The President's Page
Dr. Maureen Murphy
The Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2013, was a grand celebration. The Navesink I & II rooms in the Warner Student Life Center were packed with faculty and staff, eager to learn if the Board would approve the recommendations for Faculty Promotions and Tenure, and the awards for the Professional Staffs’ Performance Recognition. I am pleased to write that the motions passed unanimously!
On behalf of the Board, Chair Butch spoke of the achievements of those recognized and of the committees who worked tirelessly and with much integrity to make the recommendations on their colleagues’ tenure, promotions, and recognitions.
Congratulations! And thank you all for your excellence, your dedication, and your commitment to our students. As I read each packet, I was filled with incredible pride to be part of Brookdale Community College.
During their Workshop meeting, the Board approved the selection of Ms. Risa Clay, (see Board packet linked above), the Principal of Red Bank Regional High School, as the Honorary Degree recipient at Commencement 2013. Ms. Clay’s accomplishments provide a wonderful complement to our work at Brookdale; she is an excellent example of the type of model citizen and born-educator that many of us aspire to be.
I shared with the Board the recent news from the State of New Jersey concerning the proposed $3.6 million cut for the community college sector in the State’s budget. VP of Governmental Affairs, Webster Trammell, and our Board are contacting our legislators to press for restoration.
We had a long conversation about Brookdale’s financial status in the context of the Board’s review of the Fall Financial Forecast. On the basis of this Forecast, we’ll be adjusting our FY14 Budget accordingly and will present a final budget to the Board at the June 2013 meeting. Folks, I am by nature an optimist, but I’d be less than honest if I did not share that I have some queasiness about our fiscal state. We’re borrowing from our ‘rainy day fund’ (reserves) to pay our bills; the Board is concerned with this state of affairs, and so am I. I promise to keep you posted, as we learn more.
Gary S. Tolchin of Marlboro was sworn in as the newest member of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Tolchin replaces Richard Maser as one of the two Governor appointees to the Board. We’re looking forward to working with Mr. Tolchin and hope he gets a chance to meet many of you as he tours our campuses and interacts with our students.
The Brookdale Spotlight this month was our 2013 NJCAA Division III National Champion Men’s Basketball team; what a wonderful Brookdale moment these young men provided the Board and the audience! The enthusiasm and sheer joy of these players was matched only by the pride their coaches Paul Cisek (Region 19 Coach of the Year!) and Charlie Hawthorne visibly displayed. Director of Communications and Public Relations, Avis McMillon, previewed the newest Brookdale commercial featuring one of the “Champions,” Neil Thompson, to rousing applause. This commercial is scheduled to run through the NBA playoffs on Cablevision’s ESPN, TNT and MSG networks; it was produced by Avis and directed by the BTV folks, including Lauren Concar, Jenn Yannibelli and Rick Cook, and the awesome student crew. Cut to the video!
Director of Student Life and Activities, Robert Quinones, introduced the Student Life Board President, Nickolas Quantra; Student Life Board Treasurer, Nicole Giordano, and Finance Committee Member James Farney, who explained to the Board how they are prioritizing and developing the Associated Students of Brookdale Community College (ASBCC) budget for 2014. This budget will be on the agenda for approval by the Board at the May 23 Board meeting. It was an excellent presentation that walked the Board through their procedures and decision making criteria for funding clubs and student activities: one more wonderful opportunity for our Board to see our students in action.
I reported on the 2012-2013 Annual Priority Update which was a natural segue to Trustee Jones’ update about a recent New Jersey Counsel of County Colleges Board Retreat, where student success indicators are receiving a lot of attention – and appropriately so. Trustee Jones shared the data discussed at this retreat, and while Brookdale is better than the sector average, we need to ask ourselves how good is good enough?
Although the bulk of the meeting’s excitement was generated by the Tenure, Promotion and Performance Recognition folks, there were several other items of note for Human Resources. Seven administrators were reclassified; the first reclassifications in over three years. Congratulations to Manager of Accounts Payable and Special Projects, Debbie Almeida; Administrator, Accounts Payable Catherine King; and Manager of Payroll, Joan Messina; they will be assuming many new duties in the reorganization of Business & Finance with the recent resignation of Elise Barocas. Additionally, two Supervisors in ETS, Mark Ghezzi and John Popovich, and the Events Manager in Auxiliary Services, Michael Medley, have been reclassified. Madeline Lauro-Katko has moved from interim to a regular appointment in the Children’s Learning Center. The Assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach is Sean Cunningham; the two co-assistant Softball Coaches are Dave Bryant and Jessica Williams. Go Blues!
A number of employees are retiring; please extend best wishes to Professor Martha Noble; Program Administrator David Grant; Testing Services Technician Gloria Chandler, and Library Learning Assistant, Bernadette Sabatini.
The Board approved several significant items for purchase, including six Hewlett Packard Servers to upgrade and support current systems and the new One-Card system. And in case you’ve ever wondered how much all those paper clips and binders cost? $80,000 to Office Depot covers the bulk of our office supplies.
In our continuing quest for energy savings, the Board authorized the College’s participation in the NJ County College Electric Consortium; we expect to save over $200,000 dollars with this ‘purchase.’
We need you! The Information Technology (IT) Task Force has been charged by President Murphy to develop a vision statement to guide the future of information technology at Brookdale. Your participation is essential in shaping the IT vision. Please complete the Brookdale IT Vision Survey, which should take less than 10 minutes.
And late breaking news!! We have just found out that we have been funded for the capital project at Wall. These funds were approved by the voters in November in a statewide election and are the first investment in higher education facilities by the state since 1988. This money can only be used for learning facilities, and gives us a great opportunity to improve our students’ experience at the Wall Higher Education Center, which is at capacity. Stay tuned for further updates.
Our next Board Meeting is scheduled for May 23, on the Lincroft Campus. But I’ll see many of you before then at the many wonderful events planned for the duration of the semester: during Anti-Stress Week, at the Early Bird Orientations, visiting the Therapy dogs in the Bankier Library today, at the PTK Bake Sale and the Gold Star Awards Dinner on May 2nd, the Barringer Award Dinner on May 3rd, the Brookdale Scholarship Ball on May 9th, Culinary Awards on May 13th, Scholar’s Day and Employee Appreciation on May 15th, Commencement on May 16th and the Nurses Pinning on May 20th.
Enjoy these lovely days as we head into the homestretch of the semester.
New Jersey Council of County Colleges
Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders