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Pima Community College

'New day' - Incoming PCC head calls for public input

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The incoming chancellor of Pima Community College, Lee Lambert, reiterated his statements that he'll hold PCC administrators "accountable" as the college works to get off probation imposed by accreditors. Lambert said wants to hear from faculty, staff, students, community members and even disgruntled former employees as he works to determine the college's next steps.

"It's going to be a new day" at the school, Lambert told reporters Wednesday.

While Lambert is holding his cards close to his vest regarding changes he might make in Pima's administration, he continued to say that he'll expect accountability from school staff.

"We're going to begin to restore some of the credibility that's necessary as an institution of higher learning," he said.

"It all begins with the chancellor," he said, discussing changing what the Higher Learning Commission described as a "culture of fear" at the college.

Lambert said he would model "important behaviors that start to open the door to a new way of transparency and a sense of openness. So it begins with me," he said.

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1479 comments
Jun 14, 2013, 7:40 am
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I’ve previously stated that the board is overpaying this guy, especially considering the circumstances of not being a four-year institution and the mismanagement of funds being one of PCC’s many scandals. I still feel that way, however I don’t fault Lambert for that. I don’t blame the guy. You’re supposed to work for all the money you can, and if someone made me a grossly-over-inflated offer, I would take it, too.

I’ve liked what I’ve heard for this guy so far. He seems to be saying all the right things. However, he has no control over the board. I assure you the HLC is watching. The HLC has seen the multiple and repeated calls for the Flores Board’s resignations, and the Flores Board’s defiant and arrogant refusals. Trust me, that card will play, and it won’t work in PCC’s favor.

Think about it for a moment. If YOU were in an unpaid position, and you had all these calls to resign, would you stay? Most of us would say “to hell with this shit. You don’t want me, fine. I’m done”. To me, this heavily implies some sort of corruption-based financial benefit to these board members. If it looks like that to me, it probably looks like that to the HLC.

I’m concerned that Lambert is being put in an unwinnable situation. He has no authority over the board. If anything, the fact that 60% of the same board that appointed Flores appointed him too puts a stink on him he may not be able to wash off. So, while Lambert may be able to fix things underneath him, he can’t fix what’s above him.

I’m starting to get a terrible feeling that Lambert was picked to be the scapegoat when PCC falls apart and loses its accreditation.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

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