November Chronicle

The CSN Chronicle 

The CSN Chronicle for November sets the tone for the holiday season and for the coming legislative session.  This is an opportunity for me to share information with the CSN family and to address questions that have broad interest.       

Holiday Celebration

Our annual holiday party will be held at Texas Station at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 9th.   Sponsored by the CSN Foundation, this event has quickly become a college tradition, a time to socialize and to share.  Please mark your calendar, get your tickets and plan to be with us.   Again this year we will be collecting food donations (cans and sealed packaged items) for Three Square.  CSN collected more than 800 pounds of food last year, and we’d like to top 1,000 pounds this year.  

Preliminary budget information from the Sandoval administration is that executive budget recommendations will reflect a roll back to pre-recession levels.  This is not an encouraging sign for higher education, although there is interest in allowing institutions greater authority to set tuition and fee rates and to retain the revenues collected.  Working through the complexity of issues we face in the next several months will take considerable time and attention.  We are already meeting with our employee groups to share some of the issues and concerns.    

Degree Attainment and CSN

Last month’s Chronicle described the goals of Complete College America and the Obama Administration’s efforts to fund more certificate and degree completions.  Paralleling these initiatives are renewed accountability and public communication activities at the national level.  The American Association of Community Colleges is launching a Voluntary Framework of Accountability that will be piloted by three dozen colleges this year.  And there are new proposals for better measuring student success in community colleges.

Developmental education is at the forefront of many of the completion and student success discussions. Even within Nevada, developmental education is receiving attention from academic officers and presidents. 

One overarching concern is that if we do not engage CSN constructively in the accountability, degree attainment, and developmental education conversations, we’ll be directed to make changes.  I believe it is better to be part of the dialog to help shape policy than to react and become defensive.  Hence, I have widely shared the CSN accountability report and process, and encouraged our “Project Graduate” initiative, internal discussions on our own efforts to augment certificate and degree attainment (You’ll be hearing more about this in the coming months.), and our own review of developmental education.     

The Workplace Climate Survey is now open for your input.  Please take time to complete the survey.  Your answers will be anonymous and a committee of faculty and staff, led by officers of our employee groups, will review the findings and submit recommendations to the administration.  My goal with this survey is to improve the organizational culture of CSN to the extent we can.  The survey will remain open until January 23.  Please note that by now you should have received your survey form.         

Mystery Shopping and CAPE

During fall semester a team of researchers assessed the customer service experience of individuals contacting CSN with a combination of in-person, telephone-based, and web-based mystery shopping.  All three campuses were involved, and the final report of the assessment is due the second week of December.  However, early findings are helping us shape CAPE training sessions at the beginning of spring semester.    As our CAPE folks design and offer in-service training this year, please review the offerings carefully and participate in the opportunities CAPE provides

VOIP Telephone Upgrade

As many of you many know, we are upgrading our telephone system to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system.  This will provide a more efficient and cost-effective phone system and allow CSN to improve its technology infrastructure.  For some of you, this will mean a new telephone, some inconvenience and a new system to learn.   Please be patient during this migration and the change it represents.     

Cheyenne Renovations

During the 2001 spring semester, we will see more renovations on our Cheyenne campus, and with renovation will come inconvenience.  By fall semester, however, we should have new science labs, and the long-term use of portable science labs that will give us greater capacity for lab classes at Cheyenne.  We will also expand the painting and re-carpeting project.  Many thanks to Associate Vice President Sherri Payne and her wonderful staff for these much-needed improvements! 

Questions from Faculty and Staff Members:

“What changes occurred in intercollegiate athletics?”

Over the past two weeks, CSN has made some leadership changes within the athletic department, which you may have seen discussed in the news. These developments have required us to act quickly to ensure our players the best possible chance of success next season.

I would like to ask you to help welcome Marc Morse as interim athletic director at CSN and Nick Garritano as the new baseball coach. Both of these individuals will help our players attain their athletic and academic goals during the coming season.

Marc has played an integral role in the success of the college’s athletic program with his time, passion and support. He served as infield coach under former CSN Athletic Director and Baseball Coach Tim Chambers. In addition, he and his family have been leaders in raising well over a million dollars for CSN athletics. He comes to this position with expertise in athletics, knowledge of NJCAA rules and regulations, coaching and fund raising, essential qualities for an athletic director of a successful program almost entirely funded with private dollars. A community college alumnus with deep roots in Las Vegas, he understands the value of CSN to this community.

Coach Garritano comes to CSN with more than 12 years of success at Green Valley High School, including two Nevada State National Championship titles. Garritano has proven himself a tremendous leader on and off the field. A recipient of the 2007 Secondary South East Region Distinguished Educator Award, he coached six All-Americans and 10 players who have been drafted into Major League Baseball. He will report directly to the athletic director.

We are very pleased to have both of these individuals lead our players and our program and look forward to following the Coyotes this upcoming season.

The CSN Foundation Board of Trustees—ever supportive of CSN and its students—met this month to map its objectives and strategies for the next year.  The Trustees settled on three areas:  institutional support, scholarships, and capital projects.  We will be customizing our fundraising around these themes.    

Enjoy the events of international education week and Native American heritage month.

 Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

  –Mike Richards

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