Dr. Ray Cummiskey
Welcome to February/March edition of News & Views. I appreciate the dedication and hard work that our faculty and staff (and students) have demonstrated this semester and I sincerely hope that everyone enjoys their Spring Break in preparation for the remaining months of the academic year.
Don’t forget that a spring holiday has been added to the annual calendar and is scheduled for Friday, April 6, as the entire college will be closed on this day.
Final enrollment data for the spring semester reflects a slight decrease in overall headcount (down 1.96 percent or 113 students) and a corresponding drop in credit hours (down 4 percent or 2,345.5 credit hours taken). As I wrote in my previous newsletter, this is what we projected from a budget standpoint.
Results from the census report indicate an increase in part-time students (1.23 percent), growth in the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree tracks, an uptick of enrollment at Jefferson College Northwest (an increase of 3.53 percent), and continued growth in online instruction (up 8.29 percent from last year). The complete spring 2012 census enrollment comparison report is available here.
Each of the 11 new institutional committees has convened and permanent chairs have been selected. I am appreciative of those who have stepped forward to serve in a leadership role and to those who are serving as committee members, representing their respective constituent group, division, department, or site.
The new committee chairs are:
Harvey* - Accreditation
*Chair of Council of Institutional Committee Chairs
The President’s Leadership Council convened for the first time this past Tuesday in a further effort to broaden campus-wide information sharing and input regarding important institutional issues. As an introduction to budget planning for next year, I asked Rick Turley to present a preliminary overview of the factors that will influence budgeting decisions for FY13.
Speaking of the budgeting process and the newly formed institutional committee/leadership council structure, the process for reviewing strategic planning action items for this year (FY 13) has begun and is being overseen by the Administrative Team due to the short time that our new committees have been in existence. By next year, this process will shift to the Strategic Planning committee, which will be in full operation.
I am confident that these efforts will support more effective shared governance and open communication across the college. All institutional committee and leadership council meetings are open to everyone. Minutes from each group will be posted on STARS.
Last month I wrote that Governor Nixon had recommended a 12.5 percent cut to higher education during his 2012 State-of-the-State address. A few weeks after making the announcement, he summoned all presidents and chancellors to Jefferson City to announce that he would restore about $40 million from a multi-state bank settlement to reduce the cut to 8 percent. Even at a reduced level, the cut would result in about $575,000 in reduced state revenue to Jefferson College for FY13.
As I mentioned before, the previous restraints of a tuition increase are not part of the governor’s proposal; however, we will strive to keep any tuition increase at Jefferson modest.
Having already presented some preliminary budget information during the first meeting of the President’s Leadership Council, Rick Turley and I will host the campus-wide annual budget information forums as we have in previous years.
I have remained vigilant on behalf of the college by travelling to Jefferson City to participate in several MCCA advocacy efforts and speak with key legislators about higher ed funding (see below). I’ve also been to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Association of Community College Trustees’ Annual Legislative Summit, where I spoke to Senator Claire McCaskill and her staff about federal issues, such as Pell Grants and Perkins funding, that have a direct impact on our students.
Congratulations to Biology Associate Professor Patty McDaniel who has been chosen as Jefferson College’s recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Jefferson College was well represented among the 150 students, trustees, employees, and other supporters of community colleges who participated in the annual Missouri Community College Association’s Rally Day as an opportunity to meet with legislators and state officials and to urge support of community college education.
Our delegation included students, administrators, and several faculty and staff members who are participants in this year’s Leadership Academy.
Aside the opportunity to talk directly with every legislator from our region, the college was fortunate to have Senator Ryan McKenna (a former Jefferson College student) as one of three featured speakers during the Rally Day kick off at the Capitol Rotunda. An informational flyer from the day is available here.
Legislative priorities for community colleges this year include maintaining funding for operations, continuing to fund the A+ scholarship program, identifying sources of funding for capital projects, enhancing workforce competitiveness through training programs, and maintaining a strong nursing workforce. Over the past 10 years, enrollment in Missouri’s community colleges has increased by more than 50 percent, growing twice as fast as public university enrollment.
Jefferson College plays a significant role in the local economy and is a sound investment from multiple perspectives. Given all the talk of budget cuts and declining resources, it’s important to remember that the college provides numerous social and economic benefits to our region. With this in mind, I’ve developed a PowerPoint presentation illustrating the results of a recent economic impact study about Jefferson College.
In the months ahead, I hope to share this information in as many venues as possible, both on and off campus. If you have suggestions regarding potential presentation settings, please contact me. In the meantime, a summary of the information can be viewed here.
Wireless Network Access to Expand
In connection with the college’s strategic planning effort, the Board approved an upgrade and expansion of the wireless network at all sites as part of an action plan forwarded by the Information Technology Department. Innovative Technology Group, LLC, was the selected equipment vendor for its bid of $47,064.92. College staff will perform the installation.
Additionally, the Board approved a professional services contract with Sigma Information Group, whose current contract expires in March, to provide remote database administration in the absence of an on-site DBA. The contract is for an estimated 319 hours of work until the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2012). It is anticipated that the in-house DBA position will be filled with the adoption of the FY 13 budget starting July 1.
Respiratory Therapy to Start in Fall – Developmental Reading Program Approved
Academically, the Board approved the start of the new Respiratory Therapy program for the fall of 2012 and approved a new Developmental Reading program to comply with state mandated College Readiness Standards.
Board Revises Policy/Procedure for Leaves of Absence
As part of last year’s BAT/FAT agreement, which resulted in further communication between the groups regarding modification of the policy and procedure relating to leaves of absence, the Board approved a series of proposed revisions. The new policy/procedure can be seen here.
New Legal Firm to Represent College
Due to the death of college’s attorney, Bob Jones, Sr., the Board subsequently approved the firm of Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan, and Jackstadt P.C as the institution’s new general legal services firm.
Faculty Resignation Accepted
The Board accepted the resignation of Bryan Peters, Interim Director of CTL and English Instructor, effective at the end of the spring semester.
Trustees to Serve on Foundation and Budget Review Panels
To provide guidance and direction in the preparation of the college’s budget for next year, Trustees Steve Meinberg and George Engelbach were appointed to the Budget Review subcommittee. Additionally, John Winkelman was tapped as the Board of Trustees liaison to the Jefferson College Foundation Board of Directors where he will serve through June 30, 2013.
Meeting Date Changed
Please remember that I’m available to discuss any issue, concern, idea, or suggestion you may have. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at extension 3100, or stop by my office at any time. Thanks for reading. . .hope your Spring Break is peaceful and enjoyable!