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April 2012 Board Report

The future of men’s and women’s tennis at Illinois Valley Community College was a major topic of discussion for the Illinois Valley Community College board Tuesday.

The board tabled a motion that would continue the programs in 2012-13 with only nominal financial support from the college. Key elements of the motion are elimination of 12 tuition waivers (six for each team) and the use of unpaid volunteer coaches.

The model was proposed by a group of local tennis advocates led by former IVCC tennis star Julie Milota of Tonica, players and parents. The plan would facilitate a women’s fall season and a men’s spring season at little cost to the college.

Before the group came forward, the college had been prepared to cut both programs due to a lack of adequate playing facilities and other related issues. Milota’s group has expressed its commitment to fundraise enough money to cover team expenses and secure a qualified volunteer coach to take over the programs.

The tabled motion, which will be considered by the board at its May 15 meeting, also included termination of the contracts of men’s coach Lukas Burkon and women’s coach Bonnie Peterson effective May 18. IVCC will, however, honor all tuition waivers for current players planning to return next fall and spring.

By substantially reducing its financial support, the college would save approximately $35,000 in tuition waivers, coach’s salaries and other expenses.

In another action that could eventually save an estimated $50,000, the board approved a new procedure for awarding tuition waivers for volleyball, golf, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball. The college typically awards approximately 74 waivers over eight sports.

The reduction will limit baseball, softball and men’s and women’s basketball to 320 credit hours each (an equivalent of 10 full-time waivers each). Golf and volleyball will be limited to 160 credit hours (the equivalent of five full-time waivers each).

As the new waiver system is phased in over the next two years, IVCC will honor all waiver commitments currently in place.

In other business, the board approved:

  • Purchase of an Exmark Lazer X mower from Smith’s Sales & Service of Peru for $6,178, after trade-in.
  • The resignation of Vice President for Learning and Student Development Rick Pearce effective May 19. Pearce has accepted a similar position at Heartland Community College in Normal. Corcoran praised Pearce for his work with faculty and staff on the design of the Community Technology Center, the innovative Running Start program at Marquette Academy and his success in forming educational agreements with several universities.
  • The retirement of 31-year automotive instructor Dan O’Connor of Peru effective June 1. “For more than 30 years, Dan has offered his expertise to hundreds of students,” said Corcoran. In his letter of resignation, O’Connor said, “I have really enjoyed teaching and watching my students learn their trade and succeed in the workplace.”
  • The retirement of 33-year instructor Doug Stockley of Earlville who started at IVCC in 1979 as an agribusiness instructor. “During Doug’s tenure he has transitioned from agribusiness to computer classes, being one of the first to incorporate computers into the agriculture field,” Corcoran said. He credited Stockley for his work with the college’s agronomy plots and for the successful operation of the college farm. In his resignation letter Stockley said, “I consider it a privilege and a pleasure to have been able to work at IVCC. It has been an honor to serve our students.”
  • Sabbatical leave for history instructor Steve Alvin for spring 2013. Alvin will be a visiting professor at Canterbury Christ Church University in Canterbury, England.
  • Recognition for outgoing student trustee Brad Cockrel of Ottawa for his devoted service to students, the college and board. Cockrel will be succeeded by Britney Burkart of Peru. 
  • Contracting with McGladry & Pullen for auditing services for the next three years and with Centrue Bank for banking services.
  • The filing of a complaint to the La Salle County Property Tax Appeal Board regarding its $504,000,000 assessment of La Salle Nuclear Power Station. An independent appraisal authorized by 11 taxing bodies affected by the plant’s EAV set La Salle Station’s EAV at $704,000,000. 
  • The proposal of Chamlin & Associates of Peru to investigate the integrity of the IVCC pond dam for $22,900. In the spring of 2009, the dam failed and drained the pond located just west of the pine grove.
  • Reduction of Athletic Director Tommy Canale’s position from full-time to part-time effective July 1. Canale, who also serves as men’s basketball coach, will no longer have the duties of retention coordinator/advisor, a position he’s held since November 2008.

In other action, the board learned:

  • Library technician Jim Barnes will retire effective May 17. “I have enjoyed my years at the college and in the library. I will truly miss my wonderful friends and colleagues at IVCC,” Barnes said in his retirement letter.
  • Foundation pouring has begun on the Peter Miller Community Technology Center. Ameren will lay new electrical lines this week and the electrical ‘tie-in’ is scheduled for Sunday, April 29 when power to the entire campus will be shut down. Steel erection for the new building is scheduled to start the week of May 4. Three rigs on the geothermal field are drilling at a rate of one well per day per rig. An estimated 192 wells will be drilled.
  • In last week’s Student Government Association elections Omar Aburomi was elected president; Toni Kessel, vice president; Burkart, student trustee; Steffan O’Brien secretary; Nick Finney, treasurer; and Delaney Ridley, Brandon Harmon and Hailee Brayton as programming board members.
  • A total of 78 students were honored at the March 21 Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony.  IVCC now has 260 active Phi Theta Kappa participants.
  • The March 23 Building Trades Expo brought nearly 900 students to campus to learn about a number of careers. Corcoran credited Jim Conness of the Electrical Workers Union and representatives of 10 trades for working with the Area Career Center and IVCC faculty and staff on the annual event.
  • An Interactive Health Solutions representative recognized IVCC March 23 for being one of the healthiest companies in America. IVCC was one of just 70 of IHS’s 1,700 clients recognized for overall participation in the wellness program and low-risk health-assessment scores.
  • The March 26 I-Read Volunteer Tutor Appreciation event honored approximately 70 volunteers and last night’s Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society induction ceremony recognized 20 students for academic achievement.