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Home » 2016-11-08 election » Lone Star College » Board of Trustees Member, District 7 » Linda S. Good

Linda S. Good
Party Unknown
Born Orlando, Florida
Education Temple Jr. College, Baylor, & UH
Occupation Attorney
Marital Married
Children 3

Linda S. Good


Linda S. Good was elected to the Lone Star College System Board of Trustees in May 2010. She currently serves as board chair.

She is the Directing Attorney for Pro Bono and Disaster Response of Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston, where she has been employed since 1994. She has been an adjunct faculty member at LSC-North Harris and the University of Houston Law Center and has served as faculty for the NITA Trial Skills for Juvenile & Family Courts in Houston. She served on the Paralegal Advisory Committee at LSC-North Harris from 2002 until 2010, is a past chair of that committee, and mentored and supervised student interns from the Paralegal Program. She has also served her community as a Montgomery County Precinct Chair and as a member of the 2005 Montgomery County Election Equipment Task Force.

Good began her higher education at the age of 32 and completed each degree in the traditional amount of time while raising three children. She earned a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in Houston; a B.A. with Phi Beta Kappa and a double major in History & Environmental Studies from Baylor University in Waco; and an A.A. with Phi Theta Kappa in Liberal Arts from Temple Junior College, in Temple.   

MCTP PAC Rating of: 83 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-10-20 19:00:22


  • Experience and Legal background serves her well as board chair;
  • Highly motivated;   
  • Solid administrative experience; 
  • Very involved in LSCS;  good insight to needs of College, taxpayers and desire to continue to serve both;
  • Worked to improve transparency and accountability;
  • Seems up on most issues & very capable;
  • Broad background.


  • Liberal Democrat
  • Former President of Texas Democratic Women of Montgomery Bounty
  • Donated money to Barak Obama and former Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis
  • Has issues with campus carry
  • Established part of "the network".

Video Interview Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-10-17 19:49:38




Please describe the changes to existing programs and/or functions you are committed to make and give your rationale.

LSCS cannot, and should not, depend entirely on taxpayers for its funding. As the percentage of the LSCS budget that is derived from state appropriations continues to shrink, it has become vital to secure other funding sources. Chancellor Head’s goal, which I fully support, is to reduce reliance on declining state support through efficiencies and alternative revenue sources. When I became Chair of the LSCS Board of Trustees 2 years ago, I also became an ex officio member of the Lone Star Foundation Board. I would like to increase private donations to, and private funding for, the college. If re-elected, I hope to expand upon my fundraising efforts for the Foundation in order to make the college more financially independent and increase the scholarships for our students.

Likewise, it is critically important that LSCS maintain its strong ties to the business community in order to ensure that the college offers high quality programs that are responsive to the needs of the local economy and that prepare our graduates for real living wage jobs. I will continue to work to strengthen and expand business partnerships with LSCS. Local businesses have also donated equipment to many of LSCS’s educational programs. I plan to work to expand those donations. I also intend to focus on working with 4-year universities to ensure transferability and relevance of LSCS’s academic programs.

Please describe the qualifications and experience that make you the best candidate for the office you are seeking.

I began my higher education at Temple Junior College at the age of 32, after escaping an abusive marriage and suffering an injury that prevented me from continuing the best job I ever had. At TJC, I personally experienced the transformative power of a community college education. Indeed, I am the only community college graduate to ever serve as a trustee in the 40-year history of LSCS. Prior to my election to the LSCS Board of Trustees, I worked as an adjunct professor, served as a member and chair of the Paralegal Program Advisory Committee, and welcomed students into my legal practice as interns and as employees. In addition, all three of my children are community college graduates, 2 are graduates of LSCS. I am the only candidate for trustee who possesses all of the following perspectives that inform my work on behalf of LSCS: student, parent, faculty, administrator, business partner, and employer. My legal training and over 22 years of experience as a practicing attorney also equip me to understand the legal ramifications of the decisions trustees are required to make on behalf of their constituents.

For the past 6 years as an LSCS trustee, I believe I have been the most active and attentive trustee. I regularly attend events at all of the campuses—convocations, graduations, induction ceremonies, building dedications, etc. Doing so provides me many opportunities to speak informally with students, employees, and community members. This has helped me be a better-informed trustee. I have also devoted considerable time and energy to studying issues that come before the Board before I decide how to vote. I have taken my responsibilities as a trustee with the utmost seriousness.

For the past 6 years as an LSCS trustee, I believe I have been the most active and attentive trustee. I regularly attend events at all of the campuses—convocations, graduations, induction ceremonies, building dedications, etc. Doing so provides me many opportunities to speak informally with students, employees, and community members. This has helped me be a better-informed trustee. I have also devoted considerable time and energy to studying issues that come before the Board before I decide how to vote. I have taken my responsibilities as a trustee with the utmost seriousness.

Please discuss the proper granting of the use of LSCS facilities to non-affiliated, non-profit civic groups.

LSCS is a publically funded community resource. It is essential that it be available to local taxpayers. All non-affiliated, non-profit civic groups should have equal opportunity to use LSCS facilities. The requirements and rules for their use must be uniform across all campuses.


Please discuss your views on LSCS funding sources and the proportion of funds that should come from each source(State Legislature; raise local property taxes; raise tuition;  offer free tuition;  pass more bond;  repeal open-admissions and increase minimum academic requirements;  cap enrollment;  worry about it down the road)?

“Worry about it down the road” is not a responsible financial policy. Trustees should never shirk their responsibility to make difficult funding choices. LSCS’s financial planning includes discussions and modeling of a fair and equitable balance between state support, tuition, and local taxpayer support.

Currently, only 21% of the LSCS budget is derived from state appropriations, and even that is subject to reduction in order to balance the state budget. In fact, LSCS’s 5-year financial plan assumes continued reductions in state funding. By law, bond revenue cannot be used for operational expenses; those funds can only be used for capital construction and improvement. The “open-admission” policy is a function of state law and cannot be “repealed” by the LSCS Board of Trustees.

Offering free tuition to everyone is not a viable financial option. Perhaps more importantly, I believe it is imperative that students pay appropriate tuition in order to support the institution that gives them the education, training, and skills necessary to flourish. Students who invest their own dollars into their education have a greater stake in their own success. Paying tuition increases students’ personal responsibility for their education.

I also believe that because the local economy benefits from the educational and training opportunities LSCS provides, it is appropriate for local taxpayers to provide some financial support for the college. By helping the population acquire the skills and training they need to be productive members of the economy, LSCS helps its students achieve the resiliency they need to weather economic storms. LSCS transforms students from “consumers” of public goods into productive taxpayers, thereby reducing the financial burden on current taxpayers.

De facto enrollment caps are already in place at LSCS. They exist in the form of limited seats in classrooms and in limited funding to hire enough faculty to meet student demand for classes.

I support LSCS’s long tradition of keeping property taxes as low as possible, while also offering a good value for students’ tuition dollars. At $0.1079, LSCS’s current property tax rate is among the lowest in Texas and its in-district tuition is above the state average. For the next fiscal year, I anticipate LSCS lowering its tax rate for the third year in a row.

Additionally, I am an enthusiastic supporter of “Lone Star Promise,” which is funded entirely by private donations to the Lone Star Foundation. Lone Star Promise provides scholarships that fill the gap for students who are not poor enough for Pell grants and not affluent enough to re-pay student loans. Lone Star Promise scholarships are only available to students who are enrolled full time and earn a minimum grade point average. For those students, the minimum academic requirements have been increased.

Please describe the pros and cons of full-tenured staff versus part-time teachers and your plans, if any, for making changes in that area.

LSCS has no “full-tenured” faculty like 4-year universities. After 3 consecutive years of positive performance reviews, LSCS full-time faculty can receive a 2-year rolling contract. A 2-year contract is as close as LSCS faculty ever get to “tenure.” In exchange, full-time faculty normally teach a required load of 5 classes per long semester and 2 summer classes. In addition, full-time faculty are required to keep office hours, provide student support beyond the classroom, prepare required reports for accrediting agencies, engage in meaningful professional development, and fulfill other duties as assigned.

By contrast, LSCS cannot legally require part-time faculty to do work beyond the classroom, and must limit their course load in order to avoid triggering an obligation to provide employment benefits. In fact, many part-time faculty are forced to leave campus as soon as class is over in order to drive to their next teaching assignment at Houston Community College, San Jacinto College, etc. It is common for part-time faculty to teach at several institutions in order to cobble together a living income.

Dr. Head, the current LSCS Chancellor, is committed to improving the full-time/part-time faculty ratio over the next 5 years. I support him in that effort for 3 reasons. First, many studies have shown that the best way to improve student success rates is for faculty to be available to students outside of class. Faculty are the best tutors and mentors for college students. Although many part-time faculty are talented teachers, LSCS cannot require them to support student success efforts outside of the classroom. Second, the Texas Legislature has implemented performance-based funding, which requires state colleges and universities to improve student success rates. LSCS can better compete for that funding by improving its full-time/part-time faculty ratio. Third, under the previous chancellor, LSCS’s full-time/part-time faculty ratio had declined to the point that it was the worst in the state of Texas, which could have jeopardized the college’s accreditation. Because they also emphasize student success, accrediting agencies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, have begun pressuring schools to improve their full-time/part-time faculty ratios. LSCS cannot play fast and loose with its accreditation.

Please describe the opportunities you will pursue to improve quality of instruction while reducing costs.

LSCS currently provides high quality instruction at a low cost. However, LSCS should always look for ways to improve. The best way to improve is to hold students accountable for the best academic work they can do, and employees accountable for doing their jobs as best as they can.


Is the current debt load for LSCS too high? Please describe how you will determine the proper debt load.

LSCS must carefully track population trends, property values, state appropriations, and the local economy to inform future projections. LSCS trustees must always look beyond the present to anticipate future trends. If enrollment is inadequate to justify a construction project, trustees should and do vote to cancel or defer the project. By doing so, LSCS recently paid back unused 2008 bond money early and refinanced other debt, generating nearly $83 million in savings over the life of the remaining debt. I am proud of that accomplishment.

A debt load that threatens LSCS’s fund balance or its bond rating is too high. Under the leadership of the current chancellor, LSCS created a dynamic budget modeling tool that allows trustees to see in an instant the current and future impact of decisions on the immediate future, as well as the next 5 years. By maintaining a reasonable debt load and a fund balance of 16-20% of its budget, LSCS has earned a AAA bond rating, saving millions of dollars in interest.

Please explain why you do or do not support requiring a 2/3 majority for bond issues to pass.

If a bond referendum required a tax increase, I would support the idea of it needing a 2/3 majority to pass. LSCS bonds, however, are funded solely by private investment. Even when an LSCS bond passes, no taxpayers are required to fund it.

Lone Star College passed a $471 million Bond package(tax-supported) in late 2014.  How long will this sustain the college, before the board comes back to the voters for more? 

Currently, the LSCS Board is not considering another bond. Because bond money cannot be used for operating costs, LSCS should only consider a bond proposal if and when it needs new construction to accommodate enrollment growth. LSCS should always be conservative about capital improvements because expanded facilities bring additional operational costs in order to staff and maintain new facilities. If enrollment growth does not require more buildings, it would be financially irresponsible to propose another bond.

1st Amendment - speech, religion

What would you do to a student who uses hate speech on campus? Off campus?

“Hate speech” is a federal crime. LSCS must obey all local, state, and federal laws. A student who uses hate speech on campus would be subject to the student discipline policy, and may be subject to prosecution. “Hate speech” should never be defined so broadly, however, that it curtails Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. LSCS has no jurisdiction over the actions of students off campus, so it would be completely inappropriate for LSCS to attempt to regulate or punish off campus behavior.

What is your position on free-speech zones, speech codes, safe spaces, trigger warnings, microaggressions, and religious speech on campus?

The Bill of Rights makes the entire nation a free-speech zone. More specifically, the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly. As a publicly funded institution of learning, LSCS must honor and promote those freedoms. I believe all members of the LSCS community should have the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn from one another. LSCS cannot, and should not, try to ensure that students and employees will never be offended by something they hear on campus. Thus I believe that things like speech codes and trigger words have no place on college campuses.

In several cases, I believe the previous chancellor inappropriately restricted free speech on LSCS property in order to silence criticism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) documented those incidents on their web site. The current chancellor has rightly encouraged a reversal of that stance because he is committed to the idea that higher education requires the free exchange of ideas.

Higher education should raise students’ awareness and understanding of people who disagree with them. This is true even for dual credit students (high school students in college level classes) who are still minors. By enrolling in dual credit classes, those minors and their parents or guardians affirm that they are mature enough to handle college level work. Students should not be excused from class simply because they hear or see something that they find “shocking.” Higher education demands awareness and understanding of unpleasant, unfortunate, and even controversial topics.

2nd Amendment - guns

What's your opinion on campus carry for teachers and for students?

LSCS campus police are strongly opposed to teachers and students carrying weapons beyond their vehicles because they believe it compromises their ability to identify perpetrators in violent situations. I agree with campus police on this issue. Nonetheless, because campus carry will become state law at all Texas community colleges next fall, I believe LSCS must obey that law. As a trustee, my personal views can never take precedence over the law. The trustees’ only role may be in determining gun-free zones, within the limits of existing law, for the protection of vulnerable populations (such as child care centers) or where our facilities are shared with other entities (such as the Harris county Public Library System) to which other laws may apply.


Please describe what measures you propose to improve transparency and accountability to the public.

I strongly believe that taxpayers have an absolute right to know how their tax money is being used and to participate in their government at all levels. Those are foundational American values. For that reason, I have already taken measures to improve LSCS’s transparency and accountability to the public.

Two years ago, my fellow trustees elected me Chair of the LSCS Board. I immediately proposed moving the board meetings from 5 pm to 6 pm to allow greater participation from local taxpayers. I also worked to change the policy that limited the topics on which members of the public could address the board. Previously, members of the public were only permitted to address items on the agenda; now they can address the board on any topic. As Board Chair, I also interpret the policy on public participation that says “up to 5 minutes” to mean that a public speaker should be allowed to speak for a full 5 minutes. Two of my predecessors claimed that “up to” gave them the discretion to limit remarks to 3 minutes. I believe it is not too much to ask trustees to listen to a speaker for 5 minutes.

I also fully supported LSCS General Counsel’s redesign of the process by which policies are brought forward for board consideration. Proposed policies are now posted to the LSCS web site for everyone to see. All interested persons can now post comments through a public Internet portal. Comment periods are normally 60 days. Instead of trustees silently conducting the “first reading” of a proposed policy, as Chair I have successfully encouraged my fellow trustees to publically discuss their views of proposals during the public part of Board meetings.

The bidding process for contracts now includes a “black out period” after requests for proposals go out. If a potential vendor contacts a trustee about a pending contract during the black out period, that vendor is automatically disqualified. All vendors who fail to win a contract may request feedback on how they can improve their chances for future bids.