SIC Board Receives Strong Audit, Sets Flat Levy
The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room on the main campus in Harrisburg.
The annual audit presented by Kemper CPA was a good report with no significant findings. The college showed strong on financial aid compliance and no issues were reported.
“This was another excellent audit for SIC and the Board of Trustees,” said board member Debbie Hughes, a member of the audit subcommittee.
“We appreciate the external validation of our fiscal management, especially the stability of our financial position,” said Dr. Frank Barbre, SIC board Vice Chairperson.
The board also approved the annual tax levy for the district. The levy will be essentially flat compared to last year’s levy, only being a penny higher than the prior year.
“Property values in the entire district are up, which is good for the region,” said Chief Financial Officer Lisa Hite. “SIC likes to keep the levy level so as to be sensitive to the taxpayer.”
The tax levy is projected to be 4.78 for next year. Local funds account for about 20% of SIC’s expected revenue with state reimbursement and tuition being the two larger revenue streams.
The board also approved minor revisions to a number of multiple board polices, including minor language changes and to update per recent legislation. A new policy regarding residency for active duty and veterans education beneficiaries passed as well.
“The legislation behind the new board policy is to provide a benefit to individuals who have served our country so that establishing residency is not a barrier in their educational journey,” said Kyla Burford, Executive Dean of Student Services.
The board also passed an agreement to settle the Hise Estate, which should bring the bequest to a close.
“SIC will receive two more distributions from the Hise Estate, one very soon that will be quite substantial, and the other near the end of the fiscal year in order to finalize the generosity of Col. (William C.) Hise to SIC,” said Dr. Jonah Rice, President of SIC.
The Hise funds will be used for an assortment of projects and initiatives that will benefit students and the entire region.
The college was also left the Lafayette Inn Bed and Breakfast in Harrisburg from Col. Hise. Officials say they are in the process of working on new programs and initiatives, some in a regional collaboration, to utilize the unique spaces.
“It’s exciting to work this property into our strategic plan and utilize it to benefit the region,” said Rice. “Lori Cox, dean over the college’s small business area, recommended and has presented a plan to market the property nationally if a fair sale price for the property can be obtained.”
The board also was presented with an Innovation Award from the Illinois Community College Council of Administrators for their cooperative alliance with Rend Lake College.
“This award shows how we can work smarter not just harder in a time that seems to call for working together,” said Dr. Karen Weiss, SIC Vice President, who accepted the award on behalf of the College at a ceremony in late November.
In personnel, the board accepted the resignation of child care assistant teacher, Lori Jones, and approved adjunct assignments for Spring 2023.
The next meeting of the board will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Board Room on the Harrisburg campus.