April 2023 Board Report

Illinois Valley Community College is cultivating connections with Nell’s Woodland Foundation, a nonprofit promoting mental and physical health, the environment and the arts on its 60-acre preserve on the north side of Ottawa.

College trustees learned Thursday that IVCC officials are partnering with the foundation to offer Continuing Education classes at the woodlands as early as this summer as well as fine arts programs in the fall.

“I am optimistic good things lie ahead so stay tuned as programming comes together,” IVCC President Jerry Corcoran told the board.

In other action, the board approved the resignation of Vice President for Business Services and Finance Matt Seaton effective May 1, with his last day on-campus April 14. Seaton has been named Chief Financial Officer of the Illinois State Board of Education in Springfield.

Corcoran lauded Seaton’s performance.

“Everything I asked of you was done well,” Corcoran said. “Your impact on IVCC goes way beyond the less-than-two years you have been with us. Your future with the ISBE is very bright and well-deserved.”

Until Seaton’s successor is named, the board approved appointments to cover Business Services and Finance from April 17 through June 30 including:

  • Former Seneca High School Supt. Jim Carlson was named Interim Vice President for Business Services and Finance;
  • Controller Kathy Ross was appointed Interim Board Treasurer and CFO;
  • Purchasing director Michelle Carboni was named Interim Director of Business Services;
  • Administrative assistant Nikki VanNielen was appointed “Interim Additional Business Office Duties”; and
  • Human Resources Director Mary Beth Herron was named Interim FOIA Officer.

Trustees also approved:

  • Nursing simulation lab equipment from Pocket Nurse totaling $182,211, a purchase funded by the Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce (PATH) grant.
  • The $290,274 bid of Lite Construction of Montgomery for renovation of the Medical Assisting Lab.
  • The $49,250 bid of Bluestone and Associates of Chicago to design and construct a new display for the Murray Crowder Native American artifacts collection previously on display in Building A. “Paul Bluestone and his team have years of experience working for organizations such as Shedd Aquarium to create modern, aesthetically-pleasing displays for important historical artifacts,” Seaton said. The IVCC Foundation is contributing up to $25,000 for the project.
  • Four, non-accruing remote work days per year for administrators and support staff.
  • Reimbursement of $111.35 for trustee Jane Goetz’s attendance at the ICCTA’s March meeting.
  • Closed session meeting minutes from March 9.

Board members learned:

  • Cost for phase II of the ag complex, a classroom and lab facility, could increase from $4.6 million to $6 million. “Construction costs have risen significantly and contractors are very busy,” Seaton said. “Our architect (Demonica Kemper) has seen increases of 30% or more in projects of this nature.” Construction of the 6,800-square-foot facility will be partially funded by a $3.5 million USEDA grant.
  • Corcoran and President-elect Tracy Morris co-presented April 12 to more than 60 Rotarians representing La Salle, Peru, Illinois Valley Sunrise, Princeton and Putnam County clubs. “Dr. Morris is excelling in her new role and we are all committed to doing everything we can to support her,” Corcoran said. Morris will become president July 1.
  • After congratulating new Student Government Association President Daniel Sack, Vice-President Drew Knipper, Secretary Riker Fesperman, Treasurer Katie Bates and Student Trustee Libby Boyles, Corcoran said of outgoing student trustee Ashton Dille, “We appreciate the support Ashton provided and wish her the best.”
  • The March 22 “Explore IVCC” open house attracted 95 prospects and parents.
  • Eric Peterson has been hired as IT infrastructure operations engineer. He has a bachelor’s in IT.
  • Project Success counselor Cynthia Cardosi will retire June 30. In her retirement notice, Cardosi said, “It will be difficult to walk away from this program, as I am leaving a great group of friends as well as wonderful students, past and present, who have touched my life.”
  • Karen Gregorich, credentials and curriculum coordinator, will retire Jan. 1. “I would like to thank the college for all of the support and opportunities I have had over the years,” Gregorich said.
  • Lori Carbone, information specialist at Ottawa Center, retired March 15. Carbone thanked Ottawa Center coordinator Jeannette Phalen. “Thank you, Jeannette, for all the support you have given me over the past 10-plus years.”
  • Reed Wilson, part-time assistant to the president for special projects, will resign July 1. Corcoran said, “Reed has been a master of getting special projects done in a quiet and professional way. Projects like building the Peter Miller Community Technology Center, meeting our goals with the capital campaign, partnering with the city of Ottawa on the Ottawa Center, and successfully relaunching our agriculture program all tie back to Reed.”
  • Tracie Klieber, part-time Continuing Education instructor and former fitness center instructor, will retire May 2. “It has been my pleasure to serve the students, faculty, staff and community members,” Klieber said.
  • Head men’s baseball coach Jason Goode has announced his retirement after nearly 10 years. Lenny Newell is now acting head coach and Nick Harsted his assistant.
  • Resignations were received from assistant men’s basketball coach Russel DeVerteuil, administrative assistant in Truck Driver Training Audrey Moreno, and CNA instructor Tara Balensiefen. In his resignation note to head coach Chris Herman, DeVerteuil said, “I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to coach college basketball. It was an amazing learning experience and I will forever be grateful for that.”
  • In a card shared with the board, Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham thanked Corcoran for hosting ICCB’s March 24 meeting: “Thanks so much to you and your team for hosting the board and for the fabulous tour. The passion amongst your folks was evident. A special thank you to Judy (Day) for all her help!” Corcoran also credited Angie Dunlap, Stephanie Reeder, Tina Hardy and Shane Lange for contributing to the tour.