E-Bulletin of January 23, 2004

Table of Contents

The College Assembly of Jan. 14
Winston Maddox welcomed all and expressed everyone's gratitude at having President Rose back as our leader. There was a big round of applause to welcome President Rose back to campus.

Maddox introduced the new chair of Mercer's Board of Trustees, Reverend Wayne Griffith, a member of the board for ten years. Rev. Griffith is a Mercer graduate who earned a B.S. in Business and Finance from The College of New Jersey and is now completing his Master of Divinity degree from the Philadelphia Biblical University. He serves as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Pennington and is CEO of the Concerned Pastors' Economic Development Coporation. He has his own company, Griffith and Grace Consulting, a housing and commercial development consulting firm.

Rev. Griffith spoke briefly and noted the vibrancy of Mercer and the importance of our mission. He said that board members would be glad to hear from anyone on campus.

Mercer's VPs and deans introduced all new full-time staff members (since August). Photos of each were projected. Click here to see the slide show. (You have to click the forward button to scroll through.)

Dean Mark Meara displayed some of the new features now available on MLink, Mercer's Intranet [http://mlink.mccc.com/]. He said MLink is growing quickly. "As more people use it they come up with new uses and functionality," he said.

  • At the bottom of the MLink home page there is now a colorful link to "MBay," where staff and faculty can post items for sale instead of sending out an e-mail.
  • The "Marketing, Publications and Public Information" units have their new site in place, which contains information on how to request paid advertising, design work, free publicity and website content additions or changes.
  • Under the "Administration and Finance" category, "Policies and Procedures," the "Operating Manual of the Board" and the "Procedures Manual" are now posted.
  • Under "Academic and Student Affairs," faculty and staff members can see student financial aid information under the "Power FAIDS" link. (You need to obtain an account through the Financial Aid office.)
  • The new "Employee Integrow Portal," a link at the bottom of the home page, offers information about payroll and benefits and a site for faculty. We will soon be able to check the tallies on our accumulated days off. Click here for Mark Meara's instructions on how to enter this site.

Under the "Committees" link there is a wealth of information on the Middle States Self Study report.

Status Report on Middle States Self-Study (MSSS)
Reports presented at the College Assembly by five teams of chapter co-authors (listed below) indicate that the Middle States Self-Study (MSSS) work is progressing substantially and is now in high gear.

MSSS Steering Committee co-chair Al Porter assured that there's no doubt the college will be awarded 10-year accreditation. He stressed, however, that "the timetable is serious" in terms of the college fulfilling its self-study obligation.

Porter and committee co-chair Al Leister both emphasized the college community's immediate goals: (1) to be aware of the MSSS committee’s work, and (2) to become involved with it. "If you are not involved yet, you will be," offered chapter author Gianna Durso-Finley.

"Nothing is etched in stone," said chapter author John Simone, who encouraged all members of the college community to offer their MSSS input within the next two weeks, before research and writing efforts intensify. Durso-Finley emphasized the value of campus-wide outreach and input, stating that the finished work "is only a reflection of what you [all faculty and staff] have to tell us."

Chapter author Beverly Richardson noted that the MSSS dovetails with Mercer's strategic plan, an observation reinforced by Dr. Rose: “Middle States is not just a big deal,” he said. "It's our bloodline – how we can be our best."

While acknowledging that the ultimate goal afforded by the MSSS is "to make Mercer the best place for our students," Leister related another opportunity for the college: "We'd like to turn out something the Middle States [Commission on Higher Education] can use as a model for how it should be done."

"Every one of you is invited to participate to help us do it better,” said Dr. Rose, echoing the "college-wide call for participation" expressed by each of the MSSS chapter authors who spoke at the assembly: Laura Blinderman, Kristen Callahan, and Diane Campbell, Gianna Durso-Finley, Debbie Kell, Beverly Richardson, Jacqueline Sanders, Linda Bregstein Scherr, John Simone, and Carol Tosh.

Current MSSS Report Available on MLink – Please Respond!
Serving as a springboard for the final MSSS, "Institutional Strengths, Concerns and Challenges – Preliminary Ideas" (1/12/04) may be viewed on MLink here.

Concerns and suggestions should be communicated to MSSS committee members as soon as possible.

President Rose took the stage following the Middle States reports. He thanked everyone for their ongoing support throughout the past six months. “What helped the most was you – all of you – and the support that you provided to me and my family.”

Dr. Rose announced that Judy Ehresman will be filling in this semester for Bob Terrano, who is now on the faculty. Joan Guggenheim has been appointed the college’s new registrar, and Grace Barna will now be the associate registrar.

Discussing current budget issues, Dr. Rose noted that last spring we were threatened by a five percent cutback in state funding. Fortunately the governor chose to continue current funding levels for community colleges while enacting cuts for four-year schools. "The governor has treated us well," Dr. Rose said.

The MCCC full-time faculty has continued to grow, increasing from 113 to 131. Dr. Rose said that the student population has also grown, and we are trying to keep up with that.

Dr. Rose pointed out the renovations now taking place at the Student Center, with new paint, ceiling tile and lighting. All of the bathrooms on camps have been completed, and 26% of the faculty offices have been completed.

Soon the lower level of the Administration Building will be gutted. The new plan will include five new classrooms – some of them wireless, and a new board/multi-purpose room that can accommodate up to 100 people.

Dr. Rose said that he and senior staff members met with the new county executive’s transition team. "We had a very fruitful meeting about the college and where we are and what our needs are," he said. "I think we are off on good footing."

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