Department COVID-19 Updates:

Dean's Council Minutes Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Ron Rosati, Glenn Jackson, Eric Reed, Brad Ramsdale, Dottie Evans, Doug Smith, Barb Berg, Jennifer McConville, Mary Rittenhouse, Mary Crawford (guest), Catherine Hauptman (recorder)

The NCTA Dean’s Council Retreat was called to order at 9:00 a.m. with the above referenced individuals in attendance.


  • Dr. Rosati welcomed everyone to the retreat
  • Dr. Rosati handed out information on economic indicators, emphasizing positive factors such as increased life expectancy and a worldwide reduction in poverty, as well as need for increased food production, agriculture, and employment opportunities.
  • New initiatives for the college:
    • Dr. Brad Ramsdale will work with the urban agriculture/sustainable ag program and future staffing in Omaha, including NCTA horticulture classes for UNO.
    • Eric Reed will work with UNO on the online General Education programs.
    • Dr. Glenn Jackson and Barb Berg will be working with UNL on the proposed Lincoln Veterinary Technology program.
    • Dr. Doug Smith will provide leadership for a proposed dairy science program.
    • The Work Ethics Camp in McCook is exploring NCTA’s irrigation technology program. Dr. Rosati will update Dean’s Council as these programs develop.
  • Each division chair and department head is asked to subject a Strategic Plan for their area of responsibility for 2016 and beyond. Dr. Rosati would like these completed prior to the HLC team visit.
  • Dr. Rosati discussed how moving forward at NCTA the division chairs will be asked to have more college-wide responsibilities. 
  • The topics of division strategic plans and the added college-wide responsibilities of chairs will continue to be discussed at Dean’s Council meetings. 


  • Dr. Rosati spoke about decentralizing the budget for NCTA. Division Chairs will have more control over their spending as time goes on. 
  • Employee travel expenditures were discussed with University policy emphasizing “reasonable and prudent” when evaluating meal and lodging choices/expenses.
  • Jennifer McConville reviewed the general College Operating Budget for 2016-2017, as approved by executive council. Allocations were included in each packet today.  
  • Jennifer also will e-mail the budget allocation college wide.


  • Jennifer addressed faculty workload and shared a sample document.
  • By Jan. 8th, each faculty member is to e-mail Jennifer their spring semester course list and enrollment numbers for each class. These will be reviewed for workload formulas.  
    • For this semester, Jennifer will assist faculty in gathering this information for a master spreadsheet. In the future, division chairs will be responsible for this data.
    • Faculty workload will continue to be on the Dean’s Council agenda this semester until all data is collected and evaluated. 


  • Dr. Rosati discussed concerns about low enrollment in some classes. NCTA will need to minimize the number of low-enrolled classes taught.
  • Mary Rittenhouse suggested offering a software productivity class through AgBusiness Management Systems instead of only the spreadsheet class. The additional course could cover more topics, and be more transferable to other institutions.
    • The AMS division will continue to evaluate this proposal and if changes are to be made Mary will inform Dean’s Council.
    • Moving forward, Dr. Rosati wants stricter adherence to the low enrolled class policy.


  • Dr. Rosati had asked everyone to examine the updated course offerings proposal, which is still in draft form. When finalized, it will be submitted to the Coordinating Commission. 
  • Dr. Jackson suggested the AS Degree for Vet Tech be removed from the list since it is rarely used. Barb Berg suggested retaining the AS degree, for now, as it is helpful for transfer students and to address changes if needed. 
  • The NCTA program list will continue to be updated and finalized by Dr. Rosati.


  • Eric Reed discussed the Human Relations component at NCTA, and suggested a proposal for Fall 2016 as current instructor Dottie Evans will be retiring this summer.
  • Eric proposed:  
    • Tee Bush is credentialed and would like to model a leadership class after a UNL program and teach it next year. Class credits would be transferable.
    • Eric made a motion to provide a civic engagement component listing in General Education as Human Relations or AED 1023 interpersonal skills for leadership taught by Tee. It could be a General Education option. The Human Relations class will not be taught but remain listed in the catalog for eligible transfer credits to NCTA. Jennifer McConville, 2nd, motion carried.
    • Eric will provide suggested catalog changes to Vicky Luke and the new civic engagement course will be offered Fall 2016 with Tee Bush as the instructor.


  • Jennifer McConville discussed the current schedule of Dual Credit classes and the group reviewed challenges such as low-enrolled courses, limited campus resources and scheduling in order to provide full support to all high schools, in and outside of the four-school consortium which had been started for 2015-2016.
  • Jennifer suggested forming a faculty/admissions committee to evaluate the dual credit course listing and refine it for the fall and spring semester requirements. She will coordinate input from Division chairs in proposing the priority courses and schedules. 
    • First, Dr. Ramsdale will meet with Jennifer and Tina to outline requirements specifically for the two new ag certificate programs in the ag consortium.
    • Jennifer and this committee will provide suggestions to Dean’s Council for updating the Dual Credit program policy and the Memorandum of Understanding between NCTA and participating high schools.
    • Reminder:  Faculty are not paid for students who receive incompletes. Also, for a faculty member who is not teaching 15 credit hours, the dual credit courses are counted as part of their work load.
    • Discussion also occurred regarding class completion in the 16-week timeframe, as suggested, unless special arrangements are made with the instructor to carry over the course into the next semester. This issue will be reviewed by the DC committee as well.


  • Eric addressed the Council regarding his draft policy for Facilitators of Online Courses.
  • The dual credit policy language should be incorporated more into the Facilitator policy.
  • Eric will discuss this with Dan Widick and Tee to ensure they are okay in serving as facilitators for their classes. He will finalize the policy and return to Council for approval. 


  • Dottie Evans reported on accreditation and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) visit. 
    • HLC will be on campus March 27-30, 2016.
    • January 18-27 students are encouraged to complete a survey emailed to them.
    • The Master “to do” list (X: 2016 Self Study Report Files/Administrative/Master …) was reviewed and Dottie asked that the council members to enforce timelines and deadlines for submitting information.
    • Dr. Ramsdale and Linda Cole are now coordinating the HLC Assessments. Faculty should e-mail fall semester Student Learning Outcomes as soon as possible to each. 
    • HLC talking points
      • Dottie has created an Excel workbook document with Criterion talking points.
      • Key talking points will come from the arguments the staff will want to emphasize or which need further explanation.
      • Dottie would like talking points completed by February 29 to allow review time before the site visit.
      • The list of key points will be available around Jan. 15th
      • Dr. Ramsdale suggested it is so important that each faculty member and most staff members need to read the entire assurance document. 
      • Accreditation will continue to be on Dean’s Council agendas.


  • Dr. Ramsdale is leading the Assessment Committee. Please send Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) to him or his administrative assistant Linda Cole. 


  • The Strategic Plan appendix of work status was reviewed by Dean’s Council.
  • Dr. Rosati will work on updates, including review of duties previously assigned to Dr. Mickelsen for reassignment. This update will be reviewed at a future Dean’s Council.


  • Jennifer discussed Faculty evaluation deadlines and the updated process.
  • Linda Cole will provide a copy of student course evaluations to the Division chairs and then to each faculty member. Jennifer will note the revision on the evaluation form.
  • Other small changes were brought to Jennifer’s attention. She will make these edits and post to update to the website.


  • Dr. Rosati discussed faculty equity.
    • The purpose is to bring faculty equity up to the national average for this type of job title/position or individual equity adjustment.
    • Ron proposed that next time equity is calculated, NCTA perform a group equity analysis instead of an individual equity analysis.   
    • This will continued to be discussed at Dean’s Council.


  • Dr. Glenn Jackson distributed a campus map with proposed biosecurity fence and road closures for human and animal safety. The proposal was drafted by Role Cole. 
  • One suggestion is installation of a gate north of the red horse barn to close that road to traffic flow onto Siminoe Drive.
  • Eric will continue as chairman of the traffic committee
    • Joanna, Bridger, Barb, Randi, Roy, and Jennifer will be on the committee.
    • On Jan. 21, Eric will bring the committee’s recommendations before Council.
    • Eric will report on the biosecurity and traffic committee at the Campus Open Forum January 7. This item will also be on our Dean’s Council agenda in 2 weeks.


  • Freshman orientation (including transfer students) weekend will be chaired by Jennifer McConville. Committee members will include Tina Smith, Kevin Martin, Vicky Luke, Tee Bush and Catherine Hauptman.
    • Important agenda items for orientation: Title IX, mandatory attendance, mental health, time in getting acquainted with Division staff, orientation to the culture and traditions of the institution, inclusion of transfer students.
    • Jennifer will bring proposals from student services/committee members to the Council.


  • Dr. Rosati suggested a similar type of committee for faculty orientation.
  • The committee will be Faculty Senate President Dr. Glenn Jackson as chairman, with Dr. Doug Smith, Mary Rittenhouse and Barb Berg as members.
  • The committee will bring a proposal to Dean’s Council to discuss further.


  • An emergency management plan needs to be updated for NCTA. 
  • Tee Bush will take charge of this plan, reporting to Jennifer on this process. 
  • Committee members will be Tee Bush (chair), Jennifer, Barb Berg, Catherine Hauptman, and Mary Rittenhouse. Mary Crawford will assist in editing the document. 
  • Jennifer will bring a progress report to Dean’s Council in three weeks. 


  • The NCTA organizational chart was reviewed by Dean’s Council with appropriate changes made accordingly.
  • All updates were noted by Jennifer, to be provided to Linda Cole for an updated organizational chart and review at the College open forum on Jan. 7. 


  • The college forum will be held Thursday, January 7 at 3 pm in the Ed Center Auditorium.
  • Mary C. suggested Dr. Rosati report on external relations and outreach. The item was added to the agenda.


  • NCTA’s proposed Academic Year faculty attendance policy was discussed with Dean’s Council.  This is now just a draft version and will be clarified.
  • For fall semester, Faculty are expected on campus until grades are submitted at the end of each semester, the date final exams end, or the date of college graduation, whichever comes later.
  • For spring semester faculty are expected to be available for college activities one week after the graduation date. 
  • Faculties are expected to be available for college activities.
  • Dr. Rosati will update the draft policy and bring it back to the next Dean’s Council.


  • Faculty Promotion schedule
    • Dr. Rosati asked that the NCTA human resources office change the current April 6 date to February 1 for the HR office to notify individuals who are eligible for promotion. This provides greater notification time for promotion candidates to submit their applications by April 20. He made a motion for this revision; all approved.
    • Jennifer will make changes in the master calendar and to the document on the website.
    • Microeconomics
      • Mary Rittenhouse discussed that NCTA should offer an alternative course to Microeconomics such as Economics of Agriculture. This may be better suited for students who are not AMS majors and are not transferring to a 4-year program. 
      • Mary will prepare her proposal and bring it to the next Dean’s Council.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 PM 

The next meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 14 at 12 p.m. in the Ag Hall Conference room.