July 2023 Board Meeting Report

Illinois Community College President Dr. Tracy Morris presided over the Board of Trustees Meeting on Thursday night. President Morris, the first IVCC alumna and a first-generation college student, was elected unanimously as the 11th president by the Board of Trustees in December. Morris, with her doctorate in Adult and Higher Education, has 28 years of experience in education with 21 of those years in higher education.

Dr. Morris returns to IVCC as the president where she began her career in higher education as a counselor (2001-2003), the director of admissions and records (2003-2010) and then served as associate vice-president for student services (2010-2014). In 2014 she joined Illinois Central College in Peoria serving as the vice-president for student services. In 2018 she stepped into the historic role as the first compliance officer at Joliet Junior College, the oldest community college in Illinois. In her role at JJC, Morris developed a compliance program and performed oversight for on-time reporting, meeting legislative and accreditation requirements, reviewing board policies and institutional procedures, and conducting assessments and reviews of programs across campus.

With her inaugural presidential report, President Morris shared with the Board information related to events on campus, including the Explore IVCC event, Get Set program, Kids Camps and the Coping with Job Loss Symposium. Morris shared information related to student athlete honors, campus enhancements and inaugural events at Nell’s Woodland. “There are so many amazing things happening on our campus and in our community. Each month, I will be excited to share with you some of the great work our employees are doing every day,” said Dr. Morris.

With the approval of the Board, President Morris welcomed the newest member of her cabinet with the transition of Kathy Ross as the College’s Controller to the Vice President of Business Services and Finance. “I am so thankful to everyone who participated in the process and submitted feedback. Kathy has over 25 years of professional knowledge in the field, including nine years as the Controller for IVCC. She has experience in accounting, finance and management in both higher education and health care that will be invaluable in this next role with the College. Kathy had the primary oversight of the College’s budget for over five years and continually worked to improve finances for IVCC’s Foundation and the College with her thorough analysis and planning. Her knowledge and expertise in her role as Controller will help her to understand the financial health of the College and assist in the guidance of appropriate decisions,” stated President Morris.

Prior to joining IVCC in 2014, Ross was employed for thirteen years (1998-2014) as the controller and accounting manager of the former Mendota Community Hospital. In that time, she also served as the interim chief financial officer and accounting clerk in patient financial services.

Ross began her career in business working with Unisys Corporation (1991-1993) in Lombard as a financial analyst and billing specialist moving on to work for Kankakee Community College as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Monitoring Specialist for the Job Training Partnership Act.

The audit finance committee met prior to the Board of Trustees meeting to discuss the tentative 2024 budget, with the full Board approval of a tentative $39 million budget for fiscal 2024. The resolution for acceptance of the final budget will be submitted for Board approval in August following a public hearing. The budget represents a four percent increase in revenue over the 2023 budget mainly due to federal funds of $4,865,236. The 2024 budgeted expenditures for all funds are $38,638,297, a one percent decrease from the 2023 budget.

In other action, trustees approved:

  • The resignation of Welding Instructor and Program Coordinator Anthony Sondgeroth.
  • Student athletic insurance coverage with 1st Agency for $45,657 and student athletic catastrophic insurance coverage with Zevitz Student Accident Insurance for $3,250.
  • The adoption of the resolution as presented to authorize North Central Illinois Council of Governments, as grant administrator, to sign all Economic Development Administration payment checks and grant modifications requests.
  • Accepted the proposal for the Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre theatre lighting upgrade from Theatrical Lighting Connection in Burr Ridge at a cost of $102,379.
  • Reimbursement of $223 in travel expenses for a Board member attending the 2023 Illinois Community College Trustees Association annual conference on June 2-3 in Normal.
  • Annual ICCTA membership renewal for $11,014.
  • The purchase of janitorial supplies from Home Depot Pro in Atlanta at an estimated annual cost of $40,000 through the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative.

Trustees learned:

  • IVCC entered into a building and grounds license agreement with Nell’s Woodland a 501(c) 3 Foundation in Ottawa providing protection and preservation of wildlife and ecology.
  • The extension of the interim status for the Dean of Health Professions, Heather Seghi through Dec. 31.
  • An increase in the College Insurance Program contributions for retirees as required by law of 0.75 percent of each individual salary for impacted employees.
  • Approval of two-year contracts of Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gary Roberts and Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski.
  • The appointments of Aseret Loveland as a federal TRIO grant counselor in IVCC’s Project Success beginning July 16, Polly Ragazincky as Administrative Assistant III in Academic Affairs, Peggy Schneider as Communications Coordinator and James Black as Programmer/Analyst.
  • The resignation of Administrative Assistant III in Student Services Angela Partridge and Part-Time Emergency Medical Services instructor Alicia Rokosz.