November Chronicle

Greetings! This November Chronicle addresses three specific topics:  legislative issues, periodic presidential evaluation, and outstanding accomplishments.  I would ask you to take time to read this Chronicle carefully.


  • Following the 2014 elections, Republican lawmakers now control the Senate and Assembly and will be working with Governor Sandoval on the budget for the next biennium and on legislation impacting higher education.
  • Issues that lawmakers are expected to discuss include tax reform and whether to extend a package of taxes due to sunset July 1, 2015, addressing Medicaid and related health issues and fixing the public education funding formula. In terms of higher education, lawmakers will review the Board of Regents’ budget priorities and we anticipate there will be legislation to authorize guns on campus.
  • We have reached out to all Southern Nevada legislators and are in the process of meeting with individual legislative leaders to communicate CSN’s needs.

I want to emphasize that the elimination of furloughs is still a top priority of the Board of Regents and of mine.

More information will be forthcoming on how to get involved. Letter writing, phone calls and petitions are just some of the ways you can participate and bring attention to the issues that matter to you and your family.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or concerns, regarding legislative issues. Again, I urge you to get involved!


Approximately every three years, the Board of Regents conducts an extensive evaluation of a college or university’s president.  My evaluation will be conducted Dec. 9-12. Regent Kevin Melcher will chair the committee that will lead this process.  Due to limited time, the evaluation itself will take place at CSN’s Charleston campus. 

During this period of time, a third-party evaluation consultant – Dr. Carol Harter — will conduct a variety of interviews with CSN stakeholders.

The CSN community’s input is an integral element of the search process. Public comment is invited, anticipated and welcomed. The Regents’ CSN Presidential Evaluation Committee agenda will be posted on the NSHE website at and on the State of Nevada public notice website at

A presidential evaluation is one of the most important tasks undertaken at the college and your input in this process is critical. As a valued member of CSN, you are encouraged to participate through the following three processes.

I. Open Forums
Open forum for CSN employees

Thursday, Dec. 11, 3-4 p.m.

CSN Charleston Campus, D 101

Open forum for CSN students

Thursday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

CSN Charleston Campus, K 101

II. Email
The third-party evaluation consultant will review e-mail letters sent prior to Dec. 8. You may send your input via email to Dr. Carol Harter at Board policy prohibits her from accepting anonymous emails.

III. Public Comment

The Board of Regents’ CSN Presidential Evaluation Committee will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 9 a.m. and on Friday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. in E 327 on the Charleston campus. These meetings are open to the public and interested stakeholders are invited to provide brief remarks during the public comment periods of these meetings.

For additional questions, please contact CSN Director of Government Affairs & Communications K.C. Brekken at 702-651-7535 or

The Board of Regents Committee on Community Colleges approved the charges and responsibilities for community college Institutional Advisory Councils this morning. The first meeting of all the community colleges’ new IACs will take place on Feb. 4 at 9 a.m. simultaneously, and we will receive a live address via videoconference from the President of the American Association on Community Colleges Walter Bumphus, which he will deliver from the Southern NSHE office. As mentioned previously, the interim legislative Committee on Community College Governance and Funding served as the impetus for these Institutional Advisory Councils, which will advise respective institutional presidents on a broad array of issues.  In a sense, the IAC is another governing board with links to the community and to the Board of Regents.   The Chair of the Board of Regents, Kevin Page, is expected to appoint the membership of each community college’s IAC by the end of December.   CSN has proposed 15 individuals and two ex officio members, insuring that student and faculty representation to the IAC is sustained from the outset. 


Congratulations to CSN Executive Director of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Maria Marinch, who was recently elected to the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.

We are very proud to have a representative of CSN involved in this important organization and community partner. She will be inducted to the board today.



CSN is the sub-awardee of the Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium and received $300,580 to create a STEM Community of Practice. This CoP will link with Nevada’s other three community colleges to influence the success of women and underrepresented minorities as they pursue STEM coursework and degree attainment in the sciences.  Congrats to CSN biology instructor and Faculty Senate Chair elect Camille Naaktgeboren who is the leading this consortium on behalf of CSN!


I would like to thank the Native American Heritage Month Committee, including Chair Dr. Sondra Cosgrove, for their hard work to put on this month’s engaging events. If you can make it, I hope to see you at the President’s Forum on E-Learning and Native Students on Thursday in the H Building, Rm. 205 at 2:30 p.m. and then there is also a terrific photo exhibit “Moapa My Home” in the Nicholas J. horn Theatre Exhibit Hall from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21.


Congratulations to CSN’s Ted Chodock! The Nevada Library Association named him the 2014 Librarian of the Year.

His work in assessing the effect of library policies and procedures on students was cited in his nomination as an example of his excellent work.

Chodock, a reference and instructional services librarian on the Charleston campus, came to CSN four years ago, following a stint at the Harvard Divinity School library. He has two master’s degrees and taught English for a period of time in Japan. CSN is fortunate to have him on board!


In addition to texts and voicemails, CSN’s Emergency Notification System will now send critical alert messages right to college computers.

When CSN initiates an alert, a full-screen emergency message, such as the one featured here, will appear on all CSN computers.

Click an acknowledgment button at the bottom of the screen to close the alert and simultaneously provide acknowledgement to safety officials who originated the notification. Otherwise, alert messages will display until expiration or cancellation.


The CSN Internal Recognition Committee wants to recognize your efforts to go above and beyond the expectations that make CSN a spectacular place to work and study. CSN will be honoring up to six individuals with the NISOD Excellence Awards for teaching faculty, administrative faculty and classified staff for their contributions to the college and student success. If you, or someone at CSN that you know is deserving of this, please be sure to apply or encourage them to apply. Once you fill out the application, have your supervisor sign it (he or she will have an optional place to expand on his or her endorsement) and then email it to IRC Chair Michele Fogg at or send it via campus mail to her sort WC 204B.  The deadline for completed application is Friday, Dec. 19, at 5 p.m. 


Thanks to all who were involved in the tannual Hungry Games, the faculty and staff BBQ and fall festival. It was wonderful to see so many members of our CSN family and to meet so many members of their families.

Congratulations to all administrative faculty, whose team won the employee mush ball competition and took home the trophy.

Lastly, don’t forget! The CSN annual holiday party will take place on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. at Texas Station. Please bring a food donation for Three Square!  Announcements about the party are already being circulated.  I hope you can join us!

Faculty & Staff Questions:

“What is the status of furloughs for the 15/16 academic year?”

As mentioned above, elimination of the furloughs is a top NSHE priority for the 2015 legislative session, but we can’t know anything for certain at this point. This is a reason you should stay aware of what is happening in the Legislature and get involved.

“What is going on with the Merit Policy?  Current status?”

I have asked the Administrative Faculty Assembly (AFA) Executive Committee to draft the portion of this policy that will affect administrative faculty, following the Faculty Senate approval of its portion of the CSN Merit Pay Policy.  The AFA Executive Committee is currently seeking input. 

 “Do we plan to re-index the salaries so that we are at 83%?  (I think this was a promise; at least that is what I have been told.)”

NSHE’s community college salary committee meets about every other year to review salary levels and re-index them pursuant to policies of the Board of Regents.  During the recession, salaries fell to about 71% of the median of university salaries.  Through the committee’s efforts and the advocacy of Carolyn Collins and John Scarborough, the index rose to approximately 78% with a goal of reaching 83%–a system target.  I am committed to the process of re-indexing on a systematic basis, and I’d like to go higher than 83%–a rather arbitrary target.

“There are rumors of Richards retiring… Is this true?”

This would be a surprise to me. 

“Does Dr. Richards have a position on the Phase 1 recommendations sent out by the chancellor from the DE taskforce?”

The Phase 1 recommendations contain general and specific recommendations regarding distance education.  In the context of Richard Katz’s 16 recommendations these are more manageable and appropriate for the system—a common LMS and registration platform appear to be useful steps forward.  Off the shelf remedial courses and math and English are more problematic since most literature in the field indicates remedial DE is not successful for most students.  If you’d like to read the entire document, either I or Jodie Mandel can provide it.  �

“What do classified staff need to know about the winter break closure? Is there an option for me if I want to work over the closure?”

CSN is reducing operations at the West Charleston, Cheyenne and Henderson campuses and closing all satellite sites Thursday, December 25, 2014 through Friday, January 2, 2015. Staff who choose to be off will need to take leave for the period December 26 – 31, 2014 and January 2, 2015.  

And yes, there are options for you if you want to work over that time period. In short, those departments that will have employees who have been designated to work or have elected to work, the management of the department is responsible for ensuring that there is a supervisory presence to provide oversight and guidance to any employee who is working.

In those cases where insufficient supervisory resources are available for those individuals who do not wish to take the winter break period off or wish to only take some time off during the winter break, arrangements will be made to reassign staff to the West Charleston campus during the winter break. Employees assigned to the Charleston campus from other campuses will be required to check in on the days worked at Charleston with the designated supervisor/administrator-in-charge at the Charleston campus.

For those planning on working during the holiday period, please complete the 2014 Winter Break Form that HR last emailed out on Nov. 6 and send it to Human Resources, (SORT CODE WC E411) no later than Dec. 1, 2014.

Please direct any questions, comments or concerns to the Human Resources e-mail box at

Happy Thanksgiving!






October Chronicle

Greetings to all!  I hope your semester is going well. There are a number of activities I’d like you to know about.      

Institutional Advisory Council (IAC)

Two of the outcomes of the legislative interim study on community colleges were: 1) Creation of a Board of Regents Committee on Community Colleges, and 2) Creation of an Institutional Advisory Council for each community college. The Board of Regents developed a charge and membership guidelines for the IAC. I was asked to submit names for the CSN Council and have provide names and contact information for about 15 individuals as well as two ex officio members, the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the student body government. The Chair of the Board of Regents will make final decisions and appoint the members of the IAC. By the end of the calendar year, all four community colleges will have one of these councils in place and first meetings are expected during the first quarter of 2015.  

A key feature of the IAC is that the chair of each institution’s council will be an ex officio member of the Regents’ Committee on Community Colleges.  I’m sure you’ll hear more about IACs as the new year begins. 

CSN’s nascent North Las Vegas Advisory Board will give way to this new advisory council which will represent all of Southern Nevada and have a more comprehensive charge. I sincerely appreciate each of the community members who served on the North Las Vegas Advisory Board and put their time and energy toward supporting this college. 

Community Relations and Diversity

CSN operates in a diverse community, so last spring we coupled our community relations and diversity functions to help CSN reach out to the greater community. The Office of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, led by Maria Marinch and her staff Community Relations Director Guy Amato, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator Leonardo Benavides and Alumni Relations Coordinator Jamille Walton, has been busy. 

On Friday, September 26, the Office held its second Diversity Day, an all-day training with the Center for Academic and Professional Excellence (CAPE). CSN staff and faculty had the option to select among 12 different sessions to enhance awareness and cultural competence and better serve diverse student populations. The next Diversity Day is being planned for February. A save the date announcement will be issued soon. In addition, the Office is working with Human Resources to infuse continuous training in this area. 

Dr. Luis Ponjuan, keynote at the 2nd annual diversity summit

On Friday, October 3, CSN hosted the 2014 NSHE Southern Nevada Diversity Summit, organized by CSN, UNLV, NSC, DRI and the system office. There were 249 attendees from throughout the community. Dr. Luis Ponjuan from Texas A&M spoke on issues facing Hispanic males in college. In addition, NSHE Chancellor Dan Klaich and CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky engaged in an interesting conversation regarding collaborations and pipelines for success between higher education and K-12. The afternoon concluded with a series of diversity-related workshops presented by staff and faculty. 

On Friday, October 10, more than 128 entrepreneurs and business representatives attended the third Supplier Inclusion Workshop and Networking Event at CSN and met purchasing decision makers at and other stakeholders. In collaboration with UNLV and NSC, the CSN Purchasing Department provided information on how to do business with the college. 

The Office’s ongoing collaboration with CSN’s eight diversity-related committees has produced several initiatives and events. The Latino Alliance had a busy calendar in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, including a successful student mixer and a panel on Hispanics in the STEM fields. The Queer Inclusive College Campus (QICC) committee celebrated LGBTQ History Month with mixer at The Center and several movie nights. QICC is also working on developing a Safe Zone program at CSN. 

The Office also continues to strengthen CSN’s presence in the community, collaborating with private and public organizations to positively impact student success. Some examples of the collaborations include participation in the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative addressing issues facing young African American males; the Latino Network Steering Committee, coordinating efforts among stakeholders in the Latino community to identify key areas of concern and to initiate a community based response to those needs; and Southern Nevada Strong, a public-private partnership in regional planning to explore how transportation infrastructure can incite economic development across all areas of the community. In the past month, the Office has had a presence in more than 35 community events and is also advising on grant opportunities with the North Las Vegas Library District and working to bring an Early Childhood Music Education program to West Las Vegas. 

In addition, the Office recently completed assessment of community engagements as the first step in a “Community Mapping” process to identify how and where CSN is represented in the community. 

The Office is also working on developing a strategic plan for the college’s new Alumni Relations Program with the expertise of Ms. Walton. This is expected to launch in the spring to engage, inform and connect CSN alumni. 

Men of Color

National and local data indicate that there is a significant achievement gap between minority males and other populations.  They’re not completing, and drop out at stunning rates.  The loss of men of color is a challenge for CSN that we have been working to ameliorate through the Strategic Enrollment Process and our Achieving the Dream pilot projects but more work is needed.  I’ve asked Larry Mosley, past director of Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, to help with this important issue, in coordination with NSHE. The community college system in North Carolina has a model program that we are adapting for testing. If it works as planned, it will expand to other NSHE institutions.

Budget Prospects for the Next Biennium

As I reported to you earlier, Gov. Sandoval directed that budget requests from state agencies, including NSHE, for the 2015-17 biennium include salaries funded at the base and omit furloughs.  He also requested a merit pay component of 2.5% be included for possible funding. We are hopeful that these items as well as the budget priorities of the Board of Regents remain in his executive budget when it’s presented to the Legislature next year. Salary and benefit issues will be a matter for the Legislature. For CSN’s part, we will advocate and work and hope for a successful legislative session next year, but you should know that Nevada’s revenue picture has not fully rebounded from the recession and that other state priorities will compete for limited resources.  I’ll keep you informed as the session progresses.  

Women’s Volleyball

In the coming months, you will hear more about CSN’s aspirations to host a collegiate women’s volleyball team in addition to our nationally competitive baseball and softball teams. We envision this new team will start next fall and be based at the Cheyenne campus. This will give us a collegiate team sport at Cheyenne for us to rally around and help us demonstrate our commitment to Title IX.

Texas Station will be the site for our annual Holiday Party on Thursday, Dec. 11.  Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this wonderful celebration.  

Structural Changes

As announced in September, I have made structural changes to the college’s executive administration to help us move new initiatives forward, deal with increased compliance and regulatory demands and community needs. We’ve been far too thin for too long and I urge you to look at the structures of our peer institutions, such as Valencia or Broward, for comparative purposes.

 The new organization chart is posted online on the President’s page, under the ‘Organization’ tab and can be found here.

The Hungry Games Softball Tournament and BBQ is a CSN family event at the Henderson campus.  It’s a time for good food, games for children of all ages, and for socializing.  So that we know how much food to prepare, please RSVP and plan to join us on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

 Computer Security

While it is crucial that technical staff secure CSN servers and systems, an effective security strategy requires everyone using campus technology to take precautions to help prevent breaches.  Below are some of the best ways to ensure you and the college do not become easy targets. 

Protect your accounts and computer

  • Use a strong password and change it frequently. Do not SHARE your password with anyone.
  • Do not click on links in suspicious emails.  When in doubt delete the email completely, and using your CSN email address you can forward it to  Do NOT forward the message to anyone else.
  • Critical security updates
    • Allow your CSN computer to install the critical Windows security updates sent to it from the CSN update server. Try not to postpone these updates as Microsoft will regularly send patches out for new threats that need to be installed on your systems. 
    • If you have a Mac, make sure you are running Apple Software Update to obtain the latest critical security updates.
    • Bring your CSN laptop on campus to have OTS perform a system health check at least twice a year. 
      • A technician will ensure it has current security updates and is receiving the latest antivirus definitions from McAfee enterprise software regularly. 

Physical computer security

  • Lock or logout of your computer every time you walk away from it.  It only takes a couple of seconds for a malicious user to access your computer and compromise it.
  • Do not store or transport sensitive CSN information on laptops or USB drives.  Use the appropriate CSN network drives or systems instead.  This is especially an issue with small USB flash drives as these devices are easily lost.
  • If you access CSN email using a smart phone, create a code to prevent anyone from accessing your phone and email messages. 

Use secure access tools

  • Login to your CSN VPN (Virtual Private Network) account to access college computer or server systems securely.  If you do not have a CSN VPN account you can contact the help desk at to get one.
  • If you use a personal computer to access CSN information or data, install updated antivirus software and set the computer to automatically use Windows Update or Apple Software update.  Hackers may use your personal computer to gain access to CSN information systems if it is not protected.

For more information on cyber security visit the OTS Newsletter at 

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members: 

“How many students are enrolled this semester?”

Our official census date was Oct. 15. CSN has a 36,579 student headcount this semester, a 0.2% decrease from last fall. As for FTE, CSN has 19,140.90, a 1.3% increase from last fall, indicating more students are taking more credits. We suspected the new payment due date on June 1 and the slow stabilization of the economy nationwide (although it’s hard to see evidence of that here) would diminish the robust enrollment growth that CSN experienced in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Great Recession likely gave CSN an artificial bump in enrollment as people lost their jobs and came back to school for new skills. 

We are not alone in this. Based on enrollment data from this spring, community colleges across the nation are down in enrollment by an average of 1 percent. 

“What are the President’s Forums?”

As you know, we have multiple heritage months throughout the academic year.  We start the academic year with Hispanic Heritage month, LGBTQ in October, followed by Native American Heritage Month and International Education Week in November, Black History Month in February, Women’s History Month in March and Asian/Pacific Islander Month in April.  In the past, the heritage months have included some wonderful cultural awareness events. In 2012, I added a President’s Forum on Student Success, a targeted discussion of how we can help students of these cohorts succeed.  

Tomorrow, Oct. 23, the President’s Forum on LGBTQ issues will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Charleston campus. 

The following is an example of the questions we should begin to ask ourselves: 

  • Nationally, we are losing many Hispanic and African-American males.  They are dropping out of education.  What are they doing?  How can we help them stay engaged?
  • In Nevada, Asian students are generally well prepared for higher education, but although we offer scholarships and match financial aid, these students are leaving the state in large numbers.  How can we help them stay, get their education here and contribute to Nevada?
  • Urban and rural Native Americans have unique learning challenges.  How can we help them more effectively?
  • Women, particularly single mothers, have unique needs.  Can we package our financial aid to better help them attend full-time or create more flexible course schedules that meet their needs? 

The idea is to discuss internally, among our faculty and staff, ways we can help students be more successful.  The format is straight forward:  a review of our data by the IR staff followed by a panel discussion and interaction with the audience. I hope you will participate in each of these. 

“How can we have input into facilities decisions on the campuses?”

Sherri Payne, Associate Vice President for Facilities, supports a campus improvement committee for each campus.  Sherri meets with committee representatives to share improvement and renovation plans and invite suggestions from faculty and staff who work at the respective campus.  Please contact her office for more details. 

“What is the Performance Pool?”

Following the 2013 legislative session, the state funding formula for Nevada’s public colleges and universities changed. We are now largely funded based on student course completion. But each year we have to earn a growing percentage of our state funding by meeting certain benchmarks established by the state that are related to graduation and transfer rates. Last year, this comprised 5% of our budget and next year it will be 10%, increasing each year until 20% of our budget is funded this way. I would also note that last year, CSN exceeded its benchmarks by 108%. Many public colleges around the country are now being funded this way. 

At the Board of Regents’ special committee meeting today, Chair Kevin Page announced the creation of a special committee to review the performance pool metrics going forward. 

Best regards to all. 

–Mike Richards

Colds, Flus and Ebola

Dear CSN community, 

As our world is increasingly concerned about staunching the Ebola outbreak, I think it is an important time to make the following public service announcement. 

First, please get a flu shot. The flu, which consequently has many of the same symptoms as Ebola, is a far greater threat to all of us. If you do get sick with a cold or flu, please stay home. Make arrangements with your supervisor or professor where possible. 

The CDC also has recommended that colleges and universities educate their respective communities about Ebola prevention. While CSN does not have an influx of students and staff visiting countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring, the following information may be helpful or ease your concerns, regarding the virus. 

Ebola is spread only through contact with blood or bodily fluids from someone showing symptoms of the virus. You can learn more at:



Mike Richards, Ph.D.
President, College of Southern Nevada

What should I do if I have traveled to one of the countries where the Ebola outbreaks are happening?

See CDC’s Interim Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Ebola Virus Disease Exposure to learn about your risk level.

Pay attention to your health after you return:

  • Monitor your health for 21 days.
    • Take your temperature every morning and evening.
    • Watch for other Ebola symptoms: severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
    • If your temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C) or higher or you have any other Ebola signs or symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
      • Call and tell the doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the doctor’s office or hospital. Advance notice will help the doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the doctor’s office or hospital.
      • Limit your contact with other people when you travel to the doctor; avoid public transportation.
      • Do not travel anywhere except to the doctor’s office or hospital.
      • Limit your contact with other people if you are sick. Do not go to work, classes, or other student activities until you have been medically evaluated.
  • During the time that you are monitoring your health, if you have no symptoms, you can continue your normal activities, including work and school. If you get symptoms of Ebola, it is important to stay separated from other people and to call your doctor right away.

What should I do if I have traveled to one of the countries where the Ebola outbreaks are happening and have been exposed to Ebola?

  • If you were exposed to people who had Ebola, or their blood or body fluids, a doctor should evaluate your exposure level and symptoms if you have them and consult with public health authorities to determine if actions— such as medical evaluation and testing for Ebola, monitoring, or travel restrictions— are needed.
  • Follow the instructions above for monitoring your health.

What should I do to protect my health if I come in contact with people on campus who have recently returned from a country where the Ebola outbreaks are happening?

  • Ebola poses little risk to the US general population and is not contagious until symptoms appear. It is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (such as urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, and semen) of an infected person, or with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus. This includes through intimate contact, such as sex, since Ebola can still be found in semen for 7 weeks after a person has recovered.
  • It is always good to avoid contact with anyone who is sick and to wash your hands regularly. Use soap and water if available or use hand sanitizer. Doing so can help you prevent getting sick from many different illnesses.

Personnel Announcements

Good morning, Colleagues and Trustees, 

As many of you may know, CSN has labored through the recession and for several years with loyal leaders willing to carry an extra load or postpone personal goals for the benefit of the College.  The time has come to shift some duties and spread the load with new folks.  Further, there are new strategic opportunities for CSN that need to be added to an executive portfolio so the College can continue to advance while stepping up its community responsiveness.   To achieve these objectives, I want to announce some exciting personnel changes. 

  • Ms. Patricia Charlton, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, has had a considerable workload, further supplemented with the Financial Aid solution.  She will retain her leadership of administration functions, but assume oversight of strategic initiatives, including the NSHE Collaborative, customer relations, efficiency and effectiveness, and relative efforts.  She will continue her excellent work as Senior Vice President for Administration and Strategic Initiatives.
  • Ms. Mary Kaye Bailey, Associate Vice President for Finance and Comptroller, will become Vice President for Finance.  Ms. Bailey, an outstanding CPA, has accepted this new assignment along with implementation of Integrate2 and CSN’s budget function. 

The changes with Ms Charlton and Ms Bailey are effective October 15, 2014.  

  • Following a national search, Mr. Alan Diskin has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Foundation.  Mr. Diskin has a distinguished record of decades of accomplishments as development officer for Junior Achievement in Las Vegas and has chosen now to expand his excellent service to higher education.   He succeeds Ms. Jacque Matthews who retired this year after nine years of exemplary service. 
  • Following a national search, Ms. Melody Light, from Jackson, Mississippi, has agreed to join the CSN staff as Director of AA/EEO/ADAAA. She held a similar position at a community college in Mississippi, and she was Senior Deputy City Attorney in Jackson. Ms. Light holds two master’s degrees, one in computer science and one in human resources, and a J. D. from the University of Detroit Mercy Law School. She begins at CSN on October 27, 2014 and succeeds Mr. Thomas Brown who served CSN for 40 years, include an assignment as interim President.
  • Finally, the search for a new Vice President for Student Affairs has begun with the executive search firm facilitating the search.

Please join me in congratulating everyone involved.

Best regards,

Mike Richards

September Chronicle

Greetings and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for September 2014.  Each month, the Chronicle lets me share news and respond to important questions raised by our faculty and staff members. 

CSN Connections at Charleston

First, I would like to say congratulations to all on a successful start of the school year!  Every member of the CSN team plays a critical role in welcoming our students.  A special thanks to our facilities team that made sure our campuses and sites were clean and ready, to OTS for their assistance with information technology—new computers and infrastructure—and especially to the folks in Academic and Student Affairs for CSN Connections—the chance to take CSN to students.  Thank you all!! 

As I ask students about their classes, many light up and tell me the classes are great.  Of course, I then encourage them to keep learning and complete their studies with a certificate or degree.  I hope you encourage the students you meet, as well. 

MyCSN Service and Financial Aid Call Center

MyCSN, the primary call center for student support, was augmented this year with a financial aid call center.  Having financial aid experts address student questions about applications and disbursements has enhanced our ability to serve students quicker and with more helpful information.  Both call centers are providing essential help to students.  


Budget Outlook for 2015-17

The Board of Regents, following instructions from the Governor’s Office, approved a 2015-17 budget request that includes full funding of furloughs, a merit pay recommendation, and an increase in the funding formula.  We appreciate that the Board and Governor recognize the paramount importance of eliminating furloughs—finally.  Also in the budget request are:  1) a Workforce Investment Fund, 2) beginnings of a need-based aid program for students, and 3) a STEM Challenge grant.  We will work to help legislatures understand the importance of these budget priorities during the 2015 legislative session.  

F Grade in the Funding Formula

I reported at my Roundtable meetings that formula funding this year excludes F grades for non-attendance.  Your may recall that during the 2013 legislative session there was much debate about how lawmakers would fund course completion and whether colleges and universities would receive funding for students who receive an ‘F.’ It was determined that the ‘F’ grade for non-attendance will be excluded now in perpetuity.  Students who complete a course with an ‘F’ will be included.  

Performance Pool

The funding formula proposal put forth has two parts:  1) a base that is funded based on weighted student credit hours (WSCH) for course completion and 2) a performance pool.  Metrics from several national sources generally define the performance pool.  This biennium, 10% of CSN’s general fund appropriation—about $10 million—will depend on meeting the performance metrics.  During the last budget cycle, CSN exceeded its performance target by 108%.  For that excellent performance, the target has increased. 

In addition to its regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), CSN has 50 programs—from business to health sciences to information technology–that have received specialized accreditation.  This fall a progress report was submitted to NWCCU.  Several programs will be renewing specialized accreditation.  Many thanks to all faculty and staff who contribute to the accreditation process.  The quality of CSN academic programs is essential to the institution and its students, and accreditation attests to that quality.  THANK YOU!    

 Employee events

The employee softball tournament from the inaugral Hungry Games

Plans for the annual Hungry Games are underway for Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Henderson campus.  This annual cookout and array of games is for all employees and their families.  Come join us for this wonderful event.  

On Oct. 3, CSN will host the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Southern Nevada Diversity Summit. Click here to R.S.V.P. 

Of course, it’s not too early to mark your calendar for the CSN Holiday Party on December 11th.  You’ll be hearing much more about this annual fete as the date gets closer. 

IT Security
The OTS folks have reported 987,651 CSN email threats were blocked so far this semester!  That’s an increase of more than 50% over Fall 2013!  Please take precautions to secure your computer(s) and mobile devices.  Use a security code.  Change your password frequently.  Lock your computer when not in use. 

We are moving forward this year on upgrading the CSN webpage and creating a portal (intranet) for faculty and staff.  At the same time, document imaging is expanding for greater efficiency and security, and exchange 2013 will soon be in place.   CSN aspires to be on the “proven edge” of IT capabilities and service.   

As many of you know, I have a blog at To it, we post our notes from CSN Cabinet meetings and this Chronicle for ease of access.  We use the blog as an additional communications arm for the college community so you can be better informed about what’s happening and add your comments and suggestions. 

 Question from Faculty and Staff Members: 

“What is the official fall enrollment for CSN?”

Our official enrollment report is due is mid-October. Our enrollment as of September 10 was 36,600 (headcount) and 18,561 (FTE) and will likely continue to grow.  Enrollment appears to be slightly up compared to the same time last year.   Until office enrollment reports are filed next month, we won’t know the enrollments of sister institutions this fall. 

“How many employees work at CSN?”

The Human Resources folks tell me that 1,160 full-time and 1,326 part-time employees work at CSN.  That’s a total of 2,486 people. 

“Will there be a search for a new Vice President for Student Affairs?”

The job description has been updated and preparations are underway to launch the search for a new VPSA this fall semester.  I am also researching the workload and deployment of the vice presidents with an eye on efficient decision making, presence on the campuses, and overall administrative effectiveness in a higher education that is rapidly changing and publically accountable. 

I hope your semester is going well. 


  –Mike Richards

CSN June Chronicle

I hope you are having a wonderful summer and that this June edition of The CSN Chronicle finds you well. As always, there is much news to share.

Actions of the Board of Regents

At its June meeting, the Board of Regents adopted increases in tuition and registration fees beginning in fall 2015.  CSN’s increase is 4%, or an additional $54 a semester for a full credit load of 15 hours. CSN student leaders and the administration jointly developed an expenditure plan to direct revenues to student success initiatives, including:

Adding more advisors

Adding staff in financial aid

Adding need-based scholarship funding

Modifying space for counseling privacy

The Board also adopted capital budget priorities for the 2015 legislative session, and the framework for the operating budget request.  A project representing the final phase of renovations for the Cheyenne campus was NSHE’s second priority in the lean capital budget request. 

      Operating budget priorities include eliminating employee furloughs ($11.2 million for NSHE), increasing by $5.00 the value of weighted student credit hours in the funding formula ($12.5 million), creating a workforce development fund ($6 million) and a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant Program ($3.5 million), and expanding public medical education (i.e., a medical school at UNLV–$63.5 million). An additional priority for community colleges is a state supported grant program for lower-to-middle income students who qualify for only a minimal amount of the Pell Grant or just miss eligibility for the federal grant program for needy students ($5 million).

2014 CSN Commencement Speaker Carlos Holguin’s selfie from the stage.


On May 19, a record 2,831 students were eligible to receive 3,194 degrees and certificates, according to preliminary data. This is our largest graduating class ever.

SB 391 Recommendations

On Tuesday, the interim legislative Committee to Conduct an Interim Study Concerning Community Colleges, which has been meeting all semester long, wrapped up its work.

The committee will draft letters to the full Legislature in support of the following items:

        • The NSHE Shared Services Initiative, the Nevada College Collaborative, and the concept of the community colleges operating as a system within a system.
        • The creation of a vice chancellor position within NSHE to act as a coordinator of community colleges and an advocate for the colleges within the system, as well as the establishment of a standing committee of the Board of Regents, specifically focused on community colleges. Chancellor Dan Klaich testified that Board Chair Kevin Page intends to create an interim community college committee of the Board in the next few weeks which the full Board will act on at its next meeting.
        • The expansion of advanced placement courses; dual credit courses, including apprenticeships and certificate opportunities; and community college high schools, in order to create additional opportunities for high school students to earn college credits on more campuses. This will include a recommendation that the community college courses align with university courses so students don’t take unneeded courses.
        • The NSHE review of the various advisory boards and committees that provide input to the colleges on such matters as curriculum and course and program development, to ensure the boards and committees are effective and not duplicative. This review will also include an analysis of how current advisory boards align with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development industry sector councils. A report will be provided to the 2015 session of the Nevada Legislature.
        • A recommendation that the Legislature review the Lincy Institute proposal for the governance of Nevada community colleges. This is a report that was presented to committee members during public comment earlier this month and during a May forum at UNLV. This plan includes the separation of the community colleges and Nevada State under a separate state entity along with all for-profit and non-profit higher education institutions and the creation of local community college governing boards (with no local funding). More information can be found on the Lincy Institute’s website.
        • The committee will request the drafting of the following legislation:
          • To allocate $5 million for the biennium to fund a state grant program for low- income students attending community colleges or Nevada State College. As proposed, the program would: Employ federal methodology to identify students with financial need; Require students to be academically prepared for college-level coursework; Provide students with a maximum award of $2,000 per semester for full-time enrollment; Allocate aid to institutions based on institution size; Appropriate $5 million for the biennium; and require periodic reporting.
        • To allocate $6 million for a Workforce Development Rapid Response Investment Fund to assist community colleges in setting up new programs to address workforce needs outside of the biennial budget process.
        • To allocate $3.5 million in support of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Challenge Grant, which would award funds to regional consortia to support the development and implementation of STEM programs in postsecondary education.

Regarding the funding requests, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick emphasized repeatedly that there will be limited funds available next session.

I look forward to discussing the committee’s work in greater detail during the Convocation kick off on Aug. 18.

Construction Update: Renovation of the A and B (partial) buildings on the West Charleston campus is on schedule for completion by spring 2015. Work on the buildings will improve circulation and building systems while extending the life cycle of these important facilities. Over the next two weeks, as a part of our continuing effort to implement energy saving measures, the Facilities Management Department will be replacing the parking lot lights at the Cheyenne Campus.  We will begin work as early as possible in the day to avoid inconveniencing as many people as possible. 

During the time we are completing this project, you may find barriers blocking off areas of the campus for a few hours at a time while work is being performed in that particular location.  We are taking this step to ensure your personal safety as well as to avoid the possibility of sustaining damage to vehicles. 


CSN Internal Recognition Committee Chair Michele Fogg and Dr. Richards present awards at the 2013 Convocation.

Fall Convocation

Convocation in August will again be held at Texas Station. The event will take place on Aug. 18. Please RSVP at We will announce the recipients for the Excellence Awards and the President’s Distinguished Employee of the Year Awards.

Pick up a Reflections of Success yearbook to learn about the award nominees. The yearbooks have been distributed to campus departments/units and to the various sites and centers. Contact the Communications Office at 702-651-7354 to have a copy mailed to you.

CSN’s Chris Brown to Serve on North Las Vegas Veterans Commission

Gov. Sandoval has appointed CSN Interim Director of the Department of Student Life and Leadership Development Chris Brown to the City of North Las Vegas Veterans Community Commission. Chris attended his first monthly meeting on June 12 at the City of North Las Vegas Council Chambers.

The commission is designed to assist local veterans with reintegration into the North Las Vegas community. It also serves as an advisory committee to the mayor and council on matters related to veterans.

U.S. Corporal Chris Brown in David, Panama, in 1990 as part of a “Christmas in April” event to provide local children with toys, following the December 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama.

Please congratulate Chris when you see him and thank him for his service not only to the City of North Las Vegas but also to our nation. U.S. Corporal Brown participated in combat operations during Operation Just in Panama as a team leader. He earned the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal for engaging enemy forces during riverine and jungle operations. In April 1990, Chris was again deployed for combat, this time to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for Operation Desert Shield/Storm, earning another Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, Southwest Asia Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and Kuwaiti Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia). Chris was Honorably Discharged in September 1991. In 2014, he received the 20-Year Membership Pin from Veterans of Foreign Wars where he has served various positions to include Post Commander and District Commander. He is a Life Member of VFW Post 1753 and an annual member of American Legion Post #10.

Chris represents a number of CSN folks who are serving or who have served in the armed forces of the nation.

Calling for New Members for All-College Committees

In May, we sent out an email soliciting faculty and staff that are interested in serving on one of CSN’s college-wide or all-college committees. The list of committees here, listing our All-College Committees and contact info for the chairs. 

If you would like to be considered to fill a future vacancy on one of these entities, please email CSN Government Affairs & Communications Director K.C. Brekken by July 1 at and identify the committee(s) on which you would like to serve. K.C. will then distribute the full list to all of the committee chairs over the summer. This will help ensure a diverse representation of active participants on these important committees.

Women of Influence
Spring semester flew by, and here’s one important announcement I forgot to make this past semester. Please help me congratulate the CSN 2014 Women of Influence award recipients, which were announced at the Office of Diversity Initiatives and Women’s History Month Committee luncheon at Russell’s Restaurant on April 4, following Women’s History Month. The following CSN students, staff and faculty were selected by a committee of their peers for their commitment and dedication to the college and community: 

Denise Signorelli
2014 CSN Woman of Influence/Faculty

Esther Pla
2014 CSN Woman of Influence/ Administrative Faculty

Debbie Beyer
2014 CSN Woman of Influence/ Classified

Vanessa Smith
2014 CSN Woman of Influence in Academics

Nierada Nititadakul
2014 CSN Woman of Influence Emerging Leader Award

Our next Chronicle will come out in August and include important information, regarding the fall semester.

Until then, enjoy the summer!

–Mike Richards

CSN May Chronicle

Greetings!  As this academic year closes, there is much to report to you in many areas of the college.

Scholarships and More

CSN President Richards, his wife Jan Richards, former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and current Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman at the 2014 CSN Legacy of Achievement Gala at the Rio.

Great news: The CSN Foundation was able to raise approximately $500,000 in donations at the Legacy of Achievement Gala in April. These donations are incredibly necessary to support CSN students and programs. This year, students came out and participated like never before and it made all the difference. Now is a great time to encourage students you know to learn about CSN scholarships at and apply by June 10.

I would also like to thank Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, her husband, former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, and the Southern Nevada Franchised New Car & Truck Dealers Association, Incorporated. All three were honored that night for their incredible support of CSN students. They helped make the night a terrific success and we are ever grateful for our community partners.

Last month’s Chronicle omitted the names of a handful of new faculty senators, including Carrie Preite from Biology, Michael Simpson and Christopher Curry from Health Sciences and LaDella Levy, Julian Smit and Ky Wimpfheimer from the School of Education, Behavioral and Social Science. I apologize for the late recognition and congratulate these faculty members on their election.


NV Energy Partnership

CSN and NV Energy Executives celebrate the opening of CSN’s new safety labs at the Charleston campus.

CSN and NV Energy have added another dimension to our partnership.  Through a gift of $50,000 and part of a TAACCCT grant, an NV Energy Safety Training classroom and two training laboratories have been established at the West Charleston campus.  Operating through the Division of Workforce and Economic Development (DWED), the program will train NV Energy employees in OSHA and other safety training needed for their jobs. Paul Caudill, President of NV Energy and Regent Chair Kevin Page, joined CSN officials in opening the facilities on May 13th.  Tours of the labs, the training mock ups, and demonstrations of the equipment were held for all attendees. NV Energy employees start training in these facilities today.

During this academic year a number of significant college policies have been approved and others have been reformatted into the approved policy format. It is important that you are informed about policy changes. Here is a summary of the changes:


Name of Policy

Adopted or Last Revised Date

Policy or Revision Summary

Course Registration & Course Withdrawal Policy (STU 19.2) Revised:     04/15/2014 New policy to implement the “no late registration” changes. Recent revision clarifies exceptions to policy. Note: This policy also requires students to withdraw themselves prior to the last date to withdraw — instructors can no longer assign a “W” at the end of the semester/term.
Academic Renewal Policy (STU 17.1) Effective:   06/04/2013  New policy providing for academic renewal.
Non-traditional Education Credit Policy (STU 4.1) Effective:   04/03/2013  New policy to set forth the criteria for granting non-traditional education credit.
Academic Probation & Suspension policy (STU 3.2) Revised:  04/15/2014 Evaluation for Academic Warning is made after 15 units, rather than 12; Counselors and faculty advisers are included in the process; and there may be additional requirements for readmission after Academic Suspension.
Family & Medical Leave (FMLA) Policy (ADM 1.1) Effective:   04/16/2013  New policy established to ensure compliance with Family and Medical Leave Act.
(Academic) Faculty Evaluation Policy (FAC 1.2) Revised:  05/07/2014 Standards identified for teaching, library and counseling faculty; use of term “standards” changed to “guidelines”; new rating procedures and corresponding forms established; revisions to Peer Review Committee composition and changes to when Peer and Supervisory reviews are due.
Information Systems & Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Policy (GEN 6.3.1) Revised:     04/17/2013  Added e-mail acceptable use policy and new section addressing wireless network acceptable use.
Academic School and DWED Collaboration Policy (GEN 5.2) Effective:   04/02/2013  Reformat into new template; updated terminology; and changed reporting dates.
Minor Children on Campus Policy (GEN 9.2) Revised:     04/10/2013 Reformatted into new template; added purpose statement and clarified exceptions; and updated terminology.
Department Chair Selection and Recall Policy (FAC 21.2) Revised:     04/16/2013 Reformatted into new template.
Librarian and Counselor Job Descriptions (FAC 18.2) Revised:     04/16/2013 Reformatted into new template.
Office Request Policy (FAC 19.2) Revised:     04/17/2013 Reformatted into new template.
ADA/ADAA Policy (ADM 2.1) Effective:   07/11/2013  Reformatted into new template.
Nepotism (ADM 3.1) Effective:  07/11/2013  Reformatted into new template.
Non-Discrimination (ADM 4.1) Effective:  07/11/2013  Reformatted into new template.
Sexual Harassment (ADM 5.1) Effective:  07/11/2013  Reformatted into new template.
Grants & Contracts Accounting Policy (FIN 3.1) Revised:  04/11/2014 Reformatted into new template.


Beginning fall semester, one new or revised policy will be featured in the Chronicle to assist in the communication of CSN policies and procedures.

‘Finish In 2’ Campaign

As part of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s effort to encourage Nevada college students to graduate on time, CSN is launching the Finish In 2 campaign.

As the name implies, this campaign is encouraging students to finish associate degrees in two years, by completing 30 credits each year in a way that works for them. That could mean 15 credits each semester, or 12 credits each semester and 6 credits over the summer.

Why is this campaign necessary?

Because we know:

  • Only 3 percent of Nevada community college students taking less than 12 credits per semester graduate within four years with an associate degree;
  • 62 percent of students complete their associate degree when they complete 30+ credits in their first year; and
  • An extra semester of college costs the typical two-year college student almost $1,500.

As part of this, we need to encourage students to work with our advisors and counselors and plan their pathways according to their needs.   

Please visit the website at to get more information. Advisors and counselors can download the flier and print it for use in student sessions. We encourage all staff members that have contact with students to use this flier or direct them to the website. We also encourage you to use the logo and icon in your email signature.

Posters will be printed and framed over the summer for use in advisor/counselor offices and common areas. If you would like to reserve one, please email us.

Achieving the Dream

The Achieving the Dream annual reflection report has been completed and submitted to ATD before the deadline. Special thanks to our ATD Leader Bill Neff and Institutional Research’s Laura Yavitz, who did most of the heavy lifting! The many faculty and staff who serve on various ATD subcommittees have done an amazing job of planning and launching the two ATD pilot interventions for fall, including the mandatory matriculation policy for incoming 2014 Clark County School District high school graduates this fall and the new student success modules. The mandatory matriculation pilot requires all incoming 2014 CCSD grads to complete placement testing, orientation and meet with a counselor before registering.


CSN 2014 Retiree Luncheon at Russell’s Restaurant, located on the CSN Cheyenne campus

We are sad to say goodbye to at least 18 members of the CSN family who have decided to retire. This is bitter sweet for me, whereas these people have long served our students. As people make important end-of-the-semester decisions, I anticipate there may be others who decide it’s time for them to retire as well. I had the opportunity to recognize a number of these important individuals at the recent Retiree Luncheon, organized by our Internal Recognition Committee.

We’re also honoring the service of these individuals in other communications. To learn more about who is retiring, I urge you to go the Internal Recognition Committee’s Honoring Our Retirees webpage. They are constantly updating the page and you can learn all about retirees’ impact on CSN. This information also runs on our I.C.S. screens. For instance, you can learn about Betty Marx, our administrative assistant at Cheyenne who has served CSN for 24 years.

Also, remember, CSN’s annual Commencement is Monday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at the Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV. According to preliminary data, this will be another record year and our largest graduating class ever! Faculty should be there at 5 p.m. to line up and walk out with students in the East Tunnel in commencement attire. 

 Questions from Faculty and Staff Members: 

Are state employee’s receiving Merit Salary Increases (MSI’s) beginning July 1, 2014?

The 2013 Legislature lifted the suspension of merit, effective July 1, 2014, for those employees who are not topped out (for classified employees step 10 is topped out). 

Will all classified employees receive their Merit Salary Increase (MSI) on July 1, 2014?”

No, unless the employee’s Pay Progression date falls on July 1, 2014, otherwise, an employee will receive his/her MSI on his/her Pay Progression Date.

Will there be a CSN student orientation available online?”

Yes, the new CSN student online orientation will be available online for students to begin participating in this month. Of course, CSN will continue to offer on-campus orientations to new students as well.  

How many students have or will graduate in 2013-2014?

A record 2,831 students are eligible to receive 3,194 degrees and certificates, according to preliminary data. Official numbers for the spring 2014 semester will be available once final grades for the semester are completed. This is a great indication that we are on the right track and progressing in our goals to help more students change their lives and obtain a college education. I believe these graduates are our future and thank each and every one of you for helping them reach this transformational life achievement!

Convocation in August will again be held at Texas Station. The event will take place on Aug. 18. Please RSVP at We will announce the recipients for the Excellence Awards and the President’s Distinguished Employee of the Year Awards. Pick up a Reflections of Success yearbook to learn about the award nominees. They’ve been distributed to campus departments/units and to the various sites and centers. Contact the Office of Communications at 702-651-7354 to have a copy mailed to you.

 Thank you everyone for a great spring semester! Enjoy the summer and we look forward to seeing you for an exciting 2014-15 academic year!

–Mike Richards

CSN April Chronicle


Greetings!  As this academic year winds down, there is much to report to you in many areas of the College.      

Phi Theta Kappa

CSN PTK Students

On March 28, the Nevada/California Region of Phi Theta Kappa held its Spring Conference and Award Ceremony at the California Polytechnic State University campus. CSN’s chapter, Alpha Xi Beta, earned six awards that evening for their diligent work in the 2013 calendar year. The awards are as follow: 

  • Five Star Level
  • Honors In Action Award, 2nd place in Theme 6
  • 2013 Yearbook Award, 2nd place
  • Regional Project-Financial Literacy (Education in a Financial Context)
  • Regional Project-Make A Difference Day (Downtown Las Vegas Dynamos Clean Up)
  • Regional Project-Community Project (Exposure to Global Culture & Food)

Congratulations to the student officers of 2013 for leading the chapter in another successful year. 

Minority Serving Institution

This month, CSN received federal designation as a Minority Serving Institution under the Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) category.

CSN is proud to be a Minority Serving Institution and will celebrate this achievement at every opportunity. CSN is a diverse institution and the more underrepresented students who succeed at CSN, the more we can change longstanding achievement gaps that impact our neighbors, friends and family. This reflects the college’s service to our increasingly diverse community and will allow us to compete for federal grants and other alternative funding to support all of our students.

CSN invited public stakeholders to attend a Campus Conversation today at the Charleston campus in for a discussion about what CSN’s new designation as a Minority Serving Institution means for the college community. A second Campus Conversation will take place at the Henderson campus on Wednesday, April 30, at 9 a.m. in C-105. We will be rescheduling the Cheyenne conversation in the near future.

Minority Serving Institutions include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal College and Universities (TCUs), and most recently the AANAPISI category. Colleges designated as AANAPISIs have student bodies made up of more than 50 percent low-income or Pell Grant eligible students and at least 10 percent of students, who are Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander.

Legislative Preparations for 2015

On April 16, CSN hosted representatives from the Governor’s Budget Office, Legislative Counsel Bureau, and State Public Works Board.  Four topics were covered: 1) the institution’s operating and capital budget priorities, 2) the need for a comprehensive financial strategy to address CSN’s deferred maintenance backlog, 3) the transforming efforts in student success, and 4) the value to students of facilities improvements at the Cheyenne and Henderson campuses.


As you may recall, due to schedule conflicts, we were not able to put on a Reflections of Success awards ceremony this year. Instead, we’re employing a recommendation from the Work Climate Committee and we’ve put together a booklet, titled Reflections of Success. This will be coming out in early May and be delivered to academic department offices and various units throughout the college. All of the Distinguished Award nominees and Excellence Award nominees are highlighted among other accomplishments. In lieu of an event, this is a way for us to communicate the successes of this academic year and showcase our amazing faculty and staff. Thanks to CSN Public Relations Specialist Richard Lake and Graphic Designer Sue Mitchell for their work in putting this together. 

SB 391 Community College Governance Subcommittee Meetings

The two Community College Governance subcommittees met last week. On April 23, the Governance & Funding subcommittee met and heard from community college scholar Dr. Aims McGuinness, who presented on community college structures and reforms. His research can be found on the subcommittee’s site. He had high praise for systems like Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and Hawaii for the cohesion that these structures were able to provide while at the same time representing diverse environments throughout the states and accountability for progress. In general, he did not advance local governance models as a recommended reform for Nevada to pursue. Thank you to the CSN faculty and students who attended and spoke during public comment. In addition, each of the community colleges presented on their processes for seeking grants. Our institutions are 90 percent successful in obtaining the grants we seek. This subcommittee will discuss structure further at its next meeting on June 9. 

The Academic & Workforce subcommittee met the next day and heard from our partners in K-12 on some of our joint programs, including dual credit, community college high schools and AP coursework. The committee indicated an interest in developing strategies to increasing the fluidity, articulation/transfer and data sharing among K-12, community colleges and four-year institutions. They are interested in increasing similar cohesion between community colleges and businesses/ industry outside of current advisory board structures. The next meeting has not yet been scheduled but we will keep you posted as more information arises. We expect that they will narrow their focus to specific recommendations for reform. We see these meetings as a positive vehicle to affirm community colleges and our services to the state. Both subcommittees have discussed the potential for a state Workforce Fund, similar to the Knowledge Fund, previoulsy approved by the Legislature for the research institutions, to assist with our workforce development and training missions. The critical function of a need-based financial aid program to help ensure our students, who often don’t qualify for the Millennium Scholarship, can secure access to community colleges has also been discussed. 

NSHE Executive Director of the Nevada College Collaborative
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) has named Frank Woodbeck, director of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR), as its new executive director of the Nevada College Collaborative.
In this new position, Woodbeck will be responsible for starting and leading the effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness among Nevada’s community colleges, including overseeing the shared services efforts among the three northern community colleges and opportunities for such efficiencies elsewhere throughout the state. He will also be working to enhance communication between higher education and the needs of businesses and industry for workforce development.CSN has long had a great relationship with Mr. Woodbeck and DETR and we look forward to working with him in his new capacity. He started April 21.

Faculty Election Results:

Congratulations to Dr. Camille Naaktgeboren as the new Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate!





Patrick Villa

International Languages

Ken Umland


Tom Rosenberger


Dennis Soukup

Accounting, Finance, and Computer Office Technology

Robin Nelson

Health Related Professions

James Adams


Dale Warby

Human Behavior

Kevin Rafferty

Media Technologies

Randy Becker

Physical Sciences

Peter Lanagan

Public Safety and Human Services

Rita Hayes








Jennifer Gorman


Mike Connolly, Nancy Snow

Arts and Letters

Ivonne Leavell, Sean Russell

Congratulations to new and continuing department chairs elected this spring and to the new faculty senators. 

Legislative Budget Priorities

The Board of Regents met Friday to discuss budget priorities for the 2013-15 biennium that the system will put before the state at the next legislative session in 2015. The presidents have recommended as a top priority funding salaries at the full base and eliminating furloughs for all employees. This is in concert with a proposed request to increase the amount each institution receives per Weighted Student Credit Hour (WSCH). As many of you know, CSN and the other colleges and universities are no longer funded based on the number of students we enroll but on the number of courses and programs they complete. Much of the funding relies on the number of students who pass courses multiplied by a WSCH rate. We plan to ask the Legislature to increase the amount each school receives per WSCH to help us claw back from past budget cuts. 

The Board also heard from all the presidents on the proposed tuition and fee increase plan for the next two biennia. CSN has been working closely with student government to create a detailed expenditure plan for the increase that supports access awards, additional support and FTEs and helps reduce lines and bottlenecks in serving students. More information about that plan was included in the March Chronicle. The Board will have a final vote on the tuition and fee increase during its June meeting. 

Strategic Enrollment Planning

With the guidance of Noel Levitz, faculty, staff and administrators at CSN have been hard at work preparing a strategic enrollment plan for implementation this fall. This will lead to the creation of a plan to help CSN achieve long-term enrollment goals and improve student retention. 

The Strategic Enrollment Plan is an arm of the college’s strategic plan that largely focuses on recruitment, retention and timely completion. The Strategic Enrollment Planning Committee has been busy making the rounds to different CSN committees and groups to communicate about how this plan is being developed and why.

Strategic Enrollment Planning recognizes that it is more cost-effective for the college to focus resources on retention of existing students, and retaining/effectively exiting students from degree programs than on consistently finding new students to replace those who drop out. Faculty and staff have gone through extensive data to evaluate CSN practices and those of our competition and are in the process of finalizing recommended action steps that we expect will streamline many of our matriculation and registration processes, more strategically target outreach, recruitment and marketing efforts and revolutionize retention practices. The latter will be assisted through CSN’s Achieving the Dream initiative, another all-college student success initiative. 

If you have questions about the SEP plan or want more information, I encourage you to contact CSN Vice President of Academic Affairs Darren Divine. This has been an extensive effort involving academic and student affairs, faculty, staff and students and we look forward to discussing the action plan this fall. 

CSN Connections are happening April 29, 30 and May 1 on all three campuses. Please encourage your students to attend and learn more about CSN student services and get ready for fall registration.

Priority registration for current students begins May 1 and open enrollment for new students begins on May 20.

Don’t forget, CSN’s 42nd Annual Commencement is Monday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV.



Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“Are we requiring recent high school graduates to take placement tests and see a counselor before they can enroll?”

CSN is implementing a mandatory matriculation policy for all 2014 Clark County High School

Questions I’ve received:

“Are we requiring recent high school graduates to take placement tests and see a counselor before they can enroll?”

CSN is implementing a mandatory matriculation pilot program for all 2014 Clark County School District high school graduates enrolling at CSN this fall. As part of the college’s student success initiatives, including Strategic Enrollment Planning and Achieving the Dream initiatives, we are notifying these students now that these 2014 graduates must complete the following 4 steps before they are allowed to register for classes.

  1. Apply for Admission
  2. Participate in Orientation
  3. Complete the math and English placement process (or submit official advanced placement or ACT/SAT Scores)
  4. Meet with an Advisor/Success Coach (either one-on-one or in an advising workshop)

In accordance with new matriculation procedures, Advisors/Success Coaches provide advising services to first-time college students without transfer credits, undecided students without a declared major, and Associate of General Studies (AGS) students only. Returning, continuing, and transfer students with declared majors seek academic advice from Academic School Counselors in their selected major/department.

Prospective students who have questions about this are encouraged to contact the CSN Call Center to speak with a college representative at 702-651-5555.

“Why did we pursue Minority Serving Institution status before pursing Hispanic Serving Institution status?”
The designations are based on historic academic full-time equivalent enrollment data from two years prior.

The college submitted an application to receive the designation as a Minority Serving Institution under the AANAPISI category this spring, based on fall 2011 enrollment data, which we knew met the federal criteria for this designation.

Next year, the college expects to be the first higher education institution in Nevada to be eligible to successfully apply for Hispanic Serving Institution status, based on fall 2012 enrollment data. Among other criteria, at least 25 percent of full-time equivalent students must be Hispanic to achieve the HSI designation.

 “In the new fiscal year do we still have furloughs?”

Yes. The furloughs will continue over the course of the next fiscal year. However, eliminating the furloughs and enhancing benefits is a top legislative priority for CSN and the system in the upcoming legislative session. We have heard a lot of positive feedback from lawmakers on the elimination of furloughs and we will be asking you to contact your legislative representatives on this matter as we approach the session to reinforce the importance of making contracts whole again for all state employees.

“Has CSN completed work on salaries and benefits?”

We are not finished.  In fact, there is much to do, constantly, on this topic.  Several items are on the horizon:  1) full implementation of the salary compression (emphasis added) recommendations, 2) implementation of the merit pay plan for 2014-2015, 3) college-wide discussion (probably in the fall) on faculty ranks, and 4) work on adjusting the CC target from 78% of the university median to 83%.  And then there is always the need to improve PEBP.

“What kind of rating do I need to receive on my evaluation to obtain a merit increase?”

Under the proposed policy that the Faculty Senate will consider next month, faculty (academic and professional) need an evaluation rating of satisfactory or better to be eligible for merit consideration.  Put another way, employees who receive an unsatisfactory rating on evaluations are not eligible for merit consideration.

Fall Convocation will again be held at Texas Station on Aug. 18. We plan to announce the recipients of the Excellence Awards and the President’s Distinguished Employee of the Year awards and make a number of other exciting announcements. Please RSVP at

My next Chronicle to you will be after the SB 391 committee determines its recommendations for community colleges.  This may be after graduation.  Also, in the next Chronicle, I will be providing a list of new institutional policies approved by the Faculty Senate during this academic year.  The Senate has revised faculty evaluation, merit pay, and student matriculation policies this year in a dedicated effort to improve CSN.  I commend the Senators and the leaders of the Senate for all of the hard work.  Now we need to get the word out.

Thank you all for your continuing and remarkable service to our students. 

–Mike Richards

CSN March Chronicle

CSN biology students

Greetings and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for March 2014.  For a year when the Legislature is not in session, this spring semester is unusually busy with studies, events and policy changes that I want to share with you.     

Salary Equity Progress
Staff in Human Resources are engaged in implementing the necessary payroll/contract transactions for full-time administrative and academic faculty members to process the salary adjustments necessary to implement recommendations for the new/revised salary structures and salary compression. These were recommended by the consultant and Transition Management Teams and ultimately adopted by the Steering Committee.  Each individual full-time administrative/academic employee will receive a letter from HR detailing how he/she was affected by the salary study.  Those receiving salary adjustments will have revised contracts issued.  HR will send out information notifying affected employees when their revised contracts will be ready for review and signature.

Board of Regents Meeting
The Board of Regents held their March meeting at the Charleston campus. I would like to thank all of our staff that helped to make this meeting happen, including Daniel Gonzalez and his colleagues in facilities, CSN Police and security staff and Suzan Workman in the Office of Communications, OTS, Greg Hampton, Dave Morgan, Eric Garner, and campus administration.  CSN hosts the Board of Regents every two years, and preparations for the meeting are extensive.  Many thanks to all who made the meeting successful.   

Tuition & Fees
At the meeting, the Board discussed tuition and fee increases for the 2015-2019 academic years.  For community colleges, the proposal includes a 4 percent increase each year for the next four years for resident students, beginning in fall 2015. Normally, the Board reviews proposals for tuition and fees changes for the current biennium, but this extended time period is being proposed to help students better plan their academic careers.

CSN’s proposal, developed in coordination with student government and endorsed by student leaders, will directly impact student services. The highlights are summarized below and more detail is available here.

Current Fee: $84.50 per credit.
Proposed Fall 2015: $88 per credit
Proposed Fall 2016: $91.50 per credit
Proposed Fall 2017: $95 per credit
Proposed Fall 2018: $98.75

Students taking 15 credit hours would pay a reduced rate at $52.50 more per semester in fall 2015.

For 2015-16:
·         CSN would take 15 percent of the increase and put it toward access scholarships
·         CSN would hire 18 additional full-time-equivalent staff, including eight academic counselors, two disability resource center and counseling and psychology services positions, four staff for the Office of the Registrar and four financial aid staffers to support student needs
·         An additional $155,000 would go toward capital improvements to improve student services spaces, including providing privacy spaces for students to meet with staff. 

For 2016-17:
·         CSN would take 15 percent of the increase and put it toward access scholarships
·         CSN would hire 25 additional full-time-equivalent staff, including eight academic faculty for high-demand programs, two academic counselors, five academic success coach advisors, three staff for the CSN Call Center, three staff for the Office of the Registrar and four financial aid staff for financial literacy education to help students navigate financial aid better and borrow responsibly
·         An additional $177,000 will go to capital improvements to enhance student support spaces

The Board will vote on this proposal in the coming months.

Regents Awards

CSN Business Professor Kevin Raiford selected for 2013-14 Regents award.

Congratulations to Business Professor Kevin Raiford, who received the Regent’s Teaching Award for community colleges. Professor Raiford’s work in the classroom and with young entrepreneurs is making a significant impact in our community and economy. He’s an inspiration to us all.

In addition, congratulations to CSN student Carlos Holguin, who received the Regents’ Scholar Award. Carlos is graduating this spring with associate degrees in music and psychology. Carlos is a remarkable young man who aspires to give the gift of music to others. We will honor him and other students at the annual Outstanding Student Awards on May 9 at the Telecommunications Auditorium at 5 p.m.

Thank you to the Internal Recognition Committee for your work in soliciting nominations for these awards and thank you to all who nominated wonderful faculty, staff and students!

Legislative Committee to Conduct an Interim Study on Community Colleges
The Legislature’s SB 391 subcommittees met this month. The subcommittee on governance and funding heard testimony from the legislative counsel bureau, regarding what governmental entity has jurisdiction over community colleges. There were several media articles regarding the question of governance authority that describe the issues. This topic will be discussed more in future meetings and may inform what actions lawmakers decide to take. The subcommittee on governance and funding will explore alternative structures, federal grants, Hispanic Serving Institution status, articulation and shared services at its next meeting on April 23.

In addition, CSN Division of Workforce & Economic Development Executive Director Dan Gouker did an excellent job testifying about CSN’s workforce development initiatives before the subcommittee on workforce and academics. Each of the community colleges had an opportunity to present information on this topic. He was joined by Robert Buntjer, assistant director of the Electrical JATC of Southern Nevada, who testified about our work in apprenticeship and the 15 trades we work with to help deliver postsecondary education throughout the valley.

There were a number of questions, regarding community college curricula and how we stay abreast of the changing needs of business and industry and how we might improve this connectivity. The next meeting for this committee is April 24.

Two changes CSN is advocating in this and other venues are: 1) a need-based financial aid program for students who do not qualify for federal financial aid, and 2) legislative support for a workforce development fund.

NSHE Budget
NSHE’s budget request for 2015 is underdevelopment with a request to fully fund, and thereby eliminate, employee furloughs as a key priority. Elimination of furloughs continues to be CSN’s top priority.  Additionally, CSN is joining other institutions to advocate for an increase in the dollar value per weighted student credit hour (WSCH)—currently at $137 per WSCH.  This is the core value in the new funding formula, and is the state funding support per WSCH for CSN.    

Faculty Evaluation Policy
At its meeting earlier this month, Faculty Senate passed an evaluation policy. I should receive the final copy next week. The policy is available at The page contains the latest version of the Faculty Evaluation Draft Proposal, FAQS and other useful information.  This policy has been long in development, and I’d like to thank the leaders and members of the Faculty Senate who have contributed to developing the policy.

Construction at Charleston
onstruction on the A building (and, eventually, part of the B building) on the West Charleston campus is underway and proceeding on schedule.  Work will be completed in about a year, and we all look forward to recovering the parking spaces that are now a construction staging area.

This is a renovation of the western half of the building and a small addition that will create more spacious classrooms that can be used more effectively. We expect to move back in this December.

Integrate 2
NSHE’s second phase of a new administrative computing system, SCS has issued a request for proposals for a financial and human resources system.  Nevada is one of the last states in the nation to have an integrated administrative computing system for higher education.  CSN is also advocating for a review of the major modules within iNtegrate 1 in order to address existing functionality with the hope of making the Student Information System more effective.

Snap Shot Survey
Your colleagues on the CSN Workplace Climate Committee request that you respond to the following 10-minute survey. The deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, March 28. Your responses will be confidential. A report of the summary results will be released by the committee to all college faculty and staff.

To access the survey please click here. If the survey does not open automatically, please copy and paste the following link to your Internet browser’s address bar:

Your responses matter and lead to committee recommendations that help make CSN a better place to work, a better place to learn for students and a more inclusive and welcoming community for all. 

If you have questions about this survey, please contact Cameron Basquiat, Chair of the Workplace Climate Committee, at  or 702-651-5998. If you have trouble accessing or completing the online survey, please contact Laura Yavitz, Institutional Research, at or 702-651-5874.

Key Dates
March 25, CSN Elite Business Series Presents UFC President Dana White
March 27, 29, April 17, 19,
CSN FAFSA Workshops – open to everyone

March 27, CSN President’s Forum for Women’s History Month, featuring Las Vegas Metro Chamber CEO Kristin McMillan, Charleston campus D101 at 2:30 p.m.

March 31-April 17, ASCSN Student Government Charity Drive for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth

 Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“What is the enrollment picture for spring semester?”

As of the March 15th census date, headcount for spring semester was 35, 278 (down 0.7% from the same period last year) and FTES was 18,233.6 (down 2.6%).  

“What is the NVision program from PEBP?”

 NVision is the Health and Wellness program of PEBP and is intended to engage a preventative health program for employees.  However, I’m getting reports that our people are having a mixed experience with NVision, that the web site is not working properly, that the program is intrusive, and not worth the cost.  I’d like to know about your experience so that information can be shared with PEBP to make the program better.  If, you have had experience with NVision, good or bad, and would like to share it with PEBP, please send it to me and we will forward it.


–Mike Richards

Profile on Medical Laboratory Scientists, A High-Demand, High-Wage Meaningful Career

Greetings from the College of Southern Nevada!

CSN MLS students get plenty of practice in the lab.

I have some great news today about one of the newer programs at CSN, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Science. It’s one of two four-year degrees offered at CSN.

The 120-credit MLS degree program includes 16 weeks of clinical work at local hospitals and labs, high-level philosophy, English and statistics courses in addition to clinical laboratory science coursework. CSN expanded and remodeled laboratory space on the Charleston campus to add the program.

The first cohort of students to start the program in 2012 has just finished. They’re ready for the job market.

Martiza Camacho, 52, is one of seven CSN students who finished the program in December. Two more students are scheduled to finish in the spring.

It’s an incredibly popular program at CSN and elsewhere. When UNLV ended a similar program due to budget cuts several years ago, the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education approved the new program at CSN.

Camacho has been attending classes at CSN for almost 20 years. She said the B.A.S. in Medical Laboratory Science will be her fifth degree.

She said she chose the program because she had recently finished the college’s program in Medical Laboratory Technology, a two-year program, and wanted to continue in the field.

CSN Medical Laboratory students work with the latest equipment.

Both medical laboratory scientists and medical laboratory technicians conduct lab testing, but only those with a bachelor’s degree qualify for supervisory positions. The pay is also considerably higher, with MLTs earning from $13 an hour to $28 an hour and MLSs earning from $20 an hour to $43 an hour. Medical Laboratory Scientists perform and interpret diagnostic laboratory procedures that help detect, diagnose and treat disease.

Heidi Schneiter, the director of CSN’s program, said the demand for medical lab scientists remains high locally, as well. A new group of students begins the program each fall semester.

The program is a limited entry program. For more information, visit