It’s flu vaccine time, even if you’ve had your COVID shots. Here’s what you should know

Amid all the focus on COVID-19 vaccinations, U.S. health experts have another plea: Don’t skip your flu shot.

Here’s the link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

Illinois teachers sue districts over statewide vaccine mandate

Ten teachers in the Metro East who refuse to comply with statewide vaccine and mask mandates are suing their school districts over the policies.

Here’s a link to the story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Abortion rights rallies planned in Chicago, cities nationwide on Saturday

Reproductive rights activists are hosting marches and rallies across Illinois on Saturday to support abortion access nationwide and protest recent restrictions in Texas, which have all but banned the procedure there.

Here’s a link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

Will Illinois lawmakers help the Bears move from Soldier Field? Unlikely

A possible state role in the Chicago Bears’ potential move from the lakefront to the northwest suburbs has yet to be formally discussed, but any request from the team for financial assistance would likely prove a tough sell as Illinois emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and continues to grapple with chronic fiscal ills.

Here’s a link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

RLC Board highlights

Meeting Highlights

Under New Business, the Board:

Approved revisions to Rend Lake College Policy and Procedure 3.1530 – Holidays, second reading, effective September 14, 2021

RATIONALE: June 19th is now recognized as a holiday by the federal government.

Approved Course/Curriculum approvals, effective September 14, 2021

RATIONALE: The requests have been approved by the Curriculum Committee and Academic Council. These course and curriculum changes improve the college’s educational offerings and support efforts to enhance the quality of the institution.

Approved revisions to Rend Lake College Board Policy & Procedure 3.1205 – Performance Evaluation and Tenure of Faculty Members as presented, effective September 14, 2021

RATIONALE: The tenured/tenure track faculty seniority list is updated each February and October as needed and requires Board approvals for revisions.

Approved revisions to Rend Lake College Policy & Procedure 4.1115 – Fees, effective Spring Term 2022

RATIONALE: Rend Lake College Policy & Procedure 4.1115 – Fees need to be updated to better reflect the needs of the college.

Approved the adoption of the FY 2022 Budget as presented at the August 10, 2021 meeting

RATIONALE: Provided as a separate document, the FY 2022 budget was presented in tentative form at the August meeting. As required by law, the proposed budget has been available for public inspection for thirty (30) days. A public hearing on said budget was held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 14.

Approved to accept/determine the 2021 Tax Levy (Payable 2022). The proposed tax levy will be filed in accord with the Truth in Taxation compliance laws.

RATIONALE: The total proposed taxes to be levied for tax year 2021 payable 2022 come to a 1.41 percent increase. Due to the fact that the amount of the proposed corporate and special purpose tax levy is not greater than 105% of the prior year’s levy, Rend Lake College is not required to publish a notice of tax increase and to conduct a Truth in Taxation hearing. President Terry Wilkerson said the college tries to keep property taxes low for members of the community, pointing out that RLC’s revenue sources are 42 percent state, 35 percent tuition and fees, 18 percent local taxes and five percent from other sources.

Approved the transfer of $9.95 million from the Bond & Interest Fund to the Working Cash Fund, retroactive to June 30, 2021, based upon recommendation from auditors, effective Sept. 14.

RATIONALE: During the state financial crisis in 2016-2017, Rend Lake College completed two bond issuances and recorded the proceeds in the Bond & Interest Fund. Since this fund is a restricted purpose fund, the auditors have recommended that the proceeds of these bond issuances be transferred to the Working Cash fund. Institutionally imposed restrictions on the use of these bond proceeds remain unchanged by this transfer.

Approved to transfer an amount not to exceed $600,000 from the Auxiliary Enterprises Fund to the Education Fund retroactive to June 30, 2021

RATIONALE: In FY21, the Auxiliary Enterprises Fund generated a surplus. The surplus—not to exceed $600,000—will be transferred to the Education Fund.

Granted permission to bid to replace the Event Center Lobby roof and existing doors using PHS Levy funds for FY23, effective September 14, 2021.

RATIONALE: The existing roof is in need of replacement based on recent roof inspections. It is showing signs of leaking and roof damage. Windows and doors also need replaced to properly seal the building and improve air quality and controls. This project is expected to exceed the $50,000 limit set by Illinois Community College Board’s guidelines and must be advertised for competitive bids. The Operations and Maintenance Fund does not have sufficient funds to complete this project.

Approved revisions to the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar as presented, effective September 14, 2021.

RATIONALE: Juneteenth has been added to the list of holidays observed. June 19th is now recognized as a holiday by the federal government. The attached calendar fulfills the requirements set forth for Rend Lake College by the Illinois Community College Board, RLC Board policy, and the faculty contract.

Approved the 2022-2023, 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 Academic Calendars as presented, effective September 14, 2021

RATIONALE: The calendars fulfill the requirements set forth for Rend Lake College by both the Illinois Community College Board, RLC Board policy, and the faculty contract.

Approved the Gene “Mr. A” Alexander Resolution, effective September 14, 2021.

RATIONALE: To approve the proposed resolution to honor Gene ‘Mr. A’ Alexander and acknowledge his years of dedication and financial support to Rend Lake College students, effective September 14, 2021. September 22nd, 2021 will be named Mr. A Day in his honor.

Approved the organizational restructure/transition of the administration, staff and support staff of Rend Lake College, as provided, effective September 14, 2021.

This recommendation includes the changes to the organizational chart (Policy & Procedure 1.5000), movement of staff, changes to titles and accompanying job descriptions, including those impacted by these changes.

RATIONALE: As the college moves to the future and extends its efforts to use institutional data for decision making, it is necessary to re-align our administrative structure. The college is placing more emphasis on student success, completion/retention rates, demographics and programmatic development, not just credit hours generated.

Under Personnel, the Board:

Ratified the appointment of Taylor Wilburn as Student Support Services/TRIO Advisor, effective Sept. 1.

RATIONALE: Ms. Wilburn possesses prior work experience, education, and enthusiasm for the Student Support Services/TRIO Advisor position. She holds an Associate in Arts degree from Rend Lake College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She had previously worked as a school-based Mental Health Counselor at the Egyptian Health Department.

Granted permission to create the position and job description as well as advertise for Instructional Design & Assessment Specialist, effective September 14, 2021.

RATIONALE: This position is needed based on the demand for quality distance education, rapidly changing instructional methods, and increased accountability in the assessment of student learning. This includes online, hybrid, remote, blended flex, and hyflex instructional modalities.

Granted permission to create the position and job description, advertise for and ratify the appointment of Human Resources Generalist at the October 19, 2021 board meeting, effective September 14, 2021.

RATIONALE: To effectively handle the workload that exists in Human Resources and to ensure trained back-up is available when needed, it is in the best interest of the institution to create a full-time dedicated position to free up the Director of Human Resources for enhanced administrative duties and reflect the needs of the institution moving forward.

Grant permission to create the position and description, advertise for and ratify the appointment of Shipping & Receiving Technician at the October 19, 2021 board meeting, effective September 14, 2021.

RATIONALE: This position is needed to improve the internal controls of shipping and receiving, as well as, the coordination of special events on campus.
Additional Highlights:

Additional Highlights:

Reports —
An overview of the Community and Corporate Education Division was presented by Dean Margo Wagner
An ICCTA report was given by Trustee John Kabat
A report was heard from RLC Foundation CEO Kay Zibby-Damron
President Terry Wilkerson reported some recent accomplishments by employees: Chad Copple, Associate Vice President of Institutional Outreach, earned a Ph.D. in Global Leadership; Kelsey Page, Assistant Director of the Rend Lake College Foundation, earned an M.B.A.; Alan Fox Sr., Director of Food Services, earned an M.B.A.; and Shari Carpenter, Director of Instructional Design & Assessment, was awarded the Canvas Certified Educator certification from Instructure.

Mark your calendars …

Fun Fest, Wednesday, Sept. 15, Rend Lake College Ina campus, noon to 3 p.m.
Mary & George Slankard LRC Ribbon Cutting, Friday, Sept. 17, Learning Resource Center, 1 p.m.
Mr. A Appreciation Day, Wednesday, Sept. 22, Warrior Way, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Auto Show, Saturday, Oct. 9, Rend Lake College Ina campus.
Faculty/Staff In-Service, Tuesday, Oct. 12, Rend Lake College Theater and/or Zoom
College Fair, Wednesday, Oct. 13, Rend Lake College Waugh Gym, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Criminal Justice Round Up for Scholarships, POSTPONED
RLC Foundation Scholarship Dinner, POSTPONED
Southeast Region Trustee Meeting, Thursday, Nov. 4, John A. Logan College, TBD.

Police arrest Illinois man accused of trying to lure children into his vehicle

Waukegan, Illinois, police have arrested a man accused of trying to lure two female juveniles into his vehicle on Aug. 7.

Here’s a link to the story at Fox News.

Construction continues on RLC Campus

Progress continued on a couple of different construction projects on the Rend Lake College campus.

Here’s a link to the story.

GOP demands Biden administration act after Mayorkas calls border crisis ‘unsustainable’

Top Republicans on Friday called on the Biden administration to act on the crisis at the southern border after leaked audio emerged of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling the situation there “unsustainable.”

Here’s a link to the story at Fox News.

Slain Chicago police Officer Ella French was part of community safety team, often worked by newer cops in city’s toughest neighborhoods By JEREMY GORNER

On the night Chicago police Officer Ella French was shot to death and her partner badly wounded, the two were working on a roving team tasked with patrolling areas around the city prone to spikes in violence and other crime.

Here’s a link to the story at the Chicago Tribune.

Census shows downstate Illinois population decline, sets stage for redistricting

SPRINGFIELD — Downstate Illinois is continuing to hollow out, with U.S. Census data, released Thursday afternoon, confirming the region’s losses as the main driver of the state’s population loss over the past 10 years

Here’s a link to the story at the Southern Illinoisan.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News