Surprise! Another Community College System Is Unhappy With Former HCCS Head Bruce Leslie

Categories: Education
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Photo by Daniel Kramer
Former Houston Community College System chancellor Bruce Leslie left his job in 2006 before his term was up, after some stormy times with the system's board.

As the Houston Press reported two years prior to that, dissatisfaction with Leslie was rampant. Critics said he suppressed those who disagreed with him and fostered an atmosphere of favoritism and paranoia among employees.

He has since landed at San Antonio's community-college system, known as Alamo Colleges. He makes $313,000 a year, not counting perks.

The San Antonio Current reports that things aren't going smoothly. Faculty have overwhelmingly given Leslie a no-confidence vote, citing his refusal to consult them as he institutes changes in accreditation plans, class sizes and curriculum.

The accreditation issue concerns "single accreditation," meaning whether the Alamo Colleges campus would continue to be accredited separately.

One faculty member told the board at a recent meeting "Dr. Leslie has repeatedly and consistently refused transparent dialogue with faculty and staff. His actions signal a refusal to listen to key stakeholders at this college. In an email, Dr. Leslie ordered faculty to cease and desist investigating the impact of single accreditation. That's chilling free speech in the district."

The Current took note of Leslie's Houston experience
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In 2006, Leslie resigned from the six-college Houston Community College System two-and-a-half years before his contract was due to expire because of disagreements with trustees, according to the Express-News. HCCS trustees did not return calls from the Current seeking comment. "[Your audience] will have to read between the lines," said the receptionist.

The "official" version, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, comes from former board chairman Jay Aiyer, who pled guilty in June 2007 to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with a governmental record: "We are parting on great terms."

But in August 2004, amid allegations that HCCS trustees were practicing nepotism in violation of district policy, Houston Press reported that, "Instead of heeding complaints about the problems, the paterfamilias of HCCS, Chancellor Bruce Leslie, apparently has sanctioned a climate in which would-be whistle-blowers either stay quiet or live in fear of retribution."
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