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.

  • Through the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the Dennos Museum Center recently hosted a delegation of seven arts professionals from Armenia. The two-hour visit included tours of the facility, Q&A, and a roundtable discussion concerning museum operations in the United States. (IE2)
  • The Technical Division and Northwest Michigan Works! hosted an “Apprenticeship Lunch & Learn” on November 14 at Aero Park Labs. This event coincided with National Apprenticeship Week and brought local businesses, government agencies and educational resources together for an event focused on increasing the number of apprenticeships in northern Michigan, fostering growth in local industry. Michele Ureste, Executive Director for the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN), provided the keynote address. Highlights included panel discussions focusing on the benefits of apprenticeship. The Tech Division and Northwest Michigan Works! hope to make this an annual tradition. (IE2)
  • NMC Extended Education congratulates Program Managers Elizabeth Sonnabend and Kristy Jackson for passing the Certified Program Planner (CPP) exam. The CPP designation is the leading professional development standard in the field of lifelong learning programming, and is awarded by the Learning Resources Network (LERN). LERN is the world’s largest association in continuing education and lifelong learning. (IE5)
  • Lisa Blackford created a new, end of the semester project for her PSY101 courses. Beginning in July, she worked with the Ed Tech team to plan, design, and implement the First Annual Psychology Symposium. This experiential learning project involved her students working in small groups to represent different psychological perspectives. The groups researched their perspectives for a month prior to the event. During the event they faced off by delivering debate-style presentations over two class periods. Students voted for their classmates throughout the event and eventually decided on a winning team. The Ed Tech team helped during the debates by providing instructional support and technology solutions for class voting (, timers, background music (The Price is Right and Jeopardy), and Moodle activities for assessment and reflection by each member of the class. Lisa also received financial support from the Experiential Learning Institute in order to purchase NMC Bookstore gift cards for the winning students. (IE3)
  • CIT Industry Night Out at eFulfillment, on December 10, was amazingly interesting and informative. Students and instructors thought it to be one of the best yet. (IE1, IE2, IE5)

Activities of Note: Tim

  • Nancy and I had the pleasure of attending the Great Lakes Maritime Academy’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on December 7, 2019, at the Hagerty Center. Thank you to trustees Michael Estes, Janie McNabb, Kennard Weaver, Ross, Childs, and Doug Bishop for joining us in attendance. I would also like to thank Jerry Achenbach, Stephen Siciliano, and Ann Swaney for their hard work in compiling a history of the academy.
  • The annual NMC Employee Holiday Party took place a few weeks ago. It’s always great to see everyone and catch up on plans for season. As this was our last party, it was a special time for Nancy and me.
  • Stephen and I met with Dr. Nick Ceglarek and Pat Lamb from the TBA-ISD and Career Tech Center to discuss how to continue to grow our relationships and expand dual enrollment and early college programs with the goal of improving and streamlining student completions.
  • I accompanied Hagerty Center staff in their annual “hot chocolate” delivery to campus buildings. This was the first time I’ve done that recently and it was great fun to see folks on campus.
  • Marguerite and I met with Sarah Lucas to discuss regional efforts aimed at providing sustainable housing stock. Her particular interests related to how NMC might be further engaged.
  • As I’ve shared many times, thank you to everyone for the opportunity and privilege of serving NMC and our region. Have a great time of “Continuing to Keep Learning at the Center.”

Legislative Issues


  • After many months of stalemate, the governor and legislative leaders finally reached agreement on a small package of bills that will restore 27 line items that Governor Whitmer vetoed in late September. As you may recall, on the eve of the current state fiscal year (FY20), Governor Whitmer issued 147 line item vetoes totaling $947 million dollars.
  • While this agreement and the governor’s pending signing of this supplemental funding package is certainly good news, many of the line items important to community colleges, such as funding for the Michigan Reconnect program, Going Pro job training program, and career and technical education training, were not restored or funded.
  • Given that funding is available in the state’s general fund coffers to restore all 147 line items that were vetoed and that the restoration of these funds is being driven by politics more than policy, it is anticipated that the legislature will return in January and pass additional supplemental bills to restore additional line items including the Michigan Reconnect program. However, it is far from certain that this will occur. We will continue to monitor and advocate with the legislature as this budget process
  • With budget deliberations occupying a majority of the legislature’s attention in recent weeks and with the legislature now adjourning until next year, our other legislative priorities, including the Reconnect/Promise programs, New Jobs Training Program Cap and FY21 Capital Outlay funding for the Osterlin Student Learning Support Services Renovation Project, have been pushed into 2020.


  • Budget negotiations also continue at the federal level. As you may recall, the federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution that maintains last year’s funding levels and that expires on December 20, 2019. There are some in Congress who would like to see all 12 funding bills be passed by the deadline, but there is also a parallel discussion occurring about passing another 2 month continuing resolution that would extend funding through the end of February. NMC would strongly support either full year funding or a 2 month extension. If no agreement is reached and there is a government shutdown at the end of the month, Great Lakes Maritime Academy graduates could not sit for Coast Guard licensing, which occurs in January.
  • We are also urging Congress to include the new $150 million Strengthening Community College Training Grant program, which is contained in the House passed version of the Labor-HHS-ED funding bill. The new program would help meet local and regional labor market demand for a skilled workforce by providing training to workers in in-demand industries.
  • We also continue to monitor efforts to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, which is currently awaiting House floor action pending a cost score from the Congressional Budget Office.

Upcoming Dates of Note

  • January 6—NMC January Conference, Hagerty Center
  • January 17—Board of Trustees Study Session, Hagerty Center
  • January 22—Chamber Distinguished Service Award Luncheon, Hagerty Center
  • January 24—Chamber Annual Celebration Gala, Park Place Hotel & Conference Center
  • January 27—Board of Trustees Regular Monthly Meeting, Hagerty Center