Parkland President Lays Out Growth Strategy

June 19, 2017
Parkland College in Champaign.

Parkland College president Tom Ramage is attempting to boost enrollment in targeted programs amid fiscal challenges.

Parkland College

Higher education has been one of the most notable victims of the Illinois budget impasse, which is nearing two years.  During that time, universities and community colleges have had to cut spending, lay off employees, and raise tuition to compensate.

So, amid that backdrop, it’s a bit unusual to hear the president of an Illinois community college talking about growth.  That’s the subject of an op ed in Sunday’s News-Gazette by Parkland College president Tom Ramage.  He joined Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline to discuss his plan and its timing.

This spring, Parkland trustees voted to increase tuition at the college from $157 to $164 per credit hour, an increase of about 4.5 percent.  That was the smallest tuition increase by percentage at Parkland in the last 15 years.

Meanwhile, Ramage says he expects a resolution in the Rochelle Harden case sometime this summer. Harden is the Parkland Professor who was elected to serve a six-year term on the Parkland Board of Trustees this spring.

The college contends she cannot serve in both roles, and has filed a petition in Champaign County Circuit Court seeking a declaratory judgment in the case.

Ramage says both sides have made their case to presiding judge Tom Difanis.

"The motions have been filed on both sides of the issue," Ramage said. "We probably will see some sort of resolution from the judge end of July, early August. That’s strictly a guess on my part. But we’re looking forward to resolution.”

Story source: WILL