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July 25, 2014

President’s July 2014 Report to the OCC Board of Trustees

Dr. Jon Larson

Trip Abroad

I will be attending the 3rd Universia International Presidents Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 27 to 29.  The theme of the meeting is “The University of the 21stCentury:  An Insight from Latin America.”  Its purpose is to create a collaborative interchange of ideas and insights into higher education to identify ways in which relationships among the Ibero-American universities and other universities can be enhanced as well as to promote the diffusion of knowledge through the Internet.

This event is sponsored by Bank Santander through its Santander Universities Global Division, which has supported Universia in all of its activities since its establishment in 2000.  Universia is a most important university network that includes 1,262 universities in 23 countries, representing a total of 16.2 million students and teachers.  Over 900 presidents have registered for this Universia International Presidents Meeting.

Meetings are being scheduled for me to talk with university presidents from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile.  I have also been invited to dinner with Mr. Román Blanco, who is Santander’s new Country Head for the United States.  I am looking forward to the trip and am eager to discuss partnerships with international universities.

Ocean County College Foundation

  • On Wednesday, July 16, members of the Ocean County College Foundation and Ocean County College Board of Trustees, as well as staff members, took part in the OceanFirst Foundation’s Fifth Anniversary Scholarship Reception at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club, Farmingdale. The OceanFirst Foundation graciously donated $50,000 to the Ocean County College Foundation to provide 50 incoming students with $1,000 scholarships.  Scholarship recipients are graduates of schools in the OceanFirst Bank service areas of Ocean and Monmouth counties with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.  They also must be entering as full-time freshmen in the fall semester. Overall, the OceanFirst Foundation donated $200,000 this year for scholarships at Ocean County College, Brookdale Community College, Georgian Court University, and Monmouth University.  Since the inception of the program, the OceanFirst Foundation has awarded $1 million to local students.
  • The Ocean County College Foundation’s 2014 Scholarship Celebration is being held on Saturday, August 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Health and Human Performance Center. This year, the Foundation is recognizing 50 Years of Excellence in Education at Ocean County College. The event chair is Mr. Kenneth J. Malagiere, and the Honorary Chair is Mr. Philip G. Zitelli.  All proceeds from the Celebration will benefit the Foundation’s endowment to support student scholarships.  During the past year, the Foundation awarded 581scholarships totaling over $456,000.

Please join us for this very special evening to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Ocean County College.  Gourmet food will be served, music will be provided, and a silent auction will take place.

Finance and Administration

Office of Information Technology

  • Prior to the start in June of the many Kids on Campus camps being offered this summer, Information Technology worked with Continuing and Professional Education to develop an instant enrollment process to facilitate registration.  Registration can now be done online, and all required information associated with having children on campus can be obtained easily, including the best way to contact parents, if necessary.  Additionally, name tags for children can be generated quickly as a result of electronic information collection.
  • Information Technology is currently collaborating with Academic Affairs to install and configure Accudemia, a new web-based academic center management system that offers many benefits, universal accessibility, and quick implementation.  It can be used for tracking students, appointment management, academic early warnings, referrals, feedback collection, and student-faculty interactions.
  • Final testing is completed for Student Finance Viewsa self-service solution by Ellucian that provides a complete real-time view of a student’s financial record in an elegant, modern web interface.  The new view will be in place for the start of the fall semester.

College Relations

  • Four additional banners highlighting successful OCC alumni will be installed on campus.  Very large banners will be located on the Nursing Building, Administration Building, Fine Arts Building, and Bartlett Hall.  The banners will be changed every two years to highlight different alumni and celebrate new accomplishments.
  •  As part of Ocean County College’s 50th Anniversary celebration, you are invited to enjoy the BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood on Friday, August 15, in the First Base Picnic Area for a BBQ buffet, ball game, and fireworks.  Gates open at 6:00 p.m., and the game begins at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for children, discounted from the regular entrance fee, which can be purchased in the Student Life Office.  Attendees will receive free OCC 50th Anniversary t-shirts to wear for the evening to demonstrate OCC’s team spirit.
  • Ocean Views (our Alumni magazine) highlights the best of Ocean County College and communicates its new programs, outstanding accomplishments by staff, students, and alumni, along with other items of interest.   This edition highlights the 50th Anniversary of OCC and focuses on where we were, where we are, and where we are going for the next 50 years.
  • A new logo design has been created for the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts.  The logo strikes a balance between Ocean County College’s long history of commitment to the arts and the Grunins’ generous donation to support exciting new programs.  The new logo will be incorporated in all OCC publications, communications, and the website.

Performing Arts

The faculty and staff of Performing Arts have been busy planning performances and events made possible by the recent gift from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation.  The 2014-2015 Grunin Spotlight Series includes the following performances:

  • October 11, 2014       Bernie William’s Jazz All-Star Band
  • October 30, 2014       Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway
  • January 17, 2015       Sutton Foster
  • February 9, 2015       Anthony McGill
  • February 24, 2015     Chanticleer
  • March 28, 2015          Emerson String Quartet
  • April 11, 2015            The Hit Men

Ms. Bobbi Krantz, Part-Time Director of the Arts and Community Center, and Mr. Mark Wilson, Lecturer II in Music and Dance, will join us on Friday to highlight the Grunin Spotlight Series.


  • During the past year, the Facilities Work Control Center dispatched surveys to SchoolDude end users to evaluate its services and determine ways in which the Center can be improved.  The response from the campus community was extremely positive, with respondents remarking on the professionalism and excellent service offered by the Center’s staff.
  • The newly established and improved Safety Committee will meet in the near future with key members of the campus community to promote awareness, encourage participation, and communicate safety processes.  The committee looks forward to establishing a renewed focus on safety throughout the campus.
  • The Facilities Warehouse has begun a partnership with Fastenal, a distributor of industrial, safety, and construction supplies.  Fastenal will be providing solutions for small inventory control and re-order management to reduce labor costs and materials on hand.  Implementation of this partnership is scheduled for the week of July 14.


  • On June 5, Ms. Jan Kirsten, Executive Director of College Relations, Mr. Sydney Stroman, Security Lieutenant, and Mr. Bob Kumpf, Director of Security, attended training sponsored by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.  The program, entitled The Aftermath, Higher Education Active Shooter Recovery Workshop, provided an overview of planning; economic recovery; health and social services; relationships with local, state, and federal partners; and public information and warning systems.  The workshop included three modules:  Active Shooter – First 24 Hours, The First Week, and Long-Term Recovery. A version of this workshop was recently conducted as part of our College Security Training (to date, 14 officers have received Security Officers Registration Act (SORA) training).  Officers who completed the training found it to be extremely beneficial, which suggests that it should be expanded to other areas of our College community.
  • The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose information about crime on their campuses.  As part of the Clery Act requirements, institutions must identify individuals who have significant responsibility for student activities and designate them as Campus Security Authorities (CSA’s).   The role of a CSA is to report to the appropriate officials any crime information that was provided to him or her in “good faith.”Because CSA’s play a vital role in ensuring compliance with the law, training will be offered to those who are considered CSA’s on campus.  To date, several members of the coaching staff have been trained, and additional training sessions will be offered for other departments on campus.
  • Mr. Kumpf was recently sworn in as President of New Jersey CUPSA (College and University Public Safety Association).  NJ CUPSA is an organization consisting of 40 colleges and universities, with 1,800 police and security professionals protecting over 350,000 students.


  • On Saturday, July 26, the Planetarium is presenting Summer Laser Fest.  The shows will include Laser Beatles, Laser Vinyl, Laser Zeppelin, Laser Pink Floyd:  Dark Side of the Moon, and Laser Pink Floyd: The Wall.
  • On Saturday, August 2, the Planetarium will be hosting a Pajama Night Show.
  • Also on Saturday, August 2, the Planetarium, along with the Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area (ASTRA), will be hosting a Star Watch Party at Island Beach State Park.  The Seaside Park Environmental Committee and the Parks Committee of Island Beach State Park approached the Planetarium to organize this unique event.  The Star Watch Party attendance is limited; however, the Planetarium has a few tickets available should a trustee be interested in attending.  Hopefully, this event will be the first of many partnership possibilities with the Seaside Park community.

Ocean County College ID Cards

As a result of our partnership with Santander Bank, Santander is providing new smart identification cards to the College at no cost.  The cards will be branded with the OCC logo and issued to all students and staff and will replace the current OCC ID cards.  The new cards will allow students to link Santander checking accounts to their Ocean County College ID cards, and the new cards will be capable of additional functionality,such as opening swipe-card doors, paying for copies, and ordering food in the new Student Center.  It should be noted that these are not credit cards, and students do not have to open a Santander account in order to receive the ID cards.  The cards will be delivered in the next few weeks and will then be issued to students for the start-up of the fall semester.

Partnership with Ellucian

On Friday, July 18, Mr. John Speer, President and CEO of Ellucian, met with me on campus as a follow-up to our recent conversations regarding Ocean’s interest in becoming an Ellucian channel partner.   Ms. Sara Winchester and Mr. Hatem Akl, Chief Information Officer, were also present, as were members of the Ellucian team, including Mr. Chuck Keller of Ellucian Managed Services, Mr. Jeff Davison from Professional Services, and Mr. Matthew Alonzo, Sales Executive.  During the full-day working session, we discussed in detail the components necessary for OCC to form a successful three-party relationship with Ellucian and another college.  The discussion was extremely productive; the next steps include meeting with potential partner institutions.  I will keep the trustees informed as the project continues to move forward.

Open Public Records Act (OPRA) Request

On September 18, 2013, Mr. Robert Moss submitted an OPRA request for records regarding a public meeting discussing the proposed west driveway as mentioned in the 2008 OCC Facilities Master Plan.  After extensive research, no records had been found matching his request; a response with that information was given to Mr. Moss, along with the suggestion to check with the Ocean County Engineer.  On October 15, 2013, Mr. Moss filed a complaint with the Government Records Council (GRC) claiming unlawful denial of access to government records.  On June 26, 2014, the GRC found that Ms. Sara Winchester, Custodian of Records, met the burden of proof and did not unlawfully deny access to the complainant’s OPRA request. The matter is closed.

Student Affairs

  • Dr. Norma Betz, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, will speak briefly at Friday’s meeting regarding the reorganization and transition of Enrollment Management and the Student Affairs Division, formerly under the supervision of Mr. Don Doran.  At the same time, Dr. Betz will share with you some of her future plans to continually improve our interaction with and service to students.
  • The Ocean County College Athletics Program has been named ninth in the nation in the Non-Scholarship Colleges category by the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup Program.  The NATYCAA Cup program began in 2004 and recognizes excellence in two-year college athletics based on success in championship competition. Congratulations to Ms. Ilene Cohen, Executive Director of Athletics, Mr. A.J. Trump, Athletics Director, and all of the coaches, staff, and students who contributed to this success.

Academic Affairs

  • An implementation plan for the one-year trial period approved by the trustees last month for the revised Lecturer II job description has been developed.  Dr. Wang met with Lecturer II’s on July 17 to review the plan, which was well received by the attendees.
  • The final segment of the College Readiness program has brought 28 high school juniors from all three Toms River high schools to the College campus for a college-level math course, a student success course, and a college English seminar.  Dr. Wang and I visited the students in class on July 22, and a majority of them indicated they would be registering for OCC Jump Start courses in the fall semester.  The program has received very positive responses from the participating students, parents, and school teachers and administrators.  A follow-up plan will be developed to continue these successful efforts in the future.


Mr. Dom Alagia, the College’s sports announcer, was recently featured in the June 2014 edition of The Voice, the newsletter of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA).  The prominently placed article lauded Mr. Alagia’s more than fifty years as a sports announcer.  He has been the voice of 18 teams on a regular basis and backup for 8 other teams, announcing an incredible 3,267 games and events during his career. This is the record for the most events ever announced by a NASPAA member.

A copy of the article is attached.  Congratulations are extended to Mr. Alagia for his outstanding accomplishments.

Board of Trustees Retreat

Please note that the next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees Retreat will take place on Friday, August 15, at 12:00 noon in the Boardroom.  If you would like to suggest items for discussion, please let me know.

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