September Cabinet Notes

September 13, 2010

Cabinet Members:
President Mike Richards
Vartouhi Asherian, Chair, Administrative Faculty Assembly
John Bearce, Director of Institutional Research
K.C. Brekken, Communications Director
Thomas Brown, Chief Campus Administrator, Cheyenne
Art Byrd, Vice President, Student Affairs
Patty Charlton, Senior Vice President for Finance & Facilities
Chemene Crawford, Interim Vice President for Administration    
J.T. Creedon, Student Government President
Darren Divine, Vice President, Academic Affairs
Richard Hinckley, General Counsel
Bill Kerney, Faculty Senate Chair                                 
Cat Maihen, President, Classified Council
Larry Mason, Chief Diversity Officer
Jacque Matthews, Executive Director, Foundation
Penny McCollum, Campus Site Administrator, Henderson Campus
Joan McGee, Chief Campus Administrator, Charleston Campus
Dan Morris, Executive Director, Business Operations 
Tracy Sherman, Faculty Senate Chair-Elect – absent  
Mugunth Vaithylingam, Chief Information Officer  

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Richards at 9 a.m.

The notes of the August 9, 2010 cabinet meeting were approved.

Dr. Richards reviewed some upcoming dates including Wednesday, September 15’s Classified Town Hall Meeting in K-101, October and November holidays, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 2, and The Foundation Fun Fest October 29-31.

Chancellor Klaich chartered a committee over the weekend to review the System’s benefit structure. There will be representatives for Administration, Faculty, and Classified employees on the committee.

K.C. Brekken told the group about Telemundo’s Health Fair to take place on the Cheyenne Campus on September 25 from 10 am until 3 pm. The event will bring thousands of people to the college. It is a great opportunity to showcase all that CSN can offer the community. She added that on October 9, Student Government will host a Town Hall/debate with the Asian, Latin and Urban chambers. Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. completed a socio-economic impact analysis to determine CSN’s effect on the community. K.C. distributed a summary of the analysis, and the complete study can be viewed at this link:

Thomas Brown gave an update on a procedural manual for campus administration across the college. He met with Dr. Joan McGee and Penny McCollum to discuss and develop the manual to make all policies and procedures on campuses and sites uniform. He also told the group that the “ask me” team again provided information and guidance this year to students during the first week of classes. Other items reported to cabinet included:

Dr. Chemene Crawford highlighted the main goals for Administrative Operations as a whole and by department. Her goals for the division are:

J.T. Creedon reported a busy summer. Student government has a new logo and is working on branding. Students like the book exchange program and its online capability. The ASCSN/Cipriano Chavez Work for Your Book Assistance Program is a great opportunity to earn a book voucher for $100 or $200. Applications and program details are at this link:

A recent club rush, featuring a dunk tank and other fun activities, turned out to be a successful event to encourage participation in clubs. Thirty clubs participated. Student government also hopes to publish a questionnaire prior to the November elections to assist with advocacy. J.T. also reported a legislative victory with the Millennium Scholarship available to students for at least one more year.

Cat Maihen distributed a list of Classified Council events and encouraged everyone’s participation in the Town Hall meeting to take place on Wednesday, September 15 in K-101. Scheduled to speak and to answer questions at the event are Dr. Richards, Patty Charlton, and John Mueller. A Classified Employee survey will be available from September 20 through October 1 using the Student Voice link via email. Classified Council will hold a bake sale on September 28 from 10 am – 1 pm on all three main campuses, and will begin taking orders for Boo Grams to be delivered October 26 & 27. A Boo Gram is a sweet treat to show co-workers you appreciate them. The price for Boo Grams this year will be $1 each, or 6 for $5. CAPE in-service days are to be October 19 & 20 at the Charleston & Cheyenne campuses, with classes and times to be announced. The classes offered this semester will be geared toward relevance to CSN Classified employee duties. Cat thanked Dr. Richards for encouraging Classified staff to participate in legislative advocacy and communicate their views to administration. She commended him for encouraging an environment in which all its members treat each other with courtesy and respect.

Dr. Richards, Dr. Crawford and John Bearce informed the group that a climate survey would be developed and distributed tentatively before the end of the fall semester.

Larry Mason is collaborating with other southern Nevada colleges and with CCSD on events for Hispanic Heritage Month. The events will feature several high profile Hispanic keynote speakers including: Astronaut Joe Hernandez and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Dr. Richards told the cabinet members that Robyn Render, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology for NSHE, passed away last week. He commented on her fairness and support for CSN and she would be missed.

Dr. Richards mentioned an article in the September 13 Review Journal by Richard Lake and asked the cabinet members to take a look at it. The emphasis of the article is the scarce availability of courses due to increased enrollment and lack of funding to meet the demand.

The Board of Regents approved CSN’s Strategic Plan. This strategic plan takes on a unique position in that the accreditation process now uses the plan as a big part of the basis for certification. The first report will be due next fall, so everyone will need to pay close attention to the goals and objectives on the strategic plan and adhere to the details and timelines listed.

At the Board of Regents meeting in Reno on September 9 & 10, Dr. Richards noticed that the subject of completion with regard to graduation rates and skills sets was raised several times. Dr. Richards realizes the difficult task CSN has in this area, and sees opportunities for better articulation. A Community College Task Force is being charged with defining student success as it relates to institutions like CSN. Part of the disconnect is due to students’ declared goals versus their actual goals. Many of them are financial aid recipients and must declare they are working toward a degree in order to receive the aid, when in reality they are not. Also there are many students who take a few classes to improve their job performance, learn or improve a skill or trade, or learn a language – but again, because they are not earning a certificate or degree – the assumption is they did not complete. Another factor affecting completion at CSN is the proximity of the Air Force Base. Students begin their education, and then are deployed.

Dr. Richards distributed a 5-page memo dated September 7, 2010 addressed to the NSHE Board of Regents from Chancellor Klaich, Vice Chair Geddes, and Regent Page, discussing the Board Efficiency and Effectiveness Initiative. Dr. Richards advised the cabinet to become familiar with the memo and how NSHE applies good stewardship to public resources. It will be an ongoing initiative to improve policy makers’ and citizens’ awareness of the steps implemented to reduce budgets, processes streamlined for more efficiency, and efforts to reduce the cost of operating the System. He also distributed a short list of bullet points designed to clarify some common misconceptions about CSN’s budget cuts and growth:

 How was CSN able to cut the budget so easily and still grow?Premise

  • CSN cut access by reducing the number of learning centers and sites
  • CSN cut positions and froze vacancies
  • CSN instituted a registration fee surcharge
  • CSN enrollment growth met or exceeded growth projections
  • CSN realized excess fee revenue

How has CSN afforded its growth?

  • Because several new classrooms came online due to a private gift and a public-public partnership
  • Because the student surcharge was targeted to protect class sections, CSN can fulfill its commitment to students to add class sections
  • Because CSN increased the minimum required class size, CSN has increased efficiency by increasing the proportion of class sections that are at, or near, full capacity
  • Because distance education continues its popularity with students, CSN can methodically increase online offerings
  • Because innovation has allowed CSN to expand late-night class sections, CSN has extended access to education to another sector of the community
  • Because part-time faculty are available in the community and CSN can add selected courses at relatively low cost while preserving quality

CSN and TMCC will participate in a Community College recruitment fair to be held in January in Los Angeles. The fair attracts job seekers, and is an opportunity to boost awareness of all the programs community colleges have to offer at substantially lower costs than at a university. 

Meeting adjourned at 10:05 a.m. 

Next meeting scheduled October 11, 2010.

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