The interim chancellor of Pima Community College announced today that she plans to leave the position earlier than originally planned.
In a letter sent to PCC staff, Suzanne Miles said she will step down in April instead of June.
The college faces probation and possible loss of accreditation after a scathing report from the Higher Learning Commission.
Miles' letter follows:
After much thought and prayer I have decided to leave the Interim Chancellor's position earlier than originally anticipated, which was June 30, 2013. My final day as Interim Chancellor will be Friday, April 12, 2013. I have selected this date to allow the Board of Governors the necessary time to identify a new Interim Chancellor.
It has been an honor serving in this position. Pima Community College is a wonderful, vibrant institution that will surely overcome our present difficulties. However, it has now become clear that my continued service as Interim Chancellor could be viewed as an obstacle to moving forward.
Many, many thanks for your gracious support over the past 18 months. Although it has been a challenging time, I have never lost sight of the reason we are all here: our students. I want to wish you, our talented and dedicated faculty and staff, as well as the Board of Governors, all the best. I look forward to returning to work with my Community Campus colleagues, students, and the community as their President.
Warm regards, Dr. Miles
Dr. Richard Fridena is a retired instructor who was working at PCC when the college was put on probation back in 1989.
He says the college was in hot water because of a dysfunctional board. Four board members resigned and a new chancellor came in to get PCC back on track.
Fridena expects more resignations from people connected to the former chancellor and this interim chancellor.
"You'll find a whole layer, several layers of people who owe their job directly to flores or Suzanne miles and I would say a new person has to come in and dismantle that infrastructure and that way of thinking about management that this group of people has created," Fridena said.
He said interim chancellor Miles will not really be leaving senior administration because she will remain a campus president, which he says could be a problem moving forward.
Fridena suggested Miles was so closely alligned with the former chancellor and the problems of that administration that it could take years to change what he calls a "bullying mentality."
"They stopped examining, they stopped questioning even though
things were brought forward by people from the community, even internally, but
it became risky to bring things forward internally because people would feel
personal reprocussions," Fridena said.
Interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles did not get back to us on our request to interview her today.
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