Technical difficulties made it impossible for us to video this meeting, which is unfortunate, since the meeting was notable not only for the actions the Board of Trustees took, but also for the collegial and optimistic atmosphere in the room.
From the point of view of the NCCFT, the two most important things the Board did were:
- Approving our new collective bargaining agreement and formally recommending that the county executive and Nassau County Legislature do the same;
- Approving the new Academic Senate Bylaws in their entirety.
Each of these actions represent an important step forward for us as a faculty and for the institution as a whole.
The Board also approved the appointment of our first two peace officers on campus, Keith Bloom and Christopher Wood. Peace officers go through training at the Nassau County Police Academy. Later in the meeting, in his report, President Keen noted that the administration plans to add more peace officers in the future. The goal is to increase the professionalization and community-policing orientation of NCC’s Public Safety Department and thereby reduce our reliance on external policing.
Other actions the Board took included:
- Awarding the title of Professor Emeritus to retirees Barry Fruchter, Hedda Marcus, Jay Silberman, and Dale Stanley, and awarding the title of Administrator Emeritus to retiree Ann Muth;
- Increasing the marketing and advertising budget to more than $500,000;
- Electing officers: the current slate of officers retained their positions, Jorge Garden (Chair), Kathy Weiss (Vice Chair), Edward Powers (Secretary).
In addition to his comments about our new peace officers (noted above), Dr. Keen reported on the following:
- The college is expecting a 5-6% drop in enrollment, but the administration is hopeful that this will represent the bottom of the drop. Dr. Keen did not elaborate as to why the administration thinks this will be the case.
- North Hall has been closed for renovation and the North Annex has been leased to the Westbury School District.
- He praised the work of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) that met over the summer and said he is looking forward to working with Professor Anissa Moore, the new Chair of the Academic Senate.
- He described the new leaders of the SGA as well-organized and well-positioned to have a positive impact on student life, and he said he is looking forward to working with them.
- Finally, Dr. Keen reviewed just how much we have accomplished over the past year in responding to our Middle States probationary status and expressed optimism about the results of the Middle States visit that will take place on October 4th and 5th.
There were three speakers at this meeting:
- AFA President Stefan Krompier: Noted the spirit of cooperation and collegiality that permeated the work of the GRTF and other planning and Middle States-related committees that met this summer and, in particular, recognized the contribution of three adjuncts: John Grotto, Rich Erben, and Gary Ouellette. He noted as well the new spirit of cooperation among the three campus unions: NCCFT, AFA, and CSEA.
- Professor Lynn Mazzola: Also noted the spirit of collegiality and compromise that informed the work of the GRTF over the summer.
- NCCFT President Frank Frisenda: Took note of just how much has been happening at the same time on our campus: Strategic Planning, Senate Bylaws revision (including the arbitration), the Middle States report, and contract negotiations. Nonetheless, he pointed out, despite how potentially contentious each of these issues is, there is a new, welcome, forward-looking mood on campus.
Finally, Dr. Gardyn noted how much has changed for the better since he started his tenure on the Board of Trustees in 2011. “We already know NCC is a great place,” he said. “Now we are in a position to remind everyone else just how great this place is.”