At its Nov. 15 meeting, the College of Lake County Board of Trustees heard a report on the CLC Foundation's successful fundraising work in support of students.
Karen L. Schmidt, Foundation executive director, reported that the Foundation is providing $1.3 million for scholarships and grants to the college to award in FY2017, up from the $1.2 million provided last year. Schmidt said the Foundation raised nearly $1.4 million in FY2016 and has an endowment balance of $1.4 million. By 2020, the Foundation's goal is to raise $1 million per year to fund scholarships and increase its endowment to $2 million.
Board Chair Dr. William M. Griffin said he was impressed with the student scholarship winners who spoke at the Foundation's recent Scholarship Gala. "When students speak up to show their gratitude for the scholarship money raised, it's a highlight of the event. These students' stories are a testimonial to the excellent education CLC provides." The gala raised over $220,000.
"We have put a greater focus on major and planned giving, and our Foundation Board has been quite successful," Schmidt said. "Of the nearly $1.4 million raised in FY2016, about 40 percent came from traditional sources such as our Gala, Golf Outing and employee campaign, while nearly 60 percent came from major gifts and foundations. I'd like to give kudos to the many Foundation board members who assisted the Foundation staff, CLC administrators and President Jerry Weber in cultivating new major gifts. Our efforts are really starting to blossom," she said.
As of Oct. 31, the college has received one payment of $3,370,454 for the credit hour grant from the Illinois Community College Board for the fiscal year, 52 percent of the budgeted revenue. The payment reflects 100 percent of the credit hour grant funds appropriated in the state's 2017 stop-gap budget. The state has not yet passed a budget for the second half of FY 2017.
Dr. Sean Hogan, executive director, Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research, reported on sustainability initiatives and success over the past five years. From FY2014 to FY2016, the college has reduced energy use by 18 percent, saving $235,258.
Greenhouse gas emissions were reduced 17 percent (825 metric tons) by using solar panels to warm water, a geothermal heating and cooling system and high efficiency electrical fixtures (LED lighting). CLC received a $140,000 grant from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to add bioswales (landscaping features in parking lots) to reduce erosion and manage the flow of storm water and snow run off into Willow Lake on the Grayslake Campus.
President Jerry Weber announced that the college recently received a 2016 Green Genome Award from the American Association of Community Colleges. The award recognizes the college's strategy to unify all green and sustainable initiatives under a Sustainability Guiding Coalition that evaluates and encourages sustainability into the campus, curriculum and community The $10,000 award will allow CLC to develop a sustainability trail, scheduled to open in spring 2018.
Tax levy approved
The board approved an aggregate tax levy of $69.7 million for the 2016 tax year, a 4.7 percent increase over 2015. The tax rate for capped funds will be approximately 31 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. The Lake County Clerk will determine the actual amount of taxes to be extended on the 2016 levy after applying the tax cap formula, including adding new property to the tax base.
"We anticipate that the college's portion of taxes on a Grayslake home valued at $200,000 will be $186.12, an increase of 44 cents from last year. CLC represents only 1.90 percent of county residents' total property tax bill, down from 2.14 percent of total property tax bill in 2011," Dr. Griffin said. "The board strongly believes that the college provides taxpayers with an excellent return on investment in terms of training the workforce and putting people to work in good jobs."
In addition, the board authorized a supplemental property tax levy to pay debt service on General Obligation Limited Tax Bonds, Series 2012. The levy will pay the principal of and interest on the outstanding limited bonds for 2016 to 2025 and will be extended against the district's taxable property.
A property tax reduction was approved for taxes levied for 2016 to pay debt service on Series 2013A and B alternate revenue bonds issued in September 2013. The debt service levy can be eliminated because education fund revenues will adequately cover principal and interest.
The board adopted a streamlined approach to managing joint agreements among Illinois community colleges called CAREER (Comprehensive Agreement Regarding the Expansion of Educational Resources). The goal is to provide additional opportunities to students in programs leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree or certificate in career and technical education not offered by their in-district institution.
Interested students must document the required information with their home district. Once completed, they can enroll in programs offered by community colleges outside their home district and pay in-district tuition rates. Currently, 35 Illinois community colleges have signed on, including Oakton Community College, College of DuPage and Harper College. The changes go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Contracts and grants: One Million Degrees
CLC's One Million Degrees program, which empowers low-income, highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work and in life, will be expanded. In August 2015, the program started providing up to 40 lower-income CLC students with individual and small group coaching; professional and personal development activities; and additional support services. The tuition and services are funded by private donations to the CLC Foundation. The board approved a change to the Memorandum of Understanding to provide funding and support for up to 60 One Million Degrees scholars, funded by the CLC Foundation.
Constance "Connie" Kravitz, CPA, was appointed controller in the finance department, effective Dec. 5.