The Parkland College Board of Trustees approved its FY 2020 budget and officially announced plans to promote the college's chief academic officer to executive vice president as part of an executive transition plan.
At their regular meeting Wednesday, trustees promoted Dr. Pamela Lau to executive vice president, with plans to appoint her as president upon the retirement of Dr. Thomas Ramage. Ramage, a 21-year employee of the college, has served as president since 2007.
Trustees met during a closed session last month to discuss Ramage's retirement and next steps, after which Board of Trustees Chairman Gregory Knott issued the announcement to Parkland employees.
"Community college trustees from across the country talk about the importance of transition planning and how critical it is to the stability and success of their respective institutions," Knott said. "We are taking proactive steps to put it into action here at Parkland College.
"Over the next three years, Dr. Ramage's role will remain unchanged, but he will be bringing Dr. Lau alongside him in the process to learn the complexities of the college presidency. We have set Parkland up for a seamless transition, and the institution will be stronger because of it."
Lau joined the Parkland College faculty in 1995 as a teacher in its developmental reading program; she became director of the program in 2003. In 2005, she led the task force that coordinated the school's academic support services into the one-stop Center for Academic Success (CAS), serving as CAS's founding director. After her promotion to dean of academic services in 2010, Lau was fundamental in obtaining the third Title III grant in Parkland’s history. In 2015, she became interim vice president for academic services at Parkland College and accepted the permanent position the following year. In 2017, she won an Emerging Chief Academic Officer Award from the National Council of Instructional Administrators.
The board also adopted the final budget for the 2019-2020 year, which includes a $282,504 operating surplus. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles first presented the tentative budget in July, and the budget was on display for public review and input starting Aug. 1.
In other business, the board approved the following:
- the revised employment contract for President Ramage that extends through June 30, 2023;
- the employment contract for Dr. Lau through June 30, 2023;
- Environmental Control Solutions, Inc. of Springfield's bid to install a new Building Automation Control System, $151,295;
- to renew the annual agreement and purchase of WinPRISM and PrismWeb software from PrismRBS, LLC of Lincoln, Neb. through June 2022 for a total of $53,271;
- use of Protection, Health, and Safety funds for a campus-wide door lock upgrade, $2.2 million;
- K.K. Stevens Publishing Co. of Astoria's bid for printing and mail preparation services for Community Education, $24,947.21;
- funding of the S Building renovation through the State of Illinois Capital Development Board, $126,840;
- funding of the Campus Fountain Courtyard/Service Drive Improvement project through the State of Illinois Capital Development Board, $425,000.
- personnel appointments:
- Suzanne Jones, Director of Counseling Services, Student Services
- Amanda Briggs, Aviation Team Leader, Institute of Aviation
- Jonathan Moore, Aviation Team Leader, Institute of Aviation
- Laura Sutter, Veterinary Technology Faculty, Health Professions
- Tracey Burgess, Selective Admissions Associate, Admissions & Records
- Ricky Deer, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies
- James Kiser, Technical Support Specialist, Campus Technologies
- Nicole Olmo, Accounts Receivable Accountant, Cashiers Office
- Gabrielle Rodmaker, Graphic Designer - Media Communications Specialist, Marketing & Public Relations
- Brandy Smith, Police Officer, Public Safety