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Committee Name: President's Cabinet
John Capps, Muriel Mickles, Lewis Bryant, David Lightfoot, Chris Bryant, Kris Ogden, Will Sandidge, Randall Franklin, Jeff Sydenstricker, Cynthia Deutsch, Elizabeth Narehood, Jim Tuite, Raylene Cope, Sarah Jarrett, Mary Zoccola 
 
Minutes Approval:
Minutes of the August 31, 2020 meetings were approved as written. 
 


Agenda Item:   Budget Review and Approval

 
Dr. Capps stated that the meeting will follow the usual routine and share anything that is informational and worthy of note.  
 
Will Sandidge reported that significant progress has been made toward creating a policy for proctored testing at CVCC. Cynthia Deutsche, Ed McGee, Patti Saffioti, and Jim Tuite worked hard on drafting this policy.  It is being reviewed by the Reopening Task Force and expected to be approved early this week.  Dr. Mickles will send the approved document to faculty later this week.  This policy will clarify many of the questions for our faculty.
 
Dr. Capps asked Cynthia and Jim if they had any feedback from faculty.
 
Cynthia and Jim both agreed that the new policy will be well received by most of the faculty.  In terms of consistency and safety for our students, our faculty, and our staff, it is the right way to go.  Of course, a few faculty members may still be very frustrated. Dr. Capps added that this uncharted territory, but we must adapt and resist the temptation to compare what we are doing now to what we used to do.  Dr. Capps noted that Covid19 cases at CVCC are increasing, and faculty will need to adapt accordingly.
 
Will Sandidge reported that the bookstore meeting was very productive, it revealed issues on both sides.   Kris and Lewis were able to consolidate the issues.  The issues will be discussed in the next Reopening Task Force meeting later this week. 
 
One issue discussed was the last minute changes made to the schedule, specifically section identifiers that were modified to reflect the move from an in-person class to a remote learning class (virtual, virtual rt, hybrid) caused much confusion for the bookstore. 
 
Will stated that several issues have a long history and need to be resolved on both sides. Lewis Bryant is the coordinator between the bookstore and CVCC, and he will communicate the new process with the bookstore and the divisions. There will be a follow up meeting mid-November.
 
Dr. Capps stated I guess the real key is to ensure accountability on all sides.
 
Dr. Mickles reported that fall enrollment is increasing but many dual enrollment students have not been enrolled.  Dr. Mickles explained that a few of the high schools have had difficulty getting all their programs up and running this semester.  Dr. Mickles stated that she expects the school systems to send those enrollments to CVCC shortly. 
 
Dr. Mickles reported that the division are looking at the Spring 2021 Schedule and recreating a spring schedule that mirrors CVCC’s present Fall 2020 Schedule. Dr. Mickles stated that the division AVP’s and Admins will meet with her to create deadlines for completing the spring schedule this week. They will take into consideration bookstore deadlines that need to be met so as to have books available for students prior to the start or spring classes.
 
Dr. Mickles reported that the COVID 19 committee is working with all kinds of cases that have recently come to light.  It is challenging even though we have planned for various scenarios. The committee continues to keep the best interest of our students, our faculty, and our staff in mind when decisions are made.
 
Dr. Mickles reported that the Equity Workgroup met for the first-time last Friday and it was an excellent meeting.  The workgroup is studying the onboarding process and that includes the application process, financial aid, counseling, accounting, admissions.  We met with employees who work in those areas for insight.
 
Dr. Mickles stated that first generation students look at the onboarding process from a much different mindset than those students who are familiar with the educational process.  The Equity Workgroup will start digging into these areas to find a better way for our students to move forward in the process.
 
Dr. Mickles reported that Elizabeth Narehood will be getting something out about our book club, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk.  Cynthia is putting together a Canvas shell for our reading group. 
 
Dr. Capps asked Dr. Mickles if there were some early insights from the first meeting? 
 
Dr. Mickles responded that they discovered a few items. One, that many applications were started, but not completed or they were completed, but the student never enrolled in classes.  We wanted to know why?  Another discovery was that many students or potential students do not know to check their mycvcc account or that they have a CVCC email account for correspondence.
 
Dr. Mickles stated that financial aid documents are sent to each students mycvcc account in SIS.  Financial Aid uses SIS to communicate to students where they are in the financial aid process; if there are needed documents to be completed or questions to be answered. Some first-generation or new students are unaware of this process and/or do not understand how to navigate through it. Also, once a new student is enrolled in classes, their CVCC email account is activated.  Some students do not know they have a CVCC email account.  These are ways that CVCC communicates with students, yet some students are unaware that they need to access these programs to complete needed enrollment or financial aid documents.
 
 Dr. Mickles added that another discovery was that students struggle with the domicile questions on the CVCC application.  They do not understand what is being asked.  A similar question is asked in the financial aid application and some students will answer both questions differently and that may cause a slowdown int processing their financial aid application. The committee will look at how we can help students with the application process.
 
Elizabeth Narehood stated that CVCC’s onboarding process can appear very complexed for a new student. As we started to review the process and understand all the steps, the ongoing theme throughout was to work on clarity and increasing communications.  Elizabeth stated that we want to be proactive and change those areas that are a key hang up and that cause students to struggle.  
 
Dr. Mickles stated that smoothing out just a few areas will allow students to continue through the process rather than to give up.  Communicating better is key to this entire process.  Reaching out to students in a more personal and direct way will improve their ability to get through the onboarding process and to enroll in classes.
 
Dr. Capps responded that these actions will benefit all our students, not just those who are underserved.
 
Dr. Capps paraphrased Sarah Jarrett’s insight from another meeting, too often we expect students to come meet us where we are, when really, we need to meet them where they are! Dr. Capps added that this general principle might be applied to the onboarding process as well.
 
Dr. Capps stated that this environment provides us with the ideal opportunity to rethink everything that we do. Our equity work is absolutely essential to our continued vitality, and to our continued ability to fulfill our mission and to serve the students who are in the greatest need of what we have to provide.
 
Dr. Cynthia Deutsch stated that the theme of communication also ran through the meeting that we had last week and certainly from an equity perspective, that is vital. A diverse student body is not necessarily race or ethnicity, but it is the diversity of our student body that needs to be addressed.
 
Jim Tuite stated that it is nice to have a workgroup and a workshop on equity, inclusion, and diversity, but that this information needs to be given to all of our faculty.  We can actually use the Faculty Association’s Canvas site to put in a section to include resource materials on diversity, inclusion, and equity, maybe under professional development.  Inclusion – accessibility teaching, proctoring exams, and other items that will be a resource for faculty.  Faculty are utilizing the Canvas site as resource center.
 
Dr. Capps stated that a few years back the Daily Bulletin changed to focus on effective practices that result in good teaching and real learning, and that is what is happening with Canvas.  Jim and others are making the Canvas site a place to provide people with an opportunity to share tips and helpful strategies to promote student success. This will make a real difference.
 
Dr. Capps shared that this semester Shannon McDermott had written a very heart-to-heart letter to her students telling them that how they did in her math class mattered to them and it also mattered to her.  Dr. Capps stated that research shows us again and again that it is those relationships between faculty and students, and between students and students that matter the most in terms of their retention and success. We need to take that as our cue and try to embody that value every time we possibly can.
 
Dr. Kris Ogden reported that the SACSCOC Board of Trustees had sent a letter stating that they had reviewed CVCC’s Referral Report from the submission of our Fifth-Year Interim Report and no other reports were needed.  That clears the way for us to return our attention to our new environment, to evaluating our assessment processes and to how we document those with all the changes that have been made. Kris stated that she hoped to get approval to fill the vacant position in her office. 
 
Kris reported that the Trio Grant will go a long way in supporting all of the new projects at CVCC.  Kris stated that it will allow CVCC to create a very strong strategic plan as the current strategic plan is ending.  
 
Kris reported that the Trio Grant project director position should be posted soon. Kris reported that the grant received an additional three and a half percent and that a revised budget was submitted. 
 
Dr. Capps thanked Kris for her leadership role in facilitating a successful fifth year review from SACSCOC.
                                        
Elizabeth Narehood reported that Title III is working to support several initiatives throughout the college.  Elizabeth stated that the Equity Workgroup is a great addition to the Title III project, it falls right in line with helping to serve the student population that is the focus of our grant.
 
Elizabeth thanked Lewis Bryant for his help with the Title III third year budget.  The budget has been submitted to the Department and she is waiting on approval.
 
Elizabeth reported that she is going through some of the data sets that have been submitted to our external evaluator to look at assessing some of the programs and how they were impacted by the pandemic.  A key finding has been that student engagement with staff and other students have a positive association to student retention.
 
Elizabeth stated that there will be a more thorough evaluation process, specifically on Community Connections, because this program was not part of our original proposal. Elizabeth added that she and Philmika had drafted a survey and that Kris Ogden had reviewed it and will administer it through her office. Student feedback is important, and we need to know what happened after the student connected with Philmika and received the services, and how did it help the student to be more successful in college.
                         
Elizabeth added that the Title III grant is working well to support other projects at CVCC, and to help with the GO Virginia grant.
 
Dr. Capps stated that Community Connections should be placed in the onboarding process as well.  It is important to student who want to go to college but realize there are other barriers they cannot overcome on their own like housing and food insecurity.  The resources provided by Community Connections really needs to be promoted during our first contact with students.
 
Dr. Mickles stated that Dr. Capps made an excellent recommendation. Dr. Mickles added that Philmika Reid (Community Connections Coordinator) is a core member of the Equity Workgroup.  Some of our students cannot overcome certain barriers without assistance.
 
Dr. Capps stated our enrollment deficit reflects the fact that a lot of students who might have applied did not because they knew from the outset, they weren't going to be able to overcome the technology barriers or they lacked internet access.
 
Chris Bryant reported Elizabeth is helping out with our GO Virginia application, which is due this week on the 18th.  Chris reported that Jack Freeman is leading that charge and as always has done an outstanding job. The GO Virginia grant will be for a total of $400,000 to help us initiate those first several positions that are needed to get our regional CTE Academy off the ground. Phase Zero, which was the planning portion was initiated and now we are in Phase One. A big thank you to Muriel, Jason, Kris, Elizabeth and certainly to Jack for his leadership.
 
Chris reported continued uplifting of the Alumni Association. Next week will be the first virtual meeting of the Alumni Association. Alumni have received emails about the importance of the Alumni Association and the upcoming meeting. Keeping Alumni connected to what is going on at CVCC is very important.
 
Chris reported that he and David Lightfoot are working to increase the relevance of CVCC’s website.  It is the face of our college.  We are working with content owners that will help us to identify and to create content that will ensure our website is up to date, vibrant, and illustrates how marketable our institution is, and of course, building community for those who are already a part of organization.  Thanks to David, Will Perez and the IT team for doing a great job.
 
David Lightfoot reported that Chris Bryant led the way on creating a relevant website.
 
David Lightfoot reported that we need to think ‘web’ first when creating a document, not internal document, or external document, not PDF or Word document, but HTML – web document. If we can change the culture on this, we will not need to create multiple documents in multiple formats.
 
David reported that IT did away with the issue track system to avoid the $2,700 a year licensing costs. We moved to a Microsoft service agreement, Service Manager. Also, it will help us save SQL database costs.  This will save us $2,700 per year.
 
David stated that all supervisors need to go through the CVCC website employee directory and report any inaccuracies.  If this list is not accurate, CVCC will get written up in the spring.
 
David Lightfoot stated that Service Manager will use the same URL, just the interface will look different.  To access, login with your current credentials. If there is a problem, please contact the Helpdesk.
 
David reported that IT received15 surfaces that are being deployed to faculty members to replace their all-in-one computers or devices that no longer work well.  David stated that Chris Jordan is requesting a list of staff and administrators that need replacement computers. Please email Chris the names of those employees who need a surface.  David stated that some people are still using Cisco and they need newer devices to help with their productivity.
 
David reported that 10 Blue Yeti mics with the booms were ordered. The booms came in last week, but the mics are still on back order. We hope to see them soon.
 
Lewis Bryant reported that Accounting is loading local fund budgets and they now are available in AIS.  Kingsley Chukwu is helping Lewis with the state budgets.
 
Lewis Bryant reported that a big report is due to the Department of Environmental Quality at the end of this month for our groundwater runoff. It is a report of all the activities on campus this year. We built a retention pond behind the library and worked on that during the pandemic probably. 
 
Lewis Bryant reported that in response to removing barriers for our students, his department will remove the credit card fee for student web payments.  Unfortunately, removing the fee is a complicated process and will not be effective until the spring 2021 term.  The new merchant account will be setup in October, and it will not charge fees to our students. CVCC will be pay the credit card provider fees between $20,000 - $35,000.
 
Dr. Capps stated that the General Assembly has not even begun to talk about the state budget. When they do reconvene, we hope that they will adopt the Governor's proposed budget, which entails no budget cut for us.  Of course, there will be no G3 funding, employee bonuses this year or salary increase next year.  The good news is that the possible 10% budget cut may not happen and that will save us almost $1 million.
 
Jeff Sydenstricker reported that the Campus Police department has a couple of things going on, besides Covid19.  Jeff reported that they are working on the annual security report, getting the numbers together for the October 1 deadline.
 
Jeff reported that he sent out an email last week to employees who hold positions that automatically render them a campus security authority person.  Jeff stated that he needs a response to his email, whether or not you have a crime to report.  The crime must fit the Cleary Report. Jeff needs a return email asap.
 
Jeff reported that the Campus Police will begin wearing their new softer uniforms once all items are delivered, which should be very soon.  Retiring the Class A uniform is a symbolic gesture that will make our officers seem more approachable to our students.
 
Dr. Capps stated that there has been an increasing number of reported COVID 19 cases at CVCC.  Jeff plays a central role in that process because he serves as our liaison with Dr Gateley at the Virginia Department of Health. Jeff, we appreciate the crucial work you are doing on that little thing called the pandemic as well.
 
Randall Franklin reported that he too is working on reports for COVID 19 and they do consume a bit of time.
 
Randall reported that Human Resources did submit six exception requests to the hiring freeze to the Systems office last week. Kris Ogden’s position will make seven. Randall stated that he did not foresee any issues with those submissions being approved after the General Assembly completes their work.  Randall stated they were all positions that had been vacant for a while, and we are now able to start the approval process.
 
Dr. Capps stated that Lewis had incorporated all of those positions into the budget that was reviewed at our last meeting. These are positions that he had anticipated, just positions that we had not filled due to the hiring freeze.
 
Randall reported that there are two grant positions that will be posted along with faculty positions. Randall explained that there was a delay in these postings due to HR converting over to a new applicant tracking system through Shared Services.  This happened a week ago and we are still working through all the logistics.  It appears we must post positions in both the new and old system, at least for a while.
 
Randal reported that HR received notification from DHRM, that CVCC could offer flu shots on campus again this year; however, due to our virtual environment, we will not offer flu shots on campus this year. Randall stated that CVCC will actively promote that all employees should get the flu shot.
 
Randall stated that he will email notifications on the performance planning process and the evaluations for classified staff to supervisors.  They are due back to HR by October 24th.
 
Sarah Jarrett reported that the Part-time Staff Association will have their first meeting of the fall on Wednesday.  Meeting days will alternate between Wednesday and Thursday to accommodate all work schedules.  Sarah added that members who are unable to attend a meeting will have the option to watch a recording of it.
 
Sarah stated that she hopes to continue to build community with the Part-time Staff Association as well as the whole campus community.  We will keep it informal.
 
Dr. Capps stated that Sarah has succeeded at creating that community in the past, he is sure Sarah will succeed in this virtual environment.
 
Dr. Capps stated that he is planning to host some town hall meetings later in the semester.  Dr. Capps asked if it would be of some value for him to meet with individual constituency groups.
 
Both Sarah Jarrett and Raylene Cope agreed that their groups would love for him to attend a meeting.  Sarah stated that many part-timers do not have an opportunity to attend the Town Hall meetings, so this would give them a chance to ask questions.  Raylene stated that some of the groups could collaborate and have both Dr. Capps and Dr. Mickles present at a meeting.
 
Jim Tuite reported that the next Faculty Association meeting is on September 29th.  Most correspondence from faculty are about our Canvas site.   Jim stated that at the next Faculty Association meeting the discussion will center on the challenges they are encountering, including technology.  Challenges teaching virtual, virtual rt, hybrid and in-person classes.
 
Jim stated that another issue that needs to be addressed quickly, is the bookstore.  Jim suggested that the Spring 2021 Schedule be completed prior to submitting book orders, so the confusion of fall 2020 is not repeated. 
 
Jim stated that at the Faculty meeting he will share some of the unofficial information discussed at this meeting, like budget, bonuses, and salary issues.
 
Dr. Capps stated that the Chancellor is expecting all VCCS schools to continue to follow the same approach for the spring semester that was implemented for this fall semester.
 
Dr. Mickles stated that she is meeting with the AVP’s Tuesday and will advise them to get the spring schedule completed by October 16th.  Dr. Mickles stated that this will give the faculty plenty of time to get those book orders submitted.  Dr. Mickles added that the divisions will make use of the Program Heads and Program Coordinators to oversee the accurate and timely submission of book orders for their disciplines. 
 
Dr. Mickles reported that OER classes were still not understood by the bookstore.  For the most part OER classes do not require the purchase of textbooks and yet they remain on the bookstore’s list as unsubmitted book orders.  This must be addressed quickly.
 
Jim Tuite stated that bookstores at other colleges have a button to click for OER classes.  This alert streamlines the process.
 
Jim added that the Program Head/Coordinator will need to reach out to faculty early and report any faculty who does not respond by the deadline to the AVP’s.  This will make the process a bit more enforceable.
 
Dr. Mickles agreed.
 
Dr. Capps thanked Jim for his leadership among the faculty.
 
Dr. Cynthia Deutsch stated that Jim might address faculty burnout. Cynthia shared that she had read an article from Inside Higher Ed., that reported a rise of faculty burnout in this remote environment.  It might be worth adding to the September 29th agenda.
 
Jim Tuite agreed and added that this is particularly true for the faculty that are teaching five different classes. Many are teaching in multiple modes.
 
Dr. Mickles reported that she is the Chair of the ASAC committee, and we are discussing faculty burnout, as well as staff and administrator burnout.  We are taking a look at strategies to alleviate the different issues that are causing burnout.
 
Dr. Cynthia Deutsch reported that the Task Force had their first Focus Group meeting.  We are interacting with different stakeholders and gathering information as each of the four groups works toward the creation of a single stretch goal statement for the Strategic Plan.  Following that we will start to work on more specific strategies based on the input that we get from these different stakeholder groups.
 
Cynthia reported that last Wednesday they met with a CODD ASAC and Workforce.  Cynthia stated that she led a focus group with about 12 members made up of VP’s and Deans.  We used a very nice method of chat and dialogue for our discussions.  We gathered a tremendous amount of information and received good feedback from the participants.
 
Cynthia stated the State Board meeting is Wednesday.  It will be a public facing meeting which changes the way it will be conducted and the way the conversation will flow. We are on an information gathering task with planned questions.
 
Cynthia reported that each of the groups is working toward a single measurable stretch goal.  Our focus is on teaching and learning.  The terms that we are trying to incorporate include flexibility as it relates to empathy or culture of care, which came out of the P2P task force. 
How do we measure flexibility? How do we measure culture of care or empathy?
 
Cynthia reported that the next phase will be a faculty engagement. It will start off with a survey. This may come through the Chancellor in a special edition online publication, that will seek input from the faculty across the VCCS.  There will be about four or five questions. Based on the feedback from the survey, we will take that to CFAC and have a more specific conversation with those representatives.
 
Cynthia reported that there is a student survey being created to gather student input. At this point there will not be a student focus group.
 
Cynthia reported that the single stretch goal will be finished by mid-October, and then we start working on the strategies.
 
Dr. Capps commented that the last strategic plan began with that single stretch goal, and it was purely a quantitative goal to triple the number of credentials offered by Virginia's community colleges.  Dr. Capps stated this strategic plan is involved with intangibles like diversity and equity and inclusion, making them real and tangible and talking about a culture of empathy and a culture of inclusion and compassion. Things that might appeal to a psychologist, but that might not appeal to a strict statistician.  This is a healthy direction for the System to move toward.
 
Cynthia Deutsch stated that the trick will be to make these measurable, though they have to be measurable. How do we measure flexibility?
 
Dr. Capps attributed a statement to Einstein, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
 
 
Dr. Capps stated that at the next President’s Cabinet meeting we will break from strict information sharing and engage in brainstorming together about the most important innovative goals, practices, and processes for us to pursue as we approach the spring semester.  That is your homework assignment. [1]
 
Dr. Capps stated that our environment has changed, and we need to change our game plan to meet the needs that our students are confronting in their lives right now.  We need to have a conversation about flexibility with our faculty and about the essential need for flexibility with our students.
 
Jim Tuite stated that students should not be taking five different classes with five different faculty members that all have different types of course layouts, use different types of technology, Google, Zoom, Teams, and so forth.  I think we must adopt Canvas as our learning platform, and we need to have certain standards beyond grades and assignments on Canvas. Courses need to be presented in an organized way on a standard platform.
 
David Lightfoot responded that he agreed with Jim.  David stated that his son is away at college and is very frustrated because each instructor uses a different platform for virtual classes. There is no consistency.
 
Dr. Capps stated that while there needs to be more flexibility on our part there also needs to be greater consistency.
 
Jim Tuite stated, Yes, the faculty need to be flexible in providing that consistency.
 
Dr. Mickles stated that consistency is a must. This is about student success and technology can be a real barrier for many of our students. 
 
David Lightfoot stated that after a year of virtual learning, many students may not want to sit in a classroom.  We need to take that into consideration.  The world is changing, and we need to keep up, be proactive.
 
Dr. Capps agreed. It is not outside the realm of possibility that sitting in a classroom for face to face instruction might seem like an alien experience to some student’s next fall.
 
Jim Tuite reported that the state actually signed a statewide contract with Canvas and so many of the high school students that attend CVCC next year will be very familiar with taking their courses on Canvas. It probably is in our best interest to keep it consistent going forward.
 
Dr. Capps stated Well, he liked the direction that this discussion is taking already. Dr. Capps stated that he hopes to continue this type of brainstorming at the next President’s Cabinet meeting in two weeks.
 
Dr. Mickles stated that the homework assignment is this, what is it that we can do right now that we need to focus on now that can make a difference in this remote environment.
 
Dr. Capps stated what we are confronting right now is really a unique opportunity to reinvent CVCC.   Maybe not because we chose to do it, but because we were forced to do it, but the circumstances dictate that we have to become a more responsive institution to meet the new needs of our students in this different environment. This will be our brainstorming discussion when we get together in two weeks.
 
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:33 p.m.  The next President’s Staff meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2020.   
 
Submitted by Mary Zoccola
 
[1] Homework assignment for the next PC meeting on September 28th.
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