Some IVCC students to receive relief funds in spring
OGLESBY – Students attending Illinois Valley Community College this spring semester could receive payments made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), board members learned Nov. 18.
Students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours will receive $1,000. Those taking 6-to-11 hours will receive $500. Payments will be made to students enrolled as of April 7.
In addition, high school students enrolled in IVCC dual credit/dual enrollment courses this spring will have all tuition and the registration fee waived. Students who complete a Career and Technical Education dual credit course will qualify for a tuition waiver for three credit hours this summer or next fall.
With the exception of IVCC employees and high school students, any student who enrolls this spring will receive a $100 IVCC bookstore gift card to use on books and supplies.
“We recognize the importance of supporting students throughout the pandemic and are committed to helping them achieve their academic and career goals,” said Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski.
In other business, the board adopted the tentative $13.9 million 2021 tax levy, a 9.3 percent increase over last year’s $12.5 million levy.
The levy is based on a nearly 9 percent increase in the district’s eight-county combined equalized assessed valuation (EAV), said Vice President for Business Services and Finance Matt Seaton.
“This levy will keep the tax rate nearly flat for all district tax payers,” Seaton said.
With the EAV increasing more than 5 percent, the board will hold a truth-in-taxation hearing at its Dec. 9 meeting “to access all funds available to the district,” Seaton said.
Homeowners will see a slight increase in IVCC’s portion of their property tax bill due to a .0018 cent increase. The owner of a $100,000 home, for example, will see a 57-cent increase.
The projected 2021 rate of .3588 is up slightly from the 2020 rate of .3557. A public notice will be published and a public hearing held prior to trustees moving for final approval Dec. 9.
IVCC levies taxes in all or parts of La Salle, Bureau, Putnam, Marshall, Lee, Livingston, Grundy and DeKalb counties.
In other action, trustees approved Protection, Health and Safety (PHS) projects totaling over $2.7 million including:
Energy upgrades and piping repairs in Building C boiler room for $206,195;
Repairs to parking lot 1 for $53,130;
Removal and resurfacing of lot 5 for $718,200;
Complete renovation of the band room (D201) for $1.7 million to include elevator replacement, asbestos abatement and replacement of walls, ceilings, lighting and the raised floor.
Seaton said PHS projects could begin as early as this summer.
Trustees also approved:
Moving the start of 2022 meetings up an hour to 5:30 p.m. in the board room, C307. Meetings are the second Thursday of each month on Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, Aug. 18 (the third Thursday), Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 8.
Purchase of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software from Slate for $50,000. CRM streamlines campus communications and interactions including the ability to send targeted, personalized messages to prospects and current students. First year CRM costs are covered by HEERF.
Board policy changes regarding tuition waivers and reimbursements.
Closed session minutes from Oct. 14.
Negotiated retirement agreements with 29-year English instructor Randy Rambo and 27-year health and wellness instructor Tony Ruda.
The IVCC Foundation will award a record $400,000 in scholarships in fiscal 2022. In his campus update, Executive Director of Community Relations and Development Fran Brolley said in fiscal 2021, Foundation assets increased nearly $1.5 million to $8.6 million.
Tenure was granted to Emergency Medical Services program coordinator and instructor Nicholas Fish who began teaching full-time in spring 2019.
Five sports are moving up from Division III. Baseball and men’s and women’s soccer will move to Division II; men’s and women’s tennis moves to Division I. Women’s and men’s cross country will compete in Division II when those programs begin in fall 2022. The changes bring the sports into alignment with Arrowhead Conference schools and allow IVCC to use scholarships in recruiting.
“This will improve recruiting and increase roster size at a time when we need enrollments,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. Corcoran noted women’s tennis, led by coach Julie Milota, recently finished third at the NJCAA Division III tournament in Georgia.
Illinois’ Department of Agriculture Division of Cannabis Regulation has authorized IVCC to operate under the Community College Vocational Pilot Program License. IVCC is one of nine community colleges to receive the designation. The license strengthens IVCC’s program and will likely allow it to grow and process industrial hemp. A total of 23 students are enrolled in the college’s Introduction to Cannabis Production this fall. The course is part of the Basic Cannabis Production certificate program. An Advanced Cannabis Production certificate begins in January.
Crystal Credi was hired as special populations transition specialist effective Jan. 1 and Ashton Linson as financial aid advisor.
Carey Burns, administrative assistant in Community Relations, resigned Oct. 27 after 19 years and Terumi Scully, administrative assistant in Project Success, resigned Oct. 29 after 10 years.
Resignations were also received from Brandee Barroso, part-time information specialist at Ottawa Center; Elizabeth Small, part-time library technician; and Charles Walker, part-time truck driver training instructor.
35 prospects attended the recent “Explore IVCC” event with several applying for admission. About 40 faculty, staff and students worked the event, said Tom Quigley, director of admissions and transfer services. Spring semester begins Jan. 10.
IVCC will introduce two new class delivery modes this spring: “IP-VCM” (In-Person/Virtual Class Meeting) requiring attendance; and “Flex-Attend,” an in-person or virtual class meeting where attendance and participation are flexible.
The monthly “Spotlight on the Classroom” by English instructor Delores Robinson focused on student Harvey Vela’s participation in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates. Vela, a student of IVCC biology instructor Lauri Carey, participated in a 12-week research project culminating in a poster presentation at the Illinois Summer Research Symposium entitled “The Effects of Forest Management Practices on Wild Bee Abundance and Functional Traits.”