John Lumber: Candidate Profile
College Of Lake County 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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: College Of Lake County School Board (6-year Terms)
Family: Divorced with one adult son
Occupation: Retired Dean of Social Sciences College of Lake County
Education: B.S. History Marquette University M.A. History Marquette University
Civic involvement: Previously Member and President Lake County Sheriff's Merit Commission Previously Lecturer on Lake County Government Project
Elected offices held: Currently completing first term as a Trustee on the College of Lake County Board
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Securing revenues for the "long term" sufficient to maintain educational programs necessary to meet the college's stated goals for students and the community
Key Issue 2
How to increase the college's market share to grow enrollments
Key Issue 3
Expanding the use of technology in delivering instruction
CLC has been touting so called green initiatives. Is this something you support? Why or why not?
Yes. The CLC Board has supported our president's involvement in helping to establish the IGEN across the state. It is my belief that having a system that enables colleges to share resources, expertise, and knowledge on sustainability and green jobs is beneficial to the communities we serve. Representatives from businesses, governmental bodies, and school districts have expressed interest in how the IGEN system may assist them.
With enrollment up at 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?
While enrollments have declined or remained over the past few semesters, past history tells us enrollments will recover. Plans for expected additional space needs in the near term include the construction of a new science wing on the Grayslake campus and a Life Long Learning Center at the Waukegan campus. For the long term we have submitted proposals to the Capital Development Board seeking money to add classrooms at the Grayslake campus and the South Lake Center in Vernon Hills. Access to qualified faculty has not been problematic. With regard to course options, we have been adding new courses and programs, Photonics and Mechatronics. Our administration and faculty are also at how we might be able to better respond to the "skills gap" issue in today's job market.
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?
There are three ideas we are looking at in this regard. First is the "One Stop Shop" approach to providing necessary information making access to the college less cumbersome. Second, we are moving some ptograms to the Waukegan Campus not previously available at that location. Third, we are purchasing some mobile instructional units which will enable us to offer HVAC courses to students at the Waukegan South Lake locations.
Student credit-hours fees have been going up over the past few years. What's your position on the fee structure? Do you think other cuts should be pursued to hold the line on fees? Please elaborate.
This is one of the challenges for the Board and Administration. Course fees in most instances are for use of consummable materials. Where expensive equipment is needed for instruction it has become the practice of using a course fee to partially offset the replacement costs. This puts the Board in a quandary. Costs for materials and equipment continue to increase. We are presently working with a state purchasing agency as one way to control costs. Our fee structures are reviewed annually and in some years we have chosen not to increase fees. I do not have the answer to the second part of this question. Most of our costs are fixed costs making it more difficult to find areas to cut. Cost areas that may not be fixed in nature may be important components of the college experience.
Is a tax rate increase needed and, if so, how do you justify it?
I don't believe it is necessary in the near future. We have a financial plan which projects stability at least through 2015. Financial stability can be affected by declining support from the state, by declines in district property tax revenues, by pension reforms proposed in the legislature which may ask community college districts to assume a greater responsibility for funding employees' pensions. The College of Lake County sought to increase the education rate in a referendum back in 1978 it failed to pass. It has not attempted another referendum since that time.
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