Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander, Dennis Cecere, Peggy Codding, Peter Cokkinias, Marti Epstein, Jonathan Holland, Teodros Kiros, Jeff Perry, Wendy Rolfe, David Scott, Jackson Schultz, and Will Silvio.  

Management – Larry Simpson, Jay Kennedy, Bill Whitney, Matt Marvuglio, Darla Hanley, Jeanine Cowan, Maria Bradley, Damien Bracken, Mark Campbell, Toni Blackwell, Lisa Listerman.


  1. Jackson opened the meeting. Larry discussed the NEASC visit, a couple of items to look at assessment and communication. The team chair made the analogy of building an airplane at 40k feet. The Union had a good meeting with the team, they asked very good questions and were very engaged.
  2. Admissions and scholarships recruitment: Mark Campbell and Damien Bracken. The comprehensive enrollment strategy was completed last year; we are striving for a more diverse population in all areas including instrumentation. Tuition has gone up and financial aid has not, Federal financial aid is currently very complicated. 

    Jackson – has there been an assessment across the college to address instrumental needs?

    Management – we looked at the instrumentation across the college but there has been no real need to adjust what we are doing. Brass has always been an issue; our main female population is vocalists – a very deep and strong pool of applicants. Our strategy is around non-vocalists – to attract them.

    UEC – how are you using faculty to recruit?

    Management – we use faculty to present clinics at the higher-level performing arts schools. We also have a music educator database that we use for mailing.  When we go out on the road for auditions, we are not seeing horn players; they are not applying and auditioning.

    UEC – we have no connection to admissions, you could use faculty more to recruit.

    Management – I would love to use you.

    UEC – we used to have a faculty woodwind quintet to go out, perform, and recruit.

    Management – we could use that again, you can coordinate with Matt Marvuglio.

    UEC – how are you working with the prospective students?

    Management – it is hit or miss, we have reached out to some faculty with no success, so we can do a better job reaching out to faculty and use them in the admissions process.

    UEC – we have 475 ensembles and 360 bass players, we are short by 115, are we not reaching out to them?

    Management – we are admitting every possible bass player that met the requirements for admission. We can try and broaden the pool.

    UEC – we are seeing entering students that are not really qualified to be here. How is it happening?

    UEC – he is not alone in this, we have all seen many students with lots of issues.

    Management – we do see some students that are lower in some areas that we admit based on their strengths in other areas.

    Management – we see a need for remedial study before arriving.

    UEC – language issues can be a problem as well.

    UEC – what about targeting scholarship money towards instrumental needs, i.e.: horn players.

    Management – we are doing that, vocal scholarships are at the low end, brass and woodwinds are at the higher – but we still have a quality qualifier if you will.

    UEC – what is clear now is that the Union and the faculty are interested in partnering with Admissions to help solve some of these issues.
  3. Counseling Services: How to Consult. Toni Blackwell and Lisa Listerman. Some of our students come to the school with issues: learning disabilities, mental health issues, medications, etc. There are certain times when faculty can work with us and get information about students and other times they cannot due to regulations: etc.  We work with all students in a variety of issues, anxiety is the largest group, depression, and adjustment issues are also very common. We also see a lot of graduating students. Overall, students are using our services more and more. We always have someone on call Monday-Friday 9-5. If you have a student in your class or your ensemble that concerns you, you can call us to consult with us regarding behavior. 

    Early alert really comes out of retention and admissions – we may not see that in the counseling center. Anxiety, depression, substance, etc. if you want quick action call counseling center.

    Is it possible to get this information out on the internet? 

    The default is just to call counseling center and they can get you directed to the right place. There is a Dr. on call after hours as well. 

    If we can get this information out to all faculty it would be a very good thing, a web-presence on berklee.net.
  4. Bill Whitney – 160 update. A lot of work going on inside the building, everything seems to be working well, residence hall work, etc. The exterior wall is behind schedule – we have multiple companies working on completing the outside wall. We are still shooting for a fall completion. Unlikely to hit a September 7 move in date and we are looking at several contingencies. Tours are currently being planned and we would like to extend an invitation to the UEC to tour the building. After the break will be a good time. March 19 there will be power adjustments in the 150 complex.