HARRISBURG — The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees voted at its regular meeting last week to eliminate several degrees, inactivate the art program and lay off three staff members.
During the board’s regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16, the college’s president cited low enrollment in the degree programs that were eliminated, as well as an expected 25% decline in the college’s total enrollment next year, along with a projected budget deficit of $6 million over the next two years.
The board unanimously approved inactivation of all art courses and eliminated the Business Management AAS, Administrative Assistant AAS, Word Processing Certificate, Accounting Certificate, Business Management Certificate, Associates in Fine Arts (AFA) and AFA in Musical Theatre.
During a discussion on personnel, the board approved layoffs of an academic resource specialist, a business instructor and art instructor. The layoffs are effective at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year.
During the public comment period at the beginning of the Feb. 16 meeting, SIC art instructor Sara DeNeal — whose position the board voted to eliminate — presented a petition that she and her students put together. The petition was signed by 1,067 people, including alumni, who support the art program at the college.
She asked the board to consider the mission and vision of the college. Its mission is to enhance lifelong learning by providing quality accessible educational programs, cultural enrichment opportunities, and support for economic development; and its vision is to be the catalyst for academic excellence, community service, and economic growth in the community.