Endorsements: Stafford, Bashiri-Remetio for Oakton Community College board
It's a pleasure to see five strong candidates competing for two six-year terms on the Oakton Community College board. They come from a diverse set of age, ethnic and educational backgrounds, a key element at a community college where diversity abounds. They show real concern for the students and how best to serve them, an understanding and appreciation of the role of a community college versus a four-year school, and a conservative approach to use of tax dollars.
Incumbent Board Chairman William Stafford, 63, of Evanston, is an educational administrator who attended private college. He has been on the board since an appointment in 2007. Theresa Bashiri-Remetio, 30, of Park Ridge, an Oakton graduate who was a student trustee, was elected two years ago to a two-year term. She is a financial analyst working on her master's degree.
Christopher Evdoxiadis, 32, of Evanston is an Oakton graduate currently working on his four-year degree. Constantine Ress of Lincolnwood is a retired adjunct professor with a doctorate in educational administration, who has taught at Oakton and other schools. And Benjamin Salzburg, 44, of Northbrook, an optimization consultant, graduated from Oakton and went on to get two master's degrees. His father is a retired professor who taught at the college.
An issue this past year has been the dismissal of as many as 80 part-time instructors who are also earning pensions from the State Universities Retirement System because of a state law change that makes the school liable for penalties if adjuncts earn more than state guidelines.
While the three challengers criticized the way this was handled and we agree to a degree, they said it was not why they chose to run. The incumbents were responding to the law regarding the adjuncts, they are doing a good job overall and they remain committed to the college and their jobs as trustees. Stafford and Bashiri-Remetio are endorsed for re-election.