April 23, 2014

STEVE O'KEEFE
Logan Media Services

Sustainability coordinator Tim Gibson reported on the impact of the College’s sustainability efforts at the April meeting of the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees appropriately enough on Earth Day.  Gibson said one of the goals of the College’s strategic plan was to become a state leader in sustainability in the state of Illinois.  He said that the College has achieved that goal in relatively short period of time, particularly in the areas of campus facilities and energy efficiency.

“Currently, the College is third in the state for lowest cost of energy per square foot.  This is remarkable because our energy costs are going down despite the fact that we are adding square footage,” Gibson said.

Gibson stated that the College community has embraced the efforts to reduce energy cost.

“We have nine water-filling stations on campus that staff and students have used to save over a quarter of a million plastic bottles.  Our recycling efforts, along with the efforts of staff to turn off lights and computers when they leave their offices, has helped tremendously as well,” Gibson added.

According to Gibson, the cost savings can be almost instantaneous.

“We have a rule that there needs to be a three year or less simple payback on any purchase that can be used in energy reduction. So projects like changing parking lot lighting to LED and other heating and cooling changes that were made a few years ago are already making us money every month in savings. The return on investment has been tremendous.”

In other board news, Chairman Jake Rendleman commented on several recent events on campus, including the Batteau portrait dedication, and the recent hot dog event for students.  Rendleman also commented on the recent legislative breakfast that was held at the campus.

“All of our local legislators were here and we had representation from our Congressman and Senators offices.  We spent a lot of time of talking about the problem with MAP grants. There are a lot of politics involved right now and we hope to have good representation at the student rally in Springfield on May 1,” Rendleman said.

Student trustee Kayla Malone reported that the Student Senate had recently held a blood drive and had exceeded its goal.  Malone also reported that the in-house production of Tarzan would take place May 2, 3, and 4.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Community Education, Dr. Tim Daugherty, reported that the first phase of the ERP system would go live this summer. 

According to Daugherty, students enrolling in the non-credit Business and Industry, Adult Education, and Continuing Education classes will be able to use the higher reach software to register in the near future. 

Daugherty added that the staff at Higher Reach had suggested that the College offer a 10- percent discount to individuals that enroll in those courses.  The board agreed that the discount would encourage more individuals to sign up for classes by using the software and approved College staff to begin offering the discount.

Daugherty also provided a community engagement report showing the number of individuals that are served through various activities on campus.  The activities included visits to campus at events such as Hunting and Fishing Days, as well as cultural events, and student recruitment acitvites.   The report showed that over 108,000 individuals visited the campus in 2013, an increase of over 8,000 from 2012.

Vice President for Instructional Services, Dr. Deborah Payne, reported that six staff members recently attended the Higher Learning Commission Conference in preparation for the College’s upcoming self-study and accreditation visits scheduled for 2016 and 2017.

President Mike Dreith reported that the College had received the results of the recent Higher Learning Commission report regarding the College’s extension centers and involvement in the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market. 

According to Dreith, the report showed that the College is in compliance in all areas. Dreith added that some recommendations were suggested for the Du Quoin Extension Center to bring the facility to an equal footing with the Center in West Frankfort.

Dreith also addressed the situation with Mid-Continent University.

“The truth of the matter is they used our space.  We did have a lot of students use the program because of the 18-month delivery system, and that will be missed by students that are trying to get a bachelor’s degree while continuing to work,” he said. 

The board approved the following consent agenda items: fiber optic installation at the JALC Annex was awarded to EDT Specialists, of Johnston City; extension of Follet Bookstore contract for another five-year term; inter-fund loan repayment from the Trust and Agency Fund to the Working Cash Fund; revised Student Learning Outcomes; closed session minutes from six meetings to be made available for public inspection and destruction of verbatim recordings through and including Oct. 23, 2012, both in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.

In new business, the board established June 17 at 5 pm in the Mees Center as the time and place for the annual board retreat and presidential evaluation.

The board approved a request by Vice President for College Facilities and Business Services, Brad McCormick to begin a process of reorganization of Auxiliary Services to now include shipping and receiving.   The board also approved McCormick’s request to reorganize the scheduling office to include custodial staff. 

According to McCormick, the reorganization is the result of retirements in key positions within his division.  With this approval he (McCormick) can now advertise for those positions and begin the process or replacing retiring staff.

The board approved several personnel items including the withdrawal of the retirement request of Vice President Tim Daugherty.  The board approved a one-year extension to Daugherty’s current contract.