Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Update from the president's desk

Happy Wednesday everyone.

The information below is from my October report to the Trustees.  The numbers in parenthesis relate to the items in our strategic plan.

Here is a recent photo of my office with decorations donated by certain (ahem) faculty members:

Enjoy the rest of your day!

President’s Report
October 9, 2013

ACCT Leadership Congress: Cindy Cicci and I traveled to Seattle with Trustees Jim Vogt, Nada Larsen, and John Housel for the 2013 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress on October 2-5. The theme of the conference was “Moving the Needle: Society Demands, Community Colleges Deliver.” We had the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Bill Gates and attend a wide variety of informative concurrent sessions. I am grateful that NWC’s Trustees are engaged with ACCT, and I appreciate Trustees Vogt, Larsen, and Housel for taking time to make the trip and participate in the conference.

State: The Community College Presidents, together with Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) Executive Director Jim Rose and Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees (WACCT) Executive Director Steve Bahmer, have had several discussions regarding performance funding in preparation for the October 18th Commission meeting in Laramie (SP 1.1). An outcome of these meetings is a whitepaper outlining the literature on performance funding and recommended actions. On September 23rd, Dr. Rose invited Presidents to join him for the budget meeting with Governor Mead and his staff in Cheyenne.  On October 11th, I met with Leah Bruscino and Bruce Morse from the Wyoming Business Council to discuss potential funding opportunities.

Local: Together with Vice President for College Relations Mark Kitchen and his wife, Sandee, my husband and I attended the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Patrons Ball. I had the opportunity to visit with  several current and former state legislators as well as meet current and past state officials including Governor Mead, Senator Enzi, and Senator Barrasso. In addition, I attended other events associated with Cody’s Rendezvous Royale.

I was invited to the Powell Economic Partnership executive board meeting September 20th and attended the Forward Cody board meeting the morning of September 24th (SP 3.2). I had lunch with Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Camara Clifton on September 30th and attended an interagency breakfast with Powell leaders on October 8th (SP 3.2). This month I met with Powell and Cody superintendents (SP 3.1), as well as business owners (SP 3.2) to discuss how we can work with them more closely to meet mutual goals. I had the opportunity to serve as the guest on Speak Your Piece with Bryce Cornatzer on KODI on September 19th and the Scott and Russ Show with Russ Graham on KPOW on October 9th. I was officially inducted as a member of the Powell Rotary Club and helped coordinate an Oktoberfest celebration on October 9th with the Red Lodge Rotary Club.

Campus: Kim Mills’ last day as Vice President was October 4th. I have asked him to stay on through October 25th to assist with finalizing the Yellowstone Building’s equipment and  furniture list that is required by the state. Sheldon Flom began as Interim Vice President for Administrative Services on October 7th. The Vice President for Administrative Services search will commence the first part of January.

Following the September Trustees meeting at which you set your expectations of me for this year, I merged the expectations into my annual operational plan. As part of my operational plan, the Timely Warning and Emergency Notification documents developed by our Emergency Response Taskforce were approved and implemented this month. These documents are needed to fulfill our federal campus security requirements. The steering committees for accreditation and the Facilities Master Plan have been appointed. As well, I have begun discussions with the Vice Presidents on the FY15 budget and on ways we will better tie our budget with the Strategic Plan. In my September 19th meeting with our auditor, we discussed methods in which the college President sets the tone for fiscal accountability on campus. (SP 2.1)

College Council met on September 24th. In addition to reviewing the Timely Warning and Emergency Notification documents, we brainstormed facilities reallocation ideas and discussed cyclical bidding of professional services contracts.  We also discussed ways we can improve the student account notification process. (SP 2.1, 2.2)

As you may know, our Aramark contract was scheduled to expire December 31, 2013. On September 25th, I met with Vice President Sean Fox, Aramark’s Food Services Director Ken Beebe, and Aramark Executives Shane Klaas and Kristin Helmink to request a contract extension through June 30, 2014. This accomplishes two things: it brings the contract in line with our fiscal year, and it allows time to conduct a thorough analysis and develop a campus-wide systematization of such contracts.

Hinckley Library Director Susan Richards and Professor of English Renee Dechert invited me to attend an ENGL 1010 class on September 30th. The topic was using Internet resources appropriately when conducting research. I learned how to use Google’s advanced search more effectively. On September 27th I hosted the international students for dinner at my home (SP 1.3) and gave a residence life presentation the evening of October 9th. I had the opportunity to tour the Equine Center on October 9th and have scheduled a tour of the Oliver Building (Welding Technology) later this month. Faculty Employment Policies Review Committee Chair Paul Escoto called the committee’s first meeting on September 24th. The committee briefed me on processes and suggested items that may need future consideration (SP 2.1). I met with constituent group presidents on October 11th and held an all-employee meeting later that afternoon (SP 2.1, 2.2). As part of my desire to have student involvement in campus governance, I have requested a weekly meeting with Student Senate President Quintin Brown and met with him October 9th (SP 2.1).

Foundation:  Foundation Executive Director Shelby Wetzel arranged for me to meet with various donors in a number of venues this month. We discussed gifts to the Yellowstone Vista Campaign, as well as continuation of scholarship funds. With some of our donors and potential donors in town for the Patrons Ball, I had an opportunity to visit with and get to know them.

Uncollected Debt Task Force:  I met with members of the Uncollected Debt Task Force on September 20th to discuss their report. I asked them to provide me with more in depth data collection and analysis by October 28th in order for me to report to you at your November meeting.



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