August 23, 2017

CARTERVILLE — John A. Logan College is mourning the loss of two former Faculty of the Year Award recipients.

Gary Kent, the 1985 Faculty of the Year Award recipient, and Helen Nall, the 1988 award recipient, both passed away this month. Members of the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees recognized their contributions to the College at Tuesday’s meeting.

Kent was a speech instructor and Nall taught history.

Nall was an original faculty member of John A. Logan College. She retired in 1994.

Kent retired from John A. Logan College in 2001 after 33 years as an instructor.

“Helen Nall was competent in teaching many different fields,” said Dr. Ray Hancock, a member of the board of trustees. “She was one of the first employees at the College. Gary Kent was pretty much responsible for speech and theatre and he built one of the best programs in the country. He was a gentle giant who knew how to speak and get things done.”

Barbara James, a retired English instructor who was also a Faculty of the Year Award recipient in 1996, brought the sad news to the board’s attention just after the board meeting began.

Chairman of the Board Bill Kilquist opened Tuesday’s meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and then made note of the eclipse that took place Monday.

“I hope everyone had a great eclipse day,” Kilquist said. “It was one of the most amazing and most wonderful things I’ve ever seen.”

The College was closed Monday giving police officers from throughout the state an opportunity to participate in training exercises on campus. Campus police officer Danny Zoller was a part of the training.

“We had 56 police officers on campus Monday,” Zoller explained. “They came as far away as Tinley Park (a community in Cook County,)” he noted.

Kilquist also praised Greg Starrick, the College’s athletic director, for an event he coordinated last Thursday where a motivational speaker spoke to College athletes. Kilquist and other board members attended the event.

“It was a great evening,” Kilquist said. “Greg Starrick did an outstanding job putting this together.”

Board member Jake Rendleman also attended the event. He noted that the featured speaker for the evening, Connor James, a former Southern Illinois University football player, “did an outstanding job. He made some very good points to our athletes.”

Rendleman discussed the recent meeting of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) where he heard a discussion about the “new norm” (normal) in higher education funding. Board member Mandy Little also represents the College on the ICCTA.

“The new norm is that it is very difficult to plan anything and that just because you have a state budget doesn’t mean the Colleges have any money,” Rendleman noted.

Board member Glenn Poshard praised Rendleman and Little for their commitment to serve on the ICCTA. “I greatly appreciate what they are doing, their willingness to attend these meetings and keep us informed about what is happening on a state level,” Poshard said. “It’s a real sacrifice and I really appreciate their commitment.”

Rendleman then praised College officials and employees for their commitment to helping the College Foundation raise money during its 40th annual golf fundraiser.

“I was very pleased to see the participation of board members, administration, and staff,” Rendleman said. “This shows that the people on this campus are supporting our students and this is very important.”

Rendleman noted that Terrance Henry, the City of Marion IT director, is the new president of the College Foundation.

Melanie Pecord, acting vice president of instructional services, told the board that there has been a “strong start” to the new semester.

Brad McCormick, vice-president for business service and College facilities, told the board about a recent certified public accounting training course at the College that benefited 40 area CPAs. “This was a very successful event,” he noted.

Dr. Ron House, College president, discussed four collective bargaining negotiations on campus, two of which were approved Tuesday night.

“The individuals involved in these negotiations have exhibited the highest level of professionalism and I want to thank everyone involved for that,” House said.

It was also noted that the board of trustees has not met in closed session for the past seven months.

“I think we should be very careful to call for closed sessions,” Poshard said.

The board then voted to adopt the College’s 2017-2018 budget.

The board also approved a number of hires and accepted the resignation of Mitch Strang as coordinator of the College’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center. The retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. has taken a position at Scott Air Force Base.