April 29, 2015

BY STEVE O'KEEFE
Logan Media Services

CARTERVIILE - The John A. Logan College Board of Trustees held its organizational meeting prior to the regularly scheduled April meeting Tuesday night.  After seating newly-elected trustees Bill Alstat and Ray Hancock, along with re-elected trustee, Jake Rendleman, the board voted on the positions of chair, vice chair, and secretary.

Don Brewer was narrowly elected chair over previous vice-chair, Jackie Hancock. Brewer was first elected to the board in 1972 and has served with every John A. Logan College president from Nathan Ivy to Mike Dreith.  In 2007, Brewer was recognized by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association as the state’s longest-serving trustee. In addition to Brewer, Bill Kilquist was elected vice chair and Rendleman was elected secretary.  The board holds organizational meetings after each election.  The current officer will serve a two-year term.               

Brewer thanked outgoing chair, Rendleman, for his service as Board chair.

“Jake has done an outstanding job as chair guiding this College through some difficult times,”
Brewer said.  “Over the past several months, he has provided steady leadership while going through a difficult re-election campaign.  I want to personally thank him for stepping aside and allowing me to be chair during my final years on the board.”

In other board news, Brewer asked trustees to report on their current committee assignments.  According to Brewer, there are currently 12 board-related committees — a number he would like to see trimmed to six or less.

“I feel that we have committees that overlap, and I would like for us to take a good look at what each committee does and how often it meets before I make any assignments,” Brewer said. 

Jackie Hancock and Student Trustee, Brandi Husch, both reported on recent activities by the Illinois Community Trustees Association and student advocates in Springfield.  Hancock reported that the trustees had just completed Lobby Day in Springfield, where trustees continued to support the Governor’s level funding plan for community colleges.  Rendleman added that the College had recently hosted a legislative breakfast that was attended by State Reps. John Bradley, Terri Bryant, and Brandon Phelps as well as Sens. Dave Luechtefeld, and Gary Forby along with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost.

“This was one of the better breakfasts that we have hosted,” Rendleman said.  “It also came at a crucial time due to the fact that there are currently 31 bills in the legislature that affects local control of community colleges.  This is vital because it could have a devastating effect on downstate community colleges financially.”

In officer’s reports, Vice President for Business Services and College Facilities, Brad McCormick, reported that the College’s current insurance provider recently announced a 4.5 percent increase for the upcoming fiscal year.  McCormick stated that despite the increase, the College and employees are still paying less than they paid three years ago when the College switched providers.

Vice President for Instructional Services Dr. Laurel Klinkenberg reported that the steering committee and over 70 College employees are working on the College’s self-study for re-accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.  The College is scheduled for a re-accreditation in 2016.

President Dreith and Director of College Relations, Dr. Steve O’Keefe, reported on the efforts in the College’s enrollment management plan.  O’Keefe reported that beginning Spring 2016, the College will offer a “15 to Finish” campaign that focuses on promoting students to enroll in 15 credit hours a semester to insure they graduate on time.  The program will offer incentives to students that commit to taking 15 credit hours a semester.

“While this program is not for everyone, it will help encourage some students to finish their degree on time, which will allow them to enter the workforce earlier increasing their earning potential,” O’Keefe said. “Research has shown that while there are some financial benefits to taking fewer credit hours each semester, the long-term benefit is greater for students who enroll in 15 hours and finish their degree in two years.”

The board approved the following consent agenda items: purchase of digital surveillance system and hardware; protection, health and safety project for Building B re-roof; consideration of timing of the CHEC locker room renovation, Constellation New Energy electricity supply agreement; repayment of inter-fund loan; designation of emeritus status for former trustee, John Sanders.

The College’s next scheduled board meeting is May 26.  Prior to the meeting, a dedication ceremony will be held renaming room B48 after former trustee, Don Nolen.  

 

"We are a diverse learning and teaching community committed to improving individual life and society through high-quality, accessible educational programs and engaged learning opportunities."

Core Values: •RESPONSIBILITY •RESPECT •INTEGRITY •COMPASSION •SERVICE

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.