As I mentioned last week, I took a few days off to begin the process of sifting through accumulated “stuff.” Maybe this urge to “tidy up” is something that happens when one passes 60 years old and is planning for a simpler future. For years – and over several cross-country moves – I have carried boxes of letters and papers from my past. I had put so much work into my college and grad school papers, my lecture preparations, and my work in human resources, student services and academic administration that I have been loath to discard this work. Of course, much of this early work was done on a type-writer, without electronic back-up.
I had boxes of letters also – all hand-written or type-written. This load was made heavier this past summer when my siblings and I sold our parents’ home and divided up the boxes of papers and letters accumulated over their lifetimes.
As well as the task of organizing and sorting, last week was filled with reminiscing. I felt again the excitement of preparing to teach a course in invertebrate zoology, the pain of unreturned affection, the love of my mother who died in 1972. Now, when we text, and email, and tweet – will future generations be faced with the task of sorting a lifetime of papers and letters? Will my children be luckier that they will not have to dig through a mountain of accumulated writing – or will they be impoverished?
Ah, well – back to the work of today. As I have shared with you over the past several weeks, our Minnesota public colleges and universities have momentous challenges. I will be active with other MnSCU presidents during the legislative session to insure that our legislators fully understand the importance of these institutions and the serious challenges that lie ahead.
Positive Notes for the Week
- Ralph Cox, math instructor at the TRF Campus organized the 9th annual MathCounts tournament hosted by Northland. Between 90 and 100 middle school students from twelve schools throughout NW Minnesota participated. Many departments were involved in making this a successful event: the Learning Center for organizing and grading tests, Enrollment Management for the donation of t-shirts, instructors for relocating classes, the kitchen staff for meals and snacks, the IT staff for help with technology, and the maintenance staff for set-up and clean-up work. This is a great way to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and Northland Community and Technical College!
- The Thief River Falls Campus hosted a Career Expo Day on Feb. 19. More than 100 students and counselors from ten area high schools participated. Many faculty members and current NCTC students took time out of their schedules to participate and engage with these prospective students. Visiting students filled out an evaluation of their experiences. The positive comments about the hand-on activities and setup of the day were overwhelming. Nicki Carlson, organizer of the event wrote “The only consistent request from our visitors was to increase the time for students in the classroom. This is a huge compliment to the level of engagement our prospective students encounter from our faculty and students.” Again, kudos to all of those who made this event such a positive one.
- Northland is in only its first season of intercollegiate wresting. Already, there has been significant success. In mid-February, a couple of Northland’s wrestlers qualified for the national tournament. Jordan Engen and Craig Williams are travelling to Spokane to compete against some of the best scholarship-granting colleges in the country. Northland, as part of the Minnesota Collegiate Athletics Association, does not offer scholarships. We are very proud of these athletes and of Coach Scott DCamp.
- Another Northland online course has been certified by Quality Matters! EGF instructor Farah Rahnama’s Math 0094 Pre-College Algebra course received this recognition recently. Quality Matters is a national-recognized process through which online courses are evaluated. Northland is very proud of the faculty members who have done the extra work to have a total of 20 courses certified in this manner. Elizabeth McMahon, a Northland instructor is leading the QM effort state-wide.
Have a great week, everyone!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
- 10:00 AM – CNA Testing – EGF
- 12:00 am – “How You Look is Not Who You Are” a DVD and discussion – TRF 605
- TBD – Wrestling @ NJCAA Nationals
- Mid-Term of the semester
- 1:00 pm – Baseball @ Richland College
- 3:00 pm – Baseball @ Richland College
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
- 1:00 pm – Baseball @ Southeast CC (Beatrice NE)
- 3:00 pm – Baseball @ Southeast CC (Beatrice NE)
Monday, March 10, 2014
My schedule for this week:
Mon., Feb. 24 – EGF, Leadership Council Conference Call
Tues., Feb. 25 – TRF – Staff Advisory Council, Travel to St. Paul
Wed., Feb. 26 – St. Paul – House Higher Education Committee Hearing
Thurs., Feb. 27 – EGF – Exec. Comm., EGF City mtg
Fri., Feb. 28 – EGF – Facilities Master Plan, Presidents’ Legislative Update Conference Call