Steve Willson’s comments to the McHenry County College Board on May 26, 2016:
First, I want to be clear that my comments are not to the whole board but only to the supporters of the proposed capital project.
Second, my comments are directed not at refurbishing the science labs, but at the rest of the proposed capital project.If you trustees wish to waste your own money without asking basic questions, you have that right.
But when you take money by force – taxes – or by increasing the cost to ALL students, you have a higher obligation to make sure you aren’t wasting the money, a FIDUCIARY obligation, which is why your title is “trustee”.
You’re using property taxes and asking 6,500 students to pay more to go to school so you can build new labs for 380 students in the Health Sciences area.
Ninety-five percent are supposed to pay more for 5% of the students whose labs are only a few years old.
Do you know what the annualized cost of a $24 million project is?
The annualized cost is $1.75 million per year.
So I ask you, which of you can tell me how many more students will get jobs if you spend money on this project?
One? Five? Ten?
If it’s ten, is it worth spending $175,000 more each year for each additional student who graduates from these programs?
The sad fact is… You have no idea what the answer is to that question!
Your motto is “Student success is our goal.”
Yet eighteen months ago it was reported in the Herald that the school has NO statistics on student success but they hoped that they would soon.
And now, eighteen months later, this board has taken no action to develop those statistics.
So you’re planning to spend $24 million on FAITH, because you have no evidence that this expenditure will result in any additional students getting good paying jobs.
But what’s even sadder is not that you don’t know the answer to this most basic question.
What’s even sadder is that you never even asked the question!
Here you are deciding to spend $24 million, and you haven’t asked the most basic question about whether there will actually be any REAL additional benefit in more students getting more jobs.
As for the information you have received in support of this project, it has been one-sided, incomplete and questionable.
Speaking of which, the statement was made at a recent meeting that the reason donors weren’t supporting this project was because the board wasn’t “unified.”
Well, I spoke with every one of the College’s major donors and asked them about that and they all told me explicitly that the reason they weren’t donating to this project was NOT that the board wasn’t “unified.”
The information you received was false.