MATTOON (JG-TC) -- The Lake Land College Board of Trustees is scheduled Monday evening to consider five candidates for an open seat on the board and then vote to fill this vacancy.

The vacancy was created when trustee Robert Luther resigned for health reasons on Sept. 11. He died two days later at age 77. Luther served as Lake Land's fourth president from 1988 until his retirement in 2006. He was elected to the Lake Land board in 2001 and was re-elected on April 4.

Lake Land gave notice after Luther's resignation from the board that applicants were being sought to fill the vacancy. The candidates who submitted application materials by the Sept. 29 deadline are Matt Forcum, Sullivan; Jere Schuler, Effingham; Meg Steward, Marshall; Michael Stopka, Mattoon; and Denise Walk, Teutopolis.

Forcum was a candidate for the board during the April 4 election, when three seats were available. Incumbent trustees Luther, Doris Reynolds, and Mike Sullivan, all of Mattoon, were re-elected in this election.

Actions to fill the vacant trustee position are on the agenda for the board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in Webb Hall 081. Lake Land reported in a press release that the board is scheduled to consider the regular business items on the meeting agenda and then go into closed session to discuss the selection of a person to fill the board seat vacancy.

Following this discussion, the board is slated to return to open session and then approve a candidate to fill the board vacancy as discussed in closed session. The individual selected is set to take his or her seat at the Nov. 13 board meeting.

Those interested in filling the vacancy were asked to submit materials explaining their reasons for seeking the appointment, and their qualifications and experiences in other areas that may enhance public policy or decision making.

To be eligible to serve as a trustee, each candidate must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, a resident of Illinois for one year immediately preceding election, and a resident of Community College District No. 517 for one year immediately preceding election.

The individual selected by the board to fill the vacancy will serve until the next consolidated election in April of 2019, at which time the voters of Lake Land's district will select an individual to serve out the remainder of Luther’s unexpired term.

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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