Hawkeye Community College Board Appoints Trustee to Fill Vacant Seat

By: Andrew Wind, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Date Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WATERLOO, Iowa --- A Hudson artist was chosen Tuesday, June 19, to join Hawkeye Community College’s Board of Trustees, beating out two other candidates, including a retired legislator.

Trustees appointed Joan Webster-Vore, of 202 Bonnie Blvd., to fill the Director District 7 seat. The unanimous vote followed an initial motion to appoint former Rep. Willard Jenkins of Waterloo that garnered the support of three board members.

Webster-Vore, 58, has been exhibiting and selling her art since 1979. She has earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from the University of Iowa and has also worked as an adjunct instructor at the University of Northern Iowa.

Donna Miller held the position for nearly 12 years until stepping down last month. She and her husband recently moved to a home outside of the district. District 7 includes portions of Cedar Falls, rural Waterloo and the city of Hudson. The appointment will last until September 2013, when the seat will be up for election.

The third applicant was Mark Lyman of Cedar Falls, a nursing supervisor at the Mental Health Institute in Independence. All three were interviewed in open session by seven of the eight trustees. Trustee Casey McLaughlin was absent.

“I would say we have three people who, if we were to draw names out of a hat, would do a pretty darn good job,” said board chairman Mark Birdnow at the start of discussions following the interviews.

Lyman, 47, is a registered nurse and earned an associate’s degree from Hawkeye in 1993. He also earned paramedic and licensed practical nurse certifications at the college in 1990 and 1992. “I am a product, I am a believer, I am a supporter of the community college system,” said Lyman.

Jenkins, 74, served in the Legislature for 10 years ending in 2006. He worked in product engineering and planning for 35 years at Deere & Co. until retiring in 1993. He touted his technical background and understanding of John Deere as well as contacts with legislators as assets for the board.

Board members’ preferences were split between Jenkins and Webster-Vore.

Trustee Bruce Clark cited Jenkins experience with John Deere and the Legislature. “I think he’d make a really strong board member,” he said. Trustees Ron McGregor and Luane Lorenzen agreed and expressed a preference for him.

While other trustees agreed that Jenkins' experience and background would be an asset, they leaned toward Webster-Vore.

Trustee Teresa Meyer said she “stood out” because of an answer to a question about policy governance, an approach to working with administrators that Hawkeye’s board has adopted. A number of other trustees also noted her answer to the question.

Webster-Vore admitted she “might have to experience” policy governance to fully understand it. Nonetheless, she added, “it’s not micro-managing, it’s pretty forward thinking.” Applicants were sent a page of information before the interviews explaining policy governance.

Jenkins told trustees he didn’t “have a strong answer” to the question about his thoughts on policy governance. Lyman said the packet of information he received from the college did not include the policy governance information.

Meyer and several other trustees also cited Webster-Vore’s comment that she views serving on the board as a “sacred trust” among the reasons they were leaning toward her.

Trustee Dave Krejchi said another factor for him in favoring Webster-Vore is a background working with people facing special needs. She has a son who is a deaf and another who is hard of hearing. She served a four-year appointment by the governor to the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa. Citing this and several other factors, Krejchi said, “She’s getting on a board for all the right reasons.”

“I honestly could flip a coin between the two of them,” said Birdnow, noting it was difficult choice between Jenkins and Webster-Vore.

But he did choose after McGregor and Clark moved and seconded appointing Jenkins, and then were joined by Lorenzen in an initial vote. As Birdnow saw an even split among other board members, he decided to throw his support behind Webster-Vore.

Trustee Jay Nardini then moved and Krejchi seconded appointing Webster-Vore to the position. All board members supported her in a 7-0 vote.

Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier

Thumbnail photo by Joan Webster-Vore (COURTESY PHOTO)