Alamo City Colleges Face Pork and Leadership Challenges (Opinion)

Pork at San Antonio colleges. (Graphic by Jack Dennis)

San Antonio

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San Antonio Colleges Political Pork

I’m fed up with the way our city governments, universities and colleges are wasting taxpayer monies. The upcoming May 6 election for the San Antonio Bond is full of pork, pork and more pork (I will write more about that later). But right now, what’s up with the Alamo Community College District?

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recently said they are holding off on accreditation renewal of three of five Alamo campuses. A fourth campus, built with earlier bond money, has yet to be accredited.

SACS gave Alamo 12 months to address leadership, hiring and campus autonomy issues, or face loss of accreditation.

Instructors at Palo Alto and three sister colleges have cast a series of no-confidence votes against Chancellor Bruce Leslie (pictured here). The guy makes over $430,000 a year.

Closely connected to San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, Leslie has support from the city’s political elites.

Through a bond program, Alamo Colleges, the third biggest community college system in the state, have added more than a million square feet of building space. For what? To add more administrators of course!

Recently a Watchdog organization reported that 14 top Alamo College administrators took 146 trips at a cost of $174,454.

Chancellor Leslie logged $37,925 in travel expenses:

Belfast, Ireland — $2,916
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho — $2,321
Palm Springs, Calif. — $1,093

In all, Leslie traveled on 39 occasions between October 2013 and July 2015. Not counting eight appearances in Austin, his average cost per trip was $1,223.

Five other administrators topped $15,000 in travel bills.

Adena Loston, president of St. Philip’s College, $23,781, including five trips exceeding $2,300.

Jo-Carol Fabianke, vice-chancellor for academic success, $20,893, including a Boston trip for $9,891.

Federico Zaragoza, vice-chancellor of economic and workforce development, $20,322, who billed the college $2,478 for simultaneous conferences in Orlando and Washington, D.C., both held on Feb. 25-27, 2014.

Craig Follins, former president of Northeast Lakeview College and now a “special project administrator,” $15,990, all in fiscal 2015.

Diane Snyder, vice-chancellor for finance and administration, $15,855, including $3,677 to attend a Financial Performance & Analysis Innovation Summit in Boston.

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