FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — Following a joint effort to reach an agreement, negotiations between Highland Community College and the faculty have come to terms on a new contract. The new contract balances the needs of the students, faculty, and taxpayers while providing support and seeking to stabilize opportunities at Highland.
“Although negotiations were disrupted by COVID-19, the administration and board appreciate the faculty’s efforts to complete the process via use of a remote platform, i.e. Zoom™,” said Chris Kuberski, President of Highland Community College. “Like all institutions, we face many uncertainties going into the fall semester. Coming to an agreement on the Faculty contract provides a bit more stability and demonstrates the collaborative effort that is prevalent at Highland.”
The agreement was signed at the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees on August 6. Resolving these issues allows the faculty and administration to continue to focus solely on students’ safety and educational needs this fall as the challenges of COVID-19 are met and undertaken.
“The faculty would like to thank our IFT representative, Chris Weaver, and the Federal Mediator for helping us get to this agreement. The faculty are working hard to provide a high-quality education for their students and for Highland Community College during these challenging times. This agreement helps us do just that,” said Carol Wilhelms, retired Highland Instructor, and faculty negotiations team co-chair.
Highland’s Hospitality Management Instructor, Evan Talbert, was also a co-chair for the faculty negotiations team.
Jim Endress, Chair, Board of Directors, explained that the administration’s confirmed commitment restates Highland’s commitment to the faculty and to higher education for the greater good of the community.
“As a board, we understand the determination from staff and faculty to deliver education to students during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe environment and effective format,” said Endress. “Getting this joint agreement complete, allows this group to look forward to fall and delivering quality education.”