|Welcome back, Mavericks!
It was great to see you at the Convocation last week. It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up on things after what, I hope, was a relaxing summer. As I said at Convocation, the upcoming academic year will be eventful for many reasons. First and foremost, it is eventful because, once again, we have the opportunity to provide a "field of dreams" for our students. That, alone, is reason to celebrate and expect great things at LSC-Montgomery.
I wish each of you all the best in the coming year. I encourage you to work hard to achieve the goals that you've set for yourself. Don't forget to take time to enjoy the many activities that occur just about every day on our campus, whether it's a theatre production, concert, Lyceum speaker, student presentation, or something else. Indeed, every day is a great day in Maverick Country! Play ball!
|Open Forums schedule/description
In an effort to continuously increase our communication and interaction with faculty and staff, I've asked our administrative team, including all deans and vice presidents, to hold one open forum each month covering their specific division or department. The goal is to let the campus community know about new initiatives for 2012-13, highlight recent accomplishments, and answer questions or concerns you might have. The open forums (listed below) will take place on Thursdays at 3 p.m. in G102. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend as many as possible.
Open Forum Schedule
|Sept. 20||Austin Lane, 3-4:30 p.m.|
|Oct. 18||Wendell Williams, VP Student Success|
|Nov. 8||Austin Lane, 3-4:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 15||Becky Gustamante, Dean, BASS|
|Dec. 4||Renee Pruitt & Kitty Gronlund, |
Interim Deans, NaSH
Ann Kirch, VP Instruction
|Feb. 21||Jim Taylor, VP Administration|
|March 21||Barbara Buchanan, Dean, BELS|
|April 25||Debbie Ellington, Interim Dean, TEAM|
|May 2||Steve Scheffler, Dean, College Relations|
Of course, I will continue to hold President Open Forums twice each semester, with the first one taking place on Thursday, September 20, from 3-4:30 p.m. in G102. The second forum will be on Thursday, November 8, same time/location.
Chancellor's Open Forum
Speaking of open forums, LSCS Chancellor, Dr. Richard Carpenter, will hold his open forum for LSC-Montgomery on Thursday, September 13, at 3 p.m. for all faculty and staff, both full and part-time. This will be held in the mainstage theatre in the Performing Arts Center (building D).
Open forums provide a critical communication link that keeps everyone on the same page with new announcements, updates and other information. Again, try not to miss these!
As you know, we have two academic dean positions that are vacant. Fortunately, we have excellent interim leadership while we conduct national searches this fall. Debbie Ellington is serving as interim dean for the TEAM division, where she previously served as dean from 2002-2009. Co-interim deans Renee Pruitt and Kitty Gronlund have stepped in and provided fine leadership and support for our NASH division since early June.
The search committees are well underway with their all-important work, which should culminate in November with campus visits from the finalist for each dean position. This will be a chance for the entire college community to be a part of the process by providing feedback after candidate open forums/presentations. Our goal is to have our two new deans join us for the start of the Spring 2013 semester in January. I'd like to personally thank each member of the search committees for their work in this regard.
|Ann Kirch (chair)||Ann Kirch (chair)|
|Katie Halbert||Barbara Eckenfels|
|Kathy Johansen||Earl Holt|
|Kitty Gronlund||Linda Woodward|
|Renee Pruitt||Chase Waites|
|Linda Crow||Kris Chapman|
|Linda Vogel||Denise Meyers|
|Manijeh Scott||David Benzel|
|Nathalie Brandes||Rob Kreps|
|John Magner||Joanie Sloan|
|Betsy Stern||Maureen Loiacano|
|Mike Sundermann||Habib Far|
|Nishi Mathew||James Lee|
|Frances Ozor||Heidi Smith|
|Regular EC meetings with Faculty Senate officers/others
Starting in September, I've scheduled monthly lunch meetings with my administrative team, the academic deans, and the Faculty Senate officers. There will be no set agenda for these meetings. Rather, it will be an opportunity for open dialogue and discussion. The first meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 7, from noon-1:30 p.m. As I said at Convocation, if you are interested in attending this meeting, please let Sheila know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Central to our ongoing planning efforts is The Maverick Way, a compilation of our three primary planning documents - the Academic Plan, the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, and the Campus Master Plan. Each contributes mightily to our current and future success. I've attached a PDF of this plan below. It's important to note that each plan is a living document, changing and growing as new initiatives and goals emerge. Especially with the Campus Master plan, more details will emerge as the external consultants' report is finalized and discussed this fall. I will use our open forums and other communication tools to keep you informed.
Across the System (and even Texas), enrollment growth patterns continue to slow. There are many factors for this, including an economy that, in our region, at least, shows continuing signs of improvement. At LSC-Montgomery, our first-day enrollment was slightly below last fall's numbers, both in terms of student headcount and contact hours. While this is the first time in the history of the college that an enrollment decline appears likely, there are positive signs, as well. At LSC-Conroe Center, for example, a full parking lot this past Monday was indicative of a 37 percent increase in student headcount. Almost 800 students are taking classes at LSC-Conroe Center. When you combine that with a robust continuing education/workforce training program, more than 1,200 students attend the center, and more CE students will enroll in the coming weeks. I am excited that the Conroe Center has emerged as a vital and vibrant feature of the Conroe-Willis (north Montgomery County) region, fulfilling expectations that created the new campus back in 2008 when the last bond referendum passed.
|Transfer Emphasis Blossoms
One of the critical items that emerged from Foundations of Excellence in 2010-11 was the acknowledgement that LSC-Montgomery needed to put more emphasis on student transfer process. While many of our students use their time here efficiently to prepare for eventual transfer to four-year institutions such as Sam Houston State University, there are far too many who lose their way, never realizing their dreams of achieving a degree - be it an associate's or a bachelor's. Additionally, our students told us that they needed more communication about transfer opportunities, and that the transfer process needed to be more seamless.
Enter Juan Lebron, Barbara Eckenfels, Matthew Samford and other counselors and advisors, who have made it one of their primary goals to address the "transfer shock" experience our students face. Through their leadership, LSC-Montgomery is well on its way to making giant strides in this critical area. In fact, they recently developed the first of what will be many degree roadmaps that move our students from LSC-Montgomery to Sam Houston State University. Transfer information is integrated into Maverick Connection so that all first-time-in-college students are familiarized with how easy transfer can be.
Their efforts have been so effective that the college is considering campus space for a transfer center, where current students can find all the necessary resources and services to make the transfer process even easier. I'm very excited about the progress we're making with this important component of our strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan. There will be much more information to share throughout the next year with regard to our transfer efforts.
Left to right top row: Timothy Alego, George Jackson, Justin Chance, David Stancato, Tim Campbell, Eiki Isomura, Tim Mousel, Mark Marotto, Sandra Gregerson, Mary Lasco
Left to right bottom row: Michele Richey, Sarah Palacios-Wilhelm, Sandi Johnson, Lori Lehtola
Not pictured in group shot: Fiona Ross, Glen Wood, Patrice Branch, Carol Erb, Helen McDowell, and Jacquelyn Harrah
President's Fitness Challenge
Getting and/or staying fit is something for which we all should strive. It has been proven that a healthy body goes a long way toward having a healthy mind. This is why I'm supporting a collegewide effort to encourage faculty and staff to exercise regularly. The President's Fitness Challenge will provide a basic structure for each of us to pursue healthy exercise goals. Within the next week, you'll receive more information about how to sign up and stay on track via the Fitness Challenge. Those who participate throughout the 2012-13 year will be recognized at the Heights of Excellence. Those who achieve certain milestones along the way will also be honored accordingly. The President's Fitness Challenge is a collaboration between the college's Wellness Center, College Relations, Professional Support Staff Association, Mike Devoley (psychology) and Dr. Craig Livingston (history).
LSC Foundation Kicks Off 2012 "Your Gift is the Key" Campaign
Did you know that almost half of our students rely on some form of financial aid or scholarships to attend LSC-Montgomery? Sadly, for many students, college costs prohibit them from pursuing their career goals.
The Lone Star College Foundation makes college possible for hundreds of LSCS students each semester. Through generous donations from individuals, businesses and organizations, scholarships through the Foundation fuel students' dreams, opening doors that otherwise would be closed.
The Foundation's new giving campaign, "Your Gift is the Key to Student Success," is a way for each of us to participate in making a student's dream a reality. This is the Foundation's first employee-based campaign since 2007, and it is very easy to give -- even as little as $2 per paycheck! Everything makes a difference.
At LSC-Montgomery, our campaign will begin the week of September 17. Co-chairing the college's local campaign is Steve Scheffler, dean of college relations, and Linda Vogel, nursing professor. Both have been involved with the Foundation for many years. Three years ago, Linda helped establish an endowed scholarship in memory of her daughter, Kelsey. This annual scholarship goes to an aspiring actor/actress in our theatre arts program. Through powerful testimonies of both the student recipients and generous donors, they hope to raise the awareness level on campus about the good things being done through our Foundation. The campaign will be officially announced next week.