May 2003 Board Meeting Report

Illinois Valley Community College’s Early Childhood Education program’s day care center continues to flourish because of an innovative curriculum, quality instruction and strong parent involvement, the board of trustees learned Wednesday.

ECE coordinator Diane Christianson told the board the center has an outstanding reputation and has received national attention for its "project approach" to learning. Students are encouraged to be "young investigators" in the program, she said. The center also has an outstanding environment with a spacious outdoor playground complete with a trike path through evergreen trees.

Center parents and IVCC instructors Lee Ann Johnson, Mike Phillips, Jill Urban-Bollis and Julie Sherbeyn all spoke in support of the program for 3-to-5 year old children.

"The learning there is just incredible," said Bollis. "You can see the magic for yourself."

Phillips said the center is a "unique resource the college is able to provide."

This year the center served 34 children and already has a waiting list for next year.

"Quality is the secret," Christianson said.

In other business, the board heard a presentation from Mark Wyzgowski, a senior manager with the college’s auditing firm Clifton Gunderson, on new reporting requirements from the Government Accounting Standards Board’s statement number 35.

The goal of GASB 35 is to move colleges and universities to more streamlined financial statements that are easier to read and more like the corporate model, said Wyzgowski. In addition, colleges and universities will no longer be able to count state appropriations or local property taxes as operating revenue, Wyzgowski said.

IVCC’s interim Vice President of Business Services and Finance Jerry Corcoran said GASB 35 will not change how colleges and universities operate but will make their financial statements easier to understand. He credited IVCC controller Cheryl Roelfsema for making the transition to GASB 35 a smooth one.

"We’re very lucky to have Cheryl, a CPA, as the link between our business office and Clifton Gunderson. She has prepared us well for this new reporting model," Corcoran said.

Wyzgowski also commented on the college’s reserves.

"It is a rule of thumb that the general fund have reserves of 25 percent of the prior year’s operating expenditures. IVCC has currently 6-7 percent in their reserves," Wyzgowski said. "A financial goal of the board would be to try to increase this percentage."

However, Wyzgowski said the college "is in solid financial condition despite difficult times. The college is being run very well."


The board also:

  • Accepted the resignation of physics instructor John Fons effective May 16 and Kelly Conrad, director of Admissions and Records, effective June 19. Conrad was the admissions director for more than five years and is moving out of the area.
  • Accepted the early retirement request of art instructor N. Dana Collins effective May 31, 2004.
  • Approved staff reductions for Steve Swett, Welfare to Work transition coordinator, and Barry Sanders, chair of the Division of Social Sciences and Public Service and the admissions specialist for career programs, both effective June 30.
  • Approved the appointment of Sue Isermann as the associate vice president for career education to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of John Allen and the appointment of Dr. Matthew Johll as a chemistry instructor to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Margaret Suerth.
  • Authorized the purchase of the Nebraska Book Company Point of Sale System for the Bookstore at a cost of $52,055, which includes all hardware, software and installation charges.
  • Authorized the renovation of lower level D Building to provide accommodation for the move of the electronics lab and the creation of a forensics science lab, move the Assessment Center, and the construction of two smart classrooms for the English and Developmental areas in E-204 and E-206 at an estimated cost of $325,000.
  • Learned summer enrollment is up 23 percent and fall semester enrollment up 13 percent.
  • Learned 386 students graduated at Friday night’s commencement, 37 Associate Degree Nurses were pinned Saturday and 147 students received GEDs Monday night.
  • Set the June 18 board meeting for 5:30 PM.  The meeting will be followed by a board retreat at trustee Kris Paul’s Oglesby home.
  • Learned IVCC will receive a 17 percent cut ($634,930) in state funding next year.
  • Learned that IVCC has received a $142,000 federal grant for its international studies and foreign language program. IVCC will receive $71,000 for each of the next two years for the program.