Enrollment Down 67%, MCCCD’s Gonzales Restructures District Office, Continues Dictatorship

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U.S Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, and Interim Chancellor Steven Gonzales. [Photo via MCCCD]

While the ten colleges among the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) are down 67% percent on enrollment (yes, you read that right), on Wednesday afternoon, Interim Chancellor Steven Gonzales, decided to unilaterally restructure the entire District.

Yes, it’s a dictatorship folks. A flourishing liberal academic dictatorship and we are beholden to it unless we stand up and do something about it. How about enrollment Dr. Gonzales? What are you going to do about this enrollment freefall? The colleges are becoming more and more unsustainable under his leadership.

Gonzales’s solution to enrollment tanking is an email decree ambiguously titled “District Office Updates” with so much fluff you could more than comfortably use it to stuff your Santa suit. Gonzales uses completed “task forces” that have no official capacities or titles as some magic crystal balls telling him to literally do everything they tell him to do. Gonzales made these decisions without the blessing or support of Governing Board members. We all smell something fishy. This is the mirage of shared governance, but Gonzales is not fooling anyone.

The Interim Chancellor praises this approach as cost-neutral (nothing is ever truly cost-neutral) by first adding another layer to the upper echelon of MCCCD’s administrative leadership by creating a new Executive Vice Chancellor position directly under Gonzales himself. Excuse me but paying another yes-man executive for Gonzales at $400,000 per year does not sound like neutral costs, even in the short-term. Surely another costly executive will save the colleges from enrollment catastrophe and ruin. Ah not.

Gonzales formed new departments and even gave himself an undersecretary and then assigned positions for them right then and there buried in his email update, handpicked, without solicitation or advertisement of those positions and zero vetting. Sounds like someone is putting people around himself for protection. What does Gonzales have to hide?

Well for one, someone in an interim position who wants to stay there, will do anything at all costs to maintain their status and power. Most unfortunately is that the cost burden is on the taxpayer. Just so Gonzales can sit in his castle tower with appointed guards closely around to protect him while the colleges are effectively burning to the ground and the public foots the bill. Remember there are no free lunches. All for an Interim Chancellor that consistently fails the colleges.

Kathleen Winn is an At-Large MCCCD Governing Board Member