IVCC Board approves tax levy; college's portion of tax bill should not increase


OGLESBY – The Illinois Valley Community College board adopted the tentative $12.8 million 2020 tax levy Nov. 12, a three percent increase over the $12.4 million actual 2019 levy.

The levy is based on a five percent increase in the district’s equalized assessed valuation (EAV), said Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema.

Homeowners should not see an increase in the IVCC portion of their property tax bill, she said. The estimated 2020 tax rate of .3557 is down slightly from the 2019 rate of .3644.

Since the increase is less than five percent, there is no requirement for a public notice and public hearing before trustees move for final approval Dec. 10.

IVCC levies taxes in all or parts of eight counties: La Salle, Bureau, Putnam, Marshall, Lee, Livingston, Grundy and DeKalb.

In other action, the board approved an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Assisting.

“After discussion with the dental assisting advisory board, local dentists, current and past students, it is apparent the AAS in Dental Assisting would be beneficial to future, current and past students from a continuing education and employment perspective,” said program coordinator Heather Seghi.

The 60-credit AAS aligns with dental hygiene program requirements at various Illinois schools and will thus ease transfer to those institutions, said Dean of Workforce Development Shane Lange.

In his report, IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said the administration fosters open communication with faculty and staff by offering numerous opportunities for discussion and feedback.

“Despite some unfortunate statements made to the contrary over the last few months, I want to set the record straight regarding the degree to which the administration encourages faculty and staff participation in the decision-making process,” Corcoran said.

“IVCC uses the principles of shared governance in its operations. Standing committees exist to facilitate the work of the institution. Faculty hold key positions on 18 committees and 11 subcommittees/workgroups.

“From a communication standpoint, every semester begins with an all-staff in-service. Debriefings are held the week following every board meeting,” he said.

“The spring term included regular Zoom meetings with all employees and, when asked for additional meetings with the faculty, the administration was happy to do so.

“In 2020, we’ve had 11 debriefings (everyone is invited), four faculty forums, three in-service all-staff sessions, and two meetings of the faculty Executive Board and President’s Council,” Corcoran said, adding, “To those team players who have worked hard with the administration and contributed to the positive direction of the college, I say thank you.”

Trustees also approved:

  • Seeking bids for 20 multi-stage welders at an estimated cost of $60,000.
  • The hiring of Dr. Jennifer Grobe as director of nursing effective Jan. 4. Grobe earned the Ph.D. in education, specializing in nursing, from Capella University, the MSN from Benedictine University and BSN from Rockford College. She is currently associate dean of nursing and allied health at Highland Community College in Freeport.
  • The appointment of Crystal Credi as interim transition and completion specialist through December 2021. The position will be paid through the CTE Improvement Grant, part of IVCC’s Adult Learner Initiative. Credi is currently the administrative assistant for Student Services.
  • Release of 2019 closed session meeting minutes from Nov. 14 and Dec. 12.
  • Following closed session, approved release of closed session minutes from Oct. 8.

The board learned:

  • Online enrollment remains strong. “Although Illinois community college enrollments are down, it is encouraging to see the progress we’ve made in boosting online enrollments. Fall online headcount of 1,770 places us in the upper 50 percent of the 48 community colleges. Learning Resources and faculty should be commended for a job well done,” said Corcoran.
  • Summer 2021 sessions include a three-week term, Summer A, May 24-June 15; eight-week term, Summer B, June 7-Aug. 2; and six-week term, Summer C, June 16-July 28.
  • Custodian Jon Scott Mercer will retire Jan. 1 and Mary Beth Liss, administrative assistant in Truck Driver Training, a 24-year employee, will retire Dec. 31. Janna Stash, administrative assistant in financial aid, resigned Nov. 12.
  • The IVCC Foundation met growing demand for student financial assistance this fall by awarding over $330,000 in scholarships to 325 students. In a campus update to the board, Executive Director of Community Relations and Development Fran Brolley said as of June 30, Foundation assets topped $6.9 million, an increase of nearly $280,000 over the previous year.
  • The Nov. 10 Virtual Explore IVCC event attracted 120 RSVPs and 22 students attended the Oct. 27 Virtual College Connection.