Northwest College

Annual Report


Great Workplace

Institutional Priority: Great Workplace
Institutional Imperative #2:

Northwest College shall be a great place to work.

Strategic Goals:

-Employee satisfaction with Shared Governance and Senior Leadership exceeds national benchmark levels of the "Great Colleges to Work For" annual survey.

-Employee satisfaction with communications and Faculty, Administration, and Staff Relations exceeds national benchmark levels of the "Great Colleges to Work For" annual survey.

    Employee satisfaction with shared governance and senior leadership rose 23% and 25%, respectively, since 2012, according to employee responses to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work For employment satisfaction survey.
    The Yellowstone Building opened to students and faculty in August. The 47,000-square-foot building houses Nursing, Allied Health, Criminal Justice, Communication, and Social Science and Education Division programs, and boasts high-definition simulation nursing labs, a firearms simulator along with a community conference/training center seating 300 people. With just over 60% funding by the Wyoming Legislature, it was the first construction appropriation NWC has ever received from the state’s general fund. The remainder of the total $13 million cost was covered by college budget reserves, NWC Foundation fundraising and a student facilities fee.
    NWC leadership responded to two facilities issues, ensuring their safety for student and employees. A professional clean-up service was employed in the Oliver Building (welding) after a summer roofing project turned up asbestos in core samples from roof repair several years ago. A state Fire Marshal’s routine visit to Trapper Arena, a Rodeo Team practice facility between Powell and Cody acquired in 2012, resulted in closure while an improvement plan could be implemented.
    A new Facilities Master Plan is providing a road map for development of the physical campus. Projects total 10s of millions of dollars, with new construction or renovation of the DeWitt Student Center and expanding the Nelson Performing Arts Center to incorporate visual arts being the top unmet needs.
    President Stefani Hicswa put the spotlight on NWC through her growing stature as a leader among college presidents. She was invited to speak at multiple national venues, including the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, and the American Association for Women in Community Colleges CEO Retreat in Stevensville, Maryland. In addition, her insight and expertise earned her a spot on the nationwide advisory board of the Higher Education Research and Development Institute. Dr. Hicswa was also identified by National American University as one of the top Generation X community college presidents in the country, leading to her participation in a study commissioned by the Pew Research Center.
    NWC will reduce its payment by approximately $100,000 per year by calling revenue bonds and refinancing the remaining $4,480,000 of the original $6 million construction cost of a 76-bed addition onto Simpson Hall in 2009.
    “Creating Hope” was the theme of President Stefani Hicswa’s State of the College address and her focus for the year. Encouraging employees to connect in more meaningful ways with students, she solicited stories about their experiences and charged a committee to find ways to create a storytelling culture at NWC. Demonstrating her own personal commitment, she volunteered to be dunked in 50-degree weather by any NWC student who signed a pledge to complete college.
    After a nationwide search, Lisa Watson of Montana was hired to fill the Vice President for Administrative Services position after an earlier retirement. Watson had been VP of Administrative Services and Finance at Miles Community College for five years.
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