August 27, 2014

BY STEVE O’KEEFE
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College Board of Trustees approved plans Tuesday to address critical technology issues at the College.

Chief Information Technology Officer Mark Kinkade stated that the College could not afford to ignore the needed upgrades to the College’s information network.

“The best way I can describe it to you is that we are currently trying to push the data equivalent of a fire hose through a garden hose,” Kinkade said. “Our demand for connectivity is increasing exponentially and we have nowhere to go. Without these upgrades, we will not be able to support new computer and online classes that are vital to the growth of the College.”

According to Kinkade, the upgrade would increase network speeds on campus 10-fold and make wireless connectivity more secure for students and staff. He also noted that the College would now be able to add 40 additional surveillance cameras on campus.

Vice President for Business Services and College Facilities, Brad McCormick, reported that the network upgrades would be financed through two methods: a restructuring of current debt, and a student technology fee.

Student Trustee, Kayla Malone, voiced her approval of the measure.

“As the student representative to the board, I have never been in favor of anything that resulted in higher tuition or fees for students, but in regard to this issue, I feel that you cannot put a price on safety,” she said. “Students are constantly telling me how slow the connection is here, and in this day and time, I could never oppose the addition of surveillance cameras and upgrades to online security.”

In other board news, Larry Geer, a local tennis instructor, presented the board with a proposal to start  men’s and women’s tennis teams at the College. 

Chairman Jake Rendleman thanked Geer for his presentation and told him that the athletic advisory committee would look into the matter.

Malone reported that several events would be taking place on campus in the coming days, including a welcome picnic for students on Sept. 3; a computer repair day sponsored by the YODA Club Sept. 6; and a computer day for kids on Sept. 13.  She added that the annual Loganpalooza club day will be held on Sept. 17.

At the conclusion of Malone’s report, JALC President, Dr. Mike Dreith, announced that he had received an e-mail from the Illinois Community College Board informing him that Malone had been accepted into its prestigious leadership externship program.

In group association reports, English department chair, Katie Carl, reported on the activities of her department. Carl said that the department is currently teaching 60 sections of writing courses, including 12 developmental sections and 33 sections of English composition, which is more than any other course on campus, as well as eight literature courses.

Carl also reported that the department publishes a literary magazine, “Expressions,” and sponsors the annual High School Writing Contest.  She said the department’s writing center, The Write Place, is staffed entirely by full and term faculty. She added that the department has made efforts to work with high school students in both the dual credit and college readiness programs.

In officer’s reports, Vice President for Student Affairs and Community Education, Dr. Tim Daugherty, reported that 10th-day enrollment reports would be completed later in the week and that he expected a slight decrease in enrollment from fall 2013. 

Daugherty also reported on the College’s continued efforts to improve student retention. He said the College’s new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system will provide administrators with the proper data to determine retention trends in the future. He announced that the administration and leaders in the recruitment and retention areas have begun the work of looking at past practices and current trends in an effort to improve recruitment and retention at the College.

Daugherty welcomed Brandi Husch, from the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Husch recently attended an international PTK Honors institute in St. Louis.  She thanked the board for the opportunity to attend what she described as a “life-changing” event.

“I want to personally thank you,” Husch told the board. “Because of the programs (available to students) here at JALC, I have gotten to experience many things, including visiting other community colleges and universities. I just want to say that there is something really great about John A. Logan College,” she said. “It’s something that other places don’t have. You guys truly are changing students’ lives and I want to thank you for that support.” 

Vice President for Instructional Service, Dr. Laurel Klinkenberg, announced that her office has begun working on improvements to the class schedule to give more opportunities to students.

Klinkenberg said that the College will have a new professional development model that will form professional learning communities across campus. She added that instructors would now be reporting attendance online to help prevent problems with student financial assistance.

Dr. Clay Brewer presented a report on the hiring process at the College. He provided a detailed account of the process from the approval of a new position through posting, hiring committees, candidate ranking, interviews, and board approval.

Dreith reported that Governor Pat Quinn had recently signed a law that bans all indoor and outdoor smoking at all public-supported state colleges and universities.

Dreith said this law will take effect on July 1, 2015 and that the law allows exceptions to smoking in cars on campus as long as they are not state owned.  Dreith added that e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco were not presently included in the law.

The board approved the following consent agenda items: Microsoft software licensing and bid specifications for roof replacement at the Administration Building.

In old business, the board approved adoption of the 2014-2015 budget.

In addition to the technology fee and bond resolution, the following new business items were approved: The naming of room B-48 as the Donald L. Nolan Room and the Courtyard pond as Dwight Hoffard Pond, and a Protection Health Safety fire alarm system replacement.

Revisions to board policies 5260 (vacation), 7501 (email continuity policy), and 8244 (general program and residency requirements for graduation) were presented for first reading.