Greeting Students

New East Central College President Jon Bauer greeted Christina Gibson, St. Clair, as she entered the Health and Science building Wednesday during the first day of the fall semester. This was the first day of class for many students, and Bauer’s first day as the school president. He took over after Dr. Ed Jackson retired.

East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer addressed the board of trustees Monday night for the last time as vice president of finance and administration.

Last September, trustees named Bauer to serve as the institution’s president when then current president Dr. Ed Jackson retired in June of this year.

Bauer is ECC’s sixth president. He has served as vice president of finance and administration at ECC since 2005, and remained in that role until his successor was found.

On Monday night, trustees approved the hiring of Philip E. Pena of Morton College in Cicero, Ill. Pena starts his duties at ECC Sept. 4, giving Bauer time to focus on renewing and strengthening ECC’s strategic plan.

During pre-semester meetings, faculty and staff identified components integral to the community college’s future growth. Bauer told the board he plans to prioritize specific elements to ensure individual and institutional success.

“We need to work as hard as we can to reach as many people as possible to inform them about the opportunities available at ECC,” he said, “We have to work just as hard to keep our students on track from semester to semester.”

Bauer also reviewed enrollment figures for the fall 2012 semester. The student population and amount of class work under way have fallen below last year’s numbers. Bauer didn’t expect the numbers to change significantly before the last day to add or drop classes.

“As of (Aug. 27) we are down 2.4 percent in head count and 2.7 percent in credit hours,” he said.

Other projects outlined by Bauer include updating personnel policies to match current laws; accrediting several academic programs; a survey of community members; and offering a retirement incentive to realize payroll savings.