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Board of Trustees News: Board considers ways to increase minority vendor opportunities

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jul 29, 2015


The College of Lake County Board of Trustees on July 27 considered options for increasing participation of Lake County minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in construction projects included in the college’s $163 million Sustainable Campus Master Plan.

“Diversity is a core value and important strategic goal of the college,” said Board Chairman Dr. William M. Griffin. “We are looking for appropriate ways to reach out to minority businesses to help create economic opportunity.”

A discussion on minority vendors occurred during a Committee of the Whole meeting before the regularly scheduled July board meeting held at the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan.  David Agazzi, vice president for administrative affairs, provided an overview of current policy and practices. He said that existing CLC policy encourages the college to be proactive in seeking bidding from local and minority vendors but doesn’t currently set goals for awarding contracts.  He said the state’s Capital Development Board, which is providing funding for construction of a science building and expansion at the Lakeshore campus, sets contractor and workforce goals for awarding contracts to disadvantaged businesses for projects over $250,000 in cost.

The trustees asked Agazzi and CLC President Jerry Weber to develop a proposal regarding minority vendors. Weber said the proposal could initially consist of guidelines to be applied to upcoming projects scheduled to go to bid under the Master Plan. The proposal could eventually be developed into a policy, he said.  

$1.1 million student success grant received

During the regular board meeting, the trustees accepted a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services Program. The highly competitive grant is awarded for a five-year cycle, which will end in August 2020. More than 1,500 programs applied for funding, but only 986 were awarded.

The U.S. Department of Education funds TRIO programs to offer services that support the success of low-income, first-generation or disabled students. CLC received its first grant under the program in 2010. With the renewed funding, CLC will continue to serve 140 students in the 2015-16 academic year. Funding for the first year in the five-year grant cycle will be $220,000.

“The grant adds to the college’s funding commitment to support student success, according to President Jerry Weber. To increase retention, graduation and transfer rates, CLC implemented $2.2 million in student success strategies last academic year and is continuing the investment in the coming year.

Adjunct faculty contract approved

Concluding six months of negotiations, the Board of Trustees also approved a four-year contract with the Adjunct Faculty Organization. The adjunct union membership approved the contract on July 9.

The new contract begins with the 2015-16 academic year. Under the contract terms, adjunct faculty will receive an average compensation increase of 3.6 percent in each year of the contract.


Several information technology contracts were approved by the trustees:

  • Three contracts with Hewlett Packard of Austin, Texas, to provide information technology equipment. One contract, for $92,250 is for server equipment; another, for $605,000 is for laptop and desktop computers; and the third, for $326,000 is for network and telephone equipment. All three purchases are being made under state-wide community college Educational and Institutional Cooperative consortium agreement.
  • A contract for $55,000 with Dam, Snell and Taveirne Ltd., of Fox Lake, for accounting services.

Board policies

The trustees approved several policies to reflect current statutory language and delete language that is procedural rather than policy in nature. Topics covered in the revisions include board elections, appointment of the student trustee and filling board vacancies. A policy on tuition and fee payment and refund also was revised to clarify current payment options—payment in full, third-party payment and the installment payment plan.