INA – Rend Lake College searched the nation for someone to succeed retiring Vice President of Finance and Administration Robert “Bob” Carlock. Ads for the position appeared in local newspapers, as well as national publications, and recruitment was televised and cast on the World Wide Web. RLC was looking for the perfect candidate to fill some big shoes. The right person wound up being a Pinckneyville native working in South Carolina.
Larry West will return to his roots when he starts his new job as the VP of Finance and Administration on Jan. 14. The RLC Board of Trustees approved West for a $95,000 annual salary and a two-and-a-half-year contract during their December meeting.
“I am extremely honored to become a part of Rend Lake College,” he stated. “I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, President Kern, all of the staff and faculty, that have shown to have confidence in my abilities. Being part of one of the fastest growing Community colleges in the nation is exciting and reflects the top-of-the-line personnel that make up the college. I will use all of my resources and experience to perform the duties of my position the best I possibly can.”
West, 51, was born in Pinckneyville and is a member of the Pinckneyville Community High School Class of 1974. He is currently the Assistant Dean and Dean of Budget and Finance at the University of South Carolina’s Salkehatchie campus, which was established in 1965 as a regional center of USC. He has worked there since 1999 and is responsible for budgeting, current accounts, purchasing, campus security, physical plant management and performance funding. He is also the Athletic Director responsible for six NJCAA Region X athletic programs. Before he became the AD in 2004, USC-Salkehatchie only had one athletic program. He also teaches two economics courses each semester there.
Virtually all of West’s work experience and education applies to his new position at RLC.
He holds a master’s degree in economics from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, a B.S. in finance from SIUC graduating Magna Cum Laude and is an economics doctorate applicant at SIUC. His background of instructing students in economics, finance, marketing, mathematics, accounting and advanced monetary theory fits well with his new position. West worked as an instructor at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, John A. Logan College and SIUC.
He is the primary business student advisor for USC-Salkehatchie and served on the faculty budget committee, along with being a career development mentor. He is responsible for a $12 million-plus budget, all aspects of financial aid and all functions related to the financial management of the college while supervising more than 20 individuals. He was involved with a major curriculum improvement in the college of business at USC’s main campus in Columbia and supervises an Opportunity Scholars Program for first-generation, low-income college students. Although USC Salkehatchie is primarily a two-year campus, West was instrumental in designing a program that allows business students to stay there for three years.
He sees value in easing students’ financial burden for quality education and in student recruitment and retention. West stated that one of his proudest moments as an administrator at USC-Salkehatchie was writing a report that showed a 50% increase in enrollment at one USC campus. The hike came as a result of a year-long retention and enrollment project he spearheaded, according to West.
He has experience with grant writing and has served on various civic organizations aimed at economic development.
Even his 13 years as a heavy equipment mechanic at the Consolidation Coal Company site in Desoto will relate to his new role at RLC. Many RLC students are displaced workers who are retraining for a new career after losing their job because of factory and mine closings. West lost his job at Consol when the mine shut down in 1989.
He stated, “... these years of experience taught me to work with a vast array of individuals. This has proved to be invaluable, as it has aided me in communication with students and business.”
Carlock will retire at the end of the month after serving for more than two decades as the college’s Vice President of Finance and Administration.