Hope you all had a restful winter break and enjoyed the wonderful professional development sessions offered through CAPE at this spring’s convocation. This Chronicle includes information regarding CSN’s performance in the second performance pool, the state budget, accomplishments and more! There is much happening in higher education, particularly as preparations get underway for the 2015 legislative session and as CSN engages the community more intensively.
Congratulations are well due to you all for your hard work these past few years to increase student success. We are seeing results! For the second year in a row, CSN has met its benchmark obligations in the performance pool, which allows us to retain 10% of our budget for the next fiscal year. These benchmarks are based on the number of students that graduate and transfer in specific categories, as listed below. CSN exceeded its benchmarks by 112%, up from the 108% by which CSN exceeded its graduation and transfer obligations in the first year of the performance pool implementation. You’ll recall that the amount of money at stake with the pool will increase by 5% each year until it comprises 20% of our state budget in FY 2018.
Media Articles on Furloughs and NSHE Salary Dollars
Last week, a couple of news articles, regarding the state’s $162 million deficit for the current fiscal year, included reports of additional furlough days and salary sweeps that require clarification.
First, the only reduction being proposed for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is an elimination of the ability to draw up to $6.5 million in salary adjustment pool funds from the Nevada Board of Examiners. While this represents a reduction in potential revenue available to NSHE institutions, it will not impact faculty or staff salaries. This pool was a source of funds to which institutions could apply for dollars to cover salary adjustments to the extent they were not otherwise covered by vacancy savings or other sources. Now institutions will need to cover those expenses and any shortfall from other one-time sources.
There was also a reference to two additional furlough days. No additional furlough days are being proposed for NSHE faculty or staff.
This Friday, come join us to celebrate the dedication of the Charleston Student Services Building in honor of CSN President Emeritus Dr. Paul Meacham. He was CSN’s longest serving President and the first African American President of a college or university in Nevada. The dedication of the Paul E. Meacham Student Services Building will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. To attend, please R.S.V.P. to Michelle.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Update and Governor’s Budget
As stated previously in my all email last week, the Governor has released his budget priorities, including the elimination of furloughs and restoration of pay for faculty, staff and students. the NSHE presented its budget to a joint money committee last week. The presentation went well and we expect to continue to advocate for priorities not included in the Governor’s budget, including an increase of $5 for every weighted student credit hour completed, which CSN would use to advance student success priorities, state funded grants for low-income community college students and a workforce fund among others. The session begins next week on Feb. 2. CSN will have a strong presence up in Carson City to advance these priorities.
Re-Opening of the A Building
On Feb. 11, we will unveil state-of-the-art renovations to the oldest building on our Charleston campus, including three new classrooms and six labs.
The Claude I. Howard Health Sciences Center first opened in 1988 as the college expanded from its roots on Cheyenne Avenue. Howard was a philanthropist and supporter of education whose generous donation helped CSN’s new campus get off the ground.
Come join us to celebrate its re-opening at a dedication ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. Feb. 11. In addition to renovating 26,000 square feet of the building – about half the existing space in the building – nearly 5,000 square feet of new space was added. The new space houses ophthalmic dispensing, radiation therapy and physical therapy. The $10 million project included modern new equipment for the physical therapy, radiation therapy and ophthalmic assistant programs, as well as some smaller renovations to the veterinary tech area in the adjacent B building.
These new classrooms and labs will enhance the learning experience for our students at CSN and we are excited to show them off to the public. We hope you will join us.
The purpose of the event, which we offer on all three main campuses at the start of every semester, is to help students get to know CSN and the myriad programs designed to enrich their engagement in the collegiate experience.
Research shows that students who feel more connected to their college are more likely to succeed. Thank you to all the faculty and staff who worked hard to make the event the success that it was.
CSN High Schools Receive High Marks
The Clark County School District recently noted that three CCSD high schools had a 100 percent graduation rate in 2014: College of Southern Nevada High School East, College of Southern Nevada High School South, and College of Southern Nevada High School West. Congratulations to that wonderful program. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the school district.
North Las Vegas City Hall
CSN will begin leasing space in the North Las Vegas City Hall this spring. Vice President of Finance Mary Kaye Bailey and her team will relocate to this space. The Facilities operation will relocate to the business building on the Cheyenne campus, thereby vacating space in the main building for faculty and staff offices.
CSN Student Body President William McCurdy Receives Prestigious MLK Award
On Jan. 17, I had the honor of attending the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Banquet at the Orleans with a great crew from CSN. Our very own ASCSN President William McCurdy, Jr., received the President’s Award at the event. This is an exceptional honor and we are very proud of William and his accomplishments.
Institutional Advisory Council
CSN’s new Institutional Advisory Council will meet for the first time on Feb. 4 at the NSHE Las Vegas system office. The first hour of the meeting will be teleconferenced with three northern community colleges’ institutional advisory councils for a joint presentation by American Association of Community Colleges President and CEO Dr. Walter Bumphus. The second half of the meeting will pertain to CSN. We have put the agenda and other supporting materials for this new body on the web. Go to www.csn.edu/iac for more information.
Town Halls Not Roundtables
The length of this Chronicle is indicative of the multitude of major events, happenings, initiatives and so forth that are underway at CSN. Therefore this semester, I will be conducting monthly town halls to update you on the Legislature and other happenings. There will be one per month and we will rotate among each of our campuses. You will see advertisements for these shortly. Please come and bring your questions!
The second annual Poster Fair on Student Success that took place on Jan. 12 was a fantastic event, enjoyed by all. This was a great way to share information about the unique projects each department has been working on and a demonstration of how engaged this college is in the mission of student success. My thanks to all of you for the work you do and the additional efforts to put together engaging and dynamic posters to communicate your important work.
New Web Design
I am excited to announce that the CSN website is being redesigned. This new redesign will focus on successfully marketing our college to future students and parents, while placing emphasis on converting visitors into students. The new website will feature great improvements that will benefit our target audience, including user personalization, interactive maps, guided video tours, improved page owner workflows, simplified degree and certificate processes, extended social capabilities, in addition to other enhancements designed to improve the visitor retention and overall experience.
A portal website is also being designed and launched for current students, faculty, and staff. The portal’s single sign-on functionality will allow users to login once and gain access to emails, class schedules, Canvas, faculty contacts, important forms, financial information and many more features that’s personalized to the user. In essence, the new portal will provide a dashboard that will help students, faculty, and staff get the best functionality out of multiple CSN internal applications, in one convenient location.
Faculty & Staff Questions:
“What is happening with the Northwest Campus?”
In December, President Obama signed the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument bill, which converts 22,650 acres to a national park and which also includes the 40-acre Northwest campus parcel. We have waited years for Congress to pass this legislation and are truly grateful. This will open access to postsecondary education in a growing corner of this valley. We are currently working with the City of Las Vegas to finalize the conveyance of the land to us and reviewing the previous plans for this campus’ build out. But in short, we are still a long way off from any ground breaking ceremony.
“Are enrollments up or down this spring?”
Enrollments this spring are slightly up compared to where they were at this time last year. Historically, spring enrollments are lower than fall’s numbers. However, we won’t have an accurate depiction until the mid-semester census.
“Why does the City of North Las Vegas want us to rename the Cheyenne campus?”
It is no secret that Mayor John Lee wants to rename the CSN Cheyenne campus the CSN North Las Vegas Campus. There was an article in the newspaper regarding this recently. Mayor Lee has advocated for such a renaming to help promote the campus to North Las Vegas residents and highlight the college’s presence in North Las Vegas. I continue to look for new ways to accomplish this purpose without a renaming and bring all three of our campuses closer to the diverse communities we serve. I believe our new Institutional Advisory Council will assist us with these efforts.
“What does the President’s proposal for free community college mean for us?”
In his Jan. 20 State of the Union, President Obama announced a $60 billion, 10-year plan, dubbed America’s College Promise that would pay for about three-fourths of a student’s tuition and fees at a community college in states that “opt in” to the program and agree to pay for the remaining tab. Students would have to attend at least half-time and maintain a 2.5 GPA while making steady progress toward their degrees.
First Congress would have to pass the President’s proposal or some version of it. Then states would have to agree to certain parameters and funding requirements and opt in to allow residents to participate. Most higher education experts are not optimistic that Congress will pass this proposal. The chair of the Education Committee has come out against it.
I know that some of you have heard from students on this proposal. Please urge them to contact their congressional delegates, Rep. Joe Heck, in particular, whereas he is on the Education Committee.
Let me know if you have additional questions.