February 7, 2020 Remarks for the All-College Meeting | Naugatuck Valley Community College > About NVCC > NVCC Going Strong > President’s message > President’s remarks | Naugatuck Valley Community College
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McNeil-Coates, Beth E
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February 7, 2020 Remarks for the All-College Meeting

My Dear Colleagues and Students,
     I am happy to be here with you, and to engage in another semester of good work on behalf of our students and for our own sakes.  As you have been reading in the WB, we are organizing to begin the preparation process for the 10 Year Self-Study report to be submitted to NECHE in 2022. I have been very happy to hear from a number of colleagues of their willingness to serve, indicating their committee preference.  I hope to hear from many more of you in the near future.  In preparation of the research required for the committees to begin their work in fall 2020, we are in the process of reviewing our Strategic Plan 2016-2026, and drafting a progress report by the end of this academic semester. 
         The Institutional Planning Council is also drafting progress reports on their work from 2016-2020 understanding that the framework for their reports are NVCC’s strategic goals as a point of departure, but also recognizing that much has transpired over these past four years, making the need for this assessment a priority, before we begin preparations for our NECHE Self-Study.  It is a good time for all of us to reread the Strategic Plan and to begin to consider where we were and where we are, and what else needs to get done.  It is also a good idea to reread our Five-Year NECHE report, and their response to our work.  You will note that many of these strategies have been and are currently being addressed in a number of initiatives.
         Some of the presentations this morning by colleagues working on Doing Our P.A.R.T. will encourage us to recognize some of our achievements and to realize that there is still work to be done.  You will note in your program that we have scheduled an additional All College meeting in March 30 in the afternoon, for a much- needed opportunity to report on our multiple activities under Doing Our P.A.R.T. and to announce formally the composition of the 10 Year Self-Study Report to NECHE Executive Committee, and committee memberships.
       The music, the plants, the presence of so much generosity this morning is greatly appreciated.  Professor Gil Harel and your ensemble, your trusted musical colleague, Professor of Mathematics and CEAC Chair Jason Seabury and Professor Tuccio, Mike Schwartz and our talented students, mil gracias.   Beth Monchun and Wally Kostrzewa, thank you for doing your magic in support of this day. As I walk the hallways both faculty and students express renewed energy and hope about the promise a new semester brings.  I thank all of you for the goodwill and generosity of spirit you continue to express as the semester moves forward.  These traits were very much present during these winter months.  Angela Maggi and her staff serve as role models for all of us. Just look around this building with appreciation for the dedication and diligence of Obdulio (Obie) Plaza. Our colleagues in Student Services deserve our applause as they worked diligently throughout the week, evenings and on Saturdays to ensure that all students who needed to come to us had access to services.   Mil gracias as well to Academic Affairs, faculty, directors and deans were also very much engaged. Let us congratulate colleagues at our Danbury Campus for their sustained growth which at this time indicates a 1191 credit student headcount and 571 FTE. This has been a truly heroic effort.  Mil gracias de todo corazón. 
        Despite our best efforts, our enrollment numbers this semester will reflect a decline in our projected FTE and headcount numbers, as compared to last spring.  Lourdes Cruz will be sending out our final numbers to the College community after census numbers have been finalized.  The decline in enrollment has implications on a budget that was predicated on an almost flat enrollment.  We ask everyone to be prudent, and to continue to be good managers of their budget allocations.  If there are no unforeseen circumstances, we do anticipate finishing the year in the black, as our mid-year projections indicate at this time.  I thank everyone for all you do each and every day for our students.  
      We have May to look forward to and another year of successful completions.  We anticipate that once again, for the ninth year, NVCC will exceed 1,000 completions.  There are many wonderful surprises in the works for Commencement 2020, so stay tuned. This would not be possible without the steady, intelligent and generous support and guidance of our students by so many colleagues.  Mil gracias.  Thank you, Tabitha Cruz and SGA leaders for the care and kindness you bring to NVCC.  Thank you, Martha Bernstein and members of the NVCC Foundation for your constancy and generous support.  Thank you, Regional Advisory Council members in attendance for understanding and supporting our work. 
      For their continued support and care, I thank members of the President’s Management Team:  Wally Kostrzewa, Lisa Dresdner, Antonio Santiago, Dana Elm, Sarah Gager, Angela Chapman, Kim Carolina, and Beth Monchun.  The work of the Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation, supported as well by Prof. Ron Picard and Dr. Estela López,  continues to give us useful data and analysis for our continued road toward a splendid college.  
     As we consider where we are at midpoint in academic year 2019-2020, I invite you to reread the 2019 Success Highlights and to celebrate our significant achievements.  I hope you picked up a copy of the draft of the brochure on Cultural Diversity and Inclusion at NVCC.  It is the beginning of a very beautiful and powerful testimony to the work being done here. We hope to have a final version by April 24.  Please send your suggestions to Dean Kostrzewa and Sydney Voghel-Ochs by March 31. 
      Dear colleagues and students, as you have experienced and I have tried to capture in words, this is a powerful time for us for we are achieving meaningful results.  This is also a time that requires reflection and commitment, a sense of humor and an open and creative mind, as challenges and innovative responses to challenges are a critical part of what it takes to live a reflective and engaged professional life.  
     I close my remarks by reading a brief excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Laureate Speech, words many of you have heard me read many times before:  All paths lead to the same goal; to convey to others what we are…
but in this dance or in this song, there are fulfilled the most ancient
rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of 
believing in a common destiny.
Mil gracias y bendiciones.

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