On Friday, April 3, The Southern Illinois endorsed Ray Hancock, Brad Heuring, and Mandy Little for the three open positions on the John A Logan Board of Trustees. This election for the Logan Board on Tuesday, April 7 gives the college a unique opportunity to elect 3 new people to the Board.
As the Southern Illinois stated, John A Logan is facing a deficit of “anywhere between $2.5 million and $3.8 million” in the next fiscal year. There are many contributing factors to this perfect financial storm. First, although enrollment at the college has remained steady over the last several years, the number of credit hours taken by those attending students has dropped steadily over the last 5 years. Second, the State of Illinois most certainly will reduce its contribution to the college this coming year because of its financial condition. Third, and perhaps the biggest factor, John A Logan can no longer count the health credit hours generated at Logan’s Community Health Center. The credit hours generated at the Health Center represented $1.7 million in revenue for Logan in the last 5 years.
So, with these daunting financial challenges it is refreshing to see the possibility of electing a brand new slate of Board members. On Monday, March 2, the John A Logan Political Science Department sponsored a candidate forum. In attendance were Bill Alstat, Ray Hancock, Brad Heuring, Mandy Little, and John Sanders. Jake Rendleman chose not to attend and participate in the forum. At the forum Hancock, Heuring, Little, and Sanders each demonstrated that they not only understood that challenges John A Logan is facing today, but they also articulated a passion for the quality education that John A Logan provides. Alstat has a nice resume, but didn’t communicate an understanding or passion about education. Rendleman just didn’t show up, maybe that shows us how important education is to him.
Since the forum, John Sanders has been appointed to the State Board of Education and has resigned from Logan’s Board. Sanders has been a good Board member and will be missed. But Sanders departure gives voters in Logan’s district to elect brand new people to the Board for the first time in many years. Let this be a change election and elect a new slate of candidates who can bring new vision and ideas to John A Logan College.