Here are your candidates for the Dallas College board of trustees election
October 28: This story has been updated to reflect more information about the Voters Guide questionnaire.
Dallas College, which has focused on almost all virtual classes during the pandemic, has two directorships to choose from on November 3rd.
The election comes at a time when the system – formerly known as the Dallas County Community College District – is uniting its seven locations under Dallas College, and the coronavirus pandemic continues to result in students and faculty working and teaching largely online.
Diana Flores, the chairperson and incumbent incumbent on District 6, said the settlement process is still at an early stage, meaning it should be a priority for anyone elected to the board. Other important issues ensure that disadvantaged students receive additional financial and academic support, she said.
The system is also waiting to use a $ 1.1 billion bond to expand facilities, meet labor needs, and create programs. The bond was approved by voters last May, but the use of that money was halted by a lawsuit. The lawsuit filed by former Dallas County GOP sheriff candidate Kirk Launius alleges that the election was ill-treated.
Dallas College cannot use any of the funds until the litigation is resolved, but Flores said the trustees still have plans on how the funds could ultimately be used.
“It is possible that we could revisit the projects based on the online environment we moved to. There we would make some changes to ensure that we meet the needs of the students for facilities on the are up to date, “said Flores.
In addition to further adapting the college’s offerings to the circumstances of the pandemic, the board wants to keep moving forward with planned projects, including building new facilities in multiple locations, she said.
Flores, 69, is the vice president of organizational development for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She has been a trustee at Dallas College since 1996 and wants to continue addressing the challenges students may face, such as poverty. She also wants to improve access to academic advice and strengthen faculty development.
Angela Enciso, the director of people experience at Teach for America, competes in District 6 against Flores in District 6, which also includes Oak Cliff, West and Northwest Dallas.
Enciso, 30, agreed that the pandemic has changed the needs of students and faculty, which means trustees need to be strategic in how they receive them.
Trustees also need to address the issues many students face outside of the classroom – such as homelessness or lack of access to food – and help them overcome these barriers. These challenges are particularly acute for first generation students and students of color.
“There are gaps in our education system that don’t serve our color students well,” she said. “This is where we have to be really strategic to make sure we bring community voices into our conversations.”
Enciso said her priorities are improving job opportunities and partnerships for students while keeping tuition affordable. She also expressed her support for the continuation and expansion of the Dallas County Promise program, which enables participating students to earn an associate’s degree from Dallas College while in school.
The Board of Trustees consists of seven members, each of whom is elected for six years. District 5’s seat is also in this election cycle.
The candidates for District 5, which consists largely of Irving and Grand Prairie, are Cliff Boyd, Dinesh B. Mali, and incumbent William Wesley Jameson.
Boyd, 76, is a businessman and former mayor of Duncanville. He said his experience in business and government provided him with the skills necessary to govern a large institution and build relationships between Dallas College and the community.
Boyd said in the Dallas Morning News Voter Guide questionnaire that his priority is to support economically disadvantaged students and improve Dallas College’s staff development efforts by “increasing the number and quality of employer partners available to accredited students” .
Mali, 74, is a semi-retired engineer who said he would like to use his engineering and management skills to give back to the community. Mali is a former member of the Irving ISD school board. He also sought elections to Texas House in 2018 and Irving City Council in 2019, but lost both elections.
Mali said in the Voter Guide questionnaire that its priority is to ensure that students can take all the subjects they need on each campus and that students are adequately prepared for higher education.
Jameson, 68, is the Vice Chairman of the Dallas College Board and was first elected in 2012. On his website, he noted that he was working as a trustee to provide students with free DART passes to reduce the cost of books and study materials and to involve industry leaders in discussions about what skills students need.
Jameson did not answer the Voter Guide questionnaire.
The early voting lasts until October 30th. Election day is November 3rd.
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