Board Questions the Necessity of Satellite Campuses 

Dillon Neibel
dneibel@lc.edu

 

As requested by the board, President of Lewis and Clark Community College Dale Chapman and Vice President of Finance Mary Shulte presented a report on revenues and expenditures by location during the L&C Board of Trustees meeting held Sept. 10. The report included course and expense data by location, enrollment, and facilities. 

The locations in the report were the Bethalto Training Center (Bethalto), Scott Bibb Center (Alton), Macoupin County Community Education Center (Carlinville), Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities (Edwardsville), Tri-County Community Education Center (Jerseyville), N.O. Nelson Campus (Edwardsville) and National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) (East Alton). 

Viewing the report Vice Chairman of the Board Julie Johnson asked about the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities saying that she didn’t think anything was going on there. 

“What’s the plan for that building? Are we going to continue to maintain it?” Johnson said.

Chapman explained that the building was a donation to L&C and that the college paid for the renovation costs. He then went on to explain all the work done there, from saving the historic Lincoln building site, acting as a home of the Alma Aitch Center, redefining that part of Edwardsville and how the Regional Superintendent’s Office which has classes and programs that we collaborate on is also at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities.

“Give us about a year there, and I think we will see more activity as it relates to the articulation of the fundraising into programs here at the college,” Chapman said.

“Where is Mannie Jackson getting their money, because I noticed that the L&C Foundation has donated $55,000 to fund whatever programs, and it seems like that’s a loser,” Board Chairman David Heyen said. “It just seems like we’re throwing money at it, and it’s not what appears to be benefitting anyone.”

Chapman then explained how that money was used to attract people to our campus as the L&C and MJCH Foundations are supposed to do, and how they funded a project to complete workforce analyses to help inform programming in our rural areas. 

Johnson asked what happens at the Scott Bibb Center, and if there was any way those activities could happen on campus. Chapman invited the Board to take a trip there to see the workforce and construction training that occurs at those sites and encouraged them to visit all of these locations. 

Chapman went on to explain that some of the work there is charitable and how the students of Scott Bibb can transfer into L&C career programs and/or enter the workforce after the completion of their programs.

“The students who attend there aren’t necessarily able to jump on a bus and come out to the main campus, but they were able to get to the location in Alton,” said Schulte.

“It might have been cheaper to buy a bus…” said Board Secretary Kevin Rust. “I think those people are mostly African Americans, and I think we saw that their enrollment has dropped.”

Rust suggested that Vice President of Enrollment Kent Scheffel show those figures to the board some time, as Chapman was explaining that minority enrollment is increasing. Sheffel had given a presentation earlier in this same meeting that presented the fact that African American enrollment was in fact increasing.

“But it is a mix of students that actually go there, not just African American students…” Chapman said talking about the enrollment at Scott Bibb. “We’re a community college. We’re a college for the rest of us, for those people like me who didn’t have parents who went to college — first generation from their families, who don’t have a tradition of higher education in their families, who need an on-ramp. That building, in particular, is near to my heart because that’s where people get a chance. It also keeps them out of incarceration… It puts them on a path to be able to sustain families, and that’s what we do.”

The entire board meeting was captured on video and can be viewed at youtu.be/NTV-_Ymncno. The Board Book, which includes a complete agenda, can be viewed at https://www.lc.edu/bot/.  The next Board meeting will take place on Oct. 8. All board meetings are open to the public.

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