February 6, 2018
Vickie Shields
Where did January go? With the combination of the beautiful Southern Nevada sunshine and the excitement of starting a new semester, January flew right by and now the semester is in full swing. The year started with very good news from the NSHE System and the Board of Regents: the Board approved our plans for spending the $1.5 million that the system office gave NSC out of their investment dividends. Within that request were five new full-time faculty positions and enhanced mental health services for students. Between now and December 2018 we will be searching for two new English composition lecturers and two Math lecturers. We also have authority to hire our first lecturer for the new Visual Media degree-completion program at TMCC. This faculty member will live and work in Northern Nevada and TMCC students can receive first their AA degrees and then their NSC degree while spending their entire program at TMCC. This endeavor is a further step in fulfilling our state-wide mission.
Dr. Zach Woydziak Wins Major Honor
A heart-felt congratulations goes out to our own Faculty Senate Chair and Chemistry Associate Professor, Zachary Woydziak, who has won the Regent’s Teaching Award for 2018! A state-wide committee, with representation from across the NSHE institutions, selected Zach as Nevada’s teacher extraordinaire. Academics from across the state rarely agree on anything, but they all agreed that Zach’s work with students is exceptional. Thank you, Zach, for all you do at NSC.
The award will not be finalized until the announcement at the Board of Regents meeting in early March, but we were told by Vice Chancellor Abba that it was okay to inform the campus of the committee’s recommendation. Shout it from the rooftops!!
Getting on the Grid
This may not be the coolest thing to admit, but I am very excited that we are piloting the new scheduling grid for fall 2018. The new scheduling proposal will be fully vetted through Faculty Senate over the next two meetings. However, in order to try it out for fall 2018 our amazing schedulers needed to get started in January. Thank you to everyone who has been so cooperative as we implement this new system. I am positive that our students will soon see the benefit of a more student-friendly class schedule, faculty will enjoy not running up against overlapping class start times, and we, as an institution, will begin making better and more innovative use of our physical classroom space.
Provost Office Gets Its Leadership On!
On February 2nd (groundhog’s day), the Provost’s Office executive team held a retreat off-campus. We focused on our leadership skills and on team-building by exploring our individual and group workstyles. We used the text Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership, by Janice Marturano, to explore mindfulness and compassion in our everyday work, a philosophy, we agreed, that could extend into many other areas on campus. We used the day to focus on the big ideas we would like to inform our strategic direction as a team this year.
Tony Scinta
The Big Board

Among the many ongoing initiatives we are working on in the provost's office, I targeted five "Big Goals" to complete by June 30th of this year. The goals were selected because they are important, based on information ranging from IR data to Climate Survey responses, and because they include concrete objectives that we can achieve in a 6-month period. They are (in no particular order):

  1. Enhance the First-Year Experience (i.e., add at least one element to the FYE that began in fall '17 with revamped College Success courses taught by our three FYE lecturers)
  2. Improve the transfer pipeline with CSN 
  3. Improve communication to students from offices in the provost's purview 
  4. Identify the next major retention/graduation catalyst of success
  5. Establish a system of professional advancement for our professional staff
The foremost people working with me on these goals are the five members of my fantastic team - Gwen Sharp, Rich Yao, Andrea Martin, Sandip Thanki, and Gregory Robinson. I expect that this group will do great things for our students, their colleagues, and the institution itself, and I firmly believe they can figure out almost anything, with the exception perhaps of what Sandip is doing in this picture to the right. Fortunately, he's too much of an IR genius for anyone to care.  
Gwen Sharp
GradFIT Applications are Open 

GradFIT is a five-day, intensive academic program for first-generation college students and students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in attending graduate school in the following disciplines: Business, English, Journalism, Engineering, Hydrologic Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Psychology, Social Work, and Public Health. This year’s GradFIT takes place Monday, May 21, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018 at the University of Nevada, Reno. NSC pays for travel and UNR covers all remaining costs, including program materials, lodging, and meals.

NSC will provide funding for up to 10 students; we have 8 applicants so far, so please encourage your students to apply at https://www.unr.edu/gradfit by Monday, March 5, 2018.

Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Conference (URCWC)

The URCWC conference is April 20, 2018, on our campus. If you have students conducting research or completing creative works, encourage them to apply to the conference at http://nsc.edu/apply-urcw (abstracts due March 5, 2018).

We will also need faculty and staff to serve as reviewers and judges; if you'd like to volunteer, enter your info on this spreadsheet .

Seed Grants Due Monday, February 26th

The Office of the Provost sponsors the Seed Grant competition every fall and spring. Funds up to $2,000 are awarded to full-time faculty to conduct scholarly/creative work that will put them in a better position to present or publish their work and/or apply for external funding. Applications for the spring competition are due to Gwen.Sharp@nsc.edu by 5 p.m. on Monday, February 26th. If you would like help with your submission, email Cordellia Vanover , our Pre-Awards Grants Coordinator.

Convocation RSVPs Due by Wednesday, February 7th

Convocation is less than two weeks away, on Friday, February 16th. Don't forget to RSVP by this Wednesday so we get your lunch preference and other important info.


Part of my position is to assist in developing needed campus policies. A number of policies were already largely ready to go to Faculty Senate and other groups before I moved to the Provost's Office (huge thanks to Laura Naumann and Amber Lopez Lasater!); Senate considered the following policies at the February meeting yesterday:
  • Procedure on Policy (establishes a process for introducing and getting all necessary approvals for policies)
  • Revisions to the Promotion & Tenure guidelines (approved)
  • Registered Sex Offenders Policy (required by NSHE)
  • Grievance Policy
  • Extra-contractual Compensation (ECC) Policy (addresses how many overload courses faculty can teach throughout the year; approved)

If you have questions about any of these or haven't seen copies, reach out to your Senate representatives.

The following policies or policy revisions are in early stages of the drafting process; I will continue working on them this spring and sending them to relevant units for feedback:
  • Student Complaint Policy (required by NSHE, and will be presented to Senate in March; clarifies how students can submit complaints that don't fall under existing policies or procedures)
  • Department Chairs Policy (revisions to improve timeline for elections and feedback form)
  • Multiple Majors Policy (requested by Registrar to clarify requirements for students pursuing 3+ majors simultaneously).
Gregory Robinson
ASHA Application Completed!

To begin our MEd in Speech Language Pathology, the School of Education needed to complete a detailed application to ASHA 18 months before students could be admitted. The 140+ page application was a Herculean effort, but I'm happy to say that Dean Potthoff and Dr. Meyerowitz submitted it by the February 1st deadline, which should allow us to begin the program in August 2019. One of the next big steps will be developing the guidelines to admit students into a graduate program. 

TFI, SSI, No-Cost Textbooks, and Active Learning

We've got a lot planned for this summer to help you further your goals in teaching and scholarship, including: 

  • The Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI), which will focus on online course development. I'll lead this one during the first summer session;
  • The Summer Scholarship Institute (SSI), which helps faculty with research projects and other scholarship. Gwen Sharp will lead this effort in the second summer session;
  • The No-Cost Textbook Institute, which helps faculty find freely available materials for their classes;
  • An Active Learning Workshop, led by Chris Garrett and the CTLE. 

The workshops provide stipends and guided assistance to participating faculty. We'll send out specific details soon.

Online Programs

What is the future of online degrees at NSC? We currently support the RN-to-BSN online, and we offer quite a few online classes: In spring 2018, 29% of NSC's classes are entirely online (181 online sections, 20 hybrid sections, 428 in-person sections). I'll be speaking with faculty about online programs throughout the semester, but if you have any strong feelings, please send them my way. For example, if you know of a program that would work well in an online environment, I'd love to hear about it.

ACUE's Course in Effective Teaching Practices

In January, representatives from ACUE presented to the Provost's Office on their Course in Effective Teaching Practices. It is an impressive course that covers over 200 evidence-based teaching practices. If you are interested in seeing a sample of their course, you can view some of their materials here. Take a look and let me know if you are interested in learning more.
Rich Yao
Academic Success Center

Our ASC Director, Cristina Caputo, and all of our tutors continue to work diligently to provide improved student support through our coordinated tutoring model with faculty. Cristina contacted each school with materials on course tutoring offerings, schedules, marketing flyers, tutor biographies, data on ASC utilization and student success markers, information on how to share course syllabi and preferred materials with tutors, and tutorials for students on how to access our online tutoring platform, Smarthinking. Please share these materials with your students and reach out directly to Cristina if you have questions. In the meantime, the ASC wants to recognize the following faculty members who have collaborated and coordinated with the ASC tutors to ensure the highest quality tutoring services for their students: Susan Growe (NURS 337), Andrew Evanski (NURS 330), Seth Churchman (MATH 95M & 120E), Laura Rosales (GEOL 101 & ENV 260), and Vu Duong (BIO 223 & 224). 
NSC Table Tennis Team

The Nevada State College Scorpions Table Tennis Team recently competed in the Rocky Mountain West Divisional Tournament held at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. This was the team's first extramural tournament, and the Scorpions competed against players representing the University of Colorado, University of Utah, Colorado Mesa University, and Southern Utah University.  The Scorpions Table Tennis Team roster included Marco Lopez, Robert Totten, Chaise Mitchell, Noah Mattouk, Eragbai Izevbekhai, Tom Wongaiyara, and Justin Negron. 

Both Eragbai Izevbekhai and Marco Lopez advanced beyond the round robin and placed among the Top 10 players in the singles' tournament. The University of Colorado won the team competition to qualify for the West Regional tournament. Coach Chris Garrett and the team would like to thank the NSSA and the Dean of Students for providing funding to participate in the tournament. The team's next competition will be a head-to-head match against Southern Utah University later this spring.
Sandip Thanki
Our enrollment boom continues! NSC’s spring 2018 headcount is 21% higher than last spring. This is remarkable growth compared to previous years:
Although we admit and enroll new students in the spring, much of our spring enrollment comes from students retained from previous terms. Prior to this year, fall to spring retention (or graduation in fall) rate averaged 78.1% for over 5 years (see chart below). This year’s enrollment growth can be attributed to our most recent fall-to-spring retention (or graduation in fall) rate of 83.6%. It approaches 96% when we only include students who utilized support (e.g. Advising) and academic (e.g. Tutoring) services.
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
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