February 22, 2024


Hi, CMC family. This is Daren Otten, your Superintendent/President of Copper Mountain College. This is my podcast report from the Thursday, February 8 Board of Trustees meeting.

As we kicked off that meeting, I want to welcome Mariam Hussain to the Board of Trustees as our Student Trustee. She was sworn in on that particular day. And later, actually, during the week, I also had a chance to swear in several new senators for ASCMC. And that’s something that was really exciting to see how many folks were excited to be there and looking forward to supporting Mariam, along with participating in our governance processes informing the board, et cetera.

Also, I want to acknowledge at the board meeting, Brian Scott was honored for the Star Award, the Math Department nominated him for. And it was really amazing because, well, the Math Department nominated, Brian. I think we all know that Brian absolutely is, somebody we all turn to when things don’t work right or something doesn’t turn on. And it was really nice to see him get recognized for that and talk about a humble guy with an awful lot of technology skill.

And so, Brian, congratulations for being the Star Award. And thank you for your service to the college.

A couple of other things I want to update that came from that particular meeting, specifically the accreditation timeline. As everyone is aware at this point, Leanne Christensen is our ALO, working in partnership with our writing teams, Dr. Michael Reese. And we are moving forward.

So right now, so that everyone’s aware, the four standard teams are currently working towards a March 15 deadline. Starting in the beginning of March, there will be a writing team assembled. And then subsequently, there will be some one voice editing that is ultimately going to put the polish on this before we submit it next year.

The amount of work that is going on around this effort is substantial. Having said that, we are in a good place to address any deficiencies or concerns within the ICER as well as, you know, really document what we’re proud of and what we’re doing well with this idea of continuous improvement, which is really what ACCJC expects from us.

I also want to highlight that Steve Brown shared the marketing presentation with the Board of Trustees. And I know it’s also going to be doing a roadshow of that at Academic Senate, perhaps Classified Senate and a few other places.

But we know that we are partially in a good place in our enrollment numbers because of the intentional efforts of developing print content, audio content like this, video content, direct mail, event outreach, specific targeted populations such as the base. And we are continuing to invest in this space and look forward to the continued fruit of intentional marketing and intentional outreach efforts partnered with our embedded counseling at the high schools, partnered with our RISE programs, and really as we look to the future, leveraging our dual enrollment agreements with Morongo Unified.

Also at last week’s meeting, we said goodbye to Sharlah Harvey and Sharlah has been with the college a very long time. We are all going to miss her. We wish her the best of luck as she moves on to a great opportunity for her professionally. But I think we’ll all feel her absence on campus.

I also want to welcome Dr. Michael Reese as the Interim Vice President of Academic Services. Many of you know him from his first stint here several years ago. And Mike has rejoined us and I’m excited that he’s here and he’s excited to be here and we’ll be able to continue working forward with the groundwork that Melanie put together and him in partnership with the academic deans as we continue to really make sure we are serving our students with our academic offerings and schedules.

Additionally, Heidi Steines, who’s been with Copper Mountain College for a very long time, is serving as our Interim Director for our Nursing and Vocational Nursing/Registered Nursing Program. And really excited that Heidi’s been willing to step up and lean in to help us do that work as we continue our RN and VN accreditation work.

Finally, as we look forward to kind of the next couple of months, one of the things that we are doing again this year is that the Board of  Trustees will be holding a study session in April, specifically to gather information from campus constituent members around things that need to be
considered for goals as they look towards July and reestablish the goals that will be for 24-25. And so please participate in that effort.

Specifically, the Board of Trustees has built in this study session in the spring so that we can ensure that all voices are heard and in help inform the Board of Trustees goals.

With that, I look forward to talking to you all next month.