An evaluation of PCC's Chancellor, Lee Lambert.
C-FAIRR just completed its evaluation of PCC's Chancellor and its Board of Governors. Attached are the results of our analyses. Please note that our evaluations are local and based on first-hand knowledge of your past performances. We paid particular attention to whether the Chancellor and Board successfully accomplished their respective goals and priorities for 2016-2017. We did not employ out-of-town consultants nor did we cherry pick those who contributed to this evaluation process. PCC's 360-degree evaluation process allows those undergoing evaluation to personally select others to evaluate them; we believe such an approach is unethical and skews the evaluation results. Except for the immediate supervisor, others should be selected randomly and be a third-party from a list of all College stakeholders who have interacted with the College. The contributors to C-FAIRR's evaluations were all stakeholders of the College, i.e. tax-payers, residents of Pima County, and those who have attended Pima or have had family members attend as students at PCC. We also strongly believe that your evaluations should be as transparent as possible and that a process for stake holder inclusion be developed--stake holders like students, College employees, and members of the general community--and the percentage of each of these categories be announced in advance of the evaluation.
PCC CHANCELLOR LEE LAMBERT’S EVALUATION, by C-FAIRR
Accountability, (including goals, clearly measurable objectives, and verifiable evidence), is fundamental to the success of education. In short, goals, and clearly measurable objectives performed at all levels of academia allow the administrators, faculty, and staff to take an introspective look at how they perform their jobs. Through the accumulation of documented evidence, sound goals and objectives allow College educators to know whether they are achieving success and where they need improvement. The emphasis here is on clearly measurable objectives.
In this vein, C-FAIRR finds that while Chancellor Lambert’s overall goals are laudatory; most of his objectives, however, are nothing more than platitudinous goal statements that are not measurable. What’s more, we find that he takes credit for what others have done for the College NOT actions upon which he should personally be evaluated. In fact, while we would like to credit Chancellor Lambert with being instrumental in PCC’s renewed accreditation, we cannot. It was faculty and staff and, to some extent student, work that actually remedied the situation. If the Chancellor craves credit for allowing the various task forces that worked to remove PCC’s accreditation sanctions, we will give him that. However, because his stated objectives are not clearly measurable---he fails to indicate HOW/WHAT ACTIONS---he will take to accomplish his objectives. Moreover, due to the poorly defined metrics in his objectives, the Chancellor is unable to gather the necessary evidence to clearly demonstrate areas of success and areas in need of further improvement. C-FAIRR has no option but to assess Chancellor Lambert based on what he has said he would like to achieve.
Since his arrival at PCC in 2013, Chancellor Lee Lambert has consistently pointed out that “The College has destroyed its developmental education program, limiting access to thousands of Pima County residents”. C-FAIRR , in its monitoring of the College, has seen no significant return to the once vibrant numbers of student enrollments (2011) in credit courses in the Developmental Education Program at Pima Community College. In fact, the Developmental Education redesign plan approved by Chancellor Lambert’s Executive Council has only 12 percent of its recommendations actually implemented over the past 3 years. Year after year, recommendations are reworked and reworked, never to be brought to full implementation. Those that have been implemented appear to be “boutique” programs that are special courses in writing and reading that are offered at limited times and on limited campuses. These are not at a scale on a district-wide basis to assist the numbers of students who need these services. Only the Math Emporium program offered a genuine alternative to the structured, traditional classroom approach across all campuses and for day and evening students in developmental education courses. And, this program was established before Chancellor Lambert arrived. Therefore, C-FAIRR believes that the Chancellor has not met his goal. Indeed, we have witnessed Maricopa Community College’s still offering federal financial aid to students in Developmental Education classes. PCC says that it is barred from doing so by federal financial aid regulations, the same regulations that govern Maricopa Community College.
Chancellor Lambert has bemoaned repeatedly that “the relationship with the entire area K-12 districts was at an all-time low”. Polling area K-12 districts, we have found no improvement in PCC’s relationship with this local school district. Indeed, we are informed that most of the local area school districts are unaware of any programs linking their schools with PCC.
Chancellor Lambert has indicated that “Dual enrollment opportunities were limited”. Little has been done to correct this situation. Opportunities are still limited according to representatives from TUSD. From those whom we’ve talked with there has been no visible progress in this area. TUSD representatives report that they are unaware of dual enrollment programs in their district. Student government officers in TUSD are equally unaware of such programs.
The Chancellor’s stated goals for development of the “Strategic Enrollment Management Plan,” the “Facilities and Educational Master Plans,” and the Department Chair Reorganization included the claim that all were supposed to be done with faculty input and through collegiality. Once again, the Chancellor failed. While it is true that input was solicited from the faculty including PCCEA, its faculty association, NONE OF THEIR INPUT WAS INCORPORATED AND THE SO-CALLED DEPARTMENT CHAIR REORGANIZATION ENDED UP TAKING PLACE DURING FINAL EXAMS -- JUST AS SCHOOL WAS ENDING AND FACULTY WERE LEAVING FOR THE SUMMER. SUCH A TACTIC DID NOT COMPORT WITH THE STATED GOAL OF COLLEGIALITY, OPENNESS AND SOUND GOVERNANCE; RATHER IT APPEARED TO BE DESIGNED TO PREVENT FACULTY PROTESTING A BETRAYAL OF THEIR TRUST AND UNDERSTANDING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION.
Another goal was “The development of scenarios for future years, up to 2021, to counter “Expenditure Limitation threat”. However, NO MEMBER OF THE TEAM WAS ABLE TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE PLANS WERE BASED UPON----that is, how they planned to grow future student enrollments and, as a result, how much funding was actually necessary. No contingency plans were presented in the event enrollments continued to decline. This is not sound fiduciary responsibility in light of the College asking the Board to spend funds to build and equip new facilities. No evidence was provided from the College’s current Strategic Enrollment Management Plan to demonstrate that a turnaround in the decline of enrollments has occurred after 4 years under Chancellor Lambert’s administration. This is false vision based on a quick-sand foundation!
Under goal 5, “Continue to strengthen, enhance, and increase diversity, inclusion, and global education,” the entire College has failed. LITTLE TO NO EFFORT HAS BEEN TO OUTREACH TO OUR HOME-GROWN, PIMA COUNTY GROUPS LIKE THE TRIBES THAT MAKE UP SO MUCH OF OUR AREA! Instead, Latinos, Blacks, poor Whites, and the Tribes were all given a slap in the face with the increase in tuition over the past two years by the administration and BOG, while favoring foreign students! Furthermore, a great deal of effort and money have been expended on the “global education project” while PCC can’t seem to afford to give instructors and staff a permanent raise (of which they have been deprived for more than 8 years!). Perhaps equally important, PCC has failed to hire a sufficient number of well-trained faculty for its already existing programs!
Other areas that the Chancellor cites as his accomplishments for the year 2016-2017 include sending a Facilities Master Plan to the BOG; the 3500 students who graduated in May, 2017; awarding degrees and certificates to graduating students; Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Scholarships; summer scheduling; grants; a diversity forum; “Workforce Development & Employer Relations”, to name only a few. If one were to take a careful look at the categories on which the Chancellor prides himself, he or she would have to shake his or her head. Presenting a Facilities Master Plan to the BOG is part of the normal duties of any administration. We would argue that the Chancellor had little to do with the plan itself and that it was constructed by those involved in overseeing PCC facilities.
We are thrilled that 3500 students graduated in May and that Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society saw fit to award so many of them scholarships. But what role did the Chancellor play in all of this. C-FAIRR congratulates the faculty on its excellence and meeting its goals of educating students!
C-FAIRR argues that if, in fact, the “Workforce Development & Employer Relations” group was established, it, too, has failed. Based on reports C-FAIRR has received from current and former employees, we know for a fact that PCC’s work environment is riddled with practices that are discriminatory and toxic and that cause fear of retribution among its employees. It is more virulent than ever! It is public knowledge that the Chancellor has been found personally liable, by 3 separate federal judges, of violating the due process rights (civil rights) of at least 3 college employees. There have been numerous cases of unfair hiring and/or promotional opportunities of employees. The psychological abuse and torment hurled by the administration upon the Student Services Staff, i.e., that the HLC required BA degrees when it wasn’t a requirement, was despicable. To date, the wrong has not been corrected. Indeed, it has been left unresolved with no one held accountable. The purging of long-time International Program staff was questionable, at best. College staff has reported that they feel muzzled and are afraid to speak out. Employees (individually and as organizational representatives) are not permitted to speak to BOG members unless the Chancellor is present. The culture of fear and intimidation continues to exist, thereby causing employees to fear for their jobs.
The truth is that C-FAIRR, as a community organization, recognizes the importance of PCC to our entire community (residents, future students, workers, companies, entrepreneurs). We strive to see PCC achieve success as a well-rounded institution. It is already successful with the few students that the College still attracts thanks to its outstanding faculty and staff support. We simply would like to see greater access and success: a high quality educational environment where students and staff are representative of the community in which the College resides; a happy/content workforce environment free of fear and intimidation; a Governing Board that values its constituents and involves itself in issues of both the College and the community NOT as an attempt to criticize but to be aware enough to be constructive and perform the job for which its members were elected; and a Chancellor who involves himself in our community and who cares more for PCC’s achievements than celebrating his own.
What else has been happening at Pima Community College? Go to Page 4