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CLC Board of Trustees continues educational delivery and business operations amid coronavirus pandemic crisis

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 28, 2020

Since the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in communities across the United States and particularly in Lake County, Ill., the Board of Trustees of the College of Lake County (CLC) has led offering students and the local community a range of resources.

As part of implementing an alternative learning delivery model for students and faculty, as well as ensuring a positive remote work model for staff, consistent communication has been increasingly important. Dr. William M. Griffin, CLC board chair, stated, “President Lori Suddick and I communicate often as this crisis continues to take new turns. During this time, it is imperative to have good relations and open communication between the board chair and the president. I am available at any hour to discuss emerging situations and solve new problems.”

Board of Trustees Meeting  - April 2020Board of Trustees Meeting - April 2020At the board’s first-ever virtual meeting, held on April 21, 2020, and shared publicly via YouTube live stream, special care was taken to allow trustees to attend in person, with guests presenting information using Zoom technology. Precautions, such as the use of masks and gloves and social distancing measures, ensured safety.

Dr. Griffin, board chair, and Amanda Howland, vice chair, highlighted the following board-supported decisions that received overwhelming support:

  • timely and useful coronavirus updates containing information and resources directly related to CLC and the region;
  • a new Lancers Keep Learning website providing educational and counseling support and guidance for students and community members;
  • technology delivery to students who rely on information technology resources typically only available on campus;
  • introduction of the Lancers Keep Learning Fund, allowing eligible students to apply for financial assistance for educational costs and critical basic needs;
  • modified policies and procedures to be appropriate and student-friendly in light of new conditions; and
  • distribution of $2.4 million in CARES Act funding to CLC students.
Vice Chair Amanda Howland and Student Trustee Victoria Thoman

The virtual meeting ensured the continuity of essential college business and included the election and appointment of new trustees. Amanda Howland administered the oath of office to newly elected student trustee Victoria Thoman.

In addition, the board unanimously approved and appointed former senior executive Vaseem Iftekhar and attorney Torrie Mark Newsome to fill two vacancies on the Board, positions left open by the retirement of Dr. Catherine M. Finger and the death of Timothy Powell. The two newly appointed trustees will be sworn in at the Board’s next meeting on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Vaseem lftekharVaseem Iftekhar is a retired senior executive with over three decades of experience in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry including at Abbott Laboratories. A dedicated community volunteer with a focus on interfaith understanding, Iftekhar has been a member of the CLC Foundation Board and is a member of the Daily Herald’s Sounding Board.

Upon learning of his appointment as a trustee, Iftekhar said, “Affordable education is a right of every citizen in this country. Community colleges play a key role in providing meaningful education and training to enhance the opportunities for everyone and support our economy.”

Attorney Torrie NewsomeAttorney Torrie Mark Newsome is a former 20-year employee of Abbott Laboratories, has volunteered for United States Air Force Reserves and is a former Assistant State’s Attorney for Lake County. In 2005, Newsome founded The Law Office of Torrie Mark Newsome. He is the immediate past chair and a former member of the CLC Lakeshore Advisory Committee. Newsome also taught Introduction to Paralegal Studies at CLC for 13 years.

Upon learning of his appointment as a trustee, Newsome said, “CLC is a very special institution in my life and the life of my family; my mom and two of my three children are graduates of CLC. I am humbled and honored by this appointment, and I am ready to serve on the CLC Board of Trustees, which is committed to putting the needs of our students and our community first.”

About College of Lake County:
The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation. For details, visit or call (847) 543-2000.