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MCCCD Faculty Express Worry Over Community College District 'Transformation'

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 10:30am
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 2:57pm
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(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
The MCCCD Governing Board had a special meeting to discuss and hear public comment on the district's proposed restructuring.

The Maricopa County Community College District governing board held a special meeting in Glendale on Monday night to explain plans to consolidate administration of 10 colleges currently under the district umbrella.

The restructuring has been prompted, in part, by a drastic cut in state funding to the community college district, which currently serves more than 120,000 students. 

Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick said the board was left with little choice but to consolidate, where possible, while also becoming more efficient.

“It is with the goal of a transforming our system to be more responsive to the needs of the community of today,” Harper-Marinick said.

The plan proposes consolidating leadership roles to be more efficient, instead of having a separate administration for every college. Estrella Mountain and Glendale Community Colleges, for example would have one president for both.

Faculty and community members also spoke on what they hoped the restructuring would do.

Glendale Community College employee John Kakritz spoke to the board echoing what another employee called the “elephant in the room” — potential changes in the district employment structure.

“I really, really do hope that you seriously talk to the rank and file staff of the colleges, that you involve them in the process and hear what they have to say when you actually get around to sitting down and making these changes,” Kakritz said.

Glendale Community College counselor Thomas Aubrey came to the meeting hoping to get more specific answers on what the board calls personnel adjustments and reductions in staff.

“I know for our department we’re struggling with that, for the counseling department," Aubrey said. "We have a lot of students that need help but we have very little counselors and some of us are having to extend our time, so what does reduction in staff mean for us?”

District staff and administration are working to answer those questions as the consolidation plan takes shape in coming months.

The next special meeting will be held Dec. 5 in Mesa.

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, one of the Maricopa County Community College District schools.

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