Board approves transition team

October 20, 2017 by Anonymous

A team of seven Northland Pioneer College employees from various locations and divisions will serve on a team to assist in the transition to a new president following the retirement of Dr. Jeanne Swarthout in June 2018. The Navajo County Community College District Governing Board approved the team members during its regular monthly meeting, October 17, in Holbrook.

“A new president will more quickly acclimate to the institution and its unique aspects of delivery of education, diversity of communities and distance with a team tasked with making the new individual feel welcomed and quickly at home in this new setting,” notes Swarthout.

Dr. Wei Ma, faculty in educational technology, will chair the team. Other members include Daphne Brimhall, Show Low campus library technician who has served the college since 1992; Michael Chance, Information Services technician based on the Winslow campus; Michael Colwell, Apache County centers' academic adviser; Deena Gillespie, records evaluator in the Records & Registration on the Holbrook campus; Cathy Reed, administrative assistant to the Dean of Nursing & Allied Health on the Show Low campus; and Gail Campbell, associate dean of Education and College & Career Preparation, based in Winslow, but has done extensive work with all three tribal nations in the district.

The timeline for reviewing semifinalists for the president's position has been pushed back approximately 12 days, but should still occur before the holidays, explained Chief Operations Officer Jason Foutz. Finalists should be visiting for onsite interviews in late January to early February, with the District Governing Board naming the new president by mid-February.  |  Executive Search Profile (PDF)

Maker Space Van

Other action items included approval of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Navajo County Education Service Agency (NCESA) to expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities at county school districts by using the mobile Maker Space Van. The van is equipped with STEM-related educational models, including programmable robots, rockets and science lab kits.

While substantial progress has been made on organizing the college's institutional data inventory, more work is still needed, according to President Swarthout who requested and received approval for a six-month extension on the contract with Geo Driven Consulting's Dr. Eva Putzova. “She has been a leader in restarting the Data Integrity and Governance Team, has met with numerous deans, faculty members and committees, and has been helped restructure our program review process to improve data collection. This progress and momentum must be sustained,” notes Swarthout.

The board also reviewed the 2016–17 audits for NPC Friends and Family and the Northeast Arizona Training Center (Jake Flake Emergency Services Institute), both separate but component units of the college. The audits found no issues and will be included as part of the Arizona Auditor General's audit document of the college's finances.

Regular monthly updates, the outcomes reports for the state's 10 community college districts and the biannual report from the Strategic Planning and Accreditation Committee (SPASC) rounded out the agenda. As part of the study to remove barriers to student success, NPC is evaluating a pilot program to provide a college fleet vehicle for students to carpool to science lab classes. The college is initiating a separate pilot to provide need-based transportation assistance grants. Details will be available through academic advisers prior to the start of the spring semester on January 16.

NPC Friends & Family has numerous scholarships available for the spring semester, most with a November 16 application deadline, explains Betsyann Wilson, executive director of the nonprofit alliance.  You can find details at Students can now request assistance to cover the $20 cost to take the placement test, to determine skill levels for many general education courses, through academic advisers at each NPC location.

Faculty Association President Pat Lopez outlined some of the recent “extra-curricular” activities of faculty members to provide a sense of how those activities enrich the learning environment for our students:

  • Dr. Michael Solomonson, faculty Speech & Theatre, played the lead role in a production of Macbeth at Arcosanti the last weekend in September. He was performing with Laark Productions, a small theatre company that operates all over Northern Arizona.
  • Dr. Allison Landy, faculty in Early Childhood Studies, was a presenter at the First Things First Early Childhood Summit, speaking on “Strengthening College and Career Pathways for Early Childhood Professionals.” She is also leading an NPC local Implementation Team on addressing access to high quality child care as a strategy to address student barriers to success.
  • Deborah Keith, faculty in Nursing, and Kenny Keith (no relation), faculty in Industrial Maintenance & Operations and Mechatronics, lead an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW), a four-day intensive in-house training on teaching best practices.
  • Lynne Browne-Wagner, faculty in Emergency Medical Technology, attended a National Association of ENT Educators conference in Washington, D.C. to learn new scenario-based teaching techniques and new technology available for instruction. She was also a guest lecturer on the Effects of Drug Abuse in Pregnancy and the Newborn at a conference of the Neonatal Network, Mother Baby Network and the March of Dimes in Las Vegas.
  • Randy Hoskins, faculty in welding, completed re-certification as a Certified Welding Inspector, the highest level of welding certification. Networking with other colleagues during the Denver testing, Hoskins confirmed that NPC welding program graduates have the skills and knowledge to be competitive in this field.
  • Magda Gluszek, 3-D art faculty, conducted a two-day workshop at Clay Arts Vegas, a Las Vegas community ceramic art studio and gallery, focusing on building expressive portrait heads and hands. She also juried the awards for one of their national annual exhibitions.
  • Dr. Richard Harris, faculty in Spanish and Education, and TALON grant Coordinator Renell Heister provided a presentation on NPC's use of Cisco technology in the TALON classrooms at the annual National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) in Washington, D.C. The presentation included video of Harris teaching and students in different classrooms in the video environment. And, despite being scheduled as the last presentation on the last day of the conference, several attendees shared that they stayed until the very end to see and hear the NPC presentation.
  • Dr. Eleanor Hempsey, who teaches biology at the Winslow campus, lead a workshop, “What are your big (teaching) ideas and what do you do with them?”, at the Western Regional Conference of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society in Albuquerque.

Chief Financial Officer Maderia Ellison reviewed the financial report for the first two months of the fiscal year. Revenues and expenditures to date match anticipated levels, with the bulk of property tax and state support funds expected to arrive in the coming months.

Following the regular meeting, the board started “Thinking About the Future” during a brainstorming retreat with the executive team. Several possible options to strengthen or develop revenue streams, improve efficiency and reduce operational costs will be researched, with findings and proposals presented at future governing board meetings.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, November 21, in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. Copies of the agenda and the start time for the meeting will be posted online at least 24 hours in advance.

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