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Board of Trustees news: CLC receives clean audit

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Sep 29, 2016


Completing a process underway since June, auditors gave the College of Lake County’s Fiscal Year 2016 financial statements an unmodified (“clean”) opinion. Representatives from RMS LLP US reported on the audit at the Sept. 27 CLC Board of Trustees’ meeting. The audit included a review of basic financial statements, grants from the Illinois Community College Board, internal controls, credit hour reporting and the CLC Foundation as well as the clarity and transparency of financial records.

“Being financially accountable and transparent in our practices is a top priority for the Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Dr. William M. Griffin. “We are very pleased to again receive a clean audit.”

The board approved the audit report and authorized the college to file it with the Illinois Community College Board and appropriate federal agencies.

CLC trustees and President Weber cut ribbon campus core

Ribbon cutting held

Prior to the meeting, board members and President Jerry Weber (right) held an informal ribbon cutting ceremony for recently constructed and renovation spaces at the Grayslake Campus that include Café Willow, Welcome and One Stop Center, Student Commons and Student Life offices/meeting spaces and then toured the spaces.

Fiscal accountability report

Ken Gotsch, vice president for administrative affairs, provided a fiscal accountability report covering the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. Gotsch said that the college ended FY 16 with total operating fund revenues of $95.4 million. This amount was $7.4 million below the budgeted amount due to state fiscal crisis that reduced funding to CLC. In response, administration made tough decisions and reduced spending by $7.9 million, resulting in a surplus that allowed the college to add $668,835 to the fund balance, now at $31.4 million, about 33 percent of annual expenditures. The board’s policy is to maintain an unrestricted fund balance of at least 25 percent of budgeted operating expenditures.

New Promise Program to kick off

To support the new CLC Promise Program, the board approved a resolution to transfer funds from operations and maintenance to the CLC Foundation to act as start-up funding. 

The Promise Program, which will accept its first students in Fall Semester 2017, is enthusiastically supported by district superintendents from the Lake County High School Alliance and is focused on low-income students, offering both financial and academic support. Promise scholarships will cover the gap between federal financial aid and CLC tuition and fees. Promise scholarship recipients will develop a two-year academic plan, create a career or transfer plan and participate in leadership and professional development activities.

CLC President Jerry Weber estimated that about 200 students will be eligible per year. After the initial funding is depleted, private donations raised through the CLC Foundation will support the program.

Student success updates

Karen Hlavin, associate vice president for educational affairs, provided an update on CLC’s new Guaranteed Transfer Admission program. So far, 19 agreements have been signed with many of CLC students’ top transfer colleges and universities, and more agreements are in the works, according to Hlavin. Student response to the program so far has been very positive.

“In just under three months, we have received 226 inquiries, and 55 students have declared their intent to transfer to one of the 19 partner institutions. Our guaranteed transfer website has received about 6,000 views. I am very excited about the potential these agreements hold for both our local and international students. We are the only community college in Illinois with this type of portfolio of guaranteed transfer options,” Hlavin said.

Dr. Sean Hogan, executive director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research, reported on student enrollment and retention trends. For Fall Semester, enrollment in credit courses is about 1.5 percent down from Fall 2015, which is better than anticipated. “Declines of 3-4 percent were common at most suburban Chicago community colleges,” he said.

Contracts and grants

In order to restart construction planning for a new building at the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan, the board approved extending an Intergovernmental Agreement to the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) to cover design fees until funds are re-appropriated by the General Assembly. Funding from the CDB for the project ended June 30, 2015 due to the lack of a state budget. Funds allocated for the cost of the project total $47,902,961, of which $14 million is to be paid by CLC through bond sales.

The CLC Master Plan approved by the board in November 2012 included the extensive Lakeshore Campus expansion and renovation to expand academic options and provide students a full-service experience. Plans call for 53,090 square feet of new construction and 19,704 square feet of existing building renovations. Healthcare career programs will be the focus of the campus, with additional space for general classrooms, adult education services, offices, laboratories, student services, enrollment center, career placement, childcare center, food service and community, general use and student support spaces. Much of the design work by Legat Architects is done, with final designs to be completed by October 2017 and the new building is scheduled to open in summer 2020.

In restarting the project, the college will incorporate feedback from college faculty and staff and community stakeholders from the city of Waukegan, Waukegan Main Street, Lakeshore Campus Advisory Committee, Waukegan School District 60, legislators’ offices and others, according to Gotsch.

The board approved a one-year contract extension with Cheryl Axley, LLC of Mount Prospect, for lobbyist services not to exceed $5,000 per month.

“Our lobbyists were instrumental in getting the state funding to complete the new Science Building this summer. CLC was one of just four community colleges to receive capital funds, and much of our success was due to the coordinated effort made by our staff, board members and lobbyists,” said President Jerry Weber.

Trustees also approved a three-year agreement with the Waukegan Public Library to provide in-class tutoring services for adult education students at CLC campuses and community sites. The library’s tutoring program coordinator and CLC’s Adult Basic Education, GED and ESL division staff work together to best meet the needs of both programs and students. The Waukegan Public Library provides us tutoring for about 150 students, using 40-50 volunteer tutors yearly. The agreement formalizes a program that has been in place since the 1980s.


The board appointed Ken Gotsch as local election official and assistant secretary for the April 4, 2017 election. Nominating petitions for two CLC board positions, each with six-year terms, are now available on the CLC website or in Room A107, Grayslake Campus. The board positions are currently held by Jeanne T. Goshgarian of Round Lake and Lynda C. Paul of Gurnee.

Human resources

The trustees approved a three-year contract between the college and the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council. The contract covers 21 full-time CLC Police employees, including 13 sworn police officers. It provides a new starting pay rate that aligns with other community colleges.