CARTERVILLE -- The makeup of the John A Logan College Board of Trustees officially changed Tuesday as two new members started their terms and two long-serving members left.
Chairman Don Brewer addressed the attendees before handing the meeting over to President Ron House, who seated the new members.
"This institution has been a savior for my family," he said, explaining that his wife, daughter and son attended the college and that his granddaughter is currently attending. "My twelve years as a board chariman have been a great honor. I will miss some great friends I've made here."
He also addressed the recent faculty cuts, saying that the list of those being let go was compiled by the administration as advised by legal counsel, and was based on longevity, seniority and the ability to teach certain classes.
He also said that there were no "bad guy lists" of people who lost their jobs because they were targeted and that of the 55 people left unemployed by the cuts, only about a dozen remain unemployed.
"We went from being called the crown jewel of community colleges in Southern Illinois to not being sure we could keep the doors open," he said. "The board had a lot of sleepless nights over what we had to do. That was truly terrible, and I hope the college never has to go through that again."
Brewer and Trustee Jaclyn Hancock were honored with plaques in a brief ceremony. Brewer also received a framed photo of him taken in 1976 as he was shaking hands with then President Gerald Ford who was visiting the campus. Brewer has been a board member for 44 years.
After the ceremony, House presided over the meeting as Becky Borgsmiller and Mandy Little were seated as new trustees. They were elected on April 4.
Incumbent Bill Kilquist was elected by the board as chairman, getting just one more vote than trustee Ray Hancock. Jake Rendlemen will serve as secretary. New student trustee Timothy McDaniel was also welcomed by the new chairman and the board.
Board may eliminate some committees
Trustees spent some time discussing the number of board committees and the process by which they bring recommendations to the board.
Kilquist said that he believed there were too many committees and that some could easily be combined or eliminated altogether.
Borgsmiller said that her concern was that many of these issues discussed in committee should be discussed by the whole board.
"I'm concerned about transparency and accountability," she said.
Trustee Glenn Poshard said that discussion did take place when committees make recommendations, but before they are voted on.
"I don't know how we can change our process to make it more open," he said.
Hancock agreed with Kilquist that there are too many committees.
"We've had as many as 18," he said. "Often when those committee members bring recommendations to the board, the trustees don't really know what's going on."
Hancock said that there needed to be more discussion about the board committees and how the board handles what's coming out of those committees.
Poshard argued that the board should not change the structure when it's working well.
"If trustees are not sure of the issue or particulars when committee recommendations are presented, we should just table that discussion until the next meeting, so all trustees have an opportunity to study the issue at hand."
Brewer agreed to table the discussion about committees until next month's meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. on May 22 at the college's administration building.