Candidate Questionnaire from March 4, 2017: Elgin Community College Trustee – John Duffy

Categories: Elections,Questionnaire

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NAME: John Duffy


Board of Trustees, Elgin Community College District 509

1.  Why are you seeking this position?
  • I am seeking re-election to the ECC Board of Trustees because I am still passionate about Elgin Community College. We, as a board have tried to set the tone and the parameters to make Elgin Community College one of the best community colleges in the nation. I am proud to say we are there.
  • ECC has had a balanced budget every year that I have been on the board. Not every public entity can make that statement.
  • Out of more than 1200 community colleges in the nation, ECC has three programs that within the last five years have been recognized as top ten finalists for the national Bellweather Award. No other community college in the nation can make that statement. ECC and its programs have been recognized in print by the Aspen Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the White House.
2.  What experience and background do you have which qualifies you for this position?
  • ECC Board Chair, 7 times
  • ECC Board Vice Chair, 5 times
  • ECC Board Secretary, 3 times
  • Chair, ECC Building and Grounds Committee, 9 times
  • Member, ECC Building and Grounds Committee, 22 times
  • Member, ECC Finance Committee, 9 times
  • ECC Board Representative or Alternate to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association almost every year that I have been on the board.
  • Chair or Co-Chair, Illinois Community College Trustees Association Legislative Committee, 9 times
  • Board of Directors, National Association of Community College Trustees, 6 years; elected twice nationally to a three-year term
  • Board of Directors, American Association of Community Colleges, 3 years; appointed by that board to a three- year term on that board
  • Member, ACCT-AACC Joint Commission on Federal Relation, 8 years
  • Vice-Chair, ACCT-AACC Joint Commission on Federal Relations, 1 year
  • Chair, ACCT-AACC Joint Commission on Federal Relations, 1 year
3.  What will be your greatest challenge if elected?

First, ECC’s Latino students have closed the achievement gap between themselves and their counterparts. This has yet to happen for out African-American students, particularly, among African-American males. That is one of our focuses.

Second, we have a program in place whereby high school juniors and seniors can earn fifteen semester hours of college credit per semester while they are still in high school. The only costs to the student for this program are transportation and textbooks. Yet, not all the high schools in District 509 have allowed their students access to this program, whereby students could actually complete one or two years of college while still participating in all the activities at their high school. They could receive their associates degree in May, their high school diploma in June, and be ready to transfer as a college junior to the four-year university of their choice with no college loan or debt for their first two years.

Third, we need to identify students for Reverse Transfer and explain the process to them. Many students transfer from ECC to a four-year college before they get their associates degree. Many of them, for financial reasons or family obligations, never get their four-year degree. Yet many of them, while at the four-year institution, do complete the courses necessary for the Associates Degree. If those credits are transferred back to ECC, we can award them the Associates Degree, which they could then use toward salary increases, promotions, or a new job opportunity.

Release for publication? YES

I will attend the forum? YES

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