Editorial: District Disruption

By Editorial Board

After another whirlwind semester defined by administrative scandals on campus and inept management practices at the district level, the current state-of-affairs in the Contra Costa Community College District shows leadership does not always operate from the top down.

Despite these conditions, incoming freshmen and students nearing the end of their ed-plan requirements toward transfer are once again expected to grin and bear it.

In reality, these conditions are not conducive to learning and are, quite frankly, unacceptable.

The benefit of the doubt the district has been given on numerous occasions has been unearned and undeserved.

Leniency has not only been given by members of the campus community at Contra Costa College, but by the members of the CCCCD writ large.

Through the nonsense given to district students disguised as leadership, these same students have transferred to prestigious universities, won state and national awards and excelled through man-made administrative catastrophes that slowly fade into the back of our collective consciousness.

Our kindness has been taken for weakness.

District administrators were given a pass when a board member died of an overdose while on a trip to New Orleans representing students in this district.

Board trustee John T. Nejedly’s death on Oct. 9, 2016 was confirmed as an “accidental” drug overdose with multiple unspecified substances.

Their leadership was also sparred scrutinity when a credible claim of sexual harassment was brought forward against another CCCCD board member soon after.

In 2018, then district Governing Board President Timothy Farley retired following an anonymous accusation of sexual misconduct.

A preliminary investigation into the allegation found Farley’s accuser’s claim to be credible.

More recently, Chancellor Fred Wood’s failure to make a full-throated denouncement of repeated incidents racist graffiti was discovered targeting black students at DVC.

His continued lack of response regarding these displays of hate leave many black students with the feeling that school is one of the many places in the country that proves their safety is not a priority.

On March 13 students at DVC staged a walkout after racist graffiti targeting black students was found in a men’s bathroom without an adequate response was given by campus and district administrators.

Last week, on Aug. 22, a message from sister-school Diablo Valley College President Susan Lamb detailed another similar message was found scrawled on campus property prior to the start of the fall semester.

Administrators have been silent and no attempt has been made to assure African American students enrolled in the district that their safety is paramount.

They literally have to pay for the opportunity to learn in this environment.

It’s time to stop looking the other way.

District administrators are supposed to be the people who secure our educational funding and who we trust to guide our education in a positive direction.

Recently, their actions show they don’t deserve that responsibility.