On 10/14/2014, Magnolia Rotary Club President Dan Lowe introduced Dr. Austin Lane who spoke about the upcoming bond election and why it is important to the people of Magnolia Texas that this bond pass. Shown in the photo from left to right are: Steve Scheffler, Executive Director College Relations and Dr. Austin Lane, President of Lone Star College - Montgomery.
Dan Lowe then went on to mention Dr. Austin Lane's credentials:
Dr. Austin A. Lane was appointed as the third president of Lone Star College-Montgomery on July 20, 2009 by Chancellor Richard Carpenter of the Lone Star College System. A seasoned administrator who leads by example, Dr. Lane has amassed a stellar list of credentials during the course of his career in higher education. As president, he leads one of the fastest growing institutions in the State of Texas and the nation.

A native of New Jersey, Dr. Lane graduated from Hackensack High School and attended Odessa Junior College in West Texas on a basketball scholarship. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Langston University, M.A. in human relations from The University of Oklahoma, Ph.D. in psychology from Walden University, and Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.)  in higher education administration from The University of Alabama.

Lauded as an innovator and visionary leader, Dr. Lane’s career in higher education is marked by a variety of successive leadership roles and professional achievements, affording him experience in virtually every aspect of administration and teaching. Before joining Lone Star College-Montgomery, Dr. Lane served as vice president for student affairs at Tyler Junior College and was responsible for directing a college-wide strategic enrollment management team that posted the largest enrollment in the school’s history. He also planned, developed, and oversaw several construction projects that were designed to enhance the academic and student service reputation of the college. Prior to joining Tyler Junior College, he served as the dean of students at The University of Texas at Arlington and was instrumental in planning and overseeing several student success initiatives that were designed to increase enrollment and retention.

In addition to his administrative experience, Dr. Lane has also served as an adjunct professor in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Arlington, adjunct professor in the Behavioral and Social Sciences department at Tarrant County College-Southeast Campus, and has served as an on-site reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). He has also conducted extensive research on traditional-age, low-income, African-American and Hispanic students in the State of Texas and has published two doctoral dissertations that focus on access to higher education, affordability, need-based vs. merit-based aid, college persistence, and student success.

Dr. Lane is also active in the community and serves on the Amegy’s Advisory Board, United Way Board, South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Conroe Economic Development Council, SMU Education Policy and Leadership Advisory Board, and Education for Tomorrow Alliance board of directors.

Dr. Lane then spoke about the upcoming bond referendum to create a Lone Star College-Magnolia Center modeled after the Lone Star College-Conroe Center. The planned center is a new, comprehensive educational campus that provides a mix of academic transfer courses and workforce training programs. The key take away items from his presentation were:

1. The 2014 Lone Star College bond referendum will fund construction of the planned 60,000 square foot Lone Star College-Magnolia Center.

2. Magnolia Education, business and community leaders, along with other residents, will work with Lone Star College-Montgomery to help identify programs and courses that meet the needs of the Magnolia area.

3. There will be no tax increase associated with the bond. In fact, the LSCS Board of Trustees lowered the tax rate by 7% in September. The explosive population, housing and business growth in the LSC service area has expanded the tax base enabling LSC to reduce the tax rate and finance the bond program without any tax rate impact.

4. Long Star College has a strong history of superior financial management, earning a coveted AAA bond rating as a result of its stewardship of public funds.

5. More magnolia ISD graduates choose Lone Star College than any other college or university. More than 40% of all MISD graduates choose Lone Star College. The cost of attending LSC is about $750 for 12 hours of classroom study which is much cheaper than 4 year colleges.

6. The LSCS has grown from 4 school districts in 1973 to 11 school districts in 2014. Its budget is $330 million which makes it one of the largest college systems in the state of Texas. In 2014, there were 82,818 students enrolled in classes. Also, over 8,000 high school students are now taking dual-credit courses while still in high school.

7. The LCSC funding comes from property taxes (36%), Tuition & Fees (34%), State Funding (23%) and other (7%). Of the property taxes received, 57% is from residential property and 41% is from commercial property.

8. The actual site has not yet been determined and won't be untill the bond is passed. It is expected that the actual building will occur two years after the bond election if passed).

9. Senior citizens over 65 will not see any tax increase as their property taxes are frozen at $23 for every $100,000 in property evaluation per year and the bond election will not change that.

For more information about LSCS and the bond election, go to www.lonestar.edu.