Barbara D. Oilschlager: College of Lake County Board Candidate
Barbara D. Oilschlager is among five candidates seeking two seats on the CLC Board.
Name: Barbara D. Oilschlager
Family: Married 43 years, two grown children
Education: Master of Education—University of Illinois, Bachelor of Arts—National College of Education, Antioch Community High School, Antioch Consolidated Grade School
Occupation: Educational Administration (retired). I was responsible for the administration of the Career and Technical Education Programs for all of the Public High Schools in Lake County.
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: College of Lake County Trustee 1989-Present, Illinois Workforce Investment Board 2002-Present (Gubernatorial Appointment), Illinois Community College Trustees Association President 2009-2010, Illinois Association of Career and Technical Education President 2001-2002, Human Resource Investment Council 1996-2002 (Gubernatorial Appointment), Illinois Council of Vocational Education 1992-1996 (Gubernatorial Appointment).
Other community involvement: Rotary-Past President and Charter member of the Grayslake Rotary, Lake County YWCA Board of Directors, Lake County Community Action Project (CAP) Board of Directors
Position sought: College of Lake County Trustee
Campaign E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign committee: Does not apply
Campaign Website: N/A
Campaign Facebook: Personal Facebook only
Campaign Twitter: None
Why are you running?
College of Lake County is an awesome place and I want to keep it that way. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to our mission and our students are the future of this global society. It’s a great place for teaching and learning.
Because of my background and experiences, I have a very comprehensive view of education that spans across all educational levels, elementary, secondary and post-secondary. I have experience at the policy level, national, state and local implementation levels as well. I know how decisions that are made at one educational level impact other educational levels. I have 24 years of successful experience on the Board of Trustees at College of Lake County and I believe that results and accomplishments speak louder than just plain rhetoric.
Results and accomplishments don’t happen by accident. They happen because there are a lot of good people such as faculty, staff and members of the community who are working really hard to keep CLC one of the finest community colleges in the country. I am proud to say that over my 24 years of experience on the Board and as a previous student and employee at CLC, I have played a significant role in setting policy and direction in order to build an environment for us to achieve the kind of results we enjoy.
It is because of my background, experience and vision for CLC that I want to continue to be a member of the CLC Board of Trustees.
In what ways would the College of Lake County benefit from your service?
Leadership is an area in which I have a lot of experience. The ability to lead folks in a common direction is one of my strengths. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have been in numerous leadership positions. I would like to talk about a few. I have been President of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association—ICCTA. As president, I was the spokesperson for the 39 community colleges across the State of Illinois where I led several efforts and initiatives across the state in order to secure additional funding for community colleges. I was also responsible for initiating a statewide PR letter writing campaign in support of community colleges. These efforts resulted in very positive results.
Another leadership position I held included being President of the Illinois Association of Career and Technical Education-IACTE. This is a statewide organization of teachers, counselors, and administrators at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. At the time I was President, there were over 2000 members. I successfully led the organization to fiscal stability at a very difficult time. I also successfully lobbied our leaders in both Washington and Springfield to keep Career and Technical Education Programs an option for students.
Additionally, I have been Chairman of the Board at College of Lake County several times and have served in many leadership positions. I am currently College of Lake County’s voting representative to our State and National organizations.
Whether it is being Chairman of the Board at CLC, President of an association, or being the voting representative to our state and national organizations, I am an experienced leader who is accountable and able to make the tough decisions.
What is the biggest challenge the college faces and what should be done to address it?
CLC has many challenges. The most important challenge is to remain fiscally sound. Without fiscal stability, not much else is possible. One of the fiscal challenges include pension reform. CLC is a very labor intensive entity where anywhere from 74 percent to 76 percent of our budget goes to salary and benefits. If the state were to push the entire pension obligation on to CLC all at once, our first year obligation alone would be about $8 million.
Another challenge for us will be the impact of “Obama Care.” Right now CLC is struggling with a definition of what will constitute an eligible employee. The IRS has not yet made this determination.
What do you think the college does well?
College of Lake County provides a quality education at an affordable price. Over the years, we have created a positive environment for teaching and learning.
CLC’s Foundation does a great job in providing scholarships for students who may not otherwise be able to attend CLC. We have great student support services such as tutoring and mentoring to help students who may be struggling. We also do a good job in our outreach efforts to our future students at both the elementary school and high schools levels.
What should be some of the college’s priorities over the next several years?
Maintaining Fiscal Stability. Balancing needs with limited dollars—whether it is bricks and mortar, technology, software, equipment, faculty or staff, while at the same time providing exemplary educational opportunities for the residents of Lake County.
Affordability and Access go hand and hand. Keeping CLC affordable and accessible for each and every person in Lake County is what CLC is all about. Whether it is face to face courses, on-line courses or courses in new technologies—we need to continue to help our students be competitive in not only the job market, but also when they transfer to complete four year degree programs.
Completion. Research has shown that students who complete their degree or certificate over a reasonable amount of time will be more successful. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 102; CLC will continue to promote completion where appropriate and clarify student responsibilities and expectations.
Diversity. We need to continue to reach out to minorities so that our students and staff are reflective of the diversity in our community.
What else would you like voters to know?
I am proud and humbled to say that I have been endorsed by the Daily Herald and as I said previously, College of Lake County is an awesome place and I want to keep it that way. I have the experience, leadership, passion and a proven record of accomplishments and results to keep CLC moving in the right direction.
I have a saying I implemented when I was President of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association and that is, “Ordinary people, working together with common purpose, can achieve extra-ordinary results.”
All of us here at CLC are just ordinary people who have achieved extra-ordinary results.