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Board of Trustees Update: September 2022

Submitted by on September 26, 2022 – 3:19 pm

After a brief summer hiatus, the Northern Essex Board of Trustees resumed regular monthly meetings on September 7. The meeting got underway with the introduction of two new board members: Philosophy major Sarah Pachano will serve as the student trustee, and Jouel Gomez is the new alumni-elected trustee.

Gomez currently serves as chair of the Northern Essex Alumni Board. He shared how he knew, even when he started as a student in 2013 that he wanted to be involved in giving back to the NECC community. He told the board, “I look forward to learning from each of you; it’s an honor to provide my experience as a student.” Pachano remarked that she would also use her experience as a student to advocate for her classmates. “I want to be able to make a meaningful impact on campus and grow the community,” she said. “I want to represent people who look like me. I want to carry with me the idea of helping others.”

live your dreams statue with E science building in the background

Renovation plans for the B and E buildings on the Haverhill Campus are in the designer selection stage.

Board Committees
Equity Imperative Committee

Chair of the Equity Imperative Committee, Marianne Paley-Nadel, introduced Chief Officer of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Francellis Quinones. Quinones talked about her background and years of experience doing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work in the Merrimack Valley. She also said she looks forward to building upon the work already in motion at NECC. “I see myself as the curator of the amazing things people are working on, years and layers of work; I’m grateful to be able to pull that together.”

Education Report

Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Paul Beaudin, Dean of Enrollment Services Donna Bertolino, and (Interim) Director of Student Recruitment Loreen Tirrell presented the activities, successes, and challenges of student recruitment for Fall ’22.

A national decline in college enrollment has dramatically impacted community colleges. At Northern Essex, the Office of Enrollment Services is addressing those challenges by innovating new approaches to reaching local students. For example, the “Explore NECC” series of open houses held over the summer resulted in more than 200 student enrollments. Another Explore NECC Open House is planned for September 24 from 10 am – 1 pm on the Haverhill Campus.

Enrollment Services is also taking a year-round recruiting approach. Students have seven opportunities to enroll in Northern Essex throughout the year: two sessions of classes are held during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and one session is held during the Winter Intersession.

Report of Administration

Plans are moving to utilize state funding to renovate two buildings on the Haverhill Campus: the Science (E) Building and the General Studies (B) Building.

Mike McCarthy, vice president of administration, said most of the renovations would focus on addressing ADA issues. That will include a new elevator in the B Building, a new ramp to the E building, and the replacement of doors. The buildings will also see significant upgrades to the HVAC systems.

The project is currently in the designer selection phase. The estimated completion date for the entire project is April 2026. Much of the construction work will take place over two summers to minimize disruptions.

Sabbatical Leave Approved

Trustees voted unanimously to approve half-year sabbatical leaves, at full salary, for English professor Patricia Portanova and Library Services Coordinator Jennifer Fielding. Professor Portanova will be researching new information and algorithmic literacy pedagogy to develop teaching modules for composition courses that may also be used by faculty teaching writing across the disciplines. Fielding also plans to focus on information literacy by creating content that can be used as supplemental instruction in online courses.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for October 5 on the Haverhill Campus. Find a complete list of meeting dates, agendas, and minutes here.