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Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11

West Campus President Lou Albert gives a speech in the palm tree courtyard on Sept. 11.  See additional photo and story on Page 5. Nick Meyers/Aztec Press

West Campus President Lou Albert gives a speech in the palm tree courtyard on Sept. 11. See additional photo and story on Page 5. Nick Meyers/Aztec Press

On the morning of Sept. 11, underneath a warming sun and accented by a cool breeze, dozens of Pima Community College students and faculty joined West Campus president Lou Albert in remembrance of the attack in New York 13 years ago.

Sgt. Dave Gittings and officer Colin Keating, pictured right, raised the flag in solemn silence before lowering it to half-mast.

“Even after thousands of our military men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan, the peace that we long for — for ourselves and for our children — is once again delayed,” Albert said.

His words about the 2001 attacks provided a reminder of ongoing debate about the United State’s recent re-involvement in the Middle East.

“What do we need to do to diminish the distrust and hate and conflict that still exist in our world?” Albert asked. “What do we need to do to create a world that resolves conflict without war?

“The answer, for me, lies in what we do as a college — we educate citizens.”

Albert said the work of students and employees at Pima can foster a new generation that understands and can confront these, and future, global challenges.

Nick Meyers/Aztec Press

Nick Meyers/Aztec Press

– By Nick Meyers

 

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Former chancellor wants apology

Former chancellor wants apology

By ANDREW PAXTON

Pima Community College is under fire from its former chancellor following the college’s response to sexual harassment allegations against him.

Pima received a letter from an attorney for the former chancellor, Roy Flores, on Aug. 20 that took issue with a video posted on Pima’s website by the current chancellor, Lee Lambert.

“Last week, members of the governing board and I received a letter from an attorney representing former Chancellor Roy Flores regarding the Aug. 15 release of a video statement in which I discussed past reports of sexual harassment and retaliation at PCC,” Lambert wrote in an email last month.

“The potential legal issues associated with the letter limit what can be said about it at this time” he said. “You should know, however, that this college under my leadership will not tolerate sexual harassment or abusive behavior by any employee.”

In the video, which was released as part of a settlement with one of the complainants, Lambert discussed the college’s past and what Pima is doing to move forward.

“A critical chapter of the college’s past occurred when eight women employed at the college had the courage to come forward and report sexual harassment and retaliation by the former chancellor,” he said in the statement.

“These women were willing to face him directly with an independent investigator. Rather than do so, he resigned more than a year before the end date of his contract,” Lambert said.

Flores and his attorney contend that the information released by Lambert and PCC have damaged his reputation

“The video and that article contain serious misstatements by Chancellor Lambert,” Benson Hufford, Flores’ attorney, wrote to PCC.

“Those misstatements have been made maliciously and with reckless disregard for the truth. Those statements have damaged and continue to damage former Chancellor Flores and his reputation.

“Among other things, Chancellor Lambert’s statements are inaccurate in the following respects. Although some complainants may have alleged ‘sexual harassment’ against Chancellor Flores, no actual evidence of any type of sexual harassment against Dr. Flores was ever established,” the letter said.

Flores maintains that the reason he stepped down was due to health concerns, and his retirement was not caused by the allegations against him.

“As has been reported publicly, Dr. Flores resigned for health related reasons. He recently had undergone heart bypass surgery and was experiencing serious complications from that surgery,” Hufford wrote.

“Realizing that he was physically unable to devote his full energies and attention to the business of the college, he resigned his position. That resignation was accepted by the Governing Board of the college.”

The letter also states that “no credible evidence” exists that any retaliation from the former chancellor took place.

The letter concludes by requesting a formal, public apology from Lambert and Pima’s governing board “acknowledging and regretting the incorrect statements and the damage that those statements have caused Dr. Flores and his reputation.”

If an apology is not issued, Flores “will be forced to take appropriate legal action against the college and responsible parties to seek redress for the damage caused to him.”

Hufford also sent a letter to the Arizona Daily Star requesting that every article pertaining to Flores mention that he stepped down for health reasons and that harassment allegations were never proven.

Chancellor Roy Flores meets with an Aztec Press editor in February 2012, the day before he was hospitalized for emergency heart surgery. Chelo Grubb/Aztec Press 2012

Chancellor Roy Flores meets with an Aztec Press editor in February 2012, the day before he was hospitalized for emergency heart surgery. Chelo Grubb/Aztec Press 2012

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New Desert Vista president a community college grad

New Desert Vista president a community college grad

By TANISHA KNUTZEN

New Desert Vista Campus President Morgan A. Phillips places a strong emphasis on the importance of creating a community that is involved in all aspects of the college.

“Get individuals to share,” Phillips said. “Get them to try and contribute to the process of helping Pima Community College improve. Get them to understand that Pima Community College is all of ours.”

Phillips, a community college graduate, has more than two decades of experience in higher education. He started work at PCC in August.

He anticipates that the strengths he brings to Pima will help with the continual growth and expansion of the college and the multiple programs offered to students.

Phillips said the growth of his students and individuals he has worked with have been an important aspect of his career.

“The involvement of individuals at the community college changed my life,” Phillips said. “It really put me on a path to be somewhere where it’s a benefit for me; it’s a benefit for my family.”

He understands the importance of a community college and the role it plays, not only for students but for the people who build the community that surrounds campus walls.

Ava Rose is the coordinator for TRIO, a program that helps fund low-income and first-generation students throughout their college experience. Rose said Phillip’s attitude about PCC set him apart from others seeking the position.

“When he came to visit, he seemed like the best candidate,” Rose said. “He’s passionate about working closely with students and staff and was even excited about the TRIO program.”

Phillips holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Florida, plus master’s and bachelor’s degrees in science from the University of Central Florida.

He earned associate degrees from Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Fla., and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Va.

Phillips most recently worked for two years at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C., as the vice president of academic and student affairs. He was responsible for academic programs, student development functions, technology operations and accreditation efforts.

He previously served as Southeastern’s vice president of curriculum instruction for six years.

His other experience in higher education includes serving as a faculty member, department chair and academic dean at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla.

Chancellor Lee Lambert cited Phillips’ strong educational and career background in a press release announcing his hiring.

“Morgan comes to PCC with extensive experience in accreditation, strategic planning and forging partnerships with business and industry,” Lambert said.

“His familiarity with efforts to improve educational outcomes and the use of online technology to enhance student learning will make him a welcome addition to our leadership team,” he added.

Phillips said a campus president is just one part of the larger community.

“The president is someone that represents and supports the campus; the president is not the campus,” he said.

“The other individuals that are here working all make up Desert Vista campus. The students are what make up Pima Community College.”

Pg03-Campus President Phillips

Campus President Morgan A. Phillips poses in the natural landscaping surrounding Desert Vista. Photo courtesy of PCC/Rosa Whaley

 

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Veterans affairs upgrades on the way

Veterans affairs upgrades on the way

By NICK MEYERS

Following the suspension and subsequent reinstatement of veterans benefits this year, Pima Community College says it’s developing a better infrastructure to serve student-vets.

Last semester, Pima received a letter from the Arizona Veterans Education & Training Approving Agency detailing numerous instances of negligence pertaining to the record-keeping of student-veteran financial eligibility.

“This issue is personal for me,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in a press release last spring. “My father was career military and I am proud to have served my country in the U.S. Army. We are obligated to do the best job we can in serving those who served.”

Since then, Pima employees have worked to not only rectify the deficient records by pouring through nearly 1,300 student-veteran files, but have also been looking for ways to improve record-keeping.

The college intends to complete its review process of student-veteran files by Sept. 30 in order to prepare for the new fiscal year.

On Sept. 17, Pima announced Daniel L. Kester will oversee programs as its new director of veterans and military affiliated services. PCC is also adding three more school certifying officials to be placed at various campuses to better assist veterans, active duty military and families.

The college is also updating the veterans tab on the MyPima website  to improve communication with veterans.

 

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Club explores power of change

Club explores power of change

By JAMIE VERWYS

 The power to impact change is within us all and it’s far bigger than ourselves. We can change society, if only we raised our voices.

 Legislative Advocates for Pima Community College, La Pima, is a new initiative designed to bring the power of change to Pima students and the community.

Focusing on civic engagement, awareness and the legislative process, it is an outlet for students to better the college and themselves.

“It’s a critical piece of the college’s efforts to grow and a strategic line for the college to have more of a presence out there with the legislature and the community,” said Michael Peel, Pima’s government relations advanced analyst.

La Pima first launched as a website for PCC. The site is a tool to connect students with their legislators and keep them updated on legislation important to the college.

By registering with your address on the online sign-up, the site uses geocoding to link you to your legislators’ contact information.

Peel said the website alone will benefit the school, fostering awareness of important issues and offering members resources for opportunities to get out into the community.

“We’re going to use this great website as an opportunity to really create a grassroots network of community supporters,” Peel said.

“A website is just a website, but a club, activities and everything we build around the advocacy efforts, is where the civic engagement will occur,” he added.

Alec Moreno, last year’s West Campus student government president, played a key role in formation of the club.

“We figured out that this would be a good opportunity for us to really open it up and get other opportunities for the students,” Moreno said.

“A lot of people do care deeply about the issues here, they just don’t know how to get their voices heard, so hopefully we can make change happen.”

The club will create opportunities for its members in leadership, advocacy, civic engagement, volunteering, networking and professional development.

Planned activities include early voter registration and outreach efforts, canvassing, attendance at state and local government meetings, volunteer work at City Hall and leadership training.

These plans are simply a beginning. The hope is for student club members to take charge of the initiative’s direction.

“We are starting it, but we want the officers to take over so that they feel they have more to contribute and so they have a sense of ownership over the club,” Moreno said.

One major goal is to partner with other civic-minded organizations and clubs.

“The most important vision for this is how we expand capacity of other clubs and other existing efforts of the college,” Peel said.

“There’s so much good going on,” he added. “We need to get as many students as possible involved, and we are fortunate to have linked up with a lot of groups who are looking to have our support.”

Organizations that have teamed with La Pima’s efforts include Mi Familia Vota, a group that helps the Latino community and its allies register to vote.

Mi Familia Vota state lead Eduardo Sainz spoke at the club’s first meeting on Sept. 4 at West Campus. The organization is seeking assistance from La Pima and the college in its voter registration work.

Students will have opportunities to volunteer within the community and the college. With the training sessions and guest speakers that La Pima plans to facilitate, students will be prepared for a variety of advocacy efforts.

Peel encourages any students interested to sign up for the website and join the club. Though meetings are held weekly, students are welcome to contribute based around their schedules, whether it be volunteering on a Saturday or making phone calls to legislators.

“Any student who gets involved can really influence our direction in the types of civic engagement, activities and types of trainings that we do,” he said. “It’s all open to student input and development.”

To sign up for La Pima, visit pima.edu/administrative-services/state-government and click on the La Pima link.

For more information, contact Michael Peel at mpeel@pima.edu or Alec Moreno at armoreno9@pima.edu.

Pg07-La Pima booth

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PCC probation hinges upon upcoming visit

PCC probation hinges upon upcoming visit

By ANDREW PAXTON

Pima Community College has submitted its Self-Study Report to the college’s accrediting body in the latest move required for PCC to have sanctions removed.

The Higher Learning Commission placed Pima on probation in April 2013 following a fact-finding team’s discovery of multiple leadership violations and a “culture of fear” at the college.

The college has spent the past 15 months identifying the issues and making the changes needed to have the sanctions lifted.

The resulting 283-page report covered every criteria violation identified by the HLC, and gave detailed explanations regarding how the college has responded to those deficiencies.

“The Self-Study Report documents the progress we are making toward our goal of making PCC one of the United States’ premier community colleges,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in an email to employees announcing the submittal of the report. “We recognize that our mission, to develop our community through learning, requires a commitment to student success, consistent engagement and diversity.”

The HLC will send another fact-finding team to Pima Sept. 15-17 to determine if all changes reported have been implemented, and all of the accreditor’s concerns have been met.

The team will submit its site report in October, and the commission will vote next February whether to lift the sanctions, keep the college on notice or keep probation in place.

If the HLC does not remove probation, students may be ineligible for financial aid and credits earned at PCC may not transfer to other institutions.
Some highlights from the report include:

The college has created a strategic plan, based on extensive input from community members, faculty, staff and administrators, to guide its major initiatives over the next three years.

The college has developed and implemented sexual harassment response and prevention training for the board, administrators and employees.

The board has formed a finance and audit committee to provide additional oversight of PCC, and the college is redesigning developmental education to improve student success.

PCC is adding faculty and also plans to hire a developmental education leader to provide overall direction.

The college has paid off the last of its long-term debt.

The report can be downloaded here.

Chancellor Lee Lambert expresses his excitement about Pima's reputation during a presentation at All College

Chancellor Lee Lambert expresses his excitement about Pima’s reputation during a presentation at All College Day on Aug. 22The Higher Learning Commission will visit Pima on Sept. 15-17.

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HLC probation Q&A: What is it and why should I care?

HLC probation Q&A: What is it and why should I care?

By ANDREW PAXTON

Why is Pima on probation?

The Higher Learning Commission, the college’s accrediting body, placed Pima Community College on probation in April 2013 following a visit by a fact-finding team.

That team found numerous administrative shortcomings and “a culture of fear and retaliation” at the college.

Among the violations the team found was an ineffective governing board, a lack of an efficient system for handling complaints against the chancellor and failure to uphold college policy regarding bids on contracts.

How has Pima addressed these issues?

The college has undergone a series of steps, laid out by the HLC, in order to correct the deficiencies found by the fact-finding team.

First, Pima submitted a monitoring report to the HLC, detailing how the college would address each problem area. The college then formed 14 committees, each responsible for a different phase of the accreditation process, to begin implementation of the report.

More than 300 Pima employees, students and community members worked for 15 months to complete a Self-Study report. The 283-page report takes language directly from the HLC’s findings and explains how the college has remedied the problems, and what work still needs to be done.

Under the leadership of Chancellor Lee Lambert, who was hired following the tumultuous departure of two former chancellors, the college has made many changes in an effort to show Pima is addressing the HLC’s concerns.

Lambert has overseen the creation of a new dispute resolution office, conducted anti-sexual harassment workshops, and acted swiftly in the face of scandals involving former campus presidents and department leaders.

What happens next?

The HLC will send anther fact-finding team, composed of current and former college administrators from across the country, to conduct interviews, review Pima’s progress and draft another report. That report will be made available to Pima officials sometime in October, at which time PCC will be able to correct errors in facts, but not dispute the team’s findings.

The college will have one more chance to make its case and present any new developments during an HLC panel hearing in December. The full commission will then vote on Pima’s status at their annual convention in February 2015.

What are the possible outcomes of the hearing?

The HLC will have three options when deciding what comes next for Pima.

First, the commission could decide to completely lift the sanctions and fully reaffirm the college’s accreditation.

The HLC may also decide the college has done enough to have sanctions lifted, but have not fully addressed the commission’s concerns.

In that instance, the college would be on notice, and would need to continue making improvements determined by the findings of the inspection team.

The commission could also find that the college has not addressed the violations previously discovered and move to strip the college of accreditation.

What happens if Pima loses accreditation?

If the HLC decides to remove the college’s accreditation, PCC students would no longer qualify for federal financial aid. Furthermore, universities may not accept transfer credits from Pima, and the value of a degree earned at Pima may be affected.

Where can I get more information?

The college has provided lots of information and documents related to probation on their website at https://pima.edu/about-pima/probation/index.html.

A message from new provost Erica Holmes also urges students to find out more about probation.

Holmes’ message also provided a link to a YouTube video answering questions about the probation process.

To view the video click here.

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Welding student crafts gear to rescue kittens

Welding student crafts gear to rescue kittens

By ZACK LEDESMA

Welding technology student Jonathan Mealer refused to give up after discovering abandoned kittens in trouble at the Pima Community College Downtown Campus last May.

Mealer heard kittens meowing inside a drainage pipe in front of the Downtown Campus cafeteria and immediately informed a facility management employee.

“It was hot, it was the end of the spring term and right around summer,” Mealer said. “I was concerned they were in there baking.”

The employee tried to convince Mealer that the yelps were coming from birds. Mealer insisted he knew the sound of a kitten crying from experience, because he owns a cat that had recently given birth.

Mealer was persistent and returned throughout the day to ask if anything could be done.

“The facility manager said that he had tried but they were too far back and they couldn’t get them out,” Mealer said. “That just wasn’t good enough for me.”

Mealer contacted PCC police officer and animal lover Dana Mattocks, who agreed to provide a flashlight and help retrieve the kittens.

“Thank goodness for him because he was already devising a plan,” Mattocks said.

Mealer gathered scraps of steel and aluminum from the welding department and welded the pieces together to make a device that could gently scoop the four kittens from deep inside the drainpipe. They found a safe haven in Mealer’s ball cap.

Mattocks said the process of getting each kitten to safety took close to an hour.

Abandoned litters of kittens are not unusual, according to Mealer.

“Spring kittens come and then mom either gets run over or runs off or something happens,” he said. “We just tried to get them healthy and get them homes.”

Mealer and his nursing cat took care of the kittens.

A friend of Mealer’s adopted two, and they are still in his care. The other two kittens later died of malnourishment despite Mealer’s efforts.

“I thought it was a fantastic rescue, someone who just wouldn’t give up,” Mattocks said. “He could have gone home but he decided to stay.”

Mealer wasn't kitten around.

The four tiny kittens fit easily into Mealer’s baseball cap. (Photos courtesy of Dana Mattocks)

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College addresses harassment

College addresses harassment

By S.J. BARAJAS

Pima Community College is still addressing the fallout resulting from harassment claims against former chancellor Roy Flores, who retired in 2012 amid  allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Pima was placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission, partially due to its handling of the allegations. Chancellor Lee Lambert released a video in August on the lawsuit to shed light on the school’s new direction and policies.

In the video, Lambert acknowledges the gravity of the harassment allegations of his predecessor and how to learn from them. Lambert also spoke about the courage the women displayed in stepping forward with the information about Flores.

“The harm from abuse of a person in power or from the stigma that often comes with reporting is real,” Lambert said, “even though the person reporting has done nothing wrong.”

During a visit last January, the HLC found the college did not have an effective system in place to handle complaints and did not investigate the allegations properly.

To address those concerns,  Lambert led a two-hour sexual harassment training for the College Governing Board and Cabinet in April of this year.

The college also formed a new Office of Dispute Resolution to handle any future complaints.

Lambert openly apologized to the group of women and reaffirmed his administration’s stance on the events and described how the college is providing new training to prevent future sexual harassment.

Though the chancellor has released a statement, not all of the victims have been compensated for the trauma due to not identifying themselves by the federal deadline.

In fact, according to local media reports, only one $30,000 settlement has been reached.

“After everything that went on, some of us are walking away with nothing, paying for our own therapy bills, working at other jobs that pay half of what we made,” said Jaquelyn Jackson, the only victim who has chosen to identify themselves.

Jeff Silvyn, an attorney for PCC equated compensating those who didn’t file timely claims as an illegal “gift of public funds.”

Lambert’s hope is to champion transparency in the college to provide a comfortable atmosphere for both employees and students.

Eventually, all college administrators, as well as faculty deans and department chairs, will go through the sexual harassment workshops to ensure everyone in a position of power at the college is trained to handle similar events.

“As your chancellor, I hope we can learn from our past, have an open and candid conversation about difficult topics like this one, so we can build a college that provides educational excellence and the type of environment our students and colleagues deserve.”

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College seeks feedback for nursing candidates

College seeks feedback for nursing candidates

By DAVID JOSEPH DEL GRANDE

Pima Community College held candidate forums for its assistant dean of nursing and director of nursing positions at West Campus on July 29.

PCC is searching for an assistant dean and director of nursing following the investigation, and subsequent resignation of its former dean, Marty Mayhew. Nancy Peasley, a nursing program laboratory specialist, also left Pima after she was placed on administrative leave due to the findings of the investigation.

The forums were open to the public and Pima is encouraging all community members to provide the college with feedback no later than 5 p.m. today, August 1. Video footage and feedback forms are available here.

During the forums, attendees spoke with Yuko Bautista, Jacqueline Kern and Joseph J. Gaw.

The forums began with a brief opening statement followed by community member questions.

Bautista began teaching at Pima in 2002, she is an instructional faculty member for the college’s nursing department and is pursing a doctorate in education from Grand Canyon University.

She said it has been an honor to be an instructor at PCC, she feels her time at the college has been a blessing and believes teaching is her calling.

Bautista was asked to describe what role she would play while working with Pima’s healthcare partners, and Tucson’s hospital administrators regarding promoting the college’s nursing students.

“I’m a very big advocate for Pima and I realize we have competitive colleges, universities in the clinical settings,” Bautista said. “But I am very proud to say that because of the caliber of students that we have here at Pima, I don’t have to do a lot of work as far as promoting our students.

“Our students do it for us,” she said. “And, I am just here to enhance, be able to facilitate and be supportive.”

Kern was educated at the University of Arizona, she has almost 40 years of nursing and education experience and became an instructor for Pima’s nursing department in 2012.

She said her earliest childhood memories were colored and flavored with the dream of becoming a nurse. And, her initial nursing experience prior to graduating from the UA was working with the founder of Tucson’s Casa de los Ninos, Sister Kathleen Clark.

Kern was asked what management skills or styles she would utilize when addressing disagreements, conflicts and any miscommunications between nursing faculty and staff.

“Well certainly define the issue first, ‘what is the problem’” Kern said. “The nursing process is really problem solving, so that serves us.

“Sure there can be shifting of positions sometimes, but more it’s calling people to their higher-selves,” she said. “You can put your personal life on the back burner and you can focus on the work. Because that’s what we’re here for is to get the work done.”

Gaw obtained a Doctor of Education degree, along with Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from Grand Canyon University. He has been a registered nurse in Tucson for the past seven years and signed on to Pima’s nursing department in 2012.

He earned an associate degree from Pima as a non-traditional student, while he concurrently worked and helped raise his family. He said because of his humble beginnings, he relates to Pima’s students, especially as a first-generation college graduate.

Gaw closed his time by answering whether he had any plans, suggestions or ideas to increase Pima’s nursing students certification pass rates.

“Two words, and it’s hyphenated; critical-thinking,” Gaw said. “The current literature shows that students are leaving high school with decreased skill in basic knowledge education.

“So, what we need to start doing is getting out of this rut, because the students are taught in their schooling process to learn and dump,” he said, referring to students not retaining material.

“Compared to other schools our size we have a pretty strong pass rate, but we can always go higher. Until we hit 100 percent, then we can’t very well go higher,” Gaw said, ending his forum with a laugh shared by the crowd.

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Pima submits Self-Study to accreditor

Pima submits Self-Study to accreditor

By ANDREW PAXTON

Pima Community College has submitted its Self-Study Report to the college’s accrediting body in the latest move required for PCC to have sanctions removed.

The Higher Learning Commission placed Pima on probation last April following a fact-finding team’s discovery of multiple leadership violations and a “culture of fear” at the college.

The college has spent the past 15 months identifying the issues and making the changes needed to have the sanctions lifted.

“The Self-Study Report documents the progress we are making toward our goal of making PCC one of the United States’ premier community colleges,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in an email to employees announcing the submittal of the report. “We recognize that our mission, to develop our community through learning, requires a commitment to student success, consistent engagement and diversity.”

According to a press release from Pima, the highlights of the report include:

The college has created a strategic plan, based on extensive input from community members, faculty, staff and administrators, to guide its major initiatives over the next three years.

The PCC Governing Board has revised its policies and bylaws.

The college has developed and implemented sexual harassment response and prevention training for the board, administrators and employees.

The board has formed a finance and audit committee to provide additional oversight of PCC’s financial, audit and investment-related performance, policies and procedures.

The board has formed a Human Resources advisory team to review the performance of Human Resources. The college is improving faculty oversight of curriculum.

The college is redesigning developmental education to improve student success, is adding faculty and plans to hire a developmental education leader to provide overall direction.

The college has improved policies and procedures regarding complaints and grievances, and has created an Office of Dispute Resolution to address public or employee concerns in an independent, fair and objective manner.

The college has paid off the last of its long-term debt.

The HLC will send another fact-finding team to Pima Sept. 15-17 to determine if all the changes reported have been implemented and all of the accreditor’s concerns have been met.

The team will submit its site report in October, and the commission will vote next February whether to lift the sanctions, keep the college on notice or keep probation in place.

If the HLC does not remove probation, students may be ineligible for financial aid and credits earned at PCC may not transfer to other institutions.

The Self-Study Report can be downloaded here.

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Pima hosts nursing program candidate forums

Pima hosts nursing program candidate forums

By DAVID JOSEPH DEL GRANDE

Pima Community College will host candidate forums for its assistant dean of nursing and director of nursing positions July 29.

PCC is searching for an assistant dean and director of nursing following the investigation and subsequent resignation of its former dean, Marty Mayhew. Nancy Peasley, a nursing program laboratory specialist, also left Pima after she was placed on administrative leave due to the findings of the investigation.

The forums will be held on Pima’s West Campus in Room A-207, and the candidate schedule will be:

 

Yuko Bautista – 9:45-10:15 a.m.

Jacqueline Kern – 11:15-11:45 a.m.

Joseph J. Gaw – 12:45-1:15 p.m.

 

Pima has invited all community members to these 30 minute forums, and attendee feedback must be reported to the college no later than August 1 at 5 p.m.

Bautista is currently pursing a doctorate in education from Grand Canyon University, and holds Master of Business Administration and Science in Nursing degrees from the University of Phoenix.

Bautista began teaching at Pima in 2002, and is currently an instructional faculty member for the college’s nursing department.

Kern was educated at the University of Arizona and holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree, along with Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing.

Kern has almost 40 years of nursing and education experience, she was the clinical associate professor at UA for four years starting in 2008 and in 2012 became an instructor for Pima’s nursing department.

Gaw obtained a Doctor of Education degree, along with Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from Grand Canyon University.

Gaw became a registered nurse for Tucson’s Community Health Systems Northwest Medical Center seven years ago. He began instructing online for Northern Arizona University last year, and signed on as a full-time instructor for Pima’s nursing department in 2012.

For additional details including candidate bios, forum videos and the community feedback form, visit the PCC website here.

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Morgan Phillips named president of Desert Vista Campus

Morgan Phillips named president of Desert Vista Campus

Pima Community College has announced Morgan Phillips as the new president of its Desert Vista Campus.

Phillips takes the helm of the campus following the retirement of the previous campus president, Johnson Bia, after an internal investigation found Bia had acted inappropriately towards female employees. Vice President of Instruction Ted Roush has been acting president of the campus since Bia’s retirement was announced May 1.

Phillips has served as the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C. since 2012, according to a press release from Pima.

“Morgan comes to PCC with extensive experience in accreditation, strategic planning and forging partnerships with business and industry,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said. “His familiarity with efforts to improve educational outcomes and the use of online technology to enhance student learning will make him a welcome addition to our leadership team.”

Phillips holds a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida, a Master and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida and associate degrees from Brevard Community College and Blue Ridge Community College.

“As a community college graduate, I have a close personal understanding of the transformative role institutions like Pima can play in our students’ lives,” Phillips said. “My top priority as a community college administrator is to make sure we provide our students with the programs and services they need to realize their dreams.”

He will take over on Aug. 14, following approval by Pima’s governing board.

Morgan Phillips 2

Morgan Phillips will take over as president of Desert Vista Campus on Aug. 14 (photo courtesy of PCC)

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Pima holds campus president forums

Pima holds campus president forums

By DAVID JOSEPH DEL GRANDE

Pima Community College held campus president candidate forums for its Downtown and Desert Vista campuses July 1-2.

The forums began with a brief opening statement from each candidate, followed by attendee questions deemed relevant to the position these presidential hopefuls are vying for.

PCC’s Desert Vista Campus had four candidates attempting to rally for the campus president position.  During the two days of forums attendees spoke with Ross Santell, Peggy Bradford, Ted Roush and Morgan Phillips. Judging by the audience reaction here are some of the speaker highlights.

The initial question posed to Santell was what background experience, knowledge and training does he have that would help advance Pima’s Desert Vista Campus.

“I have worked at a number of campuses and a number of colleges around the country, urban and rural environments,” Santell said. “As part of that work, you have to work with business in the area to try to identify needs.

“I think those would be one side, the workforce side if you will, the employment side of the community,” he said. “Working to understand that, and working to develop programs to meet those needs.”

Bradford, a former adjunct instructor, was asked to speak about the strengths of adjunct faculty, the roll they play in higher education and how best to encourage part time instructors to engage with Pima’s learning community.

“The adjunct is a professional and we benefit by the expertise that they bring from their particular industry,” Bradford said. “If you want them to continue to be the professionals that they can be, you need to provide the resources.

“I see adjuncts as being crucial to the college, particularly when you think about student learning outcomes,” she said. “Can you separate out your classes and say, ‘we are just going to assess the full time faculty?’ Is the Higher Learning Commission going to allow you to do that?”

Roush, Desert Vista’s vice president of instruction, said the campus feels like home and the place he plans on finishing his Pima career. When Roush was asked what his vision for the future of the Desert Vista campus was he first spoke in generals.

“My vision is to make every one of our programs the best they can be, to improve the facilities and to get the best personnel,” Roush said. “That sounds like mom and apple pie stuff, but that’s truly what makes a great place.”

Ultimately Roush said it was more important to help create the vision through collaboration, rather than construct it himself.

“But my job is not to make the vision,” he said. “My job is to talk to you, engage with you and make the vision from that. And, that has not been the past practice at the college.”

Andrew Plucker, director of Downtown Campus administrative services, opened their July 1 forum featuring candidate Phillips with an anecdote thanking the crowd for attending the meeting during World Cup fever.

Phillips was asked to speak about the trends in higher education, and how community colleges are in a unique position to take advantage of the opportunities that those trends present.

“One of the things that is going to have the biggest impact is the federal government’s change in their willingness to fund direct assessment programs,” Phillips said. “The government is really trying to cut down the cost of higher education, and their looking at this direct assessment as one of the ways to do that.”

Phillips explained that working professionals could earn college credits via the direct assessment program and circumvent enrolling in institutions like Pima. But, he also said the direct assessment program could offer concurrent enrollment for students on a national level for study programs not offered locally.

“Even though Pima’s not officially a four year institution, functionally for students living in the area it could act like that,” Phillips said.

The forums were open to the public and Pima is encouraging all community members to provide the college with feedback no later than July, 7 at 8 a.m. If you were unable to attend the 45 minute candidate forums, video footage is now available to watch on Pima’s website.

All additional details can be found here.

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Pima reveals leader of new dispute management office

Pima reveals leader of new dispute management office

By ANDREW PAXTON

Pima Community College has announced who will lead a new dispute resolution office as the college works to become more receptive to feedback from students, employees and the community.

Robert P. Shoun, a former Tucson Police Department captain, will be the new director of PCC’s new Office of Dispute Resolution.

“With vast experience in all aspects of complaint and grievance processes, Robert will make an excellent leader of the office,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in a letter to all Pima employees.

“He has an extensive background in intake and triage, investigations and audits, documentation and reporting, and record-keeping and trend analysis,” Lambert wrote.

“He is an expert communicator who understands the importance of confidentiality and objectivity, and recognizes the need to keep all parties in the loop.”

The creation of the office is the latest move made by the college in an attempt to become more open and responsive to community concerns.

Pima’s handling of complaints, including allegations against former chancellor Roy Flores, was cited by the Higher Learning Commission when it placed PCC on probation last year.

“The office’s commitment to excellent community service aligns with my goals and the college’s culture of continuous self-improvement, and is a key component in our efforts to reaffirm its accreditation,” Lambert wrote.

Shoun’s first day on the job will be July 14, with the dispute resolution office formally launching a week later. He will report to the college’s internal auditor.

To report a complaint, constituents can:

• Access the College’s compliance and ethics hotline at 1-855-503-8072, or by visiting complianceandethicshotline.ethicspoint.com  and choosing “File a New Report” at the top-left of the page.

• Send an email to resolution@pima.edu.

• Contact Internal Audit at 206-4561.

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Robert P. Shoun was a captain with Tucson Police Department before being tapped to head the new Office of Dispute Resolution at Pima Community College. (Photo courtesy of TPD.)

 

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