Chancellor Bruce Leslie violates District policy

Financial records obtained by the KENS 5 I-Team show Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie repeatedly purchased alcohol using a district procurement card, a violation of policy.

Perhaps the clearest explanation of Leslie’s reimbursement practices came from longtime Alamo Colleges Trustee Jim Rindfuss.

“There are charges that will be owed to Dr. Leslie, where he has advanced money on behalf of the district from his own resources, and the other times when he has charged it on district cards,” said Rindfuss, who called the accounting procedure an “offset.”

Seems legit, Mr. Rindfuss. Moving on…will someone step forward and serve Dr. Leslie with a Step 4 Progressive Discipline action?

Interesting to know that San Antonio city manager Sheryl Sculley pays for airline seat upgrades out of her own money. When asked why he didn’t do the same, Leslie serves up a “because I don’t have to, so there” response.

TCCTA Blog: Tenure in Kansas …and Elsewhere

Sharing this complete blog post on tenure. Speaking of, now that we have new faculty evaluation instrument, will our Board of Trustees finally restore tenure for new hires?


 

Tenure in Kansas …and Elsewhere

Posted: 10 Feb 2016 11:14 AM PST

The Kansas Legislature is considering a bill that would eliminate its administrative due process regimen for dismissing two-year college faculty, even if instructors have been employed for many years and possess so-called “continuing” contracts. Some media reports claim the lawmakers simply intend to abolish tenure.

In a controversial move two years ago, the same legislature repealed the due process system for K-12 teachers, but it was retained for community and technical colleges, according to an article by Edward M. Eveld, in the Kansas City Star.

There is no mention in the article of tenure at universities, which presumably would be unaffected by the proposed law.

Basically the legislation would allow institutional discretion in the dismissal of faculty members. If so it might resemble policies already in place at Texas community colleges, where there is presently a great deal of variety.

Some instructors here are awarded annual contracts, with no assurance (absent pertinent precedents regarding a “reasonable” expectation of being rehired, race, gender, etc.) of job security. Some colleges grant actual tenure for faculty, earned during a stipulated period, like practices at universities. A more common approach is the “rolling” contract, which gives teachers an extended time window to make corrections or pursue any appeals under due process.

So it’s complicated, dependent upon statutory and case law at the state and national level, in addition to local policies and procedures. You can get an earful from TCCTA attorneys at one of the association’s events.

But this much is clear. As job security, pensions, and other perquisites in the private sector have become casualties in the global economy, tenure (or something like it) has become a political target—pegged as a relic that has outlived its usefulness.

Please read the KCS article for choice quotes representing both sides of this issue.

Also not mentioned in the piece—right under our noses—is the elephant in the room: adjunct faculty. With the majority of classes at many schools taught by part-timers with virtually no job security, it becomes increasingly difficult to defend anything resembling tenure for full-timers. In fact, some colleges have devised a new hybrid category of instructor, with additional teaching responsibilities, but no pesky due process concerns.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Have you read the latest Express-News article on the secret contract between the Alamo Colleges and Craig Follins?

Why is Follins still there? That’s none of your business. What did he do that is so unacceptable? That’s also none of your business.

You see, the separation agreement between Alamo Colleges, which is public, and Follins, who is a public employee, has a privacy clause. Yes, a privacy clause.

Yet another attempt to cover up the failed leadership of Chancellor Bruce Leslie and the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees.

 

Craig Follins: Express-News reader comments

Below are some of the reader comments collected from the Express-News articles on Craig Follins:

  • Working in SA

Once again, the Alamo Colleges is trying to sidestep both law and common sense morality to protect itself and to cover up it’s bad choices. Dr. Follins was hand picked by the Chancellor and was a dismal failure at Northeast Lakeview College. He bulled and harassed people while also failing to lead the college in a direction best suited for providing a quality education for our community. Alamo Colleges is a public institution of higher education. That makes all its business decisions open to public scrutiny. They are paying someone $203k to not do anything!? That is consistent with having a chancellor paid more than the president of UCLA (who also has to live in southern California!). While I am sympathetic about Dr Follins’ need to find a new job he should not be able to run and hide from what caused him to be fired in the first place. Time to take responsibility for his own failure.

  • Keturah Coleman

NLC has been a disaster for nearly 10 years with their constant accreditation failures. Leslie and the Alamo College Board tolerate and encourage horrible and unethical behavior from their presidents and high ranking administrators. Leslie’s wrath usually falls on the decent and ethical folks, rather than the wicked and corrupt, so Follins’ misconduct must be great indeed. But still he gets a paycheck until his contract runs out and he moves on to the next taxpayer funded job, where he will screw up again. It is the circle of life for incompetent educrats.

  • Former Assistant

Dr. Follins has been a temperamental and aggressive man for as long as I’ve known him. It’s surprising to me that it’s just now becoming public knowledge of his behavior. While he is an extremely gifted educator and has accomplished and brought so much to higher learning institutions, he is no one who should be managing other people. He belittles you and makes you feel worthless. His tone and choice of words can be condescending and down right MEAN. He has caused me anxiety, stress, and emotional turmoil. I wouldn’t recommend him managing or overseeing anyone. However, I would recommend him as a teacher/professor and mentor, he is wonderful in that area and I would hire him in a minute. He can really turn things around if he actually makes a change in his behavior and actually becomes a nice person. I hope he seeks counseling and anger management for his issues. Best of luck to him.

  • NLC Faculty

I’ve had the privilege of working with several great presidents in my 15 years as a faculty member and Dr. Reno was one of the best. Dr. Follins was a poor replacement. One of the worst examples of a leader I can recall. I had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of his bullying and I’m glad he’s gone. We lost a lot of good people in his short tenure as president. Many had institutional experience we couldn’t afford to lose as we approach our site visit. He was like a bull in a china shop to put it mildly. The people that stood up to him were retaliated against. Some decided to leave on their own, while others were fired or moved around the district. I decided to wait him out because I knew he would eventually be his own downfall and I didn’t want to lose my dream job. Others weren’t as fortunate.
All anyone had to do was look at the turn over from the time he started to see his failure as the President of NLC. If a person wanted a good story they might be inclined to look into how many of those who filed complaints were women. On a positive note, now we have Dr. Cleary! He has the experience to lead us in the right direction towards accreditation.

  • Hertz Clyde Dézir

@NLC Faculty
You really described the person I knew. I just couldn’t describe him as well as you did. My last encounter with him was a job interview back in 2012 at Olive-Harvey College in Chicago — after my first interview with a panel of interviewers. I call it an interview, but it was more like a dispute because he was so demanding and intimidating.

The Mystery of Craig Follins and the Secret Contract

This is turning in a real “choose your own adventure” story.

Info on Alamo Colleges deal kept hidden

San Antonio Express-News (TX) – January 22, 2016
The Alamo Colleges is fighting the release of the terms of a separation agreement with Craig Follins, former president of Northeast Lakeview College, that the district’s board of trustees approved last month in a public vote.

In response to a formal Public Information Act request submitted Dec. 17, the Alamo Colleges last week sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking to withhold the agreement from the public. According to the letter, signed by Alamo Colleges attorney Roxella T. Cavazos, the separation agreement stipulates that if a public records request for the document is made, the community college district will request the attorney general’s opinion.

Cavazos also said the agreement contains facts regarding Follins that would constitute an invasion of privacy if released. The district refused to release a redacted version of the agreement.

“It seems that we would be in breach of contract without going to the attorney general on this,” spokesman Mario Muñiz said.

Follins sent a similar letter to Paxton urging that the San Antonio Express-News’ records request be denied. He did not return a message Thursday seeking comment.

Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, said she had never heard of an agreement involving public officials stipulating that record requests would automatically be referred to the attorney general.

“By trying to put it behind this wall initially, they’re trying to use the law for purposes it’s not intended to be used for,” Shannon said. “They’re trying to hide the information in advance and keep the information from the public, and this is highly troublesome to me as an open-government advocate.”

Follins is still working for the district as a special project administrator, earning a salary of $205,000, Muñiz said. The district declined to say when Follins’ term is set to end.

amalik@express-news.net