Carmi Expansion, Graduation, and Fitness Center Discussed at SIC Board Meeting
The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met Thursday, March 17, at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room to discuss construction and needs of the of the new Carmi addition, graduation changes, fitness center renovations, and more.
The board approved the bid for construction of the Carmi vocational building by H.E. Mitchell Construction of Harrisburg. Construction should begin in a month for the new Stanford D. Williams Career and Training Center.
“SIC is glad to have a local project, funded by local dollars, using local business,” said Dr. Frank Barbre of Carmi.
Board member David Dennison echoed Barbre’s comments by adding, “SIC is a community college working with community businesses for the betterment of our community.”
Administrators informed the board they have been engaging local and regional industry in White County to assess needs for the new center.
“We are about to complete our meetings with major employers and have had great feedback as to how we will shape the programs and staffing at the Stanford Center,” said SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice.
Board member Debbie Hughes said, “This is such an exciting project. The new facilities will help the entire region and serve local needs.”
In other news, the board approved a change to the academic calendar moving graduation to Saturday, May 14, in Joseph Deaton Gymnasium. There will be two ceremonies – the first at 10 a.m. for associate of science and art degrees, and the second at 1 p.m. for career and technical degrees and certificates. Additionally, the Nurse Pinning Ceremony will be held that day at 2:30 p.m. All ceremonies will be livestreamed on the college YouTube channel.
Dr. Barbre also reported from the state trustees meeting that the possibility of an increase to the state community college budget is proposed by the governor. Given the lack of a fully funded formula for decades, this increase is needed. Dr. Barbre also praised SIC staff and faculty for the way they all managed through the last two years with the COVID crisis. The entire Board echoed his comments with a roundtable, “Thanks.”
The board also approved budget transfers and heard non-action items regarding the fitness center renovation. The SIC Student Government proposed the fitness center renovation project and administrators worked with them to design a new center with an added aerobic room and all new equipment as well as other renovations. Much of the project will be funded by the SIC Student Government activity fees.
Executive Dean Chris Barr presented an update on the college’s strategic plan. Barr presented information from the latest campus forums on the recommended strategic initiatives. The board will vote on these initiatives after the strategic planning committee votes to accept them.
The board approved a part-time job for a math student support specialist, as well reviewing a new job description for the full-time math instructor, which resulted in a 4-1 vote to approve.
“The challenge with this position is that there is no guaranteed coverage of full-time faculty teaching math in the summer. Due to the additional difficulty of finding adjunct faculty who meet the credentials, there was some disagreement as to how the position needs to be described,” said Dr. Karen Weiss, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
“It’s a negotiable item, but we will adapt as best we can for the good of the student,” said Dr. Tyler Billman, Executive Dean for Academic Services.
Administrators say they may look at adjunct pay and other options to serve students in the summer. They assured the board that summer math courses would be covered. A new math position will be posted and filled as soon as possible.
In personnel, the board approved the resignation of Chad Flannery from Executive Dean of Student Services, the hire of Tracey Smith as the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Dean of Academic Services, Tiffany Brannock’s move to Interim Registrar, and Kyla Burford’s move to Interim Dean of Student Services.
The next meeting of the board will be Tuesday, April 19, at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room on the SIC Harrisburg campus. More information about SIC can be found at www.sic.edu.