Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will receive an honorary doctoral degree during the 2013 commencement ceremony, President Teresa Amott announced last week.
In an email to the campus community with updates from a recent Board of Trustees meeting, Amott announced the Board’s approval of the degree, along with similar honors for outgoing Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde and actor Ed Helms, who will deliver the main commencement address.
Madigan, the daughter of longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), has served as Illinois’ attorney general since 2003, when she became the state’s first woman to hold the position.
According to Amott’s email, Madigan also spoke during the 2007 opening convocation at Knox.
Following are some highlights from Amott’s report on the Board of Trustees meeting:
The Board voted to increase the endowment spending rate for fiscal year 2014 to 7 percent. That rate, which was brought down to 5 percent in recent years, determines how much of the endowment will be added into the operating budget during a given fiscal year.
“This level of endowment draw will support strategic initiatives, such as capital campaign research and planning as well as admission marketing and financial aid initiatives, while also helping to close the gap between spending and revenues,” Amott said in the email.
Amott said the Board anticipates bringing the rate back down to 5 percent “as soon as possible.”
The Board also gave formal approval to some recent budgetary initiatives introduced by the college administration.
Trustees approved reducing the college’s contributions to faculty and staff retirement benefits from 6 percent to 3 percent, requiring a mandatory review of the reduction before the end of 2014.
They also formally approved Amott’s plan to increase enrollment to 1,600 over the next four or five years. Oversight of this plan will be shared by a few different trustee committees.
Trustees also passed a resolution thanking Ann Nixon, the executive assistant to the vice president for finance, who has served the trustees as an assistant secretary for 29 years.
Nixon will retire from her staff position at the end of March.