Story by Telescope Staff
Over the past year, The Telescope team has witnessed a rise of unrest within the campus community.
The hopes of reaching “Better Together” has turned into a loss of trust and division within the Palomar community.
Many have called for stronger and more honest leadership, and we have as well, but there has been a failure to meet requested standards on behalf of administration.
Campus community members have shared concerns and made repeated requests on situations as small as changing a meeting room to situations as serious as hiring permanent custodial employees.
As a result of administrative non-responsiveness, drastic measures have been taken to influence administration to listen and take action on these concerns.
Faculty unions have filed lawsuits against the district, classified employees have submitted formal complaints and recently, a poll was sent out to faculty members to determine the level of confidence that faculty members have in the future of President Joi Lin Blake’s leadership.
As students, we have recognized President Blake’s passion for supporting students through the establishment of fundamental learning programs, spearheading the establishment of satellite campuses, and advocating for essential student-focused buildings.
We appreciate her passion and consideration in these matters, but we have noticed larger initiatives go without the require discussion for established shared governance policies.
At the Oct. 8 Governing Board meeting, we were disappointed when the majority of board trustees present voted against formal requests of the campus unions.
We were filled with disappointment to witness Trustees John Halcón, Mark Evilsizer and Nancy Ann Hensch approve President Blake contract renewal, disregarding faculty voices once again.
It is extremely discouraging to witness this repeated pattern of approving policies that are harmful to the campus community.
When news of the vote to determine the confidence in President Blake’s leadership was announced, our staff was surprised.
We weren’t sure what had sparked the implementation of the petition at the time, but over the past few weeks we have heard from faculty members who have shared legitimate reasons for the call to action.
We are not sure what the results of the vote of confidence will reveal, but we will be waiting patiently to hear what faculty members have decided.
As a newsroom, we have collectively agreed that we no longer have confidence that President Blake can lead Palomar into the “Better Together” utopia she advocates for unceasingly.
We also have no confidence that board trustees Hensch, Halcón and Evilsizer will change their habit of listening to concerns and then completely disregarding community voices.
We may respect your positions, but we certainly do not respect most of your decisions.
To faculty members: Take time and keep thinking these decisions through. We hope that the poll has not been rushed and seriously considered. We appreciate the advocacy for the improvement of our college.
To Trustee Nina Deerfield: Thank you for voting in favor of faculty concerns at the Oct. 8 meeting. We appreciate your passion for this community, and it has not gone unnoticed.
To board trustees Hensch, Halcón and Evilsizer: Students are watching. We’re watching as you continue to disappoint the people who directly impact our education.
For those of us that have decided to pay attention, we know you all can do better. We are trusting all of you to be honest leaders.
To President Blake: Although your intentions at the start of your presidency may have been well intended, you have fallen short.
Promises upon promises of things to make our college a better place, and a better community and those promises have not been realized.
As a voice for the student population of our college, we want better, we want you to strive to reach those goals instead of letting them falter.
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