Molly Walsh: Candidate Profile
Mchenry Commmunity College School Board (6-year Terms)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Crystal Lake
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Mchenry Commmunity College School Board (6-year Terms)
Family: Married, two children, two grandchildren
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana 1968 Master of Science in Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Il 1989
Civic involvement: McHenry County Historical Society, Board Member,Past Pres Not-For-Profit Resources, Founding board member Lou Marchi Total Recycling Institute at McHenry County College League of Women Voters of McHenry County
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
The proposed expansion for a $42 million health sciences facility, clinic and fitness center is my number one campaign issue. A feasibility study is currently being undertaken by MCC. Power Wellness has been hired to conduct the feasibility study while they might also be considered a partner in this project. I see this as a conflict of interest. In addition, the vehicle that they are proposing to fund the expansion is through the issuance of alternative revenue bonds. I object to this source of funding as it puts the taxpayer at risk if the revenue that was projected falls short. I oppose the expansion plan as it is currently being proposed.
Key Issue 2
Tuition increase is being considered by the MCC Board of Trustees. We need to ensure that MCC is accessible and affordable for all residents of our community. Before we raise tuition, we need to examine critically the college's expenditures to see if there are possible savings. I would not support a tuition increase at this time.
Key Issue 3
In 2012 the MCC Board of Trustees adopted a Sustainability Strategic Plan for MCC. As trustee I would encourage the college to adopt the initiatives as outlined in the plan to reduce the college's carbon footprint. MCC is located in the Crystal Lake Watershed so it's vital that the college is environmentally proactive.
With enrollment up at my many community colleges, it can be challenging to keep pace as far as available classroom/lab space, the number of qualified teachers and available course work options. How would you manage that?
MCC is meeting the challenges of increase enrollment by adding satellite locations, offering online programs and partnering with area businesses and schools. Offering students the opportunity to take classes in non-traditional formats such as intercession classes (three week classes offered in between semesters) blended classes which combine on-line lectures and in person labs and week-end classes would ease the challenges of higher enrollments and availability of qualified teachers.
In tough economic times, many students (and working professionals) turn to a community college for its educational value. How do you ensure that a person's financial sacrifice results in an educational benefit?
We must provide the necessary resouces to ensure that each student that enters our doors is successful whether that is earning a certificate, transferring to a four-year institution or gaining a new skill. Providing excellent student advising and tutoring opportunities are essential services to ensure student success.
Is a tax rate increase needed and, if so, how do you justify it?
The answer to this question begins with the budget. Trustees are responsible to the taxpayer to provide excellent educational opportunities and this begins with looking at the college's expenditures. In my opinion the only way a tax rate increase can be justified is going to the voters through a referendum.
Community colleges provide many services to a diverse population. Is there a service your college should be providing that it is not, or reaching a segment of the population that it is not?
The Latino population in McHenry County has grown from 7.5% to 11.4% in the last ten years. This growth represents the tenth largest increase among all Illinois counties. Efforts to recruit Latino students to MCC should be a priority. The average age of a MCC student is 20 years old. I would like MCC to rededicate their efforts in attracting older students e.g. veterans, the unemployed and underemployed.
If you are a newcomer, what prompted you to run for the community college board? If you're an incumbent, list your accomplishments or key initiatives in which you played a leadership role.
From my experience of working at MCC for 22 years, I have seen firsthand the positive impact MCC has had on it's students. MCC is a rich resource for the community and I would be honored to serve with my fellow trustees in helping shape the future of McHenry County College.
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