July 8, 2016
Dear NGS Faculty:

I hope you had a glorious 4th of July weekend to celebrate Independence Day.  The Cape is now a bustling town with summer people settling in, and I am confident our merchants would say that they are grateful to have them here. I must admit, it is a joy to share our town of Falmouth in the summer, but we Cape Codders agree that early Fall might just be the best time.  I hope you can enjoy some time with family and friends this summer too.  Instead of curling, I hit the greens and try to play 9 holes of golf twice a week. Let me know if you ever want to venture out with me! At the bottom of the letter is a picture of me in a golf cart I decorated with a friend for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Golf Tournament. And yes, we won the best decorated cart (and closest to pin and longest drive for me).
  1. Technology Update. My first update relates to technology and I am eager to share that we are in the process of a large upgrade to our Jenzabar platform. The updated platform will allow us to run more data-driven reports and assist with tracking our students.  Elaine Moore, our IT Director, writes:

    "We are upgrading our Jenzabar System to a newer version.  The improved Portal will have a new look and it is very exciting. One of the upgrades is about the use of the NGS DropBox. You will no longer need the NGS DropBox because assignments will be uploaded to their own location in the week they are assigned. You will be able to download them in bulk for correcting.  You will still have discussion forums; these will also be located
    in the week they are assigned, not in a large Communications location as they are now. For many of you using other learning management systems (like Moodle, Blackboard), you are already used to these changes. When we have our test server up and running, then Dr. Sullivan and I will be creating the revised appearance of our courses. We will then have training sessions to demonstrate how to use the new system. As you will find, the upgrade will solve many of the issues that have been brought to our attention by faculty and students."

    We will keep you informed with the upgrade and send out information in the near future. 
  2. Faculty Training and Self-Assessment Update. Previous faculty letters summarized the required NGS Faculty trainings. For all Faculty teaching in any degree program: If you have not completed the required training, please do so (in Faculty Resources) as we are tracking the responses and you will need to complete the training prior to a new faculty assignment. Also, please watch the degree specific webinar in your program's folder. If you have completed the training and you are currently teaching, or have a future assignment to teach, complete the Faculty Self-Evaluation and Assessment Form. This form is available in Faculty Resources. Submit the completed form to Academic Affairs (AA) at NGS before the end of August. Program Chairs and I will be reviewing these forms and then communicating with you about our reflections. The suggestions for future trainings are being taken into account and we will be planning those soon.
  3. Catalog and Student Handbook and Faculty Handbook. Please be sure to read both the Student and Faculty Handbooks (all on the portal and the Student Handbook is on our NGS website at: http://ngs.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/NGS-Catalog-and-Student-Handbook-2016-2017-updated-6_9_2016.pdf ) and be aware of essential information. It is important that as a faculty member, you know about not only the course you are teaching, but about the Degree Program, attendance policies, classroom behavior guidelines, grading policies (including Incompletes), and transfer of cohort procedures. If you have any questions or just need us to review policies, please be sure to reach out to me, or the Manager of each Degree Program (Pippi at psawyer@ngs.edu for DBA, or Maura at mburke@ngs.edu for BSc and MS). The course descriptions for BSc and MS Programs have also been slightly revised to reflect CDC work over the past year. With respect to the Faculty Handbook, please also be sure to review the updated contents. This Handbook can be found in your Faculty resource area too. Email me or call with any questions and please let me know if there is anything we should be including here for your reference that is not included.
  4. Communication with Academic Affairs (AA), Program Chairs, and NGS. Thank you for keeping the lines of communication open and for emailing or calling us if we can assist with your teaching in any way. We are here to help you and want to be sure we are working together to best serve our students. We appreciate your communication prior to the Faculty Hand Off  Form (if there are student problems). I can assure you that AA and Program Chairs spend a great deal of time solving student issues. I continue to be impressed with you, our faculty, and am indebted to our Program Chairs who work as faculty leaders for each Degree Program (Thank you again Dr. Patricia Murrin, Professor Jack Kovalcik, and Dr. David Braga for all your teamwork with AA and our faculty and students. Your behind the scenes hours are appreciated.) Finally, the take away for this 4th update on communication  is to keep us in the "loop" and let us know early if there is anything we can do to help you and your students be successful with us at NGS. It is best we don't let any student service matter snowball.
  5. Faculty Grading and Payment Reminder Update. When you are assigned a course to teach, please be sure to send the signed contract back in a timely fashion. As the assigned Faculty for a given course or Dissertation Chair, you will fulfill your contract by  teaching the course and then entering student grades in NGS Portal within six (6) days of the last class meeting date or course end date.  Faculty must send an email to the Registrar and Program Managers (Pippi or Maura) stating grades have been entered into the Student Information System as well as report back about any outstanding student issues. Please note that these steps are critical as they trigger the internal process for you to be paid. We want to be sure you are paid as soon as possible upon completion of your tasks.
  6. Book Recommendation.

    If you have not read Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson, also the co-author of The One Minute Manager, then I highly recommend this little story. The parable is about two mice and two people who are looking for their "cheese." Of course, the cheese is the "what" you are searching for to be happy at home and work. Even the names of the mice and people (Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw) have meaning. Who am I? Who are you? No matter how you use the book, I recommend it to everyone. It is a short one, too, but it's packed with ideas on how you can and should reflect on change. As a Faculty member it might help for you to reflect on why you are teaching and what other "cheese" you might want to find.  
    If you want to watch the YouTube movie the here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16hxCB1Dvd4 
Take care everyone and stay in touch. I enjoy hearing from you out there in cyber land and welcome phone calls and emails and even visits if you are near the Cape. Thank you for your teaching and for working with our NGS adult learners. I boast about the dedication and passion of our Faculty and am delighted to be working with you. Enjoy your teaching.
Eileen C. Sullivan, Ed.D.
Interim Dean, Academic Affairs
The National Graduate School of Quality Management
186 Jones Road  |  Falmouth, MA 02540
800.838.2580 ext. 121

Follow me on Twitter  @esullivan_ngs 
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My personal curling blog: goodcurling.blogspot.com