Zeigler chairs last council meeting before retiring in August
By M.J. Callahan
Tuesday’s College Council meeting was the last for President Robert Zeigler, who is retiring in August, and the next meeting in September will be led by his successor, Dr. Robert Vela, vice president for student and academic success.
Zeigler announced during the meeting in the visual arts center that his last official day will be at the end of August, but he plans to turn over the reins of the college to Vela during college convocation Aug. 18. College Council will not meet in August.
Vela was chosen by the Alamo Colleges board of trustees July 1 to lead this college. Another of the four finalists for the top spot at this college, Dr. Ric Neal Baser, vice president and chief academic officer at Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma, was named head of Northwest Vista College.
Staff Council President Helen Torres announced that groups in the community are pleased with Vela’s selection. She said the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is planning a reception to welcome Vela.
The big question asked during the meeting was when the process will start in filling Vela’s current position.
Zeigler proposed and the council approved the administration returning to a two vice president model.
In 2011 after the resignation of Dr. Jessica Howard as vice president of academic affairs, this college combined her position with Vela’s position as vice president of student affairs, and he assumed both roles.
“I have been under both systems, and there are pros and cons to both systems,” Zeigler said.
Zeigler said the workload and number of meetings requiring a vice president make it difficult for one person to handle that much responsibility; however, communication can be a problem between two vice presidents.
Zeigler said jokingly, “I did suggest to Robert (Vela) that before we hire the two vice presidents that what we need to do is get some help from the counseling department and the psychology department and do a personality profile to be sure that the two siblings will play together well.”
The administration would like to have the vice presidents in place by spring 2015. A single interim vice president will be named, but Zeigler said that person has not been chosen.
In other news, Rick Varner was introduced as the director of Scobee Education Center, who will oversee the two entities in the new center — Scobee Planetarium led by Coordinator Bob Kelley and the Challenger Learning Center led by lead flight director Jennifer Becerra. Both will open in the fall.
Dr. David Wood, dean of performance excellence, answered questions on this college’s oversight of classes taught at Northeast Lakeview College, which will continue until Northeast Lakeview receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
He said Northeast Lakeview’s accreditation has been delayed, which has put more pressure on the chairs at this college to continue overseeing SAC classes offered there.
The majority of classes taught at the college in North East Bexar County are offered by this college, and students who use those classes as the majority of their work toward a degree will graduate from this college.
However, Vela reminded chairs they can delegate some of the oversight of faculty to chairs at Northeast Lakeview.
Martin Ortega, director of admissions, brought up a suggestion to honor Adolph Lopez, assessments coordinator who died May 24 after a brief illness, with a plaque and his portrait. He also suggested establishing a scholarship in his memory.
Dr. Helen Vera, women’s center director, said Lopez had given a $500 scholarship at the Women’s Empowerment conference in May.