April 2002 Board Meeting Report

Students attending Illinois Valley Community College this fall will pay an additional $3 per credit hour in tuition after the Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a tuition increase.

The $3 increase, from $50 per credit hour to $53, helps the college recover from cuts in the state budget that have impacted educational institutions across the state.

"Under Gov. Ryan’s proposed budget, IVCC will lose about $200,000 from its 2003 revenues because of cost-cutting measures implemented by the state of Illinois. The Illinois Legislature has proposed a budget that would create an even grimmer financial outlook," said IVCC President Jean Goodnow. "This tuition increase will generate about $210,000, which may partially offset the state losses."

Colleges across the state have passed or are considering tuition increases this spring in reaction to the state’s budget crisis. For example, Southern Illinois University is considering an 18 percent increase; University of Illinois, a 10 percent increase; and Illinois State University, an 11 percent increase.

IVCC’s 6 percent increase also is in line with increases that have been prosposed or passed at neighboring community colleges. Kishwaukee College in Malta has proposed a $7 tuition increase while Sauk Valley in Dixon and Joliet Junior College will each have a $3 increase.

"IVCC remains very affordable compared to the cost of other community colleges and four-year universities," Goodnow said. "This added revenue allows us to maintain high-quality instruction for now despite the money crunch at the state level and our own need for more local support."

IVCC will remain in the top one-third of the state’s community colleges for tuition costs. Shawnee Community College will have the lowest tuition in the state at $40.75 per credit hour while William Rainey Harper College will have the highest at $62 per credit hour. Eleven of the state’s 39 community colleges will continue to have a higher tuition rate than IVCC.

The higher tuition is necessary because in addition to the reduced state money, IVCC also has one of the lowest operating tax rates of Illinois community colleges at 17 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Only Southwestern Community College at 16 cents is lower.

"We run a very tight, efficient budget," said Goodnow. "Any cut from the state can drastically affect our ability to serve our students."

Board members noted their wish to keep higher education affordable for all students and were reassured that some financial aid recipients will not be hurt by the tuition increase.

"One positive item that should be noted is IVCC students who receive state MAP grants or veterans grants will have this increase covered by their grants," said Bob Marshall, IVCC’s vice president of student affairs. Last year, 517 students received the state’s Monetary Award Program allocation and more than 120 received veterans grants.

The board also heard an update on the college’s cultural influence in the district. Giacomo Leone, chairman of the Humanities and Fine Arts division, informed the board about various cultural activities the college sponsors, including the Fine Arts Co-op for 7,200 grade-schoolers twice a year, Arts and Letters Series events, music performances and theater events.

"The Fine Arts and arts community outreach at IVCC are multi-faceted," said Leone. "Not only is the education of the students being well served, but the broader mission of the comprehensive community college is also being served through the offerings to the area population."

Leone noted that in addition to the activities sponsored by the college, his faculty members also extend their expertise into the community by serving on local boards and commissions and judging numerous arts events.


In other business, the board:

  • Learned of the creation of three new programs: an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture/Landscape Management, an AAS in Horticulture/Floriculture, and a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Certificate. The degree programs are both currently part of the horticulture program; however, the split will allow the degree to more accurately reflect the student’s coursework and competence on the diploma. The HVAC certificate was created after the shutdown of LTV Steel’s Hennepin plant. About 18 of the more than 100 workers coming to IVCC expressed an interest in an HVAC program. In addition, employment in the field is expected to increase faster than average through 2010.
  • Approved the appointment of Joann Scholtes as English/literature instructor, to replace Jim Michaels, who is retiring.
  • Decided to seek bids for 750 cases of copy paper.
  • Authorized seeking bids for repair of campus roads and parking lots.
  • Learned that M. Christine Warren had been hired as literacy program specialist, a grant-funded position, and Jon Mercer as transitional custodian. The board also was notified of the resignation of Margaret Allen as work transition coordinator.