Pima readies for HLC visit

By ANDREW PAXTON

Pima Community College is addressing probation by posting a draft of its Self-Study Report online on May 12.

The report is the next phase of the process as Pima moves to emerge from sanctions imposed by the Higher Learning Commission last year.

The HLC noted numerous deficiencies in leadership and a “culture of fear” at PCC when its fact-finding team visited the college in January 2012.

The report describes the findings of an Institutional Self-Study that Pima is conducting at the direction of the HLC.

The self-study is available here

Public comment to the HLC regarding Pima’s performance began on May 1 and will remain open until Aug. 1.

Comments can be made electronically at the HLC website, or in writing.

To submit by mail, address comments to: Public Comment on Pima Community College, The Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604.

There will also be a comment period when students and employees can express their concerns directly to PCC.

However, this comment period will only be open until June 1.

The college will create an anonymous submission system for the community, according to an email from Acting Provost Zelema Harris.

“Many important efforts lie ahead, but I am confident that we are, in fact, getting there, and are significantly closer to regaining the fullest confidence of the HLC and our constituents,” Harris wrote.

The HLC will send a fact-finding team to Pima from Sept. 15-17 to determine if all areas of deficiency have been addressed.

One of HLC’s concerns stemmed from high turnover rate among college leadership and a lack of permanent administrators.

A search committee recently interviewed several candidates to fill the provost and three campus president positions on a permanent basis.

However, the committee did not make any decision regarding the finalists.

“It is the consensus of the search committee and others involved in the process that while each of the finalists were capable and had strengths, it is in the best interests of PCC that we revisit the pool of candidates and screen additional applicants,” Lambert said in an email to employees.

The college still plans to have the campus president positions filled by July 1.

“Restoring confidence in the leadership of the college is one of my top priorities,” Lambert said.

“I am committed to providing the campuses with presidents who can move us forward as we work together to address challenges and seize opportunities,” he added.

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