November 6, 2017
Vickie Shields
As budget season gets into full swing, I am happy to report that the Deans and their representatives met with the Provost’s office on October 31st to discuss faculty personnel requests for 2018-19 and to do some initial ranking of those requests across schools. This is the first time we have undergone this rigorous pre-planning of faculty needs going into the strategic initiatives phase of budgeting. I am very pleased with department and program response to these personnel requests. The goals of this approach to budget planning are:
  • Participation in faculty planning that reflects our instructional and programmatic needs based on institutional data;
  • Strategically planning for upcoming instructional needs based on future aspirations and workforce needs;
  • Making the budgeting process more transparent and less capricious.

The Provost’s office is now gathering proposals for administrative staff needs from the Schools and units within our office in a parallel process for pre-planning and ranking of these initiatives.

Faculty Senate
I am pleased to report that the Faculty Senate has voted to make the Provost an Ex-Officio member of the Senate who will attend the first hour of each Senate meeting. From my perspective the advantages of this new arrangement are as follows:
  • The Provost can hear discussions and see presentations first hand, allowing her to help communication flow in the appropriate directions
  • The Provost can add perspective or clarification to conversations from her unique vantage point in the organization
  • The Provost can provide a Provost update to the Senate so they may be better informed, in a timely manner, about issues and initiatives being discussed at the executive level
  • Having the Provost attend as ex-officio is more closely aligned with faculty senates in four-year colleges nationally

Thank you. I am looking forward to serving in this capacity.
Provost Lecture Series

Mark your calendars if you have not already done so!!
Tony Scinta
Though we are still early in the process, one of the most important discussions in the last two weeks revolved around this year’s budget cycle. Under the leadership of Provost Shields, our goal is to make make informed, equitable, and strategic budget requests. To this end, we have developed request forms for strategic initiatives that ask stakeholders to carefully consider relevant data/evidence and demonstrate how the initiative can efficiently and effectively promote the strategic objectives of the College. Overall, we are off to a good start, and I am looking forward to what we can accomplish this year.

As Gregory notes in his update, another big project was our second annual assessment retreat. As with the inaugural iteration last year, the retreat united faculty from across campus to spend an entire day carefully evaluating a key component of their programs or academic units. I want to commend both Gwen and Gregory for their work in bring the retreat to fruition, as well as the many faculty who dedicated their ample expertise and limited time to the cause. Program improvement is the foremost goal of the retreat, but it also plays a critical role in meeting our accreditation requirements. Our culminating review by the Northwest Commission is slated for fall 2019, and we are doing what we can to help the College surpass their expectations.  
Laura Naumann
Gearing Up for Faculty Search Season
Thanks to those of you who completed the Search Committee Feedback survey. The Attracting & Engaging Diverse Faculty and Staff committee is using the responses to prepare a “Best Practices” guide for search chairs on how to navigate the search process and how to run successful on-campus visits. The Office of Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives is teaming up with Human Resources to prepare NSC-branded “Welcome Folders” that include standard marketing materials and resource flyers intended to help with recruitment. We plan to distribute the folders to each School before Thanksgiving Break. Search Chairs should work with their Administrative Assistants to add other handouts or relevant information tailored to the position (e.g., Final Itinerary; Standards of Academe; Discipline-specific flyers). Let’s recruit some amazing faculty!
 
CCAMPIS Child Care Updates
Christina Squires, Assistant Professor of Psychology and early childhood development expert, will serve as Program Coordinator for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant. We are currently renegotiating our contract with Valley View Recreation Center and are seeking to extend half-day programs to full-day preschool available Monday through Friday to better serve students’ needs. Once details are finalized, Christina will hold on-campus information sessions to help guide students through the application process for Spring enrollment. She will also discuss tips on transitioning children from home care into preschool and address common misconceptions parents may have about paid child care.
 
Cultivando Mentes (HSI) Updates
I met with various student support units and with Dean Potthoff to begin developing position descriptions for the new positions that will support HSI grant activities. Keep an eye out for the position postings and encourage your talented students or colleagues to apply:
  • Second Education Advisor – will help establish mandatory advising for ~400 Pre-Education majors
  • HSI Program Coordinator – to oversee day-to-day operations of HSI grant activities
  • Administrative Assistant – to support the HSI Project Director and Program Coordinators
  • Six tutors / course assistants – to support students in PRAXIS preparation
 
Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Conference
 
Grant-Related Webinars
The Foundation Center offers free webinars on preparing grant proposals and budgets.

Faculty/staff submitting grants must notify the Sponsored Projects Office using the Grant Funding (RFP) Review form with as much advanced noticed as possible so that we may coordinate review and submission.
Gregory Robinson
Assessment Retreat

On Friday, we hosted our Annual Assessment Retreat, and for the second year in a row, we accomplished an incredible amount of work in a single day. 11 committees met, reviewed their efforts from the previous year, had a magnificent lunch, evaluated their programs in various ways, and created a final report. These reports are important for accreditation, but they are also legitimate tools for helping NSC evaluate our efforts and take meaningful steps toward improvement. Notably, this was our first attempt to have all the committees look at programs broadly, as opposed to focusing on a specific program outcome. Many committees assessed the syllabi and assignments in their programs, while the new groups (Speech Pathology and the CTLE) worked on developing methods for future assessment efforts. I’m thrilled to see the NSC community come together to support a culture of assessment and improvement. Please join me in thanking these faculty, who worked hard to make this event happen:

Business: Abby Peters, Raul Tapia, Heidi Batiste
Communication: Chris Harris, Brandi Robinson, Dawn Butler
Criminal Justice: Lance Hignite, Katie Durante
CTLE: Chris Garrett, Christine Draper, Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa Api
English: Joanna Shearer, Leila Pazargadi, Laura Decker
History: Pete La Chapelle, Shirli Bratbar, Darryl Hushaw
Library: Tiffany LaMaistre, Maya Hobscheid, Francesca Marineo
Nursing: Sherri Coffman, Andrew Evanski, Su Yimmee
Psychology: Shantal Marshall, Jonathan Dunning, Roberta Miranda
Speech Pathology: Elizabeth Meyerowitz 
Visual Media: Adam Davis, Jo Meuris, Amanda Farrar

2nd Annual Intermountain Teaching for Learning Conference on March 15-16

NSC is hosting the 2nd Annual Intermountain Teaching for Learning Conference on March 15-16. Please consider attending and/or presenting at this conference. This is a great opportunity for us to highlight the creative and effective teaching that we are doing on our campus. For more information and/or to submit your conference proposals (due December 18th), visit this website: https://empowerteaching.usu.edu/ICFDhome.

Are you willing to propose a session but would like to get feedback on your ideas and/or schedule a time to draft and submit your conference proposal? The CTLE is offering two writing sessions where you can draft and submit your proposal: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 11:00-1:30 in RSC 303 (lunch served) or Thursday, Dec. 7, 9:00-11:00 AM (coffee and muffins served). Please RSVP via ctle@nsc.edu.

Improving Online Writing Support

Dr. Tucker and her team in the Writing Center is working to improve their online support for students. This includes hosting additional training sessions and evaluating an online chat app. As they work on improving this process, they are temporarily putting their email sessions on hold from Friday, November 3 to Monday, November 13. Phone sessions will still be available for students who are unable to visit the Writing Center in-person. Once training is complete, this service will return in a way that is more efficient and effective for students. If you have any questions about integrating writing center resources into your class, you can contact the Writing Center at writingcenter@nsc.edu.

Supporting our Veterans and First Responders

This Thursday! (11/9). With a valid ID, veterans and first-responders will receive one entrée for the day (build your own pasta bar) and one medium fountain drink at no charge from the NSC Cafe.
Rich Yao
NSSA and Student Clubs

As we continue to grow student life at NSC, our student clubs have played such an important role in increasing student engagement here on campus and in the community. Our Student Activities Manager, Phil LaMotte, is promoting service learning as one of the main focal points in his work with NSSA and various clubs. He has worked with NSSA leaders throughout the semester on spearheading at least one volunteer project per month.

Here are some of the upcoming events involving our student clubs and organizations. Please be sure to promote with your students, and we hope that our faculty and staff will also participate! I’d also like to thank all of the faculty advisors for our student clubs – the most engaged and active clubs tend to have the most involved faculty advisors. Thank you for all of your work with our students. For additional information, download this one-page summary, which also contains contact information and links.
Sandip Thanki
Club Events and Student Success

How many students participate in events offered by NSSA (e.g. Study Breakers, Ping Pong Tournaments)? In fall 2016, 267 students attended at least one of the events offered. Does this engagement relate to student performance? The data suggest ‘yes,’ based on these statistics:

  • the semester GPA of the students who attended at least one of these events was significantly higher by 0.25;
  • one-year retention/gradation of the attendees was also significantly higher by 13.8%;
  • 3.7% more students were on Good Academic Standing when they attended one of the events.

This finding was consistent over all academic levels (e.g. Freshman, Sophomore etc.) and levels of high school GPA. 

Also, the Student Life Survey offers some important insights into NSSA. Students who find NSSA most useful are:
  • Students working on-campus
  • Nepantla students
  • Freshman students

The largest barriers to participating are being too busy (3.7 out of 5.0) and events not being offered when the student is not available (3.2 out of 5.0).
NSC Office of the Provost | 702-992-2663 | http://nsc.edu/provost
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