Imperial Valley College is going through difficult times. While rumors of the school’s closing are unfounded, we have been hit hard by repeated budget cuts, and real concessions will have to be made by all members of the IVC community in order to maintain solvency. On March 7, IVC’s Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to not to renew the probationary contracts of two deans. The Academic Senate of IVC thoroughly supports the board’s decision. We understand that this is the first in a string of difficult decisions that will leave nobody untouched.
The budget is not our only concern, however. Accreditation is looming over IVC once again, and we are gearing up for another long task in obtaining full accreditation. In happier times, most community colleges got through accreditation cycles with minimal fuss. These are not happy times, and the accreditation board has raised the bar substantially. It is now the norm to be put on probation, not the exception.
This leads to the recent activities of Trustee Norma Galindo. On March 9, Galindo told the Imperial Valley Press that the school community should focus on more important things than her behavior. Point taken, but be aware that a school can be put on accreditation probation for the inappropriate actions of a single board member. This has already happened to the Ventura County Community College District, and its efforts to achieve full accreditation are still ongoing.
In the article, Galindo was quoted as “hotly denying” the allegations against her. It is not for me to judge. Complaints have been filed against her through the appropriate channels and we will see what happens. She also expressed a wish that complainants approach her directly if they have issues.
One of the happier results of recent events is that, at the moment, there is a rising tide of unity here at IVC. The administration, faculty, staff and the six constructive members of the Board of Trustees are well aware that there are serious issues facing us and that real change must happen. For all the justifiable worry, these are exciting times, and we are serious about serving this community as well as we can into the future.
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