At first, McHenry County College veteran board member George Lowe shrugged off losing his re-election bid for a fourth term.
"It doesn't bother me. I've got 32 years of government experience," said Lowe, a retired teacher and computer technician who also served on the Cary village board and the McHenry County Board. "It's a long time; I'm getting worn out."
But later, after talking about his 18 years of service and what is in store for the college, he admitted he would like to be part of MCC's future.
Lowe finished third in Tuesday's election, losing to newcomers Linda Liddell and Cynthia Kisser. Incumbent Robert DeWitt, who was appointed in November, also was unseated.
When Lowe first was elected to the board in 1993, the college was borrowing money and didn't have a cash surplus, he said. Over the years, and in part thanks to the board's efforts, the college was able to build its finances despite dwindling funding from the state, he said.
Lowe said he supported an $8-per-credit-hour tuition increase next year to cover a projected $1.2 million budget hole. Gradual tuition increases are inevitable, he said.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished," he said, pointing to the construction of the $2.6 million, donor-funded Shah Center for Corporate Training in 2006, and a $12 million student services and classroom building addition in 2003.
But MCC still will need to accommodate increasing enrollment, expand its nursing program, renovate its oldest building and possibly build a parking garage, which will require asking voters for a tax increase through a referendum, Lowe said.
As for his future plans, Lowe said he will be fishing and revisiting places like Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
The new trustees, including Dennis Adams for the 2-year seat, will be sworn-in at the April 27 board meeting.