CMC President’s Board of Trustees recap and news for August 15, 2023

Copper Mountain College President Daren Otten shares a recap of the latest CMC Board of Trustees meeting and other CMC news for the week of August 15, 2023.

Listen to the podcast below:


Good morning, Copper Mountain College, this is Darren Otten. Today, I want to introduce everyone to a new attempt of communication concept that we’re going to try here for a while this year to supplement our board updates as a reminder to everyone, board updates and board agendas are always available on board where you can get your full agendas and ultimately the minutes that have been approved by the board and look at the various reports by your colleagues that are submitted.

But what we do want to try to do here is we want to find another medium, in this case an audio medium, to share some of the things that are going on with the college that I want everyone to know. And I do want folks to know that, you know, this is as interactive as a podcast can ever be. So if there are things that you have questions about, feel free to email me, feel free to reach out. And from there, you know, I can obviously address any questions or concerns.

So this particular update is from the August 10th, 2003 board meeting, which was last Thursday. And there was several important topics that were covered around the board discussion. But I want to get to just kind of a couple of general updates. First, first and foremost, you will see under the boardwalk’s area updates from the various administrative units, bargaining groups, governance groups that have many, many details and many more details. And I have time to go into today, but I do want folks to be aware of a couple of things.

One, the 50 percent audit that I may have mentioned in many forms at this point is something that’s going on in the system. Copper Mountain College is not subject to the 50 percent audit at this time, but it is very important that folks understand that this is a discussion going on in Sacramento that has far reaching ramifications around how we do business as a as a system.

My full report is, again, in my area on Boardwalk’s. However, the kind of key that I want folks to know is that the discussion around 50 percent is not new. It’s been going on for many, many years. But because this is a joint commission audit, meaning both houses in Sacramento, it provides us an opportunity to engage in a conversation that we haven’t had a chance to have before. The big one that I think folks need to understand is that the colleges of today are significantly different than the colleges of yesterday. For the most part, we’re all running two institutions.

We’re running an on ground institution and an online institution. We’re being asked to do more reporting, more documentation, more systematic data analysis than we’ve ever been asked before, were required to have all kinds of software expenses and items that ultimately are all, quote unquote, considered on the wrong side of 50 percent that just 20 years ago really weren’t there. And I think it’s important that we recognize that the organizations and the schools in the system have changed.

So, again, for more information, please take a look at my report, a couple of other basic updates. We are continuing to be concerned about enrollment for the fall, as I mentioned at the board meeting and as well as at all staff day. We have a bunch of our hold harmless coming. So this year’s enrollment is critical to ensure that our long term funding and our long term funding floor is at the highest level possible. So I do ask that everyone help us ensure both outreach and retention.

And I thank the folks who’ve been supporting us through marketing Steve Brown’s area, as well as our outreach that our counseling teams have been doing and our continued investment and intentionality around dual enrollment. These are all things that will ultimately help our current enrollment are noncredit programs are significantly up, which also were very important. When we look at CDC funding, which again, doesn’t mean a whole lot, except it’s full freight versus the traditional seventy 2010 funding formula under the CFF. But I just again ask everyone that for whatever we can do and everything that we do, help us make sure that our students are here and that they are successful in their journey. I want to thank the Faculty Association for tentative agreements that I expect will be ratified and we will present to the board in September. Welcome Week is upon us starting next week on the 21st.

Chelsi is doing an awful lot of things that are going to be welcoming the students to the campus. There are plenty of places to get involved and I encourage everyone where possible to help support that activity. So one of the other things I’m very excited about is our Alertus project. Our latest project is designed to replace our existing text emergency system. This will not only allow us to continue to do the text work that we’ve done in the past, but also provide updates that will show up on your computer monitors while on campus, will alert through systems on campus, as well as the warning lights indicated in classrooms and also around campus.

Our hope is that we are able to more quickly communicate when there is an emergency situation. Please keep in mind that we will be migrating several things around. How and what numbers are there, so if you have questions about what number or what cell phone number you have in the system, please check with HR on that particular item. The other thing I want to make sure that folks are aware of is that we’ve got Rachel Goldberg, who just started as our new dean of student services for counseling and special programs. So welcome to Rachel. Several employee updates as well.

Our board did approve and we will get an opportunity to meet them formally next month. But Michelle French in nursing, Brian Benton and Construction Trades, Theresa McCarthy in Nursing and JJ Santa Cruz are temporary, full time athletic coordinator. We did lose Jackie Neff and Jackie will be missed. Her service in several areas over the years was absolutely critical to Copper Mountain College and she will be very difficult to replace. Finally, I want to share the process around the goals updates for both the board of trustees and myself. We started the process back in April at a study session where we were able to collect feedback from constituent groups that was considered by the board in July when they drafted the goals. Those goals became a draft that was presented in August.

Feedback was continued to be collected and the board did update those goals at the August meeting. The board and myself are still accepting feedback and welcome feedback as those goals are finalized for September. Later this week, there will be draft goals disseminated through the various channels, primarily through college council. And with that, again, I ask that if there are concerns or suggestions around feedback or ideas, please share them with me and I will make sure that the board considers those as they do their final adoption next month.

The last thing that will be happening next month is that the board will be asked to adopt a final budget, which I think will continue our path of sound financial footing, but allowing us to invest in the various salary structures of our bargaining units and employee groups. And I’m really excited about where we’re at, given the challenges that not only we are having with enrollment, but the system is having as a whole.

So, again, for more information on exactly what happened at the board meeting last week, please see Boardwalk’s reach out to me if you have questions, comments, concerns, feedback. And I look forward to trying this as a mechanism to better communicate information to the campus. Have a great day.