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East Central College board members approved the institution’s share in the cost of a grand piano for the music department at their May meeting. 


To facilitate the purchase, the ECC Foundation has agreed to fund the purchase from Piano Distributors of Chesterfield at a price of $47,500. 


To date, ECC Foundation funds to purchase the rebuilt nine foot Yamaha concert grand piano total almost $31,000.  Several years ago an initial donation of $19,635 was received for the purchase of a grand piano.  Fund raising activities in recent months has netted an addition $7,255 and the Patrons of the Arts allocated $4,000 this year. 


Dr. Jon Bauer, vice president of finance and administration, noted that Dr. Jennifer Judd, associate professor of music at ECC, looked into purchasing a rebuilt piano earlier this year.  “A comparable piano purchased new would likely cost in excess of $100,000,” Bauer said.


The college will fund an amount not to exceed $16,610, to be repaid to the Foundation over two years.  $7,000 will come from funds that otherwise would have been used to purchase an upright piano for a practice room.  The remaining $6,610 will be funded out of course fees paid by students in the program. 


The college will reimburse the Foundation for half of the balance in June of 2013, and the remainder in June 2014.  The two-year reimbursement period will allow fundraising to continue and lower the amount due from the college.


“This is an opportunity to strengthen a program that is already recognized as one of the best in the region and that enjoys widespread community support,” stated Bauer.


Course Fee Approved


Trustees approved a $100 course fee for three classes in the Health Information Management program.  The fee covers the cost of liability insurance, drug screening and criminal background checks.  The affected courses give students an early hands-on experience in a medical office or health service department.  ECC must provide evidence to any pre-professional experience site that students have liability coverage and have been screened.


Students in the HIM program who follow the recommended course sequence would only have to pay the fee one time since screenings remain valid for a full calendar year.




In personnel matters, trustees approved the re-employment of 44 full-time members of the professional staff for fiscal year 2013 as well as instructors for the upcoming summer session.


The employment of Daniel Johnson as a biology-anatomy and physiology instructor was approved.  He is currently a part-time instructor at Lonestar College in Cypress, Texas, and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.  Johnson earned a Ph.D. in animal sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.  


The promotion of Brittany Watz to grants specialist was also approved at the meeting.  Watz has been employed at ECC since August of 2010 as executive administrative assistant to the vice president of career and outreach education.  Watz earned a bachelor’s degree from Fontbonne University and is currently pursing a master’s degree in nonprofit management at Washington University.


The position is funded through three grant programs:  Graduate St. Louis, MoHealthWINs and Perkins.


Trustees were also updated on the status of the search for a new vice president of finance and administration.  Bauer will vacate that office July 1 when he becomes ECC’s sixth president.


“Several interviews have been conducted, but the position will be posted until it is filled,” said Bauer.  “I hope to bring a recommendation to the board at the June 18 meeting.”


The resignation of Debby Breeden, program coordinator for customized training, was approved effective June 8, 2012.

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