The State Council of Community Colleges is making progress toward its strategic plan by providing an update at the council meeting in May. The agenda included various topics – from amendments to the statute concerning communication between the staff of the Council and the system office, to further discussion organizational evaluation launched a system office to streamline data systems between the Department of Public Learning and the Community Colleges system.
May marks the start of a brief legislative session, a topic that was actively discussed at last week’s Council meeting. Following the publication of Governor Roy Cooper’s budget, board members and staff from community colleges and the system said they were pleased to see the governor include them legislative priorities – plus some. You can read the full review of Cooper’s priorities and budget by EdNC here.
On June 8, presidents of community colleges, board members, and system office staff will travel to the North Carolina General Assembly to talk to their delegations about moving the system. a three-year legislative priority plan ahead.
“Our presidents are going to keep working to try to get these things to the finish line,” said Dr. Mark Poarch, president. Association of Presidents of Public Colleges of North Carolina (NCACCP).
Dr Kenneth Boham was introduced during the board meeting as Johnston Community College interim president. God served in Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute for over 20 years.
Dr. Robert Shackleford, President Randolph Community College, will retire in late June. The council approved William Aiken as interim president of Randolph at its May meeting. Aiken served as president Sampson Community College from 2000 to 2012.
Optimize data systems between DPI and the Public Colleges system
Board members heard about the need for an integrated and cross-sectoral student management system between the North Carolina Department of Public Education (DPI) and the North Carolina Public College System (NCCCS).
In his report, Poarch described how public college presidents and North Carolina leaders have worked together to address issues posed by two disconnected data systems. The two groups bring together about 70,000 students Promise of a career and college (CCP). Having separate systems creates barriers for students and limits the flow of information that can be used to support student completion in different sectors.
In April, the NCACCP and the North Carolina Association of School Superintendents sent a letter about cross-sectoral student management to Catherine Truit, head of public education, Eric Davis, chairman of the State Board of Education, Thomas Steet, president of the NCCCS, and Baer Saul, chairman of the State Council of Public Colleges.
“The letter was designed to encourage us, as separate systems, to think about how we could work together to develop solutions to data that meet the needs of students, faculty and policymakers so that we have the data we need to make effective decisions.” said Porch.
Thanks to streamlining, students could easily switch between education systems, and this would give teachers information that could be used as early warning indicators.
Porch said the two groups were not asking everyone to use the same system, but instead invited them to take the opportunity to think differently and work together to find a solution to support North Carolina high school students.
In December 2021, the System Office launched an organizational assessment to ensure that it has adequate resources to fulfill its vision and mission. CampusWorks conducted an evaluation and presented review of their findings to the Council in April.
Board member Mark Merritt mentioned the findings of CampusWorks during a staff committee meeting last week.
“What struck me was the number of human resource problems he identified, including staff shortages, gaps in key personnel roles and responsibilities,” Merritt said.
Merritt also said the evaluation found that the system office lacks consistent adaptation and clear job roles and responsibilities, and there are gaps in job descriptions. He asked the personnel commission to report before the meetings on how the system addresses these issues.
“I believe our maintenance problems are due to our lack of adequate human resource infrastructure,” Merritt said.
During each meeting of the Council, the Personnel Committee considers Fr. report indicating the number of vacancies in the system office. As of May 12, 2022, there were 31 vacancies in the system.
The report also includes metrics that reflect the number of sections. From June 2021 to May 2022 there were 54 divorces – a turnover rate of 28.57%. Many of the divisions were retirements (42.6%) and then voluntary (33.3%). Internal transfers refer to persons moving to another position in the system office, while external transfers indicate that a person has left the system office to work in another government agency.
The CampusWorks assessment recommended that the system office hire a head of human resources to be part of senior staff. Board members agree.
Board member Lisa Estep said that when we are experiencing the “Great Resignation”, it is very important to have a special plan to fill the vacancies. Estep also said it is important to have an authorized HR manager who understands how to accept and resolve employee complaints.
Both Bill McBroyer, vice chairman, and Steet have praised the current HR team, but understand that there is room for improvement when it comes to infrastructure and resources.
Steet said his team is urgently moving forward to address staffing issues and other areas identified in the report.
McBreer hopes CampusWorks will be able to attend the July board meeting to give more insight into some of the findings.
Making changes to the charter
During last month’s meeting, Board members expressed a desire to amend the Board’s charter to provide more recommendations for communicating with system office staff.
Jerry Vaughn, chairman of the Policy and Governance Committee, said the beginning of the changes to the charter stemmed from the Council’s need for information from staff, especially non-senior staff, to make decisions and study issues. Second, when staff raise issues with Board members, Vaughn said the Board wants to treat these issues appropriately and respectfully and adhere to the chain of command.
After the April meeting, Sullivan wrote a letter outlining proposals to amend the communication between the Council and the staff of the system office. The language project was then sent to the system office for consideration. Senior team members from the system office met to discuss the draft language and later sent feedback on Sullivan’s draft letter.
Some of the feedback from the system office included national resources for use by the Council in amending the statutes regarding communications, a recommendation on clearly defined channels of communication between the Council and staff, and a suggestion that staff initiate discussions with board members on organizational office effectiveness. any problems to the president of the system instead of reporting problems to the leadership of the Council. You can view the full answer here.
During the committee discussion, two board members stated that they had not received Sullivan’s draft letter and it was not included in the board’s package. Tavanda Artis, NCCCS’s chief legal counsel, said during a discussion last month she was unsure whether committee members would receive a physical copy of the letter, but indicated she would provide copies.
Vaughn shared that as a result Board self-assessmentSullivan has set up a statutory subcommittee to address issues such as agenda setting, committee statutes and liaison between the Board and system office staff.
At the July meeting, the committee plans to hold a more in-depth discussion of the statute. The council is not going to in June.
Strategic planning updates
After several months of regional statewide audition sessions, the Strategic Planning Committee clarified five key topics to consider. These topics include: recruitment and retention of faculty and staff, enrollment, student success for all, workforce development, and systemic funding and efficiency.
Each topic represents a planning team consisting of experts on the topic, including a leader from the system office, two college presidents and a board member. Teams are tasked with taking extensive information gained during listening sessions and narrowing it down to key goals, strategies, and tactics. All teams will hold at least three meetings, which will end on June 6.
The committee hopes to receive a draft strategic plan before the July board meeting and awaits final approval in August.
Student expansion and a new connection with student self-government
The council approved the allocation of more than $ 11 million from state tax recovery funds to create a temporary program to enhance learning opportunities. Opportunities open up for high school and non-high school students ages 16 to 25. Funding is available for 50 eligible public colleges 1st and 2nd level counties. Expanding the program is an effort to meet the demand for work in local communities and enable students to gain empowerment.
Nathan Vazquez, a board member and liaison with the North Carolina Student Self-Government Association (N4CSGA), made a final report informing the board and staff of the system office that his success was their success. This month, Vazquez graduated from Gastan College and Gaston High School Early College. LaTasha Bradford will be the new N4CSGA liaison starting July.
The State Council of Public Colleges will not convene in June. The next meeting will take place on July 14-15.
The State Council of Public Colleges is holding a May meeting
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