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Board of Trustees Update: June 2021

Submitted by on June 8, 2021 – 3:02 pm

In the early days of the college, first-year students had to wear beanies. The college is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and the 50th anniversary of the Haverhill Campus.

This fall will mark two milestones for NECC: it’s the College’s 60th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Haverhill campus. Plans for a homecoming-type of celebration are in the works. President Lane Glenn shared a letter with the board from a member of that founding class, Kendall Page. Mr. Page recalled the hard work that went into establishing the school 60 years ago, and shared that he feels like an integral part of NECC’s growth to this day.

A New Chapter for the Library

Like all units at the college, when the pandemic struck in 2020, the library staff was suddenly faced with a new set of challenges. Fortunately, thanks to work started as part of the 2018 strategic plan, the library had already begun to invest in more resources to support online education. Assistant Dean of Libraries Mike Hearn reported they’d added dozens of online resource guides, started a chat service, and greatly expanded their eBook selection. During the pandemic, they were able to realign funds to add Libby Overdrive Service (for eBooks and video) and the Kanopy video service, which provides students, faculty and staff with access to documentary films. The library also now offers an appointment system and virtual research consultations. What’s next? They hope to restart some of the subscription services they had to pause during the pandemic. Staff will closely monitor students’ needs to find a balance between purchasing print and eBooks. An update to the library on the Lawrence campus is also in the works to ensure equitable access.

Departures and Arrivals

The board welcomed several new college employees and said a fond farewell to a few familiar faces.

Maurice Osteen is the newest NECC Campus Police officer. And Andrew Stark has joined the admissions office as a financial aid officer.

The June meeting was the last for college Vice President Bill Heineman. Dr. Heineman was recently selected as the next president of North Shore Community College. Wendy Shaffer is retiring this summer after 40 years with NECC. As the current dean of development, Shaffer has been instrumental in securing valuable private and public grants, among many other accomplishments. The meeting also marked the end of the term for Student Trustee Tim Dodier. He will be replaced by Human Services student Chrissy Grace this fall.

Report of Administration

President Glenn started the report by showing a video of Helen Ubiñas, class of 1991, accepting the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association of Community Colleges. Out of millions of community college students and alumni, Ubiñas is one of just three to win the award this year. She’s an award-winning columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, who started her journalism career as editor of The Observer.

Strategic Plan: The Integrated Student Experience team continues to work to provide equal experiences across both campuses. Upgrades on the Lawrence campus include the new welcome area and student success hub in the Dimitry building and the Health Professions and STEM centers in El Hefni.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Search: The search committee will begin preliminary screening of a pool of candidates next week.  First round interviews are scheduled for later in June with final interviews conducted in July.

Lawrence Campus: Senator Warren visited on June 1 to tour the NECC food pantries and talk to students about food insecurity. President Glenn thanked those who planned the visit and those students who told very compelling stories that do affect legislation.

Additions to Culinary Program

The board voted to pass three new additions to the culinary program:

– A new Culinary Arts AAS program, acquired from North Shore Community College

– A revision to the existing Culinary Arts certificate program to complement the new AAS program

– A new Bakery and Pastry certificate program

The board will take a summer break from meetings, while subcommittees continue their work. Board of Trustees meetings are typically held the first Wednesday of each month. Meeting details and minutes can be found here.

This story was written by Melissa Bouse, NECC’s Digital and Social Media Specialist.