August 27, 2015

College Relations

In an attempt to curb declining enrollment, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Community Education, Dr. Larry Peterson, began to lay out his recommendations to the College’s board of trustees at Tuesday’s monthly meeting.

Peterson said colleges and universities throughout the state are experiencing sharp declines in enrollment this fall, and John A. Logan College is no exception. He said that difficulties with the registration process and JALC’s transition to a new software program have made it difficult to serve students.

“We have to get back to the basics of putting students first in everything we do,” Peterson said. “We cannot put roadblocks in front of students who are already struggling with time and financial issues.”

Peterson will present a full report to the board at its September meeting that will include fall 2015 10th-day enrollment figures and a plan for moving forward with enrollment planning that will involve the whole College. 

“This does not rest with one department or division, we are all going to have to do our part to help us grow our way out of this decline,” he said.

Peterson’s report spurned further discussion into the College’s new administrative computer software program. 

Trustee Bill Kilquist stated that a number of employees had reported to him several issues and deficiencies with the new program. He suggested that a fact-finding committee be appointed by Board Chairman Don Brewer involving a cross section of campus employees. That committee’s purpose would be to focus on identifying what issues are plaguing the software program and what can be done to improve the final product. The board approved the formation of the committee with membership to be named later.

In other board news, Trustee Jake Rendleman reported that the Building, Grounds and Safety Committee had recently met to discuss potential upcoming projects, including a press box at the baseball field donated by the Harrison-Bruce Foundation, as well upgrades to the locker rooms at the Community Health Education Complex.

Kilquist informed the board that Awards and Naming Facilities Committee had recently met.  He said that an agenda item would be brought to the full board at a later date with a recommendation to name the atrium in the Workforce Education Building after long-time Center for Business and Industry Center staff member, Darren Pulley, who recently passed away.

Trustee Cheryl Graff informed the board that representatives from two bonding companies would be giving presentations to the board’s Finance Committee regarding a potential bond to finance retiree health benefits.

Student Trustee Brandi Husch reported that the Student Senate had handed out over 500 welcome back packets to students and that the College’s student ambassadors and Phi Theta Kappa chapter had assisted new students with finding their classrooms during the first two days of classes. Husch added that a welcome back picnic with free hotdogs to students was held on Aug. 26.  

JALC President, Dr. Mike Dreith, reported to the board his concerns over the state’s ability to finalize a budget that will undoubtedly have a negative effect on MAP grant students.

“This is going to have a devastating effect on the students with the most financial need,” he said.  “It will affect their ability to buy books and pay for gasoline and childcare, and unfortunately, I just don’t see an end to the budget stalemate in Springfield anytime soon.”

The following consent agenda items were approved: security camera wiring project to Clinton Electric; locker room renovations to R & W Builders; Microsoft licensing agreement from CDW-G.

In new business, the board approved an additional pooled service contract with Jenzabar to perform various software updates not included in the present agreement. 

According to Vice President for Business Services and College Facilities, Brad McCormick, the service contract would eliminate the need for Jenzabar to invoice the College each time a job is required, which could lead to a delay of service.


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