SIC Board focuses on nursing, remedial skills, trustee training, frugal funding
A Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) board meeting earlier this month in Harrisburg yielded several key decisions for SIC with varied consequences affecting course syllabi, training, funding and more.
Following a five-year study, it was announced, SIC ranks as third best for an associate nursing degree statewide, behind only McHenry County College in Crystal Lake and Harper College in Palatine. The study was spurred by Illinois nursing professionals’ debate over proposed mandates, Gina Sirach, SIC executive dean of academic services, said.
“While we are not against their ideas, we are opposed to a legislated mandate that would … implement certain requirements with many associated costs during a time of fiscal crisis,” Sirach said.“We have a long history of success with both of our nursing programs without such mandates.”
Addressing basic skills remediation, VP for academic affairs Karen Weiss reported progress in creating alternative learning modules; the board also learned about the state’s new trustee training laws. Trustee Frank Barbre confirmed that the board has already implemented training on finance, ethics and trusteeship at SIC.
The state’s fiscal crisis resulted in many community colleges falling short of financial goals; SIC president Jonah Rice said the university is covering “the state’s tab,” with the university having received only about one third of its needed capital from Springfield.
“Reserves don’t last forever, so the state must end this game of chicken soon,” Rice said. “There are no other good options than to fix the problem sooner than later.”
In other news, a new student food bank is in the works.
The board’s next meeting is slated for 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the campus’ Harry Abell administration building, at which a public hearing on the 2016-17 budget is scheduled.