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March 2019 Board Report

The Illinois Valley Community College board approved tenure for four faculty members Thursday and accepted with regret notices of retirement from Director of Financial Aid Patty Williamson and Human Services instructor and program coordinator Jean Batson-Turner.

Faculty earning tenure were Tammy Landgraf, early childhood education, Willard Mott, agriculture, Heather Knoblauch, nursing, and Andrew Seeger, world languages. Tenure requires faculty demonstrate exemplary teaching, contributions to the college and community and involvement with professional organizations.

Batson-Turner, who led human services since its inception in 2002, will retire May 31 and Williamson, financial aid director since 2009, will retire June 30.

Non-tenured faculty contracts have been renewed with Tracey Antle, nursing; David Barnes, economics; Jessie Bouxsein, nursing; Nicholas Fish, EMS; Jean Forst, English and reading; Amber Fox, accounting; Kevin Hermes, criminal justice; and Taylor Myers, nursing.

The board also learned:

  • Julia “Kathy” Hart has been hired as Institutional Research/Information Technology programmer analyst.
  • Resignation letters have been received from the Assessment Center’s Julie Fahning, effective April 25; Adult Education’s Vita Covarrubias; and part-time Spanish instructor Ruben Alvarado, effective May 13. 
  • A pair of change orders totaling $8,882 bring total cost of the Building E AHU-Chiller replacement to $1,106,882.
  • The agriculture program anticipates arrival of a CASE IH Magnum 340 tractor by April 1. The leased tractor, to be used by ag faculty and students, was made available by CNH Industrial and its local dealer Stoller International of Ottawa.
  • In his yearly student demographics report to the board, Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski said the student body continues to get younger. “At the height of the enrollment bubble in fall 2010, the mean age was almost 26 compared to a mean age in fall 2018 of 23.8,” Grzybowski said.
  • IVCC’s Rho Omega Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was named a 2019 REACH Chapter and will receive special recognition in the form of five graduation stoles to be worn during commencement by PTK officers. REACH recognizes chapters excelling in membership development. The two-year college honorary society said 91 percent of its members complete an associate degree or transfer to a four-year college, compared to 38 percent of students nationally. Eric Schroeder and Aseret Loveland are Rho Omega advisors.
  • IVCC will receive a $10,000 “All Learning Counts” initiative grant from Lumina Foundation. The program works to ensure post-secondary learning from the military, work, and other experiences counts toward academic credentials. Of 74 applicants, IVCC was one of 28 – and one of just four community colleges – to receive funding.
  • A total of 1,038 students from 18 schools attended the annual Career Fair at IVCC March 8. There were also 168 presenters and 25 volunteers. “Every year this program underscores how lucky we are to work with our friends from Starved Rock Associates for Vocational and Technical Education (SRAVTE) and the Building and Construction Trades and Contractors Association. The Labor Management Group set up equipment on east campus and sponsored a business after-hours with IVAC the night before,” said IVCC President Jerry Cocoran.
  • Labor management also hosted a business after-hours at IVCC’s Ottawa Center Wednesday to pay tribute to Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach’s 20 years of service. “It was fitting to have the program at Ottawa Center because of the role Bob played in launching the Center in the first place,” said Corcoran. The President noted that Everett Solon, one of three IVCC trustees in attendance, facilitated the sale of the Centrue Bank property to the city to become the Ottawa Center. “Mayor Eschbach and the city council have been incredibly supportive of IVCC and consistent advocates for higher education.”
  • The Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) Northwest Region meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at IVCC. A tour will begin at 5:15 p.m. and the meeting will include a presentation on IVCC’s MIMIC program and Women in Technology by computer aided design instructor Dorene Data.
  • IVCC’s 28th annual job fair is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 11 in the gym.
  • The college’s 23rd annual employee recognition event is at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 18 at Grand Bear Lodge.
  • The annual LPN Pinning ceremony is at 5 p.m. Monday, July 22 in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre.
  • About 240 junior high and high school students engaged in hands-on learning at the third annual STEAM conference in IVCC’s gym March 12. The event was sponsored by LaMoille High School and Supt. Jay McCracken.