DACC kicks off fall semester; board approves barber program space | New

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College is welcoming students back to campus this week with daily fall semester kick-off activities.

The DACC Office of Student Engagement has planned a week of activities for the first week of school, which begins Monday. Each day will be thematic. With the exception of Food Truck Friday, all daily events are open to students and employees only.

Money Monday was organized by the Financial Aid Office and the DACC Foundation of the Students’ Union. The event offered tips on financial literacy, on-campus job opportunities for students and college students, information about the campus pantry, and treats.

DACC Foundation Scholarship Coordinator Gina Davis and Financial Aid Counselor/Loan Officer Isela Rangel spoke to students and distributed information Monday.

Rangel advised students to start thinking now about financial aid for the 2023-2024 school year.

Davis said that for this 2022-2023 school year, the DACC foundation has awarded 658 scholarships worth $945,450.

TRiO staff hosts Taco Tuesday at the Student Success Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to learn about TRIO programs and meet staff while enjoying free “Walking Tacos”.

Welcome Back Wednesday offers the annual Welcome Back Cookout on the lawn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to a free pulled pork barbecue lunch prepared by DACC cooking students, student services offices will host information tables, games, music and giveaways.

Treat yourself Thursday to the Student Union will offer free ice cream and other treats in addition to therapy dogs and information about campus counseling services.

Finally, Food Truck Friday is the only event open to the community. Cafecito Cubano and Buds BBQ will be set up on campus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with meals for purchase. Student Engagement is still looking for additional food trucks for the event. Anyone wishing to bring a truck should contact Alexis at 217-443-8593.

At last week’s DACC board meeting, a group was present to ask the board to consider reinstating women’s volleyball as a DACC sport.

Board Chairman Dave Harby thanked the group for their enthusiasm and informed the group that the board was not considering adding any new sports teams at this time.

The Branding team, including Chris Cornell and Lara Conklin, presented the new brand guidelines, approved by the board.

The council also approved a lease for space at the Village Mall, which will be used for the barber program. There are two spaces adjacent to each other in the mall for a classroom and a lab, ideal for the barber program, according to DACC officials. The spaces will require minor renovations.

The five-year lease is $18,000 per year for both spaces. The lease would begin September 1 for the barber program to start in January 2023.

The board also posted a draft DACC budget for fiscal year 2023. A public hearing will be held on September 22. The proposed budget is $18.37 million, 4.7% higher than the fiscal year 2022 budget. The tax rate is expected to be approximately 61.35 cents. The current rate is 61.77 cents.

DACC saw a 0.4% decrease in state operating and equalization grants, but increases in local property taxes due to the increase in equalized assessed assessment. DACC officials say they will continue to invest in human resources to maintain quality teaching and student service, provide the training needed to meet community job demands, cover software increases, and maintain its electronic systems, and cover increases in health insurance and utilities.

The board also approved an IT security update; transfer of $29,719 (interest earned) from the working fund to the education fund for general operations; and extension of a lift minibus lease with Midwest Transit Equipment and the lessor, Santander, for $1,296 per month or $31,104 for two additional years.

In addition, the board had a presidential evaluation discussion.

Ryan H. Bowman