DACC to begin process of filling vacancy on board

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College trustees will hold a special meeting next week to discuss filling a vacancy on the board.

Trustee Vickie Miller stepped down this past Tuesday after 22 1/2 years on the board. Now the board has 60 days to appoint a replacement, according to Board Chairman Dave Harby.

Harby said there has been some interest in the seat, but that the board will not be ready to approve an appointment next week.

The DACC Board of Trustees will meet at 6 p.m. Monday. The meeting is in Vermilion Hall, Room 302, at the campus, 2000 E. Main St. A copy of the agenda is available online at http://bit.ly/1qLc4BZ.

"We will have a candidate within the 60-day period," he said. "Where we are now is we've conducted a self-evaluation of the board and where we are. We're starting to narrow down our thoughts on what kind of candidate we're looking for."

Generally, "we want somebody who cares deeply about the students and has a passion for education and, specifically, higher education," he continued.

The appointee would serve out the remainder of Miller's term, which ends in April. If the appointee was interested in serving a full six-year term, he or she would have to run for the seat in the spring election.

Miller, of rural Indianola, is DACC's second-longest serving trustee, President Alice Jacobs said. Dr. George Richards served 23 years, from 1974 to 1997.

Miller was first elected to the board in 1991. She was selected the chairwoman in 2001 and served in that role until 2013 when she stepped down due to health reasons. Those same concerns prompted her "very difficult" decision to retire with nine months remaining on her fourth consecutive term in office.

"I understand why she needed to step away at this time, but she will be sadly missed," Harby said. "Vickie has been an exemplary trustee, and she's been a strong advocate of the collect both at the local and state level."

"She's been so instrumental in the growth of the college and the progress that it's made in the last 23 years," Jacobs added. "She's a former teacher, and she's been passionate about education. But what made her so effective is she just loves the college and was genuinely interested in the faculty, staff and students and all of the activities. She's also one of the most thoughtful people I've known."

With Mrs. Miller's support, officials said, DACC was selected to participate in the national Achieving the Dream initiative and was the first college in the state to attain National Institute for Metalworking Skills certification.

Through her community involvement, Miller positioned the college to anticipate and quickly respond to district and business/industry needs, Jacobs said. The president added that under her tenure, DACC added at least one program annually.

Earlier this month, Miller received the Certificate of Merit from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association in recognition of her contributions.

In addition, she received a Regional Trustee Leadership Award in October for taking an active role in local, state, and national community college initiatives.

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