Morthland College ends athletic program

Morthland College ends athletic program


Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:13 PM EDT

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:13 PM EDT

FRANKLIN CO. — Morthland College trustees voted Wednesday to end the school’s athletic program. Former coaches and others say this could signal some very tough times for the college.

Former Morthland College athletic director Reid Cure once had great hope for the school.

“I thought we were growing and heading in a great direction. We were providing a lot of great kids, really good experiences and opportunities to play collegiate sports,” he said.

But he said recent developments at the private college brought him, and at least two others to resign.

“I saw a college going into a different direction that I preferred to see it go,” said Cure.

Wednesday night, Morthland explained its new direction. In a statement, spokesperson Leigh Caldwell said, “the Board of Trustees has made the decision to transition our athletic programs to club programs only”

The vote, made behind closed doors, apparently brings an end to the school’s intercollegiate sports program.

Others contacted by News 3 said they sensed the school had run into financial problems.

The Morthland board’s vote will affect more than 50 athletes, and Cure hopes for the best for them.

“We’re just kind of praying for the best and just keeping the students first and we would love to see the college succeed despite my resignation,” he said.

The school blamed its troubles on “Delays in receipt of government funding having brought a season of hardship on the college.”

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May 17, 2017 at 03:20PM

Morthland College ends athletic program

Yesterday we spent the day in Springfield handing out signed postcards encouraging legislators to support #MAP! Higher education should be accessible to all #MAPMatters

Yesterday we spent the day in Springfield handing out signed postcards encouraging legislators to support #MAP! Higher education should be accessible to all #MAPMatters

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May 10, 2017 at 01:38AM

Yesterday we spent the day in Springfield handing out signed postcards encouraging legislators to support #MAP! Higher education should be accessible to all #MAPMatters

Illinois university to cut jobs, upkeep under budget woes

DEKALB, Ill. — Northern Illinois University officials say cuts and deferred maintenance will be necessary to save money as the school faces a $35 million funding gap from the lack of a state budget.

The Daily Chronicle ( ) reports university President Doug Baker said in an email last month that the school must prepare for a worst-case scenario until the next fiscal year.

He said attrition won’t be enough to support the burden of personnel costs. Some staff members have been notified about how their employment will be affected, and other will hear about their job status this month.

University spokesman Joe King says scheduled repairs that aren’t creating safety problems or affecting operations will be deferred.

Baker says eased support from donors and other revenue generators will be key to closing the gap.


Information from: The Daily Chronicle,

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May 5, 2017 at 04:22AM

Illinois university to cut jobs, upkeep under budget woes

NEIU’s first fundraising campaign goes public

NEIU’s first fundraising campaign goes public

Courtesy of Joe Davis_Northeastern Illinois University

The Vice President for Institutional Advancement Liesl Downey spoke at the Transforming Lives launch fundraising campaign on Apr. 7.

Sarahy Lopez, News Editor

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For the first time in its 150-year anniversary, NEIU launched a fundraising campaign that intends to gather $10 million to support the school and its students.

At almost its second year without a state budget, NEIU publicly announced the campaign on April 7. The goal of the “Transforming Lives” campaign is to keep the university running and ensure a future for students.

The “Transforming Lives” campaign started its silent phase in Jan. 2014

“The Board had been talking about when we were going to have a campaign, and we weren’t quite ready until 2014,” said Liesl Downey, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. The campaign began years prior with the intention to be completed sometime in 2017-18, in honor of the 150th year of the university.

“We’ve been working in the silent phase. What you do during that period is that you approach those nearest and dearest, to which you say ‘We are in the quiet phase of this campaign, would you consider making an investment of x amount of dollars for this priority?” Downey said.

The Transforming Lives campaign has two main initiatives: the Extraordinary Scholarship Support and Exceptional Learning Environments. The Scholarship Support will help students pay for college by funding scholarships, fellowships, research-related travel and internships. Exceptional Learning Environments will assist with endowed funds for NEIU’s departments and programs, provide naming opportunities for buildings and spaces, endowed professorship and research grants.

Downey, who revealed the fundraising campaign on April 7, explained the first ever endowed professorship program which supports faculty, “It is a fairly broad application and we did that intentionally because with this campaign, what we really want to do is to make sure that people are aware of Northeastern and that they’re inspired to make their first contribution. It’s so broad that you can really say you know what? I did graduate from biology, I really want to do something for those professors that meant something for me.”

The initiative “Exceptional Learning Environments” is to ultimately support faculty research and give back to those departments.

The “Scholarship Supports” goal is $6 million, while “Exceptional Learning Environments” intends to raise $4 million, equaling to $10 million. Currently, the campaign has raised over $5 million, well on its way to completion before  the deadline of New Year’s Eve, 2018.

This paved the way to the campaign goal of $10 million with the help of the NEIU Foundation, donors like former Chairman of the Board of Trustees Daniel Goodwin who pledged $2.5 million, administrative staff, faculty, and alumni. Another major contributor is the Class Gift Fund, where graduating seniors from NEIU can make a donation of $20.17 to assist the Class Gift Scholarship.

Downey said they might’ve been “a little conservative” about when they wanted to go public, but their hope was when they reached a certain amount, it would inspire and show others how well on the way the campaign was to its goal. It is general practice to go public once a campaign has reached 40-60% of completion.

“The whole principle is that you see success is already on its way,” Downey stated. “This is how Northeastern transforms lives.”

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April 29, 2017 at 05:11PM

NEIU’s first fundraising campaign goes public

Students part of action day

Sauk Valley Community College nursing student poster winners are (sitting, from left) Raquel Romano, Jesse Pate, and Jacqueline Gross; and (back row) Emily Kitsmiller, Aleena Hammelman, and Vanessa Kitsmiller. The group participated in the March 28 Student Nurse Political Day in Springfield. Photo submitted by Chris Pilling.
Sauk Valley Community College nursing student poster winners are (sitting, from left) Raquel Romano, Jesse Pate, and Jacqueline Gross; and (back row) Emily Kitsmiller, Aleena Hammelman, and Vanessa Kitsmiller. The group participated in the March 28 Student Nurse Political Day in Springfield. Photo submitted by Chris Pilling.

DIXON – A group of 50 students from Sauk Valley Community College Nursing program attended the 19th annual Student Nurse Political Action Day on March 28 in Springfield.

The first-year students won second place at the event in the American Nurses Association-Illinois poster contest. Jacqueline Gross, Aleena Hammelman, Emily Kitsmiller, Vanessa Kitsmiller, Jesse Pate, and Raquel Romano, group created a poster that focused on nurses’ roles in public policy.

Participants explored educational career opportunities, met with legislators, and discussed how current bills affect their futures.

For more information, call the school at 815-835-6354.

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April 28, 2017 at 06:28PM

Students part of action day

Black Hawk College balances budget amid state funding crisis

Black Hawk College Board of Trustees gave first input on the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 on Monday night.
The College’s budget is reliant on a state budget passing in Illinois.
"The state support is vital and critical to Black Hawk College," said Steven J. Frommelt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Board Treasurer. "Even though the state doesn’t have a balanced and passed budget, it is still important to us."
The college can still support itself without a state budget, but the amount the state is giving is half of what it was three years ago.
"You’ve seen a budget presented tonight that has very minimal funding coming from the state of Illinois," said Dr. Bettie Truitt, President of the college. "We’re down to about 11%, counting on about $3.6 million from the state."
That 11% Truitt refers to is the amount of funding the college uses that is state funding. It should serve as 33% of funding of the college, but due to lack of a state budget, it is just 11%. Tuition makes up 51% of Black Hawk’s funds.
The budget for Fiscal Year 2018 is balanced, around $400,000 below budget.
That’s around 1% of the budget, which is a fine line for trustees.
"It seems to me we’re gambling with what state legislators are going to do," said Richard P. Fiems, Vice President of the Board of Trustees. "Up to this point it is consistent of a big fat nothing. I’m still convinced they’re not going to send us any money."
Trustees think that is unlikely, they’re still projecting that they’ll receive $3.6 million, the same they did for Fiscal Year 2017.
But, that is just a projection, they’re hoping for a budget in Springfield so they can secure funding.
"It’s very difficult to run a $34 million dollar budget without any idea what’s coming from the state," Dr. Truitt added.
Monday’s meeting was very early in the college budget process, the budget will not be voted on until the June 22nd meeting.

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April 17, 2017 at 03:15PM

Black Hawk College balances budget amid state funding crisis

Dunn visits SIUE to discuss Illinois budget crisis

SIU President Randy Dunn and SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook addressed a room full of SIUE students, faculty and staff April 30 to answer questions about Dunn’s recent proposal to borrow money from Edwardsville to keep the SIU Carbondale campus operational.

Dunn announced his decision March 29, in his column, “The System Connection,” which also said Carbondale will have to be making around $30 million in cuts. He said Carbondale is projected to be in deficit spending within the next month.

Dunn said he can identify the $30 million worth of cuts Carbondale has to make.

“If I was put in a room and told to do it, I know it can be done,” Dunn said.

Although the campus will definitely have to make millions of dollars in cuts next year assuming a budget will not pass, Edwardsville is in much better shape. The money Carbondale will be borrowing will come from Edwardsville’s unrestricted funds, which Dunn said should not have any impact on the day to day operations of the Edwardsville campus.

Dunn assured the SIUE community that Carbondale will pay back the money. The time frame is not confirmed yet, but Dunn said it depends on whether or not the state provides stopgap funding to the university.

Aside from lack of state funding, Carbondale’s situation has been affected by a lower student enrollment and failure to make proper cuts in the past.

“Even if we come back with a sizable cash infusion on a stopgap, and we get a [2017-18] budget, Carbondale has to go in and do these things anyway,” Dunn said.

Edwardsville, on the other hand, has had increasing enrollment numbers and has made cuts over the past couple of years, putting it in a slightly better position.

The decision did not sit well with some members of the SIUE community, like Institutional Research and Studies Director Phil Brown.

“I find this incredibly demoralizing,” Brown said. “After all these years of SIUE cutting, being efficient and doing more and more with less and less, it’s just hard to face another round of cuts when the impression is Carbondale hasn’t done any of this.”

Dunn said he understands the frustration, and he knows Carbondale will have to make much bigger cuts than the $20 million it has cut over the past two years to deal with the structural budget problem the campus has.

“They have to tackle this structural deficit of having too much program for too few kids. As enrollments dropped over the years at Carbondale, the inventory has not been adjusted with it. In fact, it’s almost been ignored,” Dunn said.

Another concern was brought up by Student Body President Luke Jansen. Since both Dunn and Pembrook’s announcements were only sent out to faculty and staff, Jansen said he was concerned with the lack of communication to the students on campus.

“Students did not receive either of your statements, and that concerns me a lot, considering that we’re talking about student money,” Jansen said during the Q&A.

Pembrook said there has been question about the best way to deliver this kind of information to students in the past, but he can send emails out to students as long as it is effective.

Besides the student communication issue, Jansen said he understands the need for SIUE to help SIUC. He said the schools are like a family, and they need to work together to keep each other going.

“Essentially, it’s not exactly ideal for us. However, this is what part of being in a system of schools is. We’ve got to help each other out,” Jansen said.

The Board of Trustees will address the new proposals at its meeting 10 a.m. Thursday, April 6 in Carbondale.

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April 3, 2017 at 02:44PM

Dunn visits SIUE to discuss Illinois budget crisis