Welcome, American Association of Community Colleges

¡Buenos días a todos!

Wick Sloane has penned a firebrand of a welcome for the AACC over at Inside Higher Ed. Please read Sloane’s article about the rising threat our students face: food insecurity. Article commenter Virgil perfectly sums up the Alamo Community College District’s own cautionary tale of disconnect between community college “leaders” and the community they are supposed to serve:

The convention is being held in one of the most income and housing segregated cities among large municipalities. The local community college leadership (Alamo Colleges) can be introduced as artifact 1 to show evidence of the increasing disconnect between the harsh realities of students and the oblivious attitude of local board of trustees and administrators. Simply do a search on Alamo Colleges or visit the local AAUP website (sacaaup.org) and you will find that students have asked for the chancellor to resign (he happens to be the highest paid chancellor in the state and one of the highest in the country at one of the highest poverty cities in the country – $450K if you include bonus pay), faculty morale is very low, administrative bloat has been an ongoing concern for years, faculty and students have been excluded from bringing solutions to the table (a vote of no confidence did little to stop administrative bloat and questionable decision-making), students have fought to reverse district decisions numerous times only to be met with utter disregard by the chancellor and the board of directors, and that several board meetings in the last few months have been filled with student and community protests complaining of the horrific disconnect between the Board/administrators and the students/faculty. The Devil’s Workshop is a fitting title because colleges from across the country can see first hand how local community college leadership (San Antonio as the backdrop) can live with itself as they revel in meaningless “data” and continue to add administrators that contribute nothing to the classroom, all the while students and faculty scream for a chance to offer real solutions to real concerns…to no avail. AACC convention attendees, here is an assignment for you: Do a search on the Alamo Colleges and look for relevant articles. Then have a roundtable discussion how a board and its administrators could allow themselves to become so distanced from the community it serves. Use the questions in this article as a starting point of your discussion. And instead of attending Fiesta events, drive to the poverty stricken areas around San Antonio – it’s not hard, just travel east, west or south. Finally, select a scribe and another person to report out. Better yet, take your report back home to your constituents and tell them what you have learned while enjoying your time in San Antonio during Fiesta week…with their money.

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