“We have increased Internet classes, offered dual credit classes in the area high schools, changed class schedules to meet work schedules, and broadened our grant outreach,” she said, referring to their efforts to reverse declining enrollment.
“A high school senior graduated last year with an associate’s degree before receiving her high school diploma.
“Think of the cost savings for that family.”
Her opponent for the Place 1 seat, Dee Dee Bernal, said she was reluctant to speak about specific events at the college, as she has not been privy to the documents and discussions that the current board has seen.
These two, along with the other candidates for the CBC board, were given a chance Monday to speak to voters during a Republican Club meeting. Each was given five minutes to talk on the issues. The audience of about 45 people—most of whom weren’t club members but community members who came to hear the speeches—was allowed to ask one question.
However, when questioned about the number of faculty members leaving the college, Bernal spoke in general terms.
“Any time there is a global mass exodus, whether it is administration, students or staff, there has to be some underlying issues that are taking place,” she said.
As an educator of 35 years and a principal at Jones High, she would be concerned if anything like the situation at CBC occurred under her leadership.
“Any time I would see that kind of exodus from my school, I would be concerned,” Bernal said.
“My manner of handling it would be calling people in and talking.
“But I believe when we have people who are resigning just to resign, and they haven’t had all of the years, it is either as a result of dissatisfaction with the organization or dissatisfaction with their job,” she said.
Hall said that communication between the board and the college is the key to success.
“My main priority as your board member is to do what is best for the students and the college,” Hall said. “Good communication between faculty and administration has always been my focus.
“We have faced serious funding problems in the past, and we continue to deal with those.”
Most recently, this lack of funding has come from state cutbacks and changes to the funding structure, such as basing a portion of it on student performance.
“Remember, the capital cost of buildings and facilities rests with our local community,” Hall said.
She was also questioned about her thoughts on whether or not the college president was fulfilling her role.
Specifically, one person highlighted the president’s responsibility of “maintaining amity and unity of purpose among all members of the faculty and administration, noninstructional employees, the board, the alumni and the college constituency.”
“I have been serving under five presidents,” she said. “Every president has a different style of governance. Some like it. Some do not.
“I think it is the board’s responsibility to listen to the community and the faculty to understand what may be our problems.”
Both candidates agreed that they wanted to work to see the college prosper.
“CBC is one of the biggest jewels of Bee community,” Bernal said. “We are fortunate to have a college in our midst.
“I have a selfish reason. As a high school principal, I want all of my kids to go to CBC. I want all of students to be part of that college.
“I would like to see it continue to thrive.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.