Commentary by Pat Albright, LCC Board Chair
Process is important. When it comes to process, I’m kind of a stickler. I believe in dedication to protocol and understand the burdens of public service. I have always felt service is an obligation and an honor. Process should be businesslike. People should feel comfortable. Processes should be timely and effective.
Order and process are what keep us on track, keep us focused. One of our best models here is Bob Ackerman. He knows process. He is willing to challenge and understands his place in the process. He knows it can be a useful tool to get things done. And he knows how it can be an appropriate anchor to slow the process when it’s moving too fast.
I have the ultimate respect for Bob. And for any number of reasons, I have great respect for my colleagues and our administrators who have never been anything but considerate and cooperative toward me.
But, like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, our staff, faculty and administrators have been confronted with exceptional challenges. All things considered, they have performed admirably. They serve LCC well. Based on what I saw at the board table, or in other venues, LCC has also been blessed with competent and articulate student leadership.
And what about our chief executive? Without hesitation she warrants our support and praise. She continues to demonstrate that she has the knowledge, the skills and the will to lead LCC and provides the kind of persona that benefits the college in its community. In practical and social ways, she rises to the top in her field. She stands out among her peers.
I am concerned for our associations and for the good will of those involved. To the others let’s not unfairly speak to them. Let’s talk in a professional tone befitting our station in our community. I am concerned for the fate of labor unions and associations across the nation. It is important that they are effective in protecting the rights of their members.
Resource is an issue. Our financial situation is not like Lost Lake’s newest phenomenon, the lava hole that drains it dry. LCC has plugged the holes that drained our budget long ago. Instead, we now conserve and ration. We have plugged the holes and survived together for less. We are now just trying to mitigate the effects of this persistent funding drought.
To weather that, we must all work together. We need to put away cynicism and distrust so that our collective effort powers the college forward.
LCC has navigated one of the worst recessions in our history. Its budgetary needs have been exacerbated by reduced resources, fluctuating enrollment, procedural obstacles and other factors that stand in the way of collective progress.
And tomorrow is another day. We must move forward.
Processes are in place to allow legitimate consideration to resolve disagreements. However, participants need to understand how to deal with disagreement and to accept the results when decisions are made by the properly selected representatives according to accepted processes. We need to resolve our issues and avoid litigation. Arbitrations are costly and unnecessarily drain our budget.
The costs of arbitration should be avoided, at all costs.
We can avoid that by collaborating honestly, openly and respectfully in a timely fashion. We can all agree to appropriate timelines, and use them as guides and marshals to keep us apace of the times to meet the needs of our community.
Lane has faced some serious challenges recently that have resulted in budget reductions which have now resulted in some limited program and staff reductions. But, LCC is not broken.
It continues to be the best local vehicle for advancing into higher education. Its latest accreditation report verifies the ability of LCC to maintain quality in a sea of challenge. Eight years of clean audits verify its financial condition.
Continued community support keeps LCC buoyed to prove a beacon for success.