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2010 SBCC Board of Trustees Candidate Q&A with Kay Alexander

NOOZHAWK: What motivated you to run for the SBCC Board of Trustees? Explain your decision process.

Kay Alexander
Kay Alexander

KAY ALEXANDER: I was recruited by the faculty.

NOOZHAWK: What unique experience or expertise do you have that is making a difference on the SBCC board?

KA: I was originally asked to run because I had served on an elementary school board, and they wanted people with board experience. This was the same time two other mambers came on for the same reason.

NOOZHAWK: What is the most pressing challenge SBCC faces? How would you help resolve it?

KA: The budget. It affects every other problem. The way you help resolve it is to tackle it in a responsible way as a board member. There’s no way it will get resolved in a way that makes everyone happy.

NOOZHAWK: Public education seems to be in a perpetual state of crisis at every level in California. What can SBCC do to take more control of its destiny locally?

KA: I think SBCC has good control of its destiny locally. Its problem is the state cutting back on how it funds public education. Our solution will be local for our college, but it’s a statewide problem. No one board member can tell you how to solve that problem.

NOOZHAWK: SBCC President Andreea Serban has said that the school is “one of the most fiscally sound community colleges in the state.” Do you agree? If not, what steps should be taken to make it so?

KA: In the sense that she’s using it, yes, I do. We have very adequate reserves, although we have cash-flow problems, like many other schools do, from state funding. Because we have reserves, we’re in the position to deal with a cash-flow problem.

NOOZHAWK: What should be SBCC’s core mission? Are credit and continuing education programs equal? Should they be?

KA: I think it should be to provide affordable, excellent education for the 13th and 14th grades. The credit and Continuing Education programs should be equal; I feel very strongly about that. They’re both functions of the community college and they should be treated equally.

NOOZHAWK: With state funding limitations increasingly affecting the UC and CSU systems, will SBCC graduates continue to have the transfer access they need to complete undergraduate degrees? If not, what’s the solution?

KA: They’ll have the transfer access if they have the education. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a top priority to make sure students get the education they need. If they commit and complete the things that they’re supposed to, they should be able to transfer to the CSU or UC system. The university system has higher requirements, but it’s not just a case of getting the grades, it’s a case of getting the pattern of preparation that the schools want, and showing satisfactory completion of that.

NOOZHAWK: To help upgrade and improve aging campus infrastructure, local voters passed Measure V. The bond was to be matched by the state of California, but instead the state has reneged. What will be the long-term impacts of “half” a renovation? What options are available to SBCC to complete its modernization plans?

KA: The long-term effects will be that projects we were relying on state support for will be on hold. Bond money goes to infrastructure renovation and upgrading, which was also part of the bond issue, but we’re not able to go ahead and do some of those things. The School of Media Arts (SoMA) is an outstanding example of that; it was supposed to be torn down, replaced or majorly repaired, and we’re going ahead and repairing it.

It’s hitting every college in the state. There are colleges out there with holes in the ground that are stopped. If the state says it’s going to provide this and then doesn’t come through with it, we have to deal with it. Work has to get done, leaking roofs have to be fixed and 30-year-old buildings need to be renovated, and that will be done.

Another example is the bridge. It had to be done, believe me. We were going to be cut off from one side of the campus to the other. I’m satisfied the monies in the bond issue will cover the modernization we need to do. It’s not there to do the new buildings we would like to do, like the SoMA, but we are modernizing the theater and getting some things done.

NOOZHAWK: Besides the breathtaking views, what is SBCC’s greatest asset?

KA: A top-notch education. I’m really sold on what the faculty are able to provide for our students, and so are the students. Our students who were comparable (to students who went directly to a four-year university) at the beginning did just as well or better in university by going to SBCC. We’re not going to let anything happen to that.

NOOZHAWK: What is your personal connection to SBCC?

KA: I’m the trustee, how else? When I was recruited, I went to the campus for the first time. I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with SBCC and seeing what I can do with the community there.

NOOZHAWK: Are you a Main Campus person? West Campus? Schott Center? Wake Center?

KA: I’m a diversity person. I’m 100 percent for everything: the Wake Center, Schott Center, East, West ...

NOOZHAWK: Do you watch the TV show, Community? Who’s your favorite character?

KA: No, I’m technologically challenged and I’m not into TV either.

NOOZHAWK: If elected, will you help us establish a Noozhawk lab as part of the required coursework for journalism, photography, advertising and marketing, and New Media?

KA: I am not in position as a trustee to do anything about that. Our curriculum comes through our Academic Senate. So I’m not able to say if I’m able to do that or not.

Click here for more information on Kay Alexander’s campaign.

Related Articles

» Click here for Marty Blum’s Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Marsha Croninger’s Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Joe Dobbs’ Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Sally Green’s Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Peter Haslund’s Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Lisa Macker’s Noozhawk Q&A.

» Click here for Desmond O’Neill’s Noozhawk Q&A.

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