SWIC approves raises for administrators who will work to increase enrollment

Here’s a timeline of SWIC’s workforce reductions

From 2016 to 2018, here’s how Southwestern Illinois College has reduced its workforce to cut costs.
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From 2016 to 2018, here’s how Southwestern Illinois College has reduced its workforce to cut costs.

Southwestern Illinois College leaders on Wednesday night approved pay raises for six administrators who will have new duties focused on increasing enrollment for the school, according to the college president.

The raises come after a period of cutbacks for SWIC, including several rounds of layoffs that affected a total of 82 employees and the elimination of the Belleville campus’ childcare service.

It saw a 24 percent drop in enrollment between 2013 and 2017, according to Illinois Community College Board data. And while SWIC’s enrollment was declining, its state funding also dropped: from $13.5 million in 2015 to $1.6 million in 2016.

College President Nick Mance said after Wednesday’s board of trustees meeting that he expects SWIC to have a positive cash flow at the end of the year.

“We’ve been watching the budget for the last couple of years,” he said.

SWIC trustees agreed to add between $19,600 and $4,445 to administrators’ salaries to help reverse the trend in enrollment.

At the same time, Mance said other administrators, including deans and the vice president of instruction, are meeting as a committee to look for ways to improve the admissions process for prospective students.

The board also voted Wednesday to start advertising for six open administrative positions and to give a $5,000 annual stipend to Janet Fontenot for serving as acting dean of arts and sciences in fiscal year 2019.

The only no vote was from trustee John Blomenkamp when it came to the following raises:

$5,908 more per year for Michelle Birk, dean of student services.

$5,000 more per year for Suzanne McClure, associate dean of student success programs.

$4,445 more per year for Linda Andres, executive director of information technology.

These salary changes were unanimously approved:

$19,600 more per year for Anna Moyer, executive director of human resources.

$14,538 more per year for Beverly Fiss, chief of staff.

$12,532 more per year for Melissa Roche, chief financial officer.

Blomenkamp declined to comment on Wednesday after the meeting.

He also voted against the annual stipend for the acting dean of arts and sciences and advertising the open administrative positions, including executive director of enrollment development and institutional planning; director of development and grants; assistant controller; compliance officer; director of enrollment development and institutional planning; and executive assistant for student development.

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The metro-east is home for investigative reporter Lexi Cortes. She was raised in Granite City, went to school in Edwardsville and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat since 2014, winning multiple state awards for her investigative and community service reporting.

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