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A call for new board leadership at Pima Community College

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A call for new board leadership at Pima Community College

  • Kynn Bartlett/Wikimedia

As former Pima Community College educators, we know firsthand how PCC helps students achieve their personal and professional goals, educates and informs citizens about important topics, lifts people out of poverty, and creates economic opportunities that benefit the entire community. We celebrate when we see the college meet these goals. All current or former PCC faculty and staff want nothing more than to ensure the college’s success and its ability to meet the changing needs of our students and our community.

We are pained when the college fails to live up to its potential. We are saddened when our colleagues share their experiences of being excluded from important college conversations and decisions. And we are alarmed when employees face intimidation and retaliation for raising concerns about policy violations. These are the same actions that threatened the college’s accreditation nearly a decade ago. PCC’s accrediting body agrees our Governing Board needs reform, which is why it currently requires the college to monitor and report on board dysfunction.

The board needs new leadership. That leader is Theresa Riel. She will rise above the current dysfunction and help secure a stronger future for PCC. We know Theresa Riel. She is one of us, having worked for 23 years as a PCC faculty member. Theresa is a parent, educator, advocate, and learner, a critical thinker and problem-solver, a bridge-builder and mediator. From our years working with Theresa, we know she is a selfless, hardworking, and committed community leader who will put the college’s best interest first. Theresa will actively engage everyone – students, faculty, staff, and community members – in solving problems and developing innovative programs to further the college’s mission.

In recent weeks, instead of working with employees to solve the dysfunction, college leadership has attacked the motives and characters of current faculty representatives. We rise to defend our colleagues against these baseless attacks. They represent the concerns of the many, not the few. They seek to improve the institution, not harm it. They want a place at the table, not to dictate final decisions. They are at the forefront of the advances in their fields, not resistant to change.

These problems and attacks have been perpetuated by current board members. Change is long overdue. The PCC Governing Board desperately needs new leadership to fix these entrenched problems and ensure the college’s mission is not put in further jeopardy. That leader is Theresa Riel. Stand with educators and protect the future of Pima Community College by electing Theresa Riel.


  • Jennie Conway, Former Director of Curriculum (Retired)
  • Rita Flattley, Former Psychology Faculty, Past Faculty Senate President (Retired)
  • Richard Fridena, Faculty Emeritus, Former Dean of Instruction at East Campus, Former Chair of Social Services Department, Former President of PCCEA, Former President of Faculty Council (now Faculty Senate), and Former Faculty Representative to the Board of Governors.
  • Charlotte Fugett, Former Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and East Campus President (Retired)
  • Dave Gallagher, Former Faculty and first recipient of the Chancellor’s Equity and Diversity Award.
  • Simone Gers, Faculty Emeritus
  • John Gillis, Former Vice President of Instruction, Northwest Campus (Retired)
  • Mark Homan, Former Chair of Social Services Department (Retired)
  • Susan Jensen, Former Mathematics Faculty (Retired)
  • Jim Johnson, Former Dean of Instruction at Community Campus (Retired)
  • Philip Melton, Former Faculty (Retired)
  • Rob Modica, Former Humanities Faculty (Retired)
  • Becky Moore, Faculty Emeritus
  • David Morales, Former Mathematics Faculty and Former Faculty Senate Liaison to the Administration
  • Sarah O'Hara, Former Writing Faculty (Retired)
  • Diann Porter, Former Mathematics Faculty Chair and Former Faculty Senate President (Retired)
  • Kitty Reeve, Former Writing Faculty (Retired)
  • Deni F. Viri, Former PCC Registrar and Director of Tribal Relations

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