ACC president receives evaluation at board meeting

ALPENA – The Alpena Community College Board of Trustees had its annual evaluation of President, Olin Joynton, in a closed session before its annual meeting on Thursday. During the evaluation, the board informs the president on strengths and areas for improvement.

“It’s very important that the president be evaluated on a regular basis because it’s my best opportunity to show accountability. Other people at the college have their performance evaluations on a regular basis, and the president should be no exception,” said Joynton.

Joynton said the board informed him they would like to see more visits and studies involving other community colleges. ACC already studies other colleges through the Michigan Community College Association, but the board expressed a want for more information and to bring more of other successful practices to ACC, and in the process, show how ACC is keeping pace with the trends of the future.

“Everytime that the board has stepped up to the plate and performed this duty, I learn things about what the board appreciates most of all, and wants to strengthen and do more of,” Joynton said. “Also I see where I sometimes need to pay a little more attention and focus to meet the challenges ahead.”

Trustees also addressed an issue of declining enrollment, approving a budget adjustment which was originally based on a five percent enrollment decline, but due to the actual 12 percent decline, additional cuts were in order.

“We did announce some staff reductions before the current academic year began,” Joynton said. “In terms of full-time college employees, it’s not going to be necessary to affect any more of them. We are going to reduce the number of class sections that we offer, which would affect overload, and instructional employment, however most of the funds come from what I would call ‘tightening our belt,’ getting by with less supplies and less external contractual services … what we try to do first and foremost is preserve the quality and the extent of ACC’s services that are keyed and indexed appropriately to the needs of the community.”

There will be little room for flexibility in the budget due to the cuts made in a variety of areas, but the board has prepared for the continuation of the declining enrollment trend.

“This basically reduces our budget by $467,000,” chair John Briggs said. “What we’re doing is we’re reducing our budget by 3.21 percent which is not insignificant. And we’re able to do it now because we’re early enough in the year to make the adjustments without any massive changes.”

In other business:

* Amber McLarney-Vesotski and Joanna Cooper updated the board on the progress of the psychology program and gave a demonstration of the research that has been taking place in the classroom.

* Katie Cox and Kendra Hardrich, representatives of the Student Leadership Commission, informed the board of the different activities the group has been in charge of so far this year, and its plans for future events around campus.

* Chris Baldwin of the Michigan Community College Association Center for Student Success explained the mission of the center and the plans for the future of student success in community colleges across Michigan.

* Jessica Ruppert was hired as the Communications Technician in the Public Information Office.

* the next regular board meeting will be Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.