Colorado Mountain College District 4 candidate: Richard Hague
Name: Richard (Rick) Hague.
Occupation: Retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers in the banking and financial services management consulting practice where I worked world-wide for Fortune-500-sized banks, credit card, and auto finance groups.
What prompted you to run for a seat on the CMC board of trustees?
Dick Bateman, the current Summit County Trustee, is term-limited and invited me to run for his seat. I have been involved for years in community education work in the history and heritage arena through my multi-year presidencies of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and Summit Historical Society. In these capacities, I developed and participated in community education programs, tours, lecture series, and similar programs to foster knowledge and understanding in our community.
I’m also vitally interested, in these difficult economic times, in providing our local community residents with practical, relevant training and education to develop job qualifications and skills. It is only through training and education that our local economies can grow and diversify in a positive and focused manner.
I have been continuously involved in giving back to my community as a volunteer in many capacities. For instance, I served as chair or vice-chair for about three years on the Breckenridge Economic Development Advisory Commission, which advised the town council on business development matters. Additionally, I have been a multi-year volunteer for the U.S. Forest Service in the local visitor information unit, a guest services volunteer at the Breckenridge ski resort, and at the Backstage Theater. I see my participation as a CMC trustee as a very logical extension of my volunteer community involvement work.
What’s your opinion about the college’s recent move toward four-year degrees?
I’m extremely supportive of this expanded program. In addition to my comments above, it provides a flexible, cost-effective way for local young people and working adults to expand their qualifications in locally relevant knowledge areas such as business, environmental management, nursing, and education. It facilitates “locals staying local” if they so choose rather than having to move to distant schools for higher education.
I feel very strongly about CMC offering programs that are relevant to the communities in which our campuses are located. For instance, hospitality and hotel management-focused business administration degrees and forest management-focused sustainability degrees would benefit both our local communities and our working residents tremendously by providing locally relevant, local training.
What does CMC need to do to keep college education affordable and attainable for district residents?
Considering CMC’s funding source restrictions, creative, outside-the-box thinking and initiatives are necessary to develop new funding sources for each campus. Use of campus facilities for non-CMC programs and projects – on a fee basis – is a no-brainer, as is expansion of fee-based , non-credit, continuing education programs. One down-the-road idea for a hospitality-focused business administration program might be the operation of a CMC-owned hotel in which students would serve intern roles to receive real-life experience. This type of arrangement is used by several universities in North America. I have several other similar ideas for innovative supplementary funding.