Interim President Robert Miller pledged to create a better campus climate and form of communication between his administration and the faculty Monday morning in an open letter to the college.
Miller said that PCC had not been the college that he knew and loved for a while. That he knew the faculty was frustrated and angered by the campus climate.
“It’s clear that the campus has a lot of work to do,” Miller said in an interview. “In that regard, we have an obligation to address these issues for the students.”
He also said that it would take frank and respectful conversation on the differences the district and faculty had to rebuild trust among all faculty, staff, and students.
“I believe that together we have the opportunity to make PCC better than it ever was,” Miller said. “I pledge myself to this effort. The work begins with consistent communication that is accessible throughout the college.”
Academic Senate President Eduardo Cairo said that the executive committee has “a lot of faith” that the senate can work together with this administration. He said that Miller had done nothing so far to discourage the senate’s trust and that it had good will moving forward.
“We look forward to working with [Miller],” Cairo said. “[The senate] hopes that together, we can undo the changes to the violated shared governance and we can get a fair contract.”
Newly elected Faculty Association (FA) President Julie Kiotas said that the FA is hopeful that it will receive a new contract this semester.
“Miller assured us that the Board of Trustees will have a new offer in September,” Kiotas said.
“The district’s negotiating team is going to the board with recommendations at its Oct. 1 meeting,” Miller added. “I am confident that the District and faculty can collaborate with each other for the students’ sake.”
Miller emphasized that on Flex Day (Oct. 1), the faculty and staff would review the ModernThink survey that measured working conditions on campus. The college “must work together” to interpret the findings and find its way forward, he said.
“ModernThink was a survey conducted last spring to see how the staff and administration’s feelings were about working at PCC,” Miller said. “We are going to really sit down and look to see what we can do to improve those feelings so we can make a better climate at PCC.”
Unlike past president, Mark Rocha, Miller is a PCC alumnus and said he wanted to return the school to the PCC he remembered.
Miller attended PCC after high school and came back as an adjunct instructor for telecommunication and radio classes. He eventually left PCC but returned in 2005 when he was hired as the associate dean of academic support. Since then, he was promoted to vice president of business services and now interim president.
“I am very content with where I am,” Miller said in the letter. “In life and at PCC. I am also content with who I am, a proud member of the PCC family.”
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