My name is Frank Haney and I am running for Rock Valley College Trustee. I am asking for your vote on April 9.
Some have asked, “Why run for elected office?” Others have asked, “Why run for RVC Trustee?”
The purpose of this article is to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I am running for RVC Trustee. In the coming months I will share my thoughts on a number of opportunities and challenges facing the college and our community. However, I want to start with the most important aspect of any candidate’s platform – why I am running?
From Grad To Dad….. RVC Is For Me!
- First, I am a proud Rock Valley College graduate. RVC was a great “next step” after graduating from Boylan High School.
- I am a first-generation college student from a working class Rockford family. Why do I mention that? Because our community needs more of its people to be the first in their family to take a “next step” after high school. We have lower than average educational attainment levels in our adult community. This is true for both the number of 4-year degrees and the number of people who have career-ready job skills.
- RVC needs to position itself as the 1st option and best option for our community’s traditional and non-traditional students. The college is perfectly positioned to help fill the “skills gap” facing our community as baby boomers retire and leave the workforce. There is not a community in Illinois that needs its community college more than the Rockford area needs Rock Valley.
- Today, I am a father of three children: Leah (11), Zach (10), and Frankie (3). My daughter, Leah, will be a senior in high school at the end of my first term as Trustee (6-year term).
- RVC needs to be a great option for all kids, including mine, and I am dedicated to making that a reality.
- RVC prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow. In the 1970’s, 8 in 10 jobs required only a high school diploma. Today, 8 in 10 jobs requires education past high school. As a friend recently shared: “we have a K-12 educational system; however, we live in a K-14 world.”
- It is critical to our community that RVC remains affordable and accessible at a time when tuition costs at 4-year schools out-pace inflation. Tuition has increased 12-fold over the past 30 years in our country. This presents a great challenge to both middle-income and poor students. As a result, too many former college students have too much loan debt.
RVC is for Me!
- Although I am aggressively pursuing this office and intend to have a successful campaign, RVC is too important to walk away from if I come-up a couple of votes short on April 9. As a citizen, I will support the college and share my positive experience with others win or lose. I am encouraging other candidates to take the same approach.
- RVC is a community asset. It helped guide me and others into our current roles as parents, community activists, and productive citizens. I’d like to give back to RVC as an engaged, informed, and independent Trustee.
I believe I would be a good Trustee for several reasons:
- Track record of service. I have extensive board experience and service to the community. This includes but is not limited to being the Next Rockford Facilitator, Rockford Area Economic Development Council Board of Directors, and Carpenter’s Place Board of Directors.
- Connection to RVC. I know the college both as a student and also as an RVC basketball coach. I have developed many relationships on campus and in the community through my experiences with RVC.
- Balanced Perspective. I have a background in business and education. I believe in the need for a strong, independent Board who seeks input from other constituent groups – both on and off campus.
- Understand the complex issues facing both the college and the community. In addition to having a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership, I have worked hard to study the issues facing the college. This includes the political / financial landscape of our local and state government. RVC is critical to economic development efforts in our community and region.
- Good steward of tax and tuition dollars. Trustees need to understand the budget and not be afraid to ask the tough questions: “Is this affordable? “Is this sustainable?” “What are our other options?” “Is this expense an investment in our mission?” “Are there higher priorities that require more attention?”
I would appreciate your vote on April 9.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the campaign, please give me a call (815) 979-9121.
P.S. – Join us February 17th for our Campaign Kick-off Party at Capri Restaurant (downtown Rockford) from 12-2:30 pm. $20 per adult, $10 per child, $35 per family. RSVP to (815) 979-4045 by February 10.