Kaskaskia College offers multi-year Vice President contracts for the first time; reviews tentative budget

August 29, 2023

Centralia, Ill. - The Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting on Monday, August 28, 2023. Board members included Bill Hawley (Odin), Linda Stover (Centralia), Bryan Holthaus (Carlyle), Louis Kalert (Centralia), Jim Beasley (Centralia), Craig Finke (Nashville), and Madison Johnson (Student Trustee). Laura Wedekemper (Shattuc) was absent. 

For the first time, new multi-year contracts and title changes were approved for the college’s senior leadership team, including George Kriss as CIO-Vice President of Institutional Support & Technology, Julie Obermark as Provost – Vice President of Instructional Services, Judy Hemker as Vice President of Administrative Services, and Amy Zanton as Vice President of Student Services. The contracts will run through 2025. 

“This is the first time Kaskaskia College and the board of trustees has offered any vice presidents multi-year contracts,” stated President George Evans. “It shows the vote of confidence in this team and how each gives it their all for this college. I’m proud to work with them.”

According to a recent report from Vice President of Administrative Services Judy Hemker to the KC Board of Trustees, the college remains fiscally sound and continues to be a good steward of taxpayers' money.  Hemker presented the proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2024 for consideration to the board on Monday night. 

“For the fiscal year 2023, which ended June 30, 2023, we anticipate an excess of operating revenue over expenditures of approximately $2 million,” stated Hemker. “This is a significant improvement over our budgeted results, which anticipated an operating loss of about $500,000. I am pleased with the positive results and look forward to how KC will continue to serve our community.”

Hemker explained that the college’s conservative budgeting and improvements in several areas, many of which were unforeseen, led to improved operating results.  Some major variances include:
•    Revenue exceeded budget by $1.3 million due to investment revenue as interest rates improved, and corporate personal property replacement tax exceeding that state’s expectations by $625,000.
•    Reduced expenditures of $1 million by keeping other expenses and transfers under budget, plus savings from open positions’ salaries. 

“Looking forward to fiscal year 2024, KC is confidently staying true to its conservative approach to budgeting,” explained Hemker. “While we expect to earn $29,210,000 in revenue and expenses are set to reach $30,200,000 in the next budget year, our current operating performance from prior years provides ample reserves to address any potential inadequacy.”

Hemker stated that the college’s budget officers continue to be fiscally responsible and prioritize requests that align with KC’s core mission and strategic plans. “Our approach will ensure that we maintain our strong financial standing and continue to provide our students the best possible education and resources,” said Hemker. 

The tentative fiscal year 2024 budget (effective July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024) will be on display for public review Monday-Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the office of the Vice President of Administrative Services, Lifelong Learning Center, Room LC 10, 27210 College Road, Centralia, IL 62801 through September 22, 2023. 

The budget will also be available on the Kaskaskia College website:  https://www.kaskaskia.edu/about-kc/consumer-information/. A public budget hearing will be held as to the tentative budget of Kaskaskia College, Community College District No. 501 for Fiscal Year 2023- 2024 on September 25, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. before the regular board meeting at the Kaskaskia College Greenville Education Center, 209 North 3rd Street, Greenville, Illinois. 

Trustees passed a resolution in support of President Evans writing a letter of support to the state legislature for the City of Trenton’s request to extend the term of the Trenton Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Redevelopment project from expiring in 2025 to 2035. The original TIF was adopted in 2002 to assist with redevelopment efforts and retain jobs within the community. The City of Trenton is considering a major upgrade to its water infrastructure and increasing safety in downtown areas. 

The board also approved the following purchases:
•    Electric stand-up forklift from Crown Lift Trucks of Evansville, IN, for $50,000 with funds from the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) Grant. The electric stand-up forklift truck will be used throughout the college district for instructional and training purposes.
•    New project furniture for the AD, ST, ST Annex, and FA renovation projects, in the amounts of $17,630.76 to Louer Facility Planning, Inc. of Collinsville; $47,154.19 to CI Select of St. Louis, MO; $35,447.97 to KI of Green Bay, WI, for a total of $100,232.92. 
•    Renewal of the Microsoft Campus License Agreement for $26,504 to CDWG of Chicago, IL. 

In personnel items, the board approved the request to transition Rachel Hartmann from the ACE Library Specialist position to a newly restructured ACE Library and Student Success Specialist Position. David Miller was hired as the new WEI Workforce Partnership Coordinator, and Rayne Niederhofer was hired as a new Accounts Receivable Specialist. 

Resignations included Stephen Durbin (Paramedicine Coordinator), Paige Reese (Student Success Coach), Denise VanFleet (Associate Professor of Health Information Technology), and Chane Lyons (Buildings and Grounds Technician). Julie Littrell (Professor of Biology) submitted her letter of intent to retire in August 2024. 

The board also approved a new Assistant Professor of Psychology position. 

Kaskaskia College is a public community college in Centralia, Illinois, within South Central Illinois District 501, serving all or part of nine counties, including Bond, Clinton, Fayette, Marion, Washington, Jefferson, St. Clair, Madison, and Montgomery. Committed to making education accessible, they host the Centralia Crisp Technology Center and have education centers in Greenville, Nashville, Salem, Trenton, and Vandalia, Illinois. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the college, which offers a broad spectrum of degrees, programs, and certification options, specializing in 2-year associate degrees and trade school programs. Founded in 1940, Kaskaskia College was the first Class I Community College established in Illinois.

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