Mumbling and district-dubbed “grumbling”-turned-whispers have now become shouts as the district siphons money from classrooms, faculty resources and campuses.
It’s not like the money is going to any new features aimed at student success.
Instead, students face new expenses such as a campus access fee that doesn’t actually provide any better access to the campus: only long lines in the cafeteria, locked floors in the library and labs lacking tutors even during shortened hours of operation.
All these problems stem from a lack of staffing, a situation district officials have the power — and funding — to fix but refuse to resolve.
And what are we to interpret from regularly increased tuition rates and the addition of a $10 charge for each copy of a transcript sent to a transfer university?
Now, we have to pay $10 to simply submit meningitis records the district is required to maintain?
It seems like a little money here and there, nothing that could force a student to leave college, but when we see our faculty also being reduced with retirement incentives, replaced by underpaid adjuncts without time to devote to students, the picture becomes a lot clearer.
Trustees have nothing to lose; they don’t make any money for serving.
The chancellor, however, has the power to sway his vice chancellors, who rely on him for contract renewals and raises.
These vice chancellors do his bidding in an attempt to sway the college presidents.
As we’ve seen, his retribution for opposition is swift.
The solution, then, is to make the system’s problems so blatantly obvious to trustees that they can no longer pretend the chancellor’s changes are improvements to this college district.
Almost every initiative Leslie has put forth in the name of cost savings has dismantled a system that worked and replaced it with technological nightmares of inefficiency.
Certainly nothing that better serves student interests.
Only the trustees can hold Leslie accountable, and so far he’s convinced them that the complaints they have heard represent only a tiny fraction of disgruntled employees.
That’s just willful ignorance on the part of trustees.
As students and staff and faculty, we need to make our needs clear — loud and clear.
We won’t simply be a revenue source for district officials.
They piously pinch pennies and then collect raises in no way commensurate to those paid at the colleges.