Greetings! In honor of Labor Day and the traditional start of the academic year, I am writing to share highlights from the past year and our goals for the upcoming year.
Since February, NLC community members have engaged in an ambitious planning process designed to chart the next phase of the College’s development. In characteristic NLC style, the conversations about our future have been spirited and inclusive. These ideas have been distilled into our strategic plan for 2013-2016.
We continued to make progress on a number of existing priorities, including:
The introduction of the Associate of Arts degree program which had its official launch on July 1, 2013, with Professor Candace Archer as the first director. The AA degree program will provide students with the foundation to succeed in NLC’s bachelor degree programs or at any other 4-year college or university.
In response to demand from labor union members, we created a certificate in arbitration and grievance handling.
We had an outstanding year for faculty hiring, including the successful recruitment of three leading academics:
- Dr. Deborah Robinson, Director, Emergency Readiness and Response Management Program
- Dr. Candace Archer, Director, Associate of Arts Degree Program
- Dr. Diane Frey, Director, Labor Studies Program
Major administrative recruitments include Kia Kuresman, Academic Advising; Lucas Sifuentes, Enrollment Management; D Denny, Financial Aid; Jacinta Kelly, Finance; and Jeff Bria, Registrar.
Several faculty members took on new leadership roles at the College: Dr. Dan Katz was appointed Provost; and Julie Mendez-de Leon was named Assistant Dean for Special Academic Programs.
We also had some changes to our dedicated Board of Trustees. The terms of several members of our Board of Trustees ended and we give the following individuals our heartfelt appreciation.
- Gerald McEntee, AFSCME
- John Gage, AFGE
- Leo Gerard, USW
- Edwin Hill, IBEW
We also welcomed several new members:
- David Durkee, BCTGM
- Matthew D. Loeb, IATSE
- Fred Redmond, USW
- Jack Marco, The Marco Consulting Company
- Carrie Biggs-Adams, Student Representative
The College is continuing the process of moving its offices to downtown Silver Spring. We are finalizing the lease, with the intention of moving in December or January.
NLC has also signed on with real estate broker CBRE to undertake a new marketing campaign to sell the campus property. Since relisting, 34 different entities have signed non-disclosure agreements with us which allow them to review documents and materials pertaining to the property. We have already given tours of the property to many of these entities and have more tours scheduled.
National Labor College continues to build our student body. Enrollment in our degree programs is up more than 65% in the past two years with students from almost every union. This year’s graduating class of 83 represented 23 unions. Our students work in a variety of fields and plan to use their degrees to advance in their current jobs, go into new professions, or continue with higher education at institutions such as Concordia University, Catholic University, and University of Maryland – Baltimore County.
We are able to fulfill our mission making higher education available to workers, to prepare union members, leaders and staff for the challenges of a changing global environment; and to serve as a center for progressive thought and learning largely because of the generosity of our supporters. Preliminary reports indicate that fundraising efforts were strong last year. It was particularly gratifying to receive a gift of $3 million from American Income Life.
Once again, many thanks for a memorable year marked by notable achievements. National Labor College is a remarkable institution, with students, faculty, staff, and alumni distinguished by their intellectual curiosity, dedication to the mission, and desire to build the labor movement one student at a time. I have been honored to meet so many members of the community this year, and I look forward to many, many more such opportunities.
Paula E. Peinovich