Val Baul for JCCC Trustee - Q&A

Johnson County Public Policy Council Q&A session with JCCC Trustee candidate Val Baul.


JCCC Candidate Question #1


In December 2018, the Board of Trustees voted to increase the per credit hour rate for tuition by $1 per credit hour, raising the total cost of tuition and fees for Johnson County residents from $93/credit hour to $94/credit hour. The increase came after three years of no tuition increases. Do you support or oppose the $1 per credit hour tuition increase? Why or why not? 

I do not support the tuition increase. I’ve been told that the tuition increase is small, and therefore, it can be justified. Having attended board meetings and spoken to students, I know that what is small to one person can make a difference between affordable and too expensive.

When the board increases rates, there must be a defined purpose that we can explain to the community and to the students. Where is the rate increase going? Why was $1 chosen? What was the process that led to $1 being the correct amount? None of this was explained to the community, and the $1 increase goes to the general fund, which is difficult to explain to students why it needed to happen.

Unless I believe I can give an answer to the community of where their money is being spent, and what benefit they could receive from it, I will not support raising rates at Johnson County Community College. It is appalling that in one moment we say that the college has so much money it must give it back to developers, and at the same time, short of funding that we ask students who live in Johnson County to pay more.

See other candidate responses here: 

JCCC Candidate Question #2


There has been a good deal of animosity between the administration and the faculty in recent years. What steps could the board be taking to address this issue and reestablish more positive relations? 


Respect is something you have to earn. I have been appalled by the behavior of some of the current board members in their dismissive attitudes toward the educators at JCCC. When trustees audibly sigh into their microphones, or ask the faculty association questions which imply they are being dismissed, it is no wonder the faculty and students feel as though they do not have a voice in the process. The decision to prevent board members from engaging in discussions with the community which happened this year was another sign of disrespect.

If elected, I believe we have to treat the faculty and staff with respect from day one. We work cooperatively. We don’t sigh when they talk, we don’t dismiss their arguments, and we don’t attack them in the press.

Respect is earned. I plan to earn it from Day 1 by building a collaborative approach to all decisions.

See other candidate responses here: 

JCCC Candidate Question #3


JCCC has dozens of advisory committees for its various academic and technical education programs. Have you been involved in these committees in the past and how would you use these advisory committees if you are elected?


How many voters in Johnson County understand how the advisory committees work for JCCC? Or, even more important: do you know a company represented on these committees? Looking through the list of members of advisory committees, I see areas where a single company can dominate entire advisory committees. I don’t see easy opportunities for new business, diverse business and small businesses to join advisory committees because the process lacks any transparency.

We should break apart the good old boy network and make the advisory committees more transparent and more representative of Johnson County’s diverse business community.

See other candidate responses here: 

JCCC Candidate Question #4


The elimination of the track, tennis and cross country programs has generated a good deal of push back from some members of the community. What’s your vision for the future of athletics at JCCC? Would you support having those programs reinstated? 


The decision in 2014 on the elimination of the track resonates today because, even though it was decided by prior boards, the community felt shut out of the decision. We counted on trustees to walk us through the decision making process in an open and transparent way. The reason why many in the community are upset about this decision is because we see JCCC spend significantly on new construction, and yet, the support of the track, which was used by students beyond the athletic programs represented too much cost. I know the value of an open outdoor walking space, where students who simply want better health can walk and think.

5 years later, community members are still unsure of the process. When we make such big decisions that impact our community, we need to make sure the community feels heard and participates in the process. Even if they disagree with the outcome, they feel respected. It is not only faculty who need the relationship with trustees repaired.

We have to explain to the community whether or not this decision was driven with data, or if the decision to eliminate the track was one that reflects a desire to build new buildings, come up with new naming opportunities and put contractors to work.

Tennis is my favorite sport, so if there’s anything I think a school should have, it’s a tennis court. Whatever the future of athletics is at JCCC, I want those decisions made by the entire community, with everybody’s voice in the process.

See other candidate answers here: 

JCCC Candidate Question #5


What’s your primary motivation for running for the JCCC Board of Trustees?

As the only graduate of JCCC in this race, I am running to represent the community of parents and students directly touched by JCCC. I believe the community’s voice should be the loudest voice on the Board of Trustees and I believe my experiences provide the board with something it has been missing. I believe a significant reason for the the lack of trust in senior leadership comes from the students and faculty realizing their voice and experience can’t be seen by a board who has never had the experience of being a student at a community college. I want to make sure Johnson County Community College is accessible, transparent, and inclusive for all students, alumni, faculty, staff, and constituents! 

See other candidate answers at: 

JCCC Candidate Interviews


11 Candidates are running for JCCC Trustee, the top 6 vote getters in a Primary on August 6th will run in the General Election on November 5th. You can vote for 3 each time. 

Find out more here: 

And here are videos and candidate surveys from the Johnson County Policy Council: 

The League of Women Voters also has our race on their Voter Guide here and these are words directly from each candidate: 

Newest KC Star opinion article by Michael Ryan here: 

Response to the ultra con opinion here: