I am upset by the decision of the Board of Directors of Coastal Bend College. The board, whose decision I, and many others tried to effect last Thursday. I experienced a sense of grief that I did not expect when we heard that the contracts of our faculty would not be renewed.
I have asked myself, “What more could I have done or said to the board members to change their minds?” The truth is there is nothing I could have said. Their minds were made up and the decision already made. No amount of pleading by anyone would have mattered.
I believe I have figured out why; this board has no involvement in our college. As I addressed the board that night, I looked into the faces of strangers that I had never seen on campus before. I was appalled to hear them rave about the Santa Fe students, whom they spoke to during their trip. What was the last conversation any of the board members had with a student? Where is the connection to the school that they make decisions for?
This is the issue that bothered me the most, if these board members were active on our campus, they would have known what we truly lost. Jeanene Jones is a remarkable accounting instructor that honestly cares for her students. She is a division chair who is always prepared to fight for her faculty and the integrity of her programs. She has brought in millions in grant funding through the ACE program. I challenge anyone to find an instructor who has dedicated more time to recruiting than she has.
Christy Gonzalez is an instructor in the business administration program. She is a favorite among the students because of the attention she gives to students. She is our confidant and our advisor, and an outstanding teacher.
The residents of Beeville may think that this event has no negative effect on them, but I can tell you why this matters. I am writing this letter today as a success of both the business administration and accounting programs. Because of my education and skills I have received a job as office manager for a reputable company in Beeville. My success is shared by two of my friends, Liz Alaniz and Elaine Brown, who have been employed with reputable organizations here in Beeville. Coastal Bend College is providing our community with educated citizens who join the labor force as productive individuals.
The decision of the board and the president will have a ripple effect. We all have lost. We have lost as students, as a program, as a college and as a community. We need to demand more of our board members. We can no longer sit back and put up with their thoughtless and uninformed decisions. They need to get plugged in or get out and make room for members who will have a sincere interest in the progress of our community college.
Kiki Gonzales, CBC student, and lifetime Beeville resident