Thursday, April 17, 2014

Update from the President's Desk

Last night my husband and I hosted a reception for NWC retirees at our home. It was a great opportunity to get everyone together.
I recently returned from a conference in Washington DC. I took time to see some of the sights with my good friend Debra Yoder, a member of the faculty in the Dallas County Community College District. 

The following is a copy of my April report to the Board of Trustees:

President’s Report

National: I joined Trustees Paul Fees and Nada Larsen at the Association of Community College Trustees Governance Leadership Institute in Salt Lake City March 20-22nd. Not only did I enjoy spending time with Nada and Paul, but also I learned a great deal from the presentations and discussion.
I had the opportunity to travel to the annual American Association of Community Colleges conference held in Washington D.C. April 5-7. The keynote speaker for the opening session was Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great.” In addition to attending other presentations, special sessions, and the Exhibit Hall, I also attended various receptions and meal events for organizations to which we belong and met with key consultants including the search consultant we have hired to assist with candidate pool development in our Administrative Services Vice President search. The conference was a great opportunity to network as the new NWC President.

Friday evening, March 28th, I attended a reception for Senator Enzi at the Nelson House. I had the opportunity to engage in the question and answer session during his presentation and to visit with the Senator personally. I am working with his field representative to have him tour the campus next time he is in Powell.

State:The Wyoming Community College Commission held its spring meeting on the Northwest College campus Monday, March 31st. At their meeting, Commissioners approved the suggested changes to Commission Rules and funding distribution based on the results of the recently concluded legislative session.

Local:On March 13th I was invited to attend the Cody Yellowstone Air Improvement Resources Board meeting where we discussed necessary improvements to the Yellowstone Regional Airport and the resulting economic impacts of improved air service. I attended the Forward Cody Board of Directors meeting and the Powell Economic Partnership Advisory Board meeting on March 25th.

On April 11th I spoke at the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet about my background and the role community colleges play in rural community development.Part of my community involvement objectives include shopping locally and eating at local restaurants. On St. Patrick’s Day my family and I ate corned beef and cabbage at Hansel and Gretel’s. The following week, we participated in the customer appreciation party at Sunlight Sports in Cody. Both of these outings were good opportunities for me to visit with community members about the college.
Campus:This month, I have had the opportunity to be involved in the interview processes for the faculty positions we are hiring for next year. I have enjoyed getting to know the candidates and am encouraged by their qualifications and enthusiasm.

As part of our continued work to implement our campus emergency planning procedures, we held an emergency drill during Spring Break to respond to a life-like situation. We learned from our trainers and Powell Police Chief Eckerdt that they believe we are ready to conduct a larger-scale drill involving outside agencies.
The Budget Committee has finalized its budget analysis and evaluation of budget requests. Budget Committee members utilized strategic goals within the strategic plan to prioritize budget recommendations. The members have given me feedback that I will utilize as I consider budget recommendations that I forward to you for your May meeting.

Our facilities master planning consultants were on campus March 25th to meet with college constituents and Trustees before the Facilities Master Plan is finalized at the April Board meeting.  As we near the final stages of our facilities master planning development process, the Vice Presidents and I toured the Center for Training and Development and Trapper Village West on March 17th. As well, the Vice Presidents and I continue our training on our salary banding methodology.
On March 26th I participated in a meeting with NWC and Montana State University – Billings officials to enhance our transfer partnership and explore opportunities for course delivery.

On April 1st I attended the College Council meeting where I updated council members on the strategic plan and budget recommendations. I requested input from College Council members on the budget before the May Board of Trustee meeting. I met with constituent group presidents on April 10th and held our monthly all-employee meeting April 11th.
I hosted the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams at my home for dinner on April 1st, and the Wrestling team followed as my guests the next night. I enjoy opportunities to get to know our student athletes in an informal setting.

Jean Nash invited me to participate in NWC’s National TRiO Day celebration by presenting my story to participants on April 10th. Like all students in TRiO programs throughout the nation, I was a low-income, first-generation college student who relied on financial aid and scholarships to fund my undergraduate education. I hope that my story inspires struggling students to persevere and succeed in college despite the challenges they face.

Foundation: Foundation Executive Director Shelby Wetzel and I attended the West Park Hospital Board meeting on March 26th to request financial support for the Yellowstone Building. We will follow up with other regional healthcare organizations as well. The first meeting of the Foundation Resource Collaboration Group was held April 9th. Shelby and I are working on several projects to enhance the partnership between the college and Foundation. She and I work well together, and our collaboration has already yielded increased effectiveness and efficiencies.

Have a good weekend!

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