Board Report - April 2010
I hope everyone had a good spring break. We are in the third week of spring term. Another seven weeks, and we are done with another academic year.
First week enrollment reports for spring term show total registrations up 12 percent, and total unduplicated student headcount up 3 percent, compared to last year.
As a precaution, we evacuated childcare buildings last Friday after someone smelled smoke in one of the buildings. Public Safety, Facilities and Goshen fire responded immediately. Everything was fine. The cause turned out to be a charred paper in a printer jam in a building that does not house children.
I hope you have had a chance to see the displays outside the boardroom. Lane won a Gold, Silver and Bronze in the national Paragon Awards sponsored by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The Gold was for a print ad, the Silver was for an ad series, and the Bronze was for computer-generated illustration. Only two other Oregon colleges won awards, PCC and Mt. Hood, but only Lane won a Gold award. Congratulations to Tracy Simms who developed the ads with assistance from Funk/Levis and Associates, and the designer, who is a graduate of our graphic design program.
I am pleased to announce that our Adult Basic Skills program passed a comprehensive, seven-year review by the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. The program received six commendations recognizing excellence in foundational academic, language and life skills development; innovative design of a wiki; high-level faculty leadership; best practices in Career Pathways that could serve as a state and national model; integrating program data into college systems; and for establishing highly effective partnerships. Three recommendations were issued that called for more faculty professional development, implementing the new curriculum plan, and continuing to smooth the transition for students who enroll in both ESL and ABSE programs. I’d like to commend Dawn Dewolf, Cathy Lindsley for their outstanding work on the review and the faculty and staff who make the program outstanding.
The Foundation announced Schafer Innovation Award winners and I’m happy to say that the Innovation of the Year Award went to Health Professions for its online Moodle advising. In addition, Great Idea Awards went to Public Safety for its bike patrol program, and to ESL for its wiki. Counseling was awarded a certificate of appreciation for developing a Lane job connections and private scholarship links website.
The Foundation met the Miller Foundation $150,000 matching grant for scholarships and raised $409,637 in new or increased gifts. As a result Lane will be able to offer $747,078 in scholarships next year, the most ever. Similarly on March 31, we met the $800,000 Kresge challenge. We were $130,000 short but had met it by 3 pm. We are very excited about that mileston.
The Foundation is beginning an Opening Doors Campaign for Florence to raise $300,000 including $200,000 for nursing faculty and MOA program equipment, and $100,000 for scholarships. Co-honorary chairs are Dr. Al Brauer and Mr. Tom Grove. Campaign chair is Rachel Pearson, who has worked extensively in support of the Siuslaw School District, and whose husband is a physician in the community. I’d like to thank board member Sharon Stiles for also serving on the campaign leadership team.
Lane held its first Hypatia Day to introduce middle-school girls to opportunities in engineering education and careers. Our special guest was Celeste Baine, a nationally know author and engineering educator. The event is named after Hypatia, a woman in ancient Alexandria who is celebrated as the first woman engineer and math teacher. Thanks to Cathy Lindsley for organizing the event.
I attended the Oregon Community College Association Student Scholars event with the governor and would like to congratulate Suzanne Jarvis of Eugene and ShyAnne Woods of Elmira. Suzanne is studying elementary education at Lane and plans to transfer to Pacific University. ShyAnne is enrolled in our Sustainability Coordinator program and plans to transfer to Oregon State University.
Since criticism of the slow pace of Go Oregon! state stimulus funding continues, it’s important to remember that Lane invested its $8 million right away and completed all projects within 11 months. We started work in May 2009 and completed final billings last month. Lane continues to be the model of what legislators intended. I’d like to thank Facilities director Dave Willis and his staff, and the 55 contractors who worked on the projects. And to mention that, while we were not able to keep all of the temporary go Oregon employees, we were able to transition many of them to our bond projects.
Record enrollments continue to impact the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the state’s only need-based aid program. The Oregon Student Assistance Commission said last month that the program was over-committed by nearly $10 million for the current year, which likely will mean fewer or reduced awards for next year. The agency is also looking at the impact of sector cut-off dates, which had a negative impact on some schools more than others.
Well, Congress finally passed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act and President Obama signed it into law. Besides health care reforms, the bill included the most significant financial aid reform in nearly four decades. Funds were included to raise Pell Grants each year through 2017 and implement an income-based repayment plan beginning in 2014. Unfortunately, the bill did not contain the American Graduation Initiative due to the lower savings and reluctance to create new programs within reconciliation. In its place, Congress added funds to the Community College and Career Training Grant program, which was authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last year, but was never funded. So there is 2 billion dollars. Hopefully we will find out more at the AACC convention this weekend.
When President Obama signed the Reconciliation Act, he announced that Jill Biden would lead a community college summit at the White House next fall. We have had conversations through AACC with Biden’s staff and are ready to move forward. As you know, Jill Biden teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College and is the wife of Vice President Joe Biden.
Lane hosted the local, community-wide Human Rights Summit last Saturday. I was honored to present the opening remarks.
I interviewed with the Chronicle of Higher Education about the value of humanities education and last week they had sent out a photographer. It just so happened that there was a religion class out by the water feature, who were included in the photos. The story should be in the April 19 or April 23 issue.
I’m looking forward to the annual AACC Convention that begins April 15 in Seattle. I’ll be joined by board chair Pat Albright, and several staff will be attending.
Remember that US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan will visit Lane on May 13 and 14. I hope you can join me for the community reading on Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m. in the Center for Meeting and Learning. You can find out more details from the link on our home page.