Monthly Archives: September 2020

Performing Arts students and alums come together for ‘Stages of Change’ original production

LCC’s Performing Arts Facebook page will host live theater tomorrow, Sept. 25. The production, “Stages of Change,” was written and will be performed by students and alumni. It was inspired by current world events and includes original scenes, monologues and poetry.

This free event begins 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, and will be livestreamed on Performing Arts’ Facebook page. It will be followed by a brief Q & A with the show’s creators. Passwords will not be necessary to view the performance. The event will also be reposted for delayed viewing.

Board of Trustees approves replacement for IDEA survey and provides feedback on Equity Action Plan development

The Board of Trustees approved a new vendor to replace the college’s IDEA course assessment survey during its Sept. 21 meeting. The three-year contract with Explorance will cost $149,985 total, representing a $26,260 cost savings for the college. In addition to saving money, the new system will be more user-friendly. More information on this change will be coming soon.
 
Trustees also approved:

  • Certification to the State of Michigan Budget Office that LCC complies with the requirement to meet at least four of the five best practices in each category of Michigan Public Act 52 of 2019, Section 230. This certification is required for LCC to receive its full state funding.
  • A three-year, $372,000 renewal of the college’s Microsoft Enterprise license agreement.
  • An extension of the current lease agreement with AARP for the premises in Washington Court Place for one year, ending Dec. 31, 2021. AARP has leased space from the college since 2007. The total amount AARP will pay through the next year is $165,924.
  • An amendment to the current agreement between LCC and Ellucian Company L.P. to purchase the Intelligent Learning Platform (ILP) software and associated maintenance. By adding this software to the Ellucian product portfolio, students will have real-time access to D2L and direct access to registered courses, a process that is now done nightly. The software will also allow students to receive grades more quickly due to the integration of grade export from D2L to Banner. The five-year contract will cost $121,142.
  • An agreement that the college can change the name of offices responsible for the execution of college policies when minor renames or reorganizations happen on campus. These changes previously required Board approval.

The college also provided the Board with its first update on the development of an Equity Action Plan. The plan is being developed in response to the Resolution Addressing Racial Injustice Through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, approved by the trustees during their June meeting. This first update focused on outlining what LCC’s progress “where we were, where we are and where we are going” regarding diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly in the Public Safety department and Mid-Michigan Police Academy (MMPA). Both groups undergo extensive training on topics like implicit bias, autism awareness, slavery’s legacy in law enforcement, de-escalation, Islam 101, and more. MMPA includes more than 100 hours of training beyond the state’s requirements. In addition, LCC’s Chief Diversity Officer Tonya Bailey sits on all full-time hiring committees for the Public Safety department.

The college’s full Equity Action Plan, outlining next steps to “address racial injustice, diversify faculty and enhance workplace policies, and establish processes that prevent behaviors that impede on racial and social equities,” will be developed by December. Trustees said they appreciated the early update on progress toward the Equity Action Plan, but urged the college to consider a third-party audit of Public Safety responses and actions.

During the meeting, trustees offered a resolution honoring Dr. Lisa Webb Sharpe, the college’s former executive vice president. They also held moments of silence for Dr. Eva Evans, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Board of Trustees will next meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, via Webex. A link will be sent to all employees in advance of that meeting. All are welcome to make public comment.

Do you use a personal computer for work? Be sure to transition from VPN to VDI

Bottom line up front: If you use a personal computer to connect to LCC using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you will need to transition to a virtual desktop by Nov. 2, 2020. If you are using a LCC-issued computer, no action is needed.

With LCC’s large-scale and rapid move to remote operations, LCC leadership accepted the cybersecurity risk to allow non-LCC owned devices to connect to the LCC network via Virtual Private Network (VPN), using software called Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. Unfortunately, non-LCC owned devices connecting to LCC’s VPN cause a lack of visibility and control required to support a breach or malware investigation, and continuing to allow non-LCC owned devices to connect to the VPN could lead to malware infections and a potential data breach.

We now have a secure remote access solution for those personal computer users that improves our security posture and significantly reduces the risk. Employees who lack a LCC-issued computer and would like to access network drives (H:, N:, and others), office printers, or on-campus applications while working off campus can now access LCC resources through a virtual desktopon their personal computers. A virtual desktop is a software program that emulates a computer and it’s applications. For example, through the virtual desktop application, users can send emails, browse the internet, conduct video conferences, create documents in Microsoft Word, and any other action normally conducted on a computer.

A virtual desktop is accessed remotely but functions as if you were sitting at a workstation on campus. This virtual desktop is not an exact replica of your LCC-owned computer, but comes equipped with LCC standard software that behaves as if you are on campus (your network drives are available and automatically appear, etc). The switch to a virtual desktop instead of VPN on non-LCC owned computers does not impact your access to web-based systems such as employee email (Office 365), Sharepoint sites, and D2L, as they are still available to personal computer users with only a web browser.

The virtual desktop is non-persistent, meaning that it functions like the machines in the computer lab. Once you have signed out, all data saved to the machine or applications installed is lost without possibility of being recovered. However, anything saved into “My Documents” folder will be kept and available the next time you sign in. Similarly, your network drives will also be available for storage of files.

All employees can download the virtual desktop software, VMware Horizon Client, onto their personal computers by following the instructions on 5Star. The virtual desktop will provide the standard LCC office software. We have the ability to install additional software packages for different groups (or even individuals) on campus. If you need additional software, please speak with your team to decide if this is something an entire team would use. Please provide this list, contact info, and any other team members who may need the same software installation to the LCC Help Desk at lcc1@lcc.edu.

Once the virtual desktop software is installed, employees can then remove the LCC VPN software from their personal computers. You can do this by going to ‘Add or remove programs’ on Win10 computers and selecting ‘uninstall’ on Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client software.

Please note that LCC is transitioning remote access for non-LCC devices from VPN to virtual desktop access by Nov. 2, 2020. Users that utilize VPN access currently will need to download VMware Horizon Client to continue to perform their duties remotely.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Schwartz, Director of Information Security, at schwarp1@lcc.edu.

Starting the new school year accessibly

As we kick off the fall semester, it is important to keep accessibility in mind. Students and employees may not always request the accommodations they need because of a number of factors, such as not knowing how or not wanting to stand out. Creating materials containing clear, concise and accessibility-checked information is a benefit to everyone using them.
 
Building accessibility into your normal routine when creating documents, emails, forms, videos, presentations and many other items keeps communication barrier-free. As we work though the challenges presented by COVID-19, clear communication between everyone at LCC becomes more important than ever.
 
As you continue to make documents accessible for the classroom and within your departments, don’t forget to check out the resources LCC has created for all employees and students. Here are few quick links to help you:

If you have questions or would like to be a part of LCC’s Accessibility Team, please do not hesitate to email ACQA@star.lcc.edu.

OER program’s faculty survey open

The Open Educational Resources program is currently conducting a survey. The college values your responses and asks that you complete the survey soon.

A unique link was sent to active instructors on Sept. 8. The subject line reads “LCC OAER Survey.” Please return to the email and click the “BEGIN SURVEY” button. This survey should only take 10-15 minutes of your time.

Questions and comments may be directed to Amy Larson at larsona5@star.lcc.edu.

Unsolved mysteries of the LCC Archives

No matter how short or long your time at LCC has been, we’re hoping you’ll reach into your memory banks and share with us what you know about this image. Any bit of information about the image is helpful, including the location, the event, a person or a random story related to it.
 
Send information, including the image number, to Linnea Knapp, Records Information Specialist, LCC-RIM@lcc.edu, and perhaps you can help solve a mystery. Learn more about the LCC Archives and learn what mysteries have been solved about images previously featured in The Star.

IMG #019 – Staff member in a work room

IMG #019 - Staff member in a work room


What about benefits? How credit affects buying a home

Are you curious about how your credit affects buying a home?
 
Quicken Loans offers free webinars featuring different mortgage topics. Next week’s webinar, held at 3 p.m. Sept. 23, is “Fresh Start: A Guide to Qualifying and Credit.”
 
This credit webinar will help you better understand how your credit score affects the home buying process and help you learn what to expect every step of the way. Whether you are buying or refinancing a home, here is your chance to get useful tips to manage your credit and get your mortgage approved.
 
Topics include:

  • Credit advice from Quicken Loans’ specialty credit team
  • How credit impacts your mortgage
  • Find out what is negatively affecting your credit and how to improve it
  • Knowing your market and what products are right for you and your credit score
  • How to save money when you use Quicken Loans and its family of companies

Get registered for this helpful webinar today!
 
As an LCC employee, Quicken Loans also offers you special perks.

A round of Applause! for Glenda Clough and Mike Tuell

This week, we’re applauding the Science and Math Department’s Glenda Clough.

“Glenda was assigned to be my mentor over the summer,” Rodger Irish wrote in the award. “She has gone way beyond just coaching and advising me. With having to teach online, many of us weren’t sure of how best to use Webex or other tools to teach our students this fall. Glenda (with help from eLearning) taught herself Webex, then she started inviting others to train with her. She has held many training sessions covering the difference between trainings and meetings, how to break into groups, how to share screens, how to share files, how to take polls, what raised hands mean, etc. She even taught people not in the Math Department. She has done all of this as an adjunct professor. She did get something for being my mentor, but these Webex sessions were all extra. On top of that, she has prepared introductory videos for the students and willingly shares those. I want to recognize how she goes beyond the expected and willingly shares and helps all she can.”

Applause also goes to eLearning’s Mike Tuell.

“My class is the only one that uses a book and LMS from a particular publisher, and last spring, the integration to D2L was not fully working,” Lisa Mazure wrote in the award. “Mike worked to make sure it was working for fall, but when it was time to integrate, there was still a problem. Mike quickly got with the publisher, tested the integration, and moved it into production within a couple of days so that I could get my class properly set up in D2L and make it much easier for the students to move between D2L and the book’s LMS system and have their grades posted. Thank you to Mike for taking the time to assist me and, as a result, my students!”

This regular “Applause!” column features the good work you and your colleagues do around the college. It’s powered by Applause! Awards, an LCC-wide program designed to recognize you for providing excellent customer service. Know someone who deserves to be featured here? All awards are given by employees, to employees, and everyone is eligible.

In the news

Press clips for the week include: