The CSN Chronicle
Greetings and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for September 2012. Each month, the Chronicle lets me share news and respond to important questions raised by our faculty and staff members.
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 technology, Academic Affairs and Marketing and many staff and faculty for the great Welcome Back BBQs at each campus and our staff working the CSN Call Center (651-5555) that answered thousands of student questions over the last few weeks about everything from financial aid to password resets.
I would also like to thank Drs. Dick and Joan McGee and the wonderful faculty and staff that joined them for the surprise musical flash mob at Convocation. You made this year’s annual event unforgettable.
Emergency call boxes have been installed at each of the three campuses and are in the final stages of activation. Emergency phones are also in place in each CSN classroom. We have also distributed the Emergency Operations Plan and initiated training for our people. More training is scheduled to occur as are plan updates and plan exercises. It is critical that our students and employees feel safe at CSN and know what to do in case of an emergency.
The volunteers and participants in the process to date have been fantastic and we encourage more to get involved.
Emergency Phones in Classrooms
Please be advised, the telephones located in each classroom are for emergencies only and automatically dial campus security. Please do not pick up the receiver, unless you need to speak to campus security. If you need to contact OTS for assistance in your classroom, please call the Help Desk at 651-HELP from an alternative phone.
MyCSN Service Disruptions
Periodic service disruptions occurred this fall. The longest — 72 hours — was due to a software anomaly that occurred with the database. When disruptions for service are anticipated, OTS is prompt to notify the campus community, but some disruptions occur without notice. The Nevada System of Higher Education’s System Computing Services has been quick to respond to unforeseen disruptions, and, although we’re inconvenienced, we appreciate the rapid response to restore service. We have asked SCS to develop service level agreements with CSN and all institutions so that greater specificity of service is better understood.
Online Education Consultant and CSN Visit
Next week representatives from Richard Katz and Associates (RKA) will be on campus to discuss online education on September 18. Chancellor Klaich has retained RKA to review online course delivery at each NSHE institution to make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding possible expansion. Many faculty and staff will be scheduled to meet with these representatives. A final report to the Board is expected in early spring.
Budget Outlook for 2013-15
The Board of Regents, following instructions from the Governor’s Office, approved a 2013-15 budget request that includes restoration of employee salaries to the base and eliminates furloughs. We appreciate that the Board and Governor recognize the paramount importance of eliminating salary cuts. For all institutions in the system, this $110 million commitment was top priority, and we are hopeful that the Legislature will follow the Governor’s recommendations.
F Grade in the Funding Formula
During the final meeting of the legislative interim Funding of Higher Education Committee, members finalized their funding formula recommendations that they will bring to the full Legislature in 2013. There has been much debate about how lawmakers would fund course completion and whether colleges and universities would receive funding for students who receive an ‘F.’ It appears the ‘F’ grade for non-attendance (Fn) will be excluded from the new funding formula for higher education in Nevada. Students who complete a course with an ‘F’ will be included. We are not entirely certain how the Fn will be tracked and reported as the formula is implemented.
The funding formula proposal put forth has two parts: a base that is funded based on weighted student credit hours (WSCH) for course completion and a performance pool. Metrics from the National Governor’s Association have generally defined the performance pool, but action by the Legislature’s interim Committee on the Funding of Higher Education referred the performance pool to the Board of Regents for greater specificity. Regent Dr. Jason Geddes, Chair of the Board, will be appointing a committee to complete recommendations on the performance pool metrics, weights and implementation. We expect this work to be completed before January in time for legislative consideration.
On October 15-17, a team of five representatives from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities will visit CSN for an accreditation review. A committee of CSN faculty and staff prepared an excellent Year Three report on institutional resources and capacity that forms the basis for the visit. Also, key to the success of the visit is our strategic plan, its annual report and update. Thanks to all who have contributed to the report and the strategic plan. CSN is well positioned for this important visit.
Plans for a CSN employee softball game and BBQ are underway for Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Henderson campus. Additionally, we have completed the furniture refresh for the Henderson campus. Next, new building signage will be added.
On Friday, Sept. 28, CSN will hold the Cheyenne Ketchup BBQ in front of the main building for CSN faculty, staff, students and guests. We hope to see you there.
On Oct. 5, CSN will host the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Southern Nevada Diversity Summit. Click here to R.S.V.P.
Collegiate Brain Trust
We have retained the services and expertise of the Collegiate Brain Trust (CBT) to assess and provide recommendations on Student Affairs operations and how to better serve students. Representatives of CBT will be on campus next week to begin the review. We have many dedicated folks in Student Affairs, yet external demands and increased expectations impact our campuses and challenge our employees. We are hopeful that CBT can help us.
As many of you know, I have a blog at http://blog.csn.edu. 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 34,972 (headcount) and 18,809.7 (FTE) and will likely continue to grow. Headcount is flat compared to the same time last year, and FTE is down 2.2%. Until office enrollment reports are filed next month, we won’t know the enrollments of sister institutions this fall.