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.

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 Northwestern Michigan College Perceptual Learning Method/Modules Project (PLM) has been selected to receive this year’s Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) Institutional Excellence Award. The award was presented at the 2018 LAND Conference, on Thursday, February 22, 2018. The purpose of the Perceptual Learning Method/Module is to introduce and reinforce concepts, ideas, or meaning without detailed explanation. The aim is to SHOW learners a concept, idea, or meaning and allow them to experience, see, and learn what IT is.
  • Ann Hosler, NMC writing student, will be honored at the LAND conference in Muskegon for her poetry piece, “I Still Love You,” which placed in LAND’S student creative writing competition. Her work will be published after the conference in LAND’s online Creative Writing Journal. (IE1, IE3)
  • GLMA license exam result update for January 2018:
    • Engine: Two cadets who had one retake each, both passed on January 15. All 14 engine cadets have now completed the exams required for issuance of their Merchant Marine Officer’s License.
    • Deck (license): Two cadets had one re-take each. One passed his re-take (with a score of 100). The other has opted to take a week study. He will re-test in Toledo. 13 deck cadets sat for license, 12 passed all seven modules. These cadets began taking the exams for First Class Pilot, Great Lakes on January 15 (a cadet must successfully complete the license exams before he or she can begin their pilotage exams).
    • Pilotage: 12 cadets took 24 pilotage exams over the past week (three exam modules for each Great Lakes, and three for the St. Mary’s River, the St. Claire River, and the Detroit River). 11 cadets passed all 24 modules, these cadets passed 31 U.S. Coast Guard exam modules over a two-week period. The other cadet completed the majority of the pilotage exams and will finish the remaining modules later this semester. (IE1)
  • Traverse City Track Club awarded the Big Brother/Big Sister Big Little Hero Race (coordinated by NMC business students) favorite local race for 2017. (IE2, IE4)
  • NMC’s Computer Information Technology program Industry Night Out at Hagerty Insurance on January 25 had more than 100 students in attendance. Industry Night Out is a chance for students to tour local businesses and see first-hand how they utilize technology. (IE1, IE2, IE3, IE4)
  • The CIT Department volunteered as judges for the VEX Robotics competition held on Saturday, December 9, at Grand Traverse Academy. Forty-two teams from across the state converged for this regional qualifying tournament. The CIT Department’s robot, Rosie, was present and provided entertainment to participants between rounds. (IE1, IE2, IE4, IE5)
  • The NMC pantry opened on November 1, 2017. The following shows numbers served over the past 3 months:
    • November 2017 – 94 food pantry orders – submitted by 54 students, serving 222 students/dependents.
    • December 2017 – 67 orders – submitted by 56 students, serving 202 students/dependents.
    • January 2018 – 37 orders – submitted by 23 students, serving 96 students/dependents. (IE3)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • As I shared at the January Board meeting, Gabe Schneider, Michael Estes and I attended the MCCA Legislative Summit in Lansing on January 24. The MCCA program included a welcome from Representative Joseph Bellino, and guests Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark, co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics. Part of the summit included guest speakers, and the rest of the day was scheduled for legislative visits. We met with representatives Tristan Cole, Daire Rendon, Curt Vanderwall, Michelle Hoitenga, and senators Wayne Schmidt and Darwin Booher. We also met with the folks from the State Budget Office about our capital outlay project request and were successful in getting our request scored following the meeting.
  • I had a meeting with Marguerite Cotto, Brian Matchett, and Dr. Randy Showerman, Director of the Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology, to talk about the potential development of a new program to include food processing and technology.
  • Several trustees and a number of NMC employees attended events of the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration week, January 22-26. The new format and NMC Hagerty Center location seemed to be very successful. The festivities included honoring former trustee Elaine Wood with the Distinguished Service Award at a luncheon and an evening celebration with other Chamber Members.
  • Marguerite Cotto and I attended a Michigan Technological University alumni event on at the Park Place hotel designed to network with other businesses and individuals to identify reoccurring themes for all of us to better serve innovative companies in our community.
  • Vicki Cook, Marguerite Cotto, and I met with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities representatives Hans Voss, Dan Worth, Ric Evans, Tim Pulliam, and Skip Pruss to discuss potential renewable energy systems for NMC.
  • A new Record-Eagle writer Patty Brandt-Burgess has been assigned to NMC and Diana Fairbanks, Marguerite Cotto, Todd Neibauer and I had an initial meeting with her last week.
  • Thank you Kennard and Judy Weaver for representing the Board by attending the GLMA Alumni Association Dinner last Saturday, February 17. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but know from past years that it is a nice event for GLMA alumni and cadets.

Legislative Issues


  • Last week, Governor Snyder revealed his 8th and final Executive Budget Recommendation. While the recommendation stated that community colleges are “integral to attaining the Governor’s goal of ensuring that at least 60 percent of Michigan residents have high-quality skills training, a degree or other credential by 2025,” the proposal unfortunately did not propose any new funding or support for Michigan’s 28 community colleges. Specifically, the proposal would continue FY18 funding levels ($9,508,900 in operations funding) for NMC. It also did not include any capital outlay projects, including NMC’s Osterlin Learning Support Services Renovation project. Therefore, NMC will be advocating with our legislators for an appropriations increase and inclusion of our capital outlay project as the legislative appropriations process moves forward.


  • Also, last week in Washington, Congress passed a short term funding bill to avert a government shutdown and a two-year budget framework deal, which sets overall spending levels for the federal government for FY18 and FY19. Specific to community colleges, the raising of the budget caps as part of this budget framework is good news. We were also glad to see that the budget framework included $4 billion for “student- centered programs that aid college completion and affordability.” The details of this funding have yet to be announced and we will continue to monitor the development of the FY18 budget, which is most likely to pass prior to the March 23 expiration of the current short-term continuing resolution.
  • In addition to FY18 federal spending levels, we were interested to review the President’s FY19 Budget Recommendation. Unfortunately, much like the President’s FY18 Budget Recommendation, this proposal makes drastic cuts to education and talent programs. This includes proposals to eliminate the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and GEAR UP funding and make significant reductions to the Department of Education and Department of Labor, including to the Pell Grant program. Related to funding for state maritime academies, the President’s Budget also cuts funding for academy support and fuel assistance payments. Fortunately, as with past executive budget proposals, we know that Congress will look to weigh in with their own proposals and, coupled with the raised spending caps, we are hopeful that these important funding sources are protected.
  • To continue our advocacy efforts, we look forward to hosting our Northern Michigan state and federal legislative delegation in early March for a discussion of our 2018 Advocacy Agenda and specifically how state and federal budgets impact NMC.


  • Legislative Roundtable and Breakfast—March 2, 2018, Osterlin Library, Room 204
  • Board of Trustees SGA Dinner—March 19, 2018, NMC Hagerty Center
  • Taste of Success—April 6, 2018, NMC Hagerty Center