December Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle

This is the December CSN Chronicle.  You may note that Chronicles are posted on my blog for your convenience and as a way of letting me share with you some of the news and questions raised by our faculty and staff members.   

iNtegrate Project and Hiring

iNtegrate was a handle created several years ago to describe our new administrative computing system.  The idea was to represent Nevada electronically integrated for all administrative computing.  CSN is ready in 2010 to begin “production” of its student information system (SIS).   To help with the transition and the continuing operation of the new system, CSN joined with other NSHE schools to request an addition to the technology fee.  The Board approved the request.  Revenues from this fee will support the hiring of several new positions that you will soon see announced.   Among the positions are user and information security specialists.  I bring this to your attention because when you see the position announcements, you may have questions about the resources for the positions and what the jobs are all about.  Please let me know if you’d like more information on the iNtegrate project.     

Check out this blog regularly at http://blog.csn.edu. We post updates and other information frequently here for your convenience and comments. 

Accreditation Changes

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) oversees the regional accreditation of CSN.   For the past several years, members of the Commission have worked with representatives from member institutions to revise accreditation standards, and that work has now been completed.  Accreditation will be a very different process for colleges and universities.  It will be a process of continuous improvement, regular reporting (about every other year), assessment at institutional and program levels, and driven by data and themes.  In CSN’s case, the themes are derived from our mission statement:  access, quality and diversity.   We will be integrating the new process into our organizational structure as we begin preparations for the first CSN submittal that is due fall 2011.   Work for our report will involve departments, divisions, schools, and offices of the College.  And down the road, I fully expect that as we engage this new process, we will be asked to provide assessment data at the course level.  This would be a significant change for CSN as departments would need to determine and assess course outcomes for the curriculum.  Course level assessment may not be required for the first report, but it’s coming, so we’ll need to prepare.    

September sales tax revenues were down 17.7%, continuing downward pressure on state revenues.  Although I have not heard anything official about a special session of the Legislature, we are anticipating state action on the budget and on an issue affecting public education.  We have taken limited precautions in preparation for a budget cut just in case.  If I hear anything official from the state, I’ll certainly share it with you.      

 Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“Will classified employees be required to take a second furlough day?”

As of this writing, I am not aware of any such requirement.  There are rumors about a second day, but that’s all it is—a rumor.  You may recall that the State Personnel Office provides governance of classified employees.  To my knowledge, State Personnel has not changed the furlough requirement.

 “The media are reporting possible 1.5% and 3% budget cuts.  What’s that about and will CSN be implementing a cut?”

The Governor’s staff raised the possibility of a budget cut and asked for plans at reduction levels of 1.5% and 3%.  Chancellor Klaich reported this to the Board of Regents at its December meeting.  No action was taken on the request.  System staff and members of the Board are awaiting further and more definitive information. 

“Will CSN be offering an employee buyout program this year?”

 For the past two years we have offered a buyout program for professional employees.  Although this program has helped with the budget crisis, we often lose experienced faculty and staff with such a program.  Continuity and leadership are victims of buyout programs.  We have this option in our pocket in case the fiscal situation worsens, and we’ll hold it until there is a clear need.

Best wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Let’s enjoy this holiday season.  I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

  –Mike Richards

About Michael.Richards

The Board of Regents unanimously selected Dr. Michael D. Richards in May 2008 as the eighth permanent President of the College of Southern Nevada, where he supports the College’s mission to create an educated and diverse workforce for Southern Nevada. Dr. Richards came to CSN in 2005 as the vice president for academic affairs, leaving his position as associate provost at Southern Utah University after 23 years. While at SUU, he also had the positions of vice president for planning and technology, vice president for university affairs and associate professor of business. He began his career in higher education as an adjunct faculty member at a community college in Alabama, and in the mid-1970s was on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He brings a wealth of collegiate and business, four-year and two-year institutional experience to the College. He has taught English and management courses and has developed a record of scholarship through publications and presentations at state, regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy (1970) from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, a Master of Arts in English from Utah State University (1972) and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Denver (1979). The Board of Regents appointed Dr. Richards as interim president of CSN in August 2007 after the departure of President Richard Carpenter (2004-2007). The regents then selected Dr. Richards for the permanent position following a national search by the ad hoc CSN President Search Committee. As President of the College, Dr. Richards is responsible for 2,274 employees, approximately 43,000 students and a budget of more than $130 million.
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