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April 2017 Board Report

Illinois Valley Community College’s revitalized agriculture program took another significant step Thursday with board approval of an AAS degree in agricultural business management.

The two-year Associate in Applied Science degree, developed with input from district ag leaders, includes five new courses and revisions to two current courses. New courses include Introduction to the Agricultural Industry, Introduction to Precision Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing, Agricultural Credit and Finance and Advanced Agricultural Business Management.

Having met all requirements leading up to formal approval of the new program by the Illinois Community College Board, students can enroll in the new courses now as fall registration began April 11.

Ag program instructor and coordinator Willard Mott said the program also includes a “robust internship program with local agri-businesses – an opportunity which could lead to immediate, post-IVCC employment. 

“We already have several students with ag internships,” he added.

In other business, the board moved to terminate an inter-district agreement with Joliet Junior College that allowed split-district high school students to attend either IVCC or JJC at in-district rates regardless of residency. It is estimated IVCC lost $30,000 in revenue due to this agreement.

“At a time when we need to do everything we can to protect our student base, just like we do our tax base, we recommend terminating the agreement to allow our programs to reach their maximum potential for growth and sustainability,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.

The board also approved:

  • Boiler repairs by Cleaver Brooks totaling $30,900, the result of damage from a March 7 power outage.
  • The appointment of Robyn Schiffman, Dean of English, Mathematics and Education to lead a second division as interim dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences following the retirement of Brian Holloway.

The board also learned:

  • The March 24 Career Expo attracted 883 students from 13 schools. Visitors met with faculty, staff and representatives of the building and construction trades and explored career-training options available in the Illinois Valley. A business after-hours hosted by the Building Trades the night before the expo was also a success, Corcoran said.
  • Wednesday’s 26th annual job fair drew 69 employers and several hundred job seekers.
  • The April 6 IVCC Foundation Giving Day is nearing $24,000 in contributions, almost $9,000 over its goal. “Your generosity and support is deeply appreciated,” Corcoran said in reference to the day’s many donors.
  • Outgoing chair Melissa Olivero of Peru and outgoing trustees Mike Driscoll, vice chair, of Ottawa (in absentia), and Larry Huffman, secretary, of Peru, were honored. Trustees will elect new officers and welcome new members Angie Stevenson of Ottawa and Jay McCracken of Hennepin at a special 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 24 reorganization meeting.
  • Outgoing student trustee Sarah Tipton of Dalzell was honored with a resolution and her replacement Matt Pehoski of La Salle was welcomed.
  • Gabriella Sorenson, a former part-time bookstore assistant, has been appointed senior bookstore assistant.
  • Even though she was unable to attend the meeting, Corcoran recognized human resources director Glenna Jones who is retiring at the end of April. “I wanted to publically say that I’ve admired her work and appreciated everything she has done for us in such a classy and professional way.”