Knox raises nearly $15M from alumni, friends

GALESBURG — Knox College ended another strong fundraising year in June, as donors gave almost $15 million to support Knox students, faculty and the academic program during the 2016-17 fiscal year (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017). In total, 7,622 alumni, parents, and friends gave $14.9 million to the college.

This year’s results included a new record for the Knox Fund, or annual operating gifts. Last year’s record of $3,808,585 was surpassed by more than $20,000 for a new record of $3,828,952. The K Club, the official booster club of Knox College athletics, also had a record-breaking year, raising $158,000 to support Knox student-athletes and the athletics program, $30,000 more than last year’s record-breaking $127,000.

“I continue to be inspired by the dedication of the Knox community, whose generosity helped us achieve another record-setting fundraising year,” said Knox College President Teresa Amott. “Growth in the Knox Fund is especially important, as it helps the college support bright, promising students with financial need; ambitious, talented faculty pursuing important research and creative work; and smart, strategic initiatives. In short, it makes a Knox education possible.”

This year’s total fundraising came from 4,223 alumni and 3,399 parents and friends. In addition to the Knox Fund, their support funded:

• $2.5 million for enhancements to the physical campus, including upgrades to the second floor of George Davis Hall, housing the modern languages and political science departments; gifts toward the new Whitcomb Art Center; and the first phase of the renovation of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center;

• $2.8 million to the endowment to support faculty compensation and student experiences; and

• $5.8 million in realized estate gifts in support of scholarships and college operations, including more than $3 million in an endowed fund with annual income to support the new Power of Experience grant, which provides incoming students with $2,000 to fund an experiential learning opportunity during their junior or senior year.

The majority of the almost $15 million is in support of Above & Beyond: Initiatives for Knox, a series of fundraising projects and priorities that build on Knox’s historic strengths and invest in the college’s future. Since 2011, the Above & Beyond initiatives have received gifts totaling $12.6 million for Alumni Hall; $8.2 million for the Whitcomb Art Center, which opened for classes in January 2017; $3 million to support the first phase of renovations to the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center, and $57 million in support of faculty and students and other campus facilities. In total, Above & Beyond has raised more than $80 million to date.

“The Knox campus has been transformed over the past three years with the revitalization of Alumni Hall and the opening of a new academic building, the Whitcomb Art Center. The campus looks amazing,” said Beverly Holmes, vice president for advancement. “It is also gratifying to see the tremendous support for our students through gifts for scholarships, experiences both on- and off-campus, improved facilities for our student-athletes, and support for a new position in the Bastian Family Career Center to secure internships for our students around the country and the world.”

In recent years, private gift support has surpassed endowment income to become Knox’s second largest source of income after tuition. As of March 31, 2017, Knox’s endowment stood at $140 million.

“When I speak with alumni and parents, it’s clear that we’re all concerned about making sure a Knox education remains relevant and affordable for our current and future students. That takes an investment in faculty, facilities, and scholarships and financial aid,” added President Amott. “Our alumni, parents, and friends continue to make those investments in our prairie college, and for that, I am extremely thankful.”

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July 24, 2017 at 06:43PM

Knox raises nearly $15M from alumni, friends

New state budget gives IVCC some stability

Illinois Valley Community College has a clearer view of the future, thanks in part to a newly-passed state budget.

Jerry Corcoran, IVCC president, reported Thursday to the Board of Trustees the new state budget brings stability and predictability to the table through providing supplemental funding as the college closes out FY2017. The state budget also gives the college a firmer idea of the finances they will receive, despite FY2018 appropriations being down 10 percent. Corcoran thanked Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema for “guidance through very difficult times.”
With this knowledge, the board later approved a tentative FY2018 budget of more than $31 million with the Trustee David Mallery being the sole trustee in opposition of the tentative budget.
Mallery spoke during the public comment period, asking trustees to keep taxpayers in mind when voting on the budget.
“The proverbial Christmas came early right in the middle of this budget process. Well over 2.5 million of unplanned, unbudgeted commitments just showed up,” Mallery said. “Unfortunately, the reality is that the new money is flowing from the common person’s pocket directly in the college’s pocket.”
Mallery asked fellow trustees to consider some “relief” for taxpayers and students by asking for the rate of additional tax be reduced and the increase in $6 per credit hour be postponed.
Mallery suggested the action could be a marketing opportunity to drawn in more students.
President of American Federation of Teachers Local 1810 Steve Alvin responded to Mallery’s statement during the public comment session.
Alvin said that the money being released to community colleges was not “suddenly coming out of pocket.”
“This is money that was due IVCC, it was due higher education. The passing of the budget gave an appropriation that allowed that money to be released,” Alvin said. “It’s not anything like suddenly more money is being taken away from the taxpayer. This is money that has already been collected.”
Alvin stated that the college’s needs must also be kept in consideration with FY2018 appropriations being down 10 percent and with no guarantee the college will get everything promised for FY2017.
“We’re already down in headcount for full time faculty by a significant number,” Alvin said. “The inability of the college to hire the faculty to maintain all the courses you want in order to keep enrollment is a real issue and simply by stating we’re going to return tax money is a disservice to the college.”
No further discussion came from any trustee member prior to passing the tentative budget during the meeting with Mallery’s dissenting vote.

In other business, the board approved:

• The appointment of Bonnie Campbell as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs until Deborah Anderson returns from temporary leave.

• The appointment of Maddalena Alfano, nursing instructor, at an annualized salary of $48,307 effective Aug. 14. Alfano was recommended for employment due to their previous work experience and passion for teaching.

• Renaming the CTC 124/125 rooms as the Ralph Scriba Conference Center. Scriba, a 1951 L-P-O Junior College alumnus, recent donations to the IVCC Foundation in support of the agriculture program as well as his previous donations qualified him for a new recognition based on the college’s naming rights policy.

• An intergovernmental agreement between Lake Land College and Illinois Valley Community College to allow Lake Land College to continue offering programs at Sheridan Correctional Center, which is located within IVCC’s district.

• An intergovernmental agreement with the city of Streator for two new TIF districts.

• Accepting the renewal from Guarantee Trust Life for student athletic insurance coverage with 1st Agency at $35,460, 10 percent less than last year, as well as the renewal from Axis Insurance for the student athletic catastrophic insurance coverage with Ramza Insurance Group at $3,251.

• A contract with United Graphics of Mattoon for the printing and mailing of the Enrollment Driver magazine for $10,430. The magazine would target 29,000 individuals in the district from ages 20 to 40 and will be sent to workers at district manufacturers that offer tuition reimbursement. The 16-page magazine will be mailed By Nov. 1 for spring registration.

• A five-year contract with Blackboard for software, managed hosting and additional storage capacity at $76,384.

 Seeking proposals for a content management system to redesign the college’s website.

• Diane Lane, IVCC programmer/analyst, was appointed as an administrative systems lead.

• Part-time English instructor and writing tutor Zachariah Forkner, part-time English instructor Kelsey Forkner and library technician Jayna Leipart Guttilla gave notices of resignations.

• A total of 17 LPN graduates will be pinned at a 5 p.m. Monday, July 24 ceremony in the gym.

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July 13, 2017 at 10:51PM

New state budget gives IVCC some stability

Study finds pay for public college presidents up 5.3 percent

Presidents of U.S. public colleges and universities saw their earnings climb by 5.3 percent last year, with several of them topping $1 million, according to an annual survey.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s study of more than 150 college presidents found that their average annual pay increased in fiscal year 2016 to $501,000.

Among the top earners were eight public university presidents whose total compensation exceeded $1 million, up from five the year before, the study found. Most of them come from the nation’s largest schools and university systems.

Topping the Chronicle’s salary ranking was Arizona State University’s president, Michael Crow, who received almost $1.6 million last year. Along with a base salary of $838,000, he received an annual bonus of $150,000 and a 10-year retention bonus of $550,000 paid by the university’s private foundation.

Arizona State officials noted that Crow’s retention bonus was a one-time payment and that he was eligible for an additional $900,000 that instead went to the university’s Public Service Academy.

The Arizona Board of Regents, the governing body of Arizona State, called Crow “a remarkable leader of the highest caliber” and said he has boosted student success and the state’s economy.

“Under President Crow’s leadership, the four-year graduation rate for Arizona residents has nearly doubled since 2002 and research expenditures are on a strong trajectory of growth, having nearly quadrupled during the same time,” board vice chair Bill Ridenour said by email.

Following Crow were the chancellor of the University of Texas System, William McRaven, and the chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, John Sharp.

The survey found that two presidents received base salaries of $1 million or more last year, a threshold that had no public university chief had previously crossed in the study’s history.

McRaven’s $1.5 million pay package included a base salary of $1.2 million, and the president of Texas A&M’s College Station campus, Michael Young, was paid $1 million that was entirely base pay. The previous highest salary was $851,000, given by Ohio State University in 2013.

The chairman of the University of Texas System’s governing board, Paul Foster, said McRaven’s pay is “reasonable and justified” and comes from private donations.

“Our Chancellor is essentially the CEO of one of the largest and most complex organizations in the state of Texas and one of the largest systems of higher education in the country,” Foster said in a statement. “He is well recognized as a great leader and manager, and in my opinion, earns every cent.”

The Chronicle changed its methodology for total compensation in this year’s survey to include nontaxable benefits such as medical insurance and legal services. Using its previous formula, it found that pay for public university presidents increased 4.3 percent in 2015 and 7 percent in 2014.

Public university executives are typically paid less than their counterparts at private universities, whose salaries are gathered separately by The Chronicle. According to the latest study of private colleges, which used data from 2014, almost 40 colleges paid their chiefs at least $1 million, led by $5.4 million at Wilmington University in Delaware.

Colleges of all types have faced pressure to rein in spending in recent years as costs for students continue to rise, and some critics say salaries and benefits for presidents have become lavish. Many colleges counter that they have to pay competitively to hire quality leaders and that even the highest salaries are only a small fraction of overall budgets.

Binkley reported from Boston.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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June 27, 2017 at 11:59PM

Study finds pay for public college presidents up 5.3 percent

Black Hawk College president retiring at end of 2017

MOLINE, Ill. — The president of a community college in western Illinois is planning to retire after nearly 30 years in various positons at the school.

Black Hawk College President Bettie Truitt says she’ll step down at the end of 2017 from the office she’s held since 2014.

Truitt tells The Moline Dispatch ( ) that the greatest challenge during her presidency has been dealing with funding issue during the state’s ongoing budget impasse.

Truitt started at Black Hawk in 1989 as a mathematics instructor. She became the dean of instruction and academic support in 2007 and was promoted to vice president for instruction in 2012.

College officials say they are working on a timeline for selecting a new president.


Information from: The Dispatch – The Rock Island Argus,

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June 24, 2017 at 03:18PM

Black Hawk College president retiring at end of 2017

President’s Retirement Ends 30 Years With Black Hawk College

The president of Black Hawk College is retiring after nearly 30 years with the school.

That means the college will have to come up with a plan to find a new leader by the end of year, as it also tries to cope with the state budget impasse.

Under Bettie Truitt’s leadership the college has had to raise tuition and layoff staff as a result of the budget impasse.

Board of Trustees Chair Rick Fiems says Truitt will help the college pick a new president before she retires in December.

He’s confident it’ll be a smooth transition, but says Truitt’s retirement is devastating. 

“She has done a terrific job guiding the college through some very, very tough times,” he said. “Especially with the way things are going in Springfield right now and their inability to pass a budget, we’ve had to make some very serious and long-lasting adjustments and Dr. Truitt has been there at the helm taking care of things and guiding the college through this mess and she has done an absolutely fantastic job.”

She has served as president of the college since 2014, and spent her entire professional career in faculty and administrative roles at Black Hawk. 

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June 23, 2017 at 01:33PM

President’s Retirement Ends 30 Years With Black Hawk College

Southeastern Illinois College receives $2.5M donation

Southeastern Illinois College receives $2.5M donation


Thursday, June 22, 2017 10:52 PM EDT

Thursday, June 22, 2017 10:52 PM EDT

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) – Southeastern Illinois College has received a $2.5 million donation for a new art museum on its Harrisburg campus.

SIC President Jonah Rice announced the contribution from Retired Air Force Colonel William Hise and the estate of his late twin brother, Air Force Brigadier General James Hise, on Thursday.

The money will fund a regional art museum in honor of the Hise brothers’ sister, Ella Elizabeth Hise. She was a longtime teacher and art supervisor for Harrisburg Public Schools.

Rice says the donation is “beyond measure and expectations.” He says it’s a contribution “to the entire region we serve.”

Construction of the Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art is scheduled to begin later this year. The museum will be devoted to the study and collection of regional art.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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June 22, 2017 at 09:54PM

Southeastern Illinois College receives $2.5M donation