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UNM-LA takes it up a notch

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By Carol A. Clark

Conducting self-assessments and action planning using the Baldrige organizational profile for education was proposed at Monday evening’s UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board meeting held in the Lecture Hall on campus. “I’m proposing as an institution that we begin implementing the process with the goal that in the third year we go forward with the application process for the program,” UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page said. “Organizational effectiveness is key in what I think we want to achieve here. This is tied to the university’s (UNM) efforts in strategic planning and once the Regents approve that plan, it will serve as a guide to us and will be a part of what we develop over the next six to eight months.”Applicants receive 300-1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement by an independent board of examiners. The application and review process is a cost-effective, and comprehensive business health audit.Page told the board the college can find local sources to assist in the process, including Baldrige national award winner Los Alamos National Bank and some of the local schools who have implemented Baldrige. The college is currently undergoing an accreditation process, which Accreditation Steering Committee member Kate Massengale addressed during the meeting. “When we started this accreditation process, the steering committee said, ‘We don’t just want to do all this...for accreditation, we want to change the campus’,” Massengale said.Advisory Board member Marie Chiravalle said, “I think the accreditation will be a good barometer so you can tie this (Baldrige) right in.”Advisory Board Secretary Mike Wismer said, “I for one like what I’m hearing. I think it will be good for the college.”UNM-LA is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and by the New Mexico State Department of Education. In other business, board member Ron Dolin proposed the board approve a resolution in support of workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and to provide training during this challenging time.The board approved 3-0 reviewing a draft of the resolution at their next meeting and possibly approving it. Advisory Board Chair Nelson Hoffman and board member Linda Daly were absent. Interim Campus Resource Director Rick Goshorn presented a fiscal performance report through October. “Across the board our campus expenditures are doing fairly well,” Goshorn said.Student Affairs Director Pat Boyer briefed the board on her College Day for High Schools held last month. Over the two-day event, some 240 juniors and seniors from high schools in Los Alamos, Española, Penasco, Jemez, Mora and Cuba got a taste of college life. Boyer said she plans to hold another College Day in the spring for younger students. UNM-LA’s annual fund-raiser, A Taste of Autumn, brought in an estimated $14,800. “That puts us within about $6,000 for our matching funds with Title V,” Page said.The community broke a record in donating 185 items for the silent auction. Only some 15 items remained at the end of the event held recently at the campus.The college campus will go wireless around year’s end, Page said.Page told the group he’s been meeting with Los Alamos High School Principal Grace Brown and other administrators about dual credit for her students and applying for the Carl Perkins grant for students interested in vocational trades education. The grant will provide some seven years of programs, Page said.Shari Jobe is program manager of UNM-LA’s Adult Basic Education program. She detailed a recent state audit of her department. “Our rating was very good,” Jobe said. “We received two scores they’ve never given out before, a superior and an exemplary. “I have a wonderful team of people and it’s not just my department, but the collaboration of others throughout the campus.”Page announced that Massengale will become the acting Dean of Instruction effective Jan. 1. Page told the board he has not received a draft of a recent internal audit conducted at UNM. He expects to receive a written draft soon and said an exit interview will be conducted at that time.“In talking with the auditor, there are no serious findings,” Page said. The audit was more of an “operational audit” looking at programs and how they are administered. It’s something that’s done every 5-6 years, he said.Student government representative, Rocky Guo is a senior majoring in financial accounting. He addressed the board on student government activities including preparing a questionnaire, arranging activities surrounding the dowtown light parade and replacing a microwave in the cafeteria, among other things. Page said the current student government is more active this year than in the past.The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 in the Lecture Hall. The meeting is open to the public.