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The Lookout | November 1, 2020

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Five candidates; four trustee spots

Five candidates; four trustee spots
The Lookout

By Aaron Emerson
Editor in Chief

The race for four spots on the Lansing Community College Board of Trustees will come down to five candidates on Nov. 8.

Voters in Ingham County will ultimately fill three six-year board seats from among current trustees Robert Proctor and Alex Azima and hopeful newcomers Ryan Buck and Angela Matthews.

Larry Meyer, another current trustee, is running unopposed for a four-year term.

Deborah Canja, an LCC trustee since 2007, is not seeking re-election.

Here is a look at the incumbents running:

Robert Proctor

Photo credit: LCC

Board experience: Trustee since 2003. Has served in every leadership role on the board besides vice chair. He is currently the board’s chair.

Job/political experience: Retired administrative law judge for the Michigan Department of Civil Service. Served as legal counsel for the Michigan House of Representatives’ Labor Committee. Currently an attorney, arbitrator and mediator in private practice.

Why did you want to run again? “I enjoyed (my first term) and it encouraged me to run a second time. My colleagues encouraged me to run for a second term and, likewise, a third time. I think that reflects people’s confidence in my abilities to carry out my responsibilities as a trustee.”

What have you seen the college accomplish in your time as a trustee? “I think the college has moved beyond being just an open access college to identifying that we need to be better than that. Those who come here ought to be going out on the other end having achieved something.”

Alex Azima

Photo credit: LCC

Board experience: Appointed to the board in 2015.

Job/political experience: Was a professor of physics at LCC for 39 years. Served as president of the LCC Academic Senate. Was a nuclear defense physicist for the State of Michigan and a nuclear health physicist at Consumers Energy.

How has your time as an appointed board member helped you? “Having already served on the board, I will have a running start. I have learned about the issues and the challenges during the past year and will be ready to help the college move forward.”

What are your campaign themes? “Students deserve affordable, high quality education that helps them compete for high paying jobs. I will work hard to keep tuition affordable and classes small with personalized instruction and student support services to ensure a high rate of student success.”

Larry Meyer

Photo credit: LCC

Board experience: Trustee since 2009. Currently the treasurer and secretary. Was the chair from 2011 to 2015.

Job/political experience: Spent eight years on the Lansing City Council. Was head of the Michigan Retailers Association for 30 years.

Why do you want to run again? “I’m excited about the direction LCC is going in. I’m 100 percent behind (Operation) 100 percent. We want every person that comes here, old or young or whatever they are, to make sure they are successful.”

What are your goals for your next term? “We can’t price ourselves like MSU. We’ve got to make this affordable.”

The Lookout will run a follow-up story with profiles on Angela Matthews and Ryan Buck in the Oct. 10 issue.

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