South Metropolitan
Higher Education Consortium
South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium Quarterly Newsletter, Issue 1, April 1, 2018
Link and Leverage Efforts Lead to the Building of the
Will County Regional Sustainability Network
Presidents, Dr. Arvid Johnson (University of St. Francis), Dr. David Livingston (Lewis University) and Dr. Judy Mitchell (Joliet Junior College), sign Will County Regional Sustainability Network Compact on at GreenTown Will County Advisory Council demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.
Photo: Judy Mitchell with Joliet Junior College, David Livingston with Lewis University and Arvid Johnson with the University of St. Francis and Mayor of Joliet Bob O'Dekirk.
In 2014, the SMHEC Sustainability Task Force began working with communities through its Link and Leverage initiative to promote the growth and development of resilient communities through sustainable practices. In 2016, SMHEC, Joliet Junior College, Lewis University and University of St. Francis formed the Will County Regional Sustainability Network at the request of a number of Will County organizations to bring cohesion to the many sustainability and resilience efforts in Will County.

On January 23, during the GreenTown Will County Advisory Council, Joliet Mayor, Bob O'Dekirk (left) was present to show the city of Joliet's support of sustainability, while Dr. Judy Mitchell of Joliet Junior College (second from left), Dr. David Livingston of Lewis University (second from right) and Dr. Arvid Johnson of the University of St. Francis (right) signed the Will County Regional Sustainability Network Compact.

To further demonstrate their collaborative commitment to sustainability and the communities they serve Joliet Junior College, Lewis University and University of St. Francis will act as non-financial champions of the Will County Regional Sustainability Network’s work to link and align existing sustainability efforts in and around the Will County region, to build and leverage relationships between all stakeholders including government, higher education, businesses, non-profit entities and community members, and to establish an infrastructure to support the activities of the Network.

On October 26, the Will County Regional Sustainability Network will host a GreenTown Conference at Joliet Junior College’s Renaissance Center in Joliet, IL. Conference themes include water, local and sustainable food, transportation, energy and health.
Writing Across The Institutions
Professional Development Workshop
On February 16, 17 representatives from nine institutions attended a Professional Development Workshop, hosted by the Writing Across the Institutions Committee, which featured presentations from Dr. Jessica Nastal-Dema, Assistant Professor of English at Prairie State College and Dr. Amanda Athon, Assistant Professor of English at Governors State University.

Dr. Nastal-Dema provided an overview of writing assessment's unintended consequences, where she focused on the validity, reliability, and fairness, and led a discussion on the implications of advancing a fairness-first model of assessment. Workshop participants had the opportunity to explore how to develop assessments that value the plurality and diversity of students’ languages, literacies and rhetorics.

Dr. Athon's presentation addressed how to develop an accessible composition classroom. In this interactive presentation, Dr. Athon facilitated a discussion on how instructors can create a culture of access in the composition classroom by moving away from notions of disability as strictly accommodation and considering instead how disability can foster discussion of rhetorical spaces, modalities, and genres.

For more information on the Writing Across The Institutions Committee, or to join the group, please contact Allessandra Kummelehne at .
What Our Committees Are Doing
Crisis Management: Mutual Aid Plan
The Crisis Management Task Force completed its annual Mutual Aid test in February.

The Mutual Aid Plan (MAP) allows for SMHEC institutions to call upon their peers to provide resources when an emergency situation occurs. Emergency situations may include natural disasters, fires, active shooter situations, and other scenarios that may disrupt the daily operations of an institution.

MAP enables the affected institution to leverage resources within the Consortium and maintain business continuity.
The Future Energy Jobs Act:
Its Impact on SMHEC
Through new legislation, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), incentives are the highest they have ever been, allowing colleges and universities to install up to 2 MW solar system with no incurred costs.

With these new incentives, SMHEC recognizes the time to install solar on campuses has never been better.

After more than nine months of following FEJA, the Sustainability Task Force/Solar Collaborative Subcommittee will issue a joint RFP that will allow seven institutions to identify the feasibility of installing solar on campus and the opportunity to select a qualified developer if the proposed project meets the needs of the institution.

Stay tuned for updates!
Information Technology Networking Opportunities
The Chief Information Officer Committee is preparing a series of networking events for Colleague Programmers and Networking/Cyber Security staff to share best practices, discuss common challenges and solutions, and identify areas of collaboration to address programming concerns and cyber security threats. If you are interested in learning more about these networking events, please contact Nikelda Cave at .
Shared Faculty Development Conference: October 2018
In late 2017, the Chief Academic Officers asked that SMHEC move forward with the planning of a shared faculty development event to leverage resources within the network. A variety of topics and breakout sessions were discussed and a small planning committee was formed.
Joan Rosen, from South Suburban College, is facilitating the planning of this event and has already hosted a series of planning sessions with professional development representatives from Governors State University, Kankakee Community College, Lewis University and Moraine Valley Community College to identify: topics for breakout sessions, themes for an administrative panel presentation, and opportunities for discipline-specific round table discussions.
The next planning meeting is April 5 at Governors State University. If you are interested in participating, please contact Joan Rosen at .
If you are interested in making a presentation at the Conference, please contact Allessandra Kummelehne at for details.
The Conference will be held in October 2018 at Governors State University.
Upcoming Events
3 NIDILRR Grant Meeting
5 Marketing Committee
5 Regional Faculty Development Planning Meeting
6 Student Sustainability Summit
10 Cyber Security Networking
13 Writing Across the Institutions Meeting
26 Chief Academic Officers Committee Meeting

25 Library Committee Meeting

4 Quarterly Grant Meeting
7 Marketing Committee
11 Chief Information Officer Meeting
14 Ellucian IL Conference
14 Sustainability Task Force Meeting
21 President/Chief Academic Officers Committee Meeting
Members In The News
USF Receives Forest Preserve of Will County Award

February 9, 2018 | Joliet, Ill. Joliet, Ill.- The University of St. Francis (USF) proudly accepted the Appreciation of Partners Award from community partners, the Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 during...

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PSC Student Selected to Visit NASA This February

On Feb. 13, Bill Michael Beverly will join a handful of engineers from throughout the United States at the NASA Space Center Houston in Texas, as the agency begins its search for the next generation of American scientists, engineers and...

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New Book Features GSU

A story without conflict is no story at all. Struggle develops character and, ideally, leads to growth. This is a basic principle of good narrative writing, and in Leading Academic Change: Vision, Strategy, Transformation, GSU President Elaine P. ...

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JJC Raises $16,314 for United Way, Combined Charities |...

Joliet Junior College faculty and staff have combined to raise over $16,300 for several local organizations through its annual United Way and Combined Charities Campaign.

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Lewis University | News & Events

Lewis University has been named a StormReady community by the National Weather Service. This voluntary preparedness program encourages communities to prepare...

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Enrollment Dashboard Garners Award for Moraine Valley...

Recruiting and retaining students is the name of the game for a number of departments at Moraine Valley Community College. Nilkamal Shah and Aaron Roe, from the colleges' Institutional Research and Planning department, designed a tool to help...

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USF's MSN Ranks High on 2019 U.S. News & World Report List

March 16, 2018 The University of St. Francis (USF) is proud to announce that the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program was included on the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools list. The ranking places the MSN program at USF...

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Illinois Tech's Jean-Luc Ayitou Wins NSF CAREER Award

Jean-Luc Ayitou, assistant professor of chemistry at Illinois Tech, has won the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation, Division of Chemistry: Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanisms. The award,...

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Saint Xavier University announces spring 2018 concert...

Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Music Department will once again be hosting a concert series for the semester. The performances are open to all, and are free for SXU students, faculty and staff with a valid ID. Admission for the public is $6, and ...

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