Our Chance to Create a 21st Century Learning Space

To: Campus Community
From: Timothy J. Nelson, President
Date: January 5, 2017
Subject: 21st Century Learning Space

Good morning and welcome to the New Year! I’m excited to share with you the progress and preliminary process by which we together will design and build 21st century learning spaces in the renovation and remodeling of West Hall. I invite all of you to share in this once in a lifetime opportunity for NMC, our learners and community.

Over the past seven years, NMC has requested State of Michigan funding for the development of what we called the West Hall Innovation Center. Over that same period, our Board of Trustees has recognized the increasing role of libraries and central community learning spaces in learner and community success. As the old saying goes, “timing is everything.” We had intended to construct a new library connected to the core of West Hall and hoped a few years after that, we could construct the Innovation Center as the premiere 21st Century Learning Space.

You all know, we were successful last year in receiving permission to begin planning and designing this facility as ONE BUILDING. We envision an approximately 58,000 sq. ft. facility that is/has:

  • Innovative learning environments
  • Transformative learning environments
  • Libraries
  • Multiple academic and simulation spaces

Diagrams and descriptions of these types of spaces can be found by going here. I encourage you to open it.

We know these spaces will include some of these characteristics.

  • Flexible, adaptable and reconfigurable
  • Food
  • Library
  • Individual and community spaces
  • Quiet and noisy spaces
  • Serves the needs of NMC and multiple area constituent groups
  • Adds to the “Community Core” of NMC consistent with our new residential living plans
  • Has the potential to be used 24/7

At December’s Board of Trustees meeting, NMC contracted with STANTEC, an architecture and design firm, to guide us through a process to continue our journey to secure State funds. There will be multiple opportunities for guided input during this process. The first opportunity will be at Opening Conference on Monday, January 9 where STANTEC will make a presentation to the campus community.

The table below represents our initial thoughts on teams that will contribute to this design process. Our goal is to present design documents to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and then to the State Legislature in the spring and secure funding that would allow us to begin construction in late 2017 or early 2018.

Members of the teams and user groups in the diagram below will be invited to join in coming days and weeks. We will provide both written materials and potential opportunities to visit other institutions. Please note the Steering Team – Innovators will include some of the most innovative educators (faculty and staff) at NMC as identified by peers and supervisors.

T’was the week before Christmas

T’was the week before Christmas and across NMC
You can hear students shout, “No more classes for me!
They are loading their cars and returning their books
Dreaming of presents that will fill up a few empty nooks.

The faculty have graded final papers with speed
For those giving essays an impressive deed.
A night of support in the library found
You really can work in a building with sound.

We all find ourselves here on the shores of the Bay
Eating and drinking the evening away
Our colleagues and friends a team one and all
Worked tirelessly to find student success this past fall.

Now Kennard! Now Marilyn!
Now Michael and Ross.
On Rachel! On Chris!
On Douglas as well.
Your work as our new Board is given for free
Please know we value the service coming from thee.

Our contractors are placing new dorm walls with care
And this coming August we’ll find students there!
The Dennos is rattling and shaking as concrete is cast
And come sometime next fall will be completed at last.

Now I want you each to know how I feel
The way you change lives is a really big deal.
I can’t say it enough that I value you all
Thank you so much for another great fall.

As you visit with family or travel afar,
We’ll see you in January all ready to star.
Be safe and be rested and come back to us then
Because we’ll all be together and start over again.

Happy Holidays!

– NMC President Tim Nelson, from the 2016 NMC Holiday Party

President’s Update for December 16, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff
This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • First offering of new Digital Marketing class was full for Fall 2016. In this course students will learn how to develop a digital marketing strategy, which may include display ads, search marketing, content marketing, email marketing and social media marketing.  (IE1)
  • Kristy McDonald, Business Instructor, offered a Mindfulness Initiative this fall semester on Tuesdays in HS 101 from noon to 12:30 for students, faculty, staff and the public. This was based off of her sabbatical research in India.  (IE1, IE4)
  • The CIT Department held a successful Industry Night Out at Inforth Technologies on October 20. Students in the CIT program are invited to attend a night out at a local company where they receive a tour, find out what the company does, and see how the industry works. This is an opportunity for students to supplement what they are studying in class.  (IE1, IE5)
  • The CIT Department held open advising sessions for students to get signed up for Spring 2017. (IE1, IE2)
  • George Beeby’s Business 101 student team was a semi-finalist at Accelerate Michigan Competition on November 3. (IE1, IE2)
  • Seven business students attended the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Breakfast on November 8. (IE1, IE2, IE5)
  • The NMC Tutoring Center received their 3-year recertification with the CRLA (College Reading & Learning Association) for Level I, II, and III Tutor Training. CRLA is an international certification for programs that demonstrate the following high standards:
    • Certification provides recognition and positive reinforcement for tutors’ successful work.
    • Certification sets professional standards of skill and training for tutors.
    • Certification augments program credibility for administrators and institutions. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Deb Maison and Taylor Nash, both professional academic and career advisors, held evening advising hours in East Hall to meet the needs of student residents as they prepare to continue their education at NMC for Spring 2017. With the help and cooperation of the Residence Life team, East Hall and Hawk’s Nest students, who had not yet met with an advisor, were given the opportunity to create an academic plan for spring semester and beyond, learn how to use MAP (My Academic Plan), and receive guidance in making academic and career decisions.  (IE2, IE4)
  • In cooperation with the Records and Registration Office, the Advising Center has created and executed a communication plan for students to encourage them to connect with their academic advisor, utilize NMC’s degree tracking tool (MAP – My Academic Plan), and to register for the coming semester. At specific intervals students received email messages to their NMC accounts with specific action steps for registration, messages were displayed across all campus monitors and on posters in buildings and classrooms, front-line staff wore buttons to encourage registration, and faculty made announcements in their classes regarding advising and registration.  (IE2, IE4, IE5)
  • Physics and mathematics instructor Taoufik Nadji’s article “Twitter and Physics Professional Development” appeared in the November issue of The Physics Teacher (TPT) magazine. Nadji was interviewed on Forbes Podcasts about changing his STEM courses into STEAM courses by incorporating the arts in his pedagogy.  (IE1)
  • For the first time ever, 100% of ENG 111 and ENG 112 classes received information literacy instruction at the library. Instructional librarian Ann Geht, and teaching librarians Michele Howard, Mary Beeker, and Tina Ulrich, provided instruction on how to find, evaluate, use and cite high quality sources of information from the databases and the web.  Our goal is to have NMC students leave with the ability to spot unreliable information and find excellent sources for both their schoolwork and their personal lives.  (IE1)
  • With the help of librarians and Educational Media Technology staff, 29 NMC faculty saved their students over $150,000 in textbook costs for fall semester by teaching with open textbooks that are freely available online. Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Psychology with a total of 582 students had the biggest impact.  The choice of alternative textbooks has saved students over $350,000 since Fall 2015.  (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • The library, along with the Writing and Reading Center, Tutoring, Student Success Center, and Student Life, hosted the “Long Night Against Procrastination” on December 1 to help NMC students study, write papers, and finish final projects. The library stayed open until 2:00 a.m.  Free coffee, pizza, and snacks, along with WRC staff, tutors, and librarians, were available all night.  At 10:00 p.m., there were 109 students studying in the library, with 30 still there at 2:00 a.m.  Students expressed appreciation for the longer hours and free food.  (IE1, IE3)

Activities of Note: 

  • Thank you to Kennard Weaver, Ross Childs, and Chris Bott for joining me, as well as several NMC staff and students at the Economic Outlook Breakfast, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on November 8. The College also had a booth in the Chamber Business Expo that day at the Grand Traverse Resort.
  • Congratulations to Chris Bott and Michael Estes who were elected to fill two open seats on our Board of Trustees. After being appointed to fill a vacancy in April 2015, Chris Bott has now been elected to a six-year term on the Board.  The terms of both Bott and Estes will expire on December 31, 2022.

    Steve Rawlings resigned from the Board on November 10, 2016, due to increased responsibilities and travel for his job.  He shared that he “will forever remain in awe of NMC, its inspiring students, devoted faculty, committed staff and administration, fellow board members and donors alike- each of whom, dedicate so much time, treasure and talent to the betterment of our community.”  Rachel Johnson, who received the third highest number of votes in the November 8 election process, was unanimously appointed to fill Rawlings’ position at a special board meeting on November 14, 2016.  Her term will expire on December 31, 2018, at which time an elected candidate will complete the remainder of Rawlings term, which expires on December 31, 2020.

    I want to express my sincere gratitude to both Bob Brick and Steve Rawlings for their service on the Board of Trustees.  Bob was on the Board of 12 years and served in all officer roles and on numerous committees.  While only on the Board of Trustees for 2 years, Steve Rawlings was a very dedicated trustee, serving as vice chair, and on several committees.  Prior to his service on the NMC Board, Steve volunteered on the NMC Foundation’s Annual Campaign, was an NMC graduate of the Aviation program and an Outstanding Alumnus.  Both Bob and Steve will be greatly missed as NMC trustees.

  • Veterans Day was celebrated November 11 with several events—veterans breakfast at the Hawk Owl Café, walk of honor, ceremony at the flagpole, and cake and coffee served in the West Hall lobby. Thank you to everyone for supporting our veterans that day and every day at NMC.  A special thank you to Doug Bishop, a veteran himself, for sharing a few words with the crowd at the flagpole.
  • I traveled to Frankenmuth on November 17 to speak at the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (MACRAO) conference on legislative topics related to higher education. As I shared with them, a new federal administration will most likely bring many changes to the national educational structure.
  • In place of a town hall meeting this semester, small group forums were held at each campus to address questions related to the Fall Update sent out in October and the state of the college. Most of these small group sessions were well attended and allowed for thoughtful discussion. 
  • Thank you to those able to attend the Mariners Memorial at the Great Lakes Campus on November 10. It was an unusually beautiful fall day for that event to remember and honor mariners who have perished on the Great Lakes and oceans.  The Student Propeller Club, Port 150, of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, sponsors the memorial.
  • I am honored to have been appointed by the Governor to Michigan’s Building the 21st Century Economy Commission, and I participated in the first meeting on November 22. The commission serves as an advisory body within the Executive Office of the Governor and is charged with identifying priorities over the next 20 years along with short-term and long-term action items to achieve the vision of Michigan’s economic future.  The commission will issue a final report to the governor by June 30, 2017.

Legislative Issues

The State legislature this month convened for what some veteran capital observers have termed a “lame – lame duck” session where numerous legislative items were brought forward, only to wither and die before gaining final passage.  This included several bills that would have impacted NMC that include the following:  

  • The MPSERS legislation (Senate Bills 102/1178/1179), introduced by Senator Phil Pavlov (R- St. Clair) would have effectively closed the current hybrid system that provides some pension benefit and some defined contribution benefit to new members. The legislation would have instead replaced the system for new employees with a defined contribution plan with the same provisions as the State Employees Retirement System—a mandatory 4% employer contribution and a 100% match of employee contributions up to 3%.  However, after being narrowly reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, facing an uncertain future in the full Senate and not having the support of the Governor, these bills were eventually scrapped for movement this year.  However, it is expected that this legislation will be taken up next session.  
  • The House Commerce and Trade Committee reported two bills with implications for community colleges. Senate Bill 280 (Knollenberg) would prohibit community colleges from collecting union dues, as is already the case for K-12 schools.  In addition, the bill retains language that would prohibit any public employer (including a community college) from paying for release time for employees to conduct union business.  Senate Bill 279 (Knollenberg) would sunset the ability of Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) members to accrue pension time during professional services leave or release time, even if the member reimburses the system for payments during that time.  Following passage in the Senate, both bills died in the House.

While these pieces of legislation were never enacted, there were a few bills that did pass in the final days of lame duck that will impact NMC, which include the following:  

  • Noncontiguous annexation legislation, HB 4265 introduced by Rep. Amanda Price passed both the Senate and House and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature.  This legislation would allow for the board of trustees of a community college district to initiate annexation of areas not geographically contiguous to a current community college district.  The Community College Act already allows such an action in the Upper Peninsula.    
  • National Guard tuition assistance legislation, HB 6013, introduced by Rep. Bruce Rendon also passed both the House and Senate in the final days of lame duck.  This legislation is a technical correction bill that would allow the Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard to make a tuition assistance distribution to an eligible person or institution and deletes a provision specifying that the tuition assistance program applies, regardless of other educational benefits received by an eligible person.  
  • SB 992 also passed the legislature and is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.  This legislation would create a new act, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Act, which creates a regulatory framework for the use of unmanned aircraft in the state.  This includes setting allowable use and prohibited uses and penalties.  The legislation also sets out the development of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force to develop statewide policy recommendations on the use and regulation of unmanned aircraft systems in Michigan.

On the federal side, the U.S. Congress also convened for a “lame duck” session post-election and passed a short term funding bill that continued FY16 levels of funding, with a small decrease, through April 2017.  Unfortunately, the previous short term funding extension that passed the Congress in September also saw a cut to Perkins Loan funding, important for NMC students.  Because of the way Perkins funds are budgeted and dispersed, the cut (a total of $5.5 million dollars overall) impacted Perkins Basic State Grant advance funding that began flowing to states October 1.  For Michigan this resulted in a cut of $196,480.  This cut could be restored if Congress approves a full year funding bill in April.  The short term funding bill also did not include several other of our federal priorities, the funding of year round Pell grants and an increase in funding for student loan servicing.  

The Presidential transition also continues to move forward with the recent naming of Betsy DeVos as President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary.  You can read more about President-elect Trump’s pick here in this article from the American Association of Community Colleges.


  • Happy Holidays! Enjoy time with family and friends, and safe travels to those traveling.

Nelson appointed to gubernatorial commission

NMC President Tim Nelson has been appointed to Michigan’s Building the 21st Century Economy Commission by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Nelson is one of three educators on the 23-member commission, which serves as an advisory body within the Executive Office of the Governor. Members are charged with identifying priorities over the next 20 years along with short-term and long-term action items to achieve the vision of Michigan’s economic future. The commission will issue a final report to the governor by June 30, 2017.

President’s Update for November 7, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • The NMC Foundation was at Pine Palooza 2016 asking students to guess what percentage of individual donors to the NMC Foundation give $50 or less per year (answer: 55%). While talking to students about the impact of small charitable gifts on campus, the NMC Foundation let students know how they support students and campus life at NMC. The NMC Foundation booth was strategically located next to the Student Financial Services booth to show students the link between philanthropic giving at the NMC Foundation and the distribution of scholarship gifts through the Student Financial Services office. (IE2)
  • Several engineering students approached instructor Chris Coughlin asking to compete in the VEX-U robotics competition (http://www.roboticseducation.org/). It is a national level competition between universities on designing, building, and testing advanced robotics. An entry level kit to get started is approximately $1,000.00. The students conducted research and discovered there is an anonymous donor in Michigan that writes grants to any new VEX program that shows promise and commits to at least one competition a year. The students and Chris applied for the grant, and were awarded it last week! The grant provides the school with the entry level kit for only the cost of shipping (savings of approximately $1000!). The group is extremely excited to be competing this year in the program, with the intent to compete at both the regional and national levels. Great success story for the engineering club! (IE1)
  • Rebecca Richardson, mathematics adjunct, spent the summer recording class lectures and is now running her class as a flipped class where students watch lectures at home and work on projects and homework during class time. (IE1)
  • Mark Nelson, mathematics, learned about the light board that Educational Media Technologies (EMT) developed in August during the area training days. Since then, Mark has been regularly using the light board to record mini-lectures for his students. (IE1)
  • The NMC Foundation, in collaboration with Admissions and Financial Aid, hosted the 2016 Commitment Scholarship Induction Ceremony. This year’s event reflected a new approach to focus on the students and their families, as well as to effectively acknowledge the charitable support that makes this program possible. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4, IE5)
    • Professional Development Day was October 18. The theme was Increasing Student Success.
    • Highest headcount in the sessions was 167.
    • Faculty and staff gave positive comments about being able to collaborate with each other (as opposed to this just being faculty).
    • We had 57 session leaders—55 internal, 2 external.
    • The video received positive reviews in support of student success (IE1, IE2).
  • The Office of Admissions reported that College Application Week has now been changed to College Application Month. This October NMC received 1500 applications that fell into this category. These numbers are increased from 1325 last year. (IE2, IE3)
  • The Office of Records and Registration reports that new articulation agreements have been signed with Ferris State University (Early Childhood Education), Heartlands Institute of Technology (Culinary), and North Central Michigan College (Dental Assistant Program). In addition, new transfer guides have been signed with Lake Superior State University (Engineering). These agreements have been added to the Articulation Agreements web page. (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • Deb Maison, Academic & Career Advisor, has partnered with Sean Ruane from the Social Science academic area to offer Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a widely used personality assessment, to help students explore career and personal development based on their personality type. Students in Sean Ruane’s Psychology of Personality class took the assessment and Deb Maison completed class activities and interpretation of the indicator with students. All professional advisors in the Advising Center are MBTI certified and frequently use this, and other assessments, to help students through the career decision-making process, a crucial step in helping identify a future career and college major. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Kim Schultz, Academic & Career Advisor, in partnership with Jason Smith from Admissions and Meredith Schmidt from the TBA Early College program, met individually with more than 125 students during the month of October in preparation for Spring 2017 registration. Using the new DegreeWorks Plans А3 tool, Kim assisted students in creating a semester-by- semester plan for completing their NMC educational goal. Each Early College student in 11th grade and above in the TBA-ISD and TCAPS program meets with their advisor, Kim Schultz, twice per year to review current progress, create success strategies, access support resources, and move through the career decision-making process, in addition to creating their academic plan. New to this process was the use of the Google calendar appointments feature, which allowed students to go online and schedule their own appointment with Kim. (IE1, IE2, IE3).
  • Members of the Advising Center team shared their expertise during several local and state professional development conferences for Student Services professionals.
    • Kim Schultz, Taylor Nash, and Lindsey Dickinson developed a presentation, given at the Michigan Center for Student Success 2016 Summit in Lansing, based on the Advising Center’s work to help identify students’ level of career and major decidedness. With this identified, the Advising Center targets specific communications and interventions for students to help them move through the career decision-making process. The Advising Center’s website has also been redeveloped to exemplify this process for students.
    • Further exploring elements of student success, Lindsey Dickinson, Director of Advising, in cooperation with Kristen Salathiel, Director of CIE, and Joy Evans, Executive Director of Research, Planning, & Effectiveness, have begun a study of students’ sense of belonging at NMC. Using survey data from NMC students, focus groups, and background research this team is working to identify best practice for improving students’ sense of belonging, which is directly tied to their overall success. The progress and findings of this new project were presented at the annual Michigan Community College Student Services Association Conference in Petoskey, as well as during the NMC Professional Development Day for faculty and staff.
    • Also during our Campus Professional Development Day, Kim Schultz partnered with Lisa Wilmeth, from Records & Registration, to present a session on “Keeping Students on Track with MAP (My Academic Plan) and Plans.” Taylor Nash presented “How to Support Student Success Inside and Outside of the Classroom” with Marcus Bennett and Cortnie Thompson from Residence Life, where he discussed special advising in East Hall for on-campus residents. Lindsey Dickinson presented with other members of Student Services and Enrollment Management during a session titled “Walking In Their Shoes” which reviewed each step a student goes through from inquiry to sitting in their first class session at NMC. (IE2, IE3, IE5)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • The first session of the Michigan Community College Leadership Academy was held in Lansing in September. I presented at one of the sessions on the president’s role and responsibility for engaging in effective advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels. I was also asked to share my perspective on the future of the community college, and how new presidents can best leverage their advocate role to position their institutions to innovate and thrive.
  • Toward the end of September, I toured the Camp Pugsley correctional facility with a group of regional leaders for the purpose of exploring opportunities for the repurposing of that facility. I was unable to attend a follow-up meeting due to my China travel schedule, but will keep you informed as I learn more.
  • At the beginning of October, I had the pleasure of introducing Diana Milock as she accepted a Benefactor Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) on behalf of herself and husband Richard. The award ceremony took place at CASE’s Conference for Community College Advancement in San Diego, CA. The Milocks giving has ranged from supporting student scholarships to their most recent and generous gift of $2,000,000 for a major expansion of the Dennos Museum Center. The Milocks embody the highest ideals of philanthropy, and we are very grateful for everything they have contributed to our college, our city, and our region.
  • The 2016 Commitment Scholarship Program Induction Ceremony took place at Milliken Auditorium on Thursday, October 13, and I was honored to lead the students, and their parents and guardians, in their pledge to graduate high school and succeed in college. Since 1993 the Commitment Scholarship Program has helped over 1,000 students reach their dreams. The program exemplifies what NMC is all about—helping students become college graduates with the education, experience, and skills to make our global community a better place. This is just the beginning for these NMC Commitment Scholars. I’m excited to see what the future holds for each of them!
  • I would like to thank trustees and executive staff who spent half a day at the October 14 retreat at the NMC Hagerty Center. It provided for more in-depth discussions on the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation process, Guided Pathways initiatives and results, NMC’s emergency management and preparedness, among other discussion topics.
  • Marguerite Cotto, Hans VanSumeren and I had a very productive trip to China for approximately 10 days. The purposes of the trip included preparing curriculum with partner Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute (YRCTI), representing a consortium of colleges at a conference in Beijing, and initiating new partnerships at two additional Chinese technical colleges. I was invited to speak at the China Annual Conference for International Education on “Paths to the Cultivation of Talent for Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Partnerships of Schools, Businesses and Society.” I spoke on “Best Practice and Experiences of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Education in American Community Colleges, and Marguerite was on a discussion panel about “Models and Best Practices of China-US Cooperation on Training Innovative Personnel. Our visit with YRCTI included working on curricular offerings and meeting the first group of students that will take the courses. We also had the opportunity to visit the American Embassy. Please see attached news release about the trip for more detail.
  • I spoke at the TC NewTech event at the ECCO Event Center the evening of November 1. I gave a short presentation on our piece of the puzzle in talent development, and shared about NMC’s credentialing options, existing place, space and resources for better community integration and leveraging; and an update on the upcoming West Hall Innovation Center complex with living learning space.

Legislative Issues

  • Both the House and Senate reconvened the week of October 18, with the Senate engaging in considerably more activity than the House of Representatives. The two legislative chambers will meet again on Wednesday, November 9. It is unlikely that they will move any bills of substance at this time. However, we will continue to watch carefully as a legislative agenda for this period is developed.
  • The United States Congress is also on recess until after the election. Instead of passing a FY17 budget by the start of the new fiscal year (Oct 1), congress passed a short term funding bill that funds the federal government until December 9, 2016, at last year FY16 levels. The Continuing Resolution (CR), as it is known, extends the FY16 funding levels for the federal government including for the Department of Education and for the Perkins loan program. Unfortunately, the agreement includes a .496 percent across the board reduction (needed to meet sequester budget caps), which will impact Perkins Basic State grant advance funding from FY16 that is available for allocation to the states beginning October 1. It is yet to be seen what the final FY17 education budget will look like and it is expected that Congress will take up this issue in their lame duck session.
  • Prior to adjourning, the U.S. House also passed their version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill that authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Senate had passed their version earlier in September. Unfortunately, neither of these bills included language that the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and other state maritime academies had pressed for, which would have allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to complete additional needed infrastructure repairs to the Great Lakes Campus harbor. Both Senators Stabenow and Peters had offered an amendment to the Senate version of WRDA that would have allowed for these repairs to be made, but ultimately the amendment was not adopted. We will continue to work with the other state maritime academies on this issue and look toward the next WRDA bill as an opportunity to include this amendment.


  • Reminder to exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, November 8.
  • Mariner’s Memorial at 12:00 noon on November 10 at GLMA
  • NMC Veterans Day Honor Ceremony on Friday, November 11—8:30am Breakfast for veterans; 9:20am Walk of Honor; 9:30am Flag Ceremony; 10:00 am–12:00pm coffee and cake

NMC Fall 2016 Update

Timothy J. Nelson, President
October 13, 2016


Let me start the update by thanking you all for what you do to create a great learning environment that helps to prepare our students for success in this rapidly changing global society and market. Each of you plays an important role in achieving this success. Together, we model values and help create experiences that will have a lasting impact on those we serve.

This communication is intended to provide our NMC campus community an update on the state of the college. As the 2016-2017 year gets underway, it is important to review where we’ve been and where we’re going. The goal of this letter is to provide detailed information on many of the critical initiatives and programs affecting our campus. Some of these topics are included below:

  1. Updates to “Opening Conference”
  2. Student Enrollment
  3. Community Engagement
  4. International Relationships
  5. Employee Professional Development
  6. Compensation and Talent
  7. Facilities
  8. Higher Learning Commission Accreditation
  9. Leadership and Governance
  10. Budget
  11. Legislative and Regulatory Issues
  12. Board of Trustees
  13. Spring Semester Opening

Community engagement is important for our continued success. I invite you to reach out with questions and thoughts on any of the items discussed in this update.

Updates to “Opening Conference”

During the summer, I was approached by the AQIP Learning Outcomes Team co-chairs about a proposal from the faculty members on the team to expand the normal time for the August faculty professional development day to include the time normally devoted to Opening Conference. The faculty wanted to invite a presenter on active learning and significant learning outcomes to campus who could assist all instructors over a two-day period. I welcomed the faculty request, as it aligned with our goal to improve student learning outcomes. The faculty and staff from the Center for Instructional Excellence along with the Learning Outcomes Team then worked to make this two-day professional development event a success. The event was funded from the president’s office strategic fund.

As a replacement for the traditional Opening Conference breakfast, we hosted an “end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall campus picnic.” This allowed many staff and faculty members who often struggle with serving students during the final registration weeks the opportunity to engage in a campus event.

In the spirit of check-and-adjust, we have decided to replace the town hall originally scheduled for October 12 with small group meetings. In place of Opening Conference, I committed to providing this written update to the campus. The small group meetings will provide a more accessible space to discuss questions or concerns related to the state of the college. We will send out appointment times for these meetings. Thank you all, again, for all you do to help make our learners successful.

Students and Enrollment

Total enrollment this fall is 4,167 students, which generated 43,956 contact hours. We budgeted for a 6% decline and ended with approximately a 4.6% decline in contact hours. There are two major trends influencing enrollment at the college. The first is a decline in the traditional student age population that is predicted to continue past 2020. The other is the improved state of our local economy where older, potential students choose employment over education. These trends require us to continue to seek students from outside the region to take advantage of our specialty programs. This year, we saw growth in the number of students from out-of-state, international and our non-service areas of Michigan.

Another observation about our enrollment is that we continue to see a decline in the average age of our students. One reason for this is that the combination of dual enrolled and early college enrollment is up from 282 in 2013 to 497 in 2016. This is reflected in the increase of students aged 17 and under and contributes to a declining average age, now 23.7 years old. These gains have been made, despite the decline in the population of this age group across the region.

Even as we seek to expand enrollment in our region and beyond, it is important to remember that a significant percentage of our students are first generation college students. This means they need additional guidance, mentoring and wayfinding assistance. It is critical that we recognize they are not familiar with our systems and processes.

Student success and degree completion continue to be a paramount goal for NMC. Every new level of regulation and monitoring is placing more emphasis on this outcome. While we have made progress over recent years, we have much to do. I am asking our planning groups to establish additional metrics, which will help us to both succeed and to manage our performance. Achieving these goals is directly connected to government support. Financial Aid that NMC students received in 2015-16 totaled over $19 million.

NMC Student Financial Aid Sources

Community Engagement

Extended Education Services (EES) has been refreshing its catalog, pricing models, and preparing for a stronger online registration presence over the past few years. Specialty enrichment programming such as “College for Kids” is often a family’s first experience with NMC. Participant comments indicate great enjoyment with the challenging and new content, and high marks for a setting in which they can build new and lasting relationships. Area learners over the age of 50 continue to discover and use Life Academy programming in record numbers. These learners praise the great content from highly experienced instructors, gaining new sharing communities in the process. We will continue to see strong use of EES for personal and professional learning opportunities.

Training Services provides significant contributions to the community. It is the regional office for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Corporation, the leader in our Michigan New Jobs Training Program, a regional leader in LEAN programming, and now coordinator of a new stackable credential precision machining program with regional manufacturers. Training Services is a net positive in its revenue/expense profile. Below are some specific achievements:

  • New Jobs Training Program results
    • 495 jobs created with a minimum of 175% times minimum wage
    • 31 participating employers
    • $3.2 million of training
  • MMTC Employers served during the last 12 months reported the following results
    • $14.5 million of increased sales
    •  $16.3 million of retained sales
    • Net new investments made $9 million

Service Learning is yet another way in which students can connect their career aspirations to global concerns through targeted projects with their instructors. Examples at the local level with faculty members Kristy McDonald and Brandon Everest have earned important local and state recognition. Other similar projects include construction technology students participating in Habitat for Humanity, business students helping to install wi-fi technology in an Andean community and culinary students assisting a startup restaurant in Ecuador.

The International Affairs Forum (IAF) is another example of community engagement. IAF brings the experience of the world to our region through its annual lecture series, specialty ‘hot topic’ events, providing access to specialists on global policy for credit and noncredit presentations, and facilitating a growing network of professionals who now know Traverse City and NMC. Their membership program provides free admission to lectures for NMC students and their instructors.

International Relationships

NMC continues to be a leader in creating global learning experiences for students, faculty and staff. We are well into the implementation of our global endorsement, which is being reviewed as a model for other community colleges in Michigan and a potential MCCA submittal for a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. We are finalizing plans to provide joint degrees/certificates with Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute. Our faculty could begin delivering short-format courses in China in the next 18 months, and we could see more international students from this endeavor in about 12 months.

Employee Professional Development

The August learning outcomes professional development days were well attended and a great addition to this important project. Regional and national accreditors have made this a prime directive, and we will continue to make this a priority for the college.

Last spring, the Higher Learning Commission passed new regulations that require certain levels of graduate education for those teaching college. While I believe our faculty and instructional staff are excellent teachers, a number of our regular faculty do not meet these updated standards. As a result, NMC is paying for 80 percent of the tuition and fees to help current faculty secure appropriate credentials. This is in line with the fact that NMC is in the top 6 percent of all reporting community colleges for the investment in professional development.

Compensation and Talent

Staff and Administration Classification and Compensation implementation is in progress. We continue to complete work as identified on the implementation plan. I expect us to continue efforts to align staff salaries with their national benchmarks. As you recall, staff and administration, including the president, have been classified and benchmarked against national scales, as part of the implementation plan that started a few years ago. I am proud to call the faculty, staff and administrators on this campus my colleagues and believe this process will ensure NMC maintains its commitments to employees and taxpayers and students.

Fair Labor Standards Act changes will go into effect on December 1. The Human Resources office will be working with employees and their supervisors to prepare for these significant changes before the December 1 implementation date.

Faculty and faculty chair contract negotiations are continuing to move forward with the help of MERC appointed mediators. Additionally, we have requested a fact finding analysis, which will identify items of possible compromise in order to reach a final contract. The NMC administration and Board of Trustees remain strongly committed to reaching a fair agreement that is in the best interest of NMC faculty, students, the college and the community.

To offer additional facts, below is a summary of the negotiations thus far. Since the faculty voted to unionize in March 2015, NMC has done the following:

  • Presented numerous written proposals and counter proposals for the union’s consideration, the first on June 12, 2015; a comprehensive proposal and set of tentative agreements on August 19, 2016; and, most recently, on October 12, 2016.
  • Followed established negotiating practices, engaging in 17 collective bargaining sessions with union negotiators between May 15, 2015, and March 7, 2016.
  • Requested mediation through MERC on March 7, 2016.
  • Participated in eight sessions with MERC mediators between March 22 and September 29, 2016.
  • Petitioned MERC on August 8, 2016 for fact finding analysis to advance negotiations.
  • Reached at least 18 tentative agreements with the union.

Maintenance and Custodial Contract Negotiations with the SEIU union that represents maintenance and custodial employees are proceeding well and should come to conclusion soon.


Campus security installed a number of security upgrades over the summer. This includes blinds/shades and security film on windows. As part of our current campus upgrades, we will be bidding out enhanced security camera systems. I thank everyone who has been involved and engaged in building security practice events, and ask everyone to remain observant and diligent in this area.

Residence Hall and Fitness Center has broken ground. The new 140-bed residence hall and fitness center has the target opening date of August 2017, and we will be recruiting students for this hall. Rental housing in the region continues to be in short supply. Students coming to us from our region, outside the area or the country expect to have access to housing as they complete their studies. This project is critical as we work to expand enrollment in certain areas and specialty programs. Additionally, the facility is designed to accommodate other uses for example internships, workforce and/or married housing, as our college and community demographics change.

The Dennos Museum Center is breaking ground on a 14,000 sq. ft. addition beginning in October 2016. This is made possible because of kind contributions from Richard and Diana Milock and Barbara and Dudley Smith. Additional funding is being raised as part of larger efforts from the NMC Foundation.

Okerstrom Fine Arts Building updates and improvements are coming. We are in the selection process for an architectural firm to schedule facility repairs for this building. Windows, drainage, exterior siding repairs and internal restroom redesign are a few of the items on the list.

Funding sources for NMC, in addition to gifts named above, include funds in the plant fund reserves and the housing fund balance. NMC has issued general obligation bonds earlier this summer to fund these projects. The NMC Foundation is actively engaged in securing additional resources for the college that includes these projects. Residence halls are self-liquidating and will generate resources to retire their debt.

Facilities planning activities include selecting design firms for two more projects centered on the current site of West Hall. These two new facilities will result in an approximate 53,000 sq. ft. modern learning facility that will serve both our students and faculty, as well as the community at large. Combined with new housing, we envision this new learning facility to be open 24/7. Faculty, staff, students and community members will be involved in the design process. The innovation center is authorized for planning through the state, and the library is an internally funded (through bonding) project.

Higher Learning Commission Accreditation

Regional accreditation is required for NMC to provide access to federal and state funding for the college and our students. NMC follows the AQIP pathway offered by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Our cycle requires submission of our system portfolio by November 2017, a strategy forum in Chicago for a team of board, administration, staff and faculty in February 2017, and a campus visit in late 2018 or early 2019. Our last accreditation visit outlined four strategic challenges in need of improvement:

  1. Aligning our continuous improvement processes for learning outcomes at the course, program, and general education levels
  2. Expanding institutional awareness, accessibility of, and the use of data in terms of metrics, targets, and goals
  3.  Developing deeper understanding of student needs related to developmental education
  4. Developing a more robust peer benchmarking process in order to inform future planning

NMC already had initiatives in place for strategic challenges (1) and (3) to address the concerns identified by the HLC review team. For strategic challenge (1) NMC identified a strategic goal in the FY15 strategic plan to “develop and implement an integrated and aligned learning outcomes system that includes the articulation of and means of documenting learning outcomes, assessments, results, and actions for improvement at the course, program, and institutional levels.” NMC began operationalizing this goal by chartering an AQIP action project, Learning Outcomes, by forming a team for implementation. The most recent Learning outcomes summary was reviewed in October 2015. Additionally, the course outlines and instructions were revised so that all courses will have been reviewed and revised, if necessary, in order for course level learning outcomes to align with program and general education outcomes. For strategic challenge (3), NMC chartered an AQIP action project, Enhancing Developmental Education. The team implemented several initiatives in developmental English and math, closing the project in 2015.

For strategic challenges (2) and (4), we continue to work through our cycle of the aligned planning process using the A3 metrics and planning tool. We expect to see our processes related to using data and benchmarking metrics to be refined and expanded. As with everything we do, we will follow a plan, do, check and adjust cycle.

HLC accreditation is important to each and every one of us. Many of you will be involved in the process and all of us will be affected by the outcome.

Leadership and Governance

Our goal is to maintain a collaborative community and we believe in the power of engagement. That is why faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in dozens of NMC councils, committees, task forces and project teams. I believe it is important that we, as a college, review and recommend any modifications to our shared governance and leadership systems. An unanswered question for staff and administration remains as to what the future of employee groups is within the leadership and governance processes. These groups are currently foundational to representation on governance councils and many committees. The Leadership Group has been key in aligning planning processes at NMC. I have asked employee groups to remain intact as they continue their participation and representation on councils, committees and taskforces.

We have begun a clarification process with PBC and will review that with the campus. A more comprehensive review calendar for leadership and governance review will be established prior to the end of the calendar year.


Last year we built the budget on moderately increasing revenue, reducing cost, and shifting priorities. The budget reductions included; $450,000 reduction in salary expenses, $200,000 reduction in COAT purchases, $250,000 reduction in professional development and $300,000 reduction in transfers to the plant fund. It is important that NMC operates in a responsible way to students and taxpayers, and the budget plays a key role in our commitment to both constituencies.

Right sizing and adjustments
When we built the budget last year, I stated that I did not want to take budget actions that might later have to be reversed depending on fall outcomes. We have a long history of reviewing all vacant positions, asking whether positions can be combined, eliminated or revised to result in cost savings. We have done this in a number of areas during the summer and early fall. In all of these cases, we have committed to monitor the impact, review the decisions and welcome your feedback.

We recognize we have approximately 1,200 fewer students today than we had at the peak of the recession. We also continue to see more competition from online and other education delivery methods. Consequently, we must continue to review and revise how we accomplish our work and make adjustments in our budget. Our projections last spring indicated we needed to remove over $1 million from our budget. We set a target of $450,000 of that to come from salary costs. Our hope was to achieve some savings through employee attrition and consolidations; and we continue to work toward our targets. An update on the targeted savings will be provided at the October Board of Trustees meeting. The budget will continue to evolve. I ask you to stay engaged, ask questions, and offer suggestions.

NMC Foundation and Resource Development
Four years ago, we began a comprehensive redesign of the NMC Foundation and Resource Development department. We know that we need significantly more resources to fund scholarships, programs, people, facilities and equipment. We also know that more of this needs to come from NMC Foundation efforts. To that end, we are executing a plan that will provide those resources. You will see additional personnel in this department as we continue down this path. In the coming weeks and months, you will begin to hear more about this exciting effort on the part of our Foundation, its volunteers and employees. Funding for this effort is shared by the Foundation and the college’s strategic fund, fund for transformation and reserves.

Legislative and Regulatory Issues

We continue to engage and inform our state and federal elected officials about the breadth of work that we are involved with here at NMC, as well as some of the challenges we face. So far this year, we have convened several legislative roundtable discussions both in Traverse City and in Lansing, hosted a legislative campus tour, welcomed Governor Snyder to NMC and showcased a real world implementation of NMC’s technical education capabilities for a U.S. senator.

As a result, we have found success in raising legislative awareness of all that we do at NMC and appreciate the legislative support we have received to move forward with important projects, such as the West Hall Innovation Center.

As we look forward to a legislative session at both the state and federal levels following the election in November, as well as what the legislature and administration might be focused on in 2017, there are several legislative and regulatory items that we continue to track and monitor. These include the following 2017 State Legislative Advocacy Issues:

  • State FY18 Budget – Community College Base Appropriations
    •  We will continue to press for additional increases in state base appropriations in FY18.
    •  We expect the Governor to announce his FY18 proposed higher education budget in early February 2017.
  •  Capital Outlay – West Hall Innovation Center
    • Following NMC’s successful capital outlay planning grant request in FY17, we are hopeful that the legislature will approve construction funding for our West Hall Innovation Center project in FY18.
    • The total project cost was reduced by over 20% from the proposed project cost in FY16 and once complete will transform and renovate 38,000 square feet of space to accommodate the use of simulation, team-based and project learning across all curricula.
  • Community College Baccalaureate Legislation – Offering New Credentials of Value
    • To meet the needs of the business community, our region, state, nation and world, NMC must have the flexibility to offer new credentials from technical certificates to baccalaureate degrees.
    •  SB 98 would expand the ability of community colleges to offer a baccalaureate degree in nursing, a credential that is needed by healthcare employers in the region and state.
  • Guided Pathways – Start with the End in Mind
    • Support the implementation of the Guided Pathways Design Principles.
    • These principles include helping students with goal-setting from the start and simplifying their choices with clear roadmaps.
    • The principles also include a redesigned intake with the goal of helping students choose and successfully enter a program of study while monitoring students’ progress, giving frequent feedback and support as needed.
    • The principles would also empower faculty and staff to lead the redesign process.
  • Transfer Management and Community College Collaboration
    • The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) provides every student in Michigan access to earn 30 college credits at a low-cost community college with the guarantee that all 30 credits will transfer to a four-year institution and count towards a bachelor’s degree
    •  We are supporting expanding this opportunity by creating career pathways to guarantee seamless transfer of an associate degree.

2017 Federal Legislative Advocacy Issues

  • FY18 Federal Budget
    • We will be watching closely as the next administration releases its FY18 budget proposal and the levels at which higher education is funded.
    • One specific issue that we will be advocating for will be the reinstatement of year-round-Pell Grants.
  • Higher Education Policy Positions of the New Administration
    • This year, President Obama outlined an ambitious agenda to combat rising college costs and make college affordable for American families. 
    • We are actively tracking the policy positions of the presidential candidates as they relate to higher education.
  • Department of Education Oversight
    • We will continue to monitor issues related to rules and regulations from the U.S. Department of Education and how they might affect the operations of NMC.

Board of Trustees

The NMC Board of Trustees is a volunteer body that continues to do critical work for the future of the college and community. The election in November has two open seats. One seat is due to the retirement of Bob Brick, who has been a tireless supporter of NMC first serving on the Foundation Board and then on the Board of Trustees. I thank him for all he has done and have been assured he will continue to support NMC. The second seat is currently held by Chris Bott, who was appointed to the Board following Cheryl Gore Follette’s resignation. Trustee Bott is one of six candidates seeking this position. The League of Women Voters will hold a Board of Trustee Candidate Forum in Milliken Auditorium on October 18 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.

Following, are the six candidates in alphabetical order:

  • Chris M. Bott
  • Carolyn Collins
  • Christopher Dailey
  • Michael Estes
  • Michael Haynes
  • Rachel Johnson

Spring Semester Opening

We have not made a decision on the nature and design of spring semester Opening Conference. I want to talk with a number of groups, including the Learning Outcomes Team, CIE, and Staff Development Team to get their recommendations. I hope to have a decision by mid-November.

Closing Comments

We live in a time of not just change, but transformation. Whether talking about society in general, or the college as a microcosm of society, I think the following is true. We have the technological capability to be more connected than at any other time in history. Yet, we seem to be less connected than any time in recent history. It is far too easy to blast off an email or text without regard to factual basis. It is far easier to use technology to support a position than it is to listen to a colleague and examine our position. It is more comfortable to talk only with people who have a like mind. It is hard to feel uncomfortable. Everyone, close your eyes, breath deep breaths and consider for a moment all the gifts we have in our lives.

I ask each of us to understand the discomfort that accompanies transformation. I ask each of us to learn to embrace today, work to build tomorrow and truly live out the values adopted by the NMC community in 2007. Never forget, it will take all of us to get to the future. It will take all of us to make a difference in our learners’ lives. It will take all of us to make a difference in our community. We have a proud history of service and innovation. I believe this college, this community, more than many others has the will and capacity to continue growing to meet new needs within our world. It is up to us.

Thank you for all you do, have a great semester.

President’s Update for September 20, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • The Michigan Legacy Art Park has awarded the Dennos Museum Center and Executive Director Gene Jenneman with the 2016 Legacy Award in recognition of 25 years of arts inspiration, collaboration, accessibility and leadership in northern Michigan and beyond. The award honors those who make a significant, positive, impact on Michigan’s arts, history, culture or environment.
  • T/S State of Michigan returned from completing back-to-back training cruises on August 9. This evolution lasted 111 days and represented a 100% increase in the use of the vessel from previous years. Additionally, it showed that GLMA can provide requisite sea service for all cadets in order to meet USCG credentialing requirements regardless of availability of commercial internships. During this evolution the following took place:
    • Consumed 80,500 gals of diesel
    • Transited 8,425 miles, all of which were in high traffic pilotage waters
    • Visited 14 ports
    • Provided training for 109 cadets and three GLCI students
    • The GLCI students will graduate with both culinary and U.S. merchant mariner credentials. These students will be in high demand by the U.S. maritime industry for service on either Great Lakes or ocean going vessels. Crowley Maritime, one of the largest maritime companies in the world will visit GLMA/GLCI in October to begin discussions on increasing the number of GLCI students who will graduate with seagoing experience and merchant mariner credentials.
    • The crew and cadets consumed $191,000 worth of food
    • A total of 24 professional mariners took part
  • GLMA proved the ship can be operated safely by moving toward a ballast regime that features minimal changes and utilizes only public drinking water, which may avoid a large future expense and current technological uncertainties associated with ballast treatment systems. GLMA received notable personnel, financial, or in kind support from: American Steamship Company, Interlake Steamship Company, US Army Corps of Engineers Chicago and Sault Ste. Marie, Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, USCG Sector Sault Ste. Marie, American Maritime Officers, Masters, Mates, and Pilots, GLMA front office, NMC HR, Arnold Transportation Company, City of Houghton, Acheson Ventures LLC, City of Algonac and of course MARAD. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4, IE5).
  • The Science/Math area held a 2-day workshop August 10-11 to work together on the new syllabus format, course outlines, writing outcomes, lecture capture, light board lectures, and MAP (My Academic Plan) training. (IE1)
  • Deb Pharo edited an OER textbook to exactly match the content of the MTH 120 course, and Mary Burget was the proofreader for the OER edit. (IE1)
  • To assist students in their academic planning, and promote student retention and completion, the Advising Center has collaborated with Information Technology, the academic department areas, and the Records & Registration office to develop ‘Plans’ – the next phase of My Academic Plan. This electronic resource allows advisors to work with students to develop a semester-by-semester academic plan specific to the student. Templates for both AAS and a select number of ASA degree programs were developed, and are being reviewed by academic areas, to help guide students in creation of their Plans. Training sessions for faculty advisors, conducted by Records & Registration and the Advising Center, have begun and will continue this semester with a goal of having all professional and faculty advisors use Plans with first semester students at NMC. Used in tandem with the degree audit tool, MAP (My Academic Plan), this resource will allow students to create an academic plan showing them the path toward certificate/degree completion and/or transfer. (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • Led by our Early College partner, Meredith Schmidt from TBA Career Tech Center, Kim Schultz, academic & career advisor, participated in a special course orientation for TBA Career Tech Center Early College students, in cooperation with Victoria Willson, communications instructor. Held at the TBA Career Tech Center, this orientation was aimed at improving student engagement and success in the online ENG107 – Academic Study Methods course. The session included hands on practice logging into students’ MyNMC portal, an overview of the course and using Moodle with the instructor, and information about academic advising and other NMC academic support resources available to students. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • Bookstore customer service improvements—they heard repeated feedback from students saying their experience was easier, quick, and books were less expensive than expected. The bookstore had more rental choices and the students appreciated this, which led to a $20,000 increase in rental sales over last August. Course material requisitions are being submitted once a year, which enables for the students to be informed on future spring classes that would be using books being purchased, prospective buyback options, and better information on rentals. This knowledge provided the ability to purchase more books, which in turn provides more competitive prices. (IE5)
  • Procured $21 million bond for construction projects. Secured Standard and Poors rating service—NMC is AA, very strong financially. (IE5)
  • Playground equipment for the apartments/daycare center has arrived, funded by a BBQ grant, and will be installed over the next few weeks. (IE5)
  • Karen Ruedinger completed a financial analysis of the Commitment Scholarship Program which will help with program sustainability. (IE5)
  • The Hagerty Center successfully created a relationship with the Traverse House for supplemental employment. We currently have one person employed with the hope of adding several more in the future. (IE5)
  • The Hagerty Center increased net profit for FY16 by 17%. (IE5)
  • The NMC Foundation successfully implemented another amazing scholarship golf outing for 2016! Despite extreme temperatures out on the course, more than 250 golfers teed off to support honors, academic area, Presidential, and Founders scholarships for NMC students. The event has raised more than $100,000 per year for each of the past three years thanks to tremendous work by the staff, a dedicated volunteer committee (approx 20 members), and the support of generous sponsors and golfers. Thanks to all who were involved! (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Nancy Parshall, faculty member in the Communications Academic Area, has just had a new story published in Issue 6 of Kyso Flash. Read her short story entitled, WHERE THE PIANO STOOD at Kysoflash.com. (IE1)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Fall semester has begun! The college is busy with students and faculty back in classrooms. Thank you to all faculty and staff for all the work that went into making the beginning of the fall semester as smooth as possible for our students. All of you contribute to the success of our students!
  • We celebrated the Dennos Museum Center Groundbreaking on August 15. There were 17 regional artists who designed shovels used in the ceremony. Most of those artists were present, along with many other special guests, including Diana and Richard Milock, Barb and Dudley Smith, and Lou Anna Simon, President of Michigan State University. The museum expansion is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017.
  • The college-wide picnic on August 19 was a great opportunity for getting everyone together and meeting new members of NMC. Over 150 people attended and our Sodexo catering staff did a wonderful job with the food. Luckily, the weather cooperated for the most part and we only had a brief rain storm, which brought us all in under the tent to meet new employees.
  • Todd Neibauer, vice president of student services and technologies, and I had the opportunity to meet with the East Hall RAs before the semester officially started. I shared my personal experience of being in charge of the dorms in the 1970s.
  • Nancy and I, along with Kennard and Judy Weaver and many other museum staff and friends, attended the Michigan Legacy Art Park Gala to celebrate the presentation of the 2016 Legacy Award to Gene Jenneman and the Dennos Museum Center. It was a wonderful evening honoring Gene who was hired by NMC in 1988 to supervise the planning, construction and direction of the Dennos Museum, which opened in 1991, with Gene as its founding executive director. Gene is also a founding board member of Michigan Legacy Art Park.
  • The Faculty Professional Development Day was held on August 22 at the Hagerty Center where Peg Weissinger of Georgetown University led NMC faculty through a 1 ½ day workshop entitled “Designing Courses for Significant Learning.” The focus was on enhancing or designing courses—from daily activities to assignments to assessments to outcomes—to encourage deep and sustained learning. The goal was to have new active learning strategies to try, ways to strengthen assignments, and ideas for developing outcomes that include key habits, skills, and concepts students can build on throughout their lives.
  • On August 30 we welcomed several Michigan legislators for a campus tour and reception. Nancy Jenkins, Triston Cole, Phil Potvin, and Larry Inman attended from the Michigan House of Representatives and State Senators Darwin Booher and Wayne Schmidt were also in attendance. The tour portion of the event focused on our current and future construction projects on main campus.
  • We hosted an NMC informational session for the six candidates vying for the two board of trustee positions on the November election ballot. Candidates Chris M. Bott, Carolyn Collins, Christopher Dailey, Michael Estes, Michael B. Haynes, and Rachel Johnson all attended and seemed grateful for the opportunity to learn more about NMC.
  • A huge crowd of approximately 500 celebrated the life of NMC’s Sonja Olshove at the Hagerty Center on Sunday, September 11.
  • The 12th Annual Wayne and Terry Lobdell Scholarship Dinner was held at NMC’s Lobdell’s A Teaching Restaurant last Friday evening. The dinner was a sold-out event that provides scholarships to NMC’s Culinary students.

Legislative Issues

  • On Tuesday, August 30, NMC welcomed several of our state elected officials to campus for the third in a series of legislative roundtable discussions that NMC is hosting this year in an effort to better engage with our state and federal elected officials. Attending were State Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), State Senator Darwin Booher (R-Evart), State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg), State Representative Triston Cole (Mancelona) and State Representative Nancy Jenkins (R-Clayton). The tour included briefings on the Dennos Museum expansion project, the use of simulation technology in NMC’s nursing program, an update on the West Hall Innovation Center and discussion about investments in new student housing and other facilities. The goal of the event was to provide legislators with an understanding of how NMC’s infrastructure investments are tied to our mission, vision, values and strategic objectives. Based on the feedback that we have received to date, this goal was achieved with legislators expressing their appreciation for the opportunity to see firsthand how these projects meet the needs of our learners. We look forward to continuing to engage with our elected officials through this ongoing series of discussions.
  • We continue to work on several items related to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, including working with Senator Stabenow’s office and the Northwest Regional Fire Training Center to obtain surplus Marine Administration fire training equipment for use in training GLMA Cadets. We also appreciate the efforts of both Senator Stabenow and Senator Peters who co-sponsored an amendment to the federal Water Resources Development Act that would benefit the marine infrastructure of the Great Lakes Campus.
  • With the state and federal legislature returning from summer recess for a short period before election day, we will continue to monitor legislative issues impacting NMC that may be taken up either before November 8, or in a potential lame duck session.


  • The League of Women Voters is hosting a forum for NMC Board of Trustees candidates on Tuesday, October 18, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Milliken Auditorium.

President’s Update for August 12, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • Sheila Rupp, NMC Registrar, has successfully completed the training requirements to become a Veterans Administration School Certifying Official (SCO) for NMC. There are now two staff members in Records and Registration who can provide enrollment certifications to the VA. This allows the department to better manage transitions and time-sensitive responsibilities during peak times or when there is an unexpected absence or vacancy. (IE3)
  • The NMC Library and Educational Media Technologies led a workshop for 18 faculty members about trading commercial textbooks for open educational resources (OER). Faculty identified high-quality, copyright-free textbooks and other educational materials available in their fields of study and explored how they could save students money and improve course outcomes using OER.  There are currently 25 NMC faculty teaching with free online textbooks and several others planning to adopt one next semester. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • Disability Support Services Specialist Leanne Baumeler worked with Educational Media Technologies and Information Technology on a project, funded through an NMC Foundation Innovation Grant, which allows all NMC students to now have the option to hear text read aloud through ReadSpeaker for Moodle and a more comprehensive TextAid program. Details about each program can be found at ReadSpeaker.com. (IE1, IE3, IE4)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Nancy and I met the TS State of Michigan at the Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard Base for a training cruise on July 21.  We were able to experience the ship going through the Soo Locks and observe our GLMA crew and cadets in action.  We were very impressed and were able to get better acquainted with many of the cadets and hear of their interesting life experiences that led them to our GLMA. I’d like to commend their expertise and wonderful hospitality.
  • Trustees Kennard Weaver, Chris Bott, Ross Childs, and Doug Bishop, along with Holly Gorton and I, attended the MCCA Summer Institute on Mackinac Island last week.  There were special sessions for presidents, trustees and general sessions for all attendees.  The event was well planned with informative sessions and social events that provide a great opportunity to interact with other community college trustees and leadership.
  • A team from NMC visited Denver, Colorado, for the CQIN Summer Institute.  For over a decade, NMC has been participating in the annual Summer Institute hosted by the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN), a president’s organization in which Baldrige Award recipients and private sector leaders join community college teams in shared learning experiences related to quality improvement. This year, the Institute theme, “Producing Future Success: Demonstrating Value Through Results,” brought together Elevations Credit Union (2014 Baldrige Recipient), Intermark Group, National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute, U.S. Golf Association, and Civitas Learning to share their experiences in the use of data analytics and its relationship to organizational culture, student attraction and retention, and, ultimately, learner success.  The NMC team included Joy Evans, Executive Dir. of Research, Planning & Effectiveness, Todd Neibauer, V.P. for Student Services & Technologies, Marguerite Cotto, V.P. for Lifelong & Professional Learning, and in project consulting roles, Gabe Schneider and Dan Wolf.

    Sessions on predictive analytics as applied to understanding conditions for student success were very effective, as were the major presentations related to organizational culture, marketing & recruitment strategies. Themes were well connected giving us an opportunity for thoughtful discussions during the entire time.  Our next step is to convene a larger group to share information and explore resources that may serve us well over the next few years. Next year’s session, an expansion of the 2016 theme, will be held in Chicago, IL.

    As a member of the CQIN Executive Team, I also attended meetings with that group while there.

  • I’d like to thank all those who participated and organized another great NMC Scholarship Open that took place on August 4 at the Grand Traverse Resort.  More than 250 golfers teed off to support honors, academic area, Presidential, and Founders scholarships for NMC students. The event has raised more than $100,000 per year for each of the past three years thanks to tremendous work by the staff, a dedicated volunteer committee (approximately 20 members), and the support of generous sponsors and golfers.  Trustee Chris Bott and I spent the day traversing the two courses to welcome and thank golfers for coming out on a hot, but beautiful day to contribute to student scholarships.  Thanks to all who were involved! Special thanks to the Scholarship Open Committee and their chair Mike Lipp.

Legislative Issues

  • We received an update from Senator Stabenow’s office on the inquiry her office initiated on behalf of NMC and the GLMA regarding the disposal of equipment from the Great Lakes Fire Training Center.  Senator Stabenow’s office contacted the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and was told that MARAD was moving in a positive direction to transfer the equipment however they do not have anything definitive yet on where the equipment will be going.  They are still working through the process to determine what is available to transfer and what paperwork needs to be completed to make a transfer occur.  MARAD also stated that they would be sending a more complete and formal response to the senator’s office soon. Senator Stabenow’s office informed us that they would let us know when they received the formal response from MARAD.
  • This week, Chris Stewart, Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Dan Benishek, will be touring the GLMA and meeting with Admiral Achenbach.


  • The ceremonial groundbreaking to expand the Dennos Museum Center will take place Monday, August 15, at 11:00 am.  Please join us for this exciting celebration of the Dennos’ 25th Anniversary and upcoming expansion.

President’s Update for July 18, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • Alison Collins, Beckie Wooters and four NMC Dental Assistant students, Stephanie Covert, Ashley Carlson, Ashleigh Henigan, and Holly Koenig, participated in a worthwhile experience with the Mission of Mercy, sponsored by the Michigan Dental Association Foundation, June 9-11 in Warren, MI. The group assisted with set-up of the event, patient registration and education, sterilizing instruments, and provided chairside assistance with oral surgery and pedodontics. There were 1,249 patient visits, 4,986 total dental procedures, and over $1 million in oral health care services provided at no charge. (IE1, IE2, IE4).
  • Each Friday in May the Advising Center, Admissions, and Student Life held orientation sessions for incoming dual enrolled high school students. Instead of grouping high school students in with general new student orientation, this new model allows for an efficient and effective introduction to the college enrollment process. Students went through the dual enrollment process prior to school letting out for summer, which reinforced the importance of deadlines and urgency for registration with students. (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • The Advising Center has developed and launched a series of communications to new students based on students’ intended major and career choice.  These communications are intended to connect students with advising services and resources for major and career decision-making. In the Advising Center, students, with the assistance of professional advisors, can access career, program, and transfer pathways at NMC. (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • Taylor Nash and Kim Schultz led the Advising Center in a major redesign of the Advising Center web pages to reflect the significant advancements of the Guided Pathways initiative at NMC. Advisors continue to offer professional expertise in helping students decide on major and/or career direction by helping students gain a clear understanding of their strengths, interests, personality, and values, and aiding students in identifying, exploring, and evaluating career and major options. (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • Campus Services was pleased to unveil the refreshed Tanis Atrium with new furniture that is stylish, modern and functional.  This area is well-used by students and staff for studying and socializing. (IE5)
  • Resource Development reports that the finish of their fiscal year exceeded their fundraising goals for both the Annual Fund and overall fundraising.  Fundraising Events also exceeded their goal in raising funds for College programs and scholarships. All of this is made possible entirely thanks to the generosity of our community members, alumni, and friends of NMC around the world. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Nancy Parshall, Communications Academic Area faculty member, recently published a short story entitled “Shooting for Six.” The story can be found here: https://www.101words.org/shooting-for-six/(IE3, IE5)
  • NMC will be introducing a new multiple-measures approach for English placement beginning spring 2017, through joint contributions of Judy Chu, Joy Evans, Nancy Gray, Janet Lively, Deirdre Mahoney, Kristen Salathiel, Beth Wallace, Megan Ward, and Ryan Wilson.  At the end of the spring 2017 semester; students’ success rates will be reviewed based on the use of this approach, which will guide potential revisions going forward.
  • Scott Goethals and Keith Weber have been meeting (virtually) with representatives from Huanggang Polytechnic Institute in China and the University of Toledo to develop a computer information technology program consortium agreement for Chinese students studying in America. (IE1, IE2)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • On June 20, the vice presidents and I attended a day long retreat at the Historic Barns Park Botanical Gardens.
  • In June I attended employee group meetings along with Mark Liebling and Hollie DeWalt from our Human Resources department in order to discuss upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In December 2016 the salary threshold at which an employee is nonexempt from overtime will increase, thus making more employees eligible for overtime pay.
  • Nancy and I were invited to a Global Opportunity Scholarship (GOS) luncheon on June 28 where students shared stories from their study abroad experiences, and expressed gratitude for the encouragement and opportunities afforded to them through NMC and the GOS fund.
  • The campus was able to thank Vice President Chris Weber and wish her well in her new endeavors through a Farewell Reception held in her honor on June 28.  We are very grateful for the many contributions Chris made to enrollment management processes during her tenure at NMC. She will be missed.
  • I was able to attend several events of the 2016 National Cherry Festival, which included a meeting with one of the Blue Angles where I provided a gift of an NMC Coin for each member of the Blue Angels team, and attending the Governor’s Breakfast held at the Park Place Dome, among others.
  • Over 70 people attended our July 11 groundbreaking ceremony for our new $8.8 million, 140 bed student housing and fitness center. This project is the first of several major construction projects planned over the next few years. Thank you to all attendees for participating in this monumental event, including Senator Wayne Schmidt and Representative Larry Inman who have been outstanding supporters of NMC and championed the approval of NMC’s FY17 West Hall Innovation Center capital outlay request.
  • I was invited to participate in a stakeholder discussion concerning infrastructure at the first meeting of the Governor’s Commission of Modern Infrastructure that was held here in Traverse City at the Chamber of Commerce on July 11. I provided written input, but was unable to attend due to our housing groundbreaking event. The commission members had lunch prior to the meeting at NMC’s Lobdell’s. While this event was sponsored by a third party with NMC only providing the location, it presented a nice opportunity to showcase NMC and Traverse City.

Legislative Issues

  • Last month, Governor Snyder reappointed NMC nursing instructor Mary Vander Kolk to the Michigan Board of Nursing.  Vander Kolk previously worked at Munson Medical Center, Eastern Michigan University, Catherine McCauley Health Center, and Sparrow Hospital. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and nursing from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in nursing from Wayne State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Lake Superior State University. She will continue to represent registered professional nurses with a baccalaureate degree engaged in nursing education in a licensed practical nurse program.  Appointees will serve four-year terms expiring June 30, 2020.
  • We followed up with Senator Stabenow’s office, Senator Peters office and Senate Armed Services Committee staff to indicate our support of a provision in the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would assist in furthering NMC’s goal of creating a “Veterans Transcript.” A Veterans Transcript would be a document presented to exiting members of the military that would translate military skills into civilian educational credits or technical certifications. Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA-7) had an amendment adopted to the NDAA that would require the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the transfer of skills into equivalent college credits or technical certifications for members of the armed forces leaving the military.
  • We contacted Senator Stabenow and Senator Peters offices regarding the pending closure of the Great Lakes Fire Training Center. The MARAD operated center provides critical advanced firefighting courses to Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadets. With the closure of the facility after FY16, Admiral Achenbach sent a letter to MARAD requesting that they work with the Northwest Regional Fire Training Center here in Traverse City to acquire the specialized training equipment so that the Northwest Regional Fire Training Center can provide this critical training for GLMA cadets.  We followed up with the offices of our U.S. Senators to ask that they weigh in with MARAD on this request.


  • The MCCA Summer Institute at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island is July 26-29. I will be attending as well as Holly Gorton, and trustees Doug Bishop, Kennard Weaver, Chris Bott, and Ross Childs.
  • The CQIN Summer Institute is also coming up July 31 to August 3 in Denver, Colorado, where a team will represent NMC.

President’s Update for June 14, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note:  Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible.

  • NMC’s Computer Information Technology department hosted an IT Academy Olympics on May 6 for students of the TBA Career Tech Center IT Academy program. Students in the TBA program competed in different events and tested their knowledge against that of their peers. Students competed in events such as Network Build, Cable Build, Knowledge Throw- down, and Game Skill Development. Students were divided into teams and prizes were awarded to the winners. This event was sponsored by NMC, Frontier Computer Corp, Best Buy, TBA Credit Union, and City Mac. Our goal for next year is to expand this event to include other Career Tech Centers in the region. (IE1, IE2)
  • The class waitlist feature has been successfully instituted into the registration process. This electronic process sends notification to students that a seat is available for a waitlisted closed class, which enables students to get into classes they want without having to continuously check for possible openings and ensures that students who enroll sooner have a better chance of getting into a closed course. This feature also allows departments to monitor how many students are waiting to get into a particular course to determine whether a new section needs to be added. (IE3, IE5)
  • Leanne Baumeler, Disability Support Services Specialist was chosen as the 2016-2018 President-Elect of the Michigan chapter of the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities (MI-AHEAD). The election was held at their spring conference on June 3 in Lansing. She will assume her role as president of the organization in June 2018. AHEAD is an organization for professionals working with higher education students with disabilities. (IE2)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • Over 7,300 people came out to enjoy our 61st Annual NMC Barbecue on May 22! The beautiful weather made for a great community get-together. Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped make it a great event!
  • Vicki Cook, Marguerite Cotto, Gabe Schneider, Kennard Weaver and I, traveled to Lansing on May 24 to hold a roundtable discussion with several Michigan legislators and their staff members. From the Michigan House of Representatives we hosted Rep. Phil Potvin, Rep. Larry Inman, Rep. Peter Pettalia, Rep. Lee Chatfield, Rep. Jon Bumstead, and Rep. Bruce Rendon. State Senators Darwin Booher, Wayne Schmidt, and Tonya Schuitmaker also attended. In addition to highlighting NMC’s contributions to our region, during the meeting we also discussed potential legislation regarding community colleges offering baccalaureate degrees, dark store taxation, and the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.
  • I had the opportunity to tour TentCraft’s facility and discuss NMC’s engagement in their training and manufacturing processes. The most recent edition of Traverse City Business News included an article about TentCraft and how our training assistance contributed to their success.
  • Vice President Marguerite Cotto and I traveled to Austin, Texas, over Memorial Day Weekend for NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. Marguerite and I presented “Driving Innovation through Continuous Improvement” at the Administrators Series. Jason Slade, an instructor in the Engineering and Marine Technology programs, also attended the conference where he received a NISOD Excellence Award. Jason was nominated by Ed Bailey and Hans Van Sumeren for his work facilitating the Manufacturing Technology Academy, which high school students attend through the Career Tech Program.
  • 5 faculty members and 10 doctoral students from the Higher Education Program at the University of Toledo and 5 international educators from Europe visited NMC on Monday, June 6, as a part of their Summer Leadership Academy. The group visited our main campus and joined a discussion with Jim Bensley, director of international services and service learning, Marguerite Cotto, and myself regarding internationalization and the future of community colleges.
  • Kevin Concannon, the USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, observed the NMC/MMC Child Development Program at the Oleson Center. Mr. Concannon observed the preschoolers arriving for the day, eating breakfast, and composting food scraps during their morning circle time. Munson Healthcare officials, aides to U.S. Senators Stabenow and Peters, and others involved in the NMC/MMC childcare partnership were also in attendance. The focus of this visit was for the undersecretary to witness how healthy food is being incorporated into our childcare facilities, as nutrition standards were strengthened in April for food and beverages served to young children in day care settings.
  • A series of six budget update forums began on Thursday, June 2. Vice President Vicki Cook presented the current budget model for FY 17. She and I answered questions of faculty and staff at each meeting pertaining to the budget and legislative issues. The forums are scheduled on each of the four campuses at varying times to encourage participation from the entire college.
  • Thank you to all who were able to help honor Chuck Judson as NMC’s 2016 Fellow, the Board’s highest honor bestowed upon those who have made special contributions to the college’s mission in numerous ways. It was a wonderful evening event to celebrate our friend Chuck along with his family and closest friends and colleagues.

Legislative Issues

  • Capital Outlay—Last week the legislature passed the state’s general government omnibus budget bill for FY2016-17, which included capital outlay planning authorizations for our West Hall Innovation Center project. Once completed, the project will transform the existing hall into a state-of-the-art learning center providing 38,000 square feet of space to accommodate the use of simulation, team-based and project learning across all curricula. The renovation of the 50 year old building is part of the college’s efforts to update and modernize its facilities. Since 2005, among Michigan’s 28 community colleges, NMC ranks 23rd in capital outlay appropriations, having received only $650,000 in state investment. After reducing the total project cost by 20% to $14,499,400 in our FY17 application, the scoring of the West Hall Innovation Center moved NMC up from ranking 14th statewide in FY16 to ranking 3rd this year in the governor’s budget. Additional support from State Representative Larry Inman, State Senator Wayne Schmidt, and State Senator Darwin Booher helped to keep the project in the final budget bill now awaiting Governor Snyder’s signature. The final capital outlay report includes funding for 8 university projects and 6 community college projects. The community colleges included were Delta, Kellogg, Monroe, Muskegon, NMC and Southwestern. Two community colleges, Mott and Wayne, had been originally recommended by the governor but were not included in the final report.
  • State Budget—Also last week, the legislature finalized the FY2016-2017 education budget which included an operations increase for community colleges of an average 1.4% statewide (down from 2.4% that was originally recommended by the governor). Including the $3.7 million dollar increase from MPSERS funding, the total increase for community colleges averages 2.1%.  NMC will see a performance funding increase of $117,500 or 1.3%.  Unlike the budgets for the universities, the community college budget does not include tuition restrain language.
  • Dark Stores—Last Wednesday, the full House of Representatives gave its approval to HB 5578 which would provide guidance to the Michigan Tax Tribunal in determining commercial valuations. The Bill is a response to the so-called “dark store” strategy, whereby certain national chain retailers are using deed restrictions to limit their property tax assessments. This not only allows those retailers to shirk their support for local services but grants them an unfair competitive advantage over locally owned retailers.  The bill now goes to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
  • Legislative Session Schedule—Following the completion of budget work last week, both the House and Senate adjourned officials until July 13. Although, it is likely that no further legislative action will take place until the August 2 primary election.


  • The June 27, 2016, Board meeting will be held at the Great Lakes Campus in room 112.

President’s Update for May 20, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note:  Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible.

  • On Saturday, April 16, 2016, the Student Life Office held its 5th annual Sweet Earth Music and Arts Festival at the Hagerty Center. The annual Sweet Earth Arts and Music Festival is an all- inclusive Earth Day Celebration, and is intended to engage students and the greater community through art and music to learn about environmental issues of local and global importance and to connect with ways to take action. Choosing the Hagerty Center as our venue allowed for more vendors, community partners and attendees to participate. This year we featured 22 artist vendors and 26 community organizations, along with live music and poetry from Michigan artists around the state. The event drew approximately 1,200 attendees. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4).
  • Seven students from our Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management, Landscape Management and Viticulture programs participated in the 2nd annual Equipment Operation and Maintenance Clinic at Gillison’s Variety Fabrication in Benzonia on April 22-23. During the clinic students gained experience operating equipment such as fork lifts, excavators, loaders, tractors, zero-turn mowers, and dump trucks. Students also gained experience in maintaining agricultural equipment and small engines. This clinic was a great example of industry partnership, which involved instruction from representatives of businesses and organizations such as Gillison’s Variety Fabrication, Michigan Farm Bureau, TruNorth Landscaping, and Cunningham Viticultural Services. (IE1, IE2)
  • NMC and the Construction Technology program hosted the “Building Tomorrow” construction careers awareness event on April 21-23. The objective of the event was to highlight career opportunities within the construction industry to high school students. The hands-on event, sponsored by the construction industry, focused on careers in welding, electrical, HVAC, heavy equipment, concrete and carpentry. There were 427 students who attended the three-day event from all areas of northern Michigan. (IE1, IE2)
  • The Technology Help Desk instituted a system of Visual Management Boards for both the Tanis and Beckett building sites. The Visual Management Boards assist clients to know when, how, and where they can receive technical assistance on and off-campus at any time. (IE3)
  • Michelle Schneider and Sherry Trier, of Educational Media Technologies, worked with faculty member Tom Gordon to help create an alternative course materials option for students. They collaboratively worked with the librarians to create an Open Educational Resource (OER) that would be accessible to all students. This included applying accessibility principles such as heading structure, alternative text to all images, and creating meaningful links. A Screen reader was also used to ensure principles were properly applied. This OER was created to insure all students the same opportunity. (IE1)
  • Media Technology facilitated the opportunity for Dr. Dan Weber and MSU medical students to come to the NMC Nursing Simulation lab to work with standardized patients. The focus for the day was mental health simulation. Simulation allows students to practice in a safe environment prior to working in the clinical setting with actual patients. (IE1)
  • Educational Media Technologies has continued support for students with video captioning needs by proactively captioning faculty recorded lightboard videos and videos posted in Ensemble (a video repository and lecture capture recording tool used by faculty and staff). The lightboard is an innovative teaching and learning tool that enables instructors to capture lectures in an exciting, engaging format. It solves a few problems presented by current lecture capture methods. Recording a lecture on a whiteboard leads to poor video quality and the instructor’s back is turned toward the camera. When using the lightboard, however, instructors maintain eye contact with their students, and because they are facing their students other nonverbal behaviors critical to content delivery aren’t lost like they are with traditional methods.  An agreement with new captioning/transcription vendor has made it more budget friendly to achieve this accomplishment. (IE3)
  • Media Technologies collaborated with the International Affairs Forum to record and live stream this season’s events. They produced video content for the Training Department, International and Local Service Learning and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (IE2)
  • Social Sciences instructor Sonja Olshove presented with a panel of teachers at the Western Psychological Association Conference on The Heroic Imagination Project. (IE2)
  • Lisa Blackford and Joe Verschaeve, Social Sciences instructors, traveled to Ghana with Social Work, Psychology, and Criminal Justice students examining Ghana through the lens of development challenges surrounding health, education, and water. (IE2)
  • Brian Heffner, in his first full year as the Police Academy Director, had 14 students graduate from the Police Academy this year. The following have already been hired: 2 – Grand Traverse Deputies, 1 – Michigan State Police, 1 – Antrim County Sheriff’s Office, 1 – Mackinac Island Police, 1 – Menominee City Police, 1 – Leelanau County Marine Patrol. The rest of the graduates are in final interviews with a variety of Michigan departments, as well as the US Customs Service. (IE2)
  • Nick Roster presented an update to the NMC Foundation Board on his Innovation Grant funded ‘gamification’ learning process that has been well received.  He has also started a Faculty Learning Community around gamification that has 8 faculty members, from all parts of the college, working on learning how gamification works. (IE1)
  • Taoufik Nadji hosted the Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (MIAAPT) in the fall of 2015, and will present at the national conference this summer about the blending of the arts into the teaching of Physics and Math. He will also have his latest article published in an upcoming edition of The Physics Teachers. (IE1)
  • Nancy Parshall, full-time faculty member in the Communications Academic Area, recently had a piece of her flash fiction published online at kysoflash.com. KYSO Flash publishes one-of-a- kind works of art and memorable literature. (IE1)
  • Retention and completion continue to be a focus across Student Services Areas. To increase student engagement in the academic planning and registration process, the Advising Center coordinated efforts for a registration “push” following NMC’s spring break. Banners and posters were created and displayed around campus, student-focused announcements were placed on monitors, and targeted email messages were sent to encourage students to register for fall classes. The Advising Center also created “Register Now” buttons worn by Enrollment Management & Student Services staff and offices around campus helped promote registration by asking students about registration.  Additionally, the Advising Center held Open Registration and Academic Planning Labs in the Student Success Center and assisted students with using My Academic Plan (MAP) to check progress toward degree completion and select courses for summer and fall registration. (IE3, IE5)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • I met with Tonya Hare, a Senior Director at the Education Advisory Board (EAB), in early April while she was in Michigan and again on May 4 during my trip to Washington, D.C. EAB provides research and advisory services, offering a far-ranging set of resources to meet the unique needs of member community colleges.  They organize the vast amount of data to inform their members with strategy setting, support change management, and drive campus implementation.  An EAB membership will provide access to national and international data and allow our Office of Research, Planning and Effectiveness to work on more specific projects for NMC. NMC has signed up for a one-year membership and will evaluate its value at the end of that year.
  • We had the opportunity to host Governor Snyder and his staff during his visit to the Aero Park Campus on April 21. The governor was able to experience firsthand the equipment that was purchased through the CCSTEP grant last year. The event concluded in a panel discussion featuring Kent Wood, Director of Government Relations at the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Schlueter, President of Kalkaska Screw Products, Jasper Manifold, an NMC Engineering Technology student, and myself. Among the topics discussed were skilled trades and talent investment. Piper, Cherry Capital Airport’s resident dog, also attended the event.
  • We had wonderful NMC Honors Convocation and Commencement weekend April 29-30. Over 200 students celebrated their achievements at Commencement on Saturday. Korvyn Hansen, Michelle Witkop, Therese Renis, and Capt. Dean Hobbs were honored as Outstanding Alumni while the Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Awards went to History instructor Jim Press and Humanities instructor Jim Bensley. Over 700 students earned degrees this academic year. Congratulations, NMC Class of 2016!
  • NMC Vice President Marguerite Cotto and Hans Van Sumeren, Director of the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, met on May 3 with U.S. Senator Gary Peters to discuss hazardous material spill response in the Great Lakes. With state and federal response plans and teams already in place, the group discussed how NMC could support these plans by helping to create a Freshwater Center of Excellence. NMC could potentially assist in training and deployment of assets, providing monitoring and response capabilities should such an incident occur in the Great Lakes.
  • On May 4, Gabe Schneider and I attended multiple meetings in Washington, D.C., with the offices of Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, Congressman Dan Benishek, and Congresswoman Candace Miller. We discussed a proposed amendment to the Water Resources Development Act which would allow for needed repairs to be made at the Great Lakes Campus Harbor.
  • TEDx Traverse City celebrated its 6th anniversary on May 11 with another daylong event at the Dennos Museum’s Milliken Auditorium. Dynamic speakers gave inspirational, engaging speeches relating to Re-Evolution: citizenship, contribution, community, and courage. Our own Diana Fairbanks was one of the speakers this year.  Great job Diana!

Legislative Issues

  • State Budget Update—With the May Revenue Estimating Conference meeting this week, on May 17, the state will have less revenue for the current and upcoming fiscal years than officials had predicted in January.  Therefore, legislators will be paring back the increases included in both budgets across the board.  Whatever changes are needed to the budgets are expected to be worked out quickly and legislative leaders hope to have targets reached by the end of this week (5/20/16). Once they have their agreed upon final target number for their budget, final budget work will begin and it is still expected that the budgets will be completed by early June.

    Between the reduction in revenues forecast compared to the January conference and increasing Medicaid and human services caseloads, there is $460 million less available than projected in January.  While we were pleased that both the House and Senate budget bills included an increase for community colleges and NMC, it is unclear how this most recent revenue forecast will affect our final budget.  However, with education making up 30% of the state’s total expenditures, there will most likely be some impact.

  • Capital Outlay Update—We remain cautiously optimistic that the West Hall Innovation Center capital outlay project will stay in the final House/Senate joint capital outlay bill that we believe will be unveiled in the next week or so. From our continued conversations with our Northern Michigan elected officials, including Senator Darwin Booher, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Capital Outlay and Community Colleges subcommittees, there is the indication that the West Hall project both remains on the list and that the final combined bill will move along with the regular appropriations bills.  We should know more about the likelihood of this happening within the next few weeks.
  • Legislation to Block Community Colleges from Levying Property Taxes—This week, the House Tax Policy Committee held a hearing on HB 5611 and HB 5612 which would prohibit a community college from levying property taxes, if it operates a baccalaureate degree program.  The bills would not apply to current baccalaureate programs previously approved by the legislation according to bill sponsor Rep. Jeff Farrington.  The understanding is that this legislation was introduced, and a hearing held, in pushback to SB 98 which would allow for additional four-year degrees, such as nursing, outside of the existing allowed baccalaureate programs.  The Michigan Community College Association provided testimony at the hearing and NMC weighed in with the Northern Michigan legislator on the committee, Representative Lee Chatfield.  Ultimately the committee took no action on the bills, but they remain in committee.
  • Dark Stores Legislation—The House Tax Policy Committee, this week, took up and passed out HB 5578 which would require that the Tax Tribunal take basic appraisal practices into account during property tax assessment appeals, such as the subject property and comparable properties having the same highest and best use. The bill is a response to the so-called “dark store” strategy, whereby certain national chain retailers are using deed restrictions to limit their property tax assessments.  This not only allows those retailers to shirk their support for local services, but grants them an unfair competitive advantage over locally owned retailers.  Locally, the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce has been a vocal opponent to this practice and is supporting HB 5578.  NMC also is supportive of HB 5578 as we see the use of the “dark store” strategy as a threat to our local tax base.


  • The weather forecast for Sunday’s NMC BBQ looks to be a warm sunny day. Let’s all do the BBQ!

President’s Update for April 22, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note:  Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible.

  • On February 11, 2016 approximately 50 students from NMC and the TBAISD Career Tech Center attended the CIT Industry Night Out hosted by Munson Hospital. Students had an opportunity to learn how Information Technology impacts every aspect of their operation. Students heard presentations about various technology areas and were also able to tour their datacenter.  It was a great opportunity for students to learn about what a career in Health-IT is all about.  (IE1, EI2)
  • On Friday, March 11, the NMC CIT Department hosted a tour for students enrolled in the IT Academy and Web Applications classes at the TBA Career Tech Center. Approximately 90-100 students attended the event.  Students were able to hear about our programs from prior TBA students, tour our facilities, and hear as well as participate in several learning activities. (IE1, IE2)
  • The White Pine Press won second place for Best in Show among 2-year community colleges at the Associated Collegiate Press conference held in Los Angeles in February. The paper submitted its February 4 article, “Voices from Flint,” for the award.  Advisers Jacob Wheeler and Kathy Schwartz took five student journalists to the conference.  (IE1, IE3)
  • To continue the focus on providing Guided Pathways, including assistance to students in determining their future career plans, the Advising Center offered the 10th Annual Career Fair on March 3. The event welcomed more than 80 employers from our service area recruiting for professional and seasonal positions.  Attended by more than 200 NMC students, alumni, and community members, the Career Fair served to provide attendees with opportunities to talk directly with employers about positions available immediately.  Thanks to the dedicated preparation and leadership of Learning Services Office Manager Irina Grougan, feedback from both employers and attendees was extremely positive and provided our students with opportunities to explore career possibilities as well as gain job seeking experience.  (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • The Business Office went through the LEAN process for payroll processes. They were able to eliminate about 12 steps and 200 sheets of paper (each pay) by eliminating unnecessary items/reports and combining other reports.  They are also now able to upload HSA deductions each pay into the bank program instead of hand-keying the information.  This saves a couple hours each pay and another 4 hours twice a year.  (IE4, IE5)
  • NMC Extended Education continues to form partnerships to meet student needs. (IE2)
    1. NMC is now an authorized rectifier for Michigan State Continuing Education Clock hours. Last year they submitted for state certification approval, then using our online course delivery partnership with Ed2go, establish seven courses that certified teachers can complete that count toward their renewal hours.  This allows teachers to take courses online.  NMC EES certified their first student in December.  Next phase is to increase the number of courses available to around 15 that can count toward their required renewal hours.
    2. NMC EES and Tech Division are working collaboratively to plan an HVAC training course onsite for the Grand Traverse Pavilions (GTP). GTP wants to train 10 employees on site.  NMC EES is planning the course that will be delivered by Tech Division HVAC expertise in a non-credit format to meet their needs.
  • Accessibility of online resources—EMT’s new Lunch and Learn Series and Teaching@NMC accessibility portal provide opportunities for faculty to learn how to make their course materials accessible for students with disabilities according to ADA guidelines. In addition, the EMT team reformatted the Course Syllabus Essential Criteria document to meet ADA guidelines and created instructions for faculty to re-format existing course syllabi to meet the same guidelines.  The reformatted Course Syllabus Essential Criteria document has been approved by ESIMT and posted to the Academic Forms website along with instructions. (IE1)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • Jim Bensley and I continue to have regular conversations, via conference call and face to face, with the MCCA Center of Global Initiatives group and consultant Carol Stax-Brown, working to establish opportunities for our students to gain global and cultural experiences both abroad and at home.  Carol has been a great asset in establishing many potential connections for the MCCA community colleges.
  • Corey Utley and David Nyberg of Governor Snyder’s northern office visited NMC on March 24 to tour some of NMC’s recent developments obtained through the recent CSTEP grant and our plans for requested state capital outlay funds.  The visit went well and resulted in the Governor visiting Parsons-Stulen himself on April 21.
  • I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance, Jamie Kemler, at the GLCI Taste for Success event last month; which led to a another meeting in my office discussing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Traverse City and how technology plays a role in the economic development here. We also talked about our partnership with Munson with the Health Education Institute, as his background is in the medical technology business.  Jamie is involved in volunteer mentoring of med tech start-ups at MIT, along with his role at Stryker in out-licensing intellectual property and technology into early stage companies.  I have arranged for Jamie to meet with NMC’s Prsident’s Council to discuss the topic of intellectual property rights.
  • Nancy and I attended the Dennos concert featuring Hanggai, an outstanding touring band from Beijing, China; and then I was able to meet with one of its members Ilichi Qimude and his wife Yang Ran who spent much of a day on NMC’s campus hosted by Gene Jenneman. It was a pleasure to spend time with them as they are a very interesting set of individuals, as well as a couple. They also visited Gary Howe’s World Regional Geography class and Jim Bensley’s World Cultures class.
  • Diana Fairbanks and I both attended the Leadership Grand Traverse Education Day, and NMC’s human resources director is a participant in the current LGT program. I participated in the small group conversation rotation.  It’s always a great opportunity to meet our future community leaders.
  • Thank you to Kennard Weaver, Marilyn Dresser and Ross Childs, who were able to attend NMC’s annual retirement and recognition reception on April 13. It was a wonderful, heartfelt event recognizing the commitment and longevity of NMC employees, and the lasting friendships made and rekindled with NMC retirees attending.
  • We had several NMC folks who attended the recent Higher Learning Commission annual conference held in Chicago last weekend. I attended the Presidents Program on Saturday and Joy Evans, Mark Liebling, Sue DeCamillis and Nick Roster all attended sessions throughout the entire conference.  Attendees all seemed to return feeling it was a valuable, knowledge- building experience.
  • I participated in a unique event co-hosted by Munson Healthcare and Michigan State’s College of Human Medicine called Project Medical Education. The event was designed to bring legislators, community stakeholders and educational leaders together at Munson Medical Center for a day of learning about what it takes to be a doctor (from medical school to residency program).  As part of this day, I was “coated” with a white coat signifying my entrance into medical school, went on rounds with current MSU-CHM and COM medical students where we interacted with patients and participated in health simulation activities. Finally, we capped off the day by “graduating” from medical school, receiving our debt letter (staggering!) and being matched for a residency program.  The experience was significant for me as it allowed me to gain a better understanding of the needs of medical students (and pre- med students like those at NMC) and the importance of maintaining a close partnership with Munson and MSU to ensure that we are training doctors and other healthcare professionals in rural settings to hopefully ensure that we have those doctors and professionals choose to stay and practice in northern Michigan.
  • NMC is hosting the April 21-23 “Building Tomorrow” event at our APL building that is a hands-on construction career and college readiness event for high school students. I was able to stop by to witness students experiencing what it’s like to be an architect, a project manager, a mechanical engineer, as well as the industries of carpentry, welding, HVAC, electrical, concrete and plumbing through short, hands-on presentations from companies in the fields.

Legislative Issues

  • Actively working with our partner Munson Healthcare and Munson Medical Center to advance a piece of legislation, SB 98 that would allow NMC to meet the demand for nurses holding a bachelor’s degree.  Since 2009, Munson Medical Center has been requiring that every newly hired nurse achieve a BSN degree as a condition of employment.  Today, only half of the 1,200 nurses at Munson Medical Center have a BSN and only about twenty five percent of the approximately 80 newly hired nurses have a BSN degree, resulting in a significant demand for a nursing baccalaureate program in the region.  As it has been most recently proposed, the legislation would allow a community college to ask its local voters for approval of any baccalaureate degree program it would like to offer.
  • In January NMC submitted a project for consideration as part of the Governor’s Economic and Education Summit Best Practices competition.  The competition is an opportunity for the state to recognize home-grown programs that contribute to the development, attraction and retention of talent in Michigan.  The awards recognize that leaders in Michigan’s private, public and non-profit sectors are dedicated partners who are making a positive impact on our communities.  After much consideration, NMC submitted our Lean Manufacturing Champion Certification training program.  As you may know, in 2007 NMC’s Department of Training Services, in partnership with six area employers and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, developed the Lean Manufacturing Champion Certification Program (LMCC).  The employee training program implements an innovative Active Learning Model to ensure that the needs of both employees and employers are met while delivering project and placed-based lean manufacturing training.  Partners also include Michigan WORKS! and the MEDC.  The LMCC program works with business to enroll employees in either a 12 day over 6-month or custom boot-camp program that focuses on both organizational and learner outcomes using instructional design, blended and activity based learning, and on-site applications across multiple host companies.  As a result, employees gain a practical, workplace and knowledge based application of lean principals.  Since 2007 companies training Lean Manufacturing Champions have demonstrated growth and resilience, as noted through the following company reported impacts via a NIST third party survey:  over $66,000,000 in increase and retained sales, 345 new and retained jobs, almost $6,000,000 in cost savings, over $15,000,000 in new investments, represents 45 unique organizations from 21 different counties, repeat company participation and intra-industry referrals.  While, ultimately, this proposal did not win in the competition, I think it is a great highlight of the significant training work being completed by NMC.  One of the quotes used in the application is as follows:  “The NMC Lean Champion program has had a positive impact at Britten Studios in many ways.  Not only has the program taught us how to improve our processes, but has helped us empower our employees through personal development and leadership opportunities, reduce or eliminate non-valued added activities and thus ultimately improve our bottom line.” (Melissa Kilbourn, HR Manager, Britten Studios)


  • NMC’s Honors Convocation, on April 29, and Commencement Ceremony, on April 30, are fast-approaching. Holly will be providing more detailed information directly to trustees within the coming week.

President’s Update for March 21, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note:  Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible.

  • For the second year in a row, Kristy Groth has placed second in the LAND creative writing contest with her piece entitled, “Trouble.” Teresa Scollon, Communications adjunct faculty member, has been Kristy’s teacher/mentor both years. Kristy works in NMC’s Writing and Reading Center. (IE1)
  • Lisa Dohm, who oversees the World Languages Department, successfully defended her dissertation Wednesday, February 3, thus completing the final step for her Doctorate of Education from Central Michigan University. (IE4)
  • In January the US Coast Guard (USCG) began to administer the merchant marine officer’s license exams to the GLMA class of 2016—22 cadets sat for third mate (unlimited tonnage, oceans) and 14 cadets sat for third assistant engineer (steam and diesel, unlimited horsepower). There are seven exam modules for each license. As of February 3, 30 cadets had passed all modules.  The remaining six are either in the process of re-taking portions of the exams, or at sea and will complete their exams when they return.  After the deck cadets complete their license exams, they begin the exam cycle for First Class Pilot, Great Lakes.  This requires completion of another 24 USCG exams.  As of this date 15 cadets have successfully completed these exams. These cadets have successfully passed 31 USCG exams; seven for their license and another 24 for pilotage. (IE1)
  • The Commission on Dental Accreditation determined that the NMC Dental Assistant program has been granted the accreditation status of approval without reporting requirements. (IE1)
  • NMC recently received some great news from the Institute for International Education: Open Doors data bank. Based on 2014 numbers, NMC ranked 16 in the nation among community colleges for student participation in short term study abroad.  Using 2015 numbers and all things being the same, NMC would currently rank #10!  Almost all of the top 15 are schools have enrollments of 10,000 or more (Miami-Dade, College of DuPage, Mesa CC).  We are currently on track to have 70-75 students studying abroad in seven different countries in 2016. (IE1, IE2, IE4)
  • Mary Jo Elliot has added a hybrid section of General Chemistry 2 (CHM 151). Added to the current hybrid General Chemistry 1, students are now able to complete the General Chemistry sequence online except for the laboratory portions. (IE1, IE3)
  • Brandon Everest of Social Science hosted another Poverty Simulation in January: poverty simulation is an activity co-hosted by NMC Social Sciences and Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative to sensitize participants to the challenges of low-income life and breakdown pre-conceived notions about people in these situations. The simulation was offered to 80 students in Munson’s Family Practice Residency Program, who will work with families across the income distribution. It also relies on about 25 volunteers to play roles of community resources that commonly interface with working and low-income people.  These were filled by Social Science faculty and directors, and agency officials from a variety of northern Michigan human service and mental health agencies.  The simulation was such a success that Michigan State’s MD program magazine, MD Magazine, is putting together a story to be published to current students and alumni. (IE2)
  • Social Work and Sociology students joined students in Communications to do service learning and scholarship on issues affecting low-income people in our region. The activities highlighted National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in mid-November. In addition to fundraising for local community organizations and doing advocacy work around the SNAP Challenge and other activities, students assembled scholarly poster presentations on topics related to the subject and invited the public to attend their presentations. Student posters have been on exhibit in Scholars Hall and the Osterlin Library.  The project also gained national attention after being picked up by national newswires and published in 70 newspapers around the country.  Lisa Blackford and Brandon Everest, in addition to Melissa Sprenkle, were also nominated by the Office of Service Learning and International Services for a State award through Michigan Campus Compact. (IE1, IE2)
  • Rachel Wilczewski became the faculty advisor for a new student group that has been formed. During fall 2015 semester, sociology major student Kia Schwert had expressed interest in joining a student feminist organization/group, and together they did some research and discovered the only group that resembled what Kia was looking to join was VOX (Voices for Planned Parenthood), which was inactive.  Kia ended up taking over as student leader for VOX and changed the group’s name and focus with Rachel’s assistance and support.  In the short time that Students United for Gender Rights (SUGR) has been active, the group has accomplished quite a bit and has planned some great events for the spring 2016 semester. In January, SUGR co- sponsored a very successful stand-up comedy event with NMC Pride and the NMC Black Student Union.  The event featured Sampson McCormick who is known as one of the first openly gay African American comedians.  In mid-February SUGR members will be attending a performance of the Vagina Monologues at Ferris State University.  In addition, they have been active in working with faculty and staff including Rachel and Joe Verschaeve (Psychology) in planning a student alternative spring break trip that centers on raising awareness about, prevention of, and recovery in relation to human trafficking. The group is also planning some additional public events and film screenings to raise awareness about this issue. SUGR also worked with the Student Life Office to hold a “Take Back The Night” event on March 16. (IE1, IE2, IE4)
  • This year the Student Veterans organization raised $464 and had a total of 15 entries in the chili cook off. The event was a great success again this year thanks to all who attended. (IE2, IE4)
  • Leanne Baumeler, Disability Support Services Specialist, continues to mentor students with disabilities by acting as the staff advisor for Students for Educational Access and Disability Awareness (SEADA). This student organization meets weekly to support one another and our community.  Through their fundraising efforts, three families identified by the Department of Health and Human Services received gifts around the Holiday season. The annual talent show and various social outings organized by SEADA gives these students a sense of community and belonging, which is believed to impact retention and completion. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • The Developmental Education Committee has partnered with MI Works to provide prospective NMC students with free access to adult education programming right here on campus. This effort, led by Ashley Darga, Kristen Salathiel, and Nancy Gray, will allow future NMC students to work toward college readiness without exhausting their financial aid. Students will also be able to experience the campus culture and interact with NMC faculty and staff in preparation for their future enrollment.  The MI Works partnership began registering students on March 1. (IE1, IE2)
  • The Residence Life Leadership Group started reading the book titled, “The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader,” for the month of February.  The 12 students participating are learning about the tools needed to become an exceptional leader in a collegiate setting. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • On February 3, 2016, the 3rd Annual Snow Bowl took place for students who resided in Hawks Nest and East Hall. There were 13 students that participated in the event. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • On February 10, 2016, NMC’s Student Life Office hosted Angie McArthur (author of Collaborative Intelligence and 2015 Traverse City TEDx speaker) and Annie Powell as speakers on “Thinking With People Who Think Differently.” They presented to approximately 30 staff, faculty and students in workshops during the day and nearly 50 community members (which included about 20 students) that evening, despite a snow storm.  Our speakers engaged the evening crowd for an hour and everyone stayed an extra 30 minutes for Q&A time. Angie and Annie also joined a group of students after their evening talk to continue the conversation and answer more questions.  (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Student Financial Services, Residence Life and TBA Credit Union collaborated on a financial literacy event on February 11, which occurred in the East Hall basement. The students in attendance learned financial information in reference to student loans and how to manage debt. Only 4 students were in attendance at the event. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Ed Bailey and Hans VanSumeren attended the Underwater Intervention (UI) conference held in New Orleans, LA. This is the fourth year that we have had representation at the conference. This was the first year we had an exhibition booth and the second year they have presented a paper.  This conference brings approximately 150-200 exhibitors from the marine industry along with 2500-3000 attendees.  It is co-hosted by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) – ROV committee and the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI).  We are members of the MTS and will become a member of ADCI shortly.  ADCI is the credentialing organization that is promoting our ROV training programs.  This year, the Ocean Sciences meeting was held in the exhibit hall next to UI and brought in thousands more, many of whom were able to walk through UI.  All of the marine equipment that NMC operates was represented at this conference by the industry exhibitors.  It was also attended by the majority of our advisory board for marine technology.  Our exhibit booth showcased our programs, facilities, assets and people.  Our new NMC videos were on display, as well as programmatic material of the various offerings.  All material was gone by the second day.  There was great interest in what we offer and the common question started with “How…” or “I’ve got someone you need to meet.”  People from all sectors were very impressed with the breadth of offerings, the facilities and the equipment.   There is no other US institution that has the complete package as we do.  This was echoed through numerous conversations.
  • On February 24, 2016, Student Financial Services, TBA Credit Union and Residence Life hosted an Etiquette Dinner for NMC students to learn appropriate business, networking and dinner etiquette for a professional setting. 43 students were in attendance at the event. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • The office of Admissions held its first “Explore Your Major” event spotlighting Engineering Technology on February 27, at the Parsons-Stulen building. Over 51 prospective students and their families visited campus and received hands-on technology demos, one-on-one time with instructors, and lunch. (IE2, IE3, IE4, IE5)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • I was asked to make a Global Education and Workforce Initiatives presentation at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) and combined the trip with NMC Foundation donor visits at the beginning of February.  Nancy and I, along with Rebecca Teahen, had a nice visit with Bill and Susie Janis, and then Nancy and I spent time with Dudley and Barb Smith before my scheduled presentation at FSCJ on February 11.
  • We hosted a focus group session on February 18 with community business members interested in collaborative work with NMC to strengthen economic development and technology within the region. There were good discussions and ideas shared.  There is a lot of interest in having NMC play an active role in building a network of high-performing entities within our community. Notes are still being finalized and future discussions will be planned.
  • The MCCA presidents met in Lansing on February 18-19. We covered many important topics including the Michigan New Jobs Training Program and dark stores taxing value issues.  We had discussions with the new Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston, MCCA Center for Global Initiatives executive director Carol Stax Brown, and staff from the Michigan State Budget Office on the capital outlay process.  Other state-wide community college issues were discussed, as well.
  • Nancy, my son Leland and I attended the Taste of Success, as did trustee Chris Bott and his daughter Rachel. It was a wonderful event that greatly benefits NMC’s culinary program.
  • Gabe Schneider has been meeting with our Advocacy Communications Team, has arranged many legislator meetings for me, as well as coordinated efforts with our capital outlay consultant David Gregory.  It has been very effective, as proven by the high prioritization of our state capital outlay request to be included in the top three potential recipients to be funded by the governor’s budget.
  • Gabe also coordinated a successful Legislative Roundtable Breakfast that we hosted at Lobdell’s on February 26. Legislators present included State Representative Larry Inman, State Senator Darwin Booher, State Representative Phil Potvin, Jamie Callahan, Chief of Staff for Representative Phil Potvin, Brandon Fewins, Regional Manager for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Leah McCallum, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Gary Peters.  Others present included NMC executive staff and several NMC trustees and Foundation directors.  Both NMC and legislators presented, but time did not allow for questions from others, which provides an opportunity to improve upon with future scheduled sessions.
  • Kennard and Judy Weaver, Jerry Achenbach, Mike Surgalski, and Nancy and I were invited to attend a reception and dinner hosted by Keystone Power at the Grand Traverse Resort the evening of February 29. Keystone Power, from Duluth, Minnesota, is a member of our GLMA Board of Visitors with a Great Lakes fleet.  Keystone held their annual conference at the GT Resort and is looking to increase their availability to GLMA cadets.
  • I was able to attend the beginning of the second annual Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Summit took place at NMC’s Hagerty Center on March 1. This year the summit focused on safety, as well as setting the direction for the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council for the next 12 months. The mission of the Council is to promote long-term thinking, education, and collaboration through people and companies.
  • Marguerite Cotto and I attended the annual Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN) CEO/Rep Forum in Denver March 2-4 as preparation for the annual CQIN Summer Institute, which an NMC team will attend in August. The summer institute provides an opportunity for teams of colleagues to participate in the practical framework of utilizing continuous quality principles and explore the best practices identified from corporate learning partners and other experts who have quality models to share that can be customized for practice on the college campus.  This year’s theme will be Demonstrating Value through Results.
  • Gabe Schneider, our capital outlay consultant David Gregory, and I had a productive dinner meeting in Lansing on March 7 with state representatives Larry Inman and Al Pscholka who is chair of the Committee on Appropriations and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Joint Capital Outlay.
  • We held our spring town hall meeting at the Milliken Auditorium on March 9 where I provided a brief update and took questions from the audience. The session was live streamed and recorded for those unable to attend in person.
  • Gabe and I also met with Brandon Fewins, Regional Manager for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Leah McCallum, Regional Director U.S. Senator Gary Peters, on March 10.
  • Trustees Chris Bott, Ross Childs, and Kennard Weaver and I attended the Spring MCCA Board of Directors meeting hosted by Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor on March 10 & A report on this meeting was given at the March 21 NMC Board meeting.

Legislative Issues

  • Included above.


  • NMC Commencement is on Saturday, April 30. Please make sure to let Holly know of your plans to attend so that she can assign speaking parts.

Dates of Note are available on the Board of Trustees web portal.

President’s Update for January 25, 2016

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note:  Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible.

  • GLMA cadets that agree to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserves after graduation are eligible to receive an $8,000 annual stipend. GLMA class of 2019 currently has seven cadets in this program. This is more than the number of cadets in this program enrolled at Texas Maritime and only two less than the number of cadets in this program at NY Maritime. This is impressive as Texas Maritime’s enrollment is three times the size of GLMA’s and NY Maritime’s enrollment is nearly five times GLMA’s. (IE1)
  • NMC Admissions Office (Cathryn Claerhout and Beth Wallace) along with TBA Career Tech Center are the recipients of the 2016 Excellence in Practice Award for the Traverse Bay Area Early College Initiative. Both NMC and TBA Career Center will be formally recognized February 1, 2016 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. A press conference was held January 5, 2015 and a press release will be issued by the Department of Education. (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • The Advising Center worked cooperatively with the academic department areas to maintain an open line of communication to benefit our students during the registration period. This resulted in better availability for continued students and for new students at orientation (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • With a continued shared goal of student success and completion, the Advising Center completed faculty advisor training for ten staff and faculty members. Faculty advisors serve as a key resource to students in their programs of study and work in conjunction with our professional advisors to approach advising as a teaching process with students. As a means of ongoing training and updates, the Advising Center also continues to send practice scenarios for all faculty advisors via email prior to each new student orientation, and liaisons from Advising meet with each academic area on a regular basis. (IE2, IE3)
  • Residence Life Council won 1st place at the GLACURH conference for Best Digital Banner. (IE1, IE3, IE4)
  • Roger W. Paupore, a 2012 graduate of NMC, recently had a volume of poetry published with Friesen Press. Roger currently lives in Texas and is a former student of Communications adjunct faculty member Terri Reisig.  (IE1)
  • Gwen Tafelsky, Simulation Coordinator, facilitated the opportunity for Dr. Dan Webster and MSU medical students to visit the NMC Nursing Simulation lab on January 13 to work with standardized patients. The focus for the day was mental health simulation, which allows students to practice in a safe environment prior to working in the clinical setting with actual patients.  In addition, Dennis Schultz, Kyle Morrison, and Alan Beers from Educational Media Technologies assisted with the technology aspect to make this a successful experience. (IE2)
  • The Hagerty Center worked with HR to streamline their hiring process for supplemental employees. New components of the process include an onboarding kiosk located at the Hagerty Center, a new background check program and a process checklist for the applicant. They also began cross training front and back of the house staff in response to lack of workforce in the region, and utilize supplemental employees in various roles throughout the Hagerty Center to increase operational efficiency (IE champion/Culture/Operations)
  • Hagerty Center also worked with Events North and Black Star Farms to identify staff that could be hired at multiple businesses to begin sharing employees based on service level needs. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • The Hagerty Center revenue increased in first quarter of FY16 by $50,751.36 over first quarter of FY15. (IE2, IE5)
  • NMC Training Services works with area employers to help improve their strategic and operational competitiveness through improving leadership planning and communication, and developing continuous improvement cultures. Through our affiliation with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), which is partially funded through the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, NMC Training Services works with hundreds of organizations in 21 counties in Northern Michigan, approximately 60% being manufacturers and processors. These manufacturers and processors are surveyed by a third party, 6-12 months after completion of a project to determine the economic impact of the services they have received in terms of revenue, employment, costs, and investment. The results for 2015 are as follows:
    • $24,115,926 increased sales
    • $27,817,531 retained sales
    • $2,846,300 savings, cost and investment
    • $10,939,138 new investments
    • 28 new Jobs
    • 21 retained jobs
    • Net promoter score 9.3 out of 10 (Net Promoter Score measures the likelihood a client will recommend the service to another organization)

    These data do not measure the full impact of NMC Training Services on the economy as not all industries, nor all projects, are surveyed.

    Additionally, area employers are supported through locating and administering funding for training through state and federal programs. Currently NMC Training Services is managing almost $3.5 million in assistance to area organizations.

    • $2,904,125 New Jobs Training Program- 27 companies
    • $462,169 Skill Trades Training Fund

    (IE2, IE4, IE5)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • Spring semester is now well underway and I would like to thank trustees who were able to attend mid-year opening conference on January 4.
  • Foundation consultant, Kathy Cole, was on campus the first week of January and was able to spend time with various groups on donor and campaign strategies.
  • Several NMC folks and I met with Jim Morrison, President of the Northwest Michigan Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, to discuss potential collaborations with NMC.
  • I have had some discussions with Marsha Myles, founder, president, and CEO of EdTech Specialists, regarding a documentary being shown nationwide called “Most Likely to Succeed?” that is receiving rave reviews and is generating a lot of conversation throughout Michigan and beyond. It has been shown over a dozen times downstate, but has not been shown in our area and EdTech Specialists is considering sponsoring a showing at NMC.
  • I attended the Workforce Development Board for their annual meeting on January 11, which included election of officers and other important discussion items.
  • NMC hosted Chinese visitors from Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute January 13-14.  While here, YRCTI President Liu Guoji and I signed and agreement that seeks recognition from the Chinese government of the Sino-US Northwestern Michigan International Institute, to be located at Yellow River in Kaifeng, China.  As you may recall, our two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding in 2014, and formal recognition of the partnership is the next step necessary for NMC’s coursework to be recognized as valid toward a Yellow River diploma.  This relationship will provide NMC with access to additional water facilities that NMC could not afford on its own. Located on the Yellow River, the third longest in Asia, the Institute provides academic training in support of large, river-based, hydroelectric dams in China.
  • As mentioned above under faculty/staff activities, along with Munson Medical Center, we hosted doctors and MSU and medical students to visit the NMC Nursing Simulation lab on January 13. This visit is part of a continued collaboration to form partnerships for healthcare simulation labs for the benefit of our entire region.
  • I would like to thank trustees and staff members who were able to attend the Annual Chamber Celebration event on January 15 to help host our NMC sponsored cabana, as well as honor the Chamber’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award recipient and friend of NMC Chuck Judson.
  • I attended the Governance Institute Leadership Conference in Naples, FL, this past week as a member of the Munson Medical Center Board. As I have often stated, I feel there is a great similarity between healthcare and educational governance and learned a great deal from attending this conference to benefit both Munson and NMC.  While in Naples, I was able to connect with some NMC friends in the area, as well.

Legislative Issues

  • An Advocacy Communications Team, led by Gabe Schneider, has been formed to better inform and engage our community and elected officials in advocacy communications. The Board will begin receiving a regular Legislative Advocacy Update to legislators to provide a better perspective for the scope and breadth of work we are involved with as well as some of the challenges we face.


  • The annual Board retreat will be a single daylong event this year, taking place at the NMC Hagerty Center. I look forward to the opportunity for trustees to have in-depth conversations about their processes and board-level strategic goals, as well as with NMC executive staff. The annual retreats have been proven to provide great value to both the Board and NMC executive staff members.  The day will begin with an 8:00 am breakfast with official meeting starting at 8:30 am, and conclude with a casual dinner.

President’s Update for December 15, 2015

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note: Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible. (more…)

President’s Update for November 16, 2015

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Activities of Note: Faculty and Staff
This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Agenda, Strategic Directions and Goals are provided where possible.

  • NMC has been certified as a gold-level Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Please see attached documentation.
  • The CIT Department held two open advising sessions in October to help students with their advising needs for Spring 2016 semester. During these two-hour sessions they met with a total of 69 students, assisting both first year and second year students in selecting their courses for spring semester. Because of the success of this event, they are planning to do this again next semester with a goal to meet with as many students as possible and to ensure that each works with an advisor to schedule their classes. (IE1, E3)
  • CIT held their first Industry Night Out event on November 2. Frontier Computer Corporation, a local IT Solutions provider hosted a tour of their facilities and discussed what they do. The event was advertised to not only NMC students, but also students of the TBA Career Tech Center IT Academy. Approximately 30 students attended from the two groups, as well as some parents of the students from the CTC. It was a great networking event and provided NMC with an opportunity to connect with both a local company and future students from the CTC.  A video of the event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJsLSwIU66k and future events are being planned to occur on a monthly basis with different organizations in the Grand Traverse area. (E2)
  • Senior executives from American Steamship Co., Great Lakes Fleet, Great Lakes Towing, The Interlake Steamship Co., Grand River Navigation, as well as representatives from the Lake Carriers Association and the GLMA Alumni Association held their annual Board of Visitors (BOV) meeting at NMC’s GLMA. Agenda items included support for GLMA, especially with respect to supply underway communication, internships and a program dedicated to facilitate a military veteran’s ability to transition to service in the U.S. merchant marine. The BOV also held a “closed door” with the cadets, with no GLMA faculty or staff in attendance. (IE2)
  • GLMA hosted representatives from Military Sealift Command (MSC), Grand River Navigation, and two of the Great Lakes Pilotage Associations to conduct recruiting visits. Each entity employs numerous GLMA alumni and are very interested in hiring graduates of the class of 2016. MSC is a division of the U.S. Navy and operates Navy owned civilian manned vessels, such as fleet oilers. Last year MSC offered well-paying jobs to every GLMA cadet who applied for a position as a ship’s officer. MSC also actively recruits Great Lakes Culinary Institute graduates. Later this month Crowley Maritime, McAllister Towing, and G& H (Galveston and Houston) Towing will hold recruiting events at GLMA. (IE3)
  • As of this November 4, GLMA has enrolled 22 cadets to begin their training in August 2016. More importantly, this number is evenly split between deck and engine (IE5)
  • The Admissions Office participated in the statewide initiative College Application Week, October 23-28, 2015. Admissions staff were out in several area high schools helping their staff and students fill out applications for fall semester 2016. NMC received 1,251 applications from over 189 different high schools across Michigan. The amount of applications received shows that the relationships NMC is building with the community and other schools across the State is growing and the interest in NMC is reaching far beyond our 6 county area. (Last year we received 870 applications, 589 were admitted and 223 ultimately enrolled.) (IE2, E3)
  • The Advising Center has taken a proactive approach to registration and conducted face-to-face outreach on main campus.  This is in addition to sending targeted email communications to students, following up with phone calls and on-campus marketing. In the week before registration opened, members of the Advising Center team set up tables in Health/Science and West Hall to give students information about spring/summer registration and to schedule appointments with academic advisors. Academic Advisors also held Express Advising in East Hall to meet the needs of resident students. These advisors introduced students to MAP (My Academic Plan) and helped them create academic plans for spring semester and beyond. (IE1, E3)
  • Disability Support Services hosted the Allies for Inclusion exhibit from St. Louis University October 18-20. This exhibit promoted awareness of civil rights and inclusion for those with disabilities. Bringing this traveling exhibit to NMC required partnering with outside agencies as well as several departments from NMC. Visitors included many middle school and high school students/staff, general community members, and NMC students/faculty/staff. (IE2, E3, E4)
  • The Student Life Office was awarded a $953.00 grant from the Campus Sexual Assault Grant program through the Michigan State Police Department. This grant will give funding for our counselors in the Student Life Office to provide trauma informed training and education to our NMC Police Academy students and NMC Campus Safety and Security staff. (IE2, E3, E4, E5)

Activities of Note:  Tim

  • I attended the Munson Board Retreat on October 28.  As you know, I find these sessions extremely informative and beneficial as we consider the future state of higher education in this country and our area.
  • NMC and Traverse Downtown Development hosted an Economic Development Leadership Meeting at the NMC Hagerty Center on October 28 with directors of the various local taxing authorities.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide an overview of the success of a collective vision for downtown’s Old Town area that was realized with help from a 30-year development and tax increment financing (TIF) plan that created hundreds of jobs, dozens of new residences and an increased tax base, as well as to discuss how to continue economic growth in our community.  Input was received to develop strategies for other potential TIF areas, other approaches and the return on investment within the TIF area(s).
  • I traveled to Denver to attend the CQIN Executive Team meeting November 2-4.  Our summer conference will be held in Denver this year and will focus on results and predictive analytics.  I’m pleased that we continue to participate in this unique network.  It is the only group I know of that looks outside of higher education at other industries and organizations to learn lessons that can lead to learner success and institutional improvement.
  • I returned to Lansing to provide testimony on November 5 on postsecondary enrollment patterns at a join hearing of the community colleges and higher education committees.  The hearing was to discuss issues surrounding declining enrollments in higher education institutions, i.e. is it happening, what is the outlook, how are schools planning on addressing declining enrollment. We highlighted the fact that community college enrollments correlate very closely with unemployment rates, and note the increase in degree productivity on Michigan campuses.
  • While in Lansing, I also attended the first meeting of the budgetary task force reviewing community college performance funding on November 5 to present the MCCA recommendation.  The Senate has appointed Senators Darwin Booher and David Knezek; the House has appointed Representatives John Bizon and Henry Yanez. Dan Horn, Higher Education and Community Colleges Budget Analyst, participated on behalf of the State Budget Office. In general, participants were appreciative of the work MCCA did, although they would like to see a greater shift toward performance and away from sustainability.
  • At the MCCA Presidents Committee in Lansing on November 6 we reviewed updates, legislative issues and MCCA activities including the 60 credit hour transfer committee, veteran’s initiatives, and the progress of the Michigan Colleges Online registration improvements.
  • Nancy and I, along with Linda Laughlin, attended the Great Lakes Great Chefs dinner last Friday evening, November 6.  The event was sold out and the guest chefs (all but one a GLCI graduate) along with our chef instructors and student volunteers provided wonderful cuisine and a fantastic evening.  Everyone I talked with thoroughly enjoyed the night.
  • Thank you to all who were able to attend the annual Mariner’s Memorial on November 10 at the NMC Great Lakes Campus.  This is a wonderful event to honor those lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald, as well as other vessels, and this year the weather was very cooperative as well.
  • NMC also held a Veterans Day Event on November 11 that included a breakfast for veterans and a flag raising ceremony.  This year’s event included a Three-Volley Salute performed by the VFW Post 2780 Color Guard.  I’d like to thank the large group of participants this year who helped express gratitude to our veterans, and to Scott Herzberg for coordinating the event.

Legislative Issues

  • On Wednesday, November 4, the House Appropriations Committee took testimony on Senate Bills 70-71. The bills would lift the current $50 million cap on the Michigan New Jobs Training Program (MNJTP) as well as extend the sunset on borrowing ability under the current law. MCCA staff is working to ensure that there is adequate support, as the Committee is considering a vote on SB’s 70 and 71 in early December.
  • We continue to monitor and work with other groups regarding the “dark stores” tax issue that is a serious threat to local taxing entities.


President’s Update for September 24, 2015

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • The math department held its annual summer, continuing education meeting over the week of August 10-13. It was attended by all math regular and adjunct faculty plus new science/math faculty. They spent the time learning changes in the Moodle gradebook, course software, quantitative reasoning course outcomes and linking course outcomes to examinations. This is an annual event and builds on the already excellent skills of our faculty. (IE1, IE3)
  • The NMC community and King of the Mountain staff are proud of some of our very own Great Lakes Maritime Academy students who are a testament to our institution and the Maritime Program itself and the standards and integrity expected out of each of our cadets. The King of the Mountain 5k obstacle course challenge, held September 19 at Mt. Holiday benefiting the Grand Traverse Veteran’s Coalition, was designed by the Army. NMC’s GLMA team dubbed “Wild Hogz” was made up of Nicholas Burcicki, Brandon Gotha, Liam Armstrong, and Avery Perez. This team appeared for the news crews talking live on radio and TV, and just being out in the community, leave a lasting impression with everyone they came in contact with. Staff members from King of the Mountain report being impressed with the professionalism, politeness, and maturity with which they interacted with everyone, and the true gratitude they have expressed to the Fit For You Gym owners for sponsoring their team in this competition. NMC and Maritime should be extremely proud of this representation.  As a result comments have been received as to the quality program we obviously have for Maritime and NMC—thank you to Sherry Trier for this submittal. (SD1, SD2, SD3, IE2, IE3)
  • The NMC University Center celebrated its 20th Anniversary this past week, recognizing its current and past staff and University Partners who have all contributed to the success and positive impact on the Traverse City community and surrounding region by offering higher learning opportunities to community members without having to leave their current jobs and local lifestyles. Thank you to those who were available to attend and help celebrate this momentous occasion.

Important Updates from Tim

  • I would like to take this opportunity to, again, offer NMC’s gratitude to longtime college supporters Diana and Richard Milock for their gift of $2 million that will create nearly 9,000 square feet of expansion at the Dennos Museum Center.
  • Consultant Kathy Cole reported to the Foundation Board on the results of the feasibility study she has conducted pertaining to a potential comprehensive campaign. Her study revealed very positive support for NMC and she recommends moving forward with next steps in preparing for a comprehensive fundraising campaign.
  • Thank you to Terry and Wayne Lobdell and the culinary students and staff for a wonderful Lobdell’s Scholarship Dinner on September 18. This event brings together many different friends of NMC, including alumni, business partners, community leaders, culinary enthusiasts, Dennos Museum supporters, and local agricultural leaders.  In fact, one of the strategic next steps for the Culinary Institute is to strengthen the relationship with our local agricultural producers.  There have been 34 scholarships awarded as a result of this annual event ($78,750).
  • Thank you to Courtney Sorrell, Annual Giving Specialist, and other personnel involved, for organizing this year’s Annual Fund kickoff event that occurred at Parsons-Stulen on September 23. Some of the speakers even addressed the crowd from the top of the recently installed Water Studies Institute water tank funded through the CSTEP grant. Attendees were able to see many of NMC’s unique program offerings that were exhibited, i.e. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Freshwater Studies, and Advanced Electronics.  These programs are preparing students for careers that did not exist 10 years ago.
  • A team from NMC visited the campuses of Southwestern Community College and Jackson College this past week to tour their libraries and housing. These are areas that NMC will be focusing on in the upcoming year for capital projects.
  • With the help of recently hired firm of Kelley Cawthorne, I am having many personal meetings with legislators in Lansing regarding the state capital outlay request process and discussing NMC’s potential project request for 2016.
  • Please find attached a press release announcing the results of an EPIC-MRA poll demonstrating overwhelming support for expanding community college authority to offer four-year degrees in certain workforce-oriented areas, including nursing. EPIC-MRA posed the following question to the public: “Under current state law, Michigan community colleges can offer four-year degrees in culinary arts, energy production, cement technology, and maritime technology. Legislation under consideration would change state law to allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees in nursing, as well as several other technical fields. Do you favor or oppose this legislative proposal?”  Eighty four percent (84%) of respondents support expanding community college baccalaureate authority.  In 2012, the Legislature granted community colleges in Michigan the authority to join community colleges in 20 other states by conferring baccalaureate degrees in four applied and technical program areas – concrete technology, maritime technology, energy production technology, and culinary arts. The rationale for that legislation was improving college access, affordability, and responding to workforce demands. It was always clear that the legislation would need to be revisited over time as employer needs changed. Senator Mike Shirkey’s bill (SB 98), reported from the Senate Commerce Committee and awaiting Senate vote, does just that by extending the authority to confer degrees in nursing, allied health, ski area management, information technology, and manufacturing technology (see MCCA Brief on SB 98).


  • Several of the Trustees will be attending the upcoming Association of Community College Trustees national Leadership Congress, which provides valuable learning opportunities through a wealth of session offerings.

President’s Update for September 10, 2015

Thank you all for everything you do in pursuit of “Keeping Learning at the Center.”

Notable Accomplishments provided by Faculty and Staff

This section recognizes the good work being done and linkages to the Strategic Directions (SD) and Institutional Effectiveness Criteria (IE) are provided where possible.

  • Congrats to NMC’s unmanned aerial systems program for being named one of the top 15 training colleges! We ranked 10th this year. (SD1)
  • Thanks to the efforts of Auditorium Manager and Technical Director Jack Conners, the support of the Begonia Foundation and the co-operation of Grammy award winning performer Bob James, the concert Bob James performed with his quartet on May 3, 2014, has become a live CD from Milliken Auditorium. The CD was released in Japan in February 2015 and in the USA in March 2015. Jack Conners recorded, engineered and mastered the CD, and NMC’s own Dave Dalquist took the concert photos that were used for the CD cover and liner notes.  (IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Jason Dake, Curator of Education at the Dennos Museum Center, will have a case study published in an upcoming issue of MuseumsEtc. currently scheduled for December 2015 – January 2016. The case study outlines the development and implementation of the exhibition, Sideways: Exploring Skateboard Art & Culture, which included skateboarders and graphic designers from the community.  MuseumsEtc is an independent publishing house based in Edinburgh and Boston creating books and magazines that share museum best practices around the globe. (IE2, IE3)
  • The goal of the GLMA Business Plan is to have 60 cadets arrive each fall. On August 16 we welcomed 67 cadets. (IE1)
  • In order to facilitate cadets that were transitioning from the GLMA associate’s degree to BSMT, a spring license prep class was held in order for six cadets to graduate and license early. All six passed their merchant marine exams. All 40+ GLMA graduates have passed their exams, and all are now sailing on their license. (IE1)
  • NMC’s Visual Communications Area (VCA) updated all the Mac software in both labs, and are now running the new Mac OS, and the newest versions of all software and this is the first full academic year that we will roll our Apple and Adobe Certification for all VCA students integrated into the core VCA program.
  • Institutionally enacted the Choice Act tuition benefit for VA students; and certified enrollments for 63 veterans. (IE3, IE5)
  • Creative Writing and Poetry adjunct faculty member, Teresa Scollon, has been named this year’s Writer-in-Residence by Traverse City’s Front Street Writers. In her role, Teresa will join TCAPS educator, Kerrey Woughter, in co-teaching the Front Street Writers workshop, a year-long course for highly motivated and talented high school students from the local area. (IE1, IE2)
  • Kristen Salathiel and Nancy Gray attended a summer seminar, entitled “Leadership Community of Practice (Reading Apprenticeship Train the Trainer) in Oakland, California, that is part of a year-long study of Reading Apprenticeship practices. Kristen and Nancy will become certified trainers upon completion of the study and will share their experience and expertise with colleagues across the disciplinary areas of the college. (IE1, IE3, IE5)

Important Updates from Tim

  • Vice President Stephen Siciliano and I participated in a conference call with other community college leaders and officials from the White House Office of Public Engagement and Domestic Policy Council to discuss efforts to make community college free for responsible students through the American’s College Promise Proposal shared as part of President Obama’s State of the Union. The call was to share ideas, best practices, and work towards a common path forward that will support community college students, and how colleges and communities can get involved.
  • Our consultant Kathy Cole, West Wind Consulting, has completed her feasibility study to inform the planning process for a potential comprehensive campaign and she will be presenting her report to the Foundation Board at a special meeting on September 16.
  • The new Coast Guard Commander Gregory Matyas visited our Great Lakes Maritime Academy and we had lunch with the Cadets aboard the ship.
  • I participated in the Munson Healthcare Board retreat, as a member of the Munson Medical Center Board. The beneficial relationship between NMC and Munson is continually reaffirmed for me with the coordinated legislative efforts to gain an NMC BSN offering, the Health Education Institute and the potential shared healthcare simulation labs.
  • Stephen Siciliano has been appointed to the MCCA Block Transfer Committee due to his knowledge and experience with these issues. The committee was established to build upon the success of the Michigan Transfer Agreement
  • In response to legislative language that creates a committee to review the current performance funding process for community colleges, the first meeting of the MCCA performance funding taskforce, of which I am a member, met to begin preliminary discussions on the issues and metrics that need to be reviewed in order to make recommendations for change to the existing performance funding formula used to allocate annual increases in community college funding. The committee will be reviewing data trends over the past 10 years which will help inform discussions on what changes, if any, need to be made to the existing formula.


  • MCCA has hired Dr. Erica Orians as the new Executive Director for the Center for Student Success, replacing Chris Baldwin who recently accepted a position with Jobs for the Future to help establish Student Success Centers in several states across the country.