Current Laramie County Community College Board of Trustees Chair Bradley Barker III will be wrapping up his four-year term as a trustee in November.
Barker was initially elected to the board in 2014 after several years working as an admissions representative for LCCC. Barker said he had a close friendship with former vice chairman of the board Bill Dubois, who helped mentor him along his path to becoming a trustee.
“I was part of a Leadership Cheyenne group. (I was) asked to mentor a young leadership organization, and I felt lucky because Brad was to be my special person…” Dubois said. “Brad is not only very smart but wants to give, and give he does.”
Barker said he chose to run for the board because of all that LCCC had done for him.
“It is important to be involved in the community…” Barker said. “LCCC gave me my first career out of college and LCCC will always have a special place in my heart, therefore it seemed fitting I engage civically and give back to the place I love.”
Later during his tenure, Barker was nominated for and accepted the role of chairman of the board in November of 2017.
“It was an honor for my fellow trustees to have me as the chair,” Barker said. “It is a big job that I believe every trustee should experience at one point in time. Being the chairman was a fantastic opportunity and an experience that helped broaden my skill set.”
Barker said he will always cherish the relationships he built with his fellow trustees as well as the campus community.
“My time as a trustee offered me a wealth of knowledge and an unforgettable experience,” Barker said. “Since my time, we have seen the campus transform physically. Likewise, LCCC continues to progress and offer an amazing educational opportunity for students.”
Though there were many great experiences that came with being a trustee, Barker recalled the budget cuts to LCCC in 2016 as one of the more difficult issues to deal with during his term.
Two years ago, LCCC had to cut $2.5 million from its budget. The board and President’s Cabinet had to work diligently to overcome the issue.
“During the budget crisis a few years ago, we had to make difficult decisions that had a tremendous impact on the people of LCCC,” Barker said. “Thankfully, LCCC weathered the storm and pushed forward and continues to flourish.”
Barker said he chose to not run for re-election so he can focus more on family matters, as well as further his education to achieve his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
“The experience as trustee has fostered a need for me to finish my master’s,” Barker said. “Higher education is a passion of mine, and while I will no longer be a trustee at this time, I will likely make another pursuit in the future.”
Dubois said Barker’s departure from the board will leave a big hole, but understands he has his family and future career to consider.
“Knowing Brad as I do, we will hear from him again in some other civic endeavor,” Dubois said. “I am so glad we are friends and I truly wish him the best.”
LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer has acknowledged Barker’s engagement with the board.
“Chairman Barker is a gentle giant, in stature and in his leadership,” Schaffer said. “He listens well and while he speaks little, when he does, people listen to what he has to say. Brad has deep ties to LCCC, and while I know we will continue to have his support and engagement, his absence from the Board will be felt.”
Barker currently works as the Hathaway Scholarship consultant for the Wyoming Department of Education, and he said pursuing his master’s will lend to both his current career and the path he intends to take. He said he’s not sure where that path may be right now, but “it will always be within the education field.”
“All in all, thank you to my fellow trustees for the relationship we have built and making me better,” Barker said. “Most of all, thank you to all of the people of LCCC who continue to make LCCC the best college and a place I am proud to be a part of.”