Dear NMC community,
During the last year our society and our college have undergone significant changes due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been so proud of NMC’s ability to adapt while remaining true to our mission. Vicki Cook, Vice-President of Finance and Administration, has demonstrated incredible leadership during this time, not only in managing the operational response to the pandemic, but also limiting the financial implications. Her work has been critical in allowing us to achieve our goals of keeping our students and employees safe, while limiting the disruption to learning as much as possible. We all owe her a tremendous amount of gratitude. Which is why it is difficult for me to share the news that Vicki will be retiring from full-time work at the college beginning in March, so she may spend more time with her family. However, in true Vicki form, we have worked together to create a plan that will ease the impact of this transition while we move toward the future and through this change in leadership.
Effective March 8, NMC Controller Troy Kierczynski will become Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration. Vicki will continue on part time at NMC to manage the college’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of 2021. She will also continue to co-chair the strategic planning process to the completion of its work.
Vicki has embraced the spirit of lifelong learning during her 18 years with NMC. She started as Lead Accountant in 2002, and as she continued her own education, she rose through the organization to become Assistant Controller, Director of Auxiliaries and finally, in 2011, to her current position as Vice President of Finance and Administration.
Vicki’s thoughtful risk taking is on display in the many significant building projects she oversaw that changed the face of main campus, including North Hall and the West Hall Innovation Center. Her planning helped leverage financial investments, and a commitment to sustainability by using geothermal wells, all while coming in under budget.
NMC is fortunate to be in a more stable financial position than many other colleges and universities thanks to Vicki’s commitment to fiscal thrivability. Her work on managing our budget and increasing the collegewide knowledge of the budget was illustrated by her annual meetings with the college community, and her enhancement of the cost to educate and cost of services databases to help us better understand our investments in instruction and services. Other colleges have sought this model out for their own work. She has also overseen the rigorous compulsory annual reporting process that resulted in continuous clean audits for our college.
These are just a few examples of the important work Vicki Cook has led to help ensure our college runs smoothly today, and will be in a position to continue to serve our learners well into the future. While much of her work is done quietly behind the scenes, the impact is significant and long lasting. We cannot thank her enough for her demonstrated commitment to our college, but I encourage each of you to take a moment to show your gratitude during her remaining time at NMC.
Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College