College recipient of two USDA grants

** Rend Lake College will receive $105,875 as its portion of a $388,700 USDA Distance Learning and Telecommunications (DLT) Grant, which was written as a consortium through the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market (SICCM). Rend Lake College's portion will update two on-campus Distance Learning classrooms as well as those at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon, RLC Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus and distance learning classrooms at Mt. Vernon, Waltonville, Sesser-Valier, Wayne City, Benton, Thompsonville and Pinckneyville high schools.

** With support from local salon owners to hire new cosmetology graduates, the college is in line to receive $50,000 for the purchase of equipment for the new Cosmetology program at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon through a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).

RLC Board adopts 2003 tax levy

Adopted the 2003 tax levy (payable 2004). The Corporate and Special Purposes levy was set at an estimated $2,454,464, an increase of 4.99 percent over last year. At a projected $1,312,909, the debt service levy reflects a 10.14 percent increase. A Truth in Taxation hearing is not required since the Corporate/Special Purpose levy is not greater than 105 percent of the prior year’s levy.

Plans for Applied Tech Center expand

Changed the scope of the expansion of the Career and Applied Technology Center to increase the type and amount of square footage involved and to guarantee funding for the change. The scope of this Capital Development Board project was changed from a 14,800-square-foot addition to the Vocational Building to 18,100 for a stand-alone building. The building change ($150,855) and inclusion of alternate bids for a 4,416-square-foot addition and a paved parking lot bring the total project increase to an estimated $720,837.

Financially speaking . . .

** Adopted a resolution to issue $1.5 million in Community College Bonds, Series 2003E, and for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest on said bonds. Also adopted a resolution to execute an Escrow Agreement to complete the transaction.

** Approved the transfer of $1,311,909.46 from the Working Cash Fund to the Bond and Interest Fund.

British study courses submitted to ICCB

Approved two new courses -- Modern Britain and British History -- and authorized their submission to the Illinois Community College Board for action.

Power Alley, Inc. to manage The Hitting Zone

Ratified a contract between RLC and Power Alley, Inc. for the operation of The Hitting Zone. Power Alley currently operates a similar operation in Harrisburg. Warrior Baseball Coach Bob Simpson will remain the primary instructor under this arrangement.

In other business, the Board . . .

** Granted permission to seek bids for the production of the official 2004-2005 RLC catalog.

** Approved a policy establishing procedures for clubs, organizations and individuals to inform students and staff of events and to allow for full access to the bulletin boards.

Upcoming events to keep in mind . . .

** The 2003 Sports Hall of Fame Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, October 18, in the RLC Student Center.

** The RLC Scholarship Dinner is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, October 23, at the Rend Lake Resort Conference Center.

** The RLC Theatre will present "It's a Wonderful Life" at 7 p.m. November 6, 7 and 8 and at 2 p.m. November 9.

** The second annual Student Art Exhibition opens from 7-9 p.m. Friday, November 14, in the RLC Theatre.

** The RLC Foundation Annual Dinner will be held Thursday, December 4, 6:30 p.m. at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.

Mary Roe retiring after 16 years with college

Accepted with regret the retirement notice and resignation of Mary Roe, Vice President of Student Services, effective June 30, 2004. Roe served in Student Services for 16 years. "To be a part of a college that values the student has truly been a great experience," Roe wrote in her retirement letter. She has been responsible for the reorganization of student services "to enhance the recruitment, retention and persistence to graduation, work or transfer of our students." "While other colleges may share a similar mission as ours in educating students, the people involved are the backbone that distinguishes one institution from another. The Rend Lake College family deserves its reputation of being professional in work, caring of students’ welfare and responsive to staff members’ needs."

Don Lynch retiring as Advanced Tech Prof

Accepted with regret the retirement/resignation of Don Lynch, Advanced Technology Center Professor. Lynch will have been with the college 25 years when his resignation becomes effective May 31, 2004. His request was contingent on the Board paying $29,5809 (less any applicable payroll liability) for the purchase of prior military service credit and $10,788.80 for the purchase of unused sick days.

Three full-time appointments approved

** Georgia Lambert was employed as a temporary, full-time Practical Nursing instructor, effective January 12, 2004. The RLC graduate has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from McKendree College and has been a part-time instructor for the college since January 2002.

** Rodney A. Summers, was hired as a Truck Driver Training instructor on a full-time, tenure-track, industrial contract, effective October 15. Summers previously worked for Shawnee Express Inc., Specialty Machine and Tool and Mark Ford Trucking.

** Mike McKee was named Youth Enhancement Services Program Coordinator. This new position and accompanying job description were approved as well. McKee has taught part-time for the college the past 1 1/2 years and was a substitute teacher in Jefferson County during the 2001-02 school year.

Additional resignations accepted from four . . .

** Accepted the resignation of Sarah Bilderbeck as Assistant to the Dean of Instruction, effective January 12. She was hired last month as an Office Systems Technology Instructor starting Spring Semester.

** Joseph Henry Rust, Speech Professor. The Board also approved a Separation Agreement with Rust.

** Stacy Tessone, Director of the Rend Lake College Foundation Children's Center.

** Virginia Chinn, Even Start Family Coordinator. The board granted permission to advertise and fill the vacancy; the position will be advertised at $25,000 per year.

Other personnel-related matters . . .

** Granted tenure to Counselor Annette Braden, who is completing her third year as a full-time member of the Counseling Center staff. Her tenure goes into effect February 16, 2004.

** Granted permission to allow all certified security personnel to carry weapons "for both the protection of our security staff and all students, staff and visitors who may be on campus grounds," according to administrative rationale provided. Salaries for five security employees was approved at $28,000 for the current academic year.

** Adopted use of federal per diem rates for lodging and meals established by the General Services Administration for the period of October 1, 2003- September 30, 2004.

** Approved adding a $2,000 stipend for the Youth Music Coordinator. Music Associate Professor Julie Wilkerson will soon be introducing a Kindermusik Program within the district, providing "after-school" activities at district K-12 schools and providing "Music Box" activities for area Pre-K programs.

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