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February 2012 Board Report

Illinois Valley Community College will close its Early Childhood Education Center at the end of the spring semester in May.

That was the recommendation at Tuesday night’s board meeting from two trustees and Early Childhood Education program coordinator Diane Christianson and her supervisor, Marianne Dzik, Dean of English, Mathematics and Education.

Construction of the Peter Miller Community Technology Center necessitated the razing of the ECE’s current east campus site this summer. IVCC has been working with La Salle Elementary School District and other nonprofit agencies on the La Salle CARES project and La Salle Elementary offered IVCC the use of Jackson School this summer as a temporary location. 

However, a survey of 18 IVCC ECE parents conducted the week of Jan. 30 found only three parents willing to use the Jackson site.

Trustee Larry Huffman, who, along with trustee Melissa Olivero, was asked by the board to work with college administrators to investigate alternative ECE locations. La Salle CARES was a result of the group’s work with La Salle Elementary and the other agencies.

“I feel it is important for IVCC to remain a collaborative partner in the La Salle Cares initiative because the combined efforts of all the partners have the potential to achieve greater results in providing quality early childhood education,” said Huffman.

“The short-term disappointment of having to discontinue the ECE Center at the end of this semester should not dissuade us from pursuing longer-term goals for expanding and enhancing early childhood education opportunities in the area,” Huffman added.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran agreed, saying, “This does not diminish our enthusiasm for La Salle CARES and we will continue to support it both publicly and privately.”

The IVCC board will formally act on the recommendation March 20.

In other business, Corcoran updated trustees on construction activity on the $30.5 million CTC project.

“Construction trailers have arrived and temporary fencing is in place,” Corcoran said. “Over the next few weeks, the contractor (George Sollitt of Woodale) will be constructing the new entranceway near admissions that will open by April 5.”

Work on the geothermal field – a project expected to take two months – will begin the week of March 5.

Also in his report to the board, Corcoran said he has attended three events since Jan. 19 featuring Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon.

“One message was consistently clear: Lt. Gov. Simon is convinced community colleges must play an even greater role in preparing students to enter the workforce,” he said.

Simon’s report of her visits to all 48 community colleges, “Focus on the Finish,” encourages community colleges to shift their focus from access to completion, Corcoran said.  Currently, 41 percent of the working-aged individuals in the state have a college degree. Simon wants that figure increased to 60 percent by 2025.

The board also approved:

  • Seeking proposals for auditing services. Gordon, Stockman & Waugh P.C. has been the college auditor since 2006.
  • Seeking proposals for bank depository and services for the operating account. The college’s agreement with Peru Federal Savings Bank expires June 30.
  • A one-year extension on the lease of nine copiers from Illinois Valley Business Equipment of Peru. 
  • Designation of the fiscal year as July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013; the designation of IVCC President Jerry Corcoran as the district officer to prepare the tentative budget; the budget calendar; and the board of trustees budget.
  • The retirement of anatomy and physiology instructor Greg Oseland effective June 30. Oseland began his IVCC career as a life science lab instructor in 1981 and in 1982 began a 30-year career as an A&P and general biology II instructor. He was the assistant men’s basketball coach under Dean Riley from 1981 to 1985 before serving as head women’s coach from 1986 to 1992.
  • An $8.25 tuition increase from $76.13 to $84.38 per credit hour beginning this summer. Trustees also approved increasing fees for 154 courses, reducing fees for 55 courses, adding fees for 10 new courses, adding fees to two existing courses, and tuition for two new truck driver training courses.
  • An intergovernmental agreement with the City of Peru for a TIF negotiated between the two parties. Each year, the city will pay IVCC 4.6 percent of the real estate increment created by the TIF, except for the Holiday Inn Express Hotel parcel owned by Peru Hotel Group, LLC. IVCC will receive 5.75 percent of the real estate increment generated by that parcel.
  • Seeking proposals for a wind turbine project consultant. The college’s objective is to provide a competitive means in which to select a single qualified provider.
  • The iFiber services agreement for community anchor institutions between iFiber, IVCC and Illinois Fiber Resources Group with annual connection fees of $7,200 for main campus and $7,200 for Ottawa Center. In 2010, Northern Illinois University and partners including the La Salle County Broadband Initiative secured federal grant dollars for a 900-mile fiber-optic network throughout northwest Illinois.
  • A fund transfer agreement between the college and the IVCC Foundation.