Last Update: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Case for Los Angeles Mission College PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Monte Perez   
Thursday, 08 May 2014 05:28

President Monte Perez

There have been various articles in this newspaper recently about the nonrenewal of a tenure-track faculty member and the subsequent protests over that decision.

While I can’t address the specifics of those issues because there are rules at our institution that protect the privacy of individuals, I would like to take this opportunity to remind your readers of all the contributions by Los Angeles Mission College to serve both our students and the larger community. The controversy should not cloud our accomplishments.

Like every other college in the Los Angeles Community College District, and indeed institutions of higher learning throughout the state, we were hard hit by the financial downturn caused by The Great Recession. But, with the financial picture now brightening, we are on the rebound. Our enrollment has increased from 9,500 to 11,000 students. We have grown 4% in the 2013-14 academic year, providing the college close to $1 million in additional funding from the state. While balancing our budget, our college awarded $40,000 in scholarships this year and plans to award another $50,000 for students enrolling for fall, 2014. Mission College has obtained a major grant to work with the California Bar Association to establish a career pathway for law degrees for high school and community college students. We have obtained a grant from the Ford Foundation to provide a model educational program for incarcerated individuals at Pitchess Detention Center, one of seven such programs in the United States. Through our bond program, Mission College has built state-ofthe- art facilities, one of which, the Center for Math and Science, has received both a national award from the Design Build Architects of America as the best educational facility in the United States, and a local award from the San Fernando Business Journal as the best sustainable building in the Valley.

I came to the campus in 2011 with over 35 years of experience in serving the needs of first generation and low income disadvantaged students. Since arriving, I have worked with everybody at Mission College to improve student success in terms of both our educational programs and the environment on campus. Two examples: Our college serves 400 high school and college students interested in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers, and has implemented a model collegiality training program with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for faculty and staff that promotes professionalism, anti bullyism, and civility in the workplace.

Of course, there is still much to be done. We need more resources to offer more counseling, insure that students know what courses to take to obtain their certificate, AA, or transfer, and keep a clean campus, However, bashing LAMC only obscures a true portrait of the college and discourages students from attending.

I urge a more balanced approach to understanding the severe educational barriers facing our students from K-12, to the collegiate level. I invite the Sun and anyone interested in furthering educational opportunity and equity to meet with me. My door is always open.

Dr. Monte Perez, president,
Los Angeles Mission College

Eds. Note: The San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol has previously requested an interview with LAMC President Monte Perez to discuss the numerous concerns at LAMC including the numerous student led protests following the denial of tenure for Professor Aviles-Rodriguez, but President Perez has indicated that he could "not speak about personnel issue," and the case "could not be discussed." President Perez has also provided no specific information regarding "erroneous" information in news articles published by our newspaper. Material published as "Commentaries" are written by the indicated authors. It is the policy of our newspaper to run a correction if published information in our articles is incorrect. To date, President Perez has failed to provide specific examples of "erroneous" information published in our newspaper.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 22:06

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