Sunday, April 24, 2005

Ventura County Star Editorial: College District Must Be Open

The Ventura County Star (free reg. req.) has this editorial today on the Ventura County Community College District:

If Ventura County Community College District Chancellor James Meznek and the board of trustees truly want to foster mutual respect within the district and community, as they say they do, they need first to respect the public's right to know.

They need to make critical decisions about the colleges' future with as much input as possible from faculty, other employees, students and members of the public.

Respecting the public's right to be informed means not having a secret list of proposed cuts and their rationales, as was the case prior to the March 8 meeting of the college district board of trustees. It was at that meeting trustees voted to lay off 15 full- and part-time employees March 11 and another 117 by June 30 to close a $7.5 million shortfall over the next 14 months.

Fortunately, The Star was able to obtain and publish that list....

Chancellor Meznek everyone know who leaked the list - one of your Trustees or College Presidents.

If you want something to remain private keep it to yourself.

If it is a VCCCD personnel issue or litigation keep it in closed session and number your documents so they do not wander away to the VC Star.

Otherwise, public policy issues such as lay-offs due to budgetary short-falls and the elimination of instructional programs should be discussed in public and by the public - who by the way pays your salary.

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