My name is Rochelle Harden. I am an English professor at Parkland College. I am also the newest member of the Parkland Board of Trustees.

I was disheartened when I learned 8 of my fellow faculty were being laid off. On November 16, 2016, I spoke to the Parkland Board of Trustees in hopes of saving their jobs. I was not successful. You can read about it in an article from the News-Gazette, “Parkland Trustees Approve Layoffs of Nontenured Faculty.”

On December 14, 2016, I went to the Board again with 160 petition signatures from faculty, staff, and students asking the board to reinstate the 8 faculty members. The board decided to take our comments under advisement.

Later that week, I officially decided to run for Board of Trustees. You can read about it in this article, “Parkland Faculty Member Becomes 10th in Running for Board.”

On April 4, 2017, I was elected to the board and sworn in on April 26, 2017. You can read about it in the following article, “No controversy at Harden’s swearing-in as first black Parkland trustee.”

In addition, to providing the other board members greater insight into the day-to-day operations at Parkland, I hope to raise awareness of the negative impact the Illinois state budget impasse has had on the College, get us back on sound financial footing, rehire and attract talented faculty and students from the local school districts, across the state, the country, and the globe.