President’s Weekly Update

Weekly Update
President Anne Temte
Monday, April 13, 2015

I approach this week with overstressed muscles, back, and bones. We have sold our house in EGF and are downsizing until we relocate to Arizona. Deliberate exercise makes me feel young and energetic. The kind of exercise we indulged in this weekend does not make me feel young. Although for a couple of young thinking ‘60 something’, we do pretty well. Advice to young people just starting out: never buy anything heavier than 20 pounds or bigger than a breadbox!

I’ll start this Weekly Update with a couple of notes and then focus on the impact that the recession of 2008 had on American Higher Education.

Notes

  • Check out the special music events at the TRF Campus this week. The Music Department’s Spring Concert will be held on Thursday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Campus Theater.

    Then on Saturday, April 18, (6:30 p.m.) and Sunday, April 19 (2:30 p.m.) enjoy a full meal and two hours of entertainment at a HOEDOWN in the Gunderson Commons. Cost is just $12.00. Featuring the Northland Chamber Choir and Northern Jazz, under the direction of Linda Samuelson, the music selections will spotlight country music hits from over the decades. (Doors will open 30 minutes prior to event.)

  • The Computer Networking Club on the EGF Campus will be providing volunteer IT help at the Grand Forks Senior Center on April 21 and 22. The group will be helping individuals with their cell phones, computers, e-readers, and tablets.
  • I will be attending the American Association of Community Colleges annual conference April 17 through the 21. I have been a member of the Commission on Technology, Research and Emerging Trends for three years. This meeting will be my last, fulfilling my commitment to the Commission. I will bring back interesting information to share.
  • On April 22, the MnSCU Board of Trustees will host their annual recognition of excellence in teaching awards luncheon in St. Paul. Andrew Dahlen, NCTC instructor of Electronics and coach of Northland’s Robotics Team will be recognized as one of 35 excellent instructors in the MnSCU system.

Lingering Impact of the 2008 Recession on American Higher Education – In these final Weekly Updates, I am summarizing what has changed in higher education over the nine years that I have served as president of Northland.

None of us can forget the sudden deterioration of economic conditions that occurred in October, 2008. Many businesses downsized, people lost jobs or couldn’t find work, retirement savings shrank and older workers remained in the workforce, state tax revenues shriveled. As a consequence, many states suffered severe budget deficits. In Minnesota, we approached the 2009-2010 biennium with a $2 billion shortfall.

During the next three biennia, MnSCU colleges and universities faced sharp reductions in state allocation. At the same time, family and student spending power was reduced by unemployment or underemployment. Concern for student debt led both the legislature and the MnSCU Board of Trustees to limit tuition growth; in the last biennium, the legislature froze tuition. This shrinkage of funding to higher education occurred across the country.

Most institutions of higher education have had to deal with shortfalls in revenue. Salaries grew slowly or were frozen. At first, colleges reduced the numbers of sections of classes to increase efficiency. Unfortunately, this led to fewer choices and less convenience for students. More classes were moved online where students could access them from anywhere. As the deficit deepened, staff positions were eliminated, academic programs were suspended, faculty positions were reduced, and innovation and new program development slowed considerably.

Although we have felt these constrictions sharply at Northland, the pain was widespread. National publications reveal that institutions across the country have had to make similar hard decisions. In our own area of Minnesota, we have seen serious reductions at MSU – Moorhead, Bemidji State University, and Northwest Technical College.

The only positive impact of the 2008 Recession was that it led to increases in enrollment. When unemployment rises, many people look to education, particularly technical education as a way to train or retrain for better employment when jobs become available. Northland had its highest enrollment ever in FY2010 when we recorded more than 2900 FYE. The tuition gathered from students mitigated the reduction in the state allocation.

I am proud to note that, at Northland, we worked very hard to address the difficulties of the recession and actually improved the financial foundations of the college during this time. Northland now has a strong fund balance and reserve and has a respectable Composite Financial Index (COI) – a measure that receives very critical review from the Higher Learning Commission, our accrediting body.

Next week I will focus on the economic recovery and its impact on American Higher Education.

I do hope you all have a wonderful week.

Upcoming College Events
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
 1:30 pm – Soccer Club: Watch Soccer Games – EGF 236
 3:00 pm – Softball @ Rainy River CC
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
 1:00 pm – Baseball vs. Rainy River CC – Double Header – TRF
Thursday, April 16, 2015
 3:30 pm – TRF Student Senate WaterPark Trip – TRF Seven Clans Waterpark
 7:00 pm – Music Department Spring Concert – TRF Campus Theater
Friday, April 17, 2015
 1:00 pm – Baseball @ U of M Crookston – Double Header
Saturday, April 18, 2015
 1:00 pm – Baseball vs. Vermilion CC – TRF
 1:00 pm – Softball @ Central Lakes College
 6:30 pm – Hoedown! – TRF Gunderson Commons
Sunday, April 19, 2015
 1:00 pm – Baseball vs. Vermilion CC – TRF
 1:00 pm – Softball vs. Itasca Community College – TRF
 2:30 pm Hoedown! – TRF Gunderson Commons
Monday, April 20, 2015
 TBD – PTK Club: Commit to Complete – EGF Commons
 10:00 am – CNA Testing – EGF
 10:00 am – PTK Club: Job Service of ND – EGF Commons
 11:00 am – Rad Tech Club: Food Drive – EGF Commons
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
 12:00 pm – Earth Day Campus Clean Up – EGF Foyer
Thursday, April 23, 2015
 11:30 pm – Earth Day Campus Clean Up – TRF Campus
 1:00 pm – Baseball @ Bemidji State University – Double Header
 3:00 pm – Softball vs. Lake Region State College – TRF

My Schedule this Week
Monday, Apr. 13 – TRF – FBM mtg, NCTC Foundation Board meeting
Tuesday, Apr. – 14 – TRF
Wednesday, Apr. 15 – EGF
Thursday, Apr. 16 – Travel to AACC Conference, San Antonio
Friday, Apr. 17 – AACC Commision on Technology, Research, and Emerging Trends, San Antonio

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President’s Weekly Update

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I would focus some of my final Weekly Updates on changes that have occurred over the past nine years that brought new challenges to American Higher Education. I read three news feeds every day that bring headlines from higher education across the country. In recent weeks, there has been an escalation in the number of colleges and campuses that have either announced closures or are having to consider this drastic action. Many other colleges and universities face downsizing and reductions due to strained resources.

Clearly, the fondly-held notions or memories we hold of what college is — are being challenged. It is the minority of students who have the luxury of coming to college immediately after high school graduation with all of their expenses covered by parents, grants or scholarships. I remember my parents discouraging me from working while being a college student; they felt that I needed to have all my time to study (and socialize). In the 70s, we studied a wide range of liberal arts classes, went to Saturday football games, participated in campus clubs, lived in a dorm, and ate at the college cafeteria. We had the certainty that our education would lead us to fulfilling careers and a successful life.

Things are very different now. Since the mid-1960s, community and technical colleges have become a major player in the higher education scene. Most of our students work, many have families and jobs. Online options have many students attending college from home at all hours.

The past decade has been a period of increasingly critical review of American Higher Education and has led to concern, proposed solutions, and legislative action. Among the issues are:

Student Loan Debt – The public and state and federal legislatures are concerned about student loan burdens. Stories of students leaving a four-year education with debts of more than $100,000 have shocked the public. Today, student loan debt exceeds credit card debt in the United States. In Minnesota, this has led to a legislatively-mandated freeze on tuition growth. Colleges must assume a greater role in advising students on the long-term obligations of taking on student loans. Getting a big check to pay for educational expenses seems wonderful to an 18-year old, but it creates a multi-year tail of repayments that sometimes exceed house payments – a burden that severely limits the freedom of new graduates.

Completion Rates at Public institutions – The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes the graduation rates for all colleges and universities in the United States. In Minnesota, only 34.2 % of students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years; 58.6% graduate in six years. At Minnesota’s public two-year colleges, only 25.3% graduate in three years – but this is considerably better than the national average of 19.4%. This data is somewhat misleading in that the only students who are included in these statistics are those attending college for the first time and who are full-time students. At community and technical colleges, only 30.1% of students fit this category. But, the data has caught the attention of the public, state legislatures, and even the federal government and the president.

Poor Rates of Employment Related to Education – Connected to concern about completion were the increasing reports of recent graduates not being able to find jobs related to their degrees. And, to employment that did not give the graduate a salary that allowed repayment of student loan debt. We’ve all heard stories of the Ivy-League graduate serving coffee at Starbucks. The lack of solid employment opportunities, particularly for liberal arts graduates, has made the public question the value of higher education. And, I believe it has led to greater emphasis on workforce education.

Return on Investment of Public Dollars – With poor completion rates and anecdotes of underemployed or unemployed graduates, people wonder if there is a reasonable return on the investment of public funding. When the recession of 2008 hit, completion rates were some of the statistics used to justify reductions in public support.

Next week, I’ll focus on the impact that the recession of 2008 had on American Higher Education; these impacts continue to reverberate.

I do hope you all have a wonderful week.

Upcoming College Events
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
 11:00 a.m. – Upper Iowa University Transfer Visit – TRF Theater Commons
 3:00 p.m. – Softball vs. Dakota College Bottineau – TRF
 5:00 p.m. – Softball vs. Rainy River Community College – TRF
Thursday, April 9, 2015
 11:00 a.m. – OTA Awareness Month Open House – EGF Campus RM 360
Saturday, April 11, 2015
 11:00 a.m. – Softball @ NDSCS
Sunday, April 12, 2015
 12:30 p.m. – Baseball @ Concordia College – Double Header
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
 3:00 p.m. – Softball @ Rainy River CC
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
 1:00 p.m. – Baseball vs. Rainy River CC – Double Header – TRF
Thursday, April 16, 2015
 3:30 p.m. – TRF Student Senate WaterPark Trip – Seven Clans Waterpark – TRF
 7:00 p.m. – Music Department Spring Concert – TRF Campus Theater
Friday, April 17, 2015
 1:00 p.m. – Baseball @ U of M Crookston – Double Header

My Schedule this Week
Monday, Apr. 6 – St. Paul – MnSCU Leadership Council
Tuesday, Apr. 7 – St. Paul – Leadership Council, GF – GFREDC Annual Meeting
Wednesday, Apr. 8 – EGF – VPP Steering Committee, Exec. Committee
Thursday, Apr. 9 – TRF – Shared Governance Council
Friday, Apr. 10 – Vacation

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Master Facility Plan, Impact 2020, Gallery Walks, Legislative Activity, Points of Pride

In just the past couple of weeks, some of my responsibilities and involvements as president of Northland Community and Technical College have begun to blink off as I approach my retirement date on June 30. I have had the honor of serving as a board member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation for the past six years. My term ends on April 7 at the annual meeting.

I have also been a long-time member of the Leadership Council of IMPACT 2020, a group working to influence the economic development of NW Minnesota. While I can continue in this capacity in retirement, I will wait to see what else is capturing my attention. IMPACT 2020 also has given me a great opportunity to understand the economic dynamics and diversity of this large region that spans the pine to prairie area.

It has now become easy to count the remaining days, the remaining regular meetings like Cabinet and Shared Governance Council and, the remaining trips to St. Paul for Leadership Council and MnSCU Board meetings. What is difficult to account for is how I will FEEL when I no longer have Northland to regard as my home away from home.

Just a few short notes this week:

  • Master Facility Plan
  •  Impact 2020
  • Gallery Walks
  • Legislative Activity
  • Points of Pride

Master Facility Plan – Working with Gary Hay of Hay Dobbs Architects, we are nearing completion of our 5-year Master Facility Plan. This plan is required of all MnSCU institutions and is a critical piece that must accompany any requests for funding for facility improvement or capital projects. To some extent, the plan is a grounded wish list of projects – some of which will come to fruition, others that may not. We have spent the last year and a half gathering input from faculty and staff members. The work on the Academic Master Plan has also been important to consider in putting this document together. We will look at a complete draft at the end of April, with the goal of presenting the final product to the MnSCU Board in May or June.

IMPACT 2020 – I mentioned IMPACT 2020 earlier. Last Tuesday, I attended a Leadership Council meeting. In a quick round-table, it was interesting to note that all representatives reported the same challenges for their communities or businesses – housing and attraction of an adequate trained workforce. There is some concern that if these issues cannot be resolved, successful companies may look elsewhere to expand. At the same time, there is distinct optimism. New industries like precision agriculture and unmanned aircraft are emerging. There is greater collaboration among school districts, higher education, community leadership, and business and industry to assure that young people and their parents are aware of the tremendous career opportunities in this region.

Gallery Walks – Events featuring the work of four implementation teams of Charting the Future, the MnSCU initiative to assure sustainability were held on our campuses last week. Teams featured in the Gallery Walks last fall are currently in the process of reviewing their Gallery Walk information and refining their initial ideas and concepts. Teams featured in the Gallery Walks this spring are expected to receive their Gallery Walk feedback in May and will review and make refinements to their initial ideas and concepts over the summer and in early fall.

Legislative Activity – The Minnesota Legislature is on recess until April 7. Last week, both the House and the Senate revealed their budget targets.

Melissa Fahning, MnSCU Director of Legislative Communications, shares a daily update on the session. She wrote: “Senate DFL leadership held a press conference this morning releasing the finance division targets for the 2016-2017 biennium. For higher education, the Senate has set a target of $205 million (for MnSCU and the U of M combined). This compares to the House higher education target of $53 million. I’ve received many inquiries about what these targets mean for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. At this time, that is unknown. Now that the higher education committees have their targets to work with, they will begin crafting their omnibus bills when lawmakers return from the legislative break. With such a drastic difference between the House and Senate higher education targets, once each body passes a bill, they will head to conference committee to work through the differences. As a reminder, Governor Mark Dayton has recommended $142 million for MnSCU colleges and universities.”

Points of Pride

  • Northland Community & Technical College is proud to announce its recipients of the annual NISOD Excellence Awards. 2015 honorees include Mary Fontes, Dean of Student Affairs; Peggy Rogers, Early Childhood & Paraprofessional Instructor; and Davis Hamilton, Commercial Vehicle Operator Program Instructor. NISOD, is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges for faculty, administrators, and staff.
  • Northland will be hosting the American Welding Society, Northern Plains Section, annual “Behind the Mask” welding contest on April 2, 2015. The contest gives area secondary and post-secondary students an opportunity to show their welding skills and abilities. Contestants compete in SMAW (stick) and/or GMAW (wire) categories. The competition tests an individual’s skill in print reading, fabrication, welding, and time limits. 50-70 students are expected to compete at the contest.
  • Come out and celebrate with the Northland Chamber Choir and the Northern Jazz as they perform in the Gunderson Commons at Northland Community & Technical College in Thief River Falls on April 18 and 19, 2015 and play country music hits from over the decades. Attendees will receive two hours of entertainment and a full meal for $12.00. On Saturday, the doors for the event open at 6:00 p.m., with food being served at 6:30 p.m. and the show beginning at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, the doors will open at 2:00 p.m. with food and concert time at 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.


Upcoming College Events

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
 10:00 am – Minnesota State University – Moorhead Transfer Event – TRF Theater Commons
 12:00 pm – Minnesota State University – Moorhead Transfer Information Session – TRF Campus 219

Thursday, April 2, 2015
 9:00 am – CNA Testing – EGF Campus

Saturday, April 4, 2015
 11:00 am – Baseball vs. Moorhead State University @ NCTC
 3:00 pm – Baseball vs. Lakehead University @ NCTC

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
 11:00 am – Upper Iowa University Transfer Visit – TRF Campus Commons
 3:00 pm – Softball vs. Dakota @ NCTC

Thursday, April 9, 2015
 11:00 am – OTA Awareness Month Open House – EGF Campus 360
Saturday, April 11, 2015
 11:00 am – Softball @ NDSCS
Sunday, April 12, 2015
 12:30 pm – Baseball @ Concordia College – Double Header
My Schedule this Week
Monday, Mar. 30 – EGF
Tuesday, Mar. 31 – TRF
Wednesday, Apr. 1 – EGF
Thursday, Apr. 2 – EGF
Friday, Apr. 3 – Vacation

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New President at Northland, Gallery Walks, Governor’s Proposed Budget

With the erratic changes in our temperatures, I am having a difficult time knowing what month we’re in.  Then, I look at the calendar on the wall and see the shrinking collection of dates that remain to me as the president of Northland Community and Technical College and realize that we are almost at the end of March!  I still have so many things to do to wrap up my tenure here.

New President for Northland

One of the major transition points was the appointment of the President-Elect by the MnSCU Board of Trustees last Wednesday.  Dr. Dennis Bona, currently the president of Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan, will be the next president of Northland, beginning officially on July 1, 2015.  I appreciated having time to talk with Dr. Bona at length.  He is very knowledgeable about college leadership and management and has the experience to recognize that each college is the product of its history and people.  He seems to be genuinely enthusiastic about the college and the communities of NW Minnesota, our region, and the potential for growing the college.  I think he will be a great fit!

Now that we have met and exchanged lots of information, we will begin a three-month process of preparing both the college and Dr. Bona for the transition.  A great deal of information about the college will flow to him from both Northland and the MnSCU System Office.  I have prepared two extensive transition reports already and will finalize a third report on May 1.  The Foundation Office is preparing a directory with pictures, short biographies, and contact information for the many important partners we have in our communities.

My confidence and comfort in preparing to depart has increased considerably.

Gallery Walks

The “Charting the Future” initiative is an important MnSCU project aimed at identifying ways in which the system can change to insure a sustainable future that provides access to a quality, affordable education for all Minnesotans.  The initiative had become controversial last fall when the two faculty unions withdrew from participation.  They felt that there was not adequate representation of faculty and that the process was pre-determined and not transparent.  The System administration and trustees met frequently with union representatives and agreed to reconvene with stronger representation of faculty and more opportunities for input.

As a consequence, the Gallery Walk events that will allow students, faculty members, employees, and community members to view the ideas of the final four implementation teams will go on as planned this week.  Each college and university is hosting these events to showcase ideas, suggestions, and recommendations and to get input and feedback.  The spring events will focus on:

·         Academic Planning and Collaboration

·         Competency Certification and  Credit for Prior Learning

·         Education Technology

·         Information Technology Systems Design

Northland’s Gallery Walks are scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 from noon – 3:00 pm in the EGF Campus Front Foyer and Thursday, March 26 from noon – 3:00 pm in the TRF Campus Gunderson Commons.  I encourage you to take some time to attend and encourage students to be part of this process as well.

Governor’s Proposed Budget

We were very encouraged when Governor Mark Dayton released his supplemental budget last week.  His first budget proposal included no new funds for MnSCU, despite the system’s request for $142 million for the biennium.  That amount was projected to just cover compensation increases and inflation and anticipated no tuition increases.  The rationale for the Governor’s proposal was that he wanted to see significant progress in mending the rift between the system administration and the faculty bargaining units that arose over the “Charting the Future” initiative.  At that time he indicated that he was reserving $35 million for the system.

Since that time, the February state budget forecast from Minnesota Management and Budget revealed an anticipated $1.9 billion surplus.  Also, the system administration, the Interfaculty Organization (university faculty) and the Minnesota State College Faculty announced a path forward for collaboration on ”Charting the Future.”

The Governor’s proposed budget increase for MnSCU is the full $142 million that was requested.  Throughout our system, we are gratified by his expression of support for our colleges and universities and our mission to serve our students and the needs of our communities.

The next steps are the release of proposed higher education budgets by the House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee and the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Budget Division of the Finance Committee.  Eventually a final number will emerge as the Higher Education Omnibus Bill is crafted, negotiated, and signed by the Governor.  At Northland, we are working on several possible budgets For FY2016, based from the best to the worst possible allocation and enrollment-based tuition revenue projections.  We hope to be able to share a clear picture with the college community by the end of May.

I hope you all have a great week!

Upcoming College Events

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
·         10:00 AM – Bemidji State University On-Site Registration – TRF Campus 662

·         5:30 PM – EGF 2015 Spring Academic Advisory Meeting – EGF Commons

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
·         Noon – 3:00 pm – Charting the Future Gallery Walk – EGF Campus Front Foyer
·         1:00 PM – “Soul Food Junkies” – Free Movie Showing – EGF Campus 250

Thursday, March 26, 2015
·         Noon – 3:00 pm – Charting the Future Gallery Walk – TRF Campus Gunderson Commons

Friday, March 27, 2015
·         9:00 am – Softball @ RCTC ( Crossover Tournament)

·         1:00 pm – Softball @ St. Cloud (Crossover Tournament)

Saturday, March 28, 2015
·         7:00 am – Softball @ M-State (Crossover Tournament)

·         9:00 am – Softball @ Ridgewater (Crossover Tournament)

Monday, March 30, 2015
·         12:00 PM – “Soul Food Junkies” – Free Movie Showing – TRF Theater

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
·         10:00 am – Minnesota State University – Moorhead Transfer Event – TRF Theater Commons

·         12:00 PM – Minnesota State University – Moorhead Transfer Information Session – TRF Campus 219

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NCTC President’s Weekly Update

This is the week in which the President-Elect of Northland Community and Technical College will be appointed by the MnSCU Board of Trustees and presented to the Northland community at both the East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls campuses. I encourage you all to attend the presentation – 11:00 am in the East Grand Forks Front Foyer and 2:00 pm in the Thief River Falls Gunderson Commons.

With these actions, I can finally see the end of my tenure at Northland. Up until now, we have all been so busy that it has felt as if business is carrying on as usual. With the appointment of a new president, my activities and attention will shift to helping this individual learn as much as possible about Northland, the MnSCU system, Minnesota, and our Northland communities.

My Weekly Update articles for the next eight weeks will contain my reflections on the past nine years. Certainly much has changed in the national perception of American higher education. Expectations and concerns are different than they were in 2006. The State of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have also changed. And, at Northland, we have had on-going challenges but have weathered them well.

For this update, I will share brief notes about a lot of things, many emerging from a recent Cabinet meeting:

  • Andrew Dahlen, instructor of electronics technology, has been recognized as one of the top 35 educators in the MnSCU System. He was nominated by colleagues here at Northland and selected by a committee that assisted him in his preparation of a professional portfolio of 70 pages. His portfolio was accepted by the Board of Trustees review team, leading to his current designation. Three faculty members from across our system will be named as 2015 Outstanding Educators by the Board of Trustees on April 22.
  • The NCTC Foundation held a great retreat on Friday, March 13. This full afternoon gave the Board of Directors the opportunity to get to know each other better, review investment strategies, plan for the future, and recommit to vigorous advocacy for Northland and its students. We are all so fortunate to have this dedicated board of volunteer directors.
  • Northland will be reviewed by MNOSHA – the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration on June 17-18. This is an important review for Northland. Training and Safety Coordinator Julie Fenning will be sharing information regarding preparing for the review.
  • Housing continues to be a concern. Richard Speas, Director of Student Life and Athletics, reported that there are currently 60 student athletes who have committed or are close to committing to our football program. He and Coach Travis Martin have a goal of 80 athletes. The RFP for the $1.1 million state grant that is available for student housing developers closes on March 31. We all have our fingers crossed that there will be viable proposals.
  • We’ve had some turnover in the IT department. With this skill set so much in demand, two of our IT Specialists have taken positions elsewhere. The timing is good, however, with the end of the semester and summer not quite as busy as the academic year.
  • Registration opens on April 1. Although Northland had shown a double-digit enrollment decline, it appears that we will end the year with a 9% decrease. Inquiries, applications, and FAFSA files all indicate a potential strong enrollment for FY 2016.
  • Good news from Financial Aid! The default rate for federal loans has dropped substantially from last year. This is a problem nation-wide. Financial Aid Director Gerry Schulte reported that he and his staff are redoubling their efforts to advise students on strategies to avoid default.
  • Demolition and site preparation will begin very soon for the capital project at the Aerospace Site. The old hangars will be salvaged and moved by the contractor. Construction on the new building that will connect the Swenson Hangar to the classroom building will begin this spring.
  • Northland will be active in both the Community Expo in Thief River Falls on April 23 and the Home & Garden Show in Grand Forks on March 20-22.
  • The NCTC Foundation has recently been the recipient of several new endowments for scholarships. An endowment requires a $10,000 base from which interest payments are drawn to provide scholarships in perpetuity.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Enjoy the incredible spring weather.

Upcoming College Events

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
• 1:00 pm – Softball @ SWCC
• 3:00 pm – Softball @ Iowa Lakes
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
• 11:00 AM – Grocery Bingo! – EGF Campus Commons
• 9:00 am – Softball @ Highland College
• 1:00 pm – Softball @ Oakton CC
Thursday, March 19, 2015
• 11:00 am – Presentation of the President-Elect – East Grand Forks Front Foyer
• 2:00 pm – Presentation of the President-Elect – Thief River Falls Gunderson Commons
Friday, March 20, 2015
• TBD – Baseball @ Dakota Wesleyan
• 5:00 pm – Softball @ Burlington College
• 7:00 pm – Softball @ Muscatine College
Saturday, March 21, 2015
• 1:00 pm – Softball @ DCTC
• 5:00 pm – Softball @ Bethel JV
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
• 10:00 AM – Bemidji State University On-Site Registration – TRF Campus – Rm 662
• 5:30 PM – EGF 2015 Spring Academic Advisory Meeting – EGF Campus Commons

My Schedule this Week
Monday, Mar. 16 – TRF – AFSCME Labor/Mgmt Mtg
Tuesday, Mar. 17 – TRF – Staff Advisory Council, Mtg with Red Lake Band representatives
Wednesday, Mar. 18 – EGF
Thursday, Mar. 19 – EGF – Presentation of President-Elect, Valley Prosperity Partnership mtg
Friday, Mar. 20 – Alexandria – AgCentric Advisory Board meeting

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Career Expo Day, Center of Excellence Grant Awards, 2015 All-Minnesota Academic Team, Pioneer Women’s Basketball, Quality Matters, Team XNOR VEX U, MN State Budget

Weekly Update
President Anne Temte
Monday, March 2, 2015

We returned from a week-long vacation a short time ago. The transition from Minnesota’s white vistas to the red and gold canyon lands of Southern Utah and back again has me amazed by the environmental diversity of our great country. We spent the week enjoying crystal clear skies, wild scenery bearing evidence to tremendous geological forces, and trails that led UP and DOWN over sandstone rocks and sand. While others were bundled up in parkas for the 50-65 degree days, we were in shorts and t-shirts. The little creatures that scurried away from our steps were lizards, not squirrels. It was a glorious week!

Back on the ground here in NW Minnesota, there is no lack of activity. This week, I’ll highlight:

  • Career Expo Day
  • Center of Excellence Grant Awards
  • 2015 All-Minnesota Academic Team
  • Pioneer Women’s Basketball
  •  Quality Matters
  • NCTC’s Team XNOR at St. Cloud State University VEX U Regional Qualifier Competition
  • Minnesota State Budget


Career Expo Day
– Over 150 students and counselors from eleven area high schools visited the Thief River Falls campus on February 25. Northland faculty members provided students with opportunities to participate in hands-on activities in classrooms and laboratories. Many employees pitched in to make this a great day for prospective students to find out what their educational life at Northland might be like.

Center of Excellence Grant Awards – Northland has received funding from two of the Centers of Excellence of which it is a member. These funds are awarded by MnSCU to worthy initiative proposals. A total of $81,000 was awarded to the Transportation Center of Excellence for an aviation maintenance initiative at Northland and $71,150 was awarded to AgCentric, the northern Center of Excellence in Agriculture, for UAS training and curriculum development at Northland.

2015 All-Minnesota Academic Team – Kelsey Weber, a student at the East Grand Forks Campus has been selected to the 2015 All-Minnesota Academic Team by the member institutions of the Minn-kota region. This is a distinct honor. Kelsey and other team members will be honored at a banquet at the College of St. Benedict in April.

Pioneer Women’s Basketball – Lots of news here. The Pioneer Women finished the basketball season with 24 wins and 2 losses. They won the Northern Division with a 14 win, 0 loss record. Northland was ranked #1 in the NJCAA National poll as of last week. The Region 13B Women’s Basketball tournament was held at Northland on Feb. 28 and March 1. The Pioneer Women lost a heart-breaking game to Mesabi Range College 77 to 75, but what a game it was! Thank you to all of the players and Coach Nelson for your hard work and commitment to Pioneer Athletics.

Coach Shannon Nelson has taken her team to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament in each of the last five years. Additionally, Shannon has been named co-Northern Division Coach of the Year. Hats off to Shannon!

Quality Matters – Even though she is focused on the basketball season, Shannon Nelson has taken the time for academic excellence. Shannon teaches business classes at the Thief River Falls Campus and recently received Quality Matters course certification for her MKTG2120 Supervisory Leadership course.

NCTC’s Robotics Team XNOR Wins Tournament – This past Saturday at the St. Cloud State University VEX U Regional Qualifier Competition, Northland Community and Technical College‘s Robotics Team performed exceptionally well. NCTC’s Team, XNOR, earned four of the five total awards at the competition. The XNORs took home the following awards: Tournament Champions, Excellence Award, Programming Skills, and Robot Skills. In addition the XNORs have earned the highest Programming Skills Score in the world rankings and they are currently tied for fourth place in the Robot Skills world rankings. Congratulations to Team XNOR members and to their instructor/coach, Andrew Dahlen. Well done!

Minnesota State Budget – When Governor Dayton released his first version of the state budget for the next biennium, he withheld any additional funding for the MnSCU system. He wanted assurances that the system leadership and the leadership of the two faculty unions were making progress on working together.

On Friday, Feb. 27, the state budget forecast was released, projecting a surplus of nearly $1.9 billion. The Governor’s second iteration will follow this forecast on March 9. However, he did hold a press conference on Friday to discuss how he intends to spend the surplus that has been projected. In this conference he said that affordable higher education is a crucial investment for the future of Minnesota. Dayton said, “I will propose the same $95 million of additional funding for MnSCU (that I did for the U of M system), which will fully fund the tuition freeze for the first year of the biennium, and half the cost of the freeze for the second year. I will ask them to fund the other half through administrative savings.”

At Northland, we have had difficulty moving ahead with budget planning for FY2016 because of the insecurity of future funding. Although the Governor’s proposal is not the final word on the budget, we at least have an indication of what funding might be available.

The legislative session continues until May 16. I will continue to share information with you.

Hope you all have a great week.

Upcoming College Events

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
 11:00 a.m. – Healthy Campus Health Fair – TRF Commons
Thursday, March 5, 2015
 TBD – Baseball @ SECC
Monday, March 9, 2015
 TBD – Baseball @ Richland College
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
 TBD – Baseball @ Eastfield College
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
 10:00 am – CNA Testing – EGF Campus
 TBD – Baseball @ North Lake College
Friday, March 13, 2015
 TBD – Baseball @ Mountain View College

My Schedule this Week:
Monday, Mar. 2 – St. Paul – MnSCU Leadership Council
Tuesday, Mar. 3 – St. paul – MnSCU Leadership Council
Wednesday, Mar. 4 – EGF – Shared Governance Council
Thursday, Mar. 5 – EGF – GRFEDC Board, Executive Committee
Friday, Mar. 6 – TRF – Cabinet

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NCTC President’s Update: Summer/Fall Registration, Financial Aid, & Alumni Weekend

Mary Fontes, Dean of Student Affairs
Monday, February 23, 2015

Greetings from Student Affairs!

We are beginning week seven of the term and it’s hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the semester. It’s not too early to be thinking about summer or fall education plans.

Registration – Student registration for summer opened October 15, 2014. There is still plenty of time to submit the necessary documents to get started for summer. The fall semester schedule is slated to be posted the first week in March with registration opening up April 1, 2015. The earlier all paperwork is received for admissions and registration, the earlier one may come in and register for courses. Some programs have limited capacity and fill on a first come-first serve basis. Submitting all of the required documents opens up earlier registration opportunities.

Financial Aid – It’s not too late to be thinking of next fall… Get a head start and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) now. The financial aid office has been busy with spring semester processing and will gear up for summer and next fall. Completing paperwork early is a crucial component for timely processing of financial aid.

Financial aid employees, Gerald Schulte and Mya Zutz, have also been on the road conducting Financial Aid nights for area high schools. They have presented at Kittson Central, Fertile-Beltrami, Lancaster, Win-E-Mac, Marshall County Central, Roseau, Greenbush, Badger, Fosston, Grygla, Thief River Falls, Warren, and Goodridge.

Alumni Weekend – This past weekend the annual women’s and men’s alumni basketball games and social were held. There was also halftime entertainment sponsored by student life. The winning dance contest employee-student duo of Paul Peterson and Yvonne Woodfork danced to the music of Footloose. A fun time was had by all. The Northland Pioneers made it an extra special weekend with a win by the women’s team. The women rank first in the NJCAA Division III national poll and will host the MCAC Northern division women’s basketball tournament February 28, 2015 – March 1, 2015. Go Pioneers!

Upcoming College Events

Monday, February 23, 2015

·         11:00 am – DVD and Discussion: How You Look is Not Who You Are-Rm 635 (TRF campus)

·           3:30 pm – Grocery Bingo-Aerospace campus commons

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

·           9:30 am – 2:00 pm – Career Expo (Area high schools students)-TRF campus

·         11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Soul Food Feed-EGF campus commons

·           1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Bemidji State University Transfer Visit-TRF campus theater commons

Friday, February 27, 2015 and Saturday, February 28, 2015

·         NJCAA Wrestling Nationals-Des Moines, IA

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