Opinion | Patty Theobald: Background includes decade on CMC, foundation boards
Colorado Mountain College board incumbent District 4
- Occupation: retired education consultant
- Hometown: Breckenridge
- Years in Colorado: 50
- Family: husband, Robin; son, Rob married to Emilie; two grandsons, ages 6 and 4
- Civic involvement: Colorado Mountain College trustee, four years, two years as president of the board; St. Anthony Summit Medical Center board of directors; Colorado Mountain College Foundation board of directors, 2012-2015; St. Anthony Summit Medical Center Foundation, six years, two years as vice chairman; Upper Blue Sanitation District publicly elected trustee, two years as vice chairman; The Summit Foundation board of directors, six years, two years as vice chairman; The Women’s’ Foundation of Colorado board of directors, four years; and The Nature Conservancy advisory board, two years.
Four years ago, I was honored to be elected by the voters of Summit, Lake, Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties and Steamboat Springs. I am now running for a second four-year term. I served on the Colorado Mountain College Foundation board for six years, 2009–15. During my time on the foundation board, I learned about every aspect of the college and campuses. Also during that time, the president of CMC was replaced by an interim president until our current President Carrie Hauser, Ph.D., took over. In that two-year period, the CMC Foundation saw drastic declines in donations due to poor leadership by the foundation CEO and a lack of confidence in the college by our constituents. At that point, I felt that I could serve the college better in a governance role. Before I took my position as trustee, I worked closely with Hauser to hire a new, highly experienced and very successful director for the CMC Foundation. To this day, Foundation CEO Kristin Colin jokes about my being a big part of her decision to leave her job in Denver and move her family to Garfield County, only to have me abandon her by resigning as chairman of the board of the CMC Foundation for a position on the Board of Trustees. However, I left her with a very successful new chairman and a very capable and committed board of directors.
My goal in serving on the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees was to support Hauser in transforming CMC from a struggling community college to a nationally recognized associate and bachelor degree Institution.
As the only new member of a seven-member board, I joined six trustees who had served four years or more together. After two years, I was elected president of the Board of Trustees. With the help of two new trustees in the past two years, we have been effectively working with Hauser and her administration to reach a common vision for Colorado Mountain College by completing the Strategic Plan 2014–18, creating Strategic Plan 2019–22 and contracting Hauser to serve four more years as president of Colorado Mountain College.
Priority No. 1: Implementing strategic plan 2019-2023, reaching even greater heights
- The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring the long-term health of the college, financially and educationally.
- Financially, the support of our taxpayers contributes 70% of CMC revenue. Added to state and federal funding, grant awards and donor support, CMC continues to offer the third lowest tuition in the country. However, we must remain vigilant in responding to the constantly changing economy and be realistic in adjusting the budget.
- Educationally, expanding the tuition-free Concurrent Enrollment Programs with all high schools within our region and enrolling all eligible students for 30 credits each in their junior and senior years with classes held in their high schools. Students will be granted credit for both high school and college required courses to receive, concurrently, a high school diploma and an associate degree in general education from CMC, eliminating two years of college tuition.
Priority No. 2: Meeting the needs of our employers by offering degree and certificate programs that will qualify students for gainful employment within their own communities and in the area of their interest
- By offering career training and degree programs to allow our students to remain in their hometowns for the education needed to work where they live.
- By creating new certification programs to allow students to advance within their careers of choice where they live.
Priority No. 3: Maintaining the highest level of instruction and lowest tuition possible
- By offering pathways for our professors to attain doctorial degrees at a highly discounted tuition in partnership with universities within Colorado.
- By continuing to guarantee that all credits from Colorado Mountain College are fully transferrable to all other Colorado universities.
- By pursuing every available grant, all state and federal funding, and scholarships for our students.
- By implementing every efficiency possible to maintain a tight budget while expanding our programming, accessibility and campuses in fiscally responsible ways.
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