The former state treasurer has been tapped to head the Illinois Community College Board. Gov. Pat Quinn has selected Alexi Giannoulias as chairman of the ICCB. Giannoulias’ non-paid, six-year appointment must still be confirmed by the state Senate.
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While Giannoulias has no experience in the teaching department, Quinn says he brings a wealth of contacts with him that could helpIllinoisachieve its “60 by 25” goal, which calls for 60 percent ofIllinois’ adult population to hold a college degree or career certificate by 2025. “We gotta be aggressive and progressive here when it comes to education,” Quinn said. “We have to have someone like Alexi who can pick up the phone and talk to Arne Duncan, the secretary of education inWashington. I really look forward to working with Arne on our initiatives.”
Giannoulias says he will be working closely with Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon, who has visited the state’s 48 community colleges. Giannoulias says he wants to explore changes in the was high school students are prepared for college courses, increase access to community colleges for low-income and rural residents and boost the number of credits that can transfer to a four-year university. Giannoulias replaces Guy Alongi of Du Quoin as the chairman. Quinn says Alongi will remain on the board.