The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District plans to issue $4.69 million in bonds to pay for protection, health and safety projects at its four campuses and other obligations.
IECC trustees adopted a resolution to issue $2.69 million in general obligation community college bonds for PHS work while meeting Tuesday at Lincoln Trail College.
The board has also approved all planned PHS projects and submitted them for approval by the Illinois Community College Board. The ICCB has approved these projects as being eligible for PHS bond issuance.
The IECC trustees also voted to issue $2 million in working cash bonds to cover the district's other needs. A public hearing was held on the bond issuance Oct. 16.
The district's five year Technology Plan also was approved Tuesday. The plan is updated on an annual basis. An information technology committee reviews the IECC technology needs and submits a report to the board.
The plan for fiscal years 2013-17 allocates $540,000 per year for each of the five years for a total investment in technology of $2.7 million through 2017.
Changes proposed for fiscal year 2013 include additional funding for a new learning management system. The current LMS is Angel, which the district is very satisfied with. However, Angel's biggest competitor, Blackboard, has purchased Angel and dramatically increased the cost of that LMS. After a major review, the district has selected Desire2Learn. The decision to purchase D2L is a major undertaking and will require a great deal of consulting and training to implement. Those increased costs are also included in the technology plan.
In addition, the plan reduces the budget for computer replacements due to computer price reductions which allowed the district last year to meet all computer replacement requests at a lesser cost. Further, the plan decreases network and server budgets because the new LMS will allow some offsite use of storage capacity.
The district has been reviewing current policies as the Higher Learning Commission visit, scheduled for spring 2015, approaches. The HLC requires the district to have an academic integrity policy in place. Although academic integrity is enforced by each faculty member, to meet the HLC requirements, a District Academic Integrity Policy was adopted by the board. The Academic Integrity Policy is violated whenever a student obtains unauthorized assistance, gives fraudulent assistance to another student, represents the work of others as his or her own, fabricates data, or uses technology to gain an academic advantage.
The trustees acted to certify that IECC has conducted a biennial review of its drug prevention program and policy and has determined that it is adequately effective in promoting a drug-free campus environment to students, faculty and staff. The district also certified that it will continue to conduct a biennial review of the program's effectiveness, implement needed changes, and ensure that disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.
The biennial review is required by the Drug-Free Schools and Campus Regulations, as set forth in the Education Department of General Administrative Regulations, as a condition of receiving funds or any form of financial assistance under any federal program.
In other business, the board:
Approved a joint agreement for education cooperation was renewed with Lewis and Clark Community College. Under the agreement, the colleges agree to accept students in certain programs that are not offered by their home district.
Approved six affiliation agreements for health-related programs were approved, two for Olney Central College's Phlebotomy Program and four for Frontier Community College's Emergency Response Program.
Approved the 2013 schedule of holidays for full-time staff without change.
Accepted the low bid of $68,919 from T-Graphics, Oblong, for an upgrade to the LTC entrance sign.
The next regular board meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Olney Central College.