Board candidates keep discussion friendly
New buildings and growth focus of discourse

At the live forum held in Centerstage Theatre on Friday, April 29, candidates for the upcoming UCC board of directors’ election shared their visions for the future of Umpqua Community College.

After each candidate had given an opening statement, host Chase Gilley who is the president of the UCC debate club, opened the floor for questions from the audience. The mixture of students, faculty and community members in attendance stuck to the softer questions about general intentions and vision. This set the stage for a forum where what was not said was far more interesting than what was spoken.

The formidable topic of the budget was briefly addressed, but ideas on how to deal with potential cuts never really made it to the table for discussion. The possibility of staff cuts was also dealt with only in a roundabout manner as the candidates merely praised the fact that no staff members have been laid off to date.

One topic that did get some significant attention was that of project growth; however, the candidates never went past the surface with their comments. The focus was on the new buildings and the excitement of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, but the controversial monetary implications of such projects were never brought into the light.

Candidates discussed preparations to follow the strategic plan and work with the new leadership to help UCC become an even more effective community college that will be very competitive in the area of providing quality, applicable education.

Despite this description of what the candidates desire to see in the future, the question as to how these things will actually work out was left unasked and unanswered.

After the candidates gave their final remarks, time was left for those in attendance to speak with the candidates personally.

The relatively general and uncontroversial answers may have partially been a product of the fact that the majority of the candidates are running uncontested. Three of the five candidates who are actively campaigning do not have a challenger in their region. 

All five of the candidates who are actively campaigning participated in the event. The three candidates who are running uncontested include Betty Tamm – Zone 1 (North Douglas County), Wendy Weikum – Zone 3 (West Roseburg to county line), and Joe Yetter Zone 6 (South and Southeast County). The contested race for Zone 2 (North Roseburg) is between Doris Johnson and Elin Miller. 

Ballets were mailed out on the day of the forum, April 29 and the voting will close on the May 17.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.