Month: September 2012

Cultivating Collaboration

Key paragraph in a Huffington Post article from the President of Wellesley College:

There are little data to support the perception that academics resist change, as Robert Birnbaum has shown. In curricular matters, faculty are, in fact, the primary agents of change, consistently responding appropriately to changes in the society. Yes, faculty are sometimes maddeningly slow and deliberative, but this is not a problem — it is a virtue. It helps universities avoid hopping on every passing bandwagon and embracing the ever-changing (and often costly and ineffective) popular fixes of the day. There is great value in being appropriately deliberative when dealing with something as important as the education of undergraduates.

Read more @ Governing Higher Ed Through Balance: Why Cultivating Collaboration Is Crucial, Now More Than Ever

Shared Governance

A paragraph from a very strongly worded article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed on the importance of one of our top advocacy issues – shared governance:

Finally, governance at community colleges tends to flow top-down because of the pervasive nature of what I have called in previous columns the “13th grade” mentality. For some people, community colleges are not “real” colleges but rather occupy a place somewhere between a high school and a university—perhaps closer to the former than to the latter. Plenty of people in government, and even within the two-year institutions themselves, believe that community colleges should be run much like high schools, with strong, autocratic leaders and little or no input from the instructors.

Read the rest @ “A Song of Vice and Mire”

Policy Update: Board responsibilities and job descriptions


September 18, 2012


Last night the Alamo Colleges’ Board of Trustees and Chancellor took the following policy actions in accordance with Policy B.5.3.


Approved Policy B.5.1 – Board Responsibilities

        This policy was amended to authorize the Board to approve substantive changes to the chancellor, vice chancellors, presidents, vice presidents and faculty job descriptions.

Approved Full-time Teaching Faculty – Job Description

        Approved Vice President for Academic Success – Job Description


Note:  Policies and procedures can be located at: 



        Tracked Changes can be located at:




        Job Descriptions can be found at:









        If you have questions about the content of policies/procedures, contact the department named at the top of the online policy/procedure.  If you need general assistance with the online policy website, contact the District Ethics and Compliance Office at 485-0057.



Eduardo “Eddie” Cruz, MBA, CCEP

District Ethics and Compliance Officer

Ethics and Compliance Department

Alamo Colleges


FAX 485-0064


Quantification has its place in education, but a dependence on using numerical data to guide all decisions could lead to a system in which the only techniques employed are those that are easily measured, Alfie Kohn writes in today’s Commentary. Do you agree? Is the U.S. education too dependent on numbers?

Education Week: Schooling Beyond Measure

UTSA Connection

Dr. Yvonne Katz, the newest Board member for the Alamo Colleges, has pledged $1 million to the UTSA Alumni Center.


During the Spring 2012 debate with Ramiro Nava for the District 5 Trustee seat, current Board member Roberto Zarate said:

I want us (the Alamo Colleges) to charge UTSA students more tuition for the classes they take with us. If we don’t get credit for their success then we should at least get more money.

Mr. Zarate was referring to how our colleges get funded by student graduation and college completion rates. UTSA students typically take 1 or 2 classes at one of the Alamo Colleges but do not get counted in the “completion” or “success” column for state funding.

The question is: How do current UTSA students and alumni feel about Trustee Zarate’s statement? Are they not taxpayers, too? Should they not get the same educational opportunities for the same cost as other local taxpayers?



Buried in the Express-News article “UT System approves salary incentives” was a startling bit of news about our own Chancellor, Dr. Bruce Leslie:

Alamo Colleges trustees this week approved negotiating a possible jump in pay for Chancellor Bruce Leslie to annual compensation of $373,000 — almost a 12 percent boost of nearly $40,000. The negotiations would include extending his contract through Aug. 31, 2015.

That’s quite a healthy jump in pay considering the Board just voted to raise student tuition, are considering raising taxes, and have let positions go unfilled at the colleges. But these are the terms of Dr. Leslie’s contract. If the Board votes to renew, then the raise comes with the contract automatically.