Parkland astronomy professor appointed to replace retiring planetarium director

Parkland astronomy professor appointed to replace retiring planetarium director

CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College is staying in-house to replace one of its star faculty members.

At Wednesday night's meeting, the board appointed Erik Johnson, an associate professor of astronomy, to succeed the retiring David Leake as director of the school's planetarium, effective Aug. 12.

Leake, a founder of the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society and winner of the 2017 North Central Region of the Astronomical League Award, has served on Parkland's astronomy and physics faculty since 1989. He will retire next month.

Johnson has been on the faculty since 2011.

In other action by trustees:

— Raises of 3 percent — or up to 3.5 percent, pending how much the college is allotted in the state budget — were approved for Parkland's administrators and confidential and supervisory staff. The pay hikes match those approved previously for professional support staff, the college said.

— Open Road Paving of Urbana was awarded the $1,432,166 contract for campus walkway construction and parking-lot repairs.

— Champaign's Commerce Bank was chosen as the vendor for the college's procurement cards — or P-Cards.

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