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, Zoom.us, 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.

State

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.

Federal

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