Hellos and goodbyes at Sauk: Staff changes on Monday’s board of trustees agenda

July 15, 2018

DIXON – People are coming and going at Sauk Valley Community College, where the Board of Trustees will fill two administrative positions and accept three resignations at Monday’s board meeting.

One of adjustments is to the Athletic Director’s contract.

Michael Stevenson, 53, of Sterling, has been director of the campus YMCA fitness center and Sauk’s athletic director for a year.

In an agreement with Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, Sauk paid 60 percent of his $67,500 salary, or $40,500, while the Y paid the remaining $27,000.

“We need more of his time as athletic director, so we’re taking over his contract,” President David Hellmich said.

In May 2017, the college Board of Trustees approved purchasing nearly $50,000 in fitness equipment from the Dixon and Sterling-Rock Falls YMCAs after the partnership between the college and the Y’s failed to live up to expectations, with membership falling short of its goal. Hellmich said last year that the college would eventually buy the rest of the equipment. All told, the cost will total about $165,000. The campus Y opened in November 2016.

The previous athletic director, Russ Damhoff, retired in 2017 after 31 years.

Stevenson has a bachelor’s of science and a master’s of science and physical education from Western Illinois University in Macomb. He was Western’s assistant athletic director from 2004 to 2009, as well as its head track and field/cross country coach.

He was director of track and field/cross country at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California; assistant track and field coach at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and teacher and coach at Dallas City High School in Dallas City.

“I’m looking forward to my continuing relationship at the college and serving them as full-time director of athletics,” Stevenson said.

Research and planning

The new director of research and planning is Joe Bright, 27, of Sterling who has been a member of Sauk’s student support services as a career adviser and an academic support coordinator since 2014.

The administrative position became vacant when Steve Nunez was promoted to vice president of academics and student services in May.

Bright will be the liaison between the college and its accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Illinois Community College Board and will coordinate strategic planning for the administration and staff, to make sure policies are in line with the college’s objectives and goals.

His salary is $55,000 a year.

He has a bachelor’s in international business and political science from Augustana College in Rock Island and a master’s in public administration from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

“I have big shoes to fill, but I’m really excited to help the college move forward in the next few years,” Bright said.


Director of Facilities Frank Murphy, computer information systems and business teacher Mary Lou Kidder, and director of student support services Savannah Mussington are leaving.

Sauk will fill the director of student support services before the fall semester, but the director of facilities won’t be filled until a few weeks before Sept. 15, Murphy’s last day.

As for the computer information systems and business teacher, Sauk will decide by spring either to fill the position or spread responsibilities among faculty.

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