Millie Powell did well to point out some of the problems at Coastal Bend College in her letter of Feb. 15. Decades of valuable experience and talent have left—or have been pushed out of—Coastal Bend College since its latest president, Dr. Beatriz Espinoza, took the reins. Some examples include: an instructor who was notified by email that his services would no longer be needed—he was not even given the respect of a personal meeting with the administration; or a staff member who found out her title had been changed to a lesser role when she signed an attendance sheet at a mandatory event and noticed the title change next to her name.
The labor of hard-working folks, many who began working with Bee County College, has evaporated. Employees of Bee County College had close connections, because they were all neighbors who happened to work for the same employer. They were glued together by a common vision, rather than separated by their titles of vice president, instructor or clerk. The college service area was eventually expanded to include a nine-county area, and the name was changed to Coastal Bend College. In spite of the expansion and name change, CBC employees’ continued support for each other remained the soul of the college. There were Christmas presents from the college for all employees. Employee picnics and barbecues were held on Fridays after work. Sack races and softball games brought friendly competition. Employees and their families attended these extracurricular activities either at the Children’s Home or at the 200-acre park. All were voluntary and well-represented—they were all neighbors!
The current climate at Coastal Bend College does not reflect this camaraderie that once thrived. The board simply rubber-stamps the new president’s single-sided agenda without respect or recognition for the views of those who have wanted to continue taking a vital role in growing this community’s college. The board continues to turn a blind eye to the profuse bleeding out of dedicated faculty and staff.
Three members on that board have terms that will expire in 2014. As a solution to CBC’s problem, I, too, urge Beeville citizens to elect new members to fill these three spots on the board of trustees. From the more than 60 employees who have left the college, surely there are three former CBC faculty or directors who reside in these trustees’ districts and who would run for election to replace these three policy makers.
Prospective board candidates, talk to your neighbors and friends. Send a clear message to voters that, if you are elected to the CBC board, you will re-launch trust and sensitivity, revive morale among college employees and save our community’s college. Coastal Bend College needs all on board to ignite our future, and our future is the youth of this community.
Nora R. Cartwright