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December 7, 2017

Dr. Larson’s December 2017 Report to the Board of Trustees

December 7, 2017

Finance and Administration

  • On November 15, 2017, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a resolution authorizing the execution of a funding agreement with Ocean County College and the Ocean County Vocational Technical School relating to the construction of a Performing Arts Academy on the College campus.  The resolution formally approved the funding arrangement on behalf of the County of Ocean and permits the County to issue the bonds to finance the project.  The project is in the design stage and moving rapidly toward construction.
  • The Planning and Budgeting Council has completed its campus-wide budget hearing process.  Budget requests have been prioritized, and recommendations will be presented to the President’s Leadership Team in December.  As many of the approved requests as possible will be included in FY19 operating budget.
  • The Ocean County College FY17 financial audit has been completed and is under review by the members of the Board’s Audit Committee.  The Audit Committee will meet with the auditor, Mr. Robert Nehila, prior to Thursday’s meeting; the audit is on the Finance Committee agenda for acceptance.
  • Payroll has completed two training workshops for Web Time Entry.  Non-exempt employees in Security and Facilities will serve as the pilot group for this system.  The first payroll in December will be a parallel pay for both departments utilizing the current system and the Web Time Entry system, with the anticipation of going live shortly thereafter.
  • Changes have been made to the Spring semester payment schedule in an effort to make the plan more attractive to students.  Through December 31, 2017, upon registration, students will be offered the option of making a 10% down payment.  Beginning with the 2018 Spring semester, the tuition payment plan fee will be $30 for all students, eliminating the $50 fee that had been paid by full-time students.   The plan will require four installment payments due in January, February, March, and April.  Payment plans will also be offered for the 2018 Spring Quick Term as well as for the accelerated terms, Spring L1 and Spring L2.  Payment plans for the Spring semester are currently available online.
  • Human Resources
    • On October 26 and 27, 2017, Cohort #3 of the Leadership Academy participated in a kick-off event, facilitated by Mr. John DiNapoli of Spencer-Ryan, LLC.  The workshop focused on the leadership concepts espoused in “The Leadership Challenge” by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.  Attendees participated in a self-discovery inventory and multiple exercises aimed at helping them learn about their individual leadership strengths and weaknesses.  Every participant reported a positive and enriching experience.
    • On November 15, 2017, bi-weekly “book club” meetings began for Cohort #3.  These meetings are facilitated by Ms. Tracey Donaldson, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, and Ms. Jackie D’Amore, Senior Human Resources Specialist – Talent and Organizational Development.  The meetings are intended to guide the cohort through a workbook that accompanies “The Leadership Challenge.”  The workbook applies concepts from the Kouzes and Posner text towards project planning and leadership.  As the project pre-work is done, the cohort is left to develop their project proposal on their own.
    • Under the leadership of Ms. D’Amore, progress continues towards the implementation of Talent Management, a module within the PeopleAdmin suite, which will simplify the process of appraising performance and enable collection of training and development needs for future training courses.
    • To date, draft templates have been created and are being tested in PeopleAdmin. Fine-tuning of language and definitions is also underway.  Development of procedural manuals, training materials, and training sessions will begin soon.
    • Under the leadership of Ms. Carol Appleby, Recruiting Operations Manager, streamlined workflows were developed for position description and hiring approvals.  It is expected that this will further expedite the hiring and personnel agenda processes.
    • Human Resources staff participated in a demonstration of the Benefits Enrollment Online (BEO) tool.  This tool is an easy add-on to already existing Colleague features and would move the College towards employee self-enrollment and the upload of dental enrollment files directly to the dental insurance vendor, eliminating data entry.
    • On October 19 and 20, 2017, Ocean Way Training was held.  To date, 97 employees have participated in the training.  The next two-day workshop is being planned for early winter.
    • Campus Security Authorities were identified and notified of their status.  These individuals are enrolled in online training that will help them understand their roles and responsibilities under the Clery Act.
  • College Relations
    • Through the partnership with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office, the Manchester Police Department, and the College, a video entitled “Not Even Once” was produced.  The video tells the story, via an interview, of a mother who recently lost her son to an opiate overdose.  Her powerful message provides an impactful look at the consequences and pain that the opiate crisis has caused Ocean County youth and families.  Within one week of its release, the video had over 150,000 views; it is also being used as a training program by the Manchester Police Department for other law enforcement officers and middle and high school students.  The video will soon be distributed via the partnerships between OCC TV and local high school channels.
    • To support Student Life, a new student-oriented TV program is in pre-production.  The show, “A Slice of Student Life,” will focus on OCC clubs and their activities, community service, student achievement, and academic life.  Mr. Neal McHale, Part-Time Student Life Coordinator, is serving as the show’s producer, and the Viking Video Club will provide the production staff.
    • Representing Student Affairs and College Relations, Ms. Sheenah Hartigan,  Director of Student Services Operations, and Ms. Maureen Conlon, Assistant Director of Web Services, partnered to launch the new virtual Hub:
    • The Hub will provide express enrollment services to all new students, which can be utilized face-to-face or totally online.
  • The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
    • Since July 1, 2017, over 13,000 patrons have visited the Center.  In collaboration with various partners, the Center continues to bring world-class artists to the Jersey Shore.
    • School ’n Stage – In partnership with the Toms River School District, it is anticipated that 1,100 students and 80 teachers will participate in the School ’n Stage matinee program of Janet’s Planet.  The students will explore all aspects of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics as they learn about the solar system with Janet.  Janet’s Planet is an educational children’s television show that is on 144 public television stations nationwide.  Participants will be given a virtual tour, exploring all aspects of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics, as they learn about the solar system.  The shows will take place at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, 2018.
    • Additionally, an evening performance of Janet’s Planet has been scheduled in conjunction with the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.  Children and parents will attend a public showing of Janet’s Planet in the Center as well as visit the Novins Planetarium to learn more about their world.
    • Students from across Ocean County, including from Little Egg Harbor and Ocean Gate schools, will participate in a showing of Pirate School.  These students will learn the science behind being a Pirate as they sail the oceans.
    • Many shows in December are selling out.  As of this date, “A Christmas Carol” has over 350 patrons, “Nutcracker” has 450 patrons, Vienna Boys Choir has 458 patrons, Westminster Concert Bell Choir has 180 patrons, Sing along Frozen has over 500 patrons for the two shows, Garfield has over 190 patrons, and Carol of the King has over 410 patrons.
    • On Friday, January 12, 2018, the Center will present New York Voices, a critically-acclaimed vocal group whose members are known for their close-knit voicings, inspired arrangements, and unparalleled vocal blend.  The Southern Regional High School jazz choir will be performing with the group, and the school’s jazz band will be playing with the group.  Over 200 students will participate in the master class and watch the performance.
    • Todd Frazier is both a local hero and Major League Baseball player.  He will be giving a moderated lecture on Friday, January 19, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are selling quickly; so far, there are over 300 patrons attending this event.
    • Rickie Lee Jones will be performing at the Grunin Center on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.  This recently added event provides the opportunity to hear one of the great legends of music, a two-time Grammy winner who has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums.
    • The partnership between the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the College continues to bring diverse artists to the Grunin Center to perform for both area students and the public.  The South Korean group, Black String, will be performing on Thursday, January 25, 2018, and the Chicano band from East Los Angeles, Las Cafeteras, will be performing on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.
    • The Center’s impact on the community continues to grow through its collaboration and rentals with local organizations.  This year, many presentations have exceeded their attendance goals as a result of renting OCC’s venue:  Holiday Express brought over 900 persons to the Center; Caregivers sold out; Pointe Howell Ballet had an attendance of 350; OceanCares, 100; and Anthony Street Productions, 300.
  • Security
    • In accordance with New Jersey Public Law 2015, Chapter 220, and College Policy #2332, Reporting of On-Campus Criminal and Fire Events, attached is the monthly statistics report of crimes, fires, and other emergencies on campus for the reporting period October 26, 2017, through November 29, 2017.

Student Affairs

  • Advising, Transfer, and Career Services
    • Ms. Pamela Donohue, Associate Director of Academic Advising and Career Services, coordinated with the Records and Registration Office, the School of Nursing, and Kean Ocean to execute two successful pre-nursing information sessions.  Over one hundred people attended the sessions to gain information on Nursing pre-requisites and admission to the Nursing Program, as well as learn what to expect from the Nursing curriculum and how to pursue the BSN through Kean Ocean.
    • The Advising Office has hosted two Instant Decision Days this fall.  Ms. Laura Wills, Coordinator of Transfer Services, organizes and executes these events:
    • Kean Ocean Instant Decision Day:  Three students were admitted at the Toms River campus; one student was admitted at the SEC.
    • Monmouth University Instant Decision Day:  Nine students admitted.
    • An additional Instant Decision Day with New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is scheduled for Thursday, December 7, 2017.
    • Several information sessions have been hosted by Advising with four-year institutions, including The College of New Jersey; Centenary University; Pace University; Farleigh Dickinson University (Scholars Program); Georgian Court University; Wilmington University; Manhattan College; and Felician University.
    • An advisor in-service program was hosted on October 20, 2017.  Topics covered included advising and curriculum updates; the OCC/Stockton Education Pilot, with guest speaker Dean of Business and Social Sciences Rosann Bar; career advising update and training; transfer advising training; and preparation for Spring 2018 New Student Orientation.

e-Learning and Learning Enterprises

  • e-Learning Subject Matter Experts have been busy reviewing and building English as a Second Language courses for specific purposes, integrating Rosetta Stone Advantage into them.
  • On November 20, 2017, Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of Instructional Outreach, and I participated in a special thematic conversation session at the Middle Eastern Studies Association annual conference in Washington, D.C.  The session was entitled “Funding Opportunities in the MENA Region: Joint Degrees,” which was created by Executive Director of Fulbright in Egypt, Maggie Nassif.  Discussion centered on the dual-degree model of OCC at Ain Shams University and described Georgia State University’s collaboration with Cairo University.  Attendees included representatives of the U.S. Department of State as well as academics from around the world.  Dr. Hayward and I then met with Mr. Oliver John, Deputy Director, Office of Egyptian Affairs at the Department of State, to update him on the Egypt projects.  Also discussed was the potential for an unsolicited proposal to assist in initiating the OCC Egypt project
  • On November 14, 2017, Dr. Hayward presented on “Women in the Muslim World.”  This talk for the college community was part of OCC’s International Education week activities.
  • Instructional Design work continues steadily:
  • The team is starting course copy for the 2018 Spring semester and Accelerated Term 1, to be completed before Winter Break.  Simultaneously, 15 new courses are being built, and updated courses will be completed by December 11, 2017.
  • Course review for Fall 2018 is in progress.  Approximately 27 courses are in the process of review of Computer Studies, Information Literacy, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences courses, which will be completed by July 2018.
  • Online Instructor Training and Master Course Developer Training are undergoing updates, to be completed by March 2018, in time for the next cohort training.
  • For the Cengage project, the e-Learning team is currently reviewing Wave 2 courses, with all ten courses to be finalized by December 11, 2017.  Wave 3 courses have been determined, and Cengage is in the process of interviewing Subject Matter Experts for the next set of ten courses, which will be delivered for Fall 2018.
  • OCC’s partnership with Hudson County Community College is expanding.  Seven courses for Spring 2018 are almost complete, four of which are new and three are updates to existing courses.  They will be completed by December 11, 2017, and delivered to HCCC.
  • The e-Learning Department enjoyed the opportunity to consult with Dr. Ellie Fogarty, Vice President of the Middle States Commission for Higher Education.  Many innovative projects were discussed with Dr. Fogarty from the viewpoint of the accreditation body.  The dialog was appreciated by all and helped to shape and focus the department goals moving forward.
  • This past week, e-Learning Science College Lecturer II Marc LaBella coordinated and hosted a course-build kick-off that will bring together no less than four individuals with Ph.D.s in physics to act as Subject Matter Experts for the next round of Master Course rewrites in Physics.  By bringing partners from Emersive Technologies, Cengage Learning, and OCC together, Mr. LaBella has been able to leverage the resources of all three institutions so that the next iteration of Master Course shells in Physics will have enjoyed input from a highly accomplished team.  Because of our longstanding partnerships with both Emersive Technology and Cengage, these added resources to the course construction will cost the College nothing.

Academic Affairs

  • School of Nursing and Health Sciences
    • Ms. Elizabeth Stevenson, MSN, RN, Assistant Dean of Nursing, attended a session sponsored by the HURST NCLEX Review Services Program on November 7, 2017.  HURST Review Services provides a review course for graduating students to prepare them for the national licensure examination.  HURST also offers educational programs for faculty to support student outcomes.  Information focused on the process for developing questions included on the examination and strategies to assist students in achieving passing scores.  This information will be incorporated into the Nursing Program to prepare students to analyze examination questions and to reinforce critical thinking skills required for clinical practice.
    • The Student Nursing Organization (SNO) held a fundraising event at the Bahama Breeze restaurant on November 15, 2017.  The restaurant donated 10% of each customer’s bill who indicated they were from Ocean County College to the SNO Scholarship Program.  A total of $200 was raised at this event.  Additionally, SNO sponsored a bake sale on October 31, 2017, which raised $250.  Proceeds will be utilized to award students with scholarships at the annual Pinning Ceremony held in May.
  • School of Business and Social Sciences
    • In November, internet personality Mr. Brooks Gibbs presented an interactive and informative lecture to students about free speech and the First Amendment on college campuses.  Political Science Lecturers Jason Ghibesi and Jennifer Barnes organized the event.
    • The Future Counselors Club recently hosted Ms. Kimberly Reilly, Ocean County Director of Substance Abuse Services.  The club, supervised by Mr. Jeff Lang, College Lecturer II of Addictions Counseling, is comprised of students currently enrolled in Addiction Counseling classes and seeking to work in the addictions counseling field.  This is the club’s second year of inviting directors and leaders in New Jersey and Ocean County to speak about modern evidence-based treatment methods and best practices, as well as regulatory and business practices in modern treatment settings.  Ms. Reilly’s presentation focused on the ways in which local treatment centers are responding to recent changes in funding and service delivery.
    • The Kean Ocean Entrepreneurship Club, led by Business Lecturer II Christopher Bottomley, along with Dr. Kathy Toy, Lecturer II of Business, and Adjunct Assistant Professor Patricia Kunzman, will be hosting a free event on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. in the Gateway Building featuring American Mixed Martial Artist, Frankie Edgar.  Mr. Edgar will be speaking about building and maintaining his brand in both competitive fighting and entrepreneurial business pursuits.
  • School of Arts and Humanities
    • Faculty are preparing for the implementation of the Associate in Arts degree in Graphic Arts, Design, and Media by next fall as well as continuing work on the Guided Pathways initiatives with the Associate in Arts degree in English and the Associate in Arts degree in History.
    • Over the past month, the History Club, co-led by History College Lecturer II Stephen Downey and Robert Marchie, has been very busy soliciting donations for the Belmar Historical Society and the Florida and Puerto Rico (Jorge Posada Foundation) hurricane victims.  The club also sponsored a trip through Student Life to Pennsylvania, which included a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary and Independence Hall.  Additionally, on November 4, 2017, the club organized a small group, half-day tour of the New Jersey Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and Museum, and on November 25, 2017, the group visited Gettysburg for the club’s annual battlefield trip.  Mr. Richard Trimble, Adjunct Professor of History, led a full-day tour of the battlefield.
    • For Veterans Day this year, the Veterans Ensemble, a contingent of the Ocean County College Concert Band, performed at the ceremony on the campus mall.
    • Mr. Chalakani directed “Telling:  Jersey Shore,” a dramatic play performed by veterans about veterans, in the Black Box Theatre from November 10 through 19, 2017.    
    • Directed by Dr. Ali Botein-Furrevig, Associate Professor of English and Literature, the Center for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education presented a lecture on “Jews of Shanghai” by Dr. Xiao-Ming Yang, Professor of English, on October 31, 2017.
    • Humanities and Fine Arts Adjunct Faculty Member Will Salmons directed the OCC Repertory Theatre Company in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson in the Black Box Theatre from Thursday to Saturday, November 30 to December 2, 2017; it will be presented again from Friday to Sunday, December 8 to 10, 2017.
    • On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at 7 p.m. in the Grunin Theatre, the Dance Club, advised by Ms. Catherine Mancuso, held its Fall Semester Showcase.   Performances included works by OCC students as well as the Modern and Ballet dance classes.
    • On December 9, 2017, Mr. Downey and Mr. Marchie plan to take a small group of students to historic Princeton, New Jersey, and will tour the Princeton University campus.
    • The Community Book Club, led by Dr. David Bordelon, Professor of English and Literature, continues through December with “Much Ado about Nothing” on December 11, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. in the Library Tower Room.
    • On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Dr. Beth Brierley will direct and choreograph a Musical Theatre Showcase featuring OCC students called “Vikings for Veterans.”  At this event, donations will be accepted for the Wounded Warriors Project.
  • School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Dr. William Rickert, Professor of Mathematics, reported that the Gosh Numbers Lecture was an overwhelming success.  It was on held on November 29, 2017, with standing room only, an impressive feat for an afternoon mathematics lecture.  The response from the students was extremely positive, and many were amazed at the power and beauty of the mathematics presented.
    • On November 16 and 17, 2017, the STEM program was promoted to over 120 College Readiness students who visited from three area high schools by Assistant Professor of Science Eric Antonelli; College Lecturer II of Science Gerald Aska; College Lecturer II of Biology Angel Camilo; College Lecturer II of Chemistry Vijay Ramdeen; and College Lecturer II in Computer Studies Edmond Hong.  Students participated in various activities, including using Arduino microcontrollers in science and in everyday life, how to follow a wiring diagram, and how to write a simple program.  With these new skills, each student assembled a miniature four key electronic piano.
    • With generous donations from five Mathematics Department faculty members, as well as the evening custodian in the Russell Building, Dean of STEM Paul Silberquit purchased ten complete Thanksgiving dinners, which were donated to St. Aloysius Church in Jackson, New Jersey.  Overall, more than 700 dinners were collected at the church.  The faculty have generously contributed to this effort in years past.
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