Board Report



The Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18.

Dr. Richard Holland, physics instructor, was honored as the February Employee Spotlight.


Dr. Barbre reported the following:  

The ICCTA meeting was held in conjunction with the ACCT National Legislative Summit held in Washington, D.C. February 10 – 13, 2014.  The board packet will have already been assimilated by the time the meeting has ended so I will report on the Summit at the board meeting.

Dr. Rice reported the following:

 1.   The Illinois Manufacture’s Association met with SIC and other community colleges to discuss possible training opportunities to help align some programs with industry standards.   This meeting was in good faith and an effort to help replace a retiring manufacturing population in Illinois.

2.   Enrollment  across  the  state  is  down  in  community  colleges.    For  those  few  with headcount increases, they have reported a loss in credit hours, such as what has happened with regional sister institutions.  At present here is where we stand:

 •    Our FTE is on par with Spring of 2012.  We always strive to hit around 1,000 FTE.

•    Our P-T enrollment is on par with Spring of 2013.

•    Our F-T enrollment is on par with Spring of 2012.  We had a spike in F-T last Spring, anomalous to Spring 2012 and Spring 2014.  Some of that is attributed to regional layoffs and retraining opportunities.

•    In essence, we are holding steady for the most part.  Students are taking fewer hours, however.

•    As for Internet courses, we are above in FTE over both Spring of 2012 and Spring 2013.









(-6 DOC)





(-43 DOC)







(duplicated headcount)















 3.   Legislative Update

a.   Feb 14:  Bills Introduced through then.  Amendments may be filed later.

b.   Government:  Governor’s state of state speech engaged the idea to double MAP awards.

i.   How can that happen?  May simply be cut in half.  MONITOR.

c.   Legislative Agenda (3 major components)

i.   Level Funding:  with income tax expiration, some depts. looking at cuts already.

1.   We are operating at about the 1998 dollar today.

2.   New funding is not possible from what sources are saying.

3.   The temporary tax expiration is the central concern now.  If that is not extended, the state could lose significant revenue.

4.   We are beginning to now hear in public about how the State may only submit a 6-month budget due to the uncertainty of funding.

ii.   MAP:   Some discussion has occurred about a set-aside and pushing the due date back; will help CC students.  There is also discussion about how much the for-profit colleges get (about $17 million).   It is doubtful that for-profits will be removed from MAP.   There is also some discussion about making MAP academic based and not need based (HB 4463).  This would be detrimental to many of our students.

iii.  Veterans' Grant:  some received partial funding; working on a new set aside possibility.

1.   Currently,  about  $35  million  is  what  CCs  spend  on  Veteran’s Grants that the state does not pay for.  ICCB is trying to get $15 million set aside for CCs.

4.  ICCB has released new dual credit guidelines.  The ICCB encourages all community colleges to share dual credit ideas with ICCB.   The ICCB has delayed the submission of dual credit rule changes for added input.

5.   The White House Summit last month focused on how to increase college opportunities for needy students.   The irony is that if we also have imposed on us performance mandates, schools with higher poverty rates tend to have slower completion rates, so less money could go to the neediest students.

6.   GED Testing:  New legislation will be proposed to remove language from GED to HS Equivalency to avoid that particular company/name brand.

7.   A March 14 joint meeting (ICCTA, ICCCP) will include a SURS update.

a.   Public Act 98-599 (Pension Reform) will be modified by trailer bills and/or other means of rulemaking.

b.   Significant items in the reform:  automatic annual increases, skipping increases, retirement age, earnings cap, ERI (impacts money purchase), etc.

c.   Four legal challenges so far:

i.  Heaton et. al v Quinn, et al ii.   RSEA, et. al v. Quinn, et al

iii.  ISEAR, et al. v Bd of Trs of SURS of IL et al iv.  We Are One Coalition just filed

d.   Legal challenges will be engaged by AG’s office.  SURS can’t comment on litigation.  SURS will implement reforms unless courts tell otherwise.

8.   Foundation

a.   Mr. Port met with two groups of us on campus to discuss Foundation business. b.   The Executive Finance Committee will meet later in February.

c.   The Foundation Board will meet in March.

d.   The Donor Appreciation event will be in April.

9.   We  are  working  with  appropriate  officials  regarding  the  benefits  of  the  regional simulation nursing lab.  Multiple constituencies have been engage and we will report our findings as needed.

Dr. Keating reported the following:

As was reported some months ago, we had submitted a Change Request to the Higher Learning Commission to have the David L. Stanley White County Center approved as an “additional location.”  In January, we were informed that the HLC Change Panel has recommended to the Institutional Actions Council (IAC) that our request be approved.  While this is good news, the change is not approved until final action by the IAC at their February 24th meeting.  They will notify us after that time.

The HLC Quality Initiative Proposal has been submitted for review.  We hope to receive their response (and hopefully approval) in March.

Renee Loesche and I have been invited to attend a meeting on February 14 at the SIU-E National Corn to Ethanol Research Center to discuss the possibility of SIC participating in a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant that would utilize our biofuels programs to provide training for the industry.  Also related to the current IGEN biofuels program grant, we are awaiting word on whether or not the Department of Labor will extend the grant for another year.  Grant administration hopes to receive a response to their extension application in March.

I visited Hardin County High School on January 16th to meet the new assistant principal/counselor.  Kyla Burford and I met with him concerning dual credit opportunities for students, and other ways that SIC has worked with the school in the past.  He is not from the area, and is anxious to learn about how SIC works with the high school.  We also visited Pope County High School while on the road in that area and met with the high school counselor.

The new summer 2014 – spring 2016 catalog has been completed.  We hope to have it back from the printer later this spring semester.  We are also now in the process of updating the TALON (student handbook/calendar) for fall 2014.

We are currently planning our new student orientation sessions for high school seniors.  Eight high schools will come to SIC for the event, and a team will travel to Harrisburg to conduct registration on-site for their seniors.  These events will be held throughout April, and involve a good number of SIC staff members.

The Professional Development and Planning Committee will host a Valentine’s Day social event on February 12 for all faculty and staff.  A hot baked potato bar with desserts will be available for all to enjoy!

Karen Weiss reported the following:

Title III Grant Update:

Lane O’Brien, our new Title III Technical/Administrative Assistant, started January 27th.  Grant activities are progressing.  Online Criminal Justice and Business courses are being piloted this year.  The first cohort of the online/hybrid PN program had a 100% completion rate with their NCLEX exam.

CTE Notes:

•    The 2013 Applied Tech Spotlight Day was held on Friday, January 31st.   We had just under 100 students in attendance for the day’s event with representation from a majority of the district high schools, as well as a few out of districts guests (Vienna High School, Harrisburg Lab School, and a student from Mt. Vernon, IN).

•    Two Welding students in Mark Thomas’s program participated in a welding competition at Titan Industries in Owensboro, KY, on February 1st.

•    We have begun planning for this year’s (2014) Mine Rescue Skills Competition, which is set for June 10th and 11th on SIC’s campus.  Last year we had 10 teams compete over the 2-day competition.   We are anticipating an increase in participation this year.   We are again partnering with IECC for this event, and working closely with the IL Department of Mines and Minerals in planning for the competition.

•    I will be out the week of March 3 through 7 attending NIMS training in Carbondale, along with a few other faculty and staff members from SIC. 

Important Dates:

•    February 27th – 2013 Business Skills Competition & Spotlight Day

•    March 7th –Nursing & Allied Health Spotlight Day

CTE Recruitment Notes:

•    Jim Butler and I met with Section 25 FFA sponsors for their divisional meeting on January 9th.  SIC representatives are invited to both the Fall and Spring division meetings.

•    Jim has been meeting with several of the CTE faculty to discuss recruitment activities.

•    Jim attended a Superintendent’s meeting at OWVRVS on January 28th, and reported on SIC activities.

•    Jim has scheduled several recruitment visits in February at various high schools:

o Harrisburg High School (Beth Lane, Christi McGee and Nick James’ classes)

o Union County (KY) High School (approximately 60 students)

o Pope County High School (meeting with Juniors and Seniors)

o Eldorado High School (meeting with Juniors and Seniors)

Chad Flannery reported the following:  

The Math and Science Club held a Valentine’s Day candy sale on February 13-14 as one of their fundraising projects.

•    SIC’s Forensic Falcons earned several individual honors at the 1/16/14 Butler Bulldog Invitational, hosted by Butler University.  The team competed against 20 other colleges and universities from throughout the Midwest.

•    On Thursday, 1/16/14, the TRiO program held their 3rd annual “Welcome Back Subway

Social” to celebrate the start of the spring semester.

•    A TRiO Study Skills Workshop was conducted on January 29th.

•    The TRiO program conducted a “Financial Literacy Workshop” on January 30th.

•    SIC’s Financial Aid office transferred $1,657.634.00 in financial aid to the Business Office on January 31st.

•    On February 5th, Jeff McGoy, Assistant Dean of Students at SIU-C, was the guest speaker at an “Interview Skills and Tips Workshop” offered to TRiO program participants.

•    A “Resume Writing Workshop” was offered to TRiO program participants on February 13th.

•    From Access, Affordability, and Success: How do America’s Colleges Fare and What could it Mean for the President’s Ratings Plan?:

•    “Last fall, President Obama unveiled a plan to promote college affordability by changing the way the federal government distributes student financial aid.  The proposal calls for a federal college ratings system that appraises colleges on measures of access, affordability, and student success.  These ratings would then govern the allocation of federal student aid dollars, with schools that perform well receiving larger Pell Grants and more generous student loans. Schools that lag behind would get less.

The proposal is a dramatic departure from the government’s traditional approach to aid policy, under which loan and grant monies flow to any accredited college that enrolls students, so long as the institution passes minimal standards of financial health and student loan default rates. The new plan would challenge colleges to perform on all three sides of higher education’s “iron triangle”: access, affordability, and quality.”

•    SIC Academic Advisors and Student Services staff met with Southern Illinois University- Carbondale staff to discuss new online transfer options for students on February 4, 2014.

•    Enrollment Services staff met February 12, 2014 to discuss auto-awarding of certificates. This initiative would help capture completions that are missed when students elect to not apply for graduation.

•    Student Services staff participated in Master Facilities Planning on January 28, 2014.

•    The Threat Assessment Team has begun review of the Campus Violence Prevention Plan to ensure compliance with federal and state mandates and to ensure a safe campus environment.

•    Dr. Jonah Rice, Dr. Dana Keating, and Chad Flannery attended the annual President’s Council-Chief Academic Officer-Chief Student Services Officer joint meeting on January 30, 2014 in Bloomington, IL.

Gina Sirach reported the following:  

 •    Academic Highlights

 o Nursing & Allied Health

§    Official NCLEX results were posted by IDFPR. The ADN pass rate was 97%, and the PN pass rate was 100%. A spreadsheet with specific data is included

at the end of this report.

•    NCLEX RN: National average is 83%; state average is 85%

•    NCLEX PN: National average is 85%; state average is 88%

•    ADN – Our score is the top score south of Kankakee and the 2nd best in the state among public community colleges and in the top 6% of ADN programs in the state.

•    PN – We are tied for first with a score of 100%. Twenty colleges out of 53 programs scored 100%.

§    ADN students are assisting with the Honor Roll Academy sponsored by the WSBDC February 16 and 23. 

o Social Science

§    The MIG class will be attending the Model Illinois Government Competition February 27-March 2 in Springfield. Cassie Rea has been elected to a chair position for the simulation.

o Media Services

§    Dr. Diane King and Terry Lucas will be presenting in the ILCCO Growing Online Learning webinar on February 13th. Their presentation is entitled, “Enrich Online Student Learning Experience by Using Screencast-O-Matic.”

o Math & Science

§    WYSE competition is scheduled for February 13. Students from area high schools will be on campus to compete in areas of biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, math, and physics.

§    Jerri Harbison attended a Webinar provided by ISBE on the ISBE Mathematics Model Curriculum. Information about alignment of high school and college math courses was included.

o Wellness

§    Students, faculty, and staff participated in “Go Red for Women” day on February 7. A group photo was taken to share with the American Heart Association to show our support for the recognition of the problem of heart disease in women. 

David Wright reported the following:

Work continues on the handgun range as weather permits. Not much progress has been made in the past month. They are ready for final grades to be set so the last bit of shaping work can be done on the berms. After that, gravel and fence work will be placed when weather will permit to complete.

•    Marquee sign has been delivered and we are waiting on the weather to cooperate to move forward with the installation.

•    SBDC Phone System upgrade has been completed as part of the campus phone system upgrade held last spring.  This work was completed in phases.

•    Pell refunds are going out this week (February 14, 2014).

•    Cell phone booster – Ed Fitzgerald is working in tandem with Greg McCulloch on installing a booster in the Robert I. Gregg Building that will increase cell service in the tech building.

•    Ms.  Winters  is  researching  a  campus-wide  paging  system  that  will  enhance  our emergency communication capabilities.

•    Master facilities meetings are ongoing.

•    We  are  exploring  a  security  grant  that  if  awarded  could  help  purchase  additional risk/security equipment.

•    We  received  a  $16,024  Illinois  Public  Risk  Fund  check  and  are  in  the  process  of purchasing safety equipment that includes a defibrillator for the Robert I. Gregg Building and new snow removal equipment for our parking lots.


Consent Agenda: The board approved January bills totaling $2,756,595.35, including $543,482.53 in payroll.

Action Items:  The board approved a revision to the no-smoking policy to extend the policy to all smoking tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. The board approved the donation of three computers from the SIC recycling program to be given to Trinity Assembly of God Church in Carmi. The board approved the Early College Program fee increase request from $10 per credit hour to $11 per credit hour effective summer semester 2014. The board approved an increase in the fee for FOS 112-Food Service Sanitation and Safety from $5 to $45 dollars effective immediately. The board approved tuition and fee increases effective with Summer 2014, including: a $1 increase in in-district and out of district tuition, a $2 increase in out of state tuition, a $10 increase in out-of-state border county tuition, a $2 increase in international student tuition, and a new $1 per credit hour facility fee used to fund deferred maintenance and upgrades. The board also approved several curriculum committee recommendations and budget transfers were approved, as well as a request from the SIC Foundation to serve alcohol on campus for its April 25 Falcon Society recognition event.

Non-Action Items: The board discussed several non-action items, including: a Quality Initiative proposal that Southeastern Illinois College proposed to undertake to fulfill the HLC Improvement Process of the Open Pathway; a discussion of SICCM program enrollments; and items of correspondence.    

Personnel:  The board approved tenure for biology instructor Aaron Poole and approved re-employment for 2014-15 for non-tenured faculty and staff members Jeremy Irlbeck - Academic Advisor/NJCAA Specialist/Head Baseball Coach, Jennifer Billman – English Instructor, Maggie Calcaterra - Academic Counselor/Transition and Transfer Specialist, Terry Lucas - Educational Technology Specialist, Carla Burns – Associate Degree Nursing Instructor, Jerri Harbison – Math Instructor, and Clifton McReynolds – Music Instructor. The board approved the annual resolution for the dismissal of grant-funded employees if the grants funding them are not renewed. The board approved the employment of Shirley Johnson as part-time Child Study Center Clerk. The board approved the honorable reduction in force of Curtis Rowlen, Carpentry Trades instructor, at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. The board accepted the retirement of Karen Keasler, business instructor, effective May 31, 2014. The board approved a position title change and description revision of the former Controller position, to Director of Business Services. Several adjunct faculty were also approved.