Chancellor backs down

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By Bleah B. Patterson

Thursday Jo-Carol Fabkianke, vice chancellor for academic success said district received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to revert to the 2013-14 core curriculum.

“We asked for reinstatement of our previous core,” Fabianke said.

She explained the art and dance courses removed from the core will not be reinstated, but the second humanities requirement will be present and EDUC 1300 will not.

“The decision to remove the art classes still stands. That was the Coordinating Board’s decision, they said those courses don’t fit the description of creative arts.”

Chancellor Bruce Leslie sent an email at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday indicating district officials are backing down on implementing EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, as a requirement in the core curriculum and requiring e-book instructional materials in the fall.

EDUC 1300 was scheduled to replace one of the humanities requirements in the core curriculum and be required for all degrees.

“While it troubles me to write this … The controversy and divisiveness surrounding this issue have simply outweighed the necessity to push ahead at this time,” Leslie wrote.

The instructional materials policy required replacing traditional textbooks with e-books purchased from the district with tuition in 18 courses as a pilot for the fall. Materials later would be standardized.

The email was sent to the ACES accounts of all students and faculty.

This decision came after months of protest and petition by students, letters sent from the Faculty Senates, and a formal investigation of the process used to implement EDUC 1300 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Leslie said he heard the students and decided taking a step back was the right choice. Jo-Carol Fabianke, vice chancellor for academic success, echoed him saying, “We felt we needed to take more time before implementing anything. We plan to meet with students and faculty to clarify what they really need. We agreed to go back to the core we had this year and use it next year.”

Humanities Professor Craig Coroneos of Northwest Vista College, said faculty there are “skeptically taking stock of the current situation,” and “given the circumstances it is in the best interest of the students.”

Coroneos said the way everything turned out is inspiring to him. “All the groups who should have been involved did ultimately have a voice. A lot of people thought these were done deals, but we’re seeing that they weren’t. This is not a loss for Leslie or a win for faculty; democracy won.”

“Obviously,” Fabianke said, “we’ve listened to students and heard what they said.”


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