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

This entry was posted in Monthly Chronicles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.