Kaskaskia College Board of Trustees Accepts Resignation of President Dr. Penny Quinn

Kaskaskia College and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville signed an articulation agreement that will allow students completing their associate degree in nursing at KC to begin coursework on a bachelor’s degree through SIUE. Pictured (Left to Right) George Evans, KC Interim President; Bill Hawley, Chair, KC Board of Trustees; Julie Obermark, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health: Dr. Laura Bernaix, Dean of SIUE School of Nursing; Dr. Roberta Harrison, SIUE Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Dr. Penny Quinn; Greg Labyak, KC Vice President of Instructional Services.

Kaskaskia College President Dr. Penny Quinn is stepping down.  The KC Board of Trustees accepted Dr. Quinn’s resignation whose service to the college will officially end on June 30, 2018, during its regular meeting Monday night.  In her letter, Dr. Quinn said the decision was not easy, and she will miss the many dedicated individuals she has served with during her time at KC.  Dr. Quinn said, “Although my experience at Kaskaskia College has been challenging due to the two year state budget impasse, I have had the opportunity to work with an absolutely wonderful leadership team.  As a result, KC weathered this unprecedented storm positively, and recently received a clean audit as KC looks to the future.”  Dr. Quinn added she will treasure the many accomplishments achieved during her time, and wishes the board well in identifying a new President who believes in Kaskaskia College as she continues to do.  Board Chair Bill Hawley thanked Dr. Quinn for her service to the college and board members also expressed their thanks to her for seeing the college through the state budget impasse.
In accepting Dr. Quinn’s resignation the board appointed George Evans, Dean of Career and Technical Education, to serve as interim President.  Evans thanked the board for the appointment, “It is with great excitement and modesty that I accept the position of Interim President of Kaskaskia College, said Evans.”  “As a proud graduate of Kaskaskia College, I do not take this huge responsibility lightly and I pledge to the current students, future students and citizens of this great district that I will tackle this responsibility with great energy, enthusiasm and compassion.  I will work to ensure that the college maintains its high level of academic standards, as well as to reinforce to the Kaskaskia College community that we remain a family oriented, student centered, institution of higher learning.”
Evans added, “A community college is only as strong and vibrant as its faculty and staff.  With that being said, I firmly believe that KC has some of the most compassionate, knowledgeable and caring faculty, not only in Illinois, but in the nation as whole.  In my past seven years as an administrator, I have witnessed on a daily basis the commitment to our students from the dedicated faculty at KC.  When you couple this amazing behavior with an equally dedicated support staff, you have a strong recipe for success, which contributes to an atmosphere of hope and confidence.”
“The students, faculty and staff at Kaskaskia College will get the very best I have.  I look forward to working side by side with some of the most amazing people, as we continue to educate and train the youth and future leaders of tomorrow with great energy and passion,” said Evans.  Evans will continue his duties as the college’s dean of career and technical education in addition to serving as KC’s interim President.
In keeping with its mission of providing a quality education at an affordable cost, Kaskaskia College will not increase its tuition or mandatory fees for the fiscal 2019 school year.  It is the third straight time KC has maintained its current tuition and fee rates for students.  The KC Board of Trustees approved maintaining the college’s tuition and fees at their current level.  “Through thoughtful spending, we are investing in student affordability, and through thoughtful budgeting, we are investing in our people and teaching excellence,” said Evans.  “These are messages that resonate with families and students, as they begin making plans for the future”. While some programs will carry additional fees to cover educational material, the average student can expect to save anywhere from $11,000 to $20,000 by starting their education at KC.  The college will also maintain its $20 per credit hour fee for online courses, including proctored and hybrid courses, as well as a five dollar per credit hour for web enhanced and distance learning courses.  The board also approved the program fees for the 2018-19 semester.
Kaskaskia College and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville have entered into a formal partnership to provide KC Nursing students with a pathway to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  The agreement allows KC students who obtain their associate degree in nursing a move into the SIUE nursing program with the goal of obtaining their bachelor’s degrees.  The partnership is one of several KC has entered into with four year colleges and universities in recent years to assist students in reaching their education goals.
In other action from Monday night the board approved extending the lease agreement for the college’s agriculture research station in Brownstown with the Fayette County Farm Bureau for an additional two months.  The extension will allow the college to complete a financial report for its operation of the site, which it assumed from the University of Illinois at the request of the Farm Bureau.  Trustees also approved the college’s property, worker’s compensation and medical insurance coverage, as well as a new Cisco firewall to protect the college’s computer network systems.
The board also approved a number of personnel moves.  Laura Vahlkamp was named the new director of the KC Academic Center for Excellence, or ACE Place.  Vahlkamp previously served as the college’s director of the Trenton Education Center.  In her place, the board hired Michelle Hrebec of Trenton as the new director of the Trenton Center.  Katelyn Gregov of Carlyle, was transferred from Enrollment Specialist to Testing Center Specialist.  A resolution restructuring staff at the Vandalia and Greenville Education Centers was tabled until the December board meeting.  In other action, the board accepted the retirement of Agnes Edwards as Institutional Research Coordinator, effective at the end of February.  Edwards has been with KC for more than 35 years helping provide data and reports for the institution.
The Kaskaskia College Community Choir and Chorale will present their annual Holiday Concert on Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 pm in the Jane Knight Auditorium.  The KC Instrumental Concert Band will present their Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm.  Both concerts are free and open to the public.

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