College receives major viticulture grant

Heard from Biology Associate Professor Steve Holman that RLC has been selected to participate in a grant project with Missouri State University's Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance. RLC will receive about $500,000 over the next four years as its portion of the grant, which totals about $2.927 million and is funded by the National Science Foundation. Holman said this will allow RLC to offer online courses as part of curricula in both viticulture (the study of grapes and vineyards) and enology (the study of wine and the making of wine). Associate degrees and occupational certificates will be available as part of the project, and classes could begin as soon as this spring.

RLC enrollment sets another record

Heard that RLC was the fastest-growing college in the state, according to information distributed by the Illinois Community College Board. In the 2006-2007 school year, RLC's full-time equivalency rose 7.6 percent, from 2,270 to 2,443. Kennedy-King, which is a member of the City Colleges of Chicago system, actually was up by 14.3 percent, but the Chicago system as a whole was down 0.8 percent.

RN, PN candidates ace NCLEX exams

Heard from RLC Vice President of Instruction Jim Hull that from January to the present, 59 students in RLC's Practical Nursing program have taken the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, and all 59 have passed. All of these students were taking the test for the first time. From January 2007 through June 2007, 25 students took the NCLEX for Registered Nurses for the first time, and 23 passed, resulting in a 92 percent pass rate. From June 2007 to the present, seven more students have tested for the NCLEX-RN and all seven have passed. "This speaks highly of our nursing department and the preparation our students receive," Hull said.

NJCAA Cross-Country Nationals a big success

Heard from RLC President Mark S. Kern that the NJCAA Cross-Country Nationals, which RLC hosted at the Rend Lake Golf Course last Saturday, was a great success. Competitors and spectators from across the country participated, and RLC athletes won national titles in both the men and women's competitions (Ben Cheruiyot and Pasca Cheruiyot). As teams, the men finished fourth and the women finished ninth. Kern credited Men's Coach Brent McLain and Women's Coach Denny Myers for making the event what it was.

Working Cash fund bonds issuance approved

Adopted a resolution providing for the issuance of $1,665,000 in Working Cash fund bonds. The college's current legal debt margin will allow for the issuance of the bonds which will allow the college to better maintain an adequate cash balance to meet normal operational expenditures, according to administrative rationale.

Bids sought for Auto Tech equipment

Granted permission to advertise for bids for an automotive alignment system for the college's Automotive Technology program. The estimated cost of the equipment is $35,000 and will be funded through Perkins Grant funds. The equipment is required for ASE / NATEF accreditation.

No comment during tax levy hearing

Adopted the 2007 tax levy, payable in 2008. The amounts levied for the Corporate and Special Purpose Fund ($2,960,308) and the Debt Service Fund ($1,357,792) amounted to a total increase of 7.36 percent over last year's total (from $4,022,066 in 2006 to $4,318,100 in 2007). No public comment was heard during a Truth in Taxation hearing held prior to the regular board meeting.

No findings in college audit

Heard a report on the annual audit conducted by Clifton Gunderson LLP. The company reported no adverse findings in the audit.

Creedmore becomes RLCF Assistant Director

Appointed Claire Creedmore as Assistant Director of the RLC Foundation effective November 16. Creedmore has a Bachelor's Degree in Arts Administration with a minor in Business from the University of Kentucky, and has previous experience in development for three non-profit organizations.

Cole transferred to grant writing position

Transferred David Cole from the Assistant Director of the RLC Foundation to Resource Development Specialist (Grant Writer) effective Oct. 10. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Greenville College. He has served as President of Southern Illinois Schools Credit Union and Assistant Vice President for South Pointe Bank.

Pytlinski to lead RLCFCC Toddler Room

Employed Robin Pytlinski as Lead Toddler Child Care Provider at the RLC Foundation Children's Center effective Nov. 14. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education with a Primary Teaching Certificate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and has experience as an early childhood special education teacher.

Casey Rhine joins bookstore staff

Appointed Casey Rhine as Assistant Manager of the Bookstore and Copy Center effective Nov. 16. The RLC alumnus currently is working on his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has worked part-time at the bookstore since August and also worked for more than three years at the RLC Golf Outlet.

Mathis becomes Maintenance Supervisor

Appointed David Mathis as a full-time Maintenance Supervisor effective Nov. 16. He holds an Associate in Applied Science Degree from RLC and was a maintenance technician at Continental Tire North America for 22 years.

Nicholas LeMay to assist SBDC

Appointed Nicholas LeMay as Assistant Director of the RLC Small Business Development Center, located at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon, effective Nov. 14. College officials recently learned additional funds would be received from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to operate the SBDC, and a requirement of these additional funds was the hiring of an assistant director. LeMay earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Workforce Development from SIUC and has been both News Director at WDML and Regional Director of News for WMIX since 1999. The board also approved a change to the accompanying job description.

New courses in the works

Approved an updated Culinary Arts Management curriculum and several new courses and authorized their submission to the Illinois Community College Board for action. The courses include two Computer Science courses, six Physical Education courses and 13 Nursing courses.

In other business, the board ...

• Approved on second reading a board policy concerning usage of the college's wireless high-speed Internet service.

• Granted permission to seek bids for the production of the official 2008-2009 Rend Lake College Catalog.

• Approved a comprehensive operating agreement between Rend Lake College and the RLC Foundation. Legal counsel for the college has recommended that RLC and all colleges have such an agreement with their foundations. RLC adopted a similar agreement in 2005.

• Accepted changes to administrative procedures concerning fees and the organizational chart.

• Approved the 2008-2009 Academic Calendar.

Mark your calendars ...

• RLC Foundation Annual Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.

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