President Roberts speaking up in Olympia and D.C.

Cheryl Roberts testifies photo

Shoreline Community College President Cheryl Roberts testifies before the state Senate Ways & Means Committee on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2014. Community colleges’ testimony video clip

President Cheryl Roberts is carrying the message of Shoreline and all community and technical colleges to state and national decision-makers over the next few days.

On Thursday afternoon, Feb. 5, 2014, President Roberts testified before the state Senate Ways & Means Committee regarding Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2015-17 capital budget proposal, also known as Senate Bill 5097. Roberts was part of a four-person panel that will speak to the community and technical college system’s need for state investment in capital projects. Others speaking were Cascadia President Eric Murray, Peninsula President Luke Robbins and Whatcom Vice President Nate Langstraat.

“Shoreline made the capital projects list prioritized by the presidents and proposed by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges,” Roberts said before her testimony. “Unfortunately, Gov. Inslee’s proposal includes enough money to partially fund the list. We are asking the Legislature to fund the entire list as proposed by the State Board.”

Shoreline’s request is for $3 million that would fund the design phase for an Allied Health, Science & Manufacturing facility. The project is envisioned as part of the campus master plan.

It’s the same message that Roberts and Shoreline Trustees Tom Lux and Catherine D’Ambrosio took to lawmakers last week. Those meetings coincided with the annual state Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges winter conference in Olympia.

“This was a good opportunity to meet and speak with our legislators,” Roberts said. “They understand our value to students and the state economy and were receptive to hearing our needs.”

Next up for Roberts will be Tuesday, Feb. 10, when she travels to Washington, D.C. for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) 2015 Community College National Legislative Summit. Also attending the summit will be Board Chair Lux. While in D.C., Lux and Roberts will visit with the state’s  Congressional delegates to discuss important educational legislation before Congress this session. President Roberts also serves on the ACCT Advisory Committee of Presidents, which supports ACCT President Noah Brown.

President Roberts has been asked to introduce the keynote speaker for the general session, U.S. Department of Education Undersecretary Ted Mitchell.

Confirmed in  May, 2014, Mitchell reports to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult, career and technical education, federal student aid, five White House Initiatives — Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Educational Excellence for African Americans, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and American Indian and Alaska Native Education — and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Mitchell is the former CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund, served as the president of the California State Board of Education, was president of Occidental College and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College.

“I’m honored to be asked to introduce Undersecretary Mitchell,” Roberts said. “The ACCT National Legislative Summit is an important forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing our colleges. I’m looking forward to this chance to raise awareness of the important role we play in educating a training America.”­­­­

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