Administrative ambiguity inhibits student experience

By Editorial Board

Since the beginning of the fall 2017 semester, students have been overwhelmed by concerns surrounding a lack of administrative transparency and with summer fast approaching, it seems many of those concerns continue to thrive.

At CCC, ambiguity masquerades as transparency and methodically infects victims in positions of power — without giving students a second thought.

From top administrators and division deans to ASU senators and campus police, the process of collecting clear, concise information has become increasingly difficult to complete.

Because of this, students are increasingly less informed.

During the final month of this semester, the ASU held elections to decide who would represent students in an administrative setting. Campuswide interest could only be described as lukewarm while urging student participation in the process was all but nonexistent.

ASU senators either don’t show, don’t know or don’t care about student input on the decisions they make.

Signs of this clouding of the details became evident early in the fall semester following a rash of car break-ins on and near campus. Incident reports from the Contra Costa Community College District daily crime log were less precise than last year after a revamp of the district database.

Concerns were directed to Police Services and Lt. Tom Holt by The Advocate, but no additional information was provided in subsequent log entries.

Earlier this semester, faculty members began to raise their own concerns about the muddy-watered processes that expanded from under informing students, to excluding campus employees from decisions that impact their departments of employment.

The decision to laterally shift Dean of Enrollment Services Dennis Franco to the position of dean of students, with minimal faculty input, was a red flag too large for many on campus to ignore.

That move, coupled with the sudden removal of former Contra Costa College president Mojdeh Mehdizadeh in February and the insertion of Interim President Chui Tsang, was a clear indicator that important decisions were going to be made on behalf of CCC without campus consultation.

This was once a campus built on a model of shared decision-making. It was a place where administrators, when making decisions to improve student outcomes, consulted faculty and staff with intimate knowledge of the students this campus serves. That model is slowly becoming a thing of the past and with little sustained leadership, these campus conundrums continue to flourish untethered.

Now, with the search for the next CCC president nearing completion, this would be the perfect moment to embrace reversing the lack-of-transparency trend. However, reversal may already be too late.

According to the district website,, public final presidential candidate interviews will be held at CCC next week, a time when most students will be taking final exams — and Chancellor Fred Wood knew that.

To make matters worse, nobody even knows this. Typing “presidential search” into CCC’s website yields literally nothing on the subject.

It’s as if district and campus administrators are making a concerted effort to keep the campus community at CCC woefully uninformed, and it’s wrong.