March 29, 2017

CARTERVILLE — John A. Logan College’s recruitment efforts are resulting in major increases in the enrollment of in-district high school students, currently eight percent greater than even 10 years ago when the College put together its largest recruitment effort in its 40-year history.

During the College’s 40th anniversary, a recruitment push called “40 at 40” was initiated. The hopes of the campaign was to attract 40 percent of the College’s in-district high school graduates to enroll at the College during the College’s 40th year of operation.

“That was a major, all-out push,” noted JALC Board Chairman Don Brewer. “It was a very successful effort at the time, but the numbers today are even greater.”

Melanie Pecord, JALC’s acting vice-president for Instruction, announced last night that 48 percent of in-district high school graduates enrolled at John A. Logan College last year.

“We are very proud of our recruitment efforts,” Pecord said, “but we are not about to let up. We strongly believe that we can increase those numbers even more by continuing to tell graduates and their parents about the College’s successes and how we are able to deliver a very high quality education at an affordable cost.”

In April, the College will open its doors and roll out the red carpet, so to speak, to in-district high school graduates who will be visiting the campus. The students will get a complete look at the campus and have “every question they have answered,” Pecord said.

Last night was the end of an era for two board of trustees members, longtime member Don Brewer of Murphysboro and Jackie Hancock of Marion.

Logan Operational Staff Association (LOSA) union representative Tracie Zoller praised Brewer and Hancock for their service to the board during group association reports. “LOSA wants to thank you for all of the years you have given to this College,” Zoller said.

Brewer noted that last year was a difficult time with layoffs within the College, but, he said, most community colleges in Illinois had to layoff more employees than JALC did because of the state’s budget statement. “No one wants layoffs, but when there is no other choice, you want those layoffs to be as limited as possible,” Brewer said. “We survived very well compared to other colleges.” Brewer is expected to talk about those numbers in more detail during the April 25th meeting when he passes the gavel to the new, incoming chairman.

In order to keep additional layoffs from occurring, the board of trustees approved the sell of $5.5 million in general obligation bonds for the purpose of increasing the working cash fund at the College.

Brad McCormick, vice-president of Business Services and College Facilities, orchestrated the financing plan to sell the bonds which was done without affecting the tax levy.

Dr. Ray Hancock, a member of the board of trustees, praised McCormick’s efforts.

“This is actually kind of a bargain for the taxpayers,” Hancock said. “This is as good as it gets.”

Glenn Poshard, a member of the board, had called the financing plan a “prudent financial move” that “will not result in any tax increase for our citizens.”

Members unanimously approved the bond measure, saying that they must use all the foresight they can due to the state’s continued failure to approve a budget.

There is an election April 4 that will determine three seats on the board of trustees. The April meeting of the board will begin as an organizational meeting as the “old” board meets to declare winners of the April 4 election. The board will then nominate a new chairman and other officers. Jacob “Jake” Rendleman and Poshard were appointed by Brewer to the nominating committee for that meeting.

In closing comments, Jackie Hancock talked about her service to the board. “This has been a great honor,” she said. “It has been so exciting and such a wonderful learning experience to talk to everyone I have across the state and to be a part of this team of board members.”

Student Trustee Christine Lipe also served during her final meeting. She noted that Timothy McDaniel was elected March 8 to serve a one-year term as student trustee.