C-FAIRR to PCC Board: 'We are Gravely Concerned by Your Failure to Grasp the Existential Threat the College Faces"

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According to a story we ran this week on the ongoing saga called Pima Community College and the colleges accreditation worries, the PCC governing board — or at least the four senior members of the board — have remained mum on the call to resign issued by the college's faculty senate and other community groups, such as C-FAIRR.

In fact, C-FAIRR, the group who primarily initiated the complaint to the Higher Learning Commission, sent a letter on March 25 to Pima board chairperson Brenda Even that addresses their concerns in how the board has reacted thus far. The letter gives them some advice and it also comes with a warning. In essence, take the commission's report seriously or face a recall.

You can read the letter in its entirety here:

C-FAIRR_to_BOG_03-26-13.pdf

From the letter:

We are gravely concerned by your failure to grasp the existential threat the College faces. Probation now appears to be inevitable. Thus, our community and the Board of Governors of Pima County Community College District (College) are faced with an extraordinary situation. The situation requires action based upon an accurate assessment of the facts. We must now inform you that during the past year, each of you has failed to demonstrate the mature judgment required by your position. This is the essence of the report by the Higher Learning Commission’s Fact-Finding Team (FFT), which forms the basis for President Manning’s recommendation of probation. Any assertion that the FFT report contains significant factual errors is based upon a failure to comprehend the accreditation relationship. We ask that you acknowledge that the response to HLC is a reply from the College’s Governing Board, its senior administrators, and more importantly, all of the College’s internal and external constituencies. It should be evident to each of you that HLC’s independent review of the documentary and related evidence is the sole factor in the recommendation of probation. You have collectively placed the institution’s accreditation at risk—do not compound this error by engaging in a senseless confrontation with the College’s accreditation body.

...

Should you contest the findings in the College’s March 29th response to HLC, we will initiate a discussion with the College’s internal and external constituencies to determine if the community wishes to seek remedies pursuant to A.R.S. Title 19 - Initiative, Referendum and Recall. We have reviewed the number of votes necessary to initiate a recall effort against E. Marty Cortez, Brenda Even, David Longoria and Scott Stewart. Our membership is confident that a mobilized community can assemble the team and financial resources to mount a series of successful recall efforts. The choice rests with you. Save this institution by informing HLC that you take full responsibility for each Criterion Violation. Then for the good of the students, the college, and our community, you must tender your resignation from the Board of Governors of the Pima County Community College District. Resignation is a vital step in stabilizing the College. A renewed commitment to shared governance will allow new leadership to bring the College into compliance with HLC Accreditation Criterion and will initiate an era of openness, transparency, and accountability. We await your response.

Well, looks like C-FAIRR is keeping their promise. Yesterday, C-FAIRR co-chair Mario Gonzales sent out this email on a recall meeting at noon on Sunday, April 7, at Kettle Restaurant, at 22nd Street and I-10, west of the freeway:

RECALL, that is the word of the day! We in the Tucson community are faced with two astounding RECALLS.

One the ARPAIO RECALL being conducted in Maricopa County there will be an informational gathering Thursday April 11 at 6:00 PM at LAS CAZUELITAS RESTAURANT SEE attached Flier.

The other RECALL affects us directly here in Tucson: A meeting has been scheduled for Sunday APRIL 7 2013 at 12:00 noon at Kettles Restaurant N/W corner of 22nd and the Freeway. This meeting is to discuss the recall of four (4) members of the Pima community College Board of Governors. We don't believe that they will heed the calls for them to resign, therefore the only alternative is to remove them from office through a recall effort. The meetings agenda will include what the recall will entail, resources required, energy needed, etc. etc. Again the meeting is not to discuss whether a recall is needed but rather what is needed to a see the recall through. We need as many of you as possible to jump on board for the good of our community. SEE YOU GUYS ON SUNDAY

Hello friends, For your information, I have attached C-FAIRR's response to the BOG at PCC. This response is a result of the accreditation commission (HLC) findings against PCC. Please share it with friends, family and any taxpayor and voter in the county of Pima. Everyone should be aware of the goings on at PIMA Jr. COLLEGE.

Thank You, Mario R. Gonzales, C-FAIRR Chairperson

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