Modern Tools of Injustice

From our colleagues at PAC AAUP:

Was it necessary for the students of Palo Alto College (Student Leadership Coalition) to make a passionate display expressing their dissatisfaction with District leadership and ultimately asking for the removal of the Chancellor?

Probably not.  The information was clearly available for everyone to see but one has to wonder whether the data ever made it to the Board of Directors?

The report that should have alerted the Alamo Colleges trustees of the leadership fiasco was clearly available in a public report that is now posted in SAC AAUP’s website (see link below and big thanks to SAC AAUP for making it available).   The metrics below (scroll down to see charts and graphs) speak to concerns that have been communicated to the Board for several years now.  We now implore on the Board that if you want to address the REAL concerns of the colleges, stop relying on the filtered information that is given to you at the Board meetings.  Data are only as good as the subject matter it aims to represent (garbage in, garbage out).  Come to the colleges and meet the students and faculty at our campus.   It’s time that we challenge each Board member to attend an open forum at each college to put a face to the “real data” of our colleges.  Some Board members have already taken the challenge:  Kingsbery, Herrera and Alderete who came to visit students and faculty at PAC.  They are clearly aware of our student, faculty and, if given a fair chance to communicate without repercussions, the STAFF.  The staff at our colleges are the ones who are MOST aware of the problems, but are the ones who are least able to speak up since they are fully cognizant that their jobs could easily be converted to temporary or contract work, just as many already have, thus lose out on health benefits.

If each Board member had visited all college campuses and met with faculty and students, they would have clearly seen the pattern that the data below overwhelmingly display.

Board members have a responsibility to taxpayers to go beyond the surface data and look at the real issues that afflict our communities.  I must warn them, since the leadership problem have not been addressed for many years, your visit to the colleges may not feel comfortable.  The so-called “data-driven” leadership was merely a ruse to sweep real problems under each college’s campus grounds.  Like the contaminated soil that plagues numerous sites around the city, this too will eventually come out…and it won’t be pretty.

I consider the students of Palo Alto College Student Leadership Coalition true heroes who have mustered enough courage to speak to those who refuse to see the concerns that plague our colleges. One of our readers sent me the quote below.  It speaks to the important work of social justice that PAC students have taken upon themselves:

“Social justice demands that we comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

Has District become so comfortable that it cannot hear the cries of the discomforted? Are we now witnessing the ill-effects of District bloat which hides behind the modern tools of injustice: “data-driven” “efficiency” “cost saving” “awards” “students don’t do options” and many other euphemisms that result in suppressing the voices of those most in need.

Once more, the major problems that continue to plague the colleges are:  District Leadership, College level morale resulting from poor leadership from District, Initiative overload (too many initiatives from District), Poor (or top-down) communication, ineffective programs and technology leading to waste and frustration.  And many more.

link to report, courtesy of SAC AAUP:

Notice that LEADERSHIP ISSUES is listed 11 times in the tables below.  Do we need to raise a Texas-sized flag at each campus that reads LEADERSHIP ISSUES.  Why not just listen to the PAC students, lest they make people feel “uncomfortable.”

One comment

  1. Someone needs to look at district IT budget. They downgraded many IT positions and now after several staff have left the department, administration is bringing in consultants at $150 an hour. SIG and Ellucian consulting. They have also created several new FTE’s in the past 3 Years during a downsize time period. More recently a district director of enterprise reporting at a starting salary of $105,000 to supervise a staff of 5.
    IT brings in consultants or contract workers because it bypasses HR processing. In most cases contract workers are just sitting around doing nothing because they are given no direction. Check the budget.

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