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December 2002 Board Meeting Report

The Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees Wednesday tabled a motion to discontinue its dental assisting program.

Following an address to the board by Dental Assisting program coordinator Pat Pearson and members of the Illinois Valley Dental Society, the board decided to wait until its next meeting on January 15 to decide the issue. In asking the board to reconsider its decision to cut the program, Pearson recommended a task force be appointed to look into ways to increase enrollment.

In making the motion to table the decision until next month, board member Harry Debo said, "Our students mean everything to us. Their future is always in our minds. We ask the Dental Society to investigate the issues Pat (Pearson) brought up and we will also."

The college is looking to trim costs due to the failure of the November 5 referendum, President Jean Goodnow said. Electronics instructor John Biggs, a full-time instructor since 1998, was "honorably discharged" by the board Wednesday due to declining enrollments in that program.

" John brought tremendous industry experience with him to the college," said Harriet Custer, Vice President of Academic Affairs. "Unfortunately we have not maintained enrollments at a level high enough to justify two full-time instructors in electronics."

Goodnow added, "We are looking across the college to cut costs to prepare for an anticipated $700,000 reduction in revenue next fiscal year. Failure of the referendum will necessitate some very difficult cuts. We will be announcing more at the January board meeting."

Goodnow announced several measures being made to balance the current budget such as:

  • Setting a minimum class size of 12 students for on-campus day classes and a minimum of 10 students for night and online classes. Classes which do not meet the minimums will be cancelled.
  • Adjusting the thermostat two degrees in both heating and cooling, shutting down the boilers in buildings A and E this summer and reducing the use of interior lights on sunny days.
  • Reducing spring athletic schedules 20 percent. And,
  • Reducing travel for faculty, staff and administrators and eliminating 8 to 10 fax lines.

In other business, the board heard a presentation on the funding challenges faced by Project NOA. Jerry Corcoran, director of human resources, said NOA’s 47 employees and more than 300 volunteers have been providing high quality services to seniors 60 and older since 1976.

"Without question, the toughest challenge staff face is making people aware that only half of the program’s total budget is grant funded. Although we do everything we can to encourage a donations of $2.25 for each meal, the average in several delivery areas is far below that amount," Corcoran said.

"Unless things change soon, either the geographic coverage for hot home-delivered meals will be reduced and some of the meal sites closed, or the college will need to explore partnerships with other agencies," Corcoran added.

 

The board also:

  • Approved an $11 million property tax levy, up slightly less than 5 percent from the fiscal 2001 levy of $10.6 million. The levy is based on an estimated 5 percent increase in the district’s equalized assessed valuation or EAV.
  • Approved the college calendars for 2003-04 and 2004-05.
  • Approved an agreement to allow qualified Streator High School instructors to teach dual-credit IVCC courses to SHS students during the school day. The ground breaking agreement is part of IVCC’s Early Entry College program which allows high school juniors and seniors to take college courses at their high schools.
  • Saw a demonstration of rapid prototyping with a 3D printer by computer aided design instructor Dorene Perez. Perez demonstrated "Dimension," a 3 dimensional modeler that ‘prints’ out three dimensional models. The modeler was used in two classes this fall, engineering graphics and design. The machine is used in industry as a prototyping machine, where engineers can design parts and analyze them before production without the expense of building a prototype. It will be used at IVCC to train students for industry, Perez said.
  • Learned spring semester enrollment is up 10 percent over the same date last year.
  • Learned philosophy instructor Robert Abele has received a scholarship from the Illinois Council of Humanities. As part of the scholarship, Abele will present to other colleges and groups the work he is doing on the philosophy of John Locke, human rights and the U.S. Constitution. In addition, he will present on the philosophy of myth and symbol in religious experience.
  • Learned of the appointment of John Piano as safety service officer/evening switchboard operator and Jennifer Uzella as a case manager for the Dislocated Workers Center. Uzella’s position is grant-funded.
  • Learned that IVCC has been accepted into AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Project). AQIP will change the way IVCC is accredited, allowing the college to work on continuous quality improvement over a period of seven years.