William Stafford: Candidate Profile

Oakton Community College School Board

  • William Stafford, running for Oakton Community College School Board

    William Stafford, 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: Evanston

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought:

Oakton Community College School Board

Age: 63

Family: Wife Ingrid and boys Sven and Will

Occupation: Educational Administrator

Education: BA Wittenberg University Masters in Public Policy from University of Michigan Certificate of Professional Accounting from Kellogg School of Northwestern University

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Civic involvement: Past President Evanston Baseball and Softball Association

Elected offices held: Past Board Member of Government Finance Officers of American Past Board Member Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Secretary, Vice President and President of Oakton Community College Board

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?

Our Board realized this enrollment increase and has embarked on a $60 million building campaign that just included the opening of our new state of the art Science building. Additionally, new student success facilities will also be completed as part of this plan.

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?

I am employed by the Evanston Township High School District 202. None of my family is employed by the either Oakton Community College or ETHS District 202.

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

The tax rate increase the last several years has been below 2% due to tax caps and the low CPI indices which determine the tax increase. Small incremental tax increases are needed to maintain the world class faculty that Oakton Community College provides for its students.


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?

More emphasis needs to be placed on the emerging vocational certifications and degrees. A two year or four year degree is important but not necessarily the only avenue to succees in the ever-changing world we live in.

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

It is a wonderful proposal. Community colleges are a diamond in the rough in the American educational system and can be powerful institutions in assisting people achieve the American dream.

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

The new Achieve the Dream program that Oakton has embarked on is critical to the future success of the institution. It is providing us an evidenced based structure to provide better supports to assist future Oakton students to be more successful and graduate at even higher rates than are currently being achieved.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Warren Buffet

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

To respect my parents and learn from them.

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

Learn to skate better so I could play hockey.

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

Political Science. It helped me understand the politics of life and how to use those skills to improve public institutions.

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

Relationships with people are what matters most in life.