Innovation and distinction in ENVIRONMENT
CAMPAIGNING FOR ENROLLMENT
Responding to last fall’s 10-13% enrollment drop, NWC launched a major student recruitment campaign. In concert with a Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, the college’s campaign includes online, radio, newspaper and billboard advertising. The three-to-five-year campaign focuses on four key messages—location, quality, value/affordability and experience—and targets two audiences: traditional students in 15 western states and non-traditional students in northwest Wyoming. The enrollment decline, also experienced by most other Wyoming community colleges, is attributed in part to the state’s lower unemployment rate.
CUTTING BUDGETS, PROGRAMS & SERVICES IN FACE OF REVENUE SHORTFALL
In preparing next year’s budget, NWC faced the grim task of cutting approximately $1.6 million in annual expenditures. The 2019-20 budget accommodated 1) the Board’s spring 2018 action to provide a 4% cost-of-living adjustment for employees in 2018-19 and 2) about $600,000 in tuition revenue loss from decreased enrollment. Reductions for the coming year include loss of positions after resignations or retirements, reductions in force, eliminating instructional programs and scaling back or discontinuing services. This followed cutting nearly $2.3 million for FY17, including program eliminations and positions.
ENHANCING THE CAMPUS
COMMITTING TO EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION
A Board-approved 4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all employees was the centerpiece of NWC’s 2018-19 budget. Additional increases were awarded for those still behind market after the COLA was applied. The action, taken in order to effectively recruit and retain employees, represented a nearly $1M investment in employees, who had not received meaningful college-funded increases since 2012-13.
ADVANCING LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Northwest joined the state’s other six community colleges in advancing the following key priorities for the Legislature’s 2019 General Session.
CREATING A POSITIVE AUDIT OUTCOME
In a report from the college’s auditing firm, the Board of Trustees was presented with a clear audit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. No instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards were found.
BOOSTING CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS
NWC’s ongoing manual and automated software to stop cyber criminalswas augmented by monthly Cybersecurity Awareness Training for all faculty and staff. With employees of organizations becoming more frequent targets, the college’s Computing Services Office expanded employee awareness of phishing emails, mobile device security, social engineering, safe Web browsing and more.
CO-CHAIRING STATEWIDE COUNCIL
NWC President Stefani Hicswa co-chaired the state’s Educational Attainment Executive Council impaneled by former Governor Matthew Mead as recommended in a report from a statewide initiative titled ENDOW—Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming. The college hosted one of several listening sessions throughout the state to seek public input regarding how educational attainment goals can be met.