January 18, 2006 Special Board Meeting Minutes

The Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College District No. 513 convened a special session at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18, 2005 in the Board Room (C307) at Illinois Valley Community College.

Members Present:
Deborah L. Sweeden, Board Chair
David L. Wilcoxson, Vice Chair
Paula J. Endress, Secretary
David  O. Mallery
Lori E. Scroggs
Thomas C. Setchell
Dennis N. Thompson
Matt Simko, Student Trustee


Members Absent:


Others Present:
Chuck Novak, Interim President
David Pierce, Presidential Search Consultant
Stephen Charry, Instructor and President of Faculty Union
Steve Alvin, Instructor and Vice President of Faculty Union


Dr. David Pierce reviewed the agenda items.  But before the first agenda item he asked the Board for any topic they would like to discuss and what role does the Board have in taking the institution to the next higher level.  Mr. Thompson noted that in the search process the Board expressed what they wanted in a President and many of these were incorporated in the search documents.  But he has a concern as to ranking the many projects that the Board has discussed.  He is unclear as to the priorities.  The Board needs to come to an agreement and prioritize.  He feels the Board is all on the same page when it comes to the outcomes but he is not sure the Board has consensus as to the ranking of the projects.  The administration has provided a lot of information and the information has been very insightful.  But what is the Board going to present to the new president on what the Board feels are the priorities.


Dr. Pierce suggested some techniques:

A community college in Arizona decided to go to a strategic discussion at every other meeting.  They selected an issue, invited people from the community, and invited the staff.  They set up round tables with one Board member at each table and spent the entire evening to developing policy or strategic planning.  They would then come together and report out with no action.  Another community college doubled up on their meetings and held two meetings per month.  The second meeting was dedicated to issues identified by the staff.  They listed the implications and the pros and cons.


Mr. Setchell entered the meeting at 6:08 p.m.

Dr. Pierce discussed strategic institutional goals and how they relate to the Board’s role and responsibilities.  In preparing strategic institutional goals, the Board should discuss what the College is about – learning and educational programs.  What kind of institution does the Board want IVCC to be – serving the community and relating to the community.  What does IVCC trying to attempt to do for the community.  Date the plan and it is good until it is changed -   maybe good for 3, 5, or 10 months.  As conditions change, the Board changes it.  The Board should be the drivers of it – the first stop and the last stop.  This is the Board’s strategic vision.  The Board signs off on it.  The strategic plan drives the president’s goals.   More important than the Board’s goals, these are the operational goals that move the institution forward and they are the major things to be accomplished (5 or 10 goals).  The president carries out the goals and the Board holds the president responsible and accountable to accomplish these goals.  The goals are a part of the president’s evaluation and the president’s job description.  Dr. Pierce noted that he did not see a job description in the Board Policy Manual for the Board.  The Board needs to set up an evaluation of themselves.  The evaluation would include the Board’s job description along with the Board’s goals.  The Board’s goals should focus on board improvement, board uplifting, board professional development, and board policy.  Acting as a whole, the Board should create the frame work and serve as owner of the College assets.  The Board’s goals focus on becoming a better Board.  If the Board carries out the College’s activities through the president and focuses on becoming a better Board, the institution will fly.  If the Board becomes involved in activities, there will be conflict and the College will not move forward.


Mr. Setchell did not agree with Dr. Pierce.  He thinks it is the responsibility of the Board to be fiduciary.  Dr. Pierce stated in preparing the Board’s job description, start with the State Statutes. 


Mrs. Scroggs was not clear on how the Board should work together as a team to get things done in the best way.   Dr. Pierce suggested tying in the Board’s goals with the President’s goals and holding the President accountable.  Use accountability to carry out the goals. 


Dr. Novak stated the College does not have a clear sense of direction or priorities.  The work is started on a strategic plan and it will become the institution’s goals and the Board’s goals. 


Mr. Setchell stated the president’s evaluation should include the goals and objectives of the past year, new objectives for the next year and present the budget to support these objectives.


Mr. Mallery entered the meeting at 6:50 p.m.




Dr. Pierce was pleased with the recruitment process and the College’s Web site.  He has started to contact people by telephone and word of mouth.  March 3rd  is the target date for applications to be submitted, but applications will be accepted after March 3rd  but not very long after.


Members of the search committee will schedule appointments to read the applications.  Every applicant will have their application read and graded by the same number of committee members.  The rating scale will be 4, 3, 2, 1 with 4 being the highest.  Each member will read seven or eight applications.  A midpoint will be decided between highly rated and not highly rated.  Then all members of the committee will read all of the highly rated applications but not grade them.  All members will then have a general conversation.  The search committee will meet to select semi-finalists and come together to interview semi-finalists on April 13 and 14. These interviews do not necessarily have to take place on campus.  For instance, if applicants are flying in, the interviews could take place in Bloomington or Chicago.   Each member will list strengths and weaknesses of the applicants and send to the Board.    The Board reviews the semi-finalists with the search committee’s comments and selects three or four finalists.  Finalists will come to the campus and will be interviewed one finalist per night.


Concerns and Suggestions:


When the semi-finalists are sent to the Board, then these applicants are interpreted as public knowledge.  Do we want all the semi-finalists released to the public?  Could ask the search committee to select five and submit to the Board for the Board to interview.  ACCT process – advisory committee selects the five finalists. 


Mr. Thompson believes it would be important for all of the Board members to read all of the applications of the seven to ten finalists.  After selecting four to five finalists, contact the finalists for interviews and after confirmation, the names are released.


Dr. Pierce suggested having the search committee identify its top four and pass that along with the entire group of seven to ten.  That would give the Board a jump start for determining the best four qualified candidates.  Mr. Wilcoxson suggested that the advisory committee pass on its 7-10 finalists to the Board without recommendation. 


Dr. Pierce noted that reference checking could be monumental on eight to ten finalists.  That is why he recommended the selection committee break it down to four or five.  It was suggested to Google or do a LexisNexis search on the semi-finalists and then do credential checks on the finalists.


Mr. Wilcoxson suggested weighted questions.


The Board will meet on Tuesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. to review applications of the seven to ten finalists.  These applications will be presented to the Board prior to the meeting.


Interview questions – The Board can send suggestions to Dr. Novak.  The advisory committee is also making a list of questions.  Mrs. Scroggs suggested one question could be:  How would you lead the College and the Board in a strategic planning process?


Mr. Wilcoxson suggested that no questions should be asked if they are not pre-approved.   This will keep it fair for all candidates. 


Mrs. Sweeden suggested that no numerical value will be placed on the questions from the Board.


Will the finalists’ spouses be invited to the campus?  Dr. Pierce’s recommendation is to invite them.  But have something planned for them while the candidate is being interviewed.



1) Represent the public’s best interest

2) Act as a whole.  Come together as a Board (8-0 vote)

3) Hire and nurture the President

4) Create the policy framework of the College

5) Serve as owner of the corporate assets

6) Serve as advocates, maintain and take care of them in a positive way

7) It is the Board’s responsibility to assess the performance of the institution.  How well is the institution performing in accomplishing its mission and strategic goals

8) Setting the strategic direction of the institution

This becomes the Board’s job description and part of the Board’s evaluation.  Do it every year and it will begin the Board to think and drive the performance as a Board.


Is it fair to tie the president’s accomplishments and evaluation to compensation?  Dr. Pierce – yes.  In education it is not easy to measure because of the nature of the business.  Many years down the road you see results.  But you can still hold people accountable without a measurable accomplishment. 


Mrs. Sweeden – Salary for the new president.  Dr. Pierce – around $200,000 gross.  The Board will get some idea of salary compensation from the candidates.  Mr. Thompson is comfortable with the Chair and the attorney negotiating salary and benefits with the candidate.  The Board can give direction to the Chair.

Dr. Pierce asked for any restrictions on the candidates.  Some Boards prefer someone within or someone who has been a President before.


Mr. Wilcoxson would like no restrictions on the candidates.