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Board of Trustees Update: November 2022

Submitted by on November 29, 2022 – 5:58 pm

Havehill, MA (November 2, 2022)– The November meeting of the Northern Essex Board of Trustees started with Chairwoman Jennifer Borislow welcoming newly sworn-in Trustee Lloyd Hamm Jr. Hamm, the President of Newburyport Bank, brings decades of banking and finance experience. “I love community college and the role it plays in our communities,” said Hamm. “When I consider the enormous cost of four-year schools, I think we need to reposition how we think about higher education.”

a tree with bright yellow leaves is in the center flanked by smaller trees with red leaves. the spurk building is in the background

Fall on the Haverhill Campus

Hamm replaces former chair and longtime board member Jeff Linehan.

Educational Report

Dean of STEM Dr. Caroline Knoepfler recapped a very successful STEM Week. It was the first time the event was held in person since 2019. “Our goal was to make it enjoyable and engaging,” said Knoepfler.

She and her team hosted five events over three days, including a photo talk from Professor Ken Thomas, showcasing his recent African Safari; a visit from an oyster farmer; a Q&A with the Head of Operations of STEM Haverhill, a local dispensary; and a workshop on building guitars. The events culminated with The Math Olympics. More than 80 students competed to solve math problems under the watchful eye of NECC’s math faculty. “We learned a lot that week and it was very well attended. It was so exciting and great to be back face to face,” said Knoepfler. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have fantastic faculty in STEM.”

Engineering Week takes place in February, and Knoepfler says staff is already busy preparing projects.

Report of the Administration

Northern Essex Vice President of Institutional Advancement Allison Dolan-Wilson reported that the state has officially approved the college’s strategic plan, and work is now underway to deploy it to employees. “Our focus is not just having this as something we put on a shelf- it’s making sure this is something everyone on every level is involved with over the next five years.”

College CFO Michael McCarthy shared some good news on the enrollment front. For Fall Session II, enrollment is up to 700 students compared to 400 last year. NECC also has an additional 200 early college students compared to last year.

Public outreach will start soon on the feasibility of upgrading the Health and Wellness facilities at Northern Essex. McCarthy says the school is exploring the possibility of a public-private partnership to enhance facilities and develop more connectivity with surrounding communities.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 7 on the Haverhill Campus. Find a complete list of meeting dates, agendas, and minutes here.