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Candidates for IVCC Board of Trustees

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 2:53 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 29, 2013 2:54 p.m. CDT

Editor’s note: Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Laurie Bonucci

Experience:

• Cub Scout den leader and volunteered at St. Louis School.

• Logan Junior High School PTO president, 2003-05.

• Bureau County Master Gardner, 2006, and have helped with many local projects.

• Horticultural superintendent at 4-H Fair while serving as a visual arts judge.

• Capital campaign member for the Illinois Theatre Conservancy, 2008.

• Bureau County Farm Bureau director from 2009-11.

• Bureau County Red Cross volunteer.

• Member of Friends in Council.

• Princeton Public Library Board member since 2000; served as president from 2007-11. Served on multiple committees and helped oversee construction of the new library in 2007.

What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing IVCC?

1. Increasing our enrollment. After four years of steadily increasing enrollment, these last two have seen a downturn. We need to increase the awareness in our communities of what IVCC has to offer and communicate that it should be considered as the best  place to pursue a higher education. There are many opportunities for students from all back rounds to achieve their goals.

2. The second issue is  staying current with developing technologies. Our new partnership with MAG IAS LLC, the world’s largest machining manufacturer in the U.S. and Caterpillar is one example of IVCC leading the way locally in providing training for students that will lead to good jobs upon graduation.

3. The third issue is preparing for the possible budget issues that may arise as a result of the inability of the state to handle its pension obligations. There are revenue issues on the horizon that may require tough decisions on the part of the board.

If elected, what one thing would you most like to accomplish? One thing I would like to accomplish as a board member of IVCC is to help the western part of District 513 increase the number of students that attend and graduate. If elected, I would be the only board member from this part of the district, and I need to stay connected to people and see that the college is meeting the needs of this community. I like to call it “IV Pride.” I would let our community know what new exciting things are happening on campus, such as the 80,000-square-foot Peter Miller Community and Technology Center — the first new building in 42 years at IVCC. I hope to bring the college to the community and the community to the college.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you? I have been fortunate to have served on the Princeton Public Library Board for 13 years now and helped oversee with the construction of our new building. People should vote for me because I plan to bring the same dedication and energy and enthusiasm to IVCC. Thanks for your consideration.

Brandon Evans

Experience: Certified volunteer tutor for I-Read program that is administered by Adult Education Department at IVCC. Former candidate for board in 2011.

What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing IVCC? Declining enrollment, higher tuition and declining state and federal revenue sources are the three most challenging elements facing IVCC. The IVCC district is in dire need of high-paying, quality jobs that require higher education while, at the same time, higher education is becoming less affordable and less accessible. When enrollments are down, it makes little sense to increase the cost to increase the enrollment. Likewise, when sources of financial aid (i.e., Pell and MAP grants) are contracting and more difficult to obtain, it makes little sense to increase the cost of your service.

If (re)elected, what one thing would you most like to accomplish? My No. 1 goal would be to drive a discussion that centers around new ways of thinking about education as an intrinsic good for our community. Stop the perpetuating trend of raising tuition because we’re afraid to make difficult decisions for the sustainable longevity of our public college, and introduce new ideas to answer the “necessary evil” of capitulating to increasing tuition. Finally, IVCC must broaden to serve the entire geographic district and make higher education the primary platform for rebuilding our social and economic community.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you? Higher education loans are at monumental and catastrophic proportions; government (state and federal) budgets are contracting; college has been on an exponentially dismal course of higher and higher cost; yet, we seem to be waiting for it to sort itself out. This problem will not sort itself out. I’m offering a different plan with different objectives that attempt to avoid or curtail our eventual disappointment and pain when this problem finally collapses in on itself. I want to offer IVCC the opportunity to think bigger and better and become the model community college rather than a tired and dangerous continuation.

Jane Goetz

Experience:

• 8 years as a director on the IVCC Foundation Board.

• Former reading and elementary teacher, 17 years as principal, and 6 years as principal mentor.

• 16 years on the board for Ottawa Opportunity Preschool, currently president.

• 6 years on the OSF Saint Elizabeth Foundation Board, currently president.

• Co-chair of the United Way of Eastern LaSalle County Campaign, 2006 and 2007.

What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing IVCC?

I believe three of the challenges facing IVCC are:

1. Increasing enrollment and helping students set their goals and completing them at IVCC.

2. Being fiscally responsible while maintaining the quality of programs and also finding new sources of funding support such as the Caterpillar and MAG partnerships that have been created.

3. Improving the transition of high school students into IVCC.

If elected, what one thing would you most like to accomplish? I would strive to work cooperatively with the board and administration on commonly agreed upon goals. It would be an honor to be a part of this successful community college family.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you? Being on the IVCC Foundation Board for eight years has given me the opportunity to understand what a critical role IVCC plays in so many lives and communities. The scholarships the IVCC Foundation gives have helped hundreds of students attend IVCC. This understanding and my background as a teacher, administrator and board member have helped to prepare me to serve the citizens and students in the Illinois Valley. I will commit my time and energy to be a dedicated public servant for IVCC.

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