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Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

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He continues, “So I think, we’re entering a new era of student involvement, it’s very promising.”

Craig Coroneos, instructor of humanities at Northwest Vista and Alamo Colleges Democracy Commitment campus coordinator tells the Current the mood among faculty is “cautiously optimistic.”

“The decision signals a return to process-based decision-making, that’s what we want to result from all of this. We want a move away from this model where one person is making arbitrary decisions that everyone has to follow.”

Hinkley says he was “partly surprised and happy” to learn of the reversal. However, he believes this may just be a temporary setback for the chancellor.

Moreover, both Coroneos and Hinkley feel Leslie’s response fell short of any recognition of wrongdoing.

“Part of being a good leader is that you’re willing to acknowledge when you make mistakes and I don’t hear any of that from the chancellor, and that’s not a good thing,” Hinkey says. “It looks like he made the change for political reasons not from the rationality of the arguments levied against him, this does not bode well.”

Coroneos, too, hoped to receive a direct admittance that procedure was violated.

“We would have liked to see recognition that the process was not followed and any indication that we would return to established process. But that didn’t happen, so it was a little disappointing,” he says.

“What I did hear was that ‘I’ decided, so it seems as though he still envisions himself as the role of lone decider—and that’s why we’re merely cautiously hopeful at this time.”

How Effective is Bruce Leslie?

The core change debacle isn’t the first time Leslie has come under fire from faculty. In 2010, the chancellor received a near-unanimous vote of ‘no confidence’ from faculty across the district, dissatisfied with his leadership style, for refusing transparent dialogue with faculty and staff and creating an environment that kept them deliberately “unaware and uninformed,” the Current previously reported. Leslie’s professional past is also marked by controversy among other administrations—in 1999 he exited the Connecticut Community College System when campus presidents resisted his attempts to standardize the curriculum, and he resigned from the Houston Community College System in 2006 due to disagreements with trustees.

Leslie did not return calls for comment.

Last month a college accreditation committee slapped the institution on the wrist by lodging a formal investigation into the curriculum change process. In a notice first sent to Northwest Vista’s Claunch, the Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, triggered by recent national higher-ed-based media reports, asked Alamo to defend EDUC 1300 and show it meets accreditation compliance. (They added, “Please pay special attention to parts of the requirement that speak in terms of ‘ensures breadth of knowledge,’ ‘is based on a coherent rationale.’”)

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