The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-TCC needs image makeover

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

TCC has an image problem.

It’s time to repair the damage — about $440 million worth.

And it’s up to the interim chancellor, the board of trustees and administrators at the May Owen Center to fix it and regain the trust of Tarrant County citizens.

Indecision and miscommunication between the former chancellor and the board cost taxpayers millions of dollars, placing TCC under the public microscope.

Now, requesting a meager 3.5 percent pay raise for faculty and staff in this year’s $350 million budget, is met in some corners with criticism and skepticism.

Some board members recognized that the district was not forthcoming with information concerning the downtown campus.

Unfortunately, they were in the minority.

According to the minutes of a May 12 board meeting, Vice President Bobby McGee said the district had a credibility problem because “there is a perception, while not an intent, by many that the college has not been as transparent in its activities as it might have been.”

McGee also said former Chancellor Leonardo de la Garza and administrators were “finding a need for the building instead of there being a need for the building.”

Board Secretary Robin Winnett complained of a lack of experience and competency on the project and that the district needed to refocus on its mission of education.

Other board members complained in the local press that they were not given enough time by the former chancellor to study information before voting on motions.

The board voted 4-3 that evening to complete the downtown campus, including the bluff site, at a cost of about $203 million.

The former chancellor successfully handcuffed the board, leaving them no other choice because it would cost untold millions of dollars to terminate the project.

And here lies the problem.

Taxpayers must be able to trust a taxing agency with large sums of money.

Students, faculty and staff must be able to trust the administration.

And the board must be able to trust the chancellor.

The board made a smart decision naming Erma Johnson Hadley interim chancellor.

The new leadership must continue its new practice of transparency, not only in its finances, but in all campus issues.

The Trinity River Campus truly is a beautiful facility worthy of pride.

No doubt it will fill the need of Tarrant County’s underserved population for years to come.

However, it has cost the college much more than its multi-million dollar price tag.

Students, faculty and staff should not have to pay for those decisions.

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