LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Fall brings changes to Pima


Just as I told myself, after 24 years, that I could finally handle — and even embrace — Arizona summers, I felt it.

A crispy breeze caught me by surprise. Keep in mind I am rarely surprised, but I’m particularly in awe of this quickly approaching October. Can you feel it?

Here I go again, talking about the weather. I swear it’s not small talk.

October is the best time of the year. It’s a fact. It’s written on walls from ancient civilizations. It’s in the Declaration of Independence, and I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere in the Bible.

When the tan leather of my 1987 Mercedes no longer scalds my things, I feel like I can do anything.

Nobody can keep me down.

It looks like Pima already is off to a positive fall and enjoying that can-do attitude as well.

This time last year, we were living in fear that we’d lose our accreditation. On Feb. 23, the Higher Learning Commission moved Pima from “Accredited – On Notice” status to full-on-hell-yeah-I-don’t-feel-so-terrified-spending-all-my-money-at-this-school Accredited. Since then, the school has accomplished some big goals.

As an accredited — yet closely monitored — school, Pima has made strides.

For example, just last month, Pima received recognition from national, statewide and local organizations for its educational contributions.

• The list includes Francisca James Hernandez, an anthropology instructor and head of Pima’s Ethnic, Gender and Transborder Studies program. She received the Outstanding Latina Faculty Service/Teaching in Higher Education Award from the Victoria Foundation.

• “In Search of Transcendence: Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Kazantzakis,” written by our frequent contributor and adjunct philosophy instructor Jerry H. Gill, will be published by Brill, a scholarly publishing house. Check out Issue 2 of the Aztec Press for Gill’s guest column.

• Pima’s Center for Transportation Training’s Motorcycle Safety Program received the Community Safety Award from the Southern Arizona branch of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

That’s only a few of the school’s most recent accomplishments.

Pima awaits its next HLC visit in 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year, but things don’t look as grim as they did this time last year.

As I look back on Pima’s battle with accreditation, the passing of time and the changing of seasons, it’s easy to let time move everything along. It’s also easy to forget how ephemeral life is.

On Sept. 28, Pima football player and student Jordan Waddell was killed in a car crash. In the car with him was Donovan Moore, former PCC wide receiver and current University of Arizona football player.

Waddell was loved by teammates, and he will be missed. Read more on Waddell on Page 1.


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