Minutes of the
President’s Cabinet Meeting
November 9, 2020
Minutes of the October 12, 2020 meetings were approved as written.
Name(s) marked out were absent.
Enrollment Report – November 9, 2020
Data as of Yesterday (11/9/2020)
Agenda Item: David Lightfoot – CVCC Social Media Team and Channel Names Survey Results
Dr. Mickles welcomed everyone to the meeting and stated that Dr. Capps will join the meeting shortly. Dr. Mickles asked David Lightfoot to discuss the results of the survey for CVCC’s Social Media Team and Channel Names.
David Lightfoot thanked Kris Ogden for creating the survey and tabulating the results. Kris Ogden shared the results of the survey and stated that the results were weighted and that only eight employees had responded. The top five name choices for the Team were Cougar Community, Cougar Connections, Cougar Chatter, CVCC Family Tree, CVCC Cougar’s Den. The top five name choices for the Channel were Cougar Kudos, Cougar Callouts, Calvin Cougar’s Kudos, Calvin’s Compliments.
Dr. Mickles stated that after reviewing and discussing the survey results, the Cabinet agreed to name the Team, Cougar Community and the Channel, Cougar Kudos.
Dr. Capps agreed with the decision. Dr. Capps asked David to introduce Cougar Community and Cougar Kudos to everyone. Dr. Capps stated that David is the right person to effectively communicate the details. David can provide everyone with the guidance that will enable them to access the site and login.
Dr. Capps stated that we will go around the table and see what news people have to report after we discuss two items. First is enrollment.
Dr. Capps stated that the fall enrollment haven changed much at all, and at this point in the semester, we do not expect it to change. However, our spring enrollment numbers look extraordinarily bleak, we are at 55% below almost 56% below where we were at this time last spring. Once again, we find ourselves in the unbelievable position of trailing almost all other VCCS schools. We are down 56%, the system as a whole is down 23% that is a little bit misleading because NOVA is actually experiencing an increase in enrollment right now. NOVA is so large that it skews the statistics for the rest of the system.
Dr. Capps stated that Virginia Western is actually six and a half percent ahead today. We have some work to do, once again, to make up for that deficit. Dr. Capps asked Muriel if she were able to track down whether or not there was a discrepancy in the enrollment calendar between this year and the last year.
Muriel responded that she has asked Michael Farris to work on this question and other strategies to increase enrollment. Muriel added that she will meet with the enrollment team tomorrow.
Dr. Capps stated that we are doing just about everything he could imagine to increase enrollment and that the enrollments numbers are surprising low for the spring.
Dr. Capps asked Kris Ogden if she had any insight into why enrollment is so low.
Dr. Ogden replied that dual enrollment is low and that is dragging our numbers down. Also, spring enrollment began on Monday, November 1st and we had the next day off, Election Day, and then a weekend. Dr. Ogden stated that it was still early.
Dr. Capps stated that he is most concerned about the deficit CVCC is experiencing among regular students. It is about half. Full-time student totals for the spring so far is about half of what we saw at this time last year.
Dr. Capps asked Raylene Cope if she had any insight.
Raylene Cope responded that the Counselors/Navigators are very busy and have seen an increase of students wanting to register early. Raylene added that they have heard from many students that they are struggling with the online piece of their classes. Many are getting early alerts for missing assignments. Accountability, especially for the younger students, is a real concern.
Raylene Cope stated that she is one of the two Navigators delegated to work with the REV training program (Re-Employing Virginians), and that her email is filled with students asking questions about REV.
Raylene Cope reported that many students are not sure if they should return in the spring or get a job or a second job. Finances are a real concern for many of our students. Housing costs, utility bills, food and so forth.
Raylene Cope stated that schools in Amherst were planning to move from two days to four, but now we are getting mixed messages as COVID 19 is on the rise again. Talk of closing schools after Thanksgiving break and not opening back for classroom instruction until January or February. Lots of unknowns for our students with children.
Dr. Capps stated Yes, we are probably back where we were in the environmental context as you suggested, and we're also right back where we were in terms of the percentage deficit that we're looking at right now. What is difficult for me to understand, though, is why we are been once again so disproportionately affected with the homogenized approach that the VCCS has adopted with everybody being primarily online.
Dr. Capps stated that enrollment numbers should be fairly uniform from top to bottom in the system. But that is just not the case. Northern Virginia is prospering in this environment because Northern Virginia is a well off area with reliable internet just this afternoon was a reminder to me at the tenuous lives that some of our students lead caused by unstable or limited internet access. Dr. Capps stated that it is very discouraging right now, especially because of everything that we have done to try to encourage more students to come to see the CVCC.
Dr. Capps stated REV is an acronym for Reemployed Virginians and it spawned a ground swell of interest. We have heard a personal testimonial from Raylene that she and Brittany are receiving many inquiries about the program. That is the good news. We have $446,000 that we can spend on these students to help them further their education. The bad news is that like so much of the CARES Act funding that we have received, we may not be able to disperse all that to deserving students because we lack capacity in the key areas that students need to enroll into take advantage of the support and that is specifically in G3 courses and then fast forward courses
Raylene Cope stated that she and Brittany are getting interest from past students that want to come back. Many are highly interested in nursing, or in completing their general studies certificates/degrees. We are reassuring them that CVCC is the right place to start back. We explain that CVCC offers nursing prerequisites.
Dr. Capps stated that the interest has been intense but unfortunately it appears as if we have only one viable, Fast forward courses that these students can take advantage of in the spring and limited openings in the G3 approved credit classes. Hopefully, Jason Ferguson can pull a rabbit out of the hat to expand capacity in these acceptable courses.
Dr. Capps stated that the Governor has now signed the budget. and the news for the VCCS is that there will be no budget cut for the system so that erases the expected cut that we were anticipating at the beginning of the semester. The system is getting $2 million in additional Fast Forward funding. It is getting $15 million in additional operational expenses. Dr. Capps stated that the system has agreed that it is going to use that funding for expanding new programs and for expanding capacity in existing programs. Also, there will be a health care premium holiday instituted in December, both for organizations and entities like CVCC, but also for individuals. So, you do not have to pay the healthcare premium in December and the budget does approve bonus for employees not in this fiscal year, but in the next fiscal year bonus, a $1500 dollars for full time employees and $750 for adjunct faculty and Sarah, just as we have done in the past will try to engineer it so that we can apply the same for part-time staff.
Dr. Capps stated that in December the Governor will probably announce his priorities and his budget for the next fiscal year. The second year of the biennium. The bonus is contingent upon the Commonwealth meeting its revenue projections.
Dr. Capps stated that earlier today he did participate in a very positive conference call with the GO Virginia board in Richmond. They were very complimentary of our application they said it was very detailed and complete. They asked very few questions about the application. Jason Ferguson was easily able to answer them. So, we can look forward, at long last, after almost two years to setting up our regional CTE Academy.
Lewis Bryant added that everything continues to look good for CVCC’s budget and we are hopeful.
Dr. Capps stated Obviously the enrollment is a wild card for us as it always is and there are a couple of other wild cards, but otherwise our local budget is in good shape.
Dr. Cynthia Deutsch: Good afternoon, everybody. The Taskforce work is continuing, and we have finalized the creation of the goals. There was one overarching goal, that is the equity goal and then the four supporting goals. My team’s supporting goal is called reimagining teaching and learning. We put forward our goal proposal and the rationale behind it. Essentially, it was accepted, Sharon Morrissey and Ann from NOVA who chaired this committee, wrote the report, and presented it to the Chancellor. The Chancellor was very happy with the progress on the strategic plan so far. So now we are working on the strategies that come under each of the goals and, we are moving right along.
Dr. Deutsch stated that her team is looking at two key strategies. One is investment in faculty both new and continuing faculty. Our second strategy is a student success strategy that is looking at cohesiveness of programs from start to finish. So, it is examining the SDV courses and making some recommendations. We will look at the creation of more cohorts that are tied to the SDV experience and then a continuation along to some sort of capstone experience.
Dr. Deutsch stated that is broadly, what we are looking at. We are to finalize strategies by early December and then move on with continual presentations, and then finally, again, back to the state board.
Dr. Ogden reported that their primary focus right now is to ascertain where CVCC is with assessment and planning. We are working with various departments, divisions, and disciplines to facilitate whatever collection they are going to have for assessment results. Then we are trying to figure out last year’s results because all of this aligns with closing out our current strategic plan and maintaining compliance with the SCHEV assessment standards.
Dr. Ogden reported that she had recently completed a survey for SCHEV to ascertain where CVCC is in that process because when the new general education outcomes were approved, CVCC had a plan, and we were supposed to have those results available this fall. SCHEV did waive it when we had the pandemic closures, so I do not know where all that is going to end up.
Dr. Ogden stated that everyone is engaged, and everyone is participating, as we continue at different levels. Documentation is key, and we need to document exactly what we have done and to make sure that we are all aligned when we are asked to provide evidence about the decisions that we have made. I am asking everyone to be patient as we work through all of this and when I ask for information, and when we work on documenting all of it.
Dr. Ogden stated that in spite of this challenging environment and the many necessary changes made to adjust to our remote environment, progress is being made and CVCC continues to be compliant because we have documented everything we have done to adjust.
Dr. Ogden stated that she would be interested in knowing what the new goals will be once the new strategic plan is released from the system office.
Dr. Capps stated that he was a little surprised to hear that Dr. Ogden was working on assessments because CVCC just successfully completed our fifth year review, and we shouldn't need to be concerned with the assessments for at least four and a half more years. Right.
Dr. Ogden responded that SCHEV has not asked us to report.
Raylene Cope reported that CSA will meet this Wednesday and that Randall Franklin will be the guest speaker. We did have a contest for the best Halloween decorations and the best costume. Twila DeMasters won for the best costume and Gayle Kiger for the best decorations. Both Twila and Gayle received a $10 gift card.
Dr. Capps thanked Raylene for keeping that spirit of community alive at CVCC.
Dr. Mickles reported that the spring semester enrollment is always of great concern, but especially this year. The spring schedule of classes in on our website. We are adding more employees to the enrollment phone tree, so that every call is answered. Tomorrow’s enrollment meeting will focus on several issues. We will discuss what we are doing to retain our fall students? What are we doing to market that we are open and actively registering students for spring 2021? What we can do to register REV students for spring 2021?
Dr. Mickles reported that CVCC is planning to implement the direct enrollment program in the fall of 2021. The direct enrollment pilot project is to help eliminate the barriers of placement testing and to allow students the opportunity to enroll in credit level mathematics as soon as possible. Students will be provided the necessary resources to help them be successful in those courses.
Dr. Mickles stated that Bob Young and his team will be presenting their experience with direct enrollment to CVCC, next week. They have already completed Phase 1 and have firsthand knowledge of how the direct enrollment pilot project actually works.
Dr. Mickles stated that the selection committee for the TRIO Director position will select the candidates to interview this week. The following week we will interview the candidates and hopefully have the position filled in early December.
Dr. Mickles stated the equity workgroup book club is moving along, but not as fast as we had hoped. We are all so very busy right now so, the deadlines have been extended.
Dr. Capps stated that Dr. Mickles is the leader of the band for everything academic and student services, and that we continue to appreciate your leadership in that crucial area as well. You are the best.
Dr. Capps added that in spite of everything we have done we are still not getting the job done in marketing CVCC and our programs. Dr. Capps stated on the first day of enrollment. We did not even have posted on the website that it was the first day for students to register for classes. Dr. Capps stated if you compare what we are doing to what some of the other colleges are doing what we continue to do is just provide information rather than to really persuade students or to convince students with an argumentative slap about why they should take advantage of this program. For example, if you go to the REV website it is a compelling site that lists reason after reason about why students should take advantage of the Rev program.
Dr. Capps stated that he still believes we need to take a more aggressive slant towards selling our programs, rather than just communicating information about our programs.
Raylene Cope: And I do not want them to feel that way and I want them to choose something that is going to benefit them for the future.
Elizabeth Narehood reported that Title III is starting the third year of their project and that they are wrapping up some annual surveys for the fall. The MALL surveys were done in partnership with PPA our external evaluation firm. Elizabeth stated she has been meeting with many CVCC math students and instructors.
Elizabeth Narehood reported that this fall Title III finished a satisfaction survey that was completed by students who took tutoring services at the MALL and they completed it directly after those services. Also, Title III issued, in partnership with Chris and Natalie, a community connections survey to generate awareness and to receive feedback on the Office of Community Connections.
Elizabeth Narehood stated that Philmika Reed had a wonderful presentation at the last steering committee. The impact of her work over this past year clearly demonstrates that this position was put in place at the right time.
Elizabeth Narehood added that she continues to support Muriel’s work with the equity workgroup. We will meet again next week.
Elizabeth Narehood stated that Title III needs to be updated on any program changes and financial aid information as they occur to ensure that we are accurately reviewing a student’s pathway through each of the onboarding steps and to see where they are having some challenges and/or barriers.
Elizabeth Narehood stated that Title III has been supporting the Navigate leadership team. We are working on goal development for the year and discussing embedding tutoring in the Math area.
Dr. Capps stated that is certainly a comprehensive report reflecting myriad activities that are going on in relationship to the Title III. Dr. Capps congratulated Elizabeth on her outstanding presentation to the Local Board in October. Elizabeth one.
Dr. Capps stated Elizabeth had offered some pretty compelling firsthand testimonials about some of the challenges that our faculty are facing in this online environment. Can you share some of that with the cabinet? Is faculty teaching to a blank screen and not sure that anybody is actually there?
Elizabeth Narehood reported that it has been interesting interacting with all of the classes. Attendance is pretty low in a lot of classes. Some students have cameras and some of them do not. Faculty are trying their best to be flexible with whether or not the students have their camera on or off. It is very challenging to teach to a blank screen and not know whether you are getting the lecture material across to the students.
Elizabeth Narehood stated we are discussing how to better use our tutoring staff since walk-in is no longer an option. One thought was to put them into an actual class for breakout sessions.
Dr. Capps asked Cynthia Deutsch, Jim Tuite about their firsthand experiences teaching online classes.
Jim Tuite stated that attendance in his virtual real-time classes is very good. The problem with the virtual classes is that we do not always have current contact information for our students. This especially impacts those students that are struggling. Counselors cannot reach students when we send an early alert, they do not read their CVCC emails or contact the instructor for help. We are going to lose more students than we would in a more face-to-face environment.
Dr. Capps stated that is a sobering description Jim, especially for a student-oriented instructor like yourself.
Dr. Deutsch stated that she has been more flexible with deadlines but that her students have a lot of engagement through discussion boards and they are taking their quizzes. Overall, the students have been engaged and they have kept going. There are a few students that are definitely struggling, and she tries to work with these students on an individual need basis.
Dr. Deutsch stated that there are many ways to engage students through the asynchronous environment and still give them that academic rigor and challenges. My students are responding really well.
Jim Tuite stated that he agreed with Cynthia that discussion boards have brought out the best in his students. The questions cause students to employ critical thinking skills. It is the type of environment that the best students flourish and the at-risk students’ flounder.
Dr. Deutsch stated that this environment does cause some students to really struggle, but that many do turn it around eventually. There may be some students that simply cannot complete an online class.
Dr. Capps stated that the best teachers inevitably bring out the best in their students, and that is what you and Jim consistently do with your students. That is why you are two of our very best instructors.
David Lightfoot stated that they purchased about 30 surfaces with ETF money and we are pulling those out for anyone who needs a mobile device. If anyone wants a traditional laptop, we will try to purchase them, but it took six weeks to get a quote. Hopefully, once they are ordered we will receive the laptops by January.
David Lightfoot added that William Osborne can set up Windows Hello with facial recognition. You will be able to look at your machine and it will authenticate you, which is kind of cool. Anybody that gets a new surface will have it. If you are interested in facial recognition, please call the helpdesk. David Lightfoot added that facial recognition is more secure and more convenient because it is taking the infrared three-dimensional image of your face instead of a patch.
David Lightfoot stated that we are upgrading our internal wireless. We are going to add places where we do not have adequate wireless coverage. We will walk around campus and find out where the dead spots are located. You will not be tethered within your office or in a meeting you will be able to take your wireless device wherever you go on campus. This will apply to students too.
David Lightfoot stated that in order to save money we will transition more to a wireless environment. Also, David had met with a contractor about parking lot Wi-Fi and he expects to receive a quote today. If it gets to procurement in a timely fashion, we will have it in place by early December.
David Lightfoot stated the Evan is doing a great job with SIS 9. There are 900 scripts to be tested and the team that is working on this is Jennifer Onuffer, Mary Woerner, Christina Brannan, Emily Pudliner, Ryan Bobbitt, Michael Duncan, and Kim Angel. These folks are really busy with SIS 9, in addition to their regular daily responsibilities. They want to be done by the end of this year.
Jeff Sydenstricker reported that Campus Security is moving business as usual. Not a lot of new things to report on our end, which typically means that is a good thing.
Jeff Sydenstricker stated that he is assisting in the different the areas that pertain to the pandemic and the reopening task forces. Dr. Capps stated that Jeff has done an absolutely exemplary job serving as our liaison between the college and the Virginia Department of Health. We are grateful to you for that.
Jeff Sydenstricker stated that the softer uniform is receiving compliments from the few folks that are on campus. Jeff stated that they have not purchased the new softer uniforms for the part-time guys yet.
Sarah Jarrett stated that the part time staff association will meet next week. We continue to focus on building our community. The virtual Career Fair is happening this week and next. This week 17 companies have signed up and they are doing virtual info sessions, one per hour over the next three days. Like everybody else, I am struggling to get students to participate. We have a handful of students who have registered already. Sarah Jarrett stated that this week is pretty informal, you can just show up, learn about a company no strings attached, and that kind of thing. So, if you have any influence over students please encourage them to attend.
Dr. Capps stated that the lack of participation for the career fair is certainly no reflection of the lack of effort on your part, Sarah, you have been sending out some great emails urging students to take advantage of that opportunity.
Jim Tuite stated that faculty were concerned with an incident that occurred in Canvas right around the time midterms were due. Canvas went down, and a notification went out on Canvas. Of course, students did not see the notification and thought that they had been dropped from their classes. It caused a lot of students to panic. Jim suggested that we add another way to get the word out when Canvas goes down and again when it is restored.
Dr. Capps stated that this was a system wide issue but communicating the outage to our students and faculty is certainly something to follow up on.
Jim Tuite stated that the second issue that has been raised by faculty is the lack of guideline for withdrawing students in this environment. This is an agenda item for the Faculty Association meeting tomorrow. Faculty are struggling. Do they let a student who has a 20% average stay in the course and potentially get an F. Jim Tuite stated we can work with the divisions, and maybe come up with some sort of a recommendation?
Dr. Mickles stated guidelines are the same for virtual and face to face classes. Dr. Mickles stated that the faculty have been extremely flexible when working with students. For students who are not participating in class there comes a point where you make a decision to withdraw the student by the withdraw date. Many faculty have been very lenient and very flexible and have given students the incomplete grade.
Dr. Mickles stated that the student has got to do the work. If they do not, unfortunately, they cannot be successful in the class.
Dr. Mickles stated that after the faculty meeting Jim should make an appointment to meet with her to discuss faculty recommendations and concerns.
Dr. Deutsch suggested that the faculty discuss the potential financial ramifications of withdrawing students from classes.
Dr. Deutsch stated that it is always a tough call between the W's and F’s. The task force is talking about this also, we looked at this data. Dr. Deutsch stated that from an equity standpoint, who is getting more W's, and who is getting more F's. There are definitely some issues there. Also, the financial impact of withdrawing students.
Dr. Mickles stated that another option to consider is mitigating circumstances if there is evidence of extreme circumstances. Many decisions will need to be made on a case by case basis.
Jim Tuite stated that there was a suggestion to have a faculty suggestion box.
Dr. Capps asked David Lightfoot to think about an electronic suggestion box for faculty.
David Lightfoot responded that there is an app and that he will look into it. Dr. Capps asked David to report on this at our next cabinet meeting.
Dr. Capps asked Muriel and Kris if they knew how many incompletes were awarded in the spring and summer, and how many remain outstanding. If not, would they do a little research and get back to him.
Dr. Capps stated that incompletes can have profound implications for students’ academic progress and eligibility for financial aid. Dr. Capps stated that this is something we need to do a little bit more research on to determine an appropriate course of action that best benefit students
Dr. Mickles responded that she would ask Karen for a list of students that received incompletes and a list of students that have not completed their work.
Dr. Capps stated that most of those outstanding incompletes are not going to be made up. We need to determine how we are going to approach that, and what we are going to do with those students.
Dr. Capps stated that Dianne is going to be coming back to us in a part time capacity. So hopefully at our next cabinet meeting you will see Diane's face.
Randall Franklin stated that Diane should be back once her paperwork is completed. this week
Dr. Capps stated that Dianne is excited about coming back and that she is missing everyone at CVCC.
Randall Franklin reported that he is working with Muriel and to hire a TRIO grant director in the next few weeks.
Randall Franklin stated that HR is finishing up on some of recruitments. The healthcare pathways grant coordinator committee met. We met this morning and decided on a really good group of folks to interview for that position. We have a trades tech position that is closed and an EMS faculty position that closed over the weekend. Still looking for an HR analyst.
Dr. Capps asked Randall if there is a strong and diverse applicant pools for those positions?
Randall Franklin stated the TRIO grant director had a very talented group of applicants. For the healthcare position we had some talented folks and then some that met the minimums. Lewis and John Rocha are going to decide whether to repost for the trade’s tech position. We originally posted that position in March and had very few applicants. The EMS faculty pool is pretty strong.
Randall Franklin added that he is working of the payday calendar and the General Assembly has approved the Juneteenth holiday. The two new holidays, which are Juneteenth, June 18th, and Election Day, will be recognized on the days that they occur, and we will still get a full Christmas break. The General Assembly approved December 23rd as an eight-hour day.
Randall Franklin stated that Chuck is ordering the service awards and that we should begin receiving them in the next week or two. We need to schedule a meeting to recognize our employees.
Dr. Capps stated that we made a commitment to have a special awards ceremony, not just for the service awards, but for the employee recognition awards as well and a couple of other special awards that we want to give to people this year. Dr. Capps asked Randall to look at the CVCC calendar and recommend a few good dates.
Lewis Bryant stated that they are working with Lynchburg City on a project to install a kiosk with our economic development office on campus. It is a business directory. Several of us are studying the idea because it is basically a business directory for students to find area restaurants and services within this area. Apparently VCCS policy is that they approve these and make sure that the college has appropriate control over the content. There is an MO that is needed and the Chancellor, believe it or not, and or Vice Chancellor approves the proofs. We do have to pay to connect with the power connection. It will probably be located within the student center. CARES funds are being used for this and it must be installed before Christmas break.
Lewis Bryant stated that they are working with David’s department to update some of the old signage on campus with digital signs.
Lewis Bryant stated that a new roof will be installed on Merritt Hall and it should be completed late November.
Lewis Bryant stated that John and his team are working hard to make all those things happen.
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:46 p.m. The next President’s Staff meeting is scheduled for November 23, 2020.
Submitted by Mary Zoccola