Retired businessman, 68
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By Wally Perez
District 4 incumbent Marcelo Casillas has sat on the board of trustees for the last 13 years, and served on the South San Antonio School Board from 1990-1998 as president and vice president.
He said his experience on both boards has helped him understand that communication is a big part of things running smoothly.
“Retreats where faculty, staff and the board can speak at will without holding anything back is a start; we need to have those conversations,” Casillas said.
He said the retreats would be a good way for everyone to understand each other’s concerns and it’s the best way to go about improving communication between the trustees and faculty.
It’s important to listen to staff and faculty to improve programs like AlamoAdvise and AlamoInstitutes, he said
“We can make suggestions, but we can’t demand,” Casillas said. “We have to let the system bring us the recommendations.”
Casillas said he is opposed to suspending the citizens-to-be-heard portion of board meetings, as they have the right to speak as long as it’s done in a professional manner.
Casillas said he does not want to increase tuition, but it’s up to the staff to give the trustees ideas on how to maintain the budget.
“Every penny counts, any $5 or $10 out of your pocket, that’s gas or book money you don’t want to be using with tuition increases and things like that,” Casillas said.
He’s hopeful the state will provide more funds to sustain programs at the Alamo Colleges.
Casillas is on the fence about FranklinCovey and the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” because he needs to look closer at results.
“I want to see actual numbers of what benefits it’s provided,” Casillas said. “It means we have to stop spending future dollars on Covey if we don’t see the statistics on how it’s beneficial.”
Regarding faculty being responsible for students dropping courses, which lowers productive grade rates, Casillas said the Alamo Colleges can’t hold faculty totally responsible.
“Unless the record shows that a lot of students drop their class in particular, it’s the responsibility of the students to pursue their education,” he said.
He also doesn’t believe that concealed carry on community college campuses is reasonable.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do; to me it’s very dangerous to have them on campus,” he said. “I couldn’t tell you how it should be handled personally.”
A lot of research is needed to see how campus carry should be addressed, he said.
Casillas said he’s the best candidate for District 4 because of his experience.
“I’ve had productive years on the board, programs have been implemented and the students are improving graduation rates,” Casillas said.