Dear Trustees…We told you so.

Have you sent a letter to the Board? Has it gone unaddressed?  This page is meant to be a repository for the public’s letters and speeches to the Board – they can’t say we didn’t tell them so!  Copy and paste your letter /speech below.

If you had a meeting with a trustee, please state when and whom you met, what was discussed and any response you may have gotten.

 

10 thoughts on “Dear Trustees…We told you so.

  1. Grace Apiafi says:

    Students success is a driving force behind our institutional mission and goals. To achieve this goal our institution must first try to understand the student needs. How can a student be on track to graduate when we deprive them of taking classes for an entire session. The winter session was a vital part of our students healthy education march toward the finish line.

    It is important to reinstate the winter session so we can proudly say that as an institution we values students success, and we have given our students most of what they need to be successful.

  2. Teacher says:

    Professor Kristin Pilon:
    Thank you and good evening. I have lived in Pasadena and South Pasadena for 35 years. I’ve taught at the college for 20 years. I’m a taxpayer and a supporter of this community. I’m really confused about whether there is a monetary crisis here or not. The president and Mr. Miller have told the state that there is no crisis. They have filed paperwork indicating that and yet we’re told all the time that there’s not enough money to run this winter intersession. There’s a $20 million savings account. We need $750,000 to run winter. That’s like taking 75 cents out of a $20 bill. [Cheering] It’s not going to break the bank to do that. [ Applause and cheering ] [Applause] I really don’t think there’s any reason to rush through this. This needs to be carefully thought through. This extremely affects a lot of programs on campus. Some of our vocational programs are approved by the state. We have particular hours for lab and lecture which might not fit into this kind schedule without some careful consideration. And so we really need to run this through a careful process. A month is not enough to really look at what this is going to do to the college. We need to give ourselves at least a year. Leave things as they are. Use the money that we have to keep the programs going and then evaluate, after we see whether or not the tax initiative passes and some of these other things, where we stand. And I guess I also would like to mention that if the board has noticed that all of the major recent changes on the campus are motivated by the administration, there’s nothing coming from the faculty because we are constantly browbeaten by these kind of things that are imposed on us by the administration. There really needs to be more of an opportunity for faculty to participate in the development of the goals of the college. And it’s not happening. In spite of what they tell you, it’s not happening. [Background Applause] We are not considered. We are not asked. We are not spoken to about these issues. They come from the top down and it’s really not — it’s out of balance, it’s not fair, it’s unhealthy for the college. Thank you very much.
    From Aug 29. 2012 –
    http://www.pasadena.edu/board/transcripts/BUT_2012_Aug_29.clean.txt

  3. Teacher says:

    Julie Kiotas & Michelle Ireland-Galman, Professors
    I’d like to, first of all, thank the board for taking your time to hear us tonight. I know it’s a thankless job and we appreciate you even though we don’t always let let you know that we do so. I’m speaking on behalf of the faculty association this evening and I would like to make public the letter that we emailed to the board yesterday, so I’m going to read directly from the letter that we emailed the board yesterday morning. We are writing to you to make an urgent and formal request to postpone any vote to change the academic calendar per the agenda of the August 29, 2012 board meeting. The faculty association urges that you maintain the essential integrity of the shared governance and contractual process. We want to assure you that the FA is committed to consensus building for disclosure and collegial ethics that serve the most number of students following the most pedagogically sound educational practices. In that regard, the current calendar is the result of an impressive year-long deliberation in which all positions were vetted. After months of meetings with extensive input from all constituent groups, the college calendar committee co-chaired by Vice President Bell and Senate-appointed Krista Walter passed the calendar. It was considered and passed by the academic senate; it was approved by the college council; it was signed off by the FA; and finally, as recommended by President Rocha, it was approved by your votes. The process was rooted in full consensus building and it must be emphasized that any drastic change would undermine the stability of the college and negatively affect thousands of students and hundreds of faculty and staff. Thus, the current calendar, including fall, winter, spring and summer session, was established through a collegial process that included all constituent groups, faculty, staff and students. Formal consultation with leadership of the associated students and informal input from students college-wide reveal a compelling support for the current calendar. As leaders of the FA, we urge you to postpone your vote on a unilateral change in calendar. Your unilateral decision would set into motion a number of disturbing consequences; first, a violation of shared governance and deliberative process. [ Applause ] Second, this is a violation of our contract; effectively, it is an unfair labor practice. [Applause] Third, we consider this to be a destructive action to our college that would undermine both student success and access, causing academic regression for thousands of students. [Applause] It is a significant loss of institutional credibility in this community. It is a loss of confidence in the board’s willingness to hear our collegial voices, and a questioning of why such an action of enormous repercussions should be taken the very end of summer and early fall when most faculty and students have been away from campus. [ Applause ] >> Now, on a personal note, our currently enrolled lancers have educational plans that were developed for them, in some cases, years before now by our dedicated counselors. Students are counting on the winter to finish up their course work in spring to be eligible for graduation and fall transfer. Not having a winter can potentially delay our students for a year before transfer. I respectfully request that you do not vote to remove winter session. [ Applause ] I also read, and this is very nice, I also read that Pasadena City College was selected as the reader’s choice community college in a Los Angeles Times poll, and that is because we offer students our services like winter session. Thank you. [Applause] >> And on a final statistical note, we need the board to know that according to the chancellor’s office, of the top 10 transfer community colleges, 60% offer winter intercession and have in the past; of the bottom 20 schools, zero offer winter intercession. [Chanting] Thank you
    From Aug 29. 2012 –
    http://www.pasadena.edu/board/transcripts/BUT_2012_Aug_29.clean.txt

  4. Teacher says:

    Eduardo Cairo, Professor
    >> Good evening, thank you for this opportunity. I wasn’t prepared to make any top statement I’m just going to listen what everyone had to say. But first, I’ll need to make a correction made by Dennis Hanvey, our president of our senate. I was on the Enrollment Management Committee in which he stated. And eventually, that committee became known as the cuts committee because the purpose was to make cuts, to eliminate the winter. As that information became more public, there was a growing 10 to oppose it and eventually, the committee was dissolved. There was no vote taken, let me repeat that, no vote taken to pass your–what you just stated regarding the elimination of the winter, that was–that never happened, I was there. Eventually, not only was the committee disbanded, it was later resurrected under the same title which I was a member of and it was given a completely different mandate. So again, that was never passed, we never voted on it, I like to clarify that. I like to also make a statement regarding the trimester system. I also agreed, I saw the email that Hanvey sent to us all stating how PCC had been giving this great award. How many other references has PCC been given? Harvard of the West, I’ve heard several times. I’m sure many of you have also heard several positive references. All of these based on the current model that we have, fall, winter, spring, summer, we have been successful. It is a success. Why do we need to change that model of success? It makes no sense. Have you ever asked a question, is it better? Have you asked a question, what is wrong with the current model that we have? During negotiations with the union which I participated in, that question was asked to–throughout the council of the district and the response is that, “She didn’t want to get into a semantics as to whether or not it’s better, it’s different” she said, “It’s just different.” Well, a few years back, you might recall a decade or two. Coca Cola introduced a new product, it didn’t say it was better, it’s different and we know that that new coke was a tremendous failure. I hope that we do not go down the same road. I hope that the Board of Trustees before you make a decision, look at more than just one set of facts. The facts that President Rocha, the district is presenting is one side. I hope that you look at all sides and re–in order to come up with a informed decision. Finally, I like to make a formal request that in the meeting of August 29th, you allow a member of the faculty association to give a presentation. Thank you. Aug 15. 2012:
    http://www.pasadena.edu/board/transcripts/BOT_2012_August_15.clean.txt

  5. Melissa says:

    August 6, 2014

    I’m concerned at how hard it’s been to get basic data from PCC.

    Tonight, I will give you a few examples:

    I tried to get info from PCC for my research presentation (to you) on realignment over the last 4 weeks:
    1. Kollross (ref to Senate Prez for 1 request, and gave me another)
    2. In HR – Hampton (ref to FA)
    3. So I asked the FA who referred me back to admin because they hadn’t gotten that info they needed either
    4. Transfer Center (ref to Kollross)
    5. Bob Miller (1 email + 1 follow up email → but the request may not be readily feasible – wanted to find out about the dissemination of and patterns recipients of stipends over the year)
    6. Ms. Hampton finally DID eventually me SOMEthing by the way after my follow up. she said HR doesn’t have the information I requested but didn’t direct me to the department that would; she said instead I should put in a public records request
    a. My Simple Request: #s of FT and PT fac at PCC in the academic years 2010-2014.
    b. What I got: #s of FT for 2014, NO part time, nothing from 2010-2014, and a kind attachment pulled from the Chancellor’s Office (which unfortunately I didn’t trust because it said we only had 260 temporary faculty)

    I have wondered if the administration just does not want to share, or doesn’t HAVE the data.

    it’s rather shocking to me that the school doesn’t know how many people work at PCC. How then does the District report the Numbers of FT and PT faculty to the Chancellor? Perhaps that’s why in my research I’ve encountered discrepancies between the staffing reports of Chancellor’s office data, PCCs own budget summaries on personnel and what the publicity office puts out on the PCC Fact Sheet every year.
    I’m not alone in encountering such problems in getting information. I have met a student who has had a similar problem of run-around from IPRO when doing a project for his class. Professor Abby Delman shared with the Academic Senate last semester her horrific experience of run-around and potential hostile work environment when she made her own data request. Perhaps she will report her experience to you in the near future.

    Most faculty that encounter obstructions like ours eventually give up… I wonder if that’s the deliberate intent. It’s very unfortunate that we (including the Senate and Faculty Association) haven’t been getting supported by administrators in this way.

    Putting in a public records request is one solution, but even that is not a guarantee. I know of public records requests submitted to PCC that have been stalled to the point of violating the timeframe stipulated in the government code, but there seems to be no recourse or accountability and the requests remain unfullfilled.

    With all the administrative hirings going on (as I will discuss in a minute in my presentation), one would assume the school would run more smoothly and it’s disappointing that faculty are being re-directed now to federal government via public records requests.

    Thank you.

  6. Melissa says:

    Aug. 15, 2012 >> Good evening members of the board. I’m here tonight to express my concern about two items on the agenda the realignment and the calendar. It is a concern that I know is shared by many of my colleagues who are away right now all while and not–and probably not coincidentally serious decisions are being made about their jobs. There are two agenda items today that clearly showed the ongoing disregard by the president and the board for following college governance, policies and procedures. Regarding the first issue that of realignment, two realignment committees spent an entire semester of college governance time investigating the feasibility of realignment. The time and financial investment of a full semester of work by committee members is not valued since the decisions made by those committees continues to be disregarded, made apparent by Dr. Rocha’s letter from a lawyer stating that he indeed does not need to go through shared governance for restructuring the college which is what I saw in the packet. Realignment may work, it may not, what has not been made clear is whether there are actually problems in the college that these realignments will solve and exactly how much money will be saved. Were these committees clear on the financial details of this plan, is the Board? The financial savings are unclear to me and many of my colleagues. What I do know is that you as a board should consider all aspects of this plan as presented from the president as well as from the committees and other voices, because the responsibility for ignoring these–those voices and ignoring the process is on all of you as board members. The second issue is the trimester calendar that the president would like to impose upon the college, again, ignoring process. I have been following the calendar issue closely. My understanding is that the Calendar Committee never came to a decision about the trimester in understanding which I am certain the committee members can attest to. Calendar is always a wedge issue because there are diverse reasons for preferences in calendar. The imposition of a new calendar is one more action that aggravates the stable working and studying environment putting student against student, faculty against faculty, et cetera. That is why there is the committee in place and why there’s a process for vetting the change in calendar. Every time the summer rolls around, there are sweeping changes that the administration and board attempt. Faculty are given ultimatums and now in the negotiating process, we’ve also been exposed to some bullying. That is shameful and counterproductive way to run a college. All of this chaos does not land itself to cooperation or healthy shared governance. Most faculty like myself care deeply about the success of this college but why should we continue wasting our time working on campus like committees like that if the realignment and calendar communities or even other academically oriented ones when in the end, shared governance has become lip service at this college over the past 3 years. In fact, it seems to only be shared by those making and imposing decisions. For most of us, there’s nothing shared about it. Thank you.

  7. Tourist says:

    Below are several of the letters by faculty members that were submitted to the Board at their April 3, 2013, meeting:

    Dear Members of the Board:

    Two brief points for consideration:

    1: The controversy at PCC is erroneously focused on the cancellation
    of winter session. The controversy should be focused on Dr. Rocha’s
    management methods, and the ongoing best interests of the college. I
    do not teach winter session, and pedagogically I prefer our current
    schedule without the winter term. I am, however, convinced that Dr.
    Rocha should be removed from his position for the sake of the college.

    2: Last year, the faculty of the University of Southern Maine held a
    vote of no confidence in their president. The majority of the faculty
    voted for no confidence but the tally came short of the two-thirds
    majority needed to forcibly remove the president from her office. In
    the aftermath of this vote the chancellor of the University of Maine
    system recognized that the faculty’s lack of confidence in the
    president was untenable and transferred the president to a different
    job in the chancellor’s office. What’s more, the president willingly
    made the move, recognizing as the chancellor did that remaining in the
    presidency would not be in the best interest of the college. I hope that
    the PCC board of trustees will conclude, as the chancellor of the
    University of Maine did, that a college with deep divisions between
    the faculty and the administration will not succeed as a whole.
    Unfortunately, Dr. Rocha’s management style has so alienated the
    faculty and students of PCC that his continued service as the
    president of Pasadena City College will only propagate and exacerbate
    the deep division and broken communication that are so detrimental to a successful college.

    For the sake of the college, I urge you to remove him from his office
    as quickly as possible.

    Thank you for your time,

    Dr. Daniel Cole

    —————————–

    Dear members of the Board:

    I hesitated to write a letter expressing my feelings about what has been occurring at PCC for fear of “outing” myself, but this issue is too important for me to remain silent.
    It is outrageous that there are those who think that the faculty and our representatives are merely expressing our opposition to the President, his administration, and the Board, because we are unhappy with our contract negotiations.
    Here’s the coming out part–I am a faculty member who thinks that we should pay for part of our medical and that a change in California’s pension system is necessary, lest we become a larger version of Stockton. Having said that, I am still unhappy with the way the administration and Board is treating us and our students.
    My personal story is not that interesting and certainly not tragic, but I am teaching a reduced load this semester because of the sudden change in the Spring calendar. My husband and I had planned a 5 week vacation starting January 1st. When the schedule changed, I was told I could teach 12 weeks starting 2/4 or an 8 week schedule starting 4 weeks after that. I was supposed to return from my vacation on 2/5 so I had to return early to accommodate the 12-week schedule.
    There are a lot of things that I could have done but my first concern was my students. I teach a tough Accounting class and did not think it was fair to my students to have 3 of the 5 sections of this course, which are taught by me, to be compressed to 12 weeks. I gave up one of my sections to a colleague and teach only 2 of these courses.
    Again, not much of a problem for me, but my students are struggling a bit more than under a 16 week schedule. I also teach an online Business Management class and I have had ½ of the students drop already because they cannot keep up with the work under a 12 week schedule.
    So please do not tell me that I am being selfish or that you know better about my students, or the other students at this school.

    Dr. Kate Meehan
    Business and Computer Technology
    ———————

    Dear Trustees:

    My name is Manny Perea, and for nearly thirty years I have been a member of the Pasadena City College community. In the mid-1980s I was a student at PCC, and since 1991 I have been a voting member of several communities within the Pasadena Area Community College District, including Temple City, where I currently reside as a constituent of Trustee Martin.

    I would like to explain my reason for supporting PCC faculty’s recent Vote of No Confidence in President Rocha. I’d first like to make clear that I came to my position without bias or prejudice. In fact, when President Rocha arrived at the college, I was on his side. At that time I was serving as the College’s Basic Skills Coordinator. In that position, I took part in many projects put forward or supported by Dr. Rocha: In November of 2010, I participated in the first SASI Leadership Retreat; I assisted the First Year Experience design team in planning the First Year Pathway–in fact, I presented to the Board on that group’s behalf in 2011; and I was a member of the Pasadena Commitment planning committee, working with representatives from PCC, Cal State Los Angeles, and PUSD to draft a proposal that would become the basis for a partnership between these institutions to improve the attendance and success of PUSD students at Cal State and PCC. I am currently working with a group to complete the first phase of that agreement, the Curriculum Alignment Project. I mention these activities to show that, at one time, I would not have supported a vote of no confidence in Dr. Rocha.

    So, what changed?

    For me, the big turning point was the Academic Senate meeting of February 27 2012. At that meeting Dr. Rocha and his Executive Committee occupied seats that should have been reserved for Academic Senators and refused to give them up. He was accompanied by campus police who–using the excuse that the room had reached its capacity–prevented some senators from attending their own meeting. What Dr. Rocha’s actions showed me was an utter lack of appreciation and respect, not only for the Academic Senate and the institution of shared governance, but for every member of PCC’s faculty. After that incident I began to look at the Administration with a more critical eye, and in instance after instance, I saw the same lack of appreciation and respect: when the Administration rolled back the Normal Closing Numbers that hardworking faculty successfully argued for in C&I, with the approval of Vice President Miller and then-C&I Chair Matt Jordan; when the Administration chose to ignore the recommendations of a shared governance committee on the proposed realignment of the College; when Dr. Rocha persuaded you Trustees to change the Academic Calendar midyear, dismissing the calendar that had been developed and approved through shared governance–all of it: lack of appreciation and respect.

    Personally, I find the Administration’s attitude towards faculty offensive; meanwhile, I am simply baffled by the manner in which it pushes untimely and poorly planned changes forward. The Administration’s approach I can best describe as putting the cart before the horse then circling back to clean up the messes the horse has made. As Administrators concentrate on cleaning up those messes, it seems that nobody is left to guide the cart; thus it rolls forward aimlessly, without direction into uncharted territory.

    I wonder whether any Board member can accurately describe the current calendar configuration. Let me try: The Winter Intersession was removed, and Spring was moved up to begin in winter. Two sessions of Summer were planned, but realizing–after the fact–that cutting Winter posed several major problems, the first Summer session became Extended Spring. The second Summer session, which was sold as a relocated Winter, became the sole Summer session. Extended Spring became Late Spring, I think–but wait. Let’s not forget that several short-term late-start online classes were shoved into the early-start long-term Spring. By the way, these courses were scheduled and enrolled before they had even been created.

    Under the gun, hard-working faculty worked feverishly with Distance Ed. to create the course shells prior to the start of the late-term. Those course shells were provided to faculty about one week before the start of the term. I know, for I am one of those faculty. With a training session that can best be described as inadequate, I had about one week to edit nearly one-hundred-and-fifty pages of an online course that had been designed for a 16-week semester and never taught before in an online environment. Having used Canvas, PCC’s Learning Management System, prior to the start of the term, I am managing to stay a few steps ahead of my students, but I know several faculty teaching short-term, late-start online classes who not only had never taught online before, but who had never even used Canvas before, not even to supplement their face-to-face classes. As a result, students in many of these late-start online classes, while doing their best, are simply confused. How is this cart-before-the-horse approach supposed to support student success?

    I should think you can see why the faculty accuses Dr. Rocha of mismanagement. This mismanagement is the main reason for my vote of no confidence. I hope you can see that many of the faculty who support such a vote are reasonable and open-minded, and don’t start from a position of “Us versus Them.” Unfortunately, this is where we now find ourselves. And this “Us versus Them” stalemate will continue until the Board takes strong action to put PCC back on track and moving forward with foresight and sound planning. Without such action, how does the Board expect PCC to survive its upcoming Accreditation visit? How long do you think it will take the Accreditation team to accurately gauge the lack of morale on campus, the complete absence of collegiality in operations, and the heavy-handedness with which the Administration unilaterally decides and implements its “make-it-up-as-you-go-along” plan? It is these questions I’d like to leave you with.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,
    Manny Perea
    Pasadena City College English Instructor and In-District Resident

    ——————

    Board of Trustees
    Pasadena Area Community College District
    1570 E. Colorado Boulevard – C 235
    Pasadena, CA 91106-2003

    April 3, 2013

    Dear members of the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees:

    Attached please find copies of a series of letters written by Pasadena City College faculty members, explaining why each of them chose to support a vote of no confidence in President Mark W. Rocha. These letters were written in direct response to some individual Board members’ and President Rocha’s disparaging public comments dismissing the significance of this historic vote by PCC faculty members.

    We hope that this sampling of powerful letters written by concerned faculty will allow you, the Board members, to perceive a truthful portrait of the far-reaching and complex disturbances that trouble this campus under the leadership of President Mark Rocha.

    We hope that each of you will respect the spirit in which these letters were written:
    to inform each of you and to enable you to better comprehend the profound dimensions of this college crisis.

    Sincerely yours,

    Mary-Erin Crook, Languages Division

    Jill O’Hora, English Division

    Pat Rose, English Division

    xc: Geoffrey L. Baum, Berlinda Brown, Dr. Anthony R. Fellow, Hanna Israel, Dr. Jeanette Mann, John Martin, Dr. Mark W. Rocha, William E. Thompson, Linda Wah

  8. Tourist says:

    More of the April 3, 2013, faculty letters:

    To the Board of Trustees and all who are concerned about the well being of Pasadena City College,

    When Mark Rocha originally presented himself to the campus community in the hope of being hired as Superintendent/President, he announced that his managerial approach would be based on the principals of “Servant Leadership,” as developed by management consultant Robert K. Greenleaf. Servant Leadership focuses on decentralizing and sharing power, while facilitating change through persuasion and consensus rather than authoritarian edict. The Servant Leader aims to be selfless and to become an attentive listener, with the goal of cultivating the empowerment and personal growth of all others in the organization.

    As the recent outpouring of criticism has made obvious, the dominant traits of the Rocha administration directly contradict the leadership principals that Dr. Rocha espouses.

    The faculty’s widespread distress about the reckless mismanagement of PCC extends far beyond the calendar change issue, and has been compounding for at least two years. Our programs have been seriously degraded for reasons that have nothing to do with state budget cuts or any evaluation of the programs. Relationships between the college and the larger community have been damaged. Morale and pride in being part of this college have been dramatically eroded. Throughout the campus, the credibility of the administration is near zero.

    I cannot imagine how a productive working relationship with the present administration could ever emerge from this situation. I urge the Trustees to take the difficult steps necessary to arrest the steep decline of the college we love.

    Sincerely,

    An anonymous faculty member
    ——————-

    To the Board of Trustees,

    I submitted my vote of no confidence in PCC’s administration and President Rocha for NONE of the reasons the Board supposes. I have never taught winter or summer courses, and your open letter to all of us was naïve at best. I am greatly saddened that I even have to write this letter because it means the Board is sorely out of touch with PCC, and when its constituents voice an opinion, it resorts to disbelief or tries to shrug it off. It also pains me to admit I’m a coward. I struggled with the issue of signing this letter, and decided against it. Why? Because I need to keep my job, and I need NOT to find myself in the snake pit that PCC’s governance has become. I fear you, dear Board, and the moat Dr. Rocha has been allowed to build.

    I believe that all divisions, departments, and individuals have their own concerns and problems. Here are mine:

    1. The lack of transparency and communication
    2. The complete lack of faculty input on pedagogical matters.

    A few examples of the transparency and communication problem:
    a) Who from the faculty and students participated in the President’s performance review? Perhaps if the Board had asked these constituents, Dr. Rocha wouldn’t have received such high marks, and the Board wouldn’t be so shocked at the vote of no confidence…?

    b) Where is my new laptop promised to me by last November? Where is Dwayne Cable? Where is the communication and transparency about personnel and promises made to us? If the administration promises something and then it doesn’t deliver, how am I supposed to keep a high level of confidence in its expertise? When it doesn’t communicate, I’m left with two choices: either the administration is lying or it’s incompetent.

    c) We are falsely advertising PCC on KPCC with slogans like “a global community college for the 21st century,” and “Committed to sustainability.” My office computer was considered old at the end of the 20th century (not to mention what our classrooms look like), and I don’t see any blue recycling bins anywhere in classrooms or offices. Shame on PCC’s PR! We’re not even “coloring” the truth. We’re lying on public radio.

    d) Strategic decisions are arrived at dictatorially. I am not so upset about canceling winter as I am about HOW it was canceled. I do feel PCC was not smart when it was the only community college to have done so. Take College of the Canyons, for instance. They offered online classes in winter, and began spring in early February. So much heartache could have been avoided if we sat down and communicated at PCC. Also, look at how many community colleges DO HAVE winter sessions. They must have come to very different conclusions about student success than we have…I agree that students who don’t take the 6-week winter session will forget things…how much do you think they’ll forget during the 4-month summer break?

    e) How about block scheduling? I still have no notion about what this will mean for me. What about realignment? If I don’t know who in my department will get how much release time to be chairs, how am I supposed to plan for Fall?! I am very suspicious that the administration is either incompetent OR it is deliberately waiting for the long summer to be able to make decisions without faculty input.

    COMMUNICATE! BE A MANAGER, NOT A DICTATOR! AND MOST OF ALL, LEARN FROM YOUR CONSTITUENTS! WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A SCHOOL, AFTER ALL.

    Quick examples of pedagogical matters that have spiraled out of control:

    I was hired to teach and to remain on the cutting edge of my field and the pedagogy of it. The administration’s job is to facilitate it. At PCC, the administration is overstepping its boundaries and has blatant disregard for my expertise. As a result, I have resigned from all committee work since Dr. Rocha took the helm.

    Some examples: NCNs…Why was I forced to re-examine NCNs last year if it doesn’t matter what I said?! I was EIGHT YEARS OLD in 1982, which I believe is the year the administration wants to revert NCNs to. Where can I find these NCNs? (Communicate!!) Nowhere have I seen any pedagogical research that states 1982 is a benchmark year for how many millenials we should have in the classroom. If anything, what I DO know, is that students are overwhelmingly NOT prepared to succeed in college-level classes. I also don’t think that by giving me more money, I will be able to magically create more time and help MORE students succeed in overcrowded classes. For me, it’s not about extra money for high-enrolled classes. I am not a prostitute. I am an expert in teaching. RESPECT ME AND MY EXPERTISE. And by the way, in 1982 distance education was where exactly?? What about the national benchmark of 30 per online course??! May I also ask that Dr. Rocha stop teaching at PCC? We hired him to preside, not to teach. If he wants to teach, he should find a part-time gig on his own in the open marketplace. Otherwise, I demand that I be allowed to work as president of PCC part-time!

    “Strategic enrollment management:” Again, my pedagogical expertise of what and when should be taught have been thrown to the wind. Instead, administrators ram down my throat what I should teach. RESPECT ME AND MY EXPERTISE.

    To make matters worse, my department has one of the worst full-time to part-time instructor ratios. This results in the full-time faculty taking on a disproportionate amount of administrative work. We have been asking for vacant positions to be filled—to no avail. Now that every decision under realignment is politicized, how are we supposed to have our voices heard?

    Let me end on a positive note…my favorite thing at PCC: Canvas. Why? It’s a communication tool that tells the truth, and functions as it should. It also allows and respects input from all its constituents. In other words, IT LEARNS.
    ———————

    I am Mary-Erin Crook. I have been an active participant in the Ad-hoc committee that conducted the fulltime faculty’s vote of no confidence of President Rocha.

    I have struggled greatly over how to express my thoughts and feelings regarding the state of the college and more specifically in response to the board’s “Official Statement” dated March 5th, 2013, in which the faculty vote was not even acknowledged, leading me to address the current crisis as a taxpaying faculty member and constituent of Dr. Mann.

    PCC has had a proud history of prudent planning and collaborative decision making among various constituencies in the community. This practice is being dismantled to the detriment of the college, intensifying in the last two years with the full participation of the Board. The extension of Dr. Rocha’s contract with an increase in salary without any input from the broader campus community is but one shocking instance of the board’s abandonment of fiscal prudence.

    During this time of great financial crisis in the state, the Board created 4 new VP positions and numerous other managerial positions, costing significant sums of tax dollars. We have had three HR people, lost our IT person, hired an in-house attorney “to save legal expenses” while continuing to retain an outside law firm, read mortifying headlines in the papers regarding our former facilities VP and his assistant. And this is just at the highest levels of management.

    While some heads have rolled, my own is spinning from the pace at which other decisions have been made and unraveled. Buildings were going to be shuttered, then not; retirees could continue as adjuncts, then not; class sizes decreased, then not; the calendar called for winter, then it didn’t. Such chaotic planning wastes time, energy, and, ultimately, public resources. It seriously detracts from the education of students, which is what would all rather be attending to.

    As a concerned longtime resident of the district, and as a constituent, I urge you to consider the true motivations of 92% of the voting faculty in voting no confidence: our deep-seated concern over the chaos and mismanagement at PCC. The entire PCC community will benefit from your thoughtful consideration of the reasons precipitating this crisis, which were detailed in the no confidence document.

    Should Dr. Mann or any Trustee have an interest in further discussion, my contact information is included.

    Thank you for your time.

    Mary-Erin Crook
    (626) xxx-xxxx

    ————————-

    To the Board,
    It is upsetting to me that something so simple has been turned into such chaos.
    I just bailed on teaching my summer session class because of ridiculous re-naming of sessions.

    I requested to teach the first summer session, which intuitively starts at the beginning of summer, when Spring ends. I just found out though that by requesting 1st summer session, I was actually requesting what would normally be considered 2nd summer session because the first summer session was renamed “Extended Spring”!! Are you kidding me?!!

    I support “Shared Governance” and the work of the Calendar Committee. I lack confidence in our current administrative condition. And now I’m super bugged that I won’t have the income our family planned on because I’m unavailable for the renamed session. Argh!

    Sincerely,
    Erika Catanese
    Aquaponics Leadership Project Manager
    Biology, Natural Sciences Division

  9. Tourist says:

    One more faculty letter from April 3, 2013 (I believe there were still more of these that I don’t have, perhaps someone else can fill in the gaps):

    Many of my colleagues are hurt and astounded by your lack of understanding about what we do for this campus each day. Your faculty is responsible for the education of our students. That includes classroom lectures, grading assignments, hours of preparation and the modeling of positive behavior. Each time a student acts in an inappropriate manner, I immediately reflect upon the horrific examples that have been played before them by campus administrators. Students have been exposed to inappropriate examples of lies, deceit and false claims from the administrators. Students have been asked to believe that their classes have been cut due to faculty salaries. The community has been led to believe that the faculty is greedy and selfish, out for nothing more than personal gain. These smoke and mirror tactics are forms of propaganda to hide the lack of performance on the part of your administrators.

    Rather than dwelling on these negative facts, I want to thank each member of the Board personally for this growth opportunity. I have learned that my students and myself can persevere in an environment that promotes divisiveness rather than student success. My colleagues and myself have formed lasting relationships that your administrators will not be able to break, regardless of the amount of power you award to the few. I feel a sense of solidarity toward members of other unions and a lasting commitment to support each of their causes. Lastly, I am now working with faculty members from the colleges that were previously victimized by Rocha’s poor leadership.

    As I teach my students, strive to find the positive in all of your educational endeavors. As members of the Board of Trustees for Pasadena City College, by supporting the current direction of the administration, you have chosen to support dishonesty. Yet, in a similar manner to my students, I will continue to model behavior that demonstrates solidarity and success. The more that you promote an environment that fosters harassment, the more bonding you will see between faculty, students, staff and the community.

    Thank you Rocha, Cooper, Bell and Miller for consistently exhibiting poor behavior and a lack of commitment to our college. You only make us stronger in our commitment to each other. I am proud of embracing the task of educating our students to tackle all of the types of challenges before them. It saddens me to think that the administration does not share the same vision.

    Hoping each of you will join faculty and staff in the promotion of student success,

    Lauren Arenson, PhD
    Social Sciences Division

    ———————-

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