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Board of Trustees news: CLC is top sustainable Illinoistwo-year college

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 29, 2018

The College of Lake County is the top environmentally sustainable two-year college in Illinois, second in the Midwest and sixth in the nation, the college’s Board of Trustees learned at its March 27 meeting.

The ratings come from the Philadelphia-based Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, according to David Husemoller, CLC sustainability manager who presented at the meeting. “Students, faculty and staff play a key role in our sustainability efforts,” he said, noting that a new walking trail, scheduled for completion this summer, will contain signs promoting wellness and the college’s sustainable features, including a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar panels, LED lighting and a campus farm. Additionally, nearly 200 CLC courses contain sustainability-related content.

The AASHE rankings mark the sixth time the college has been recognized or received a sustainability award in the last 18 months. In early March, the college was named a Bee Campus USA by Bee City USA, a North Carolina-based nonprofit. The 2017 awards include a STARS® Silver Award from AASHE, an Emerald Award from the Illinois Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and a Stormwater Best Practices Award from the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission. In 2016, CLC received a Green Genome Award from the American Association of Community Colleges. 

Incoming President Dr. Lori Suddick welcomed

The board also welcomed incoming President Dr. Lori Suddick, who will begin May 1. She has served since 2009 as vice president of learning and chief academic officer for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, a Green Bay, Wis.-based, multi-campus college serving about 8,000 students. Dr. Suddick has 18 years of experience working in two-year college leadership and faculty roles.

Collaboration with Waukegan

Photo of Eleanor Murkey with CLC leadersFollowing the board’s February approval to restart the nearly $48 million expansion and renovation of the Lakeshore Campus, Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham thanked the board and Interim President Dr. Rich Haney. “I really appreciate what CLC has done for downtown Waukegan,” he said, noting the college’s perseverance amid state budget constraints. “Waukegan says thank you.” Board Chair Richard A. Anderson added, “The college is truly excited to be a part of a major construction project in downtown Waukegan, and we look forward to working with Mayor Cunningham on this and other efforts.” Photo (from left): Interim President Dr. Rich Haney, Eleanor Murkey, Incoming President Dr. Lori Suddick and Chief of Staff/Interim Lakeshore Campus Dean Derrick Harden.

In a related matter, the board voted to name the Community Center at the Lakeshore Campus in honor of Eleanor Murkey. At the campus, she was associate dean from 1975 to 1998 and dean from 1999 until her retirement in December 2008. Murkey was instrumental in community outreach as well as expanding the campus from a small storefront to its current size. The center will be called the Eleanor Murkey Community Center. “Eleanor has had such a positive impact on our students and CLC,” said Board Secretary Barb Oilschlager, who read the board resolution. Choking back tears, Murkey thanked the board and the college for the recognition and the college’s support in her 33 years at CLC.

Strategic planning

Sean O. Hogan, Ph.D., executive director of CLC’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research, updated the board on research findings related to its strategic plan. The effort, known as an environmental scan, includes identifying occupations that have strong job prospects, pay a living wage, and require a post-secondary credential. Through a survey of local employers and by using federal data, Dr. Hogan identified 50 careers with highest growth prospects. Some of these occupations include careers in allied health care, auto mechanics, firefighters, police officers and truck drivers, and information technology. CLC currently offers programs in all of these areas.

North Chicago real-estate development

To help clear the way for construction of a proposed hotel, movie theater and new home for the National Museum of the American Sailor in North Chicago, the board voted to dissolve a tax-increment financing district for a 30-acre parcel of land. In its place is a proposed tax abatement district, which is a greater incentive for the project’s developer, according to North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham, who addressed the board.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force

In other news, the Board approved the College’s further participation in the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. As a part of the task force, the CLC Police Department has provided units of local government with comprehensive investigative services for major crimes. The College has been active in the task force since 2012, working on more than 50 cases, according to CLC Police Chief Tom Guenther.