Voter Guide 2019: Joe Rasor only candidate to file for District 4 seat on San Juan College board

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Joe Rasor

FARMINGTON — Joe Rasor is a relative newcomer to the San Juan College Board of Trustees, having been appointed to complete the term of Ken Hare in November 2017. But he hopes to extend that experience by seeking election to a full term for the District 4 seat on Nov. 5.

The former Bloomfield schools superintendent said his decision to seek a full term was not automatic, but after consulting with his wife and realizing he had grown into the position, he decided to run. As it turned out, Rasor was the only candidate to file for the seat, leaving him a virtual lock to be elected.

Rasor said his 48 years in public education have left him well qualified for the seat, as he understands everything from the finances to the regulations under which educational institutions operate.

"It was a little bit like coming home after I retired (as superintendent)," he said of joining the board in 2017.

Rasor said he has been impressed by the career pathways program San Juan College initiated a few years ago to help its students identify a degree program that best suits their needs.

"It's a fantastic program," he said.

One issue he didn't face during his time as a superintendent that has come up under his tenure on the college board is the movement by some San Juan College faculty and staff members to unionize.

"That's new to me," he said.

Rasor said a positive change in post-secondary education in recent years has been the increased effort to provide more support for college students, something he has seen at the college over the last two years.

"It's not the old go-to-college-pay-your-money-everybody-forgets-you method," he said. "There's an effort to show (students) the benefits of education and involvement of the school to help students succeed."

Rasor said he appreciates the efforts of SJC leaders in recent years to address multicultural issues, given the school's significant minority student population.

"We have to be aware of that particular need and stay on top of that," he said.

Rasor said he welcomes feedback and encourages those concerned about the college to call him with their suggestions or complaints. He said he doesn't take his position for granted.

"I consider it an honor, given the face (San Juan College) is one of the community colleges in the state."

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610.