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

Candidates for board discuss improvements

By Shelly Williams/editor-in-chief

All five candidates competing for the District 5 position on the board of trustees gathered for an open forum on SE Campus last week.

Patrick Adimire, O.K. Carter, Gerry Ghearing, John Jenkins and Joe McHaney each gave a three-minute introduction before taking questions from the audience and discussing issues concerning TCC in the Arlington area.

Starting with Carter, they each addressed what they would like to do for SE Campus.

“The SE Campus has really been the fastest-growing campus, practically since the day it was born,” he said. “It’s always struggled to have enough classrooms and enough laboratories. I expect this campus to be 20,000 or more very shortly. I want to make sure that it has the facilities that it needs to have.”

Focusing on the expectations of community colleges in today’s society, Adimire said TCC should work to improve education as a whole by using all resources available.

“Now community colleges are better viewed more than they have ever been across the country,” he said. “And expectations are higher than they’ve ever been. So you have expectations and funds going in different directions.

“This campus is fast-growing. What we need to do as a school as an entirety is we need to make sure that we’re not offering a course to three people here and four people over there. We need to use everything that we can use to become efficient and utilize all resources that the school has for you guys.”

Faculty members then asked how the candidates would handle budget cuts and its effects on the morale of full-time and part-time teachers.

“My goal would be to make sure that there is a genuine balance between necessary administrative movement and faculty,” Ghearing said. “The last person out the door, in the case of a deduction or budget cut, would be those people who are delivering the core services that are necessary to this education and the educational institution that this campus should be.”

Jenkins said that as a trustee, he’d look through any issues that arose first and would keep TCC’s cost reasonable for students.

“Of course, we will look for all the inefficiencies first,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to make sure that we keep exceptional faculty that is delivering, based on what your mission says, two things — to keep it affordable and make sure we’re delivering quality education.”

The discussion then turned into a question of what the candidates saw as more important: the quality of teachers or the utilities the campuses have.

“Some of the best classes I ever had were in a closet,” McHaney said. “That’s really the faculty. I mean, good faculty can think outside the box. Buildings that have classrooms, they have to have faculty.”

The forum closed with each candidate showing how transparent they would like to be to their possible voters by giving out personal contact information to the audience.

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