SIC Board Meets to Approve Agreements, Hears Report on Rural America

July 15, 2014
The Southeastern Illinois College Board met in public session on July 8 to approve a number of agreements and learn more about the campus facilities maintenance project and a demographic report on the region.
The Board approved agreements with Tri-State for copiers for five years. The Board also approved a three-year contract with Pepsi for beverage services.
Administrators updated the Board on the status of the facilities planning process noting that this is part of the requirement for the upcoming Illinois Community College Board’s five-year recognition visit to the College.
“The pervasive themes of the group meetings include deferred maintenance, upgrades, and updates for what we have,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice. “Specialized, grant funded projects such as we have with coal mine training and other areas of workforce education are also important.”
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new grant-funded mine training facility will be held on July 22 at SIC. The facility is funded by a grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and was secured in conjunction with Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.
The Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study received a five-year NAEYC Accreditation renewal.
The Board also learned of regional demographics from the administration and also from University of Illinois Extension and USDA data that show rural America is rapidly shrinking in population and development, particularly in the Midwest and Illinois.
Economic factors in the State and Midwest will affect population and enrollment in all of higher education.
High School senior enrollment in southern Illinois has shrunk on the whole, and rural America has seen population loss due to migration to suburban areas, aging population, and lower birth rates.
“SIC’s annual headcount is the 8th highest in an 18-year span,” said Dean Chad Flannery.
“Our 2014 headcount stands at 7,279 which is above the average of 7,087.”
Flannery said while headcount is steady, fewer students are going full-time and the recession has pulled people back into the workforce.
The Board learned that, according to US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, more than 50% of American rural counties have seen their population decline.
Illinois is one of the slowest growing states in the US.
Administrators informed the Board that SIC is working with a group of colleges and SIU-E on a significant training grant that would extend the biofuels program through three more years and provide nation-wide training. The grant would be worth about $850K to $1m to SIC if awarded.
The College received an Additional Location Confirmation Report from the Higher Learning Commission following a site visit to the Carmi Center. The report concluded: “SIC appears to run their Carmi location with a high level of integrity and commitment to providing high quality instruction to the community.”
SIC and Rend Lake College will be offering oil and gas courses at Hamilton County High School for residents in either college district. For more information, contact 252-5400 ext 2300.
The Board also reviewed the campus security policy, approved a dual credit agreement with Vienna High School and approved cooperative agreements between SIC and Shawnee Community College, John A. Logan, Rend Lake College and Kaskaskia College.
The Board accepted resignations from Clifton McReynolds, music instructor; Brent Webb, art instructor; Amy Brombaugh, small business consultant; approved the retirement of Glen Stokich, facility service technician; approved the transfer of Lisa Hite from accountant to director of business services; approved a provisional one-year hire of Tiffany Kesler for music instructor; approved the employment of Melody Boots, communications and relations specialist; approved the temporary employment of Curtis Rowlen as full-time outdoor training facilities assistant; employed Kelly Smith as a full-time toddler room teacher; approved Tom Knasel as an advisory council member for diesel technology, truck driving and welding technology; and, approved a number of adjunct instructors.