Clarification on ‘gray area’

Information given to The Rock River Times fits into a “gray area,” according to the source of the information, Rock Valley College (RVC) Board Chairman Chris Johnson.

As to whether or not the RVC board approved perks for administrators, Johnson said, “That’s a ‘yes’ and a ‘no.’ They did not approve any new perks for this year’s budget.” However, the perks were part of the budget passed by the board, but they were part of existing contracts.

“They are renewals and not new,” Johnson said. “They’re two reports: the President’s Personnel Report [which only Johnson gets a copy of as chairman of the board] and the Personnel Report, ” which goes to the whole board.

The Rock River Times’ Sept. 3-9 issue reported the perks, but did not describe them as “new.” However, they were listed in the President’s Personnel Report, which was is also posted in “The Quarry” section on the college’s internal computer network.

That posting reads:

“Rock Valley College

August 20, 2003

Number 243/1


The following personnel items are recommended for approval by President’s Cabinet.


Suzanne Berger (0282566), $6,000.

Cheryl Krakow (0305279), $6,000.

Sam Overton (0312126), $6,000.


Suzanne Berger (0282566), $5,000.

Penny Billman (0279396), $4,000.]

Robert Campbell (0274597), $4,000.

Shirley Hardy (0311772), $4,000.

Cheryl Krakow (0305279), $6,000.

Sam Overton (0312126), $5,000.”

Johnson confirmed to The Rock River Times that the board had approved the perks; he just did not clarify when they were approved, or that the President’s Cabinet also approved them.

When asked if our reporter Jeff Havens was correct in his reporting of Johnson’s confirmation, Johnson said, “He’s right. He asked me twice if as board chairman I get that report.”

Rock Valley College (RVC) President Roland Chapdelaine issued an e-mail Sept. 10 to all RVC employees for his clarification of the car allowance and annuity issue that was raised in the Sept. 3-9 edition of The Rock River Times.

One part of the article, “No confidence in RVC’s Chapdelaine” reads, “While layoffs are impending for RVC’s staff and tuition was hiked $75 for a student taking 15 credit hours, the board approved a $6,000 car allowance for three upper-level administrators.

The board approved the allowance Aug. 26, along with six $4,000-$6,000 annuities for upper-level administrators despite board-ordered pay freezes for all employees one month ago.”

Chapdelaine responded by writing, “The cabinet and the president voluntarily took a wage and benefit freeze for [fiscal year 20]04. There were no increases in salary and benefits of any kind. The car allowance and annuities are contractual, that is it is a part of their employment contract at either their time of hire or contract renewal.

“The benefits are as follows: The vice presidents, executive VP for Learning Services, chief financial officer and the executive VP for the Foundation and VP

for Institutional Advancement receive a $500 a month [$6,000 per year] car allowance and an annual $5,000 annuity, the executive VP for Learning Services

receives a $6,000 annual annuity. The associate VP’s which include Information Technology and Institutional Planning and Research and special assistant to the

president and the executive dean of Human Resources receives a $4,000 annual annuity and no car allowance.

“The president’s personnel report that has been cited as the source for the “rumor” was simply authorizing the release of the dollars that were already a part of their employment contract. These benefits as I stated previously were approved by the board at the initial hiring contract or contract renewal. Each of the Cabinet members has a renewable two-year contract,” Chapdelaine wrote.

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