October 23, 2017
Vickie Shields
Things are changing. Looking forward five to ten years, it is important to examine what our unique contribution is in the state of Nevada and in the region. In 2002, NSC became Nevada’s first public four-year college, because, as co-founder Marydean Martin says, “it was shameful we didn’t have one.” As we build future degree programs, classroom buildings, residence halls, student activities and club sports, how should we plan in a way that is responsible to our mission and the state-wide mission for higher education? How do we balance our duty to be responsive to the Nevada workforce and the admirable tenets of a liberal arts and sciences education simultaneously? What sets us apart from both the community colleges and the research universities?
 
We will be examining these questions at a faculty/leadership discussion panel as part of the Provost Lecture Series afternoon events on November 8, 2017, NSE Auditorium, 3:30-4:30 pm.

WHAT IS OUR NICHE? Balancing Workforce Development and Liberal Arts and Sciences Education at Nevada State

Moderator: Bart Patterson
Panelists: Matthew Moen, Vickie Shields, Chris Harris, Dennis Potthoff, Ludy Llasus
 
Budget Season is Upon Us! Do you know how to budget?

The Executive Budget Committee (co-chaired by Kevin Butler and myself) met last week to review funds available for FY19. The forecast to fund strategic initiatives in FY19 is optimistic! The FY19 budget calendar is linked here and briefly reviewed below.

What is NSC’s budget process? Budget managers (unit heads) receive a Base Budget Worksheet that includes historical data on operating expenses and a column to estimate operating expenses in the next fiscal year. Budget managers are required to attend one of the following mandatory meetings (Wednesday 10/25 1:00 – 2:30, RSC 303; Thursday 10/26 – 3:00 – 4:30, NSE 224) to learn about the Base Budget Worksheet and optional forms (Student Wages Request; Non-student Wages and Stipends Request, Strategic Initiatives Request). All worksheets and form requests are due Friday, December 15, 2017 to the appropriate President/Provost/VP.

What is a strategic initiative request? This may be a one-time budget request or multi-year request for things such as new personnel positions, major equipment, or other purchases that help meet the goals of the college. These initiatives are supported by any excess revenue after funding all operating budgets. In larger units, the budget manager is responsible for ranking the initiatives in order of importance. Ranked initiatives are compiled for the Executive Budget committee and shared with Faculty Senate. In January, the committee meets to review and rank all strategic initiatives with input from campus constituents. Those initiatives ranked in the top funding bands will be approved for the next fiscal year. All units can submit strategic initiative requests annually via the unit’s budget manager. Strategic Initiative forms will be available on the portal under the Budgets Tab (FY19 folder) and are due by Friday, December 15, 2017 to the appropriate President/Provost/VP.
 
What is a biennium request? The state legislature develops budgets on a two-year cycle. The next biennium budget is for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021. Biennium requests should be for major campus-wide initiatives such as new programs (e.g., master’s in speech pathology) or capital initiatives (e.g., buildings, equipment). Any personnel requests should be made through a strategic initiative request, not a biennium request. Because the NSHE Chancellor will visit NSC in mid-November, please submit biennium requests to Kevin Butler by Friday, November 10, 2017. Biennium Request forms are available on the portal under the Budgets tab (FY20-21 folder). 
 
If you need assistance with the FY19 budget forms, please contact the Budget Office via email at budgetoffice@nsc.edu, or you may call Pam Levins (x2308), Al Hardimon (x2309), or Angie Poole (x2310) directly.
Tony Scinta
We’ve had no shortage of interesting conversations recently, but for me the most important one almost certainly revolved around our scholarship plan for the coming year. Our Scorpion Scholarships play essential recruitment and retention roles for the college; recruitment because they help us entice already high-achieving students to the college, and retention because those same students tend to persist and graduate at comparatively high rates, all other things being equal.

Arguably, we just witnessed the recruitment impact of these scholarships in the past year, when we awarded our highest ever amounts to students with a high school GPA from 3.25 to 3.49. Relative to the prior year, the students in this particular GPA range grew by 119 percent, the most of any cohort in our incoming class, and far ahead of the average growth of about 70 percent. Though many factors were in play, these data clearly indicate the recruiting influence of an attractive scholarship.

If we had unlimited funds, the scholarship conversation for the current recruiting year would have been a relatively easy one. However, with finite dollars, we had to think long and hard about a scholarship structure that maximizes returns while adhering our mission. Ultimately, we came up with a strategy that provides better value than every other 4-year school in Nevada, but also carries with it certain challenges and uncertainties. Though it should serve us well in the coming year, we undoubtedly will be looking at data from this year and the preceding year to evaluate our strategy and lay an even stronger scholarship foundation for the road ahead. 
Sandip Thanki
The chart below shows funds awarded in NSC’s Scorpion Scholarship program. This year, we awarded our highest ever amounts to students in the high school GPA range of 3.250 - 3.499.  
Gregory Robinson
The idea phase of a project is always exciting, and the completion is often a relief, but the middle phase of project development (working through all the steps needed to make something happen) is my favorite. I’ve been lucky to be a part of several projects over the last few weeks that are nearing completion or are ready to move to the next phase in development:

Writing Intensive Courses (WIC) . Laura Decker and Kathryn Tucker began this program in our 2015 Technology Fellows Institute. In writing intensive courses, faculty increase their integration of writing into the curriculum with the support of The Writing Center, Laura Decker, Course Assistants, and other WIC faculty. We’ve run two pilot semesters with five WIC classes, and we’re hoping to expand the number of courses in the spring.

MEd in Speech Pathology. I’ve loved helping Dean Potthoff and Dr. Meyerowitz work on all the steps needed to develop this degree and pursue ASHA accreditation. The final version of the degree proposal goes to Faculty Senate in a few weeks, and we’re hard at work on both the ASHA application and a strategic plan.

Step increases. Dr. Scinta, Cheri Canfield, and I have been working on a system that would allow professional staff to progress incrementally in their positions. For example, we’d like to see a recruiter begin as a Recruiter I, and then progress to a Recruiter II and ultimately become a Senior Recruiter. Putting this process in place is harder than it seems, but we’re making some good progress in developing a system that will help us retain and reward our employees. 

A collaboration with TMCC’s Graphic Communication program . When Jo Meuris and I visited TMCC last year, we began talking with the TMCC faculty about ways we could work together to support their students, who study graphic design, web design, and motion graphics. Since then, Dr. Davis and I have met frequently with the TMCC faculty and have developed an innovative completion program that would provide a pathway to a BA in Visual Media for TMCC students. There are still some problems to solve, but I am hopeful we’ll be ready to propose this idea soon through the official curriculum approval process. 

Minor in Art. Speaking of Visual Media, Dr. Davis and I developed a new Minor in Art, which utilizes the classes we already offer. If all goes well, this will be a great addition to our long list of innovative minors. 
Laura Naumann
Congratulations to Our Fall 2017 Seed Grant Recipients!
  • Danette Barber and Qingmin Shi are collaborating on a project to examine the experience of being a Course Assistant in terms of possible benefits and challenges. They are using their award to hire a student research assistant to conduct and transcribe interviews with the course assistant-participants.
  • Amey Evaluna is using her award to hire a student research intern to review best practices and organize education programs/services to support undocumented students. The student will also help collect and analyze data from existing ‘TheDream.US’ scholars and NSC Dreamers to support future grant-writing or fundraising efforts.
 
Thank you to this semester’s review committee: Laura Decker (Liberal Arts & Sciences), Dawn Koonkongsatian (Nursing), & Roberta Kaufman (Education).
 
The next application for Seed Grants will be in Spring 2018.
  • Applications released: January 29, 2018
  • Application Deadline: February 26, 2018
  • Deadline to use funds: June 30, 2018
 
Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Conference Submissions
Are you conducting research or creative works projects with students individually or in class? Please encourage your students to save their work so that they can apply for our third annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Works (URCW) conference. The submission portal will open next week. The URCW committee has tweaked the application process and will be sending more information on changes to the submission process next week. If you are interested in participating as an abstract reviewer or conference judge in spring, please enter your information on the linked spreadsheet.
 
Mark your calendars:
  • Submission Portal Open: Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Abstracts due: Monday, March 5, 2018
  • Conference: Friday, April 20, 2018

Tell us about your search committee experiences!
The Attracting and Engaging Diverse Faculty and Staff committee (a subcommittee of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force) is seeking feedback on the candidate search process at the request of Cheri Canfield, Director of Human Resources. The goal is to summarize trends in feedback and make recommendations for improvements to the search committee process and candidate experience. The committee seeks feedback from newer employees (2 years or less) on your experience as a candidate during the on-campus visit and existing employees (3 years or more) on your experience as a search chair or committee member. The survey is anonymous and has 2-3 open-ended questions; follow this link to take the survey.
Rich Yao
Student C.A.R.E. Team Update

Our Student C.A.R.E. Team, led by our case manager, Kristie Collins, has been quite busy this semester. Thus far, our team has received 60 referrals and 10 consultations. As you can imagine, our numbers are significantly higher as a result of the shooting incident on October 1st. 33 of the 60 referrals were directly associated with the incident, and we are working hard to ensure all of our students are getting connected to necessary resources for ongoing support. Generally speaking, the most common reporting categories for students include grief and loss issues, depression and anxiety, academic stressors, and family-related stressors. The SoN and LAS have referred the most students to our team this semester (28 for SoN and 18 for LAS). We are also continuing to see an increase in the number of student self-referrals as well.

We also compiled our data for the spring/summer 2017 semesters, which indicates continued growth for our program. We received a total of 91 referrals (65 during the spring and 26 during the summer) and 41 consultations. This represents a 75% increase in student referrals when compared to the spring/summer 2016 semesters (52 referrals.).  As expected, the majority of our referrals involved distressed students, with the most common reporting categories being depression, anxiety, family stressors, grief and loss, medical issues, and financial stressors.  

Perhaps most importantly, our retention/graduation rates continue to improve. For the spring 2017 group, the 1-term retention/graduation rate was 90.8% (compared to 80.7% for the general student population). For the Summer 2017 group, the 1-term retention/graduation rate was 88.5%. Our improving student outcomes are a direct reflection of the work of our case manager, Kristie Collins. She continues to do an exemplary job of providing the necessary supports for our students while concurrently maintaining excellent professional boundaries.  

On a related note, our new contracted mental health provider, All About You Counseling, has been steadily booked on their scheduled days (Wednesdays and Thursdays). We are closely monitoring the need for additional days and will keep you posted with any updates.
Staffing Updates
Neal Rosenburg left his position as Dean of Nursing; Claudia Cruz is no longer a Personnel Technician; and Joseph (Joey) Lopez left Nepantla.
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