Dear Human Resources Director, February 28, 2016

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1 Community College of Beaver County 1 Campus Drive Monaca, PA Attention: Human Resources, Executive Vice President and Provost Dear Human Resources Director, February 28, 2016 I read with interest the posting for the position of Executive Vice President and Provost at the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC). Currently I serve as the Dean of Health and Public Safety at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to this position, I served as the Dean of Allied Health and Life Sciences at Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington, West Virginia. The professional experiences gained through these executive positions, as well as my earlier experiences as a tenured faculty member in health sciences, are in alignment with the qualifications posted. Please consider this coverletter and the other documents enclosed on the online application in reviewing my qualifications for this exciting opportunity. As an Achieving the Dream School, the Community College of Beaver County has made a commitment to be on the cutting edge of educational innovation. As Change Agents in Higher Education, being the first to new ideas that stretch the boundaries, ultimately improves the student s experience. I believe that my passion and skills are inline with this philosophy. By dovetailing these talents with the college mission and working with the current leadership, I can be part of the team that initiates the next breakthrough in higher education. One of the key responsibilities of the next Executive Vice President and Provost as shared in the job posting is the compliance with regional, state and specialized accreditations for the academic programs at the college. Similarly a division dean holds the responsibility of oversight of these areas, and therefore, requires an in-depth knowledge of program analysis, the accreditation process, assessment of student learning, and the role each plays in student success. Working on various accreditation teams, as participant and/or organizer, reinforced the concept that assessment is instrumental to student success when part of a systematic and integrated assessment plan. As such, a culture of continuous improvement through assessment provides the foundation for quality and rigor in teaching and learning. Focused on these guiding principles, I have served on the Institutional Assessment Committees of my former institutions, and I am currently a member of the AQIP Team (Higher Learning Commission) at Cincinnati State. Most recently I have initiated a Pilot Project to review and revamp the process for the documentation of student learning outcomes and the annual assessment plan for key programs. This pilot project, along with the work on the AQIP project have added to my previous work at Mountwest Community and Technical College to solidify my experience in the area of assessment, and its role in student success through the accreditation process. At the program level, many of the allied health programs under my supervision at both Cincinnati State and Mountwest, hold specialized accreditations. Currently, the Division of Health and Public Safety has over 10 programs with specialized accreditation, affording me extensive experience managing these programs outcomes and overseeing the maintenance of a wide range of specialize accreditations. Prior to administrative positions, as a tenured faculty 1 P a g e

2 member at Marshall University, I taught in the Medical Laboratory Sciences (AAS) and Medical Technology (BS) Programs, both of which are accredited through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Adherence to the standards set forth by our accrediting body, including structured documentation of student learning outcomes, was critical to maintaining our accredited status. During this time, I assist in the writing of self-study reports, and I was a self-study reviewer for the NAACLS. Experience of the accreditation process from the ground up has been invaluable in my current position and will be essential to the role of Executive Vice President and Provost. Another key role of the Executive Vice President and Provost is in support of fiscal stewardship that ensures a healthy financial foundation for the college. The past few years have seen significant changes in the higher education landscape, which resulted in a change in the way we do business. One of these is in the area of budget oversight. During my tenure as Dean, Ohio has moved from an enrollment based funding to a 100% completion based funding. This bold step has resulted in the need for innovation and courageous management of our institutional budgets. Over the past three years I have been able to build on existing financial management skills from my work in WV to successfully oversee budgets of between $10 and $14 million in the HPS Division of Cincinnati State. As I became more aware of the functioning of the division, I made recommendations for organization and process efficiencies that saved over $1 million to the division s budget each year without loss of services to our students. Over the past three years, through thoughtful needs assessment and realistic credit hour projections, the budget has been reduced by approximately 20% without closing of programs and/or a decrease in the quality of program delivery. In fact, many of the programs improved completion rates and national board results as a result of these efficiencies. The necessity for fiscal responsibility and prudent stewardship will continue to drive the need for careful oversight. However, the goal must always be quality in education and student services. At no point should the desire for reduced budgets compromise our responsibility to the students or our community. A healthy mix of creativity and business acumen has become necessary skills for higher education administrators. An important role of the Executive Vice President and Provost is in the recruitment and support of quality personnel, who best represent the diversity in our community. Toward this goal, diversity and inclusion in the workplace requires a leader that understands the complexity and challenges facing decisions in the development and implementation of inclusive policies. During the last three years, I have been actively involved in a number of projects aimed at establishing a culture of inclusion that is the foundation to recruiting and keeping diverse faculty and staff. In particular, as a member of the Urban Serving University Community Advisory Board, improving workplace diversity is central to the mission of this multi-university grant project. Lessons learned from this project have helped me to understand the complexity of this issue, as well as garner support for those activities in my division that result in positive improvements. An important responsibility of the Provost is in building healthy and meaningful relationships to support college programs and goals. In this endeavor, maintaining positive relationships with college alumni and corporate partners is essential to success. As the dean of the largest division in the college, I have been fortunate to be able to develop many positive partnerships with local healthcare organizations and philanthropic community members to support the division s activities. Most recently, we received a donation of over $125,000 to create an endowed 2 P a g e

3 scholarship to assist our most financially at risk Nursing students. Other private donors have contributed funds in support of our Occupational Therapy Assistant program, Bioscience program and a general division scholarship fund. Donations of equipment and supplies are also common, including a fire truck, with an estimated value of $50,000 for our Fire Safety Technology program. None of these donations happened in a vacuum. They were a result of putting friend-raising before fund-raising, which is essentially the building of meaningful partnerships. One of the necessary skills for the Executive Vice President and Provost is the ability to develop and manage long term goals for the campus. While at both Cincinnati State and Mountwest, I have participated in the development of numerous strategic initiatives, LEAN process sessions, and other long term planning projects. Specifically, while at Cincinnati State in order to provide structure and meaningful communication, I conducted a strategic planning workshop for my division (SWOT Analysis). The derived goals, both tactical and strategic, will have long lasting outcomes for the division. In addition, because the plans were developed under the umbrella of open communication and mutual respect, faculty members take ownership by being fully engaged in both the development and implementation of each action step in the plan. An important responsibility of the Executive Vice President and Provost is in building healthy and meaningful relationships to support college programs and goals. In this endeavor, maintaining positive relationships with college alumni and corporate partners is essential to success. As the dean of the largest division in the college, I have been fortunate to be able to develop many positive partnerships with local healthcare organizations and philanthropic community members to support the division s activities. Most recently, we received a donation of over $125,000 to create an endowed scholarship to assist our most financially at risk Nursing students. Other private donors have contributed funds in support of our Occupational Therapy Assistant program, Bioscience program and a general division scholarship fund. Donations of equipment and supplies are also common, including a fire truck, with an estimated value of $50,000 for our Fire Safety Technology program. None of these donations happened in a vacuum. They were a result of putting friend-raising before fund-raising, which is essentially the building of meaningful partnerships. Change is a central theme in the higher education landscape. Nonetheless, change is a stimulus for growth and opportunity, and in the process personally and professionally rewarding. Of significance has been the opportunity, while in WV to participate in the development of a free standing college due to a legislative mandate that created an independent Community and Technical College System. As part of the President s Cabinet and executive transition team at Mountwest, this incredible opportunity afforded me a wealth of unique experiences. Included in this project were the selection of a site for our new building, a new name for our institution, and significant growth in all areas of our college. These changes required new college policies, procedures and departmental contracts. All this occurred while maintaining class schedules and serving students. Through this entire process, open communication, community engagement and active participation from faculty and staff ensured the project s success. This involved the coordination and participation in structured working groups to manage the change in a collaborative manner. 3 P a g e

4 While at Cincinnati State, I have been involved in a number of significant changes and projects. These included a change in the state funding model from an enrollment based to a completion based model, expansion of programs at off-campus sights, and the implementation of statewide Prior Learning Assessment initiatives. Of these changes, the greatest impact to our students and faculty has been the reduction of our Associate Degree programs to a mandated 65 credit hours. Although this may seem straightforward, the project involved extensive curriculum analysis, assessment of learning outcomes and coordination with specialized accrediting agencies. Throughout this process, meaningful communication and personnel management was necessary to provide a clear direction and a smooth transition within the collective bargaining structure of Cincinnati State. The project, which involved the evaluation of 18 associate degree programs and several certificate programs, was completed Spring 2015 with full implementation Fall The result is a significant decrease in time to degree completion without loss of quality for the division s programs. The ultimate goal is to reduce cost to students and increase retention and graduation. The results of this project are still under evaluation, but I am confident the outcomes will be positive for our students and our college. Along with a number of key projects at Cincinnati State, I have had the honor to serve on three of the Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor s committees that directly impact how higher education in Ohio serves our veteran students. Initial involvement began with my appointment to the statewide initiative PLA with a Purpose, in which state initiatives to further the application of prior learning assessment were explored. Appointment to a subsequent project, Valuing Ohio Veterans, followed. This statewide panel of nine representatives from higher education institutions across Ohio examined best practices and made recommendations to the Governor for implementation. From this committee, the Military Strategic Implementation Team (MSIT) was formed to lay out specific procedures for the implementation of House Bill 488, which outlined the expectations for higher education institutions in regards to veteran students on Ohio campuses. The team continues to serve the state through the development of training sessions, Military Transfer Assurance Guide (MTAG) courses, and provide additional resources to the higher education community were veteran and military students are involved. Serving veteran students, who have readily sacrificed for me, has been one of the most rewarding projects of my career. The culture of the Community College of Beaver County is one of an innovative spirit, and therefore you have many of the resources that position the college to take advantage of the momentum in key areas. The diversity of the community and the college is undoubtedly their strongest asset. Building on this strength, could be projects in which the globalization of the curriculum across all programs takes hold. While at Marshall University, I had the opportunity to be a part of the University s Globalization Across the Curriculum Project. Later, I built on this experience through travel to Russia and China to explore partnerships and sharing of ideas. The world is not flat, and our students deserve an experience that mirrors the world of the future, as well as taking advantage of the diverse student population to make these future initiatives strong. Another possibility for the campus is in exploring Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum. Similarly to the Globalization Across the Curriculum, I had an opportunity to be a member of WV s statewide initiative to add entrepreneurship across all community college programs. The skills students learn through training in entrepreneurship go well beyond starting your own 4 P a g e

5 business. Creative problem solving, anticipation of future opportunities, and the awareness of our students ability to navigate through uncertain times, were just a few of the outcomes from this successful project. I believe capitalizing on the Jeffersonian Honors Program, as well as, the campus s location in the Park Avenue shopping district could make this an innovative and success project in the community. Finally, research has demonstrated that traditional educational methods are not always successful for all students. Nontraditional avenues, such as MOOC s, credit for prior learning and competency based education, are introducing new ideas in educational delivery and opening up a whole new world for many students. My dissertation was on the role of prior learning assessment (PLA) in degree completion. I continued this work in Ohio by working on statewide committees initiated by the Ohio governor or the chancellor to further the application of PLA statewide. From the initial committees, a small nine member multi-institutional committee was formed to focus specifically on the role PLA could play for our veteran students. Building on this work, CCBC could become a center for innovation in PLA and competency based education. Your institution has the advantage in that you have a history of being Change Agents and your institution understands that change and growth go hand in hand. I would like to add my training and passion in this area to your historical success in implementing change. Thank you for your time in reviewing my qualifications for the Executive Vice President and Provost. The qualifications outlined in the job announcement are in line with my experiences and skills. My resume and coverletter summarize many of these experiences, but I look forward to the opportunity to discuss these with you further in person. If in reviewing my submitted documents, you find additional information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, P a g e

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