Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Update from the President's Desk

This is one way to give the president a load of crap! 
NWC Campus Security Coordinator Lee Blackmore loading "fertlizer" for President Hicswa's garden
After commencement last weekend, I finally took time to get my garden spot ready and plant. With the move last summer the only thing I planted was a small tomato plant in a pot. I am looking forward to having lots of fresh produce this summer! A big thank you to Susan and Rex for a start from their rhubarb.   
The following is a copy of my May report to the board:  
President’s Report
National: According to a recent article in the Community College Daily, community college students who transfer to a four-year college with an associate’s degree are more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than similar students who transfer without one. A new study from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University states that “nearly two-thirds of community college students who transfer to bachelor degree granting institutions do so without first earning an associate degree.” Furthermore, the authors state that students who transfer with an associate’s degree were “49% more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree within four years” and “22% more likely to earn one within six years.”
 State: The Phi Theta Kappa All-Wyoming Academic Team Celebration was held in Casper on May 2nd. As the Wyoming presidential liaison for PTK, I worked with our regional PTK representative to organize the luncheon. NWC representatives traveling with me were PTK chapter advisor Erik Silk and photographer Dan Baney. The All-USA Community College Academic Team recognizes high achieving two-year college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. Nominees to the All-USA Community College Academic Team from Wyoming have been recognized in a special ceremony for the past two years.
 It was an honor to be asked to attend the University of Wyoming Outreach School graduation celebration on May 3rd. Our continued partnership with UW is essential to NWC, as having access to upper-division courses and specialized degree programs is imperative to the continued economic development of our region.
 Local: Throughout this past year, I have been an active participant in Powell Economic Partnership Board of Directors meetings. Earlier this month, I was officially elected for a three-year term as a voting member of the board. Part of my participation on this board has been as a steering committee chair for the community-wide visioning and strategic planning process.
I traveled to Meeteetse on May 7th to get to know community members better and hear their ideas for ways we can improve our service to that part of NWC’s tax district. It was a great day. I appreciate Trustee Nada Larsen making the arrangements.
Campus: Through the budgeting process and in discussions with the Budget Committee and Vice Presidents, I have asked Interim Vice President for Administrative Services Sheldon Flom to decentralize the vehicle fleet budget so that budget directors can maintain more control over their travel budgets.
The custom multi-sport court surface had already been ordered and completed before you tabled the decision regarding building a multi-sport court on campus to replace the tennis courts displaced by the Yellowstone Building.  I investigated options regarding our financial obligations to Snap Sports and was unable to negotiate any sort of discount. Therefore, we are obligated to pay the remainder of the invoiced amount of $35,000.
My husband and I hosted a reception for NWC retirees and soon-to-be retirees at our home the evening of April 16th. I had the opportunity to attend the PTK induction ceremony on April 17th and the Honored Faculty ceremony and lecture April 24th. My children and I attended the Wild West Players production of The Pale Pink Dragon on April 25th, where I witnessed the amazing talents of our students and community members, as well as heard Division Chair Duane Fish sing.
I had the opportunity to report on campus developments at our Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting April 26th.  I attended the Ag Program Advisory Board meeting on April 29th. On May 1st I attended the Student Academic Award Reception followed by a dinner with WEA representatives. Our Employee Recognition Banquet was held at the Park County Fairgrounds on May 2nd. I continue to be impressed by the accomplishments of our faculty and staff. Although I did not golf in the Trapper Bonanza Golf Tournament on May 10th, I did attend the steak dinner and Calcutta the night before.
I continue my training with Fox Lawson regarding the Decision Band Method employee classification system. The system is complicated, but I am gaining a better understanding of the methodology. Since the end of the academic year is approaching, I called a meeting of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee this month to evaluate the progress on our Strategic Plan metrics. As always, I met with constituent group presidents and held an all-employee meeting prior to the Trustees meeting. I have also met with a variety of students, faculty, and staff regarding end-of-year activities, events, and concerns. 
Foundation: I attended the NWC Foundation Board of Directors meeting April 23rd as well as the second Foundation Resource Collaboration Group meeting April 30th.  I am very pleased with the engagement of our Foundation Board with the college. Foundation Executive Director Shelby Wetzel and I continue to discuss ways we can leverage Foundation dollars with college needs as well as match college needs with donor preferences.
Enjoy the rest of the week.


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