When I was elected to the Board of Trustees at Houston Community College (HCC), I remembered growing up thinking that full knowledge would be a long road to walk. I am committed to the mission at HCC, and feel that I would soon master the evidence of our performance.
The more evidence I mastered, the more I was told that it’s foolish to bite the hand that feeds you. But it became clearer that the citizens were feeding the hands that bite them.
And the people are getting bit again and again. There are 161 employees at HCC who are paid in excess of $100,000.00. This adds over $20,000,000.00 to HCC’s budget. That doesn’t include the benefits package of health insurance, pensions, and miscellaneous perks that add an additional 30-35 % cost. Is the administrative personnel budget a runaway train? Do the salaries indicate that we value administration over faculty?
Our budget has increased 32.3% and our enrollment has declined 18.1% in the last five years. The U.S. ranks 35th in reading and writing, and 41st in math; and continues to drop.
Look below to see some of the job titles paying over $100,000.00. Who dreams up these ambiguous jobs that compensate so excessively? Administration is forever developing new strategies, which seems much closer to malfeasance, like it’s just nothing, as if they have their own special rules. There’s probably someone whose job is classified and top secret, who lives in Qatar, and creates these jobs, titles and salaries. What fraud.
Recently, news reports embarrassed us again, “In a community of scholars, we pride ourselves on our academic integrity, and I haven’t shown that recently,” Professor Scotty Moore said by phone, responding to media inquiries regarding reports of the discrepancies of his credentials. More signs of high dollar administrative weakness and absence of high quality discipline.
HCC’s loose culture, governance, and administrative staffing continue to set the stage for a lot of cleansing. The culture must change at HCC.
And also, I remembered what Gandhi advised, “I will never let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”