President Daniels welcomes new employees

The New Employee Welcome Reception is Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Truax Campus, Room D1630.

Please RSVP to Judith Castro via email or call 608-246-6678.

Published September 8, 2017. Updated September 22, 2017.

Dr. Daniels offers open office hours

Faculty and staff can meet with President Daniels during open office hours each month this fall. All topics related to Madison College business will be open for discussion. The next scheduled date is Tuesday, Sept. 5, from 1-2:30 p.m. 


Published August 30, 2017.

Provost hosts open office hours to staff and faculty

The Provost is pleased to announce a new opportunity to connect one on one.


As communicated at the Learner Success Assembly Wednesday, Aug. 23, Provost Turina Bakken will host open office hours every month this fall. This is an opportunity for faculty and staff to have a conversation with Turina to discuss matters of concern, share success stories or propose new ideas. The open office times are 9-10:30 a.m. 


Please see below for the specific dates:


  • Friday, Sept. 8
  • Friday, Oct. 6
  • Friday, Nov. 10



Published August 30, 2017. Updated September 1, 2017.

Aug. 9 College Assembly recap

The College Assembly gathered on Aug. 9, 2017.

The meeting began with two educational spotlights. The first was presented by Sarah Fritz, representing the Professional Development Committee, on the Educational Assistance Reimbursement Policy.

The Policy applies to all full-time employees and part-time faculty who have earned “Senior Part-time Faculty” status who seek further education and training in their field. The expanded program support is managed through CETL and was highlighted at Convocation on Aug. 22.

Lori Sebranek, Dean of Enrollment Services, shared an educational spotlight on guidelines and organizational drivers related to the creation of the academic calendar and highlighted proposed changes to future academic calendars. A Learner Success request for increased flexibility is a primary driver of the revisions. Sebranek explained the current calendar and the reasoning behind the recommended changes.

The proposed changes to the calendar include elimination of the last six-week session of each semester and the addition of a late start session. Other additions could include intersessions that take place between fall, spring and summer terms, such as a “J-term,” in January and a “May-mester.”  

Tina Marshalek shared a Student Senate update. The Senate is preparing for fall by working on their issue statement regarding their primary 2017-18 mission, increasing awareness for student hunger and homelessness. They have appointed two additional senators and have been recruiting at regional campuses.

The Senate is updating their marketing materials and is putting together a student hunger survey, which they’ll distribute in the fall. They’re also planning a textbook affordability awareness week, which will involve students wearing buttons that state how much they paid for books in the current semester.

The Diversity and Community Relations Council (DCRC) gave their first read on the issue of campus climate, following a spring loop-out. The Council reviewed results from the most recent Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) and chose to address the issue by focusing efforts on inequities experienced by students.

Their issue question is: “How will Madison College assess campus climate and respond to the inequities in assessment findings among racial/ethnic minority students?” The Council is currently collecting interests and assessing not simply how data is gathered, but what the college is currently doing to fill these gaps.

The DCRC followed this up with a loop-out on the topic of diversity in hiring at Madison College. The loop-out was led by DCRC co-chair Lucia Nunez. The Council is striving to create “policies and strategic direction that is conducive to creating a diverse, safe and inclusive environment for students and employees to thrive.”

Nunez and fellow DCRC members requested feedback on an updated issue statement question: “How does Madison College ensure that its employee demographics at least minimally reflect the student body?”

Assembly members were then led through a “1-2-4-All” exercise, in which they broke into small groups to discuss and share their insights on the question.

The exercise led them to consider:

  • Are we asking the right question?
  • Who should we loop out to and work with?
  • What further work (data/systems/processes/people) should we consider?
  • Do you have any initial interests about the topic?

The DCRC will collect feedback on the issue statement question until Sept. 1, when they plan to begin the issue analysis sheet.

The College Assembly will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 13 (location to be determined.).

Planned agenda items include discussions on part-time faculty compensation, what’s next for councils, and a three-year facilities plan.   

Published August 23, 2017.

Dr. Daniels addresses Educational Reimbursement Policy

Several months ago, I charged the Professional Development Committee with creating a tuition reimbursement policy for all full-time employees and part-time faculty who have earned “Senior Part-time Faculty” status. 

The primary intentions of this policy include:

  • Providing equal access among the affected employee groups to tuition reimbursement independent of the Employee Scholars Program
  • Reimbursing employees who take courses or engage in training that is directly related to their current profession and enhances skills and abilities that lead to promotion and advancement
  • Acknowledging the value of industry-validated credentials and certificates that may not be awarded by traditional, accredited post-secondary institutions
  • Controlling costs by creating a central pool of funds and eliminating course reimbursement by individual departments or units 

Last month, the committee, whose members include Franklin Cham, Christine Cina, Paul Flogel, Sarah Fritz (chairperson), Nancy Johnson, Ann Mac Laughlin-Berres, Matthew Sargent, Nicole Soulier and Sylvia Ramirez submitted their proposal to the President’s Cabinet. I am pleased to share that it has been approved and is effective immediately.

The detailed proposal is below. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Fritz at extension 6559. Please join me in thanking the members of the Professional Development Committee for their good and thoughtful work.

Madison College Educational Assistance Reimbursement Policy

This policy applies to all full-time employees and PT faculty who have achieved “Senior PT-Faculty” status. It does not apply to student, casual, part-time PSRP, or LTE employees. All requests for tuition reimbursement fall under this policy; tuition reimbursement will not be funded by departments or units unless an exception is made by a Vice-President or the President of the college. This policy does not impact the Employee Scholars Program.

As an institution of higher education, Madison College values and supports life-long learning, degree attainment, and career pathways for its employees.

Priority funding is given to employees required to obtain additional credentials or expertise to maintain their current position. Education that enhances skills and abilities for an employee’s current position or leads to logical promotion and advancement will also receive first consideration. Below are additional guidelines governing this policy.

  • Employees may be reimbursed for a maximum of $4,100 per academic year* for: 

a. Courses taken at an accredited post-secondary institution. Courses must be degree-credit courses for which a letter grade is issued. In order to be reimbursed, an employee must achieve a grade of “C” or better. Employees taking a course Pass/Fail will only be reimbursed if it is specified by the grade-granting institution that Pass is equivalent to a grade of C or better. Auditing a course does not qualify for reimbursement. Coursework related to dissertation (writing, proposal, research, defense, guided study, etc.) will only be reimbursed once up to $4,100.

b. Courses taken as part of industry validated credentialing or in order to obtain professional certification or licensing.

In order to receive reimbursement, an employee must successfully complete the course or program as defined by the institution offering the course. 

There is a lifetime cap of $55,000 per employee. 

  • Employees seeking tuition reimbursement must obtain supervisor approval and include coursework as part of a documented professional development plan.
    Courses taken for reimbursement must be career or job related; not for personal enrichment. No reimbursement will be granted for the renewal of credentials or certifications that were required to obtain initial employment.
  • To receive reimbursement, an employee must be actively employed by the college at both the time the reimbursement is requested and the reimbursement is paid.
  • Employees seeking reimbursement must have approval prior to the course start date, and must submit reimbursement request by published deadlines.

*Please note that an academic year begins with the summer semester, followed by the accompanying fall and spring semesters. 

The Tuition Reimbursement policy and its associated budget needs will be reassessed annually by the Professional Development Committee.

Jack E. Daniels, Ph.D.


Published August 11, 2017. Updated August 30, 2017.

Fall Convocation schedule update

The 2017 Fall Convocation is Tuesday, Aug. 22, and Wednesday, Aug. 23. 

Tuesday, Aug. 22

Madison College’s Convocation begins at 8 a.m. with coffee and tea in the Truax Gateway. At 8:30 a.m., Dr. Daniels will share his message in the Mitby Theater outlining how we, as a college community, continue to live the elements of our mission – access, quality, success and sustainability.

The first break-out session regarding our efforts to improve student course success – our Focus on Focus work session will be at 9:45-10:15 a.m. We will celebrate the role of faculty in student success by highlighting their own stories. We’ll discuss best practices to use in the classroom to create a Madison College experience that will engage each of our students and support their success.

The second break-out session will take place from 10:30-11:00 a.m. in the Mitby Theatre. Attendees will learn about the planning process associated with the development of the college's next 10-year Facilities Master Plan. The plan will guide recommendations for facilities that:

  • Enhance the learning environment
  • Align with and are informed by the Academic, Student Services and Equity and Inclusion Plans
  • Promote long term vision and align with the College’s mission, vision and values

Food Services will open for lunch at 11:30 a.m.

School and Departmental meetings are scheduled from 11 a.m. and throughout the afternoon.

End of day one:  The first day will conclude with the College Community Social from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the South Atrium.  


Wednesday, Aug. 23

The second day of Convocation will begin with coffee and tea in the Truax Gateway at 8 a.m. Joint Learners Success and Student Development and Success Assembly will take place in the Mitby Theatre from 8:30-10 a.m. Additional School and Departmental meetings will be scheduled that day. Campus Community Volunteer Opportunities will begin at 12 p.m. Register to volunteer on the SignUpGenius website

Food Services will open for lunch at 11:30 a.m.

If you have questions, please contact Administrative Assistant Kimberley Brudny.

Published July 31, 2017. Updated August 23, 2017.

July 19 College Assembly recap

The College Assembly met on Wednesday, July 19.

Educational Spotlights

Kristin Gebhardt, interim co-chair of the Employee Relations and Professional Development (ERPD) Council, shed some light on the Employment Eligibility Verification Administrative Regulation. Madison College will begin strictly enforcing this federal regulation which legally requires employers to have new employees to complete a Form I-9, per the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, within the prescribed time limits.

The Form I-9 enables employers to verify employees’ identities and establish that new employees are eligible to accept employment in the United States. Section I of the Form I-9 must be completed by the employee no later than their first day. Section 2 of the Form I-9 must be completed within 3 business days after the employee begins employment. A new employee cannot be allowed to continue to work for the college and must be discharged if the form is not completed within the specified timeframes. 

Sylvia Ramirez, budget manager, and Mark Thomas, co-chair of the Fiscal Council, provided an educational spotlight on the college contingency fund.

The contingency budget line item in the general fund is allocated for costs resulting from known risks, unanticipated costs (unknown risks) and one-time expenditures. The District Board requested a three percent contingency for the 2017-18 budget.

Over time the percentage of contingency used has risen, even as the overall budget has increased. Contingency has been tapped into to cover expenses related to FTE student shortfall and state aid/property tax shortfall, new initiatives, among other reasons. In the past, unused contingency funds have been transferred to capital funds for the following year.

The current contingency amount is $4.5 million. The cabinet has established draft guidelines for the college contingency, and the District Board has final approval.

Student Senate

Tina Marshalek, president of the Student Senate, reported that the Senate is hard at work on determining measures to combat student hunger and homelessness. The Senate will survey students on this issue in the fall.

Marshalek added that all Madison College councils have now been assigned a student representative. An issue-oriented Student Senate radio show (“Voice of the Student”) is expected to begin on the new Madison College radio station as well.

Technology Investment Policy

The IT Council gave a second presentation of their Technology Investment Policy, addressing concerns shared after the initial read. The policy aims for a thorough vetting process including impact analysis prior to the purchase of significant technological purchases at the college. The policy was thumbed by the Assembly and forwarded to President Daniels for approval.

In the works

The ERPD shared a second read of their Transfer and Promotion Policy. The language of the original was by all accounts ambiguous, so a subcommittee formed to rewrite and clarify the content. Thumbing was tabled until further discussion could take place.

The Institutional Effectiveness Council gave a second read of their issue statement: “How does the college encourage ongoing and meaningful assessment of the college’s broader strategic plans?” The statement was thumbed by the Assembly.

The Finance Council led an activity requiring present Assembly members to share their written feedback on four topics: contingency, communication and education, college budget calendar and personnel cost percentage to inform the council of their next topic.

Next meeting

The College Assembly will meet again on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 1 p.m. in Truax, Room C2402.

Topics will include a first read of the Diversity and Community Relations Council’s issue statement on campus climate, and a loop-out on hiring diverse faculty and staff. The educational spotlight will feature a discussion about the academic calendar and a presentation on the Madison College Educational Reimbursement plan. 

Published July 31, 2017. Updated August 23, 2017.

Bakken updates college on leadership transitions

Madison College faculty and staff,

As we fast approach a new semester at Madison College, here is an update on some of the exciting strategic transitions in the academic arena that I first previewed in May. These changes bring in new perspectives and leverage existing talent—something that Madison College is blessed to have in abundance. These new leadership transitions also illustrate the interdisciplinary nature of our work, and the breaking of silos between both school and employment categories. Congratulations to all and get ready for a great year.

Thanks to President Daniels, Associate Vice President of Human Resources Kristin Gebhardt, and the HR team for their collaborative support.

Bryan Woodhouse has been named associate vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation. The units reporting to Woodhouse include:

  • Entrepreneurship Center
  • School of Professional & Continuing Education
  • School of Workforce and Economic Development

Dr. Erin Kohl will serve as interim dean of the School of Business & Applied Arts. She will be joined by two Interim Associate Deans:

  • Dr. Marsha Tweedy, formerly full time faculty and program director in Dental Assisting
  • Anne McIntyre, formerly Student Support Advisor
  • Jessica Feggestad who served as Interim Associate Dean in 2016-17 returns to her full-time faculty and program director role in Interior Design. Feggestad’s many contributions and strong leadership are greatly appreciated.

Dr. Kevin Mirus, formerly associate dean of Arts & Sciences, is now the dean/director of the STEM Center.  He is supported by a talented faculty team, including Bethany Sansing-Helton, who serves as a faculty associate director.

Dr. Mark Lausch and the School of Health Education (SoHE) will be joined by:

  • Sandra Docter, associate dean, formerly associate dean of ASET
  • Dr. Kerry Kliminski, interim associate dean, formerly full-time faculty in the Nursing program

The School of Applied Science, Engineering & Technology (ASET) led by Dr. Denise Reimer, will add:

  • Lucas White, interim associate dean, formerly Senior Student Support advisor

The School of Arts & Science, led by Dr. Todd Stebbins, welcomes two new Associate Deans:

  • Brian Short, named associate dean on a permanent basis
  • Dr. Kendricks Hooker, who joins us from Baptist College of Health Sciences in Memphis, TN, where he served as chair of the Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Health Studies programs

In addition, a reminder that as of July 1:

  • Veterinary Technician program is now part of SoHE
  • Information Technology is now part of ASET
  • College and Career Transitions (K-12) and Juanita Comeau’s team are now housed under the School of Academic Advancement and Dean Chris Vandall.

The Interim positions noted above are for the 2017-18 year. Full searches will commence at some point during the year. More details will be shared via school communications. Updates on other organizational realignments will be shared as they progress. There is exciting momentum at Madison College …. thank you all for your part in it. 

Please share this update as you wish.


Turina R. Bakken, Ph.D.

Published July 26, 2017. Updated August 9, 2017.

Revisions made to Employee Scholars program

For those Madison College employees interested in taking Degree Credit Madison College courses, the process to participate in Employee Scholars has changed.

Beginning fall 2017, Employee Scholars will pay their tuition bills, complete the course and then submit for reimbursement via Workday.

Download the new intent form.

Review the new program details.

Things that have NOT changed:

  • Only Degree Credit courses are eligible
  • Eligible employees are active Faculty, PSRP and Admin employees
  • Employee Scholars enrollment date is the Friday before the course begins
  • Employees may be reimbursed up to two courses per semester
  • Employee is responsible for fees other than program fee

Find more details in the updated Employee Scholars Reimbursement Process Details Document and download a current version of the Employee Scholars Reimbursement Intent Form on the Employee Scholars page

Published July 26, 2017.

Dr. Daniels shares District Board meeting summary

Madison College faculty and staff,

The following business was conducted during the July 10, 2017, meeting of the Madison College District Board.  Visit the District Board page to access the complete meeting agenda and supporting documents. 

Annual Organizational Meeting of the Board

The oath of office was administered for reappointed Board members Kelly Crombie and Frances Huntley-Cooper.  The three-year term of newly appointed Board member Dr. Elton J. Crim, Jr. began at the July 10th meeting also.  The Board accepted the slate of officers of the Ad Hoc Nominations Committee and for FY 2017-2018: Joseph Hasler will serve as Board Chair, Arlyn Halvorson will serve as Board Vice-Chair, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff will serve as Treasurer, and Frances Huntley-Cooper will serve as Secretary.  The Board also decided that they will continue to meet the first Wednesday of each month.

Faculty Awards

Several Madison college faculty members were recognized for awards they recently received: Mary Hoffman, instructor and co-program director in Dental Hygiene, has been named the American Dental Hygienists Association's 2017 Educator of the Year;  Lisa A. Seidman, Ph.D., adjunct instructor and recently retired Biotechnology program director, was named 2017 Educator of the Year by the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC); Janet Sperstad, CMP, Meeting and Event Management program director for Madison College, will be inducted into the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders at an October industry event in Las Vegas.

Skills USA

Madison College Skills USA participants who recently competed at the National Leadership and Skills Conference at Louisville, Kentucky, were congratulated by the Board for their accomplishments.  Alexandra Christensen received a gold medal in the Advertising Design competition, and Amadeo Verstegen and Timothy Myers competed as a team in the Additive Manufacturing completion and received a bronze medal.

Personnel Actions

The Board welcomed Jeff Reeves as the new Madison College Vice President of Human Resources.

Capital Projects Borrowing

The Board adopted a resolution awarding the sale of $8,290,000 in general obligation promissory notes.  These funds will be used for site work ($245,000), for building remodeling and improvement ($1,255,000), and for the cost of acquisition of movable equipment and technology ($6,790,000).

Consent Agenda – All Items Approved

  • General fund financial report as of May 31, 2017
  • Request for proposals/request for bids/sole sources
  • Supplier payments greater than or equal to $2,500 and schedule of checks issued for the period May 16, 2017, through June 15, 2017
  • Employment of personnel
  • Resignations and Separations
  • Retirements

Jack E. Daniels, Ph.D. 

Published July 19, 2017.