July 25, 2009 Minutes of Special Meeting
The Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College District No. 513 convened a special session at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2009 in the Board Room (C307) at Illinois Valley Community College.
Members Physically Present:
Dennis N. Thompson, Vice Chair
David O. Mallery, Secretary
Michael C. Driscoll
Melissa M. Olivero
Thomas C. Setchell
Cheyanne Smith, Student Trustee
Others Physically Present:
Jerry Corcoran, President
Cheryl Roelfsema, Vice President for Business Services and Finance
Rick Pearce, Vice President of Learning and Student Development
Lori Scroggs, Vice President of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
Larry D. Huffman
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN BOARD MEMBERS AND PRESIDENT; INTERNAL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN BOARD MEMBERS
Dr. Corcoran wanted direction on when a board member emails a question to the president, does he respond to the individual only or does he send the original question to all the board members with the response. Dr. Corcoran stated he would be glad to respond to everyone, but was concerned that it could result in a violation of the Open Meetings Act. Most of the board members indicated leaving it up to Dr. Corcoran’s discretion. Mr. Mallery would like to see the responses to every email from Dr. Corcoran. Mr. Setchell had brought up previously the idea of every board member having an “ivcc.edu” address. For compliance purposes, every board member would receive and send all email from the “edu” email address and the email would be retained and restored. If a board member deletes their email on their personal email system, there is no trace of correspondence. Dr. Driscoll stated the Board Planning Committee received results of the SWOT analysis. One threat identified was the shift of the Board of Trustees from an internal partner to an external force. There have been times when the Board has communicated in the wrong way and the faculty felt overpowered. The Board needs to be sensitive to how they communicate so they don’t portray the wrong meaning. Dr. Driscoll brought this issue up because he feels it is a real concern and the Board is here to help the whole college. He would like to try to improve upon this as a Board. Mr. Thompson thought the statement came about from negotiations because the Board was more involved than before and slowed the process down because they couldn’t meet every week. The Board of Trustees should be involved in the process because it is 50 percent of the budget, but Mr. Thompson did not feel that the Board gave good direction to Walt Zukowski and this is where the internal controls came from in the SWOT analysis. Mr. Thompson noted that if a board member is going to be absent for a meeting, he asked them to please notify the president’s office to provide knowledge of a quorum.
BOARD MEMBER ATTENDANCE (ICCTA, ACCT, AND IVCC EVENTS)
Mr. Thompson noted that if a board member has not attended a national convention, they should consider attending, but he does not believe that every board member needs to attend. His point is that he looks for value and to bring back useful ideas. When he goes and hears things he has heard before, it is hard for him to justify the cost of the trip. There is a social side and board members do get a better insight of what is going on when visiting with other trustees from other colleges. Mr. Setchell would like to see the ICCTA meetings be held all in one day instead of two days. Mr. Driscoll found Lobby Day to be very beneficial. He finds six ICCTA meetings a year to be expensive and he feels it is more important to attend IVCC events. Mr. Setchell would like to spend more time with the local representatives instead of going to Washington, D.C. for the national legislative meeting. Mr. Mallery feels that the ACCT Convention can be very valuable and board members receive a wealth of information. Mr. Thompson suggested the board members review the IVCC calendar of events that are distributed each month. He encouraged board members to attend the events. There are other events internally and it was suggested that the president forward emails regarding events that he feels would be of interest to the board members. Ms. Olivero, ICCTA representative, indicated that she would not be able to attend the September 11-12 ICCTA meeting.
MAIN PURPOSE AND WORK OF BOARD COMMITTEES
The committee structure is relatively new, but gives the board members a little more time to discuss subjects and then a summary is brought to the whole board.
Tom Setchell is chair of this committee. The committee reviews the budget, the comprehensive annual financial report, and the financial forecast. The committee reviews the opinion letter from the outside auditor and has discussed changes in reporting assets due to the GASB 34 changes. It was suggested the administration provide a one-page summary identifying the ten items that are the most important in the budget for board members to look at each year to know how things are going. Mr. Thompson noted that the highlights on the first page of the budget report each month does this for the board members.
Closed Session Minutes
David Mallery is chair of this committee. Semi-annually, closed session minutes are reviewed by this committee to determine if the need for confidentiality still exists or if the minutes no longer require confidential treatment and could be released for public inspection.
Dennis Thompson is chair of this committee. The committee reviews potential construction projects, utility purchasing strategies, and alternative energy sources. Locally funded projects use accumulated fund balances. State of Illinois Capital Development Board projects are funded by appropriations by the legislature and Protection, Health, and Safety Projects are approved for submittal to the entire board and ICCB and funded by the tax levy.
This committee helps develop the strategic plan and discussion takes place on the AQIP cycle. The next charter is to refine the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The KPIs project is one of three AQIP action projects. The other two are Assessment of General Education Goals and Enhancing Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Through Action Project Teams. The planning committee interacts with the academic programs. Mr. Thompson challenged the committee to develop a way that the board members can acquire a sense of direction of where the college wants to go with the programs at IVCC. Dr. Corcoran reported that Dr. Pearce and Dr. Scroggs will be working together to prepare a plan for new programs and the data to support the decisions. Dr. Driscoll noted in the past the traditional accreditation was on a ten-year cycle. Every ten years the Higher Learning Commission would visit the college and the staff would update their self-study report a year before the visit. IVCC has chosen the Academic Quality Improvement Program accreditation which is based on continuous improvement. This process is more difficult but the results will make the college better. Dr. Driscoll firmly believes this is the right way to go. The board members completed a self assessment in the spring and Dr. Driscoll suggested all new board members review it. Jeanne Hayden will send a copy to each new board member.
Student Trustee Committees and Organizations
The student trustee, Cheyanne Smith, was unable to attend the retreat, but submitted a list of organizations and activities that she is involved in and gave a brief description of each.
Mr. Thompson reviewed the discussions that have taken place for the last couple of years. There have been many proposals and recommendations regarding athletics – reduction in sports, reduction in costs, reduction in waivers, etc. These recommendations have been discussed by the board but nothing has been approved. This creates a limbo situation. The teams have schedules planned for two years. The athletics waivers are offered for one to two years. When the discussion on dropping a sport arises, this becomes very awkward. Dr. Corcoran has coaches inquiring what to do for fundraising on spring trips and tournaments. In October 2008 the administration presented an athletic program restructuring plan with six recommendations for the Board’s consideration. Only part of the plan was accepted. The board was not comfortable approving all of the recommendations. Vans are currently being used for other purposes on campus and not just for the athletic programs, custodial salaries and utility charges have been dropped from the athletic program expenses, a new three-year coaching stipend schedule was accepted, and the athletic director position went from part-time to full-time with this position also serving as a retention specialist and academic advisor. There has been an effort to recruit more in-district students and a proposed rule was established and has been in place. Mr. Thompson asked the board members what their philosophical views were on athletics. He finds value in having the program for the students, but dollar wise this is not very measurable. He noted that at the last alumni induction eight of the ten inductees played sports at IVCC. He also noted that the college is serving approximately 4,000 students and only a handful of students are out for sports. He would like to keep the expenses at a minimum. Ms. Olivero and Ms. Englehaupt also see value in sports. Mr. Mallery stated the $500,000 spent on the athletic program could pay the tuition for 320 students to attend IVCC free. He believes fundraising should go to support the program and not trips to Florida. He does not agree with the fact that every student supports athletics through the bookstore proceeds. Mr. Setchell supports athletics but was not sure at what cost and to how many people enjoy the sport. Dr. Driscoll noted the mission of the college is pursuing academic excellence. If cuts need to be made, he would cut athletics. Athletics is nice but not essential. Other thoughts were pay to play, student athletic referendum, clubs, Division III and no waivers, and intramurals. Mr. Setchell noted the programmatic changes do not need board approval. The board can rely on the president to watch the expenses and avoid bringing deficits to the board. It was decided to form a committee, look into all the recommendations, and make a proposal. The committee members will be Jerry Corcoran, Dennis Thompson, Larry Huffman, Tommy Canale, and Rick Pearce.
COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
All the board members are committed to the new building. The RAMP report indicates a building of 74,000 square feet and the size of the building from the steering committee and input from the staff is closer to 78,000 square feet, a difference of 4,000 square feet. The audit/finance committee discussed the options to support the current 74,000 square foot building. Mr. Setchell indicated there were three options: 1) transfer of fund balances; 2) dissolve the working cash fund if the college really needed to do so. The college would lose the interest income from the working cash which supports the general fund; and 3) issue alternative revenue bonds for $3 million based on the TIF reimbursement revenue stream and pledge this revenue stream for capital improvements. He also suggested selling the college’s southern assets or leasing the property to a $50 million sports complex and have a revenue stream which would be more than the revenue from the farm land. There were thoughts of cutting the esthetic issues to cut the price but others did not want to scrimp on esthetics. Dr. Driscoll was worried about the college’s revenue sources and would like to stick with the 74,000 s. f. building. Dr. Corcoran noted that the college is receiving more funds from the State than thought. The college can use more than what was in the original amount in the RAMP report. The college will receive an extra $6.5 million that could be used for the extra 4,000 s. f. Mr. Mallery was concerned that the whole project has gotten bigger and the college has to come up with more resources. Mr. Setchell, Dr. Huffman, Ms. Englehaupt, and Ms. Olivero were in favor of a 78,000 s. f. building. They felt it was a chance of a lifetime to do it right. Mr. Thompson would like to reduce the size of the building a little because he worries about the financial side of it. The consensus was to split the difference between 74,000 and 78,000 for the final drawings - meet all of the needs of the college and decrease the size of the building converting some of the needs into the post-building program expansion plan.
Mr. Setchell left the meeting at 11:55 a.m.
It was the consensus of the board to schedule a special meeting at 8 a.m. on August 3 to appoint a person to the board of trustees to fill the open position vacated by the resignation of Dr. Scroggs and scheduled a meeting of the facilities committee at 8:15 a.m. on August 3 to give direction to the architects on the CTC building.
The meeting at adjourned at noon.