Margaret Hamilton outlines plans for the upcoming year

Coming into the 2019 fall term Lane Community College’s president Margaret Hamilton is ambitiously pursuing her goals for the 2019-2020 school year. Her goals are for planning the future longevity of LCC. She has broken down this plan into four points she calls “lifts.”


One primary lift in the plan is to reevaluate the deferred maintenance that is proving to be costly to the college. 


“Concrete is chipping, the roof isn’t going to last, and Building 17 is almost uninhabitable to me. We really don’t have a grand entrance-way. I could go on and on to the tune of let’s just say 100 million dollars in deferred maintenance. That’s just stuff to be fixed,” Hamilton said. 


Hamilton has made it clear that her plan is not to cover up blemishes around the school or simply “paint” over the walls, but to fix what is broken. “I could cosmetically cover it up and fix it, or I can actually go behind the wall and fix the mold,” Hamilton added. “We have to stop just painting.”


For the past two years, Hamilton and the administration have been refining a long term plan to renovate LCC’s main campus. She is asking for a bond from the county to fund this project and will have a master plan to pitch to the voters. Hamilton explained, “You’ve got to have a vision of what the campus should look like for the next 20-30 years.”


Currently, the bond she is putting on the ballot will equate to a sum of 120 million dollars. This number may change after the Board of Education votes on her proposal. “The number one lift for this college is going out for a bond, asking the voters to help us reduce the deferred maintenance [and] moving toward the long term facility master plan,” Hamilton said. 


The bond will be voted on in either May or November depending on the vote for the proposal.


Number two on her list of “lifts” is governance.


The governance system is over a decade old, and it’s aging like any system, because it hadn’t been paid any attention to,” Hamilton said. She added that during the 2018-2019 school year, the administration had focused on what the rules and bylaws are and then finding the weaknesses in them.  


The first thing that needs to improve in governance is representation. “Any governance, it matters doesn’t it, who sits at the table and who you are representing,”  Hamilton said.


Providing more support is another step Hamilton is taking to improving LCC’s governance. She created a classified support position that is in charge of taking notes and communicating with the leadership council. “It’s far more than just being a note-taker,” Hamilton continued, “I want to take it to the next step. Don’t just go to this council but go to all the council.”


In years past, multiple councils would be tackling the same projects. With the new position, Hamilton plans to eliminate redundancies and overlap between school councils. Currently, Hamilton will appoint someone who is being underutilized to fill the new classified support position. 


Another “lift” in her plan is to streamline accreditation. “I want an accountable vice president,” Hamilton said. “We have to focus laser focus on accreditation.”  


Adding executives in the school’s various departments, it is hoped, will allow Hamilton’s administration to hold people accountable for miscommunication and inefficiency. 


The final “lift” of her four-”lift” plan is to see that these goals are met by 2021. “We’re [forming] a 2021 duel strategic plan,” Hamilton explained. “We’re going to go out for a bond and we’re renewing, revisiting, refreshing our governance system.” 


Hamilton has her work cut out for her starting with getting support for the $120 million bond from voters. Second, she plans to address the governance of the school’s bylaws and make adjustments where she sees fit. The third lift is to find accountability for departments to reduce the amount of confusion and frustration among the faculty. Lastly, this is all to be done within Hamilton’s proposed time frame and by 2021 the strategic plan should be complete.