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August 29, 2006

Joint Task Force to study Illinois Community Colleges

(Springfield) – Guy Alongi, chairperson of the Illinois Community College Board, announced the formation of the Joint Task Force on Community Colleges today.  The task force was created by a House Joint Resolution passed by both the House and Senate during the General Assembly’s spring session.

The task force will be co-chaired by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines).  Republican spokespersons are Senator David Luechtefeld (Okawville) and Representative Sandra Pihos (Glen Ellyn).

According to the resolution, the purpose of the task force is to review the community college system and make recommendations to General Assembly regarding the demands on the system and the role it will play in the future.

The first hearing of the task force will be at 10:30 a.m. on September 6 in Room 16-504 of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.

“This joint task force presents the Illinois Community College System with the opportunity to demonstrate to the legislators the vital role it plays in higher education,” said Alongi.

The resolution calls for the task force to consist of 12 members, beside the co-chairs and spokespersons, representing community college presidents, trustees, faculty, students, and a nationally recognized expert on community colleges.  The task force will file its final report with the General Assembly by December 31.

Representing community college presidents on the task force are Charles Guengerich, president of Wilbur Wright College; Alice Jacobs, president of Danville Area Community College; and another community college president to be named soon.  Representing community college trustees are Richard Anderson, College of Lake County; Albert Tyson, City Colleges of Chicago; and Kathy Wessel, College of DuPage.

Representing faculty are Bill Naegele, South Suburban College, and Kevin Westin, Rend Lake College. Students members of the task force are Todd Rauch, Lake Land College, and Brian Savage, Joliet Junior College.

The two members appointed by Alongi are David Pierce, past president of the American Association of Community Colleges, and Gregory Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers Association.

The Illinois Community College System is the third largest community college system in the nation and comprises 48 community colleges in 39 districts covering all of Illinois. Illinois community colleges annually serve approximately a million students in college transfer courses, workforce development, continuing education, and adult education programs.

The Illinois Community College Board is the state coordinating board for community colleges. It comprises a chairperson and ten other members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, and a nonvoting student member appointed by the Student Advisory Committee.

For more information, contact Steve Morse, 217-785-7411


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