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February Updates, Feb. 23, 2018

Although my February newsletter was sent earlier in the month, there are updates that I believe will be of interest to you about upcoming events.

Hello HLC!

The Higher Learning Commission peer review team will be on site Monday, Feb. 26 and Tuesday, Feb. 27. Final preparations are wrapping up. STLCC’s Assurance Argument, which describes the many ways we meet HLC’s criteria for accreditation, was completed in their system on Monday, Jan. 29. We also submitted other documents required for our accreditation review, including multi-campus and federal compliance reports.

As you know, the team’s schedule for the visit has been published, and additional communications have been sent via email with a link to the Assurance Statement and the five videos that discuss each HLC Criteria. I encourage you to take the time to read and be familiar with the Assurance Argument, and to also review each video.

Please contact Dennis White at dwhite259@stlcc.edu or Dr. Joyce Johnson at jjohnson789@stlcc.edu if you have any questions about the accreditation process. We look forward to a successful HLC visit!

VSIP Update

February 20 was the closing date for the two 2018 Voluntary Separation Incentive Programs. I am pleased to report that the VSIPs were successful in many ways and will greatly mitigate the reduction in force.

Participation levels were very high. We have more than 100 faculty and staff who submitted election forms for one of the two program options. Although the numbers are not final at this time, we estimate that less than 20 full-time continuing or probationary faculty will involuntarily separate from the College in May 2018 due to the reduction in force. In addition, due to the large participation with the VSIP program from staff, and due to previous reductions to administrative staff since 2015, only a very small number of staff will be impacted by the reduction in force going forward.

College and NEA leadership are engaged in rescission discussions and more reduction in force notices will be rescinded soon.

Facilities Update

Work is proceeding on several fronts to address our mature campuses. Some highlights of work that is either underway or being planned include:

  • Corporate College in Bridgeton: Due to discussions with our hospital partners regarding the new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences, a large health care network provider has inquired about using College space for a part of their business. As a result, we are nearing the completion of a long-term lease with the company for a significant amount of square footage at Corporate College. In addition, several Cosand employees will move to Corporate College by the end of April. Hence, for the first time since the College purchased the building several years ago, it appears the building will be fully utilized in the near future.
  • Communications North at Meramec: As many of you know, the Communications North building has been closed for a complete renovation. Work will begin in the spring and currently, plans are set for the building to reopen for fall 2018.
  • Social Sciences at Florissant Valley: As with the Communications North at Meramec, we are planning to close the Social Sciences building at Florissant Valley to begin renovations. Work will begin in the summer, and it is planned that the building will reopen for spring 2019.
  • Forest Park Center for Nursing and Health Sciences: The groundbreaking for the new Center is planned for March 23. Excitement is growing within the health provider community, and with local, state and federal elected officials. Over the past several months, I have met with area hospital CEOs to assess their specific workforce needs and to assess how best the new building could assist them. As a result of employer feedback, it is obvious that we will now need the entire building for health occupation programming. Thus, we intend to build out the entire fourth floor as “white-box space” to assist in meeting the workforce needs we are hearing in the community, and will either add new programming or expand current programming in that space based on pending partnerships with employers. With the sale of the Cosand building proceeding, several of us will soon make Corporate College our new permanent home, while other Cosand employees will be relocated across the District.

Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D.

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