HLC Final Report: PCC claims vindication

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 10:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima Community College leaders targeted for criticism is now trying to turn the tables and claim vindication.

Two board members and the chancellor held a news conference on the Higher Learning Commission’s final report on governance issues.

KOLD has reported on the HLC’s 22 page draft report citing a rift between board members and senior leadership that’s putting the college’s mission at risk.

The HLC report is now final with the conclusion PCC needs watching. But KOLD only received a copy of a letter by the HLC president.

It’s a formal notification and official record of HLC’s action taken.

PCC said it’s the HLC’s final report so it’s unclear exactly what’s been modified or eliminated from the draft.

The chancellor and board chair believe they’ve been vindicated.

“Change is difficult, implementing change takes courage and leadership. Unfortunately some Governing Board members continue to resist needed changes at Pima,” board chair Catherine Ripley said.

“The HLC also supported board members own request that monitoring board actions is needed and added recommendations for doing so as noted earlier. The college’s mission is not at risk,” chancellor Lee Lambert said.

But the HLC letter doesn’t point out any particular board members.

Just that continued work needs to be done to improve board effectiveness and gives examples on what needs to be tackled.

The HLC also addressed Dispute Resolution.

Within the past weeks, two faculty groups filed new complaints with the HLC stating PCC needs to treat them fairly and with respect. So, will Lambert do anything to resolve it?

“The issue is some folks want to have the final say so in the decisions of the college,” Lambert said.

KOLD will continue to dig deeper into the final HLC report to help pull this all into perspective.