The January Chronicle


Happy New Year and welcome to the CSN Chronicle for January 2014. There is a lot of  information below that is important for you to know.

Events in January

Jan 13 First CSN Poster Fair at the Cheyenne campus
Jan 15 Tech Connect at the Cheyenne campus
Jan 16 President’s Roundtable at Cheyenne, Laxalt Center, Rm. 1031
Jan.17 President’s Roundtable at Charleston, Rm. D209
Jan 17 President’s Roundtable at Henderson, Rm. C105
Jan. 28 CSN Connections Events (Welcome Back Events) Cheyenne
Jan. 29 CSN Connections Events (Welcome Back Events) Henderson
Jan. 30 CSN Connections Events (Welcome Back Events) Charleston
By Jan. 31 Salary Equity and Compression study report and recommendations
By Jan. 31 Final report from Evans Consulting Group on Financial Aid

CSN 2013 Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Through the Foundation Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet, I have extended your collective appreciation to the Foundation for the outstanding holiday party we enjoyed at the Santa Fe Station last month.  Food donations that evening provided for 817 pounds of food or 680 meals through Three Square. Thank you all for a great evening and a great cause!

Salary Equity

Upon receiving the recommendations from Ulibarri group at the end of this month on salary equity and compression, I’m planning town hall meetings on each campus to get your feedback on the recommendations. We will then expedite the implementation plan to the extent financially possible.  My thanks to the faculty and staff who are serving on the advisory committees for this important project.  It is essential that equity issues be addressed as fully as possible.

Work Climate Committee Recommendations

The campus Work Climate Committee (WCC), chaired by Professor Cameron Basquiat, has completed its analysis of the 2012 survey and provided recommendations. The full report is located here on the committee’s web page. 

I value the work of the committee, the survey it administered and analyzed and the recommendations it provided. The culture of CSN is improving and will continue to as the work of this committee unfolds and becomes a replicated path for data collection, analysis and targeted changes. My thanks to all faculty and staff who participated in this effort. My thanks, too, to the members of the committee for the deliberate analysis the report represents. I’m committed to keeping this committee and its work in place as CSN strives for incremental improvement and action on the recommendations.

The following comments and responses parallel suggested changes from the committee’s analysis:

I. Hiring and Training Process
A. Hiring Process


  • Increase training on the hiring process (for all relevant personnel) 
  • Training on compliance  issues (offered by Human Resources office) including training on constructing a useful, effective job posting 
  • “Lessons learned/best practices” session offered by Human Resources & previous hiring committee chairs/members
  • Consider a mechanism for supporting CSN candidates when appropriate
  • Examine search committee appointment process. (WCC suggests reflecting on how committee members are nominated and notified.)

My Response: I agree, and further suggest that more people be trained on chairing a search committee.

Faculty Senate will consider a new hiring policy later in the spring.

I’m asking HR to review the search committee appointment process.

B. Supervisor Training


  • Develop “supplemental training” (beyond “Mandatory” training as outlined by NSHE policy) specifically for supervisors to address management skills and persistent issues
  • Potential Issues to Cover: Management, Communication, Problem-Solving, Ethics, Mentoring, Evaluation, Budget, Disciplinary procedures, Reporting, Legal issues, Team Building, Leadership, Student Code of Conduct, Onboarding New Employees
  • Consider an extended retreat/summit format for training new deans and dept. chairs
  • WCC recommends some training be required for both new and current deans and dept. chairs

My Response:  I enthusiastically agree and will ask HR to put a training program together.  I have also suggested that the CSN Executive Leadership Institute be supplemented with a CSN leadership program for managers and aspiring managers. 

NOTE:  I have asked HR representatives and the Work Climate Committee to meet and discuss all the committee’s recommendations in the area of hiring and training.

II. Work Life
A. Internal Communication


  • Share more details on decisions including:
  • Decision(s) taken
  • Rationale of/for decision
  • Process of decision making
  • People/positions involved in decision-making
  • Inclusion practices via increased communication
  • Require part-time workers to use CSN email addresses for institutional communication
  • Create an institutional e-mail list for all active part-time faculty each semester and link to “All” mailing list
  • Keep “All” list and web directory updated
  • Focus communication efforts towards part-time employees (contract and wage workers, student workers, and part-time teaching faculty)
  • Routinize and consolidate routine communications:
  • Circulate weekly “Hotlinks” electronic sheet (brief document with hyperlinks and concise annotations of upcoming policy and deadline updates) to employees
  • Encourage use of consistent templates/formats and communication checklists in all divisions for routine communications to increase consistency and frequency of communication (e.g., welcoming a new employee, reporting a deadline or policy update, etc.)

My Response: This recommendation asks for explanatory information as well as better communication pathways for employees.  Transmitting information in a more timely

manner is also implied with this recommendation.  For my part, I will start implementing this suggestion with this issue of the Chronicle, but that is not enough. The Office of Communications will begin circulating a weekly update and we are exploring new communication forms and processes to increase consistency and frequency of communication among and throughout our departments and units.

I will also asked that the CSN online directory be updated more swiftly to add new employees and will explore how to incorporate part-time faculty.

B. Committee Service

  • Recommendation:
    Broaden participation and awareness
  • Circulate an annual list of existing college and faculty committees/project teams.
  • Send an annual “Topics/Committee Interest” Form to all employees to solicit interests in college service opportunities in order to develop a broader recruiting pool and encourage committee service. (WCC suggests administering this from President’s Office.)

My Response: These are very good suggestions.   We will post and update a list of all existing committees on the college’s website (an announcement will go out when it is posted) and we will evaluate the best mechanism to regularly and systematically solicit membership from the entire college community.

C. Space Availability


  • Establish a place/space for employees to use when on break where not presently available. (WCC suggests all work zones on main campuses have such a space.)
  • Establish a place/space for part-time faculty to use when not in class to meet with students where not presently available. (WCC suggests a location on each campus to be open during and after regular hours.)

My Recommendation: Space at CSN is at a premium and I’m not expecting the state’s capital budget to allow for us to construct new space any time soon. We will continue to evaluate all possibilities to best utilize our limited space with a priority on finding designated areas for part-time faculty and, frankly a lesser priority, for breaks.

D. Career Development


  • Develop a mentoring program for all levels of employment at CSN (including mentor/mentee training and matching).
  • Develop succession planning (career development planning) capacity at CSN for all full-time and part-time employee groups.
  • Encourage employees to construct a 5-year plan for employment goals/growth plan.
  • Have supervisors follow-up with plan to assist employees with professional goals when relevant. 

My Response: These suggestions have been referred to Professor Michele Fogg, chair of the Internal Recognition Committee (IRC), with a recommendation that she discuss these with the committee and create an implementation plan.

III. Organizational Clarity
A. Institutional Organization


CSN Organizational Chart:

  • Construct and update a complete (with filled and vacant positions) Organizational Chart every semester and post on website
  • Create a similar/parallel structure across all Administration Divisions
  • Create a similar/parallel structure across all Academic Departments

External Partners:

  • Post an Office of Technology Service (OTS) organizational chart
  • Post contact information and identification of appropriate CSN liaisons for key external units including Bookstore, OTS and Food Vendors

My Response: Organizational charts are posted on the website but need to be updated regularly. We can certainly pull out contact information for key external units. I would like to note that many of these are already listed in the CSN app. We will work with OTS to obtain important structural information that will be of service to our users.

I plan to discuss the recommendations for parallel organizational structures with the vice presidents to see what we can accomplish to still allow for the flexibility that is paramount for community colleges to be able to respond to our ever-changing environment but provide for consistency and accountability. I am confident that a balance can be found.

Financial Aid Update

CSN has processed through Department of Education channels all of the records and funding changes needed to comply with DOE directions. Over and under payments have been transacted and the immediate challenge has been completed.  However, the recommendations from the Evans Consulting Group are now getting underway, and we expect a full report from them shortly. Issues regarding personnel, policy and procedure and technology are being addressed in earnest. My goal is to create a national model for processing aid in a student-centered manner. I commend the staff for rallying to the challenge this goal represents. To achieve it, CSN is assessing staffing needs, hiring more staff, implementing regular training, restructuring financial aid offices, implementing new policies and procedures with third-party monitoring of processing (this is being done at other large schools such as ourselves) and making technology changes to better serve and more accurately process student records. 

CSN’s Operating Budget Request for 2015-17

CSN met with the Nevada System of Higher Education and Chancellor Klaich to present our budget priorities for the 2015 legislative session. It is my hope that these are incorporated into the Board of Regents’ priorities.

CSN’s Top Legislative Budget Priority:

  • Eliminate furloughs and address cost-of-living increases and fringe benefit expenses – health insurance particularly;
  • Increase the dollar amount received for each weighted student credit hour (WSCH) – as you know CSN is now primarily funded by the number of credits students complete and increasing the amount that CSN receives for each credit completed is paramount to eliminating funding equity issues that have persisted for decades, improving student success services and other goals we intend to accomplish;
  •  Obtain legislative approval to include the less-than-30-credit certificates with industry certification in our performance pool so that CSN receives funding for the hundreds of students that graduate from these programs, which lead directly to employment and advancement;
  • While progress was made in consideration of tuition and fees, CSN supports a continued focus on seeking full retention of fees and tuition;
  • Complete iNtegrate 2:  while an initial allotment from the NSHE operating pool has been identified, a comprehensive plan for implementation and ongoing support needs to be addressed; and
  • Develop a community college funding source to support economic development – work force needs, similar to the state’s Knowledge Fund for research at the university level.

Capital Budget:

Deferred maintenance is a key priority at CSN. We support continued evaluation of alternatives that will provide a resource to address these needs. 

Our capital priorities include the following:

  • Renovation of the B Building at Henderson to address Student Services needs. The building housing these services provides limited space and not enough to allow for adequate spaces for student privacy or to create desired pathways that help students locate the services they are seeking. ($7.6 million)
  • Continual revitalizing of the Cheyenne campus by addressing mechanical systems, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues, and exterior weather proofing. In addition to addressing deferred maintenance needs, these projects also assist CSN with decreasing utility costs. ($7 million)

Budget priorities for NSHE will be reported and action will be taken at the June meeting of the Board of Regents.

Tuition and Fees

In accordance with the Board of Regents’ policies, tuition and fees recommendations to the Board of Regents begin with deliberations of a committee comprised of students, presidents, faculty and staff.  This this committee developed recommendations for the next four years, rather than recommendations for the upcoming biennium, to assist with students’ financial and institutional planning.

For community colleges, the proposed rate change is 4% per year for four years.  This would apply to resident student registration fees.  For non-resident students, the proposed change is 0% for the first two years and 2% for the next two years. The reason for the difference in rate changes is that non-resident tuition is closer to the median of surrounding states than are registration fees for resident students.  The committee’s recommendation goes to the Board of Regents in March, following a series of hearings with students at the respective institutions.  CSN supports the recommendation, and at the CSN hearing on February 21st we will explain why.

Concurrent with the hearings and the review process, CSN is developing an expenditure plan for use of the projected revenue. That plan will also be shared and vetted publically.

Interim Study on Community Colleges

The Legislature’s interim study on community colleges will begin January 28th with the first committee meeting. Here are the details of the study’s structure and timetable as of today:

The logistics of the committee hearings between January and May (potentially June) are as follows: 

  • Meetings will be held at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas, and video conferenced to the Legislature in Carson City.
  • One meeting per month, January – May (potentially June) each lasting a full day 
  • First meeting is scheduled for Jan. 28, 9:30 a.m. (dates for the subsequent months have not been scheduled. 

Meeting Schedule:

  • Jan. 28th – 9:30 a.m.-12:00pm full committee meets, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. subcommittees meet (all committee members are expected to attend for the entire day)  
  • Feb. – 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. subcommittees meet 
  • March – 8:30 a.m. subcommittees meet; 1 p.m. subcommittees report to the full the committee
  • April –  8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. subcommittees meet
  • May – 8:30 a.m. subcommittees meet, 1 p.m., subcommittees report to the full the committee. Committee should conclude its business.
  • June – meeting only if absolutely necessary

Jan. 28th Agenda:

  • LCB – Overview and purpose of committee
  • Chancellor and Board Officer – Discussion and overview of community colleges from system perspective; successes and challenges. Desired results of the study, how can the committee help?
  • Four Community College Presidents – 20 min. (each) presentation on successes, challenges and any other information important to share
  • Dr. Geri Anderson – Shared Services Alliance

Committee Membership:

  • Senator Joyce Woodhouse – Chair
  • Senator Barbara Cegaske
  • Senator Debbie Smith
  • Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick
  • Assemblyman Paul Aizley
  • Assemblyman Pat Hickey

Subcommittee on Governance and Funding:

  • Senator Debbie Smith, Chair
  • Senator Joyce Woodhouse
  • Assemblyman Paul Aizley
  • Regent Allison Stephens
  • Dr. Mary Pierczynski
  • Carson City Supervisor John McKenna
  • Churchill County Commissioner Bus Scharmann
  • Elko Mayor Chris Johnson

 Subcommittee on Academics and Workforce Alignment:

  • Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Chair
  • Senator Barbara Cegavske
  • Assemblyman Pat Hickey
  • Regent Kevin Melcher
  • St. Rose Hospitals President and CEO Vicky van Meetren
  • GOED Deputy Director Michael Skaggs
  • Nevada Copper VP Timothy Dyhr
  • DETR Director Frank Woodbeck

**There is a possibility for more appointees to the subcommittees

CSN has been asked to provide a student member to the committee.  As more information becomes available, to include future hearing dates, I will provide updates.  

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“What is next with CSN’s HSI status?”

CSN meets the criteria for HSI status and is eligible to apply in the fall of 2014 for funding under Title V.  This is a competitive funding process.  CSN has retained the help of a grant writer to help prepare the proposal for funding.  Typically, up to $750,000 is awarded in a Title V grant. We will be suggesting a theme for the proposal and will be correlating our efforts with the community as the process unfolds.  I am very optimistic that CSN’s initial proposal has a great chance of being successful.

Construction on the A and B (partial) buildings on the West Charleston campus will be underway shortly.  The construction may be disruptive to parking and traffic, but every effort will be made to accommodate students, faculty and staff during the next year of renovation work.  Portable units have been placed west of the I building to provide classroom space during the construction period.   

 Finally, the Faculty Senate has adopted and I have signed a new policy on registration.  It is posted here with other institutional policies.  I urge you to read it and take note of the changes in operation that it requires.

Best wishes for the New Year and for spring semester.

 –Mike Richards

This entry was posted in Monthly Chronicles. Bookmark the permalink.