By Zachary-Taylor Wright
Retired professor David Fischer, 80, expressed frustration with the board of trustees for their subservience to Chancellor Bruce Leslie and supported the reintroduction of tenure and the independence of the colleges.
Fischer said he is interested in running for the District 7 trustee position because he knows many faculty members at St. Philip’s, Palo Alto and Northeast Lakeview colleges who are unhappy with the board.
Fischer said his wife is the natural sciences chair at St. Philip’s College.
Fischer said faculty members’ dissatisfaction with the board comes from the decision to end tenure and the board’s attempt to “eliminate the five independent colleges and destroy the culture therein of … .”
Fischer shared similar frustrations and sentiments.
In a show of his support for the reintroduction of tenure to the district, Fischer emphasized the importance of job security in hiring quality educators.
“If you’re going to recruit good faculty, you have to have tenure because, if a non-tenured faculty member has to defend their position to be rehired on an annual basis, then that wastes a good two months out of every year out of every non-tenured faculty member, which is ridiculous,” Fischer said.
According to The Ranger, tenure for new faculty was halted seven years ago because no procedure was established by the board.
In support of maintaining colleges’ independence, Fischer said he wants to ensure curriculum is decided by faculty at the colleges rather than district mandates.
“I believe my candidacy stands for the quality of the education in the community colleges,” he said. “It’s not how many students pass through because students are never customers. Students are joint learners with their faculty mentors. That’s a very important principle.”
One issue that concerns Fischer is the 100 percent tuition waiver for dual-credit students, saying high school students should pay for college courses.
“What Katz and Leslie have done is drive the entire system into debt to give a free ride to the young students coming through high school,” Fischer said. “There’s no such thing as a free education.”
Fischer said no board member has worked as faculty or administrators in higher education, saying they do not have experience in a university setting.
He said he has 40 years of experience as a university professor across many campuses and countries, including more than four states and five countries.
Fischer attended this college for two semesters while pursing a Bachelor of Science in business administration at Trinity University, saying classes were affordable and the quality of education matched universities.
Fischer earned a Master of Science in resource development from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and a Doctor of Philosophy in resource economics from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.
Fischer expressed contempt for the role his opponent in the May 5 election has played.
“Ms. Katz, who has been the chairman of the board and facilitating all of Leslie’s desires, she’s a minion that belongs to him,” Fischer said.
“A board member is to regulate and govern the chancellor and not facilitate his or her desires. … I think Ms. Katz has been a disaster. You can quote me on that,” Fischer said. “She’s been in the pocket of Bruce Leslie from the beginning because she doesn’t have the experience and the wherewithal to be an independent person.”
He said this trustee represents taxpayers of District 7, students in District 7 and all students and faculty.