Kaskaskia College Makes Several Program & Personnel Cuts Due To State Budget Issues

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The Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees met Monday, January 25 for their regular monthly meeting.

Due to the lack of a state budget, which has resulted in a lack of state funding for the college for nearly eight months, the college is facing severe financial challenges. Officials say the school has had to make significant budget cuts in order to continue operations in the face of many uncertainties.

Based on these financial challenges, the board approved the college to move forward in implementing procedures for Reductions In Force (RIF) for Faculty, Professional/Managerial Staff, and Support Staff. Such procedures include meeting with the Unions representing the affected employees. The Reductions In Force include the following:

Elimination of the Kaskaskia College Adult Education and Literacy Programs, to include all full-time professional/managerial staff and part-time support staff due to the lack of funding from the state for the programs. The college had been paying the expenses for the above programs, with the expectation that state funding would be in place by now to cover such expenses. Due to the current financial crisis, college officials report the school can no longer afford to fund these programs, which are additional expenses, outside of the college’s operating budget.

Elimination of academic programs for Automotive Collision and Industrial Tech and elimination of the full-time Spanish faculty position.

Elimination of the following Professional/Managerial and Support Staff positions: Full-Time Communications Outreach Specialist, Full-Time Instructional Design and Distance Learning Specialist, Full-Time Retention Specialist, Full-Time Enrollment Specialist at Nashville Education Center, three Part-Time Education Center Support Specialists, Part-Time Culinary Services Assistant, Part-Time Business and Industry Support Specialist.

In other personnel actions, the board approved the retirement of David Holshouser, Electronics Instructor at the Centralia Correctional Center; Steve Mandrell, Construction Occupations Instructor at the Centralia Correctional Center; Joan Meredith, Nursing Professor; Kathie Knuf, Nursing Professor; Kent Sickmeyer, Economic Professor; and Virginia Williams, Office Technologies Professor.

The board approved a resolution for the establishment of a line of credit with Midland Bank. The approved line of credit will be $3,500,000 at an interest rate not to exceed the limit authorized in the Illinois Public Community College Act. This money will be used for the purpose of working cash to continue operations in the current fiscal year 2016. Such money would be repaid when state funds are received.

The Board of Trustees approved in November 2015 to move forward with the process to issue bonds in the principal amount of $3,280,000 with First Midstate Inc. serving as Bond Underwriter. Monday night, the board declared its intention to proceed with the issue of Taxable General Obligation Community College Bonds for the purpose of increasing the working cash fund of the district, providing for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest on said bonds, and authorizing the sale of bonds.

Other actions include board approval of a resolution selecting Pepsi Mid-America to provide beverage and snack machine services, and the hiring of Lois Kellermann of Hoffman into a currently vacant Programmer Analyst position. This position is considered essential in order to meet minimum Information Technology staffing requirements.

The Board also approved a resolution for the entire college to be open Monday through Thursday for the summer and all Education Centers will work a four day work week the entire year.