Hello Chronicle readers,
I am running to represent Zone 5 on the Lane Community College Board of Education. I have proven experience and success as a community leader, and I seek your support in my bid to work hard in support of our community college. I’d like to tell you a bit about myself, why I’m running and ask for your support.
I came to Eugene in 1998 to pursue two graduate degrees at the University of Oregon. I am thankful for my education and very aware of the opportunities it created for me. I want to ensure others have similar experiences. In 2001, I founded the University of Oregon Environmental Leadership Program (ELP). The ELP provides students opportunities to work with local non-profits, businesses, and government agencies on mapping, monitoring, and environmental education projects. I am very proud that hundreds of students have used their ELP experience to get their first jobs in the environmental field.
I am also the founding Director of Sustainability at the University of Oregon. I work to reduce the university’s environmental footprint and create opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to engage with social and environmental sustainability issues. Since 2007, I have helped launch many initiatives including:
SCORE, a program that trains students to conduct energy audits and offer them free of charge to low-income households.
Faculty Fellows, a program that trains faculty to integrate local, social, and environmental challenges into their courses.
Environmental Leaders, an academic residential community for first-year students.
The Oregon Model for Sustainable Development, a plan requiring all new buildings to meet high environmental standards.
I recently completed eight years of public service as a commissioner for the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB). I enjoyed working with my fellow commissioners and management to make EWEB better. While there, I championed investments in low-income programs and earthquake preparations while pushing for and implementing debt restructuring and capital plan reviews that are saving ratepayers millions of dollars
LCC is a loved and respected institution that welcomes people from all walks of life. If you’ve taken a vaccine, received a massage, eaten local food, or enjoyed many of the services available in our community, chances are you’ve benefited from the talents of an LCC graduate.
LCC provides innumerable benefits to our community, yet it faces challenges from aging programs, declining enrollment, and the Covid pandemic. I want to work with LCC’s board, president, faculty, and staff and use the skills I developed over eight years as an EWEB Commissioner to help LCC emerge out of the pandemic, strengthened and re-energized. As an LCC Board member, I will focus on diversity, affordability, and ensuring a quality workplace. My primary goals are:
Craft a Five-Year Strategic Plan that responds to community priorities and attracts federal funding coming out of the post-pandemic and infrastructure bills.
Develop a reinvigorated Recruiting Plan that brings international students back to LCC and attracts high-school students to the outstanding vocational programs.
Launch a Diversity Initiative that focuses on increasing and retaining staff diversity.
Honoring the community’s commitment to LCC with responsible and accountable oversight of the 120-million-dollar bond.
Conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of programs to maximize opportunities for students and the community, refresh aging programs, improve the value of degrees and certificates, and increase graduates’ competitiveness in the job market.
Thanks for your interest and support. You can read more about my candidacy at http://www.stevemitalforlcc.com/