President’s State of the College address
Friday Jan 29, 2009
President of Coconino Community College, Dr .Leah L Bornstein started the meeting on a positive note thanking the facilities and security departments for a job well done on snow removal during the recent storms. She also thanked marketing/PR and IT departments for the successful new Web site launch.
Dr. Bornstein also noted that there are many positive signs both nationally, state wide and in Coconino County favoring community colleges. She specifically referenced the State of the Union address where President Obama mentioned programs that are designed to help community colleges. National organizations like the Arizona Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (AACT) and other organizations banding together with a common legislative agenda.
Due to all of these efforts, community colleges are at the forefront of economic recovery and the Workforce Development Act, and other political movements designed to create jobs and stimulate economic recovery. Massive increases in enrollment have occurred nationwide and there is a national movement to improve college readiness. Veteran’s education is also on the radar as is teacher effectiveness. Dr Bornstein referred to these positive developments and noted that we as a college are embracing all of this and are equally busy, moving quickly to provide a sustainable product to our students.
Some states are creating their own legislation that is affecting the way community colleges operate, but at this time Arizona has not seen drastic changes in this area. Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico have proposed that full-time faculty teach one class per semester gratis to accommodate the increases of students and to fill the gap created by furloughs. Colorado is considering merging urban colleges, and creating a separation of rural and urban colleges. New Mexico, is considering merging or aligning community colleges with universities.
State wide there are several potential grant opportunities that could positively affect community colleges in our state including the Race to The Top and Making Opportunities Affordable/ Lumina Grant. The Lumina Grant is designed to look at the entire system of higher education from funding to higher education structure. Dr. Bornstein also mentioned that the Arizona Legislature is testing many new ideas. Some of those ideas or discussions have become rumors. Dr. Bornstein spoke specifically about a rumor regarding the possibility that the state may chose not to match Perkins Grant funds and cautioned the leadership at the College not to make decisions based on rumor. She mentioned that many of the discussions that are taking place in the legislature will not become concrete until May or June.
Locally, the Alliance, (local government supported agencies like the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Flagstaff Unified School District, Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College) has aligned with Flagstaff 40 to provide a united front. The Alliance has communicated its concerns to Flagstaff 40, a group that is gaining momentum as an influential organization much like the Southern Arizona Leadership Committee (SALC) in Southern Arizona and Greater Phoenix Leadership Committee (GLP) in Phoenix. The community joint legislative message proposes a one cent sales tax. Included in the message was a proposal for no more cuts in funding to education (K-12, universities and community colleges). The Flagstaff 40 group also offered their expertise as businesses to help the state find solutions to the current crisis.
Dr. Bornstein also addressed the District Governing Board advocacy team concept and encouraged participation from faculty, staff and students. The advocacy team will be responsible for community and state wide outreach, presenting facts about the College’s challenges, accomplishments and contributions to the Coconino County community. The committee will be responsible for drafting a plan and then taking action on a local and state level. Dr. Bornstein requested that interested folks call or send her or Joan White an email.
Dr. Bornstein also mentioned that as of December, we have achieved over 59% of our year 2 strategic plan goals and that many great successes are being accomplished in spite of the economic adversity. Self study is moving forward, and that there will be surveys circulated soon to support the effort.
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Kathleen Corak presented, and discussed the fact that academic affairs will also be reorganizing over the next 18 months, but that they have already pruned about 100 programs and will be eliminating more courses over the next 18 months. Many of the decisions being made are a direct correlation to state funding cuts. Dr Corak stated that the District Governing Board will need to focus their mission differently, and that they are in the research phase of the reorganization, currently looking at other state models as part of the process. Other topics include the examination of prospects for remodeling, campus hours, reduction of elective courses, and more Web based CTS cost -saving ideas to continue cutting copy costs. Dr. Corak also wanted to point out that even though we are in difficult times, there have been many major accomplishments by faculty and staff that have kept the college moving forward. Specifically;
A reverse transfer program that will give students the opportunity to apply 300 and 400 level classes from four year universities toward an Associates’ degree at CCC.
An outstanding effort by faculty to make Snappy Advising work, giving those that participated true gratification through advising.
Dr. Corak publicly thanked IT for addressing a problem during the snow day closures averting a major communication problem between faculty and students.
Dr. Corak mentioned that although we were not successful in securing the Pathways Out Of Poverty grant, the effort showed how well we can work together as a team and accomplish so much in a short amount of time.
The Higher Learning Commission self study process is moving along rapidly and that key employees would be attending a conference in Chicago to learn more about continuing accreditation.
550 high school students are dual enrolled at CCC and we have another 100 CAVIAT students.
The community and corporate learning division of the college is going gangbusters providing high level training for major corporations like Nestle Purina, North Country Health Care, Deckers Outdoor and others. She also mentioned the upcoming entrepreneur academy.
Science lab gift from the city of Flagstaff relating to the STEM program.
Dr. Corak noted that she was very proud of all of the accomplishments in spite of difficult times.
Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Rebecca Warfield presented, noting that at this time our full time student equivalency (FTSE) numbers for the spring 2010 Semester were up nearly 9% over the previous year, but that the numbers would not be official until March of 2010. She also spoke about the student affairs reorganization where 3 models were created from 7 months of discussion and feedback, with one of the three chosen and will be implemented July 1, 2010. Input and feedback was sought internally from student affairs staff and from state and nation wide models during the process. Rebecca noted the new model will encourage continuation of a cross divisional team (similar to the SALT group) in an effort to put the student’s first and finding ways to serve the student population more effectively. Rebecca then discussed the CCC/NAU library merger, mentioning that it was a feasibility research discussion that took place over 6 months and where results were not presented until December 18th. She discussed that there is a collections team, and an IT team charged with implementation. The timeline starts in February with data trials, March collections, April Employee Development Day joint session with NAU and CCC, May Web site design, and completion of the merger targeted for July of 2010. A TRIO grant application was submitted to help add new services for students. Finally, it was mentioned that financial aid disbursement direct deposited to students will increase efficiencies.
Vice President of Business & Administrative Services, Jami Van Ess started her presentation on a positive note mentioning that CCC had received its third quarter payment from the state of Arizona. On another positive note, Jami announced that CCC has successfully negotiated a ground lease for a cell tower that is being constructed on the Lone Tree campus, providing annual revenue of $30,000. She also mentioned that we are moving forward on the science lab project, and that Sustainable Financial Plan collaboration between the business, purchasing and HR departments has provided substantial savings.
State cuts over the last year are at about $805,703, with another 15% cut expected for FY10. Jami said that we have examined 3 different models reflecting total state cuts for FY11, and that the model the business office is working with is model B, which shows a cut of about 1.3 million in state funding which includes cuts that have already been made with anticipated cuts. Jami noted that we have been and will continue to balance the state cuts with a combination of Sustainable Financial Plan initiatives and revenue enhancements. Jami also discussed a brainstorming session during a budget managers meeting, where different ideas to help ease the financial burden on the college were discussed and voted upon. When tabulated the top three results from the budget session included the following results: 1. Tuition increase. 2. Reduction in credit card fees paid by the college and possible implementation of the use of a Hire 1 card. 3. Efficient use of facilities.
At this time she presented several different scenarios that involved Sustainable Financial Plan initiatives and potential revenue enhancements including tuition increases*. She went on to discuss projected deficits for the upcoming years through FY13. The board will be setting tuition rates and fees in February of this year. A presentation regarding potential tuition raises will be held during the student forum on February 9th.
The President’s State of the College address was concluded with a question and answer session facilitated by President, Dr. Leah L. Bornstein.
*Note attached spread sheet for explanation of balancing sustainable financial plan initiatives with revenue enhancements.