Student reality unrecognized

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Trustees, chancellor need to understand the whole picture.

With the return of the no-confidence vote in Chancellor Bruce Leslie, sudden support from surrounding businesses and partners of the Alamo Colleges has emerged.

Good for Northwest Vista College’s faculty for reviving the no-confidence vote.

Faculty members are not shying away from voicing opinions either of the chancellor’s actions and how they affect the workplace and their students — the people they interact with on a daily basis.

At the last board meeting Sept. 20, the agenda included discussion and possible action regarding the board’s confidence in and support of Leslie’s leadership.

Citizens-to-be-heard was listed on the agenda before this item, which consisted of partners of the Alamo Colleges praising Leslie for doing a good job.

A representative from Innovation-Technology-Machinery and Alamo Manufacturing Partnership spoke highly of Leslie.

The board only practices transparency when they think they are not.

Transparency is the citizens-to-be-heard segment in which area businessmen spoke in favor of the chancellor. It’s pretty clear they were implored to do so.

Transparency is the motion for a vote of confidence in the chancellor, even though it was withdrawn.

Transparency is pulling said motion believing the citizens-to-be-heard segment sufficed. It’s pretty clear board Chair Yvonne Katz was smug about the display.

Transparency is the press conference the trustees held before the board meeting celebrating 12,003 graduates and other student success goals.

It’s pretty clear the chancellor only seems to care about increasing graduation numbers.

This is very different treatment from the way the chancellor’s raise was handled: discussion in executive session, no discussion in open session, no specifics mentioned in the motion.

Kafkaesque to say the least.

The recent proposed tuition increase incentivizes students to take more classes, who are then awarded free credit hours in the summer, which should allow students to graduate sooner than later.

What they don’t account for is the students who need to work part-time or full-time or the students who work more than one job.

They don’t seem to account for the students who have children or child care problems, students who live in abusive situations, students who live with mental health problems, students who enroll just to enhance job skills, or our first-time-in-college students.

The reality of the Alamo Colleges is this: College is not the No. 1 priority of most students.

This is a community college district, or at least it was before the chancellor and board started caring more about branding of the colleges than the education of its students.

Our job is to help students become successful learners in the classroom, not push them out as fast as possible to make the numbers look good.

Trust us on this: Students’ definition of success is not the same as the chancellor’s or trustees’.

Students want to learn what they need to transfer and to build a career.

Graduation within two years without those skills, lessons and confidence is not a success.

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