I am writing as a former student of College of the Mainland, as well as a community member.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my concerns with what has been happening at the college.
First and foremost, I truly believe that the college is one of the greatest assets of our community, if not the best asset.
In the past, the college has employed wonderful educators and staff who were highly effective in producing qualified professionals who were well-prepared in our chosen fields of study.
What I have learned is that quite a few of the professors and staff have been “let go” for various reasons that seem invalid and quite improper.
My purpose for writing this piece is also to bring awareness to the community and hopefully bring attention to issues concerning the college, whether good or bad.
I am disheartened to learn that good people employed by the college have lost their livelihoods, and that outside entities are being contracted to do work that could be handled with in-house initiatives.
Furthermore, as an African-American community member, I also have deep concerns over the obvious fact that there are no people of color in top administrative positions.
Surely, there have been qualified applicants who are willing and able to fill some of these positions.
I presume that the goal of the college, as a community college, is to serve the community.
However, it seems that some decisions made by the college board of trustees have placed other priorities above the needs of the students, faculty, staff and community.
The money expended on lawsuit after lawsuit because of these unfair firings and other problems is just outrageous.
One would think that the cure for this legal issue, which costs so much money, is to handle personnel affairs more appropriately.
It is clear that the community needs to really get active and attend board meetings and be made aware of what is going on and how it affects us all.
If we say nothing and do nothing, nothing will change.
The first step is awareness.
I am seeking answers and simply raising questions on what seems to be unfair practices.
We want our community college to be community-based and a community priority.
That is simply put.
I am proud to have been a student at the college when the classes were great and welcoming and the professors were seasoned and willing to help students.
Please, let’s keep good people in place.
We don’t want to lose the greatness that the college has stood for so many years.
I hope that the same excellent trade programs stay available to our local students.
These are just my thoughts, and I hope this column brings attention to these issues and raises questions among local residents.
We must be aware, stay involved and evolve together.
The whole idea is to protect the interests of the community.
Stephanie Gordon, a native of West Texas City, is a special education instructional aid with La Marque Independent School District.