Alabama's two-year college system candidates | News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- Both candidates got right down to business, sharing their vision for the two year college system, identifying challenges and how to fix them.
"I think we need to address immediately right out of the shoot certainly our legislative agenda," Shelton State Community College President Dr. Mark Heinrich said.
Heinrich has been the president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa for almost five years.
Improving adult education, the academic side of the two year transfer and work force development are a part of his vision for the system.
But Heinrich says addressing budget cuts and the system's funding issue are a top priority.
"The one thing I feel so strongly about when it comes to the two year system is we really are the economic system for the state of Alabama. I think we are going to have to come up with some more creative ways of funding programs," Dr. Heinrich said.
Dr. Blake Flanders is the Vice President for workforce development for the Kansas Board of Regents.
"Even though our states are different, our challenges are very close," Dr. Flanders said.
Dr. Flanders agrees there's no way of getting around the lack of funding.
"We need to explain to policy makers what our return on value for the state and there isn't any really state than can have a growth strategy in terms of economics without supporting a strong community college system, so that would be first and second, we have to prioritize our activities and live within our means," Dr. Flanders said.
The position became vacant when Dr. Freda Hill resigned after serving as chancellor for a little over two years.
Officials says turnover has been high with this position and they're hoping the next chancellor will stick around for a while.
One will oversee those 26 institutions starting November 1.
A decision will be made after final interviews which start Thursday morning at 9:00.
Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
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