President’s Update for June 20, 2018

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. (more…)

Sad News

It is with my deepest regret that I share with you that Deb Patterson of NMC’s Central Scheduling passed away unexpectedly last night in her home. Deb has been a member of NMC’s family for more than 30 years. (more…)

President’s Update for May 21, 2018

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. (more…)

President’s Update for April 23, 2018

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. (more…)

President’s Update for March 19, 2018

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. (more…)

President’s Update for February 23, 2018

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

This summer, the Board of Trustees attended an all-day institute at the MCCA Summer program. A key thread was that all boards have three major roles. These are fiduciary, strategic and generative. At the January Board of Trustees Study Session, we added a discussion question to specifically afford time to generate ideas. The Board also agreed they would like time at each Board meeting to examine various issues. This month’s question and reading is listed in the Board meeting materials packet. As a reminder, the materials packet is on the NMC web site. (more…)

President’s Update for January 23, 2018

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. (more…)

President’s Update for December 18, 2017

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.

  • NMC’s Computer Information Technology department hosted an Explore Your Major event on Saturday, November 18. By completing activities on an Exploration Passport, such as building and programming games, exploring cloud computing and experiencing virtual reality, participants in sixth grade and above could enter a drawing for an Xbox One. (IE1, IE4)
  • Clark Manufacturing hosted NMC and TBA-CTC students for a CIT Industry Night Out on October 26. Students were provided dinner as well as a tour of their facility and the opportunity to learn about this local modern machine shop employing the latest technologies in tooling. (IE1, IE2, IE4)
  • Students from the CIT Developer and Infrastructure programs hosted a STEM Exploration Day from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, November 18, at the Parsons-Stulen building on NMC’s Aero Park campus. The event benefited the Food for Thought’s Fill the Pantries: Food Drive Challenge. Community members of all ages were invited to explore and play with some of the latest equipment from NMC programs including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, aviation flight simulators, welding, hybrid vehicles, 3D printer and interactive robots. LEGO robotics and the Grand Traverse County Police Technology Department were also there. (IE1, IE2, IE4, IE5)
  • The Advising Center coordinated meetings with partner schools Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University as part of annual efforts to update each institution about changes to NMC’s programs and courses, communicate new transfer information to advisors, and hear about updates from the institutions. Faculty representatives from academic areas also participated in these meetings. The Advising Center maintains positive relationships with all University Center partners and stays in active communication throughout the academic year as a means of continuous improvement of the transfer process for students. (IE2, IE4)
  • The Advising Center offered a series of transfer workshops to international students to help learn about the transfer process, search for best fit transfer institutions, and navigate the application process. During these sessions, students were given tools to effectively evaluate transfer options, research requirements, and organize applications to potential transfer institutions. Feedback from students was positive and several students also scheduled follow-up appointments with advisors in the Advising Center. (IE1, IE4)
  • In partnership with Student Financial Services and Resident Assistant Praju Nivargi, the Advising Center offered a program for East Hall students to learn about the differences between financial aid and academic probation. They covered information on what academic probation is, how this alert can help students make positive changes to their academic habits, and what support is available to students at NMC. Students actively participated in discussions about what leads students to be on academic probation, and how drawing on past successes can improve outcomes in college. (IE1, IE2)
  • Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Teahen and Director of Alumni Relations Betsy Coffia were selected to present on “How to Begin a Community College Alumni Program” at the October 2017 Conference for Community College Advancement Preconference Workshop in Anaheim, CA. Attendees came from community colleges across the nation. Because Rebecca and Betsy received aggregate rankings of 4.5 or higher for the session in participant feedback, they will be categorized “Stellar Speaker” and recognized in a future CURRENTS magazine. (IE5)
  • 250 area high school singers spent the day on our campus for the NMC 6th Annual Choral Invitational. These singers, from nine different high schools, spent the day learning music, working with music faculty Jeffrey Cobb and Dorothy Vogel, touring our campus, and sharing a performance of the day’s work in an evening concert. This successful event has been a great outreach and recruiting tool for the NMC Music Department. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Concert Band, and their interim director John Campbell on a successful fall concert. The performance included works by Bagley, Respighi, Whitacre and others. The band, which has grown to almost 100, was greeted by an enthusiastic audience of 300+ community members. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • NMC’s Canticum Novum was honored with an invitation to perform at the American Choral Directors Association statewide convention. This is the group’s second invitation to perform at this prestigious conference, and again, Canticum Novum was the only choir from a community college selected to perform. Canticum Novum, after this performance and this summer’s performance at Carnegie Hall, is quickly building a reputation within the music world as one of the premier choral ensembles in the Midwest. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Chamber Singers on their wonderful Fall Concert: Serenade to Music. The choirs were joined on stage by a string orchestra and professional soloists – performing music by Beethoven, Mozart, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others. It was an amazing evening of music as over 120 musicians performed for an enthusiastic crowd of 350 audience members. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Bravo to the NMC Children’s Choirs on their wonderful Holiday Concert! These talented young singers shared music of the holidays to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd. The concert featured 170 singers from the NMCCC Bel Canto, Lyric, Ragazzo, and Cantus choirs – representing students from over 30 area schools in 3rd-9th grade. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to the NMC Big Band, Lab Band, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and their directors, Laurie Sears and Mike Davis, on their fantastic Winter Showcase concert in Milliken Auditorium. These incredible musicians, who have also been featured on the Jazz at the Holiday Inn concert series, put on a wonderful performance of swing, Latin, and big band music. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to our NMC music and dance students who performed on our final Music Convocation of the semester. The concert featured ten of our music majors performing works for tuba, clarinet, percussion, piano, and voice. A few of our music department faculty also joined the students on stage for collaborative works for piano, and for jazz quartet. The dance department was also featured performing an original piece around the theme of water. Bravo NMC music and dance students! (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Congratulations to members of the NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Chamber Singers who were the featured chorus in the 39th Annual Messiah Sing. These wonderful singers, joined by an orchestra and vocal soloists, performed selections of Handel’s Messiah to a standing-room only audience of enthusiastic community members. In total, over 150 musicians performed for an audience of 500+! (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Thank you to the campus community for your support on #GivingTuesday! This year, the NMC Foundation raised $6,500 for NMC—the most ever raised on #GivingTuesday, and the highest number of #GivingTuesday donors, including many NMC employees! Donors supported the Annual Fund and a number of other programs, including Commitment Scholarships, the Student Food Pantry, Giving Tree, the Dennos, WNMC, and more. (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • Congratulations! The Surgical Technology program at Northwestern Michigan College is now accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Thanks to April Kesler and Linda Racine for their hard work. (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • The NMC magazine has earned Best Magazine Award, and placed 1st Place, Central Region, Small Colleges, in the national Literary Magazine Competition offered by the Community College Humanities Association. The winning magazine was entitled, ADVENTURE. Congratulations to faculty advisors, Alissia J.R. Lingaur, Caroline Schaefer-Hills, and NMC magazine student staff. (IE1, IE3, IE4)
  • Megan Ward presented at The International Writing Centers Association conference held November 10-13, in Chicago. IWCA is an affiliate of National Council of Teachers of English and provides an international forum for writing center issues. (IE1)
  • Mark Howell presented at the Michael R. Argetsinger Symposium on International Motor Racing History, November 10-11, in New York. Mark’s presentation highlighted his recent research into how traditional rhetorical concepts can provide a critical analysis of a popular professional sport. (IE1)
  • Rufus Snoddy, NMC’s painting instructor, was on Interlochen Public Radio November 30 talking about his invitation to show at the Art Miami Exhibition. This is one of the biggest and most prestigious art exhibits in the world and draws an international group of artists and buyers. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Educational Media Technology staff members presented at six different sessions for Professional Development Day. The topics included themes such as creating connections with students using Zoom, podcasts and the classroom, students and social media and teaching concepts through images within PowerPoint. A special shout out to Ryan Bernstein for presenting in all four timeslots. (IE3, IE5)
  • Educational Media Technology completed a pilot of the new Online Learning and Moodle Orientation with seven faculty members (nine courses) during fall 2017. The goal of the pilot was to measure the effectiveness of requiring students to complete the orientation on student success and withdrawal rates. In addition, qualitative data was gathered from students about the design of the orientation course and if it helped them prepare to be an online learner. The pilot will continue during the spring 2018 semester. (IE1, IE3)
  • On December 14, Marguerite and Hans attended a celebration held at our Hagerty Center for graduates of the BS in Freshwater Science & Sustainability and honor Michael Kandel, a student in the program who died in a tragic accident in Sturgeon Bay last July while saving another member of the work crew having difficulty in high waves. The WMU degree is the result of a partnership with NMC where students are able to complete their NMC associate degree and then seamlessly continue on with their bachelor’s through WMU.

Activities of Note: Tim

  • I presented at the meeting of the Front Street Irregulars on November 28, which NMC hosted at the Hagerty Center. My message on NMC’s mission, the evolution of platforms, and the fact that NMC is somewhat regulated and a business that needs to operate sustainable programs was well accepted and supported. It is a motivated group and good for NMC to be at the table with.
  • Several executive staff members and I met with the new education reporter for the Record Eagle Sean Miller. I think the meeting went well and we provided him with a lot of NMC background information and resources.
  • I met with the NMC Student Government Association on Friday, December 1. Our discussion included the topics of housing, West Hall Innovation Center, transportation services, etc. As always, I enjoyed the interaction with students and will try to visit an SGA meeting again, as my schedule allows.
  • Nancy and I attended the NMC Jazz Ensemble of Saturday, December 2, at the Milliken Auditorium. It’s a pleasure to be able to experience the wonderful talent here at NMC and within our community.
  • I had a good discussion with Kat Paye, Executive Director for the National Cherry Festival, in which we talked about programmatic fundraising and scholarship opportunity; and the need for participants and housing for their internship program, among other things. The meeting was very positive, as she is very interested in having a community partnership relationship with NMC.
  • I was a pleasure to join Jim Bensley on December 13 to sit in on one of his student’s Global Endorsement Capstone presentation. The enthusiasm and the learning experiences she described were inspiring.
  • Nancy and I enjoyed attending NMC’s employee holiday party last Friday, December 15, at the Hagerty Center. It was a wonderful event with great food and opportunities to spend time with both current and past NMC employees. I would like to wish all of the NMC families a safe and happy holiday season.

Legislative Issues


With the legislature returning from a Thanksgiving in-district work period, attention this month turned to legislation addressing the funding of retirement benefit systems for local governments. In conjunction with this effort, there were a series of bills that would have made changes to how state revenue sharing is distributed. Unfortunately, the bills as introduced would have redirected all Tier 3 personal property tax reimbursements, including those owed to community colleges, to a new proposed City Village Township (CVT) Revenue Sharing Trust Fund. Thankfully, after working with bill sponsors and the Governor’s office, this harmful legislation was removed from the final retirement benefit reform package passed by both the House and Senate last week.
Between now and the end of the year, it is also expected that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Senate passed legislation allowing those with concealed pistol licenses with additional training to carry in gun-free zones including schools and houses of religious worship. Under current law, people with concealed pistol licenses cannot carry concealed firearms into schools, religious facilities, sports stadiums, large entertainment venues, day care centers, hospitals, bars and college dormitories. However, an individual can open carry in those venues. It is unclear if the House has the votes to pass this bill in current form, or if the Governor will sign the legislation, but we will continue to monitor this legislation as it moves through the legislative process.


The focus in Washington right now is on the tax legislation, which passed the House and Senate and is now in a conference committee to work out the differences between the two bills. The top priorities for NMC include the following:

  • A “universal deduction” available to non-itemizers for charitable contributions. The proposed legislation would double the standard education, which would reduce the number of itemizers from 30% to 5% and reduce charitable giving by as much as $13 billion dollars annually, nationwide.
  • Maintain the State and Local Tax Deduction, as eliminating it has the potential to further reduce state investments in higher education.
  • Remedy a flaw in the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) that prevents Pell Grant recipients from fully benefiting from the credit. Currently Pell Grant and other non-taxable scholarships that students receive are deducted from the educational expenses used to calculate a student’s AOTC. In many cases, this results in community college Pell Grant recipients being ineligible for any AOTC.
  • Reinstate Employer Education Assistance, which provides up to $5,250 tax free to cover employees’ educational expenses.
  • Reinstate the student loan interest deduction.
  • Ensure the continuation of qualified tuition reductions for NMC employees and dependents.

We have communicated these priorities with our federal delegation and continue to monitor the movement of this legislation. It is expected that the conference report will be completed as soon as the end of this week with House and Senate votes occurring before the 20th of this month.


  • Thursday, January 18—Board Study Session, Hagerty Center
  • Wednesday, January 24—Chamber Distinguished Service Award Luncheon and Annual Meeting, Hagerty Center
  • Friday, January 26—Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration, Hagerty Center

President’s Update for November 20, 2017

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 office of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications (PRMC) won a Gold and Silver Medallion Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) for the two newest promotional and brand videos in the NMC Now series. These videos highlight the nursing and crop management programs. The Medallion Award recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence in communications at community and technical colleges. PRMC also won a Gold Medallion Award from NCMPR for designing NMC’s new view book. This is the second NMC view book design in a row to be honored with a Medallion Award. (IE3, IE5)
  • Congratulations to Grace Kohler, visual communications student and staff member of the NMC Magazine, for winning first place in the Best Artwork Category-Central Region in the 2017 Literary Magazine Competition. This contest is offered annually by the Community College Humanities Association, which highlights student work from all over the nation. Each magazine is an artistic reflection of the perspectives of each unique student body and locale. Grace’s piece was chosen from NMC’s magazine, DREAMS, page 46. (IE1, IE3)
  • The office of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications (PRMC) recently participated in two professional development opportunities to help advance the work of the office and the college. The “Extreme Communications Makeover” hosted by the TC Chamber of Commerce focused on ways to transition your organization’s communications efforts to best meet the needs of stakeholders today and into the future. “Measuring ROI of Digital Marketing” from NCMPR focused on the benefits of digital marketing to community colleges and how to better tie that into enrollment management. Both professional development events offered some good guidance, and also showed how NMC is ahead of the curve in many areas. (IE3, IE5)
  • NMC Facilities managed and completed installation of security door access and video surveillance on all NMC campuses. (IE5)
  • NMC Dining Services was fortunate to serve nearly 30,000 guests during the month of October. Services provided included the following:
    • Catering for a wedding for 135 people off-site on October 7
    • Catering for NMC’s Professional Development Day on October 10
    • Prime Rib Dinner to residents on October 12
    • Catering for the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for 100 people at the Dennos Museum on October 15
    • Catering for GirlTECH at Aero Park for 300 students on October 27
  • NMC Dining Services also offered a variety of local apples in the Hawk Owl Café such as Ginger Golds, Zestars, Granny Smiths and Honey Crisps. In addition, 13 gallons of local apple cider and 17 gallons of Pumpkin Lattes were served during the month of October. (IE3, IE5)
  • Instruction librarian Ann Geht worked with English instructors to teach information literacy skills that help students identify and vet published sources in print and on the web. 100% of ENG 111, 112, and 99/108 classes attended library sessions this fall. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • GLMA hosted the ninth Women on the Water Conference at the Hagerty Center October 26-28. This was the second time GLMA hosted the conference; they hosted the initial conference in 2007. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of cadets, faculty, staff, and especially Judy Druskovich, the event was a tremendous success. All seven federally-regulated maritime academies sent representatives. Senator Stabenow and Maritime Administrator Buzby provided video greetings. Guest speakers and panelists included senior officials from each of the maritime unions, Military Sealift Command, each of the Great Lakes shipping companies, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, and K&L Gates. Coast Guard Admiral Linda Fagan served as the guest speaker. Fund raising efforts ensured that all meals for cadets and midshipmen were provided at no cost. Additionally, all costs for a Saturday, October 28, trip to Mackinac Island were covered by donations from the U.S. maritime industry. (IE2)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Trustee Rachel Johnson and I toured campus with Senator Peter’s aid Eric Keller on October 26. We were able to show him the Nursing Simulation Lab, North Hall, Technology at Parsons-Stulen, and the Great Lakes Campus. He was enthused with learning more about what NMC has to offer.
  • I provided an NMC update to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy Board of Visitors annual visit on October 26. This group’s objectives include providing a real world perspective from industry and government leaders on required skills sought by the industry and providing feedback on cadets and recent graduates. This relationship has contributed to the success of our GLMA cadets and graduates.
  • As noted above in accomplishments, NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy hosted the 2017 Women on the Water Conference at our Great Lakes Campus. Trustee Rachel Johnson was able to participate in the mock interview exercise with GLMA cadets the afternoon of October 26. Nancy and I, along with trustees Kennard Weaver, Janie McNabb and spouses, attended the conference dinner on Friday, October 27. RADM Linda Fagan provided a keynote address and RADM Mark Buzby, USN, Ret. sent a special video message to the evening’s attendees. It was a great opportunity for our GLMA to host this national event that recognizes female cadets, while benefiting all attending cadets and midshipmen. The agenda focused on industry presentations, mock interviews with industry professionals, and networking opportunities.
  • On October 27, I had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Trevor Kubatzke, President of Lake Michigan College (LMC), continuing a conversation on potential collaboration between our schools in the area of fermentation technology. Marguerite Cotto and Dr. Leslie Kellogg, LMC Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, have been seeking areas of internship collaboration that might provide an exchange of experiences between students in their wine region and ours. Our visit included a discussion and a facilities tour with LMC’s Director of Wine and Viticulture Technology, Mike Moyer. We appreciate their hospitality and look forward to this continuing exploration.
  • I would like to thank trustees and executive staff who spent half a day on October 30 for the Board study session. The afternoon offered an opportunity for in-depth discussions on enrollment management, revenue sources and trends, and principles of planning and budgeting. Another study session is being planned for January 18.
  • A team from NMC traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, for the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Design Sprint for the early adopter learning approach. The Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN), of which we are members, and BIF are embarking on a partnership to provide CQIN member organizations an opportunity to understand business model innovation based on a Business Model Design Process (BMDP) to establish the importance of changing to the perspective of the student experience. This recent meeting included an overall orientation to the BMDP methodology, and in-depth training on how to make the shift by gaining a deep understanding of the student experience; identifying key actionable insights; and imaging new value propositions and student experiences. The next phase will take place in Chicago in April.

Legislative Issues


The Michigan legislature stands adjourned for the deer hunting/Thanksgiving recess and will return to session on Tuesday, November 28. However, before they broke for recess, the Senate passed legislation (SB 584-586) that would allow individuals who obtain a special endorsement with their concealed pistol license to carry a concealed weapon within areas where they are currently prohibited, including community college campuses. The package passed 25-12 with all Northern Michigan senators voting in support. The legislation is now before the House Judiciary Committee. Of this package of bills, SB 586 clarifies that for the purposes of weapons policies, community colleges would qualify as local governments, and therefore could not regulate the use of weapons in their jurisdictions. The MCCA legislative committee opposes SB 586 and is neutral on SB 584 and SB 585.

Also before the legislature left Lansing, the House voted on auto no fault insurance reform legislation (HB 5013) which would have made changes to Michigan’s auto insurance laws. NMC wrote to our Northern Michigan House members in opposition to this legislation because of the negative impact it would have on faculty, staff and students. These impacts included not addressing the use of non-driving factors in the determination of insurance rates, an across the board mandated reduction in personal injury protection coverage and caps on lifetime insurance coverage for auto accident related injuries. The legislation would have also had a significant negative impact on healthcare providers including on Munson Healthcare which would have seen a $9.5 million annual loss. Ultimately the legislation was voted down, with State Representative Larry Inman being the only Northern Michigan representative to oppose the bill. The Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance also opposed the legislation and we appreciate Representative Inman’s and the Alliance’s support on this issue.


Both the House and Senate are working to advance significant tax reform measures in Washington. Of concern for community colleges are several provisions of the House bill. These include the following:

  • 1.4% excise tax on college endowments at private universities valued at $100,000 or more per full-time student
  • Eliminates Lifetime Learning Credit
  • Eliminates Employer Educational Assistance
  • Eliminates Student Loan Interest Deduction
  • Eliminates Qualified Tuition Reductions

We will continue to monitor this legislation as it makes its way through the process in the House and Senate and will be in contact with our federal delegation to express our concerns.


  • Tuesday, December 5—Board Holiday Party
  • Friday, December 15—NMC Employee Holiday Party

Three-Volley Salute to Veterans on Monday 11/13


Out of respect for our campus community and in light of shootings that have occurred around the nation, I wanted to inform everyone that the VFW Post 2780 Color Guard will be performing the Three-Volley Salute as part of the NMC Veterans Day Honor Ceremony. It will commence shortly after the flag is raised on Monday, November 13, between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m.

The Three-Volley Salute, accompanied by the playing of Taps, is performed in honor of veterans/soldiers who are no longer with us. This is a coveted ceremony for our veterans as they honor all those who came before them, served alongside them, and gave their lives in the line of duty. These are blank rounds (gun powder in a copper casing) with no actual bullet being fired. For more information on the origin of the Three-Volley Salute, please see the attached document, provided by Scott Herzberg, NMC Military & Veteran Services/Advisor.

On behalf of all NMC veterans, please accept my sincerest gratitude for your support and continual understanding. We hope you’ll join us on Monday as we observe Veterans Day!

President’s Office
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI
Phone: (231) 995-1010

Origin of the Three Volleys

The practice of firing three rifle volleys over the grave of a veteran, and at other honor military-related ceremonies, originated in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield. Once each army had cleared their dead, it would fire three volleys to indicate that the dead had been cared for and that they were ready to fight again.

Three volleys fired has become a tradition to mean the dead have been cared for. It has evolved into a military salute for the deceased serving their country. Firing the three volleys is one of the highest honors to give a deceased military veteran.

NMC Veterans Day Activities, November 13

Dear colleagues:

On Monday, November 13, NMC will observe Veterans Day with morning activities to mark the day with special recognition for student, faculty, and staff veterans. Please encourage and allow any veterans in your classes and offices to attend the breakfast, Walk of Honor, and Flag Raising Ceremony.

I strongly encourage the entire campus to line up along the sidewalks from West Hall to the flagpoles west of the Tanis Building to support the veterans taking part in the Walk of Honor that begins promptly at 9:20 a.m. Afterwards, there will be a Flag Raising Ceremony conducted by the VFW with Traverse City Central High School Marching Band performing the Star Spangled Banner.

The entire campus community is invited to stop by for coffee and cake that will be served in the West Hall lobby from 10 a.m. to noon in honor of veterans. An invitation to a free public public showing of the documentary Almost Sunrise is also attached to this e-mail. The documentary will be shown on Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m., followed by Q&A with local combat veterans.

Serving those who have served us is a year-round priority at NMC, and I’m extremely proud that NMC has been certified for the third consecutive year as a Gold-Level Veteran Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for our commitment to supporting the needs of student veterans and dependents. The program awards Gold-, Silver-, or Bronze-Level status to institutions that offer veteran-centric services and programs.

Thank you for giving your time to recognize our military veterans and thank them for their service.


Timothy J. Nelson, President
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI
Phone: (231) 995-1010


Veteran’s Day Agenda 2017

Almost Sunrise Flyer

NMC has lost another friend

Dear College Community:

It is with regret that I share the news of Dr. Lornie Kerr’s passing.  Lornie had a long history of service to NMC beginning as Dean of Students in 1970.  He served as Acting President of NMC in 1986 and retired as Vice President of Student and Administrative Services in 1989.  He was a national leader in international education efforts serving as consultant to or committee chairperson in multiple organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges and the U.S. State Department Bureau of Cultural affairs.

Nancy and I had the privilege of working for and with Lornie during our time here in the 1970s. He was a dedicated professional who cared deeply for students, staff and the college.  He stayed connected to NMC and I was fortunate to have a number of meaningful conversations with him after my appointment as president.  He will be missed.

Visitation is Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Presbyterian Church from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  A funeral service will be held on Friday, November 3 at 11 a.m. the the Presbyterian Church with visitation beginning at 10 a.m.


Timothy J. Nelson, President
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI
Phone: (231) 995-1010

President’s Update for October 23, 2017

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.

  • Great Lakes Maritime Academy had three cruises aboard the State of Michigan in summer 2017.
    • Phase 1: Started May 8 and completed June 23—70 sea days. Visited Traverse City, Port Huron, Detroit, Cleveland, Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac Island. Carried 31 GLMA cadets and 10 cadets from Texas A&M. For pilot training accomplished 1 Lake Huron trip, 10 St. Mary’s River trips, 11 Detroit River trips, and 11 St. Clair River trips.
    • Phase 2: Started June 24 and finished August 8—69 sea days. Visited all phase one ports plus Buffalo, NY and Duluth, MN. Carried 28 GLMA cadets, 11 Texas A&M cadets, and 10 Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets. For pilot training, accomplished 3 lake trips, 10 St. Mary’s trips, 11 St. Clair trips, and 11 Detroit River trips.
    • Phase 3: (“Pre-Fall”) Started August 13 and finished August 25—13 in-port sea days. Carried 63 new GLMA cadets. Hosted barbecue with alumni to welcome new cadets and parents on the first evening. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
    • In addition, on the summer cruises GLMA reports that they:
      • prepared 3 able seamen for pilot exams in a continuing cooperative effort with the American Maritime Officers union,
      • consumed ~ $180,000 of food and food service,
      • provided 3 internships for Great Lakes Culinary Institute interns, and
      • consumed 67,000 gallons of diesel. Thanks to MARAD for the funds to refuel after the cruises, we are full again. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • GLMA reports that the State of Michigan ran well throughout season, all known problems were either resolved or have long-term fixes in progress. MARAD continues to provide timely help when problems occur to keep the ship moving. Of note are the following:
    • The crew and cadet mess area improvements proved functional and pleasant.
    • The new voyage data recorder kept track of all inputs throughout the cruises.
    • The winter maintenance projects such as new sea chest vents greatly improved operational safety and consistency—thanks MARAD for the contracting and funding to do these.
    • Began using new Safety Management System. (IE1, IE2, IE3)
  • Jim Bensley, Director of International Services and Service Learning, accepted an award on behalf of the college at this year’s Institute of International Education (IIE) Summit Conference in Washington, DC, held October 1 – 3. NMC is one of approximately 20 IHEs out of 800 Generation Study Abroad partners this year who have reached their commitment to double student participation in study abroad before the end of the decade. For more info visit (IE1, IE2, IE5)
  • Jim Bensley’s article, titled “Connecting with Islam,” was published in the recent Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) Quarterly Newsletter. To read the article, visit (IE1, IE2)
  • In August, NMC Aviation, in partnership with MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology (MSU IAT), offered an unmanned aircraft systems course for MSU Turfgrass Management students. This unique for-credit MSU course was taught by NMC staff during an intensive 2- week module. In week 1, students assembled and programmed an unmanned aircraft and developed their basic pilot skills at Yuba Intergalactic. In week 2, students participated as teams in flight scenarios during live play at Lochenheath Golf Club. They collected data about sprinkler irrigation efficacy, created 3-D “fly-throughs” for marketing, and learned how to use UAS to create course maps. Lochenheath leadership really enjoyed partnering with both schools, and are looking forward to doing it again. The feedback from both students and institutional partners was extremely positive. MSU Turfgrass Management, MSU IAT, and MSU Ag Industries departments would like to offer variations of this course in 2018. This type of course is the vision of the UAS department as an academic service provider to other partner schools. Content was developed and delivered collaboratively between Brian Matchett of MSU IAT and NMC’s UAS staff. (IE2)
  • This fall semester NMC Aviation welcomed their largest class of incoming freshmen in recent decades. 50 students make up the 50th fall class! Demand for collegiate flight programs has grown exponentially with the demand for pilots. However, our success is due largely in-part to our Aviation Recruiters and Advisers, and the “Taking Flight Initiative” through our partner school Crosswinds Aviation. initiative/ (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • PRMC’s Steve Kellman set up a new text-to-speech service on the public NMC website in response to a request from Disability Support Services Specialist Leanne Baumeler, who won an innovation grant to cover the cost of the service. Steve also spent time with a blind high school student at Leanne Baumeler’s suggestion, reviewing the site from his perspective and watching him navigate it with screen reader software, making improvements to dozens of pages on the site in response to his feedback. Steve also worked with NMC’s web CMS consultant to make improvements to that system, and updated accessibility guidelines and instructions on the CMS tutorial pages. In addition, he tested the top 100 most visited pages on the site to correct all accessibility errors flagged by the web accessibility evaluation tool at http://, resulting in accessibility improvements to the entire site. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • 60 students attended CIT Industry Night Out at Microline Technology Corporation on September 21. Industry Night Out is a chance for current CIT students to visit a local company for a tour and to learn about business opportunities in the field of computer information technology, as well as expose the students to career options that they might not have otherwise considered. Students in CIT classes are invited to Industry Night Out three to four times each semester. (IE1, IE2, IE5)
  • Great Lakes Culinary Institute (GLCI) faculty and students participated in a three-day Culinary Medical Conference September 22-24, 2017, titled “Think like a chef, cook like a dietitian, eat like a local farmer.” The event, hosted by the GLCI in partnership with Munson Medical Center and Groundwork Organization, highlighted healthy cooking techniques and ingredients to area medical professionals. Over 45 health-care providers attended this conference, which was approved for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. The conference was well received by the attendees and the organizers. The overall goals of the conference are listed below:
    • Enhance the provider’s confidence to discuss and guide patients’ food and nutrition selections to improve or prevent disease symptoms or progressions and overall improve health outcomes.
    • Translate current dietary guidelines into clear food and meal planning recommendations using peer review research articles, lecture, and hands-on cooking in a teaching kitchen atmosphere.
    • Apply food and cooking techniques to solve food access and nutrition-related health disparity using demonstration, lecture, and case study evaluation.
    • Experiment with recipe modification to enhance or reduce food or nutrient components as needed to prevent, reduce or eliminate health disparities via cooking demonstration, pre- and post-testing, and case study evaluation. (IE2, IE4, IE5)
  • Laura Schmidt, Director of Nursing & Allied Health, was elected to a two-year term to the Board of Directors for the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN). She is also the co-chairperson for the OADN Academic Progression in Nursing Task Force and the board liaison for the Education & Research Task Force. (IE1)
  • Scott Herzberg, POC Military & Veteran Services/Advisor, participated in the 6th Annual TC Patriot Game, northern Michigan’s biggest football game. It was held Friday, September 8, 2017, to honor Veterans, active duty military, first responders, and those who have died in service to our country. Honorary Captains were the family of Dennis Finch, a Traverse City police officer killed in the line of duty, and the family of Joshua Miller, a Veteran who took his own life last year. Student Senators selected 22 to None, a local organization dedicated to help Veterans transition from military life to civilian life and attack the suicide triggers, to receive the proceeds from the sale of commemorative shirts. It is estimated that on average 22 Veterans a day commit suicide. Veterans, active duty military and first responders were invited to attend the game at no charge. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • NMC faculty and staff were among more than 300 competitors at the DK 5K Tough Run on September 9 in memory of Drew Kostic, a student veteran who died in December 2016. Faculty and staff that contributed to the day included Writing and Reading Center coordinator Megan Ward, librarian Michelle Howard, Military and Veterans Services POC Scott Herzberg, librarian Ann Geht, communications instructor Judy Chu, and math instructor Mary Burget. NMC’s Construction Technology department built the race obstacles and the Visual Communications department designed the event logo. The DK 5K benefited NMC Student Veterans Association and 22 to None. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Enrollment Services/Student Financial Services and Admissions started their regional Financial Aid 101 evening presentations. Staff presented to over 50 people between the three locations in September—Cadillac, Leelanau, and Kalkaska. These events are geared toward high school juniors and seniors and their families to discuss the ins and outs of the financial aid process. Starting this month they will be going directly to the high schools and meeting with the seniors to start the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4, IE5)
  • Federal regulations for Title IV Federal Student Aid eligibility state that students can only receive aid for courses that apply to their degree at the institution paying their aid (NMC). Last year, the State of Michigan stated this as a requirement for the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP). Student Financial Services, with the assistance of many departments on campus, successfully launched a process to ensure proper payment of federal and state funds to students. Many students needed to adjust their schedules or change their programs to be eligible for student aid. Advisers, Records and Registration, office managers and others throughout the college helped students with necessary changes. If they chose to take additional courses not covered by state or federal aid payment plans are offered and encouragement to apply for scholarships. This requirement will help students make education decisions toward degree completion. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4, IE5)
  • Kim Schultz, of the Advising Center, and Lisa Wilmeth, of Records & Registration and Enrollment Services, conducted training sessions for faculty on the use of MAP (My Academic Plan) and Plans. MAP is our web-based degree tracking system for students that help them successfully navigate their degree/certificate requirements at NMC. Rolled out in Fall 2016, Plans is a tool that students use with the guidance of an academic advisor to form a semester-by-semester schedule of classes needed for their educational goal at NMC. Used to enhance advising and planning, these tools are part of our overall retention strategy related to the Guided Pathways initiative to help students track their progress toward completion. (IE1, IE3)
  • Advising Center academic and career advisors met with academic areas at the start of the fall semester to give advising updates to faculty. The Advising Center assigns an advisor to each academic department area as a liaison to enhance communication and leverage opportunities for collaboration whenever possible. These positive working relationships contribute to better overall student experiences with consistent information and messaging. (IE2, IE3)
  • NMC Facilities completed tours of North Hall with the Traverse City Police Department and all three squads of the Traverse City Fire Department for orientation/key and card access and roof access on all NMC buildings in the event of an emergency. They also completed training on the new card access and camera systems. (IE3, IE4, IE5)
  • NMC Facilities assisted with North Hall furniture move in, post construction clean up, prep for North Hall open house, and student move in. (IE3, IE4, IE5)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Last month Nancy and I traveled to the United Kingdom to visit one our international aviation partners, the University of Hertfordshire. We had dinner with the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering Technology Ray Wilkinson and his wife the evening of our arrival. Ray used to oversee all the aerospace degree courses and has been a main contact for our partnership with the University of Hertfordshire. The following day I had an excellent tour of the University with Associate Dean for Academic Quality Assurance David Germany. The visit was a wonderful opportunity to meet many of the great people who work with NMC to create this successful partnership, the first of our global partnerships. Thank you to our Steve Ursell for his coordination of this visit.
  • Trustees Kennard Weaver, Chris Bott, Doug Bishop, Ross Childs, and Janie McNabb, along with myself and other executive staff, attended the ACCT Leadership Congress in Las Vegas the last week of September. Among the conference events, Trustee Bott, Vice President Marguerite Cotto, and myself presented a session on “The College as an Investor in its Mission.” Trustees will report on their sessions during the October 23, 2017, Board meeting.
  • The NMC Aviation Program’s 50th Anniversary was celebrated with multiple events over the past few weeks. A symposium was held at our Aero Park campus on Thursday, September 28, featuring a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and student panel discussion on Recruiting and Advising; keynote speaker Major Benjamin A. Donberg on State of the Industry from the D.C. and Military Perspective; and a guided discussion on Impacting the Pilot Shortage and Supporting Talent Development, facilitated by Linda Lindquist-Bishop. Later that evening, students, alumni, employees, retirees, trustees, and community members celebrated at the Aviation Gala at the Grand Traverse Resort. A generous $1 million gift commitment from Sallie and Kerm Campbell was announced at the event. The gift will support a program fund for innovation and excellence at NMC Aviation.
  • Just this past Friday, October 13, a luncheon and community open house was held the Aero Park campus in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Aviation Program. Tributes to the program were offered by the Board of Trustees and state and federal representatives (see more in Legislative section). Tours of the aviation facility were also offered throughout the afternoon.
  • The Lobdell Culinary Scholarship Dinner was held on September 29. Now in its thirteenth year, the dinner event has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to NMC culinary students.
  • On Saturday, September 30, NMC Student Life and Voices, one of our student groups, hosted the Walk, Run, Empower 5K on campus. The run/walk served to raise awareness and to help end sexual violence. First Lady Sue Snyder was the keynote speaker and both she and Governor Rick Snyder participated in the 5K. I also participated and was able to walk with the Governor and First Lady to have some meaningful conversation.
  • The MCCA Fall Board of Directors meeting was held on Friday, October 6 at Alpena Community College. Vice Chair Chris Bott and I both attended the meeting. There were good sessions including a very informative Michigan’s State Budget and Revenue Forecast by Mary Ann Cleary, Director of the House Fiscal Agency.
  • NMC faculty and staff participated in the Fall Conference on Tuesday, October 10, with a full day of professional development sessions held on main campus. Sessions were well attended and contained a wide range of topics that included technology, financial aid, free speech, experiential learning, and gender inclusion, among many that heard great remarks about. A special thank you to Kristin Salathiel and Lori Hodek for planning such a great day with such a multitude of topics that I was told made it a difficult choice of which sessions to attend.
  • We are in the middle of hosting Small Group Forums across all four campuses to give faculty and staff an opportunity to receive a brief update and discuss any topics of choice. The sessions have been well attended with good feedback and discussion.

Legislative Issues

We recently hosted a commemorative luncheon for the Aviation Program’s 50th Anniversary, which was attended by our state legislative delegation including Senator Wayne Schmidt, Representative Larry Inman, and a staff representative for Representative Curt VanderWall. We also had staff representatives from Senator Stabenow’s office, Senator Peters’ office and Congressman Bergman’s office. Governor Snyder sent a tribute letter and we had incoming Board Chair of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Kevin Schlueter present congratulatory remarks as well. It was a tremendous chance to showcase our aviation program with our elected officials and thank our leaders for their support.


There continues to be movement on several pieces of legislation that we are monitoring including data sharing legislation (HB 4545), which would enhance the ability for community colleges to access important wage data. Following passage in the House earlier this year, the legislation now moves to the Senate where a hearing was held by the Senate Commerce Committee, chaired by Sen. Wayne Schmidt. However, there was no vote on the bill at that hearing. To urge movement by the Committee, we sent a letter to Senator Schmidt and Senator Booher asking that they advance this bill in the Senate.

Despite recent national events, concerning legislation was recently introduced in the Senate (SB 584) by the Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, which would allow individuals to apply for an exemption that would allow them to carry a concealed weapon in an area where it is otherwise not allowed, such as on the grounds of a community college. It would also take away local control to regulate the use of weapons on a community college’s campus. We continue to monitor this legislation and expect that there will be a hearing on it in the Government Operations committee at some point in the near future.


Congressman Bergman visited campus this month for a tour of our unmanned systems programs (both air and water). This included a tour of the Parsons-Stulen building where the Congressman piloted a ROV in our indoor water tank, as well as interacted with robotics students in the Makers Space. Congressman Bergman then visited our Great Lakes Campus and met with Maritime Technology students and had a hands-on experience with an ROV in West Grand Traverse Bay. It was an important chance to highlight the work that we are doing with unmanned systems and the Congressman greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn more about our work.

We continue to monitor FY18 budget deliberations and their potential impact on programs that support community colleges and our learners. Right now, Congress is operating under a short term bill that will expire on December 8. Unfortunately, this short term funding measure included an across the board cut to keep overall spending within the required budget caps for the year. Because of the way Perkins funds are budgeted and dispersed, the cut impacted the Perkins Basic State Grant advance funding that began rolling out to states on October 1. For Michigan, this was a $261,771 dollar cut. However, it is often the case that these funds are retroactively restored in the final full year budget and we are hopeful that Congress will do that again this year.


  • Women on the Water Conference—October 26-28
  • Monday, October 30—Board of Trustees Study Session
  • Friday, November 10—MCCA Fall Trustee Institute
  • Friday, November 10—Mariners Memorial with Doug Bishop as the guest speaker
  • Monday, November 13—Veterans Day Activities at NMC

NMC Fall 2017 Update

Timothy J. Nelson, President
October 6, 2017


We are in an exciting academic year here at Northwestern Michigan College. Some of our students are waking up in the new North Hall, one of our newest AQIP teams is finding innovative ways to educate and engage our learners, and the students in our first cohort of 100 commitment scholars are officially Hawk Owls this fall. This is all possible because of the work you do every day and I thank you.

Our world is changing at an ever quickening pace, but together we continue to find new ways to prepare our students to be successful. We must be focused not only on the work we are doing today, but also planning for an uncertain future and creating an environment on campus that is agile enough to adjust to the forces of change. Our multi-year planning process has been an essential element in our effectiveness.

It is critical to keep you informed on many of the initiatives and programs affecting our campus. In this state of the college report, I will provide a detailed overview of where we have been and where we are going. Some of the topics include:

  1. Fall Opening Picnic
  2. Students and Enrollment
  3. Community Engagement
  4. International Relationships
  5. Employee Professional Development
  6. Facilities
  7. Higher Learning Commission Accreditation
  8. Leadership and Governance
  9. Budget
  10. Legislative and Regulatory Issues
  11. Board of Trustees

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. We will continue the small group meetings to provide a more accessible space to discuss questions or concerns related to the state of the college, and appointments for these October meetings have been sent to your calendar.


Fellowship was an important part of our previous opening conference, and last year we hosted an all employee picnic before the start of the fall semester. 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. It was a success last year and an even greater success this year. Thank you to the hundreds of you who joined together for a meal with your colleagues and to welcome our new employees.


Total enrollment this fall is 3,952 students, which generated 42,298 contact hours. We budgeted for a 4.6% decline and ended with an approximately 3.8% decline in contact hours. The major trend influencing enrollment at the college continues to be the improved state of our local economy where older, potential students choose employment over education. This requires 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 out-of-state and international students. The opening of North Hall was an important step to supporting these students from outside the area and all who choose to live on campus.

One reason for the decline in average student age is the combination of dual enrolled and early college enrollment is up from 282 in 2013 to 510 in 2017, bringing the average age of our students to 23.5 years old. Overall, our enrollment of students aged 20 and under has been steady for the last 7 years. However, enrollment declines have been the norm for students 21 and older. As the economy has improved, many of these students have entered or returned to the work force.

As we seek ways 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 way-finding 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, with every new level of regulation and monitoring placing more emphasis on this outcome. While we have made progress over recent years, we have much to do. I am continuing to ask our planning groups to establish additional metrics, which will help us to both succeed and manage our performance. Achieving these goals is directly connected to government support. Financial Aid that NMC students received in 2016-17 totaled over $18 million.

NMC Student Financial Aid Sources


Extended Education Services (EES) has continued to refresh its catalog, pricing models, and preparation 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. This summer marked the 40th anniversary of this program, with our largest class on record – over 1,800. Young student 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. This fall is also the introduction of the new SOAR (Skills, Opportunities, Achievement, Rewards) programming in the EES catalog. SOAR began last year with an award from the Foundation’s Innovation Grant program which allowed development of a pilot project.

Now in its “incubation stage,” SOAR will provide a variety of opportunities for adults with learning challenges and disabilities. 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, as well as 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 a state-wide leader in the use of the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, recognized at the forefront of LEAN programming in the state, and now coordinator of a new stackable credential precision machining program with regional manufacturers. Training Services is net positive in its revenue/expense profile. Below are some specific achievements:

  • New Jobs Training Program results
    • 577 jobs created with a minimum of 175% times minimum wage (today: $15.58/hr)
    • 32 participating employers
    • $4,168,435 million of training
  • MMTC (Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center) Program eligible employers served by NMC during the last 12 months reported the following results
    • 193 increased and retained jobs
    • $5,950,000 of increased sales
    • $44,700,000 million of retained sales
    • Net new investments made $15,734,386 million

Service Learning continues to be another way in which NMC students engage with the community by connecting their career aspirations and global concerns through targeted projects with their instructors.

The International Affairs Forum (IAF) continues to be another example of community engagement. IAF brings the experience of the world to our region through its 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.


NMC is a leader in creating global learning experiences for students, faculty and staff. Our implementation of global endorsement is referenced as a model for other community colleges in Michigan. Scott Swan and Brian Sweeney delivered our first modularized courses to students at Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute this past June, on our way toward completing the first generation of course delivery at the associate level to students interested in construction management and marine surveying. Our team will complete program delivery in March 2018.


Regional and national accreditors have made professional development a prime directive, and NMC will continue to make it a priority for the college. The August learning outcomes professional development days continue to be well attended and beneficial to faculty. Two years ago, the Higher Learning Commission passed new regulations requiring 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 did 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. Last year, we worked with the AQIP Learning Outcomes team co-chairs to expand the fall professional development day in October to include sessions to benefit both faculty and staff. With considerable work from the Center for Instructional Excellence, and the Learning Outcomes team, the event was a resounding success. We will continue that event this fall on October 10 and I encourage you all to participate.


Campus Security installed a number of security upgrades over the summer. New security cameras have been installed on all of our campuses and remote door access for all of the college buildings is currently being installed. These two projects will provide enhanced security for all of our campuses. 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.

The North Hall Residence and Fitness Center opened on time and on budget. The new 140-bed residence hall is 90% full. Rental housing in the region continues to be in short supply. Students coming to us from our region, as well as 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 near completion on a 14,000 sq. ft. addition. 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. This project doubles the gallery space and adds classroom space to the facility. We look forward to enhancing the connection academic classes have with the museum.

Okerstrom Fine Arts Building updates and improvements are coming. In August, the Board of Trustees approved the contract to replace the siding and windows for this building. The work is targeted to be complete by December 2017. Improvements to both restrooms will also be done during FY 2018.

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 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 continue for the West Hall Innovation Center and Library. We were successful in securing State capital outlay funding of approximately $7.5 million. This new facility will include approximately 53,000 sq. ft. of modern learning spaces 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 have been involved in the design process.


Regional accreditation is required for NMC to provide access to federal and state funding for the college and our students. NMC participates in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), one of three pathways offered by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The AQIP pathway includes an added emphasis on helping institutions achieve continuous quality improvement. The eight year AQIP cycle requires the submission of our Systems Portfolio in November 2017 and the official campus site visit in March 2019. Our last accreditation cycle in 2011 outlined four strategic challenges in need of improvement:

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

NMC has initiatives in place to address the concerns identified by the HLC peer reviewers for strategic challenges (1) and (3). For strategic challenge (1), NMC identified a strategic goal in the FY15-FY18 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 completed in June 2017. Among the project’s accomplishments were providing professional development in the area of learning outcomes to the faculty and teaching staff and the comprehensive review and revision of all our course outcomes. The project will transition to an Assessment Team in fall 2017 in order to continue the continuous improvement initiative related to learning outcomes. For strategic challenge (3), NMC chartered an AQIP action project in 2012, Enhancing Developmental Education. The team strategically analyzed, innovated, and improved developmental education at NMC which began with assessing and reviewing the college’s data, in the context of state and national data, in order to help identify evidence-based practices. This resulted in the implementation of several successful initiatives in developmental English and math, which ended the formal project in 2015.

NMC continues to work through our continuous improvement cycle for strategic challenges (2) and (4). For strategic challenge (2), the Office of Research, Planning, & Effectiveness (ORPE), initiated several changes in order to expand the College’s awareness, accessibility, and use of data. The 2011 AQIP Project, Enhancing Employee Communication and Collaboration, resulted in significant changes which included providing departments across campus the capability to use the NMC Intranet (employee site) to share information. More recently, ORPE has made significant improvements to the ORPE intranet page. By listening to faculty and staff data needs (i.e., metrics, targets, and goals), ORPE identified and incorporated changes in order to expand institutional awareness and increase accessibility of data. Additionally, in collaboration with the President’s Council (PC), ORPE has identified a reporting process in which to share qualitative information with faculty and staff. Based upon the Cultivating a Connected Community AQIP Project, the reporting process successfully addresses one way in which we communicate. For strategic challenge (4), the College examined and assessed our peer benchmarking process. Historically, peer benchmarks used by the College included national and state-level metrics. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP), Perkins Core Indicators, and Michigan’s Education Dashboard (Mi Dashboard) provide peer comparisons at varying degrees. However, not all data are comparable. For example, IPEDS is the most used and accessible nationally recognized organization that provides comparable data on graduation rates and related metrics. Although improvements have been made to data collection processes in IPEDS, there is still somewhat limited coverage of community colleges. In 2014, NMC established membership with the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA), a robust peer benchmarking initiative, which is now a part of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). NMC recognizes that existing accountability measures in higher education do not provide an adequate measure of our mission. The VFA provides community colleges with significantly improved ability to assess performance, identify areas for improvement, and reaffirm a commitment to our academic mission.

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.


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. In the meantime, I have asked employee groups to remain intact as they continue their participation and representation on councils, committees and taskforces.

An AQIP project was established in May 2017 to review and clarify shared governance at NMC. I look forward to their recommendations.


Last year we built the budget on moderately increasing revenue, reducing cost, and shifting priorities. The budget reductions included a $600,000 reduction in salary expenses, COAT budget was reinstated at $250,000 and professional development remains at the 2016 level. The college offered a voluntary separation plan to faculty and staff in order to try to reach the goal of reduction in salary expenses. The college accepted six faculty applications and five staff applications. This strategy was used to reduce personnel costs in an environment of declining enrollment. We will continue to look for ways to reduce overall expenses by shifting priorities. 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.

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 $600,000 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. The budget will continue to evolve. I ask you to stay engaged, ask questions, and offer suggestions.

NMC Foundation and Resource Development

Five 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 continue to hear more about this exciting effort on the part of our Foundation, its volunteers and employees and learn how you can be engaged. Funding for this effort is shared by the Foundation and the college’s strategic fund, fund for transformation and reserves.


With changes in Lansing and Washington, as a result of the 2016 elections, we have continued to engage and inform our state and federal elected officials, some of whom are new to office, about the breadth of work that we are involved in here at NMC, as well as some of the challenges that we face.

So far this year, we hosted new and returning legislators on campus to talk about the state budget and our 21st Century Innovation Center, met one-on-one with new legislators to give them a Community College 101, participated in the Michigan Community College Association Legislative Day, hosted a Lunch and Learn in Lansing to discuss the need for upgrades to the Michigan Transfer Network, met with lawmakers in Washington, DC, to talk about federal budget priorities, healthcare and immigration issues, and hosted U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow on campus for a workforce development roundtable discussion.

As a result, we have found success in raising awareness about how NMC is continuously transforming the learning experience and its global relevance to those we serve through innovation, agility and thoughtful risk-taking. We have also found success through specific actions taken by the Michigan legislature through their fiscal year 2018 budget process. With Governor Snyder’s signature, this legislation finalized several important items for NMC.

The budget spends $16.6 billion on school, colleges and universities. It also includes final approval for NMC’s multi-million dollar 21st Century Innovation Center project, a slight 2% increase in our state funding formula allocation and a $1 million dollar investment in the Michigan Transfer Network (MTN) to modernize the MTN website and increase accessibility to information about college and university credit transfers.

The inclusion of these priorities for NMC and community colleges statewide would not have been possible were it not for the leadership of our elected officials, and I would like to personally thank those leaders who represent us in Northern Michigan including Representative Inman, Senator Schmidt and Senator Booher.

However our work is not done, and as legislators return from their summer recess period, we know that important issues for community colleges will once again be on the agenda. This includes issues such as:

  • A debate over immigration reform in the wake of the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • A need to pass a federal budget to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2018
  • A need to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act which provides approximately $230,000 in annual support to NMC
  • A renewed debate over tax policy and credits in Lansing that could have an adverse impact on Michigan’s budget, which has the potential to harm community colleges
  • The need for workforce data legislation that would give community colleges needed information about learner success, information that we are increasingly being expected to have as a requirement for funding and evaluation

We will also be looking ahead to next year as the state once again begins deliberations on the state budget and we will work hard to make sure our legislators are educated on the importance of support for community colleges.


The NMC Board of Trustees is a volunteer body that continues to do critical work for the future of the college and community. The November 2016 election brought a new trustee, Michael Estes, to the NMC Board. Incumbent trustee Chris Bott, who was previously appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board in April 2015, was also elected to a full six-year term. Shortly after the election, former trustee Steven Rawlings resigned and the Board appointed the next election vote getter, who was Rachel Johnson. In June, former Trustee Marilyn Gordon Dresser resigned and the Board voted to appoint Janie McNabb to fill her seat.

All three new trustees have a strong interest in the college and have brought a renewed energy to the Board. They are each demonstrating a thoughtful and thorough approach to their role as trustee and we look forward to their work for our college.

Rachel and Janie will serve until the next election in November 2018 when voters will determine who will fill the remainder of their predecessors’ terms, which both expire December 31, 2020. They will be eligible to run for those two-year terms or any other open trustee term on the ballot in November 2018.


NMC is a connector, or the Nexus, as you have seen in the sculpture of the same name by the Health Science building and our new magazine that highlights our successes. We connect our learners to the world, our campus to the community and to each other through a networked workforce. It remains my goal to work with others to create and innovate for the benefit of our learners and our communities. I believe innovation occurs when two or more dissimilar people or organizations collide. So let’s collide! Together we are doing incredible work. Our learners, our communities and the world will benefit from what we have achieved and what we will continue to achieve together.

Thank you for all you do to keep learning at the center. Have a great semester!

Invitation to attend NMC Fall Conference on October 10

On Tuesday, October 10, the Center for Instructional Excellence and the Professional Development Institute will host the second annual NMC Fall Conference (formerly Faculty and Staff Professional Development Day.) This college-wide professional development event is open to all regular faculty, adjunct faculty, and regular staff.

An appointment has been sent to your NMC calendar. I ask that we all make appropriate accommodations for supplemental staff and student employees to cover our areas to allow regular employees to attend.

A wide variety of sessions will be available for all NMC faculty and staff to come together to talk about best practices and share ideas, giving everyone an opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other.

This year’s event will focus on innovation, collaboration, and best practices; and will give us the opportunity to enhance the value of our joint investment.

  • 8–8:25 a.m.: Light breakfast
  • 8:30–9:15 a.m.: Opening session & overview of the day
  • 9:15 a.m.–12:05 p.m.: Morning Breakout Sessions
  • 12:10–1:10 p.m.: Lunch provided (for attendees only)
  • 1:25–2:25 p.m.: Afternoon Breakout Sessions & Wrap-up
  • 2:30–3:30 p.m.: Networking reception, refreshments provided

Watch for a more detailed agenda with a list of sessions that will allow you to plan your day.

Thanks for all you do to keep learning at the center and to promote the success of our learners through innovation and collaboration.


President’s Office
1701 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI
Phone: (231) 995-1010

Aviation 50th Celebration

Dear Campus Community:

Last night we celebrated NMC Aviation’s 50th Anniversary with students, alumni, retirees, and community members. As with all of our outstanding programs at the college, I am continually humbled by the talent of our students and the generosity shown by our community.

I want you to be one of the first to know that at the event I had the honor to announce that Sallie and Kerm Campbell have included NMC in their estate plans, making a $1 million gift commitment to the college. This generous gift is in memory of Kerm’s brother, Ronald Kent Campbell, who was a great aviator and mentor to students. The gift will support a program fund for innovation and excellence at NMC Aviation—making a difference for every student who passes through the hangar’s doors.

Your dedication to all of NMC’s students is an important part of what inspires people in our community to give to NMC so generously. This college was founded because local citizens believed in the power of education to change lives—and every day you make that belief a reality.

Thank you for all that you do for NMC’s students. And cheers to the next 50 years!


Timothy J. Nelson, President

President’s Update for September 11, 2017

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.

  • On August 13, 2017, we welcomed the incoming GLMA cadets. The cadets lived on board the T/S State of Michigan for two weeks. The class included 62 individuals; 36 deck and 26 engine. One of the engine cadets will be enrolled in the power systems curriculum. During the Pre-Fall the cadets bonded as a cohort, learned about the industry they will train to enter, and completed training required by the STCW Code that is not embedded in the curriculum. (IE1)
  • Science/Math academic area held a beginning of year training Aug. 14-15 in which 20+ full- time and adjunct faculty attended. Ten faculty members attended the STEM reading apprenticeship training that was held at NMC in August. (IE1)
  • Welcome Weekend, August 25-29, 2017, saw tremendous growth this year. The events planned for our students over the first weekend of the fall semester saw over 450 participants from both residential and commuter students. Pine Palooza, which was the final event of Welcome Weekend, saw over 700 students benefit from information and resources provided by NMC departments, NMC student groups, and community organizations. (IE1, IE2, IE4)
  • Five faculty participated in the Teaching Solutions and seven faculty participated in the Course Development Institute professional development opportunities facilitated by Educational Media Technologies in May 2017. (IE3, IE5)
  • Educational Media Technologies and the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) successfully launched a micro-credential initiative by using Credly to issue badges to all faculty that completed the Teaching Solutions program or have received either the Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award or the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award. Badges issued through Credly can be added to email signatures, LinkedIn profiles, or added to personal portfolio websites. (IE4)
  • Educational Media Technologies hosted seven episodes of Summer Shorts between mid-June and late-August. NMC’s video communications tool,, was used to host 10-15 minute episodes for faculty to explore topics ranging from using feedback and collaboration tools in Google docs to previewing the new features in Moodle 3.3. Each episode was recorded and posted to Ensemble for faculty to view at a later date and links were sent out to all faculty that expressed interest in the episodes. The recordings will be sent out to faculty again during the fall semester. (IE3, IE5)
  • Based on feedback from two advisory groups, Educational Media Technologies created a new Online Learning and Moodle Orientation to better guide students through how to be a successful online student, understand the technology requirements for using Moodle and certain file types, use different Moodle activities, and where to find NMC technology help resources. EMT is gathering feedback from students that complete the orientation to check and adjust as needed. (IE1, IE5)
  • Systems and LAN Management was notified July 15, 2017, that the current provider of internet service to Rogers Observatory would be discontinuing service July 31, 2017. They researched alternative connection options and chose to install a point-to-point microwave system between the Observatory and University Center. The new connection that is owned by NMC has an increased bandwidth from 1.5mb to 500mb. As a result, the computers at the Observatory will connect to NMC’s data infrastructure and operate the same as any other computer lab. (IE5)
  • Systems and LAN Management worked with our internet service providers to increase the amount of available bandwidth during our contract renewals. The bandwidth for classroom instruction and faculty/staff offices was increased from 100mb to 200mb. Bandwidth for our wireless network system and students living in East and North halls increased from 150mb to 500mb. (IE5)
  • Systems and LAN Management worked with our service providers to install wireless network access points as well as emergency communication capabilities to each suite in North Hall. (IE5)
  • Systems and LAN Management participated in Pinepalooza with a focus on IT security for our students. They gave away web cam covers so students could be sure that their web cameras were not being used without their knowledge. They also provided education on how to identify phishing email messages. (IE5)
  • Systems and LAN Management replaced 230 computers throughout various computer labs prior to the start of fall semester. (IE5)
  • The NMC Foundation reached more than 300 current students at Pinepalooza 2017. Students learned that 55% of individual donors to the NMC Foundation make gifts of $50 or less per year. Students learned that all of these gifts add up to BIG change on campus. The NMC Foundation encouraged students to apply for scholarships through Student Financial Services and explained the link between philanthropic giving at the NMC Foundation and the distribution of scholarship gifts through the Student Financial Services office. (IE1, IE2, IE3)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • The college has been busy with the beginning of fall semester. On August 21, employees gathered for our College-Wide Picnic. Faculty and staff from all four campuses came together to kick off the year and meet new employees. Thank you to those trustees who were also able to attend.
  • Following the picnic on August 21, we celebrated the opening of our new residence hall, North Hall. Employees, area legislators, several trustees, and members of the community joined for a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new facility.
  • Title IX Training sessions were held on Wednesday, August 23, at the Hagerty Center, led by Kimberly DeVries, director of equal opportunity compliance at Grand Rapids Community College. Participation was recommended for all employees and required for all faculty. The sessions were well attended, with trustee representation at both sessions.
  • I had lunch with cadets and the ship’s crew on board the TS State of Michigan on August 24.
  • The lunch was prepared by the GLCI intern who was completing her internship on the training ship in preparation for serving as a steward on a U.S. flag merchant vessel.
  • I leave today to visit the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. I am excited for this opportunity to visit the campus of one of our first global Aviation partners that we have been working with for many years.

Legislative Issues

Following a busy August spent in their districts, legislators are headed back to Lansing and Washington for the start of their fall work period. Upon their return they are faced with a host of issues, most significantly at the federal level where, without action, the government will run out of money to operate at the end of the month.

Thankfully, before their return, we were able to host several state and federal legislators on campus in August. This included involving State Representative Larry Inman, State Representative Curt VanderWall, Tony Cutler from State Senator Wayne Schmidt’s office and Eric Keller from U.S. Senator Gary Peters office in a ribbon cutting for our new North Hall residence hall.

NMC was also honored to host a workforce development roundtable with Senator Stabenow, which was attended by over 20 of the region’s key stakeholders on this issue. There was a good and robust conversation about what could be done at the federal level to address gaps in workforce development programs and funding, and I was pleased to provide the introductory welcome remarks at this important event.


The Michigan legislature now returns to Lansing where they plan to tackle several items including auto insurance reform, municipal employee pensions and retirement benefits, road funding, mental health services, aid for Flint residents and a possibility of overriding the Governor’s veto of a tax cut for individuals trading in a vehicle when purchasing a new or used vehicle. We will continue to pay close attention to these efforts and how they might impact NMC and community colleges in Michigan.


This month Congress needs to tackle several significant issues including raising the debt ceiling, passing either a short term funding package (most likely) or a full year funding bill for fiscal year 2018 (the fiscal year starts Oct 1), pass emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey relief, decide if they are going to attempt another vote at health care reform, and potentially proceed with tax reform legislation. These items all have the possibility to impact NMC and we will certainly be monitoring their developments closely.

We are also very concerned about the Trump Administration’s announcement this week of a repealing of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Not only is this troubling from a humanitarian standpoint, but it will also have a significant negative impact on the thousands of community college students who are in the DACA program. In light of this negative impact, and to ask that Congress address meaningful immigration reform, I recently wrote to our federal congressional delegation to express my concerns and ask that they support the DREAM Act which would provide a legislative solution to the hundreds of thousands of individuals whose futures were thrown into doubt by the Administration’s decision.

Miscellaneous (important upcoming dates for Trustees)

  • Monday, September 18—Board meeting at Oleson Center (third Monday due to ACCT Conference)
  • September 25–28—ACCT Leadership Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Thursday, September 28—Aviation 50th Anniversary Gala, Grand Traverse Resort
  • Friday, September 29—Lobdell’s Scholarship Fundraising Dinner
  • Tuesday, October 10—Professional Development Day
  • Friday, October 13—Aviation 50th Anniversary VIP Commemorative Luncheon and Community Open House

President’s Update for August 14, 2017

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.

  • I would like to, again, thank our NMC team and legislators for the successful state approval of the state funding supporting our West Hall 21st Century Innovation Center project. Construction on this project will begin in 2018 and architects are preparing an exterior design to present to the Board at the regular August meeting.
  • The Great Lakes Culinary Institute, in partnership with Munson Medical and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, planned a culinary medical conference designed to enlighten doctors and medical professionals about eating and cooking healthy food. The conference will be held from Sept 22–24. (IE1, IE2)
  • Admissions, Financial Aid, Records and Registration and Student Accounts offices completed a three-month transition to combine customer service into an Enrollment Services one-stop for students. Creating a shared work environment in Enrollment Services allows staff to more effectively help students. They are able to more efficiently handle phone calls, walk-ins, and emails during the peak processing time of payment due date. During the 6-day period, the 26 staff members in Enrollment Services had 2,131 customer contacts by phone, email, and in person. This is more efficient for students, as well as staff, to be served by one person instead of needing to contact multiple offices. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4, IE5)
  • Approximately 30 people attended the Summer Counselor Summit with Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC); 6 of which stayed in East Hall overnight. Enrollment Services staff participated in the event from coordinating the set-up, participation on the Admissions Counselor Panel, and a campus tour. The attendees were impressed with NMC and the beauty of the campus and school offerings. (IE2, IE5)
  • The Great Lakes Maritime Academy training ship now has a small lending library to give cadets resources to learn and relax when out on the lakes. Maritime Training Ship Instructor Joe McGuiness and Librarian and Maritime Academic Liaison Michele Howard recommended a variety of titles including books on personal finance, interpersonal relationships, mental health, and literary classics. Purchases included an annual subscription to full text online access to the Wall Street Journal, which is accessible to all students, faculty, and staff. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • Online purchasing card training has been launched through the SilkRoad Human Resources system. This will allow for ongoing training and the ability to track who has successfully completed the training. (IE5)
  • Human Resources, Information Technology, and the Business Office completed an Overtime Calculation project. This project allows for the system to automatically calculate if an employee should be paid overtime based on total hours worked. This will eliminated re-work by the payroll department in processing bi-weekly payroll. (IE5)
  • The Facilities area reports the following accomplishments:
    • Supporting the opening of the new North Hall.
      • Hydro seeding maintenance
      • Furniture moves
      • Building training, touring with the Fire Department and the Police department
      • Completed all of the annual sprinkler inspections with Brigade
      • Completed all of the kitchen hood cleaning with Bay Spray
    • Supported the annual art show and the Rotary picnic.
    • Completed the sealing and stripping of the parking lots.
    • Completed several concrete walkway replacements.
    • Supported the consolidation move for Student Services. (IE5)
  • Annual Giving Specialist Katharine Zurek, and the NMC Foundation team, increased the amount of donors to NMC’s Annual Fund by 10% in fiscal year 2017. The NMC Foundation is proud to enhance NMC’s partnerships by engaging more community members in supporting NMC and its students. The Foundation is proud to be a champion for NMC by educating donors on the importance of the Annual Fund’s flexibility, which allows them to meet the needs of students and support essential NMC operations. (IE2, IE3)
  • As spring semester ended at NMC, Scott Swan and Brian Sweeney were boarding a flight to Beijing to deliver the first generation of courses in marine technology and construction management to students at Yellow River Conservancy Technical Institute (YRCTI) in Kaifeng, China. Dan Goodchild, Construction Technology Coordinator, and Hans Van Sumeren, Director, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute accompanied them for the first few days to initiate preparations for additional course delivery this fall and next spring. Our agreement with YRCTI establishes student cohorts (of about 40 students/cohort) enrolling in an intensive, competency-based program in construction management or in marine technology. Fifteen to eighteen contact hours are being delivered as part of an articulation agreement focused on the NMC associate’s degree. The experience has been exciting and exhausting, packing full-day teaching into a three week mini-term. Fall program delivery will focus on completion of the marine tech courses. We are anticipating a winter completion of the construction management track. (IE1, IE2)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • On July 21 we welcomed to campus representatives from the city of Traverse City and Holland, Michigan. Diana Fairbanks, executive director of public relations, marking, and communications, and I greeted the group of 16 people and gave a brief presentation on the college.
  • Thank you to trustees Kennard Weaver, Chris Bott, Rachel Johnson, Janie McNabb, and Michael Estes for attending this year’s MCCA Summer Institute on Mackinac Island. Other executive staff was in attendance as well. The conference is always well done with a president’s institute, trustees institute and general sessions with exceptional speakers pertaining to community college issues within the state and nation. U.S. Educational Secretary Betsy DeVos was able to meet with the entire attendance, as well as the smaller group of college presidents. The MCCA Summer Institute will be held in Traverse City the next two years.
  • U.S. Senator Gary Peters held his office staff retreat here in Traverse City and I was honored to speak with them as they enjoyed dinner at Lobdell’s.
  • Rotary Charities of Traverse City held their weekly meeting here on campus on Tuesday, August 1. It was a beautiful day and the group seemed to enjoy being on our campus, as well as the wonderful food.
  • A team of 10—comprised of staff members, faculty, and executive staff—attended this year’s CQIN Summer Institute in Chicago, Illinois, at the beginning of August. The theme of “Developing Talent for Organizational Transformation” was explored. Following the conference sessions and team discussions, attendees expressed how beneficial the experience had been.

Legislative Issues


With the summer district work period in full swing, the state House and Senate will only convene for 1 day in August before returning to Lansing for regular session following the Labor Day holiday. During this recess period, NMC has been engaging with Representative Inman and Senator Schmidt to discuss the upcoming NMC Aviation 50th Anniversary as well as other items that impact the college. We have also engaged with Lt. Governor Calley as part of a business roundtable hosted by the Traverse City Area Chamber where there was a focus on NMC’s efforts to support workforce training and new jobs training in the region.


Much like the state, the federal legislature is also on a recess period, working in their districts and states. Congress will re-convene in September and has a significant list of items to tackle this fall, including a FY18 budget, debt ceiling increase, Perkins Reauthorization and many other issues. We have taken this recess period to ensure that we are engaging with our federal delegation including working with Senator Stabenow on her New Skills for New Jobs Act, working with Congressman Bergman and Congressman Mitchell on the College Transparency Act and working with Senator Peters on an issues related to a Coast Guard Center of Expertise.


  • NMC College-wide Picnic — Monday, August 21, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • North Hall Ribbon Cutting and Open House — Monday, August 21, 1–6 p.m.
  • Regular Board Meeting at Oleson CenterMonday, August 28 (Board to arrive at 4:45 p.m. for group photo)