College of Lake County has new board leaders for the next year, a move that was encouraged by the teachers' political action committee.
In an annual board reorganization, colleagues selected Trustee Amanda Howland by a 4-3 vote Monday to serve as chairman for 2013-14. Trustee William Griffin was nominated first to occupy the board chairman seat he's previously held, but that was rejected by a 4-3 vote.
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Howland was elected to CLC's board in 2009. She replaces Trustee Richard Anderson in taking her first turn as CLC board chairman.
Howland said Tuesday one of her goals is to get some board colleagues to set aside personal agendas "or whatever else happens to be there" so CLC has a unified voice. Howland said while the school is financially and academically sound, it must continue to grow and move forward.
"We need to work together and work issues out and respect that people have different ideas," said Howland, who ran as a Democrat when she unsuccessfully challenged Republican state Sen. Dan Duffy last year.
CLC Trustee Jeanne Goshgarian was tabbed by a 5-2 vote to take over as vice chairman. Griffin filled that role for the 2012-13 term.
Anderson, Griffin and Trustee Barbara Oilschlager have been the principal holders of the CLC board's leadership positions of chairman and vice chairman. Anderson has been chairman six times since 1984.
Officials from the CLC Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee posted an online message before Monday's vote that called for a change in board leadership roles. Teachers union PAC Chairman Tracey Hoy said the position calling for change was expressed in the past in an effort to encourage new ideas.
"We respectfully suggest that the CLC board work to energize and unify the group by sharing board leadership roles more equitably," the union stated. "Having the same three board members consistently serve as board chair and vice chair is not appropriate. We would like to see someone be voted chair who has not served in this role in the past."
Responding to the union's call for change, Anderson said he, Griffin and Oilschlager have rotated as chairman or vice chairman for several years because they are CLC's senior trustees. He said the experience is important at the community college level.
"We know what it takes to be a leader," Anderson said. Hoy said it's hoped Howland will bring together a talented group of elected officials to work on behalf of students, instructors and others at CLC.
"Given the rather contentious behavior of the board over the last two years, we're eager to see if the new leadership can bring them together," Hoy said.