Four members of Pima College board should resign

Our view: Even, Stewart, Longoria and Cortez lack credibility, public support
2013-04-21T00:00:00Z Four members of Pima College board should resign Arizona Daily Star
April 21, 2013 12:00 am

Four members of the Pima Community College Board of Governors have so failed in their oversight duties that they have placed the college's accreditation at risk.

Brenda Even, Scott Stewart, David Longoria and Marty Cortez should do what is best for the students, faculty and taxpayers and resign from the PCC board.

But if the four do not resign, and it appears that they won't, then it is up to community members to organize and push a recall effort to remove the four from office.

PCC cannot improve until the four board members who let this happen on their watch are gone. The PCC Faculty Senate, community groups and others have called on the four to resign. They have no credibility and no public base of support.

Even, Stewart, Longoria and Cortez were in office during the years when then-Chancellor Roy Flores fostered a "culture of fear and retribution," a description given by an investigative report from the Higher Learning Commission, the organization that accredits community colleges.

Flores resigned after eight women accused him of sexual harassment. Some board members knew about allegations for more than a year, but did not act.

Nor did the board notice or act upon serious problems with college business practices, including no-bid contracts and questionable legal billings. The problems became public through reporting by the Star's Carol Ann Alaimo.

PCC has two years to right its ship, or the college will lose accreditation - which would mean other colleges and universities would not accept PCC transfer credits and students would be ineligible for federal financial aid.

Students are not in danger of those consequences yet, but they would be wise to pay attention.

Recent statements from Even, who has been on the board since 2001, make it obvious that she does not comprehend how serious the situation has become.

Even told PCC faculty that she believes she has done a good job, and stated in an email after the probation was announced that she feels a responsibility to fix the problems.

Even, Cortez, Stewart and Longoria have had ample opportunity to take responsible action, but they have not.

The responsible thing for Even, Stewart, Longoria and Cortez to do is to resign.

Move aside and let new leadership take over.

Arizona Daily Star

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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