1,776 IVCC students received relief funds this spring

Students who received refund checks were nearly 80% in fall, over 97% in the spring

Financial Aid Director Eric Johnson (left) and compliance specialist Miguel Hermosillo (far right)  presented an update to the Illinois Valley Community College board Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Illinois Valley Community College Financial Aid Director Eric Johnson said 1,776 students received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds this spring and more than 800 of those students also received financial aid.

“The percentage of students who fulfilled their tuition and fee obligations and subsequently received a refund check was nearly 80% in fall and over 97% in spring,” Johnson said.

Last fall and spring, 2,653 students received $6.7 million in Pell, MAP, loans, veteran benefits and IVCC Foundation scholarships. In fiscal 2021, 3,460 students received $8.3 million.

“Our office is helping make higher education more accessible to students and families,” Johnson said.

In other business, trustees approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement with 74 faculty represented by the American Federation of Teachers Local 1810.

The contract for full-time teachers and counselors provides increases ranging from 3.5 to 4.25%, professional development, early retirement and health incentives and more opportunities for counselors to serve during peak demand periods.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran credited the negotiating teams for reaching agreements before the existing CBAs expire June 30. Last month, trustees approved a five-year CBA with SEIU Local 138 representing 16 members of the maintenance and custodial staff.

In addition, compensation for 256 employees “not affected by a negotiated labor agreement” was approved. The group, made up primarily of support staff and administrators, will receive 4% increases. Special adjustments were made for several individuals.

“To remain competitive and provide a sustainable wage, it was determined about 30 individuals warranted adjustments,” said Vice President for Business Services and Finance Matt Seaton.

In other action, board members approved submission of three projects totaling more than $14 million to the state’s Community College Capital Resource Allocation Management Program (RAMP) including:

  • A Library/Student Success Center for $6.5 million (IVCC’s share is $1.6 million). The Center will include tutoring, student help desk and library services.
  • Nursing program expansion – including a simulation lab in B201 – for nearly $2.7 million; IVCC’s share is $674,800.
  • A $5.2 million Agriculture Center (IVCC’s share is $1.3 million) to house a classroom and lab.

Trustees also approved:

  • Appointment of Anna Bruch as interim director of nursing. Bruch began teaching nursing at IVCC in August 2000.
Illinois Valley Community College nursing instructor Anna Bruch was appointed interim director of nursing Thursday, June 9, 2022.
  • Hiring Justin Denton as Director of Information Technology Services effective June 20. Denton is Senior Director of IT Support Services at College is Education in Oak Brook and formerly program chair and interim dean for Rasmussen College’s School of Technology – also in Oak Brook. He worked earlier at Centrue Bank in Streator in IT infrastructure.
  • Hiring agriculture instructor Dr. Jennifer Timmers. Timmers earned a Ph.D. in agronomy from the University of Florida and a master’s in agriculture from Western Kentucky University.
Newly hired Illinois Valley Community College agriculture instructor Jennifer Timmers
  • The resignation of Promise K. Yong, chemistry instructor since 2008.A native of Cameroon, “PK” was IVCC’s commencement speaker in 2021 and co-winner of the Stephen Charry Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017. IVCC alumnus Devanshi Patel, who graduated in May from Northern Illinois University with a degree in biochemistry said, “Dr. Yong’s organic chemistry course set me up for success at NIU. He was one of the best professors I’ve ever had.”
  • Placing the “Leadership Elevation Framework” certificate on inactive status.
  • Authorization to continue payment for standard operating expenditures from July 1 through budget adoption.
  • A three-year, rolling contract for President Jerry Corcoran.
  • Contracts for Seaton, Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary Roberts and Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski.
  • Insurance renewals of nearly $220,000, a 10.3% increase over the previous year.
  • Upgrading the phone system with Burwood Group for nearly $130,000 plus $2,885 a month over three years. The HEERF-funded system is cloud-hosted; each office will receive new phones. 
  • A $35,000 Lifepak Cardiac Monitor for the EMS program from Stryker Sales of Portage, Mich.
  • Mechanical upgrades totaling $335,500 from Dodson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning of Pontiac.
  • A Dell server for $241,000 paid for through HEERF.
  • Approval of closed session minutes from May 12.

Trustees learned:

  • A moment of silence was held for Patrick Solon of Streator who died May 16 of ALS. Solon was a brother of board chair Everett Solon.
  • Overall GPA for student athletes was 3.02 this spring: 3.2 for women and 2.89 for men.
  • There were 372 spring graduates earning 477 degrees and certificates compared to 420 graduates earning 520 degrees and certificates in spring 2021. 
  • Utility assistant Diane Bishop retired May 12 after 16 years. “I truly enjoyed the variety of assignments as I worked in many different areas. I always thought I had the best job at the college,” Bishop said in her retirement letter.
  • Accounting clerk Maryann Kettman resigned May 20. “I am grateful for everything I have learned but will mostly miss the many friends I made here,” Kettman said.
  • Golf coach Sean Kennedy resigned May 26 and part-time CNA instructor Kathy Jakubek also resigned. Adjunct sociology instructor Christine Dove resigned May 19 after 15 years of full- and part-time teaching at IVCC.
  • Corcoran received a card from Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Zens and Chamber Operations/Membership director Penny Volkert recognizing IVCC’s 48 years of IVAC membership. “Looking forward to working together to serve our communities for years to come. Go Eagles! –Bill and Penny.