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SIC Board Meets Amid State and Federal Budget Concerns

March 22, 2017

The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met Tuesday, March 21 at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room to hire an auditor, discuss state and federal budget impact on the college, as well as approve a number of action items.

After receiving multiple bids for auditing services following public issuance of Request for Proposals (RFP), the college evaluation team recommended to the board to hire Kemper CPA from Harrisburg for the next three years.  The board voted unanimously in favor.

College officials presented a bleak outlook for any hope of a state budget from the so-called “grand bargain” in the Senate.

“Sadly, the wheels fell off and it’s stuck on the roadside,” said SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice.  “While miracles do happen, this year looks to be over and done, another year without a budget with a huge shortfall of funding.  Sadly, next year looks no different except, of course, it could get worse in Illinois.”

Rice said the fear he has heard is that if nothing gets done this year, then the next year will be consumed by campaigning and not much will get done then, either.

“Colleges and universities can only react to what’s dictated to us.  It will get rough for everyone,” said Rice.

News from the proposed federal budget is not much better.  Board members received a handout from the American Community College Trustees Association outlining the 14 percent proposed cuts to the Department of Education, which would affect Federal Work Study positions, Trio grants, Title III grants, and workforce funds including Perkins dollars.

In other business, the board also approved budget transfer requests, curriculum committee recommendations, and a fee for the Government 261 course; selected First Midstate as bond agent; passed a resolution on the general obligation bond and strategic planning initiatives; and retired one board policy on facilities rental.

In personnel, the board approved the transfer of Cara Lehman from Administrative Assistant to the Executive Dean of Academic Services to Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs effective July 1; the employment of Angela Sweet as the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Dean of Academic Services effective April 1; the transfer of Maddison Maloney as the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Dean of Student Services effective April 1; and a number of adjunct faculty.

The next meeting of the Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees is scheduled for Monday, April 24.

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