February 2020 Board Report

The retirements of longtime electronics instructor Jim Gibson of Hennepin and truck driver training program coordinator Bruce Hartman of Sandwich were announced at Thursday’s board meeting.

For 26 years, Gibson taught electricity, electronics and renewable energy and created the apprenticeship program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“Jim has had a monumental impact on our college and students in the trades,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.

“He facilitated the electrician’s apprenticeship with the IBEW and was critically important to the success of our Making Industry Meaningful in College (MIMIC) program and our National Science Foundation grants.”

Gibson, who will retire officially July 31, wrote in his retirement letter, “Thank you for all the wonderful support over the years. The programs are in much better shape than when I was hired all those years ago.”

More than 2,500 drivers have completed IVCC’s truck driver training program since it opened under Hartman’s lead in 2000. Hartman, who will retire May 1, said, “We’ve helped so many people improve their family situation with careers in trucking.”

Corcoran praised Hartman, saying, “Bruce has been the ‘face’ of our program.”

Part-time counselor Karen Stachowiak also announced her retirement after 20 years.

“A wonderful counselor, Karen was always happy to be here,” Corcoran said, adding “Even on her days off, she reminded (supervisor) Mark Grzybowski, ‘I’m only a phone call away if you need me.’”

In other business, board members approved:

  • Holding the combined tuition and universal fee rate at $133 per hour for the third straight year.
  • College and Career Start program tuition reductions. Students enrolled in IVCC courses taught at high schools by high school instructors, will pay just $30 per course.
  • High school students enrolled in courses taught by IVCC faculty – at the high school or at the college – will pay just 75 percent of the tuition rate or about $95 per credit hour.
  • Students qualifying for Free or Reduced Lunch will continue to pay just the $5 registration fee.
  • Changes to 77 course fees including 60 increases, 11 new courses, one decrease, plus the assignment of course fees to five existing courses.
  • Tenure for nursing instructors Tracey Antle and Taylor Myers and English/reading instructor Jean Forst.
  • A resolution designating the fiscal year as July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 and the budget calendar.
  • Accepted with regret the resignation of economics instructor David Barnes effective May 16. Barnes has accepted another position in Wisconsin.
  • Following closed session, the board authorized Corcoran to sign the agreement with IT employee James Niessner. The board also approved the termination of employee Amber Gonzalez.

Board members learned:

  • The annual Academic Challenge Feb. 7 attracted 11 high schools and 217 students to compete in two 40-minute exams in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, mathematics or physics. Competing high schools were LP, Streator, Ottawa, Hall, Mendota, Seneca, St. Bede, Midland, La Moille, Putnam County and Marquette. First and second place teams from the three divisions advance to the Eureka College Sectional March 13.
  • Of 53 IVCC RN students taking the NCLEX state board exam, 48 passed on the first attempt for a 91 percent pass rate compared to the national and state averages of 88 percent. The five students who did not pass the first attempt, passed on the second. Of 12 LPN students, 10 passed on the first attempt for an 83 percent pass rate compared to national and state averages of 86 and 89 percent. The two who did not pass were successful the second time.
  • A recent agreement allows IVCC ag students to transfer seamlessly to the ag program at Illinois State University. The articulation allows students with AAS degrees in agronomy and agribusiness to pursue ISU bachelor’s degrees in agriculture.
  • Total budget for 42 student organizations was $102,914 in 2019-20, down from $112,604 in 2018-19 and $129,689 in 2017-18.
  • Part-time theater and speech instructor Donna Stone retired and assistant volleyball coach Mariela Bima resigned.
  • IVCC’s Chem Club, led by faculty advisors Matthew Johll and Richard “Larry” Ault, earned the American Chemical Society’s top award for 2018-19. Of 380 chapters submitting reports, IVCC was one of just 59 designated “Outstanding.”
  • The American Red Cross commended the college’s new Rotaract Club for leading a Jan. 23 blood drive that collected 48 units. 
  • There were 153 fall graduates earning 178 degrees and certificates compared to 165 earning 186 degrees in fall 2018.
  • The college added $12,157 in course scheduling consulting work from RSM US LLP. RSM enables the college to make better use of its resources by identifying trends in course enrollments.
  • Board chair Jane Goetz announced board secretary Judy Day and student trustee Matthew Klein have been nominated for Illinois Community College Trustee Association awards.