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Former CNM instructor vying for board seat

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

A professor at the community college for more than 25 years is challenging a

Virginia Trujillo

current member of Central New Mexico Community College’s governing board in the only contested board race this fall.

Board Secretary Virginia Trujillo is hoping to hold off a challenge by candidate Layne McAdoo for the District 6 seat on the CNM Governing Board. The community college in Albuquerque with more than 22,000 students has three of seven board seats up for a vote in the Nov. 5 election, which also features a question asking voters to give CNM the go-ahead to

Layne McAdoo

sell $84 million in bonds for construction projects. Early voting starts Oct. 8.

Both Trujillo and McAdoo said they are strong supporters of teachers unions. Both are also registered Democrats, though the board election is nonpartisan.

McAdoo, 68, has worked as a full- and part-time instructor at the community college, both CNM and its predecessor, the Technical Vocational Institute. She currently is a court-appointed special advocate in Sandoval County.

Trujillo, 71, has served stints on the community college’s governing board, dating back to the late 1990s when she was on the TVI board. She was an Albuquerque public schools teacher and was on the New Mexico State Board of Education for 12 years. Most recently, she was elected to CNM’s board in 2015.

“I’m in love with CNM. It’s such a wonderful institution,” Trujillo said. “I think what the board has done is provide the city and New Mexico with services. … When a company is looking at locating to Albuquerque (CNM is) there to train the workforce.”

McAdoo, a former sociology professor, is making her first foray into local politics with her campaign.

“I promised myself before I retired that at some point I would do this to give back,” she said. “I just believe that education provides the bootstraps for upward mobility.”

After the election, one of the major agenda items for CNM’s board will be selecting the college’s next president. CNM President Katharine Winograd, the longest-serving president in the college’s history at 12 years, has announced her retirement but said she will stay on until a replacement is found or June 30, 2020, whichever comes first.

Another statewide higher education issue the board will undertake is Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s proposal to provide all New Mexico residents, regardless of income, with tuition-free college.

Both Trujillo and McAdoo said they support the governor’s proposal, and they stressed how important selecting the next president will be to CNM’s future.

“It probably is the most important decision I will make on the board. That dictates what the future is going to be like. It’s a really important, important decision,” Trujillo said. “There’s so many important things to look at. We want somebody who is innovative and can work with the business community and the other entities in the state, like K-12 and higher ed.”

McAdoo said it’s important the next president has a strong education background.

“We absolutely need an educator first. I think it’s critical that a new president comes from academia,” she said. “CNM is a school of higher ed and I think the next president needs to be someone who is vested in academics and who values it.”

District 6 stretches northwest of Interstates 40 and 25.

There are two other CNM board positions up for election this year. James Chavez is running unopposed in District 2, which includes much of Southeast Albuquerque, and Annette Chavez y De La Cruz is running alone for District 4, which makes up the southwest border of the CNM’s voting district.

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