President’s Messages 2009

President’s Message, September 2009

Good morning students, faculty, and staff! I am hopeful that your summers were enjoyable and productive. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the Fall Semester at Muskegon Community College.

My recent Investiture Address was entitled “Capture the Moment.” I chose this title as community colleges around the nation are positioned as never before to serve our communities. Our curricular offerings have never been more diverse, our students never more committed, and our faculty and staff never more prepared.

As you know, our state and national economy, while showing signs of improvement, remains uncertain. I am of the opinion that, because of the programs and services offered by community colleges, we are in the best position of all levels of education to assist in moving our nation forward. This belief is endorsed by the President of the United States and Congress as they are in the process of making available the largest infusion of resources into the community college movement since just after WWII.

Indeed, Muskegon Community College is particularly well suited to this task. Our faculty, staff, and trustees have been committed to providing our students with the technology, environment, and knowledge crafted to fit the requirements of Muskegon and West Michigan in the 21st century. While I mentioned some of these programs last Friday, there are many, many outstanding programs across the curriculum, both credit and non credit, from which students may choose.

To our new and returning students, take a look around. You will like what you see. To our faculty, your excellent reputation precedes you. I look forward to seeing you in action in front of your classes and in the community. To our staff, continue doing what you do best…providing the highest level of customer service and support available in the community college system.

How can you capture the moment? Over the next few months, you will receive a series of notes from me and the President’s Cabinet regarding ways that you can be involved in assuring that MCC remains a vibrant and innovative institution. My single vision is this: …to help MCC become the most effective community college in the state, and a model for innovation in two and four year colleges around the country.

Best regards,
Dale Nesbary

President’s Message, October 2009

Good morning students, faculty, and staff. First, thank you for launching another successful Fall Semester at Muskegon Community College. Last month I noted that the MCC community would receive information on how we all may work to assure that MCC remains a vibrant and innovative institution. This month’s message provides you with a key opportunity to be involved. Specifically, I will discuss the upcoming Muskegon Community College Strategic Planning Process.

The Strategic Planning Process will be led by a Committee organized along four discrete and related dimensions of MCC. These include subcommittees on Academic Programs and Policies (what happens in the classroom), Non-Academic Programs and Policies (what happens outside of the classroom), Community Relations, and Infrastructure/Master Planning. The Committee will include staff, faculty, students, trustees, and community members.

Here are ground rules of the Strategic Planning Process:

  • You will be directly involved in the process and your involvement will be meaningful. If you are interested in serving on the Strategic Planning Committee, please send a note to Your participation will drive the process and I commit to you that, as President, I will listen.
  • Your time will not be wasted. Specifically, we will not reinvent the wheel. During the past year the College has accumulated much of the data needed to accommodate the planning process, so we will not ask you again for those data.
  • I expect that we will ask ourselves tough questions, and accordingly, I also expect that honest responses will be forthcoming.
  • We will not promote change just for the sake of change itself.
  • The College will function better for having gone through this process.

With the release of this President’s Message, the process is hereby begun. The timetable is as follows:

  • October 1, 2009 – Commencement of the Strategic Planning Process
  • November 1, 2009 – Master Planning Process Begins
  • January 1, 2010 and Forward – Implementation of Strategic Planning Recommendations as Approved
  • March 31, 2010 – Completion of Master Planning Process
  • April 30, 2010 – Completion of Strategic Planning Process

As you may note, this is an ambitious timetable. However, I am confident that we are capable of accomplishing these tasks in a timely fashion. Again, if you are interested in serving on the Strategic Planning Committee, please send a note to Diana Osborn will chair the committee along with a member of the faculty. I thank you, in advance, for your participation as we work together toward what is sure to be an exciting year.

Best regards,

Dale Nesbary, Ph.D.


Strategic Planning Committee Detail

This list comes from a variety of groups, including students, faculty, staff, trustees, and the community. The list is not exhaustive and is a starting point for committee discussions.

Full Committee

  • Process Coordination
  • Program Cost Estimation
  • Determination of Proper Governance Direction for Proposals (approval process)


Academic Programs and Policies

  • Integration of 2010 HLC Recommendations
  • Integration of Existing Plans (Academic Master Plan, Existing Strategic Plan)
  • Integration of Items from President’s Investiture Address (New Media, Instrumental Music, Center for Green Technology, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Natural Sciences Support, Allied Health Support, Sports Management, Professional Golf Management, Professional Tennis Management, Lifeguarding [Ellis, Red Cross])
  • High School Dual Enrollment and Direct Credit Program Expansion
  • Autism Program
  • Bioterrorism Program
  • Fire Safety Program

Non-Academic Programs and Policies

  • International Student Recruiting
  • Campus Security
  • Varsity Sport Expansion
  • Student Housing Options
  • Student Meal Plans – Community Declining Balance
  • Advancement (Foundation, Alumni Relations)

Community Relations

  • Community Survey/Environmental Scan
  • Downtown/Off Site Campus
  • Transportation
  • Integration of MCC Programs in the Community
  • MCC Services in Newaygo, Oceana, and Ottawa counties

Infrastructure/Master Planning

  • Master Planning Process Oversight
  • Downtown Campus
  • Planetarium
  • Visual Arts Facility
  • Natural Science Facility Upgrade
  • New Media Center Development
  • Fire Safety Academy
  • Security Infrastructure


President’s Message, Nov. 2009

Hello students, faculty and staff. Thank you all for a successful first half of Fall 2009. Your effort, hard work, and patience are very much appreciated, particularly given record enrollments and the large amount of construction on and around campus. I have had an opportunity to attend many student activities, academic events, cultural activities and athletic events this fall. This confirmed my knowledge that MCC has highly talented students, faculty, and staff.

Last month, I provided information regarding the MCC Strategic Planning process. This month’s President’s Message will update the planning process as well as provide you with information regarding happenings on and off campus. Of note:

  • Dr. John Bartley, Instructor of Geology, has graciously agreed to Co-Chair the Strategic Planning process with Diana Osborn. The full committee and subcommittees are being organized to begin the important work to come.
  • I will ask the Committee to hold some of its meetings and activities at locations in the community to assure that external stakeholders have input regarding the future of the college.
  • Finally, the MCC Board of Trustees is evaluating architectural firms to develop a new Master Plan for the College. The Board is expected to settle on a firm during the next several weeks.

On the legislative front, you will be pleased to learn that the Michigan State Legislature fully funded the Community College budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Every other major state agency received reductions for 2009-10. This is particularly important as it signals an understanding in Lansing that community colleges play a pivotal role in the future of the state.

On the home front, I have had an opportunity to meet the talented MCC family. I have also met one-on-one with many community members with a direct interest in MCC. This includes 14 school system superintendents, other educators, our Lansing legislative delegation, many municipal leaders, businessmen and women, nonprofit agencies, students of all ages, and many others. I do this to meet my commitment to serve all of you more effectively. If you have a group or persons whom you believe I should contact, please let me know. Additionally, to enhance transparency in my office, I am posting my calendar online on the President’s Welcome page.

Finally, during a ceremony on Friday, October 23, Executive Vice President Diana Osborn, Vice President of Student Affairs Janie Brooks, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa Sturrus were honored by the MCC community. Importantly, this year marks the first time in MCC’s history that women held all three vice presidential positions. It was noted that they have served the College with distinction for a combined 80-plus years. It is my observation that these women are smart, tough, and capable as well as consummate professionals. It is a pleasure to work with them.

Best regards,
Dale Nesbary, President

President’s Message, Dec. 2009

Hello students, faculty, and staff. The Mission of Muskegon Community College states that the College helps students meet their educational goals by offering programs “that respond to individual, community and global needs.” As President of MCC, it has become clear to me that these words are truer now than in any time in our history. As we move into the second decade of the new millennium, I would like to share some information about the state of education in Michigan and the nation.

First, a telling statistic: of every 100 Michigan ninth graders, only 18 will graduate within six years of the time that they matriculate or enter college. This clarifies in a meaningful way that all of us, including faculty, staff, and administration need to work with our incoming students to ensure that they are successful. Another statistic: 50 percent of all jobs in the nation to be created by the year 2025 are “middle skilled” positions. These are jobs requiring a high school diploma and up to an associate degree or equivalent. Notably, only 15 percent of jobs created will require less than a high school education. A final statistic: a 2009 study reports that of the 5.5 million workers in Michigan’s workforce, nearly 70 percent will be a part of the workforce in the year 2020.

What do I take away from these statistics?

  • Community colleges have a mandate to support the education of our young people.
  • At least half of the jobs created in the foreseeable future will require at least some college.
  • To remain competitive, we must focus on assuring that our students and workforce are educated, trained and competitive.

What can you do to help?

  • Support our students. Work at your best to assure that they know that we care.
  • Get involved in on campus activities, including the strategic planning process (email at
  • Get involved in your community, schools, church, government or related organizations. The more the community understands that we are interested, the more effective we can become.

Finally, as usual, please let me know how I may be of service to you by contacting my office at 231-777-0303 or via email at Enjoy the holidays and the best to you and your families.

Best Regards,
Dale Nesbary, Ph.D