Goudy challenges Orr for CMC trustee seat
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The Nov. 1 mail-in ballot election includes contested races for four Colorado Mountain College board of trustees seats.
In District 2, Incumbent Stan Orr of Glenwood Springs is being challenged by Kathy Goudy of Carbondale.
Running for the open District 4 seat are Richard Hague of Breckenridge and Robert Taylor of Summit County. Dick Bateman, the current Summit County trustee, is term-limited.
Running for the open District 5 seat are Ken Brenner and John Fielding, both of Steamboat Springs.
In District 6, incumbent Wes Duran of Twin Lakes is being challenged by Pat Chlouber of Leadville.
Board of trustees members must reside in the county that comprises their director district, but they are elected at-large by the voters to represent the entire college district.
The Post Independent presents a series of question and answers with the candidates. First up is the Garfield County seat (District 2), with Stan Orr and Kathy Goudy.
Stan Orr lives in Glenwood Springs. He is owner and CEO of NonProfit Resources Inc.
Kathy Goudy lives in Carbondale. She has been a lawyer for 28 years.
Q: What prompted you to run for a seat on the CMC board of trustees?
Orr: First of all, thank you for the opportunity you’ve given the candidates to provide voters with the insight needed to make an informed decision.
In retrospect, it wasn’t so much a decision to run for a second term, as a desire to give something back to community colleges and my community. I earned an associate’s degree at a community college. A community college was the impetus for successfully completing my bachelor’s degree in education. It provided me, along with many other Americans, something that might otherwise have never occurred: Opportunity.
I began my career as a classroom teacher. I have been involved in learning ever since, seven years as a teacher, then as a CEO of organizations whose focus was adult learning. For the past 16 years I have owned a small business, NonProfit Resources. NPR manages and consults to national and international trade, professional, and philanthropic organizations. Along with my years as CEO of other associations, I have 27 years of experience managing, and consulting to, volunteer boards. I understand the challenges and opportunities volunteer boards like CMC’s face and how to best meet them with success.
Goudy: I believe that education is the great equalizer. And as one of the many who have reaped the rewards of higher education, I regard it as my responsibility and privilege to help repay that debt of opportunity. My hope is to commit my skills of organization and advocacy to Colorado Mountain College, our own Rocky Mountain wellspring of educational opportunity – and the college that our son, Zach, will earn an associate degree from in the near future.
Q: What’s your opinion about the college’s recent move toward four-year degrees?
Orr: It was an exciting decision that I was honored to preside over as board president. CMC is providing a tremendous educational product to the community. For me, the “aha moment” came when I learned so many residents in the district want to attain degrees but are unable due to cost and inaccessibility.
In order to attend a 4-year school, most of us would have to forgo trying to provide for our family and simply move to the Front Range. If we do try to continue to live in the mountains and commute, the cost of time and travel required to earn a degree, coupled with much higher tuition costs, is insurmountable for most of us.
We have stayed true to the community college mission while establishing CMC as a nimble institution ready to meet the demands of the future. The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010, for instance, did not exist in 2004. We have an excellent infrastructure in place, and a top-notch faculty.
From a more personal perspective, my daughter Sarah is a junior at Glenwood Springs High School. I would be proud for her to become a student at CMC and earn a four-year degree here because I am confident of the high quality education she will receive.
Goudy: The four-year degree is an incredible asset and should be supported for specific programs. CMC should not focus on competing with the state-funded four-year universities. The taxpayers expect to also benefit from classes in things they need in their everyday lives, be it accounting, languages, dance, physics or bridge.
Q: What does CMC need to do to keep college education affordable and attainable for district residents?
Orr: It starts and ends with leadership, and CMC’s must continue to make informed, transparent business decisions, and be held accountable for them. We are the most affordable and attainable college in Colorado for a reason: We have a faculty and staff that is visionary and prudent with resources. We must continue to attract top personnel. Finally, I think as a community college we will continue to succeed if we stay true to the community college’s role in American society: cost-effective, high quality education that prepares students for 21st century careers.
Goudy: It’s important that CMC and its curriculum serves the constantly evolving civic, social, religious and vocational needs of our mountain region and its daughters and sons. By its actions, the board must emphasize a commitment to the faculty, staff and students, and to the academic opportunities they deserve and desire. The overall budget must aim to support the classroom, and rigorous financial oversight is crucial as CMC faces the challenges of expansion.
This is a particularly crucial moment for committed local citizens to help guide and support Colorado Mountain College. Even as the institution enters a new era of expansion into a four-year institution of higher learning, it must, like all of us, deal with uncertain economic times. It faces those challenges even as for budget-stressed families with children about to graduate from high school, CMC becomes all the more crucial as an academically rigorous yet financially achievable option to many universities and their soaring tuitions.
I promise to always keep in mind that CMC’s statutory mandate, for which it receives taxpayer subsidies, is to provide all citizens access to a varied range of academic opportunities and educational disciplines:
• Lifelong learning: Community members continue to utilize the campus in their town for job skills, technology and the arts.
• Academics: The classroom must continue to be rigorous, challenging and instill a joy of learning, as well as an associate degree and transfer to a four-year college. Reasonable accommodation for all students to benefit from the junior college disciplines must be the rule.
• Bachelors of arts: Four-year degrees that permit residents to better themselves by attaining professional degrees without the economic turmoil of leaving their homes, or long commutes.
• Vocational and job training: The law enforcement academy, chef certificates, oil field technical training and hospitality classes exemplify the integration of general education with technical training to succeed in specific jobs.
• Life skills: CMC receives tax subsidies to ensure that all residents are able to succeed in life, be it, for example, obtaining literacy or their G.E.D.
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