November Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle

Greetings, and welcome to The CSN Chronicle for November, 2013. I know this is a busy time for everyone and I appreciate you taking a moment to read the Chronicle to get the latest information.   

The CSN North Las Vegas Advisory Board

Earlier this week, we signed an agreement to create the new CSN North Las Vegas Advisory Board, which — as I’ve discussed in the Chronicle and elsewhere — will provide broad input on local concerns, trends and needs and help share information about CSN and the Cheyenne campus with others in the community.

Community colleges are designed to meet local education and workforce needs. CSN already has 46 advisory boards in place for academic programs to enhance curricula. I believe this partnership will ensure CSN is responsive and has its finger on the pulse of our community. We think this may be a model for our campuses in Las Vegas and Henderson.

I have selected the Board members in consultation with Mayor Lee.  Board members include Lee, myself and the following:

Dave Hales of Ohana Matters Foundation, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Affairs Brian McAnallen, North Vista Hospital CEO Cathy Story, ViaWest President and CEO Nancy Phillips, Brady Industries Vice President Travis Brady, First African Methodist Church Pastor Ralph E. Williamson, Lunas Treasurer Norberto Madrigal, CSN Student Government Secretary Selena Torres, Vice President and General Manager of Cannery Casino Hotel Patrick Hughes and CenturyLink Director of Legislative Affairs Randy Robison.�

CSN Successes    

CSN History Professor Dr. Michael Green

Congratulations to CSN History Professor Dr. Michael Green, who has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award. The Asher Prize is awarded annually by the American Historical Association (AHA) in recognition of outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year and graduate colleges and universities. The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in January.

In the nursing program, CSN Professor Ron Gonzales coordinated with the University of Phoenix to bring in eight hospital nurse recruiters to conduct interviewing workshops for our graduating nursing students.  He organized this in April and we learned that Sunrise hired 16 students from that April event and Summerlin Medical Center hired six. This was a wonderful event for our students and just the kind of program to promote as part of the poster presentations on student success initiatives that will take place on Jan. 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Cheyenne campus in the June Whitley Student Center.


Salary Update

The salary equity study continues as previously discussed with the first set of recommendations slated to come out at the beginning of 2014.

Holiday Party

The 2013 Holiday Party, sponsored by the CSN Foundation, will take place at the Santa Fe Station (please note the location) on December 12. This year’s event is all about giving back to help spread holiday cheer. Tickets will be $5 per person and go to support student scholarships and programs. You can get your ticket at any campus cashier’s office. Please bring non-perishable food items to the party for collection by Three Square.  We have many in our community who need help this holiday season.

Hungry Games

CSN Faculty, James Lee, Alok Pandey, Jodie Mandel and Patrick Villa pose with the Hungry Games trophy.

With the exception of one injury during the kickball tournament, the second annual Hungry Games at the CSN Henderson campus was otherwise a huge success.

Although these Hungry Games tournaments seem particularly dangerous for Faculty Senate chairs, we must congratulate Faculty Senate, which won the kickball tournament.  

Thank you to all who made the event such a fun day for CSN employees and their families!


TIAA-CREF being the new sole record keeper for both the mandatory Retirement Plan Alternative (Non-NV PERS Retirement Plan) and for the 403(b) plans including the Roth 403(b). Previously the record keeper function was handled by three companies (TIAA-CREF, FIDELITY and VALIC).  This means TIAA-CREF will handle all the administrative functions associated with the plan including – payroll interface, processing of loans and distributions, generating quarterly statements, on-line account access, financial consulting services.  These changes are a different approach in the management of the retirement plan compared to how it is managed now. 

The new investment lineup (please click on this link to see the lineup) for the plan has also been finalized. This investment lineup is different from the existing lineup in that there is only one proprietary fund from TIAA-CREF on the lineup. These will be your investment choices within the plan for your contributions beginning January 1, 2014. If you are not planning to go with the default fund, you will need to take action prior to January 1, 2014.

HR has sent out emails regarding workshops with TIAA-CREF and for those of you unable to attend these meetings, TIAA-CREF will also be hosting webinars in November and December.

Transition packets were mailed from TIAA-CREF to employees’ U.S. mailing addresses last week. Please contact HR if you have additional questions.

Nevada Workforce Development Center

Nevada Workforce Development Center ribbon cutting with Chancellor Daniel Klaich, left, DETR Deputy Director Dennis Perea, CSN President Michael Richards, Nevada Senator Majority Leader Sen. Mo Dennis, CSN DWED Executive Director Dan Gouker and Nevada Sen. Ruben Kihuen on Nov. 20, 2013.

 Also this week, CSN and the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation officially opened the Nevada Workforce Development Center at the Cheyenne campus. This is a one-stop shop for local businesses to get information about workforce assessment, customized employee training, identifying potential hire with specific skillsets and obtaining local industry specific data at no cost. The center will be staffed by DETR and CSN’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development.

DETR plans to implement similar centers at the state’s other three community colleges.

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

When will we know whether our salary will be impacted by the equity study?

I’m prepared to begin acting on the study findings early spring semester.  Many of our staff and faculty have participated in this work in process.  My thanks to each of you. 

How can we improve enrollments in the future?

Vice President Divine and many others are deeply involved with Noel-Levitz in the Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP), a comprehensive review of what CSN is doing/not doing to manage its enrollments and to retain students.  I have high hopes for this important process because it will engage everyone in improving enrollments and student success.

Will a campus name be changed?

Recently CSN sent out a survey asking for your thoughts about changing the names of CSN’s Cheyenne campus to the CSN North Las Vegas Campus and the CSN Charleston campus to the CSN Las Vegas campus. CSN was exploring this issue at the request of community constituents, particularly the Mayor of North Las Vegas, to better market our campuses and affiliate with the local community. Approximately 60 percent of employees and students voted against changing the names. Most cited costs as a factor in their decisions.  I conveyed the findings to the Mayor’s staff.  We are pursuing more substantive ways we can show our support for our local communities

Best wishes to you all for a Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you at our Holiday party.

–Mike Richards

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