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.

  • During the fall 2016 semester, the NMC Writing and Reading Center (WRC) held over 1750 student conferences, which was the busiest semester in its history. Beginning that semester, the WRC offered extended hours, including late evenings and Sunday hours in the Osterlin building. Over the holiday break, the WRC expanded into adjacent space to have more room for students and individual conferences. We’re excited to see what next semester will bring! (IE1, IE3, IE5)
  • In December the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) notified NMC that it would be providing Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) with $120,000, in addition to the estimated $700,000 that MARAD will provide to the college in 2017. These funds are being distributed due to the Heritage Act and can be used for GLMA facility and vessel maintenance, and simulator purchase and support. The Heritage Act requires a portion of the funds MARAD receives from obsolete, scrapped vessels be distributed among the seven federally-regulated maritime academies, but does not stipulate the percentage that will go to each academy. This is the third consecutive time the funds were distributed evenly; GLMA received an amount identical to that of California Maritime, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the other academies. U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen has been a great friend of NMC’s GLMA. In addition to ensuring an equal distribution of Heritage Act funds, he has attended a GLMA graduation and personally approved MARAD Awards for long serving NMC’s GLMA faculty. His term of office will end on January 20, 2017, and he will be missed. (IE2)
  • Last spring MARAD announced they would be closing the MARAD Toledo Fire Training Academy. This left the GLMA cadets with no options in the Great Lakes area for completing required basic and advanced firefighting training. Almost immediately upon announcement of the closing of the MARAD facility, NMC’s GLMA Capt. John Biolchini began to work with Tim Wrede, training coordinator at the Northwestern Regional Fire Training Center (NWRTC), a governmental cooperative located in Traverse City. By October 2016 they completed a 249-page course that met all applicable sections of U.S. regulations and the international treaties which apply to the credentialing of U.S. Merchant Marine Officers; and on January 3, 2017, word was received that the U.S. Coast Guard had approved the submitted course. GLMA cadets can now complete basic and advanced firefighting in Grand Traverse County and the tuition will remain in Grand Traverse County. Additionally, MARAD has agreed to transfer a portion of the equipment that was located at their Toledo facility to the NWRTC, which will further decrease the cost of the course for cadets. (IE1, IE2)
  • During the week of January 9, 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard administered the seven-part Merchant Marine Officer’s Exams to GLMA cadets over a four-day period. Engine cadets had a 96% passing rate on first attempt. Deck cadets passed 148 modules (82%) with nine cadets passing all seven modules on their first attempt. The deck cadets will begin pilotage exams after completion of their license exams, consisting of another 24 exam modules. (IE1)
  • Gwen Tafelsky, Health Occupations simulation lab coordinator, has been working with Munson’s Cerner Educator Team to provide on-campus training to NMC nursing students with PowerChart (Munson’s electronic medical record system), previously provided at Munson with limited computer classroom space. Beginning January 2017, this training will take place in the NMC Nursing Lab for all nursing students. (IE2)
  • Laura Schmidt was appointed to a one-year term as a director for the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing Board (OADN). The mission of OADN is to “promote Associate Degree Nursing through education, leadership, inclusivity, collaboration, and advocacy to ensure excellence in the profession.” Currently, Laura serves as the co-chair for the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) work group through OADN. (IE2)
  • In an effort to increase retention rates across campus, the Advising Center staff made more than 500 phone calls to students registered for fall semester, but not yet registered for spring. The goal was to remind students about spring registration and act as a check in from Advising on progress during the semester. These calls were part of combined strategies and focused efforts to help students persist at NMC. Advisors also met students living in East Hall and Hawk’s Nest, as well as developmental English students, to help them get registered prior to final exam week. (IE3, IE5)
  • Office of Residence Life partnered with the Office of Academic Advising to offer in-house tutoring for East Hall and Hawks Nest residents in December. Residence Life’s “Live by Leading” group volunteered at Bay Ridge Assisted Living and made holiday cards for residents of the facility. (IE1, IE2).
  • The office of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications (PMRC) received recognition for three design awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR)—‘A Taste of Success’ (Gold Medal of Excellence in Design), ‘Explore your Major’ postcard series (Gold Medal of Excellence in Design) and ‘TART Trails Smart Commute Week’ (Silver Medal of Excellence in Design). (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • A text-to-speech button, an adaptive tool to read the text on the computer screen to any user, was added to the NMC website in July, and the PMRC office updated the website content management system (CMS) to automatically add the button to interior site pages and styled it to match the web design (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE5).
  • The PMRC office commissioned a series of videos earlier this year for marketing that have been viewed thousands of times since they were posted on NMC’s YouTube channel and embedded on NMC’s website program pages. (IE2, IE3, IE5)
  • In 2016 WNMC 90.7 FM continued to innovate and engage with listeners in the following ways:
    • Ran two successful fundraisers totaling $70,000
    • Tracked listener stats world-wide through
    • Held 9 concerts in the WNMC House Concert Series, which are held at private residences to allow a low-key intimate setting for a live music performance
    • Increased awareness of station at dozens of community broadcast events

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Thank you to those who attended Mid-year Opening Conference to kick off the Spring 2017 semester. It was a great opportunity for Stantec, the architectural firm that will be designing the new library and innovation center space in the West Hall project, to reach the majority of NMC’s faculty and staff to not only make a presentation, but receive some input submitted from those in attendance. The upcoming interview sessions scheduled with various groups and individuals will provide additional opportunities for the campus community to have input into the design phase of this project.
  • I continue to attend meetings, as a member, of Governor Snyder’s 21st Century Economy Commission in various locations around the state. The schedule of the commission is concentrated with many research visits to take place before its conclusion in May with a final report.
  • I greatly appreciate the trustees’ and executive staff attendance at our Board retreat on January 11 at the Hagerty Center. I am also grateful that Mike Hansen, MCCA President, was able to drive up from Lansing to join us and provide a thorough presentation on the role and activities of the MCCA, as well as a good overview of the role of a Board within the higher education accreditation process and in both state and federal legislative matters.
  • Members of the executive staff and most NMC trustees attended the Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration on January 20, where Herb Lemcool was honored as this year’s Distinguished Service Award Recipient. This is an important community-wide event that provides much networking among our community stakeholders.
  • Gabe Schneider and I attended the MCCA Legislative Summit on January 25 in Lansing. In addition to a briefing from Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt Township) we met with seven of our northern Michigan legislators including Senators Schmidt and Booher and Representatives Inman, VanderWall, Hoitenga, Rendon and Cole. This provided us an opportunity to give new legislators an overview “101” of the college, update legislators on 2017 legislative priorities and discuss the progress of our 21st Century Innovation Center project. We provided a packet of NMC information to each member, which included a breakdown of data on enrollment and job training for each district as well as information on the role of NMC in the regional economy (attached). This information was very well received and each legislator stated they were excited to participate in our first of four legislative roundtables, to be held next month in Traverse City. Just a reminder- that trustees are invited to attend this legislative roundtable with breakfast on Friday, February 24 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am. You will receive more detail about that event as it approaches.

Legislative Issues

  • State
    The State legislature convened its 99th legislative session on January 11 with newly elected members of the House being sworn in. Committee assignments in the House were just released and of note, Representative Larry Inman was named the House Chair of the Joint Capital Outlay Committee joining Senator Booher who is the Senate Chair. This will be important for NMC given that we are seeking cost and construction authorization for our 21st Century Innovation Center capital outlay this budget cycle. With the legislature beginning its work for 2017, we have identified five key priorities for NMC and community colleges statewide. These include:

    • Improving the process of transferring college credit, including reforming the state’s current system for informing students whether college credits will transfer, which is outdated and fails to consider how individual courses fit into a student’s path.
    • Addressing the issue of aging community college infrastructure, including a reform of the capital outlay process, which has not kept up with the need for change and taking advantage of today’s historically low interest rates by supporting capital outlay projects that will allow community colleges to provide quality educational facilities and programs to their students.
    • Providing community colleges increased control over whether tax funds authorized for community colleges may be captured for other purposes.
    • Supporting a continued investment by the legislature in community colleges through annual appropriations and maintaining the state’s commitment to pay down community college retirement system debt.
    • Support legislation that would ensure fair commercial property tax values across the state and eliminate the so-called “dark store” strategy, which is used to limit tax assessments; and thus has an impact on community college revenue.

    In addition to these legislative priorities, following the Governor’s State of the State Address and in anticipation of the Republican House Action Plan, we also believe that issues related to the skilled trades will be prominent in this legislative session.

  • Federal
    The 115th Congress has been sworn in and confirmation hearings for President Trump’s nominees are underway. This includes the confirmation hearing for Michigan’s Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick to be the next Secretary of Education. In prepared remarks for her Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on January 17, Ms. DeVos did make comments favorable to community colleges including, “For starters, we need to embrace new pathways of learning. For too long a college degree has been pushed as the only avenue for a better life. The old and expensive brick-mortar-and-ivy model is not the only one that will lead to a prosperous future. Craftsmanship is not a fallback, but a noble pursuit. Students should make informed choices about what type of education they want to pursue post high school and have access to high quality options. President (then – elect) Trump and I agree we need to support all post-secondary avenues, including trade and vocational schools, and community colleges.” With the confirmation process taking center stage in addition to time being spent on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal, it is unclear what higher education specific issues will be taken up in the near turn. However even issues such as ACA repeal will have an effect on budget’s including the State of Michigan’s budget and thus community colleges may be indirectly impacted. We will continue to track these issues as they develop.


  • Registration is now open for the 2017 ACCT Leadership Congress, September 25-28 in Las Vegas. Trustees, please contact Holly Gorton if you are planning to attend. For a schedule at a glance visit this website:

Attachment: 2017 MCCA Legislative Summit Handouts