The CSN Chronicle
This May 2015 Chronicle is intended to provide you with the latest news and information as the academic year comes to an end. Many of you will be gone from our campuses when the Legislature finalizes our budget and acts on other business, and there is much activity on many fronts that I’d like you to know about.
On Monday, May 18, CSN’s commencement ceremony will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center at 6 p.m. A record number of students will graduate. We will also recognize Mr. Dennis Birr with an honorary degree to honor him for leading our terrific CSN High School program for more than 10 years. I hope you will join us for this special tribute to our students.
NSHE Budget Status
- The Economic Forum projections of revenue for the next biennium came out May 1, putting a $170 million hole in the Governor’s proposed budget. Even if lawmakers approve his revenue package or something like it, the Legislature will have major decisions to make if the state is to maintain a flat budget for the next biennium.
- The initial closing of the higher education budget took place Thursday, May 7. In general, the higher education budget is in good shape and we are positive about the future. Lawmakers expressed hope and positive sentiments toward several initiatives for which there is yet no funding, including state-funded grants for low-income students, the workforce development fund and merit for professional staff. We have made a strong case for these items. We know that legislators, including leadership understand them and there is ample support for them. However, at this point, it is a matter of finding the money to implement them in some form.
As legislative action draws to a close in early June, I will issue a message to the college community about the final outcomes.
Good News—Our Students
On May 1, at the Outstanding Student Awards Ceremony, we recognized 21 exceptional students. Scholarships and tributes to the students were widely shared, and this year’s Regents Scholar award was presented to Trehixi Galvan. Many awardees were members of Phi Theta Kappa, our national honorary, an organization critical to CSN for its benefits to students. PTK students complete their certifications or degrees at a much higher rate than the general student population, and they are eligible for remarkable scholarships to four-year institutions. This year, a CSN PTK student was awarded one of four national $20,000 scholarships to Boston University! A wonderful achievement! Another CSN student Selene Moreno received a prestigious Boren Scholarship, a rarity for a community college student and the first ever awarded to a CSN student!
I’m delighted to share this news about our students. We have excellent students who achieve because of dedicated faculty and staff and a commitment of many hours of hard work from everyone. Thank you all for your outstanding service to CSN.
Vice President of Student Affairs
I am proud to announce that Juanita LeFlore Chrysanthou will join us as the new Vice President of Student Affairs, beginning Sept. 1.
Juanita comes to CSN from the Lone Star College System in Texas, where she served as vice chancellor of student success. As many of you who participated in the national search and public forums for the VPSA candidates this fall will recall, Juanita is familiar with the Nevada System of Higher Education, whereas she served five years as vice president of student services at Truckee Meadows Community College. She has ample experience leading student success initiatives, including her tenure as the vice president of learning services at Bakersfield College, where she co-directed a Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions grant. In addition, she brings significant experience in financial aid and student enrollment planning to this office.
Juanita received her Bachelor of Arts and a master’s in counseling, guidance & PPS from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and is currently working toward her Ed.D. in Leadership from the American College of Education.
I want to thank all of you who participated in the search process. Please help welcome Juanita to the CSN family when she arrives this fall.
CSN Connections events were held on all three campuses leading up to enrollment beginning for the fall 2015 semester. The events featured free food and music for our students, and booths featuring information on all the services CSN offers. We had dozens of information booths, including transfer advisors for UNLV and Nevada State College, the CSN Libraries, the Writing and Tutorial Centers, and much more. The events not only provide vital information for students, but help ensure their success by making sure they have a chance to meet faculty, staff and administrators. Studies show that students who are more familiar with their college are more likely to succeed.
The Office of Community Relations, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, along with the student Living Sociology Club and the Associated Students of the College of Southern Nevada, sponsored a CSN Student Diversity Fair. Designed to bring people from diverse backgrounds together, the fair featured information on everything from the homeless in southern Nevada to the many volunteering opportunities available in the community. I’d like to thank the faculty, staff and students involved in putting together this wonderful event.
New Student Body President
Congratulations are in order for Christopher Jones (see above photo), the newly elected president of the Associated Students of the College of Southern Nevada. Jones, who served as a student senator from the Charleston campus this semester, will take over from William McCurdy II, who has distinguished himself as president. Jones is studying urban planning and hopes to establish a career in real estate development. His plans for the upcoming academic year will include effective communication with students to discover their wants and needs, and working as their elected advocate. Please join me in congratulating Jones on his election.
United Way Payroll Deductions
After much thought, we have decided to discontinue the annual drives to solicit payroll deducted contributions for United Way of Southern Nevada. The logic behind this is that we could not provide similar opportunities for other organizations and it competed with our CSN Foundation’s efforts to increase employee donations to our students.
If you wish to continue your monthly payroll deductions to United Way, you may absolutely continue to do so. If at some point you wish to stop, or change the amount deducted, please contact HR and they can assist you with these endeavors. If you ever wish to donate directly to United Way, which is a wonderful organization and CSN community partner, providing resources and services to many needs in this valley, please go to http://uwsn.org/ to learn more. You can also find engagement opportunities at uwsn.org/volunteer. We look forward to enhancing our relationship with United Way in other ways and helping to promote their efforts – as well as those of other organizations – through other mediums.
Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:
“Will we have the ability to work four 10-hour work weeks in the summer?”
Before furloughs and budget cuts, some employees had a flexible summer option. We will not be returning to that this year, although, it might be considered in the future.
“What policies have been approved this year?”
A number of policy revisions were adopted in the past academic year, and we’ll prepare a summary of them in my summer Chronicle. It’s important that policy information be widely communicated throughout the college community, and that process will shortly begin.
I hope to see many of you at graduation to celebrate the success of our students.
Have a great summer!