Really about trust, Dr. Leslie?

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Chancellor blogs the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk.

In November 2013, Chancellor Bruce Leslie wrote a blog entry on the Huffington Post titled, “It’s a Matter of Trust.”

In this post, Leslie wrote about a speech he heard by a state political leader that struck a nerve in him. The political leader said the state’s schools were “deplorable.”

In response to this, Leslie wrote, “I’ve concluded that we educators have lost the public’s trust” and trust is “especially crucial” when community college is the only choice for a student.

Where does this mistrust come from?

Let’s start with the chancellor.

First, he blindsides campus administrators, faculty and staff with EDUC 1300, totally disregarding procedures for a curriculum change.

Then he single-handedly decided majors should be removed from degrees, claiming a “transfer degree” would better serve students and didn’t bother to consult college administrators or faculty, much less students.

Transparency and open communication are the foundation of trust.

He also wrote, “For generations, a degree represented the assured passage to a successful career and life.”

Well, Chancellor, what does a degree without a concentration represent?

Gilbert Perez, business management graduate of Palo Alto College, tore up his degree, signifying a degree without a major represented nothing.

Leslie rejected the Super Senate’s ideas on majors, stating “they are solution-oriented rather than open-ended and are college-based rather than district-oriented.”

Aren’t ideas supposed to be “solution-oriented?” And just who does the teaching around here: the colleges or the district?

To regain the trust of students, faculty and staff, the chancellor needs to start by taking his own advice. The final statement in this blog reads, “Trust must be earned and educators at all levels must appreciate our collective responsibility to rise above our internal political issues and focus all our efforts on student success.”

Key words: collective responsibility.

The chancellor seems to expect everyone else to do the rising while he decides what the focus will be.

If his own employees cannot trust him, why would the public?

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