At its July 24 meeting, the Board of Trustees of Illinois State University approved a new master’s program; contracts for property insurance, fire services, and Foundation support; the issuance of revenue bonds; and the naming of spaces in the University’s new Multicultural Center.
Master of Science in Low Vision and Blindness
The Board of Trustees approved the new online degree program to provide individuals who hold a license to teach in elementary, middle, or secondary schools in the state with specialized training in low vision and blindness. This training will enable graduates to apply for a special education license in blind and visually impaired through the Illinois State Board of Education and fill an educator position such as a teacher of students with visual impairments. The program is designed particularly for Illinois teachers who seek to specialize in special education—low vision without having to complete another four-year teaching degree in special education. The program will be administered by the Department of Special Education in the College of Education.
The Board of Trustees authorized the University to purchase property insurance for FY 2021 for an annual premium not to exceed $1.2 million. Illinois State owns and maintains property and business interruption insurance valued at approximately $2 billion. Through its membership in the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the University is able to purchase coverage from a collection of well-respected and financially sound insurance companies through the insurance broker Marsh USA, Inc. Funding comes from general revenue and auxiliary facilities operating revenues.
Fire services agreement
Trustees authorized the yearly intergovernmental agreement between the Town of Normal and Illinois State for fire protection services for the University. The agreement for FY2021 includes a cost of $604,956. The agreement is modified each year to require a new reimbursement rate that reflects the higher municipal costs associated with providing fire protection services. The Town of Normal uses a price index to calculate the new reimbursement rate that is determined by the Illinois Municipal League and used in other university communities across the state. Funding comes from general revenue and auxiliary facilities system operating revenues.
Foundation support agreement
The Board of Trustees approved the extension of a contract with the Illinois State University Foundation for development and fundraising services for FY2021. The contract stipulates that services will be provided for annual cash and in-kind consideration not to exceed $2,760,000. The Foundation, a private corporation, works to solicit, secure, and manage private gifts and other resources to support Illinois State’s educational and research mission.
Auxiliary facilities system revenue bonds
Trustees gave Illinois State authorization to issue new revenue bonds to reimburse University reserve funds used to pay for renovation work on Watterson Towers residence halls and the new Multicultural Center. The new series of auxiliary facilities system revenue bonds will be in an amount not to exceed $37.5 million. The new series of bonds, through JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., come with an indicative rate of 1.48 percent per annum. After five years the Board will have the option of either refinancing or paying off the bonds.
Naming of rooms in the Multicultural Center
The Board approved the naming of the Michael D. Schermer Conference Room in the Multicultural Center in honor of Schermer, who began his career at Illinois State in 1974. From 1978 to 1998, he served as director of the Office of Student Life and Student Government advisor. He served in a variety of roles in Student Affairs until his retirement in 2010. Trustees also approved the naming of the Dr. Frank Naeymi-Rad and Dr. Theresa A. Kepic Rehearsal Room and the Charles J. “Jack” and GeJuan Cardwell Rehearsal Room in the Multicultural Center. Dr. Naeymi-Rad earned his bachelor’s in mathematics from Illinois State University. He is the CEO and founder of Intelligent Medical Objects, Inc. Dr. Kepic earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Illinois State, and practiced as an obstetrics and gynecology physician in Chicago before her recent retirement. Jack and GeJuan Cardwell were Frank Naeymi-Rad’s host parents while he attended Illinois State.