The makeup of the John A Logan College Board of Trustees changed officially Tuesday as two new members started their terms and two long-serving members left.
Chairman Don Brewer addressed the attendees before handing the meeting over to President Ron House, who seated the new members.
“This institution has been a savior for my family,” he said, explaining that his wife, daughter and son attended the college and that his granddaughter is currently attending. “My 12 years as a board chariman have been a great honor. I will miss some great friends I’ve made here.”
He also addressed the recent faculty cuts, saying that the list of those being let go was compiled by the administration as advised by legal counsel, and was based on longevity, seniority and the ability to teach certain classes.
He also said there were no “bad guy lists” of people who lost their jobs because they were targeted and that of the 55 people left unemployed by the cuts, only about a dozen remain unemployed.
“We went from being called the crown jewel of community colleges in Southern Illinois to not being sure we could keep the doors open,” he said. “The board had a lot of sleepless nights over what we had to do. That was truly terrible, and I hope the college never has to go through that again.”
Brewer and Trustee Jaclyn Hancock were honored with plaques in a brief ceremony. Brewer also received a framed photo of him taken in 1976 as he was shaking hands with then President Gerald Ford who was visiting the campus. Brewer has been a board member for 44 years.
After the ceremony, President House presided over the meeting as Becky Borgsmiller and Mandy Little were seated as new trustees. They were elected April 4.
Bill Kilquist was elected by the board as chairman, getting just one more vote than Trustee Ray Hancock. Jake Rendlemen will serve as secretary. New Student Trustee Timothy McDaniel was also welcomed by the new chairman and the board.