In reading the responses given by Dr. Beatriz Espinoza, Coastal Bend College president, during her interview by Bill Clough, several were questionable at best or outright erroneous and bear scrutiny. Specifically, her allegation that a “process” was followed in determining which faculty not to renew is questionable. On April 16, 2013, and again on April 18, 2013, e-mails were sent to Dean Randy Lindeman and Vice President Mark Secord, requesting information in writing regarding any “process” that was followed to determine faculty non-renewals at the upcoming board meeting to be held on April 18, 2013. There was no response from either Lindeman or Secord prior to, or following, the board meeting. The first indication of any “process” was revealed in the Bee-Picayune interview of Dr. Espinoza, leading one to believe that the “process” was only developed after the fact.
The factors enumerated by Dr. Espinoza were: Load Report, Credentials, Modalities and Special Services. In applying Dr. Espinoza’s “process,” her statistics are inaccurate regarding the Business Technology program. Professional Business Technology (PBT) has never had 10 full-time faculty members. Four years ago, PBT had five full-time faculty, including the former division chair, Ann Richmond. If Dr. Espinoza included other Business faculty in her computation of faculty numbers in PBT, she omitted the statistics regarding the number of other Business graduates.
The “Load Report” factor was not applied correctly in the faculty evaluations. One non-renewed Business Technology faculty had in excess of the 450 contact hours alleged to be required. The “Credentials” factor was not applied correctly. Three non-renewed PBT faculty had the credentials to teach across several areas in order to offer a diversity of classes. The “Modalities” factor was not applied correctly in the faculty evaluations. Three of the four non-renewed Business Technology faculty were fully qualified in all modalities. The “Special Services” factor was not applied correctly.
As Business Technology chair, I oversaw four programs on four campuses, which entailed separate program reviews, separate advisory councils, and monitoring for compliance with state workforce guidelines. I coordinated all distance learning classrooms. My RUS grant acquisition set the standard for video conferencing classes. Under my leadership, a review of former students was implemented to determine eligibility for graduation. This has resulted in the increase in graduates in 2013 that Dr. Espinoza highlighted. Through the Summer Discovery Grant, I was instrumental in bringing high school students to the CBC Beeville Campus. These students have gone on to be successful graduates from many of our programs with certificates and diplomas.
In my 24 years as a faculty member and division chair, I have served the college with the best interest of the students always in mind. The new administration led by Dr. Espinoza has declared war on the faculty. Several faculty members, myself included, have chosen to leave rather than be a part of the destruction of our beloved institution. Sadly, it is the students who will be the casualties in this war.
Jeanene S. Jones, CPA