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Battle At The Alamo Colleges; Students Want Chancellor Out

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Students from some of the five Alamo Colleges line up behind speakers Simon Sanchez and Barbara Jean Romo during Tuesday night's board meeting

The monthly Board of Trustees meeting for the Alamo Colleges on Tuesday was a packed house that included a nearly full overflow room.

Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie
Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio

About three dozen Alamo Colleges students and instructors held a protest calling for the resignation of district Chancellor Bruce Leslie. Many held signs that said, “Cut Bruce Loose,” “Bruce Won’t Let Me Speak,” and “Remove The Chancellor.”

Barbara Jean Romo, a member of Palo Alto College’s Student Leadership Coalition cited attempts to implement controversial courses, e-books, and remove majors from degrees as the reason behind the protests.

“Since Dr. Leslie so graciously likes to implement policies and make decisions on behalf of the students and faculty that affect our education, we the Student Leadership Coalition, propose a new consideration for Dr. Leslie,” Romo said from the podium during Citizens to be Heard. “Dr. Leslie, you can decide to submit your resignation to the board of trustees or risk blemishing your reputation within the community.”

Several instructors from San Antonio College, Palo Alto College, and Northwest Vista spoke out publicly against Leslie as well as what they described as a top-heavy administration. 

Dr. Mike Settles, a history instructor at San Antonio College claimed that Leslie had cut more student services than any previous administration head.

“Basically, now the students are paying more, they’re getting less, nobody listens to them, and they’re angry and all you have to do is look around the room,” said Settles.

He added that the SAC Faculty Senate conducted a poll last week, which indicated that 84 percent of the surveyed staff said that morale was lower now than that of five years ago, with respondents placing the blame on the district.

Leslie said he believed much of the dissatisfaction came from miscommunication or misunderstanding. “There’s a lot of issues here that are really kind of personal agendas rather than student agendas. How do we change that? I’m not quite sure. Because they aren’t listening and they need to listen on both sides."

The chancellor said he had no plans to step down. His job with the district was not under board consideration on Tuesday night.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules