Here's a summary of several of the Board's actions and/or discussions from the November 7th meeting.
Board Goals. The Trustees conducted a review of their 2017-18 goals. After some discussion they reached consensus to revise Goal 1b to support our efforts to ensure that we were prepared for a successful team visit and we satisify future ACCJC recommendations.
Board Advocacy. The Board had the first of many discussions related to their role in advocating for issues of interest to the District. It was clear from the conversation that the Trustees see the value of advocating on the local and state level. They also, very wisely, recognized that they have to be deliberate and careful moving forward to make sure that the Board's long held practice and policy of "speaking as one voice" is honored. The Trustees directed the President to look at how other community colleges address trustee advocacy and research best practices. The Board will continue their conversation in December.
Personnel Actions. The Trustees approved or ratified the employment of several employees. Two new classified employees were approved: Amber Atkins, Administrative Office Assistant II and Nadia Richardson, Student Services Specialist I. Ryan Taylor was approved as a new associate faculty in Interdisciplinary Basic Skills--Noncredt. Also approved was the employee change of status for Joselle Wagner from a Student Development Advisor to a Human Resource Development Analyst, Erin Wall from the Dean of CTE to Professor of Mathematics, and Kristin Chorbi from Account Clerk III to the Administrative Office Coordinator for the Foster Care/Kinship Program.
Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Burk McBride presented an informational report relative to our safety and emergency preparedness. The Board was very appreciative of the report and acknowledged how much work Burk and others have done in the last year or so to improve our safety posture. The Trustees also expressed a desire to find a way to replace the Humboldt County Sheriff we will lose on the Eureka campus at the end of December. The Trustees directed the President to identify how we can retain an armed police presence. I share the Trustees' concern that we must do everything we can to make sure that our students, faculty and staff have a safe environment to learn, teach and work.
Change in Chief Negotiators. The Board approved the President's recommendation to remove Randy Erickson as the District's Chief Negotiator. They also approved the President's recommendation to have Wendy Bates serve as the Chief Negotiator moving forward.
Institutional Effectiveness Report and Scorecard. The Trustees had a very engaging dialogue with the Administration about some of the student success data included in the report. Of interest to the Board was the data related to student success in our Math and English course sequence, our institutional set standards, our work with the guided pathways project, and what we're doing to make sure students are supported. Professor Kerry Mayer gave a wonderful example of how she and other faculty use the retention alert and behavioral intervention process to provide students with support inside and outside of the classroom.
Informational Reports. Several information reports were provided to the Trustees. Professor Mike Haley appreciated the Board's discussion of their role in advocating for the District. He spoke about the importance of small rural colleges advocating for their specific interests and encouraged the Trustees to continue this important conversation. Professor Kerry Mayer summarized the work the faculty and the Academic Senate in addressing the FCMAT recommendation to improve our program initiation and discontinuance process. She also spoke to the importance of adhering to our established AP 4020 and 4021 processes to ensure the sustainability of our academic programs and long term fiscal health of the District.
Professor Mayer's informational comments are especially important now. There's been a lot or rhetoric surrounding the CR Board of Trustees election relative to adding more CTE programs and creating a CR bachelors of nursing degree.The Federal and State governments are focused on increasing CTE programs and stimulating job growth. And the State is providing funds (Strong Workforce) for CR to improve CTE outcomes. There is no question that our County is facing a healthcare crisis with the low number of available doctors and nurses. College of the Redwoods is, as an educational leader in the community, committed to meeting the challenges associated with creating jobs, preparing our students for the job market, and working with others in partnerships to solve our County's healthcare problem.
Despite what has been reported in the media during this election cycle CR is not starting a BSN program. In fact, we are prevented by law from establishing a BSN. Over the past year or so we've been actively engaged in discussions with HSU to establish a partnership where our nursing graduates will have a pathway to a HSU BSN program. The concept under discussion is HSU "owning" the BSN (and hence the curriclum and the faculty members) and conferring the degree and CR providing lecture and classroom/lab space. HSU is working on getting the curriculum approved through the CSU process and identifying program funding. Our target is that this ADN/BSN pathway will be available starting in fall 2019.
As the election winds down and new Trustees are seated on the Board, I want to reiterate the Adminstration's commitment to adhering to our established program initiation procedure (AP 4020) when we consider adding new academic programs to our inventory. This open, transparent, and data informed process was created to make sure that we spend our fiscal capital wisely and that we can support and sustain the academic programs we see as important to our community.