Benjamin Salzberg: Candidate Profile

Oakton Community College School Board

  • Benjamin Salzberg, running for Oakton Community College School Board

    Benjamin Salzberg, running for Oakton Community College School Board

Updated 3/10/2015 5:45 PM

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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.

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City: Northbrook


Office sought:

Oakton Community College School Board

Age: 44

Family: Brother - Dentist Sister - Marketing Director Father - Retired PhD. in Mechanical Engineering College Professor and Mother (Homemaker)

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Occupation: Optimization Consultant -Six Sigma Master Black Belt Quality

Education: Engineering Associate Degree - Oakton Community College Mechanical Engineering (BS)- University of Illinois, Urbana IL Master in Business (MBA) - Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business, Chicago IL Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) - National-Louis University, Wheeling IL State of Illinois certified and Licensed teacher

Civic involvement: Master Mason Shriner

Elected offices held: None

Questions & Answers

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?

First, I would make sure that the class schedule it is most efficient covering the entire day, and not only mornings and evenings. If additional space would be needed for day classes, I would try to get space from companies in the district who have large conference areas, which could be used for classrooms. Regarding teachers, Oakton district has many highly qualified individuals motivated to assist in education. This has been proven through many years by the large number of associative teachers in the college. Of course, this requires proper solicitation and selection process.

Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family - spouse, child or child-in-law - employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?


Is a tax rate increase needed and, if so, how do you justify it?

New budgetary requirements maybe needed to provide students with tools necessary for their education in new technologies, However, any increase or cuts in expenditures have to be based on thorough analysis.

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?

In offering programs diversity of students must always be considered. Some want to continue their education at senior schools. For those, programs at Oakton must satisfy requirements of the first two years prescribed by universities. There are also a large number of students who are primarily interested in obtaining skills necessary to enter the job market upon graduation. Oakton already offers this opportunity, however, additional occupational programs would be desirable to meet wide interests of students.


What do you think of President Obama's proposal for offering two years of free community college education?

Offering free Community College education, as proposed by President Obama may appear attractive. However, the support of this idea depends on many unanswered questions. First, how it will be funded, and secondly what kind administrative and supervisory procedures would be used to prevent the abuse of this program. Without these clarifications it is difficult to provide a definite decision.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Oakton should maintain close relations with the current and future trends in the market place. This would prepare students with skills necessary for employment. Oakton should also establish a strong and meaningful relationship with employers so it can assist students upon graduations in securing positions.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Senator Mark Kirk.

What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

To be responsible.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Go into the financial area where I can make more money.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Math, assist me in my current workplace.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be kind to other people.