SATURDAY, Jan. 20 — Trustees at Lansing Community College will review applications Monday night of candidates to fill two board openings.
LCC spokeswoman Marilyn Twine declined yesterday to identify the candidates, nor did she say how many have applied. She said she the names will be released after Monday’s session.
Andrew Abood, president of Abood Law Firm in East Lansing, and Ingham County court administrator Ryan Buck stepped down Jan. 1 after serving for nine years and seven years, respectively. Both served as chairmen during their tenures.
Their aspiring replacements are set to be interviewed by the board on Jan. 29, with the winning pair serving out Abood and Buck’s terms through Dec. 31.
Reflecting on his time as a Trustee, Abood said that “the better part of” his tenure on the board was spent focusing on promoting “student success.”
“We worked to make sure that students engage in persistence, that they see it through to completion and graduate,” he said.
He said he hopes he left LCC in a better place than it was when he became a trustee in 2015.
“Our reputation in the community and nationwide is strong, we certainly excelled at placemaking, and we worked hard to improve student success — stuff like the costs associated with books and extra materials. We worked diligently to make sure that as much as we use online learning material, so that students wouldn’t be strapped by paying for a class for $1,000 and then spend that much on books,” Abood said.
Although he served through the ups and downs of the pandemic, during a time when education was increasingly adapting alongside digitization, he said “the fundamentals” of pursuing a public education have remained the same.
“When you have open enrollment, you’re constantly trying to bridge the gap between people who maybe struggled in high school and now want to get a college degree. Regarding education, the fundamentals, you have to constantly stick to them and be centering yourself on how important it is to learn the basics,” Abood said.
“But student’s lives have changed,” he added. “That’s probably the biggest difference. We don't see the traditional students who comes to school, who are of a certain way or look.”
In terms of how he approached leadership at LCC, he said his goal was always to be mindful of the school’s weaknesses as well as its strengths, and to try and reconcile those differences.
“We certainly were conscious of where we ranked among other community colleges in the state, and we were always in the lower level in regards to our credits per hour. But we were often ranked nationally in many of our programs as well,” Abood said.
In an LCC press release, the school stated that Abood and Buck resigned to pursue a better work-life balance. Abood put it a bit differently.
“I don't think when I ran that I planned on being there for close to a decade. You see other things and other ways you can provide public service, and I just thought it was a good time to move on,” he said. “I obviously wish them well. Despite the fact that I resigned after nine years, I’m still a big supporter. I will follow them with a keen eye, and I hope that they maintain the high standards that we set to establish for ourselves.”
Buck called LCC “a great experience for me.”
It meant so much to be part of it for seven years,” he said. “The college and our community are indeed lucky to have President Steve Robinson and Board Chair Angela Mathews at the helm. Further, I must not forget to acknowledge that we have some really great members of the Board of Trustees in addition to Chair Mathews.”
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