June 2017 Board Report

The Illinois Valley Community College board Thursday approved with regret the retirements of an influential counselor, administrator, program coordinator and nursing instructor.

Counselor Jane Sack retired May 31 saying in a letter to Associate Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski, “It has been a wonderful career at IVCC. I wish to thank you and all of the administrators, faculty, staff and students, past and present, for the opportunity to learn and grow among the very best!”

Grzybowski lauded Sack’s work.

“Jane educated and counseled students, parents and co-workers for the past 20 years at a consistently exceptional level,” he said.

Emily Vescogni, director of learning technologies, has announced her retirement effective Jan. 31. She began her career shelving books in Jacobs Library in 1990 and was appointed to her current position 17 years ago.

“Emily made significant contributions to the quality of the college’s online learning program,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Anderson.

In her retirement letter, Vescogni said, “Often, I found myself in awe of the faculty who pressed me to think in new ways. That the college attracted many of them to uproot and move to the Illinois Valley is a great gift to the community.”

She added, “Throughout my years at IVCC, there have been so many times that I have known I was in exactly the right place.”

Therapeutic massage program coordinator and instructor Cherie Monterastelli will retire July 31. Monterastelli, who began the program in 1999, was instrumental in getting licensure passed for massage therapists in Illinois.

“Cherie is not only an excellent educator and professional, but a true ambassador for IVCC,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. Monterastelli was first hired as a part-time nursing instructor in 1995.

Nursing instructor Linda Hanley will retire Aug. 10 after 14 years.

Director of Nursing Julie Hogue said Hanley’s “professional and calm manner is reflected with the patience she displays while in the classroom and clinical setting.”

In her letter, Hanley said, “I have always felt proud to be associated with such a high-quality, respected institution. Meeting the ongoing challenges, both as a nurse and an educator, has been very fulfilling.”

Trustees also approved:

  • A five-year maintenance agreement with Ellucian for software maintenance including $247,812 for the first year.
  • Extending the contract with Daikin Applied Americas for one year of maintenance on three chiller air conditioning units for $33,600.
  • The Prevailing Wage Resolution.
  • Christopher Dunlap’s appointment as interim director of information technology services following the retirement of Diann Jabusch. A full-time employee since 1995, Dunlap has been the associate director of network systems the past 14 years.
  • Tracy Antle’s appointment as nursing instructor to fill the vacancy created by Hogue’s promotion to director. Antle, who previously taught part-time at IVCC and was an RN at St. Margaret’s Health in Spring Valley, has 25 years nursing experience.
  • Hiring nursing instructor Taylor Myers to fill an opening created by Eris Simons’ resignation. Myers worked previously as an emergency department nurse in Rockford.
  • Authorization to continue payment for standard operating expenditures from July 1 through adoption of the budget.
  • Transfer of nearly $90,000 from the education fund to the restricted purposes fund to complete the match for the Small Business Development Center which closed Dec. 31. 
  • An electricity purchasing contract with MidAmerican or Constellation Energy that could save the college up to $8,500 per year through “Day-Ahead Locational Marginal Price Rates.” Midwest Energy representative Gary Gauger presented to the board’s audit-finance committee May 23.
  • Purchasing an upgrade for the Secure 32 check printing system for $16,935 from FIS AvantGard.
  • Reimbursement for travel expenses for trustees David Mallery, Jay McCracken, Amy Sipovic and Angela Stevenson for training in Bloomington June 2 and for student trustee Matthew Pehoski to attend the Student Leadership Institute in Bloomington June 1-2.
  • Rejoining the Illinois Community College Trustees Association at a one-time, 20 percent reduced rate of $9,067.
  • Release of closed session minutes for 24 meetings ranging from July 1999 through February 2017.

In other business, trustees learned:

  • Standing-room-only crowds attended the May 20 Nurse Pinning in the Cultural Centre and the 51st annual commencement in the gymnasium. A total of 467 graduates earned 574 degrees and certificates this spring compared to 467 graduates earning 542 degrees and certificates in spring 2016.
  • A Regional Office of Education and Business Employment Skills Team work study program served 36 students at the Ottawa Center and main campus this year including 21 who later earned high school diplomas. Corcoran said the remaining 15 are eligible to return next year to continue pursuit of diplomas.
  • A record 28 student athletes earned Academic All-American honors from the NJCAA and Arrowhead Conference. (Last year IVCC had 11.) By earning a perfect 4.0, 10 were named to the first team. Overall, 51 student athletes earned conference recognition.
  • Ryan Ziegler, shipping and receiving coordinator resigned May 25 and Sheri Mitchum, audio-visual and computing specialist, will resign June 13. A 16-year employee, Mitchum said in a letter, “I truly enjoyed working in education and I greatly appreciate all of the learning opportunities the college has afforded me over the years.”