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SIC Carmi Expansion and Other Board News

May 4, 2021

The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met Thursday, April 29, at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room in the Harry L. Crisp Student Center to approve a contract with the SIC Education Association (SICEA), approve an early retirement incentive, and receive an update on the status of the David L. Stanley White County Center expansion, among other items.

The board approved a two-year contract agreement with the SICEA, faculty association on campus that will raise faculty salaries 2.75% for two years with additional compensation the second year pending enrollment increases. The contract also modifies office hours to student support hours to help mentor and guide students to completion.

“This was the least time-consuming and most positive-spirited negotiation I’ve ever had in my time as president,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice. “I want to publicly thank the SICEA leadership team and members for working so well with the college.”

The board also approved an early retirement incentive (ERI) for exempt staff similar to the faculty ERI they passed for that group last month. The plan encourages early retirement to help reduce future expenses for the college and rewards longevity.

The board approved fee increases for a nursing test and the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study (MJOCCS) for next year.  Fees for the center will be based on the current Illinois Department of Children and Family Services standard rates or below.

The board learned that the college received a grant from the state for $596,246 to be used for deferred maintenance on window replacements and tuckpointing. SIC is responsible for 25% of the project or an additional $198,749. The board approved the total project cost of $794,995 with a unanimous vote.

The college is also on schedule with the Carmi career and technical education expansion project at the White County Center given the state funding promise.  Designs are being created now and construction should begin soon.

“The Carmi expansion project is a long-time in the making and we are glad that the Governor and state officials have seen the value in supporting local industry and educational needs with this expansion project,” said Rice. “I am overjoyed as we’ve lobbied for this project for so long. It’s really exciting to see it happen.”

The college will also be able to offer free textbooks for students this summer and fall through federal grant money that must be spent on student support.

“This promise is phenomenal for students,” said Trustee Jim Ellis after the board meeting. “It comes at a perfect time to help them start college.”

In personnel, the board approved the resignation of Susan Le Buhn, student resource aid, and Christine Reed, part-time food service assistant. Approved for employment were part-time volleyball coach – Jonathan Watts, part-time golf coach – Shain Miller, part-time basketball coach – Sam Swinford, and two full time teachers in the MJOCCS – Lori Jones and Tricinda Milligan. A number of adjunct instructors were also approved.

The next meeting of the board will be Thursday, May 27, at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room on the SIC Harrisburg campus. More information about SIC can be found at www.sic.edu.

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