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Dr. Nicholas Neupauer

Convocation Speech Fall 2012





Colleagues, friends, Butler County Community College faculty and staff, welcome. Welcome to the 2012-13 academic year. We have a busy and important day planned. Thank-you for your participation. You’ve already heard from Linda, who introduced new faculty and staff. I am honored to provide you with my annual “State of the College” report. Afterwards, you will hear from:

Brian Opitz and two guests, who will provide an update on the College’s Master Plan

Ruth Purcell, who will provide you with details on a Feasibility Study that will hopefully lead toward our College’s second-ever Capital Campaign

Susan Changnon, who will show off some of our 21st century marketing pieces

Dr. Francie Spigelmyer, who will provide an academic update, recognize our newly tenured and promoted faculty, and present the annual Best Practices in Teaching and Learning Awards.


My time will be spent covering the following:


  • My annual 2012-13 Presidential Goals and Objectives
  • An update on the College’s Strategic Plan
  • An update on the assessment of our College Goals, also known as BC3’s College Report Card
  • A snapshot of today’s higher education as 1 of the Commonwealth’s 14 community colleges
  • Conversion of the College’s student management software –from APECS to Datatel – now known as ELLUCIAN
  • Miscellaneous Information
  • A “Unique start to the academic year"



2012-2013 Presidents Goals and Objectives


As assigned by the College’s Board of Trustees, the following are my goals and objectives for the coming academic year:

  1. Direct the College in pursuing our “2010-2015 Strategic Plan: Focusing on Regional Educational Opportunities and Students’ Success.
    • a. Direct the College in pursuing our “2010-2015 Strategic Plan: Focusing on Regional Educational Opportunities and Students’ Success

  2. Expand statewide leadership role with the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and, in turn, benefit BC3.
    • Vice President of the Commission
    • Serve on Capital Working Group
    • Chair of the Economic Stipend Group
    • Member of the PR/Government Relations Working Group
    • President of the Western PA CCs.

  3. Position the College to engage in a major gifts campaign.
    • This is the fourth leg to our funding model
    • Tremendous increase in Foundation funding; increase of over 70 percent in three years

  4. Maintain sound fiscal condition of the College during these unique economic times.
    • Continue to develop budgetary “what-if’s”
    • Pursue revenue generators that fall in line with the College mission
    • Pursue cost saving measures within current budget structure
    • Work with the Foundation, PA Department of Education, Federal Grants and other opportunities (i.e., Department of Justice Federal Grants, Trade Adjustment CC Federal Grant, door project, PA Regional Community College line item, PDE Capital pool and bond refinances)
    • Endeavor to reach agreements with all of the College’s bargaining units, and to do so within the fiscal constraints imposed on the College



Strategic Plan Update


What drives our institution is our Strategic Plan. A result of feedback from 338 individuals back in 2009, this road map of our future drives strategic decisions made by myself, the administration as a whole, the Board of Trustees, our Foundation and the financial commitment of this institution.


I hope you appreciate our semester updates. Further information can be found on the campus information: college U drive. My personal perspective on the College’s four initiatives is as follows:

  1. Regionalization: Brockway; LindenPointe – state capital funding; Lawrence Crossing – student café; and Cranberry expansion

  2. Beautification: signage; Shaffer Walking Trail; door project; 278 Old Plank Road; the CCLC; and Library

  3. Academic Development: workshops; assessment/evaluation to improve the College; scholars program

  4. Student Centeredness: clubs; housing; and web redesign



BC3 College Report Card: Assessing the College Goals


I’m guessing you’re noticing a theme here: the evaluation of various elements of the College. Not only do our accrediting agencies ask for such, so does the federal and state government. Failing to do so places our College at risk with accreditation, federal and state student loans and revenue from our funding providers.


Again, available on the campus information: college u drive, I would like to highlight some points made in the evaluation.



Today's Higher Education


I’ve already mentioned the accountability aspect of higher education, but some other points you may be interested in.

  • Governor’s Commission on Post-Secondary Education – skills, stackable credentials, nimbleness of community colleges

  • Shrinking state revenues – in 09-10 we received 40 percent of our operating revenues from the state. Today we received 28 percent

  • County revenues – our local contribution is 13 percent; the same as it has been for the last three years. Of course, this is far from the 33 percent promised in the original Community College Act. Despite this, I applaud our county commissioners for doing what they can to help the College

  • Approximately 56 percent of our revenues come from tuition and fees (the remaining 3 percent comes from miscellaneous sources). However, solving revenue problems cannot be as simple as higher tuition increases. (Read excerpts from Governor Corbett, Senator Corman, and President Obama)

  • Merging of Pitt-Bradford and Titusville administrations; SUNY mergers; future of smaller, PSU branches; and vo-tech-community college partnerships

  • Enrollment: as presented in a Tribune Review Article from Monday of this week, the state’s community college enrollment is down significantly. Early reports indicate the same for the Commonwealth’s universities (Clarion example). Although tough to get a firm number for BC3 at this point because of our recent student management software conversion, we are figuring our enrollment can be off between 8 and 15 percent. The Deans have cancelled more classes this semester than in recent memory



From APECS to Datatel, now known as ELLUCIAN


The infrastructure of our institution, like any other in higher education, is our student management software system. The version we used for many years was APECS. It served us well. However, as time moved forward, APECS became less and less involved with higher education institutions and instead focused on K-12. As a College, we were charged for any changes/updates.

When federal or state guidelines change, it correlates to changes in our student management software. The best example of this is related to information needed for federal student loans and grants. APECS couldn’t handle such requirements. As system like Datatel/ELLUCIAN, an internationally known student management software company, can.

Datatel/ELLUCIAN also allows for in-depth reports and analysis APECS could never give us. When a bond-refinance presented itself two years ago, the state and county agreed we use proceeds for this important conversion.

The conversion has been intense, frustrating and time-consuming. From what college and university Presidents tell me, this “bump in the road” is normal. Generally, it lasts a year.

For faculty, your training this afternoon is important as it relates to your class rosters, turning in grades and advising.

To all, thanks for your dedication during this conversion period.



Miscellaneous Information


Beck Library commitment – the goal is state money to be matched by a capital campaign

Student Housing – I’ve been told over and over about the negatives, but studying this possibility could create a new, much needed revenue stream

Shaffer Walking Trail – made possible by a bequest and capital bond refinance monies okayed by the commissioners, this project is days/weeks away and looks to be completed by November

Children’s Creative Learning Center – many of you know the value of this College service. We were fortunate to have a “temporary space” to locate the CCLC when the tree demolished the old location. The purchase of 278 Old Plank Road allows us to expand the current CCLC location and save, what we estimate, to be $500,000 to $700,000 on a brand new building

278 Old Plank Road – long identified on the College’s master plan, this acquisition will not only allow for the current expansion of the CCLC, but provide other long-range possibilities

Cranberry expansion committee – we have outgrown our space at Cranberry. A committee has recommended a new location for BC3 at Cranberry. We are currently exploring funding options and partnerships to see if this is possible

A total of 24 recycling bins for plastic and aluminum bottles will be available at our campus sites, made possible by a grant from Coca-Cola

PSU situation – transparency and reporting now like never before

We are emerging as statewide leader in Marcellus training made possible by the TAACCCT grant/federal grant. Pennsylvania received $20 million from the Federal Government to help provide training in energy. Our team has connected with unemployed workers who go through an intensive program and enter directly into the workforce




“A unique start to the Academic Year"


Ladies and gentleman, as you can see from my previous remarks, the College has a lot to be proud of, but we also have some unfinished business ahead of us.

A quote from Jim Rohn, a business philosopher, perhaps says it best, “There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension; the other with anticipation.”

One of those pieces of “unfinished business” is the contract between the College and faculty. I look forward to finalizing a contract that is beneficial for all. I thank the union and administration negotiating teams for all your time and effort to achieve this goal.

My fundamental concern in reaching this goal is the same as in conducting all of the College’s business: educating our wonderful students. As always, our students must come first. Because I am under the premise that we are all here to do what is best for the College and ultimately our students, I am confident we will find a solution.

We each have roles and job descriptions. Mine reads, “... the President is responsible for the overall operation of Butler County Community College including initiating, guiding, and directing the activities necessary to fulfill the mission, goals and vision of the College.”

I can hardly believe I’m in my 13th year at the College and starting my sixth as president. I tackle my responsibilities with as much excitement and pride as I did Day One of my Presidency. Having the advantage of comparing this institution with others in which I’ve worked, what makes this place so special is our people.

Have a wonderful 2012-13 academic year.




<< previous page


BC3 Trustee Op-Ed

Butler Eagle 2.4.13
BC3's Fund Balance Isn't Too Large (pdf)


BC3 Strategic Initiatives

View details about BC3's four Strategic Initiatives


BC3 Financial Summary

BC3 Financial Summary(pdf) January 24, 2013


BC3 Master Plan

View BC3 Master Plan(pdf)


Economic Impact Study

View BC3's 2012 Economic Impact Study (pdf)

link to BC3 economic impact study



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