- The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) has approved the Math & Science Building renovation/addition. A major renovation has not occurred with the Math & Science building since 1968. The possibility of the renovation/addition began with the 2012 CSC Facilities Plan. For a building to be renovated, it must be on the 10-Year Facilities Plan. While participating in the 2012 Facilities Plan may have seemed time consuming, efforts by Math & Science faculty, Deans, Foundation, President, Cabinet, and Dale Grant were vital. I appreciate the efforts of everyone who has kept this project moving forward.
The estimated cost of the renovation is $25.3 million. The source of funds includes private donations and $2 million in institutional cash funds. This building renovation illustrates what the College does with monies not expended during an academic year. Your careful management is greatly appreciated.
One of the criteria utilized by the CCPE was the degree that the renovation/addition addressed a rehabilitation need. The committee was convinced the need was high as the current building has numerous issues (e.g. HVAC; electrical infrastructure; building code deficiencies). The one area that obtained the lowest score and was of moderate concern was classroom utilization. Compared to nationally recognized standards, the Math & Science building usage is scheduled at 67% of national standards.
The projected operating and maintenance costs of the new renovated building will be $40-82K per year.
Now that the program statement has been approved by the CCPE, the project will be forwarded to the Legislature for ‘possible’ funding. We may or may not obtain the funding. Nonetheless many hurdles have been successful overcome. Consistent and relentless pursuit by a collective set of individuals is how progress is achieved in higher education.
- The Sandoz Center will pilot a “Practitioner-in-Residence” Program this fall. Private donors have made this possible and the pilot program is fully funded by private donations. If the program is successful, the College hopes that donors may be willing to continue to support the endeavor. The Practitioner-in-Residence will contribute to the enrichment of the community and region by providing learning opportunities, advancing understanding, and sharing and creating knowledge. Sarah Polak is coordinating this pilot, and Joy Omelanuk is assisting.
Tim Slessor is the inaugural Practitioner, and he is from the UK. His most recent books are More Than Cowboys and First Overland. During his career he worked with the BBC. Tim will be providing additional presentations to various higher education institutions, such as WNCC and UNK, as well as other organizations throughout the region. Contact Sarah for more information; Tim has expressed a willingness to speak with classes.
- An office assistant (OA) for the VPAA has been hired – Wendy Mahr. A search was conducted and included both internal and external candidates. The search committee made a recommendation and I concurred with that recommendation. Wendy is currently the OA for Dr. Jim Margetts, Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Essential Studies Program. A search will be initiated to find a replacement for Wendy. Until a replacement is found Wendy will split her time between the two offices. I would be grateful for your patience.
- If you have not been to the Library Learning Commons (LLC) recently, its transformation has been dramatic. As one individual mentioned to me, “Compared to 3 years ago it has transformed from mainly the individual who happens to wander into the building by mistake to a vibrant place on campus”. In addition, external recognition of the LLC has also occurred: The NMC Horizon Report (Library Edition) under the Open Content section (pages 40-41) — http://www.nmc.org/publications/2014-horizon-report-library. The transformation reminds me of the book The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg. Possibly the LLC may become the “Great Good Place”.
- At the next Board Meeting in November the following Board Policies (BP) will be updated.
- BP 4100 – Program Approval,
- BP 4200 – Program Review Procedure,
- BP 4420 – Dual Enrollment Course Delivered to High Schools,
- BP 5021 – Delegate Authority to Make Certain Appointments,
- BP 5025 — Volunteers, 5405 – Retirement Plan State College System.
Please provide feedback to faculty senate leadership (Drs. Lorie Hunn; Sandy Schaefer; Susan Schaeffer) and/or the deans.
If you would like to discuss any of the items within this update or other obstacles/problems, I will be at the Coffee Shop in the Library Learning Commons (LLC) from 9:00-10:00 am, Friday, 26 September. If this is not feasible please email me to suggest additional times.
Thank you for continuing to do your tremendous work. I appreciate your individual and collective efforts.