a journey that I had not anticipated a year ago.”

Asian, African, Indian, and Latin American philosophers have been under represented, Gunning noted. This is not exclusively an NECC issue, she said.

“Our students don’t always connect with western philosophers. Armed with this information, Gunning told Trustees she hopes to visit the Dominican Republic, meet with philosophy professors, and collaborate with them to write her own OER textbook that will include translated Dominican philosophers.

She will have accomplished all of this, she said, with the support of the NECC Trustees.

Retention Scholarships

Alexis Fishbone, director of enrollment services, at NECC gave a brief presentation on the Retention and Access scholarships.

From the Fall of 2018 through the Summer of 2019 a total of 255 students shared $229,613. As a result,

“We have had an incredible retention rate,” Fishbone said.

A retention scholarship is designed to close the “gap” for current students who are struggling financially, and can be used for tuition and fees, book and supplies, and health insurance offered by NECC.

The Access Scholarship is also designed to close the financial gap only for new students who have completed less than 24 college level credits.

Neither scholarship, said Fishbone, is well known among students despite NECC’s attempts to make students award.

“They are not well known. Word of mouth among the students definitely increases awareness,” she said. “We work with the students to find the right pot of money to help them. For one student it may be finding the money to buy books. For another it might be supplies.”

Scholarship can range from $50 to $2,500 with the average being $800 or $900, Fishbone said.

Since Fall of 2018 through Summer of 2019, 116 Access Scholarships totaling $74,613 were awarded.

Presidential Performance

The Presidential Evaluation Sub-Committee, chaired by Trustee Mark Forman, presented an evaluation and compensation recommendation for NECC President Lane Glenn that was unanimously approved by trustees.

The evaluation was based on interviews with faculty, staff, students, and community partners, and a review of data, including information found on the DHE Data Center Performance Measurement Reporting System.
Trustees are recommending that Glenn be awarded the maximum available merit-based increase.

Their recommendation will be sent to the commissioner of higher education.


The Board of Trustees voted to accept 12 grants totaling more than $6.2 million.

New Appointments

Trustees voted to approve four, full-time professional positions: Mario Denis, financial aid counselor; Lyn Blythe, sleep technology instructor; Doris Buckley, director early childhood career pathways; and Amy Callahan, interim dean of liberal arts.