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November 2005 Board Meeting Report

The Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees approved a tentative tax levy based on a projected rate of 43.71 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which is almost one cent (or 2.2%) less than last year's actual tax rate of 44.68 cents. Last year's actual extension was approximately $10.5 million compared to this year's estimate of approximately $10.8 million, which is based on equalized assessed valuation (EAV) growth of slightly less than 5 percent. IVCC expects minimal growth in the district's EAV because of the tentative agreement between Exelon and the taxing bodies.

"This will be the fourth consecutive year for the total tax rate to drop. With level funding from the state and an EAV struggling to keep up with the rate of inflation, the fact that we can maintain high quality service while controlling our costs is a tremendous credit to our board and staff,” stated Dr. Jerry Corcoran, vice-president for business services and finance/treasurer.

The board is set to finalize the levy at its Dec. 21 meeting.

A campus update on online learning was presented by Emily Vescogni, director of learning technologies, Dr. Harriet Custer, vice-president for academic affairs and Tracy Malcolm, educational technologist.

Dr. Custer presented several profiles of the different types of students who are participating in online learning at IVCC. Aside from the traditional student taking an online or blended class to meet their busy schedules, online students include stay-at-home parents trying to fit education around their families, the business community commuting to the suburbs for work, and high school students wanting to get a head start on their college education.

Malcolm compared her graduate work at Northwestern University to her experience at the University of Phoenix expecting her online education to be much easier in comparison. "That was not the case; in fact, I had never interacted with other students more in my life. For those skeptics who think that online learning is a gimmick to make money, I can assure you that it is not. Like all educational institutions, you get out of your education what you put into it. I put one hundred percent in and look at where I am now. I have a great job at an institution who values learning and innovation and I get to do what I love, which is helping our community become stronger through education."

“Our students are entering a global workforce. It is likely that they will be communicating via the Internet and their experiences using online technologies at IVCC will help them to be competitive in the workforce,” said Vescogni.

The board authorized the business office to seek bids for a Dimension 3D printer at an estimated cost of $35,000 to be paid with the National Science Foundation grant and to renew the cash farm least with Keith Gehm at $155.25 per acre at 131.6 acres for the year 2006.

IVCC entered into a cooperative agreement for the Advanced Radiologic Technology Certificate adding Northeast Iowa Community College as the fourteenth community college to join the agreement.
At the recommendation of Patricia Reed, director of purchasing, the board authorized the college to participate in the Illinois Community College System Procurement Consortium. The intent of ICCSPC is to provide savings on needed products and services through coordinated group purchasing. There is no fee to participate in this procurement program.

The board discussed the athletic and academic leadership programs regarding the number of tuition waivers granted for athletics and the five academic leadership programs at IVCC. Also reviewed were the revenues and expenditures for each group of programs.

Dr. Charles Novak, interim president presented a proposed list of presentations to the board of trustees as a regular agenda item entitled “College Program Review.” These proposed presentations are to be no longer than ten minutes, prepared every six months and included in the board agenda item list. The College Program Review would cover primarily academic programs and program delivery designed to provide the board and employees with the most up to date information about the purpose of these programs and their impact on students and the community.

Another discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting concerned two memos received from Dr. Custer one in May and one in October which addressed the issue of class size. Class size it was noted is an important issue in terms of both accountability in being fiscally responsible with IVCC class offerings and providing members of the district the courses they need to meet degree, certificate, transfer and other job upgrading requirements.

In other action the board:

Approved a new faculty position of welding instructor and manufacturing program coordinator assigned to the division of Occupational Technologies and authorized the administration to begin a search to fill this position.

Approved the Protection, Health and Safety Project of replacing heating units at the welding and automotive shop in the amount of $43,000 and authorized the submission of the appropriate resolution to the Illinois Community College Board.

Approved the revised board policy on honors designation-2016 on academic honors, president’s honors, and graduation honors as presented.

Heard a first reading on the board policy on contract approval-4021 entitled Contact Approval.

Appointed Lisa A. Witalka as purchasing assistant, Ryen J. Nagel as English composition instructor and heard of the resignation of Aime Nauyalis as administrative assistant for career services.

Learned Patricia Reed has been elected the 2005-2006 Illinois/Wisconsin Regional Board president. IWAG is a division of the National Association of Educational Buyers, Inc. a non-profit professional association primarily dedicated to serving higher education purchasing officers in the United States and Canada.

Learned of the graduation of Kharin Lozano and Brenda Wyzgowski with their bachelor of science degrees in Information Technology and Business Administration respectively from Franklin University as participants in the community college alliance program. IVCC had 21 graduates since becoming a partner of CCA in July of 1999.
Learned the student financial aid administered by IVCC for Illinois Student Assistance Commission in 2004-2005 totaled 1,154 awards and $980,019.