The Parkland College Blog

Board of Trustees Announce Filings for Board Positions

Parkland Board of Trustees Announce Filings for Positions

Parkland College officials announced today that five candidates have filed to run for positions on the Parkland College Board of Trustees.

Maureen Banks, Jarrett Clem, Bradley Uken, and James Voyles have filed for the two six-year trustee terms that are expiring next April. Voyles is an incumbent trustee who has served on the board since 2015. Banks serves as Director of Safety and Compliance at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Clem is the Business Manager at IBEW Local 601 in Champaign. Uken is the Manager at the Champaign County Farm Bureau.

Timothy V. (Tim) Johnson, also an incumbent, has filed for the two-year term expiring in April. Johnson has served on the board since 2015.

The two six-year terms will run through April 2027, while the two-year term will run through April 2023.The election will be held April 6, 2021.

Parkland Trustees Approve New Aviation Program

Board of Trustees General Meeting, Oct. 21

At its regular meeting Wednesday, the Parkland College Board of Trustees heard updates from administration regarding the college's enrollment performance, awarded a faculty member with a statewide honor, and announced a new career program for Aviation students. 

After hearing an update from President Tom Ramage, trustees presented Dr. Franklin Gallo with the 2020 Illinois Community College Trustees Association Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member Award by Jon Looney, president of the ICCTA. As director of Parkland's Chamber Singers, Gallo teaches Introduction to American Music and Music Appreciation courses. He has provided professional development for primary and secondary educators, recently presenting sessions at a state choral music conference for pre-service educators at the University of Illinois and attending an international symposium on music education. He has initiated and helped to implement two innovative programs used by the college’s music department for recruitment, ongoing collaboration with local high schools, and as a charity fundraiser.

Afterwards, Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski provided the board with enrollment reports detailing the Summer 2020 end-of-semester and Fall 2020 census date enrollment data and trends. Stephanie Stuart, vice president for communications and external affairs, presented an update regarding the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) and Support for Workforce Training (SWFT), and upcoming Marketing initiatives. 

The Board voted to approve the submission of a new project under RAMP (Resource Allocation Management Program) for a new Physical Sciences Training Center. This 27,000 square foot addition would include new classrooms and office spaces, with a majority of the space reserved for Chemistry and Biology laboratories and classrooms. The goal is to supplement the local growth in health and STEM professions to allow for expanding enrollment and the newest technology. The current estimate (FY21) for the College's portion of construction is $5,640,558, or 25 percent of the total estimated cost.

Trustees also voted to approve a new applied-science career degree, Aviation: Flight Technology AAS (V.FLT.AAS). This 61 to 62 credit hour associate program will prepare students for careers in the commercial aviation industry, and is designed as an alternative academic pathway to the existing Associate in Science degree with an aviation concentration.

Flight Technology AAS students will receive certifications in private pilot, private pilot with instrument rating, commercial pilot, and commercial, multiengine offered in a sequential manner. The AAS program differs from the AS program with five additional aviation-related courses and a two-track option, Professional Pilot or Drone Pilot. After completing the AAS degree and with appropriate FAA flight time requirements, graduates can enter the workforce as commercial pilots and/or UAS pilots. 

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the renewal of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine contract through January 2026, $324,620

  • purchase of Knowmia from Techsmith Corporation through 2023, $60,735

  • purchase of Agribusiness Library curriculum revision from Cutting Edge Curriculum, $200,000

  • purchase of Kaplan Test Prep from Kaplan, Inc. through 2022, $144,000

  • purchase of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) Revitalization Services from CDW-G, $37,000

  • purchase of hardware and configuration services from ConvergeOne, $70,000

  • consulting fees from Apporto, not to exceed a total cost of $100,000

  • the use of Kone, Inc. for elevator service and maintenance through September 2021, $27,807

  • the filing of the following grant applications:

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA): Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program—Education and Workforce Development Program

    • Illinois State University (ISU) Mennonite College of Nursing: Academic Progression Partner Schools Subgrant (IBHE funding)

    • Junior League of Champaign-Urbana: Community Assistance Fund Grants

    • National Science Foundation (NSF): Advanced Technology Education (ATE)—Expanding Precision Agriculture to Secondary Students (EPASS)

  • acceptance of funds from external sources:

    • Chicago Citywide Library Coalition (CCLC): Illinois Digital Learning Lab (IDLL)

    • Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA): FY21 Program Grant

  • personnel appointments:

    • Suzanne Jones, Dean of Counseling Services, Counseling Services

    • Li Barbee, Administrative Assistant to Vice Presidents, Academic Services

    • Thomas Adams, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies

    • Robert Bielmeier, Financial Aid Advisor, Student Services

    • Ashley Hammock, Assessment Center Assistant, Student Services

    • Daniel King, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies

    • Logan Musgrove, Infrastructure Specialist, Campus Technologies

    • Dalton Neal, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies

Parkland Trustees Approve FY2021 Budget

Board of Trustees General Meeting, September 16

At its regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland Trustees approved the college's FY2021 budget and heard an update on the newly installed solar array now operating on campus.
President Tom Ramage reported that the solar array is up and running as of Friday, Sept. 11. Located at the northwest corner of the school's main campus, the array spans eight acres and will generate between 10 to 15 percent of the college's electricity. The SolSystems LLC contract was approved in January 2018 and then sold to ConEd for a new contract signed in October 2018, Ramage reported.

Trustees also appointed Benny Mingo to the Parkland College Public Safety Department as a full-time police officer. Officer Mingo is a Parkland alumnus with an associate's degree in Business Administration and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, where he also worked in Public Safety, Security Division. A recent graduate of the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, Mingo was awarded the Ervin H. Warren Leadership Award, which is voted for by the recipient's peers, instructors, and staff and is given to the officer who best exemplifies today's concept of tomorrow's police officer.

After an update on the Parkland Foundation by Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt, trustees heard from Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles and voted to approve the FY2021 budget.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the purchase of Agvance software from Software Solutions Integrated, LLC (SSI) for development of the College's Advanced Applicator Technician program through 2023, $84,000

  • the purchase of Turnitin plagiarism detection software from Turnitin, LLC through 2023, $68,127

  • IT consulting services from Leapfrog Technology Group, Inc., $100,000

  • the purchase of services from Rock Gate Capital, DBA 160 Driving Academy, $475,000

  • the purchase of services from Condensed Curriculum International, $25,000

  • the purchase of services from Strategic Development Institute, $30,000

  • the purchase of services from World Education, $25,000

  • the employment of Cyberclan as the College's managed security service provider (MSSP) for 2020-2021, $150,000

  • the purchase of Mimecast Email Security cloud services from CDWG for 2020-2021, $48,000

  • changes to Policies 3.25, 3.26, and 7.02 as presented by the Parkland College Association

  • the renewal of Constellation Energy's utility contract

  • personnel appointments:

    • Julia Hawthorne, Director of TRiO/Student Support Services, TRiO/Student Support Services

    • Hayden Seidel, Bookstore Manager, Bookstore

    • Brian Schertz, Aviation Team Lead, Institute of Aviation

    • Amy Frasca, Curriculum Specialist, VP of Academic Services Office

    • Rebecca Richardson, Admissions and Records Associate, Admissions

    • Karen Talbott, Head Teacher, Child Development Center

    • Chris Thomas, Maintenance Technician/Plumber/HVAC, Physical Plant

    • Cyndy White, Administrative Assistant, Division of Career and Technical Education

Officials of Parkland College announced today that any interested persons wishing to run for a position on the Parkland Board of Trustees may pick up nominating petitions and related documents from Krystal Garrett in Room U336 at the Parkland College campus, 2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign, Illinois, during limited business hours commencing September 22, 2020, on Mondays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. Contact Krystal Garrett at 217-351-2533 or to schedule. Petitions may NOT be circulated prior to September 22, 2020.
The terms of incumbent trustees Mark Dixon, Timothy Johnson, and James Voyles will expire in April 2021. These board openings will be for 2 six-year terms (expires April 2027) on the ballot and 1 two-year term (expires April 2023).
Nominating petitions and supporting documents must be filed between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. central time on any of the following dates: December 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 21, 2020. Said documents MUST be filed with the Office of the Board Secretary, Krystal Garrett, Room U336, Parkland College, 2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign, Illinois. The election will be held on April 6, 2021.

Trustees Vote For Tuition Freeze, Debt Forgiveness Plan

Trustees approve Cobra Comeback program, freeze tuition rates


Parkland College plans to keep next year's base tuition rates at the same level as 2019-2020 and will offer encumbered students up to $2,000 of debt forgiveness through a new initiative. 

Parkland in-district rates will remain at $148.50 per credit hour (all Tier One courses) for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Parkland College Board of Trustees announced at its regular meeting Wednesday. Parkland President Tom Ramage made the recommendation not to increase tuition rates based on a careful analysis of projected revenues and expenditures.

State decreases in funding over the past several years had put increasing pressure on student tuition to make up the difference, concerning the Board. Administrators say recent measures put in place to reduce costs make it possible to hold the tuition rate steady for the coming academic year.

Along with freezing tuition rates for next year, the Board of Trustees has approved a new debt forgiveness program, called Cobra Comeback, which will allow returning students a chance to restart their education at Parkland by removing financial holds preventing registration. For each course in which these returning students earn a C or higher, the cost of current tuition per credit hour will be removed from their past-due balance, according to Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski. Eligibility for the Cobra Comeback program also includes:

  • good academic standing 

  • debt of no more than $2,000

  • non-enrollment at Parkland during the past academic year

"With Cobra Comeback, Parkland College continues its mission to engage the community in learning by ensuring that all students have a second chance at completing an academic credential," Smigielski said. "We want to provide maximum access to the training and transfer programs available here, to enrich the lives of students and their families."

Potential program participants must complete an eligibility form. Find it and more information about the program at

In other business, the Board also approved:

  • the extension of the Lease Agreement with the State of Illinois CMS (IDES and IDHS) to extend the term through February 28, 2025.

  • the purchase of 4,000 ALEKS PPL testing units from McGraw-Hill, $60,000. 

  • the following personnel appointments:

    • Lauren Craig, Purchasing Agent, Business Office

    • Elizabeth Horne, Assistant Teacher, Child Development Center

    • Barry Pelmore, Custodian, Physical Plant

    • Kennedy Potempa, Assistant, Accessibility Services

    • Molly Rittenhouse, CTE Perkins program manager, Career and Technical Education

    • Kenyatta Ruff, Custodian, Physical Plant