Why would someone who is currently a full-time professor at Parkland College decide to run for the Parkland Board of Trustees?

Simple. My friends and colleagues are losing their jobs.

Last November I learned through the grapevine that 8 faculty members would not receive tenure. In the community college world that means they were being laid off. It means they will not have a full-time teaching job the following academic year.

These people are not being let go because they were not doing their jobs. On the contrary. It seems the 8 have been exceptional faculty members. The reason the administration gave for these layoffs was budget cuts.

The lack of state funding caused the College to cut bright, young, talented faculty members.

These are not just any colleagues. These are people who help me march into my classes every day with a sense of hope and purpose despite the enormous challenges my students face. I teach developmental English, so I teach some of the community’s neediest, at-risk students. While I understand the financial situation that led to this decision, I cannot stand by and simply hope for the best.

I feel compelled to do whatever I can to keep our talented faculty. Serving on the Board is my way of helping. It is my way of raising awareness of the situation at Parkland, pushing for a state budget, and funding for community colleges.