to copy and paste:
Dear neighbors, students, colleagues, friends:
As I may have mentioned to you in the last few years, Pasadena City College, where I teach, has been horribly hurt by poor leadership in recent years. We have seen academic programs slashed and undermined, a nearly 66% increase in administrator positions in the last three years, and state-mandated faculty governance illegally upended (we won a PERB ruling on that count, but the Board of Trustees has appealed). New figures for this year show nearly a 20% drop in transfer rates. The Board’s current contract offer to the faculty requests a 20% increase in class size, and Mark Rocha, PCC President, has said in public meetings that he does not believe class size is in any way related to student success. Despite receiving votes of no confidence from the faculty senate and the student body, Rocha has continued to serve as the president of the college, and the Board of Trustees sent a letter to all faculty just recently saying that he is doing a great job and they support him fully.
As you can see from the news story below, PCC leadership has now gone beyond the pale in their homophobic actions. The student-faculty committee that plans graduation had unanimously voted to invite PCC alum Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of the acclaimed film Milk, to speak at graduation. He accepted and made arrangements to attend. PCC administration then rescinded the offer, for purely political reasons. Our LGBT students are devastated, in particular, but all our of our students are hurt by once again having their college tarnished by the Board’s ridiculousness.
Frankly, I’m ashamed to be associated with PCC today, and I don’t like feeling that way. Something must be done to send a message to our Board of Trustees that their leadership does not reflect the values of our community. They are elected officials, and they have an obligation to lead and to represent our community’s values. We as the faculty have tried for several years to change this situation in every way imaginable. The Board does not listen.
I am writing to you today to ask you to read the articles in the papers and send letters to the editor o
f those papers. Also, if you feel so inclined, express your opinion to your elected Trustee
. Make sure you state that you are their constituents. If you or your children have ever attended PCC, please mention that too. Perhaps they will listen to members of the community more than they will listen to the faculty and students of the college. This is clearly a community issue and many of us feel that as faculty, we have simply run out of options.