I graduated from the SAC nursing program in 2007, and now I am back on campus informally attending classes for my own personal enrichment. In the intervening period of time I became a magnum cum laude graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, obtaining both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing.
What I have found after a six-year absence from this campus is shocking. Many of my professors have left because of intolerable conditions here. Student services have greatly been reduced. The intramural and extramural programs that were so much fun are now gone. Work-study students are now hard to find. The tutoring programs that helped me get through my most challenging science classes have disappeared as have many programs for at-risk students.
The campus nursing staff is gone. The number of counselors has been greatly reduced and the library staff has been gutted. Likewise, full-time faculty members have been routinely replaced in favor of adjuncts. The only area that has grown is administration, which now, according to The Ranger, consumes 34 percent of the district’s budgetary outlay. That is outrageous. Does the board understand that students do not come to college to see administrators?
I am also horrified by the caustic environment that is pervasive on this campus. Everyone is angry. Even new students who are unaware of how much better things were for their predecessors are well aware of the fact that the current administration invariably ignores them as it did recently by requiring etexts when an overwhelming percentage of students preferred a paper text.
The faculty is also routinely ignored by district administrators. It seems that committees are constituted to discuss specific issues when the administration has already decided what it is going to do regardless of the committee’s findings or recommendations.
And if the administration anticipates faculty opposition, it will circumvent the established policies and procedures and do as it pleases.
The perfect example is Dr. Bruce Leslie’s unilateral inclusion of EDUC 1300 in the core, contrary to the wishes of the ACCD faculties. All of the aforementioned has resulted in increased anger and frustration, which, in turn, precludes effective teaching and learning.
None of this turmoil existed at the UTHSCSA. Our administrators worked tirelessly to support both faculty and students.
Everybody respected everyone else, and we all worked together in a happy, collaborative learning environment. That is the way college should be. It is what taxpayers expect, and it is what students deserve.
I am writing this letter because I love San Antonio College. My dad went to school here in the past and I had hoped to send my daughter, who will graduate from Incarnate Word High School in May, to school here in the future. But given that which I unfortunately now find on this campus, we will be looking elsewhere.
Deborah Ann Guerra, M.S.N.