March 25, 2009 Minutes of Regular Meeting

The Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College District No. 513 convened a regular session at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 in the Board Room (C307) at Illinois Valley Community College.

Members Physically Present:
David L. Wilcoxson, Board Chair
Dennis N. Thompson, Vice Chair
Paula J. Endress
David O. Mallery
Deborah L. Sweeden
Cassie Fuller, Student Trustee

Members Telephonically Present:
Thomas C. Setchell

Others Physically Present:
Jerry Corcoran, President
Bob Marshall, Vice President for Student Services
Cheryl Roelfsema, Vice President for Business Services and Finance
Rick Pearce, Vice President for Learning and Student Development
Walt Zukowski, Attorney


It was moved by Mrs. Sweeden and seconded by Mrs. Endress to approve the amended agenda and move Item 12 (Appointment of Committee to fill the Board of Trustees Vacancy or Appointment by Board to fill the Board of Trustees Vacancy) to follow the Closed Session.  Mr. Thompson asked if the Board needed to separate the two issues in Item 12. Mrs. Sweeden responded that she originally asked the agenda be amended to give the Board the opportunity to make a choice on either one.  She stated the only issue on the table right now is to move Item 12 to follow the Closed Session. Mr. Wilcoxson spoke against this. He was concerned that the Closed Session could be lengthy and Item 12 could be of interest to everyone and did not want everyone to have to wait and be inconvenienced.  Mrs. Sweeden apologized if this was an inconvenience but thought it would be in the best interest of the Board that all Board members be present; and since Mr. Mallery is expected to be late, she thought it appropriate that he be present when discussion takes place on this agenda item. 

Student Advisory Vote:  “Aye” – Ms. Fuller.  Roll Call Vote: “Ayes” – Mr. Thompson, Mrs. Endress, Mrs. Sweeden, and Mr. Wilcoxson.  “Nays” – None, motion carried.


It was moved by Mr. Thompson and seconded by Mrs. Endress to approve the amended agenda.  Motion passed by voice vote.



Dr. Jerry Corcoran recognized IVCC’s  2009 Region IV Champion Women’s Basketball Team.  The team was represented by Melissa Clements of Sheridan, Beth Prostko of Tonica and Amy Gumm of Seneca.  Dr. Corcoran stated they not only showed their reliable talents, but they have also done well in the classroom.  Steve Crick, the women’s head coach, also received the 2009 Coach of the Year award.  Amy Gumm is majoring in physical education and plans to return to IVCC next year, play basketball and softball, and transfer to Illinois State University.  Beth Prostko plans to return next year, play basketball, and transfer to the University of Illinois and major in animal science.  Melissa Clements plans to return to IVCC next year and play basketball.  She is undecided on her future academic plans.


Mr. David Mallery entered the meeting at 7:12 p.m.



Dr. Corcoran introduced Ms. Julie Sherbeyn, Phi Theta Kappa advisory.  Ms. Sherbeyn reviewed the nomination process for the All-USA Academic Team competition.  All faculty and student groups were notified to nominate students and a vote took place.  Only two students from each institution are eligible to be nominated for the Team.  Ms. Cassie Fuller and Ms. Veronica Blue from IVCC received this honor.  Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation partners with Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society, to award gold, silver, and bronze scholars.  As a 2009 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar, Ms. Fuller is among the top 50 community college scholars in the nation and will receive $1,500. As a Bronze Scholar, Ms. Blue was recognized as one of the country's top 150 scholars and will receive $1,000.  Both students who have earned a 4.0 grade point average will be honored at a Phi Theta Kappa Banquet in Springfield on April 22, 2009.



It was moved by Mrs. Sweeden and seconded by Mr. Thompson to approve the consent agenda as presented.  Motion passed by voice vote.


The following items were approved in the consent agenda:


Approval of Minutes – February 5, 2009 Audit/Finance Committee Meeting; February 11, 2009 Special Board Meeting; February 17, 2009 Facilities Committee Meeting; and February 25, 2009 Board Meeting.


Approval of the Bills - $2,763,319.48

Education Fund - $935,079.94; Operation and Maintenance Fund - $160,134.77; Operation and Maintenance (Restricted Fund) - $115,224.14; Bond & Interest Fund - $1,265,400.00; Auxiliary Fund - $144,423.08; Restricted Fund - $133,005.88; Liability, Protection and Settlement Fund - $10,051.67.


Treasurer’s Report



Approved the stipends for the pay periods ending February 21, 2009 and March 7, 2009. 


Bid Request – Exmark Lazer Z Mowers

Approved to seek bids for three (3) 2009 Exmark Lazer Z Mowers at an estimated cost of $16,920 after trade-in.


Bid Request – Cultural Centre Door Modifications

Approved to seek bids for the modifications to the east and west Cultural Centre doors at an estimated cost of $42,817, as presented.


Bid Results – Elevator Cylinder & Power Unit Replacement

Approved the architect’s recommendation to accept the bid from Schindler Elevator Corp. – Elmhurst, IL, in the amount of $166,000.


Purchase Request – 2009 Toyota Prius Hybrid

Authorized the purchase of a 2009 Toyota Prius Hybrid through the Illinois Joint Purchasing Program at a cost of $22,879.



The annual IVCC recognition event is scheduled for April 24th at Celebrations 150. This will be the 13th year for recognizing new retirees, faculty recently awarded tenure, and employees for specific years of service. Professor Kim Abel will be recognized for receiving the Stephen Charry Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, and a member of the support staff for the distinguished service award. The social hour will begin at 4 p.m., hors d’oeuvres will be available at 4:30 and the awards presentation will run from 5:30-6:30.  Included with the mailing of the board’s agenda was Cathy Bangert’s analysis of the 2008 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) report. A campus update on this report will be done in the future after the work is completed on an action project that Cathy is leading on key performance indicators.  The IVCC action project on key performance indicators, targets, and measures will allow the administration to customize reports based on feedback received across the college, including the board of trustees. A draft report on the work of this project team should be completed in a month or two. Related to this subject is an article in the board’s folders on the need for a much better way of measuring each community college’s success beyond IPEDS.

On March 18th, Governor Pat Quinn delivered his budget address to the General Assembly and although things may change, the Governor’s recommendation for a 2.8% ($8.6 million) increase to the community college system’s operating budget, a capital plan that includes $157.9 million for community colleges, $9 million for capital renewal projects and $130.7 million re-appropriated for capital projects looks very promising. Thanks to the ICCB and the Trustees Association, the collective “voice” of community colleges has clearly been heard. The FY09 appropriations to community colleges are significantly below FY01 appropriations and the trend seen across the state outside of IVCC’s district has been that while credit hours were rising, funding has been falling, thus, tuition and fees have been increasing which counters the affordability and accessibility mission of community colleges.

Last week a group of administrators met with Paul Basalay, the board’s architect, to discuss activities related to the proposed Technology and Workforce Development (TWD) Center and a planning process was developed which included the formation of a steering committee, focus groups, and sub-focus groups.  A survey will be prepared for all program coordinators, faculty, and advisory groups to complete that will provide information on current and future needs.   Once a decision is reached regarding programs identified for the TWD Center, Paul Basalay and Dominick Demonica will meet with program coordinators individually to discuss their needs.  Paul Basalay has asked that everyone think of this project as the only building to be built in the next ten years at IVCC.  The environmental scan community group will meet for a wrap up session for the environmental scan and will also be asked to serve on the community focus group for the TWD Center.  There is a time issue on moving this project forward due to the loss of faculty and students relatively soon (the middle of May).  Subgroups need to be formed in a three-week period.  Dr. Rick Pearce will meet with the deans on Thursday and have them distribute the survey to appropriate people in their division.  Surveys will be returned by Friday, April 10.  The steering committee will consist of the president, the three vice presidents, Harold Barnes, Jamie Gahm, Sue Isermann, and two Trustees – the Board Chair and Chair of the Facilities Committee.

Dr. Corcoran recognized the following employees:

  • After attending the “Electronic Resources & Libraries” conference in Los Angeles in February, Joanne Jalley has reported that IVCC is keeping abreast with the latest trends and technology associated with excellent library service to today’s students.  She returned with fresh ideas and suggestions for ways to further improve service.
  • 40 Streator High School E2C students came to the library for instruction on research recently.  The students spent the entire day on campus doing research and experiencing campus life as they dined in the cafeteria, received IDs, and freely toured the campus.
  • A team has been formed to review Learning Management System options for our college.  They will determine whether Blackboard remains the best choice for IVCC.  Team members include Kathy Baker, Amanda Bigelow, Bob Hunter, Charles Kwiatkowski, Holly Mathews, Jim Moskalewicz, Tina Nink, Anna Marie Pietrolonardo, and Emily Vescogni.
  • Michelle Story designed the testing instrument for the Basic Computer Skills Inventory.  A group of volunteers is currently testing and providing feedback on the instrument, which will be used to measure the technological readiness of incoming first-time, full-time students for Fall 2009.
  • Congratulations to George Needs on earning his Professional in Human Resources certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute. The PHR and SPHR certificates are highly respected by HR professionals and a testament to George’s commitment to lifelong learning. With all of the positions posted lately due to the reorganization and teaching positions to be filled, Dr. Corcoran has had the opportunity to interview a number of candidates this past year. Almost every person that comes to the campus compliments our organization because of the service they receive from the office of human resources. Dr. Corcoran recognized George on his most recent achievement and thanked Glenna, Paula, and Merrilee for the fine work they do in Human Resources.
  • Lauri Carey, program coordinator for the horticulture program, has been asked to serve on the Grow Ottawa Team to help champion the city’s gardening and botanical arts branding plan. Lauri, Reed Wilson, Mayor Bob Eschbach, Sue Isermann, and Dr. Corcoran have had a number of conversations about this project and believe this will present a tremendous opportunity for expanding the College’s horticulture program. The horticulture program has been destined to move from the east campus to the technology and workforce development center; however, based on recent discussions, the administration might suggest that the program have a presence in Ottawa as well. Dr. Corcoran congratulated Lauri Carey for the great job she has done so far and her vision for the future.
  • Dr. Corcoran congratulated Cheryl Roelfsema and her co-workers on earning the distinguished budget presentation award from the Government Finance Officers Association. Dr. Corcoran believes this the first time the college has earned this distinction and the College is very proud of Cheryl and her staff.



Ms. Fuller reported on the various Student Government Association (SGA) activities – 1) Pie Your Professor raised $200 for autism research; 2) Ballin’ for Babies raised over $500 for the March of Dimes; and 3) the Polar Plunge raised over $500 for Special Olympics.  The SGA will hold elections on April 9 and April 10 for SGA officers and the Student Trustee to the Board.  Ms. Fuller introduced Ms. Cheyenne Smith who is interested in the Student Trustee position.  Ms. Fuller attended the ICCB/SAC meeting in Oakbrook and the legislative committee is preparing for the Student Advocacy Day in Springfield on April 23.  The students will be wearing a “64/14” sticker that depicts a state funding issue.  Sixty-four percent of the state’s college credit students attend Illinois community colleges and community colleges only receive 14% of the Illinois Higher Education dollars.  The students are not asking for new money, but will be asking for 20 % of the Illinois Higher Education dollars.  


Mr. Mallery attended a session on the American Recovery and Investment Act at the ICCTA March meeting in Oakbrook.  The presenters identified opportunities for the Small Business Development Center, funds for weatherizing homes, etc.  There is a program being funded to encourage Illinois companies to provide broadband services to stimulate the economy.  Mr. Mallery learned the Illinois Presidents Council will sponsor an orientation session this fall for the 15 new presidents in the Illinois community college system. Five additional colleges are conducting presidential searches this spring.  The Fox News expose on South Suburban College created a bad light on the community college system as a whole.  Community colleges were encouraged to be cautious in supporting political candidates.  An article by the Spoon River College President on the pitfalls of having campus housing was discussed.  The article pointed out the issues of student housing – occupancy, mold, etc. and warned other institutions not to make similar mistakes.  Mr. Mallery plans to attend Lobby Day in Springfield on April 29.



It was moved by Mr. Thompson and seconded by Mrs. Endress to seek a vendor to apply for a wind study grant at no cost to the college with the understanding that if the grant is successful, the vendor would carry out the wind study for the amount of the grant award.  The administration will work with Paul Basalay and KJWW Engineering to select a firm and apply for the grant funds with the understanding that the cost will not exceed the grant.  Motion passed by voice vote.



It was moved by Mrs. Endress and seconded by Mrs. Sweeden to nominate Kim Abel, Nursing instructor and the 2009 recipient of IVCC’s Stephen Charry Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, to represent IVCC for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s Outstanding Faculty Award.  Dr. Corcoran read a letter to be submitted as part of Ms. Abel’s application to ICCTA for the Outstanding Faculty Award.  Motion passed by voice vote.



It was moved by Mrs. Sweeden and seconded by Mr. Thompson to accept with regret the resignation of Dr. Lori E. Scroggs as a member of the IVCC Board of Trustees, effective March 10, 2009.  Motion passed by voice vote.


Mr. Tom Setchell entered the meeting telephonically at 7:57 p.m.



It was moved by Mrs. Sweeden and seconded by Mrs. Endress to appoint Mr. David O. Mallery as Board secretary.  Motion approved by voice vote.



It was moved by Mr. Thompson and seconded by Ms. Fuller to approve the change of date of the April Board meeting from April 22, 2009 to April 23, 2009.  This change was recommended due to the PTK Banquet being held on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 in Springfield honoring Cassie Fuller and Veronica Blue.  Dr. Corcoran plans to attend the banquet. Motion passed by voice vote.






Mr. Wilcoxson wished the two candidates, Melissa M. Olivero and Leslie-Anne Englehaupt, running for the IVCC Board of Trustees election good luck on April 7.



It was moved by Mr. Setchell and seconded by Mrs. Sweeden to convene a closed session to discuss 1) the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body; and 2) closed session minutes.  Motion passed by voice vote.


Mr. Setchell left the meeting at 8:15 p.m.  He re-entered the meeting at 8:29 p.m.


The Board recessed at 8:15 p.m.  The Board entered closed session at 8:28 p.m.  On a motion by Mrs. Sweeden, seconded by Mrs. Endress and carried unanimously, the regular meeting resumed at 9:48 p.m.



It was moved by Mr. Thompson and seconded by Mr. Setchell to appoint a committee to fill the Board of Trustees vacancy according to Board policy.  Mr. Wilcoxson stated if the Board wishes to follow Board policy, the policy specifically gives the Board Chair the power to appoint a committee to select a person to fill the vacancy.  Mr. Wilcoxson appointed Paula Endress, Tom Setchell, David Mallery, Dennis Thompson, and himself.  The reason Mr. Wilcoxson did not include Deborah Sweeden is because she has indicated an interest in the vacancy.  The committee would make a recommendation to the Board within 60 days from March 10, 2009.  He asked the administration to prepare a press release for anyone interested in this position to send a cover letter and resume to the Board of Trustees Selection Committee, 815 N. Orlando Smith Avenue, Oglesby, IL to be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2009.  Mrs. Sweeden made it clear that she is not a candidate who intends to apply for the Trustee vacancy should a committee be formed to select a person to fill the vacancy.  Her intent is to offer to fill the seat until the 2011 election when the seat expires because she is here, she has expertise, and she brings longevity, continuity, and knowledge to the Board and College.  She thought it would be helpful to the Board instead of the possibility of the Board consisting of three new board members.   Mrs. Sweeden has served on the Board for 12 years.  She was appointed to fill a vacancy in 1997 and then ran two successful campaigns.  She knows from experience the procedure to apply is rigorous and it will take time for community members to be aware of this open position, to complete a cover letter and resume, and to prepare for the interview.  Because of the time frame, Mrs. Sweeden thought it could limit the number of people applying for the position.  She felt it would be advantageous to the Board to have someone appointed with board history and information as opposed to a relatively new person.  She stated when her term expires in a few weeks, the next most senior board member will be Mr. Wilcoxson who was elected in 2003.  Since then six board members have resigned along with the resignation of two presidents, two interim presidents, and the hiring of a new president.  Mrs. Sweeden stated this is a lot of change for an institution and has a very significant affect on the productivity and effectiveness of the College because so much time has been spent by the faculty, staff, and Board looking for replacements – not only time and energy but thousands of dollars.  She stated Board policy is not law; it is just a guideline for direction and it is possible to suspend Board policy.  She stated if the Board wants her to remain because of the high turnover, she would be very happy to do so.  Mr. Thompson asked her since the general practice is to appoint a committee and do a search, does this change her interest in being a candidate.  He believes her experience to be very valuable and encouraged her to apply.  Mr. Mallery also stated he valued her experience and her engagement in Board discussions.  At the time when Lori Scroggs and Dennis Thompson was appointed due to the fact that they were the next two top vote getters, Mr. Mallery’s decision to appoint them was based on the fact that they expressed a deep interest by running in the election.  Having campaigned, attended functions, and a renewed interest in the College, Mr. Mallery also encouraged Mrs. Sweeden to apply for the position.  Mrs. Endress stated that this is a “no brainer” when the Board has someone who has been elected twice previously to this Board.  Mrs. Endress does not believe the Board will receive any applicants that have been elected twice to the Board.  That stands for something.  Mrs. Endress stated if the Board follows the College’s core values, as they should, respect is one of them. Respect for Mrs. Sweeden’s past experience and Chair of the Board during very difficult times should count for something.  Mrs. Endress found it very offensive that Mrs. Sweeden has been elected twice to this Board and wants to give continuity to this Board and the Board should acknowledge that by an appointment.  Mrs. Endress noted that a committee may not be the answer.  People sometimes find fault with what a committee decides.  She was chosen as the successful candidate in a Board selection committee, but Mr. Wilcoxson voted against her because he wanted Mr. Mallery as a member of the Board.  Mr. Wilcoxson stated during the last six years with an inexperienced Board, there has been more progress than the six years prior.  The College has gone from high tax, high tuition to low tax, low tuition.  This Board is more active and has initiated a committee program that has been very beneficial.  The Board has torn down the walls where the Board was kept out.  The Board has taken a governance position and he is proud of this.  Mr. Wilcoxson stated he is the only Board member to have received a trustee education award since the program was established in 1998.  Previously board members were not in attendance.  The College has board policy and no one should receive special preference.  The Board needs to set an example of ethics and integrity.  If the Board has a policy, it needs to be followed.  Mr. Wilcoxson stated the College has had problems in the hiring process before with violations and does not want to go against the policy.  Mr. Wilcoxson indicated that if he should lose the election, he would not apply as a candidate to fill the vacancy.


Student Advisory Vote:  “Aye” – Ms. Fuller.  Roll Call Vote: “Ayes” – Mr. Thompson, Mr. Mallery, Mr. Setchell, and Mr. Wilcoxson.  “Nays” –  Mrs. Endress.  “Abstain” – Mrs. Sweeden.  Motion carried.



It was moved by Mrs. Sweeden and seconded by Mr. Thompson to continue to retain the minutes of closed session meetings.  Motion passed by voice vote.



It was moved by Mr. Thompson and seconded by Mr. Mallery to approve and retain the closed session minutes of the February 11, 2009 special Board meeting and  the February 25, 2009 Board meeting.  Motion passed by voice vote.



Mrs. Sweeden questioned why Mr. Wilcoxson brought up the illegal hiring practice.  Mr. Wilcoxson replied that friends hire friends and it is the Board’s responsibility to have the best applicant fill the position.  Mr. Thompson stated in the previous situation it was the best person and best candidate; the College had a situation that was not defensible.  It was not that the College did anything illegally, it just couldn’t prove it.



It was moved by Mr. Mallery, seconded by Mrs. Sweeden, and carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 9:55 p.m.  Motion passed by voice vote.