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Protestors support professor, but COM board says it's looking at the bigger picture - The Galveston County Daily News : Local News

October 26, 2014

Protestors support professor, but COM board says it's looking at the bigger picture

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  • DottyOA posted at 3:08 pm on Sat, Jun 1, 2013.

    DottyOA Posts: 204

    carol4com.....Your are a great example of what is wrong with our country's education system. Blame it on the old white right. You can't transfer credits from COM to ACC because ACC has higher standards than COM....and dare I also say the faculty at ACC is better than COM's. At the end of the day the taxpayers are not getting the bang for their buck. As a member of the "old white right" and a taxpayer funding the joke called COM I know how important it is to teach our young people. I have a business that hires our young people. It is shocking to see how many of our young people cannot write a complete sentence or use proper grammar. We have a big a$$ problem in educating our youth or should I say in not educating our youth. Blaming it on the old white right is so damn juvenile and pointless.

     
  • gscoggin posted at 5:51 am on Sat, Jun 1, 2013.

    gscoggin Posts: 133

    FWIW, JBGood brings up the old, "We'll bury you without firing a shot" quote from Krushchev. Whilte there is debate regarding whether or not Krushchev actually ever said those words. I want to point out something regarding Mr. Good's mention of China.

    China's economic success is not due to the socialism that Dr. Smith seems to regard so highly. It's due to China's economic conversion to capitalism. Socialism failed in China (as his has almost everywhere) creating famines, shortages and lack of progress.

    China has managed to maintain it's totalitarian governing model while still encouraging a modified form of capitalism. Whether or not this model is sustainable in the long run remains to be seen, but don't attribute China's success to any form of collectivism.

     
  • gscoggin posted at 5:43 am on Sat, Jun 1, 2013.

    gscoggin Posts: 133

    First of all, I understand the box that President Lewis and the COM administration and BOT are in regarding confidentiality around Dr. Smith's dismissal. When the inevitable lawsuit arises, we'll know more but probably not until then.

    If the dismissal is for a defined, specific activity then the Board is on solid ground and the action is likely appropriate, if it's for a long series of actions in which Dr. Smith has been a continual pain in the tail then it's a different story. The BOT should cut its losses and go ahead and settle the next suit. If the dismissal is because Dr. Smith continiues to profess a love for a failed economic system then, as long as he teaches the curriculum straight up, he can beleive as he wants.

    This keeps getting framed as being about the taxpayers vs the COM employees. Both sides are wrong here. This should be about the quality of education delivered to the students. Frankly, I don't see where either side seems to care about that.

     
  • kevjlang posted at 10:35 pm on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    kevjlang Posts: 3010

    I think the voter mandate was to bring some sense to the BOT. Charging your horse full speed ahead with your lance pointed at a windmill that prior boards have been unable to topple doesn't sound like the voters are getting the dose of sense they thought they were.

    Certainly, no organization needs to have tails wagging the dogs, but have they made an honest attempt to get the dogs in front of, and in charge or, the tails, or even ascertain who the dogs and tails are?

    Unfortunately, I don't live in the district, so I wasn't able to cast a vote, but from what I've read, there wasn't a check box on the ballot to indicate whether the 62% were voting to fire Smith. I don't recall firing Smith being a campaign issue or promise. I do recall fiscal issues, the lawsuits, etc. being issues. I also recall Delgado saying that she'd study the root causes.

    Delgado has been on the job for a little over a week. I don't doubt that she's pretty sharp, but it seems she must be sharper than a razor to have figured out in a little more than a week what the previous board hadn't been able to figure out in 2 years.

    Considering that Delgado campaigned as if she understood that people are weary of the lawsuits, you'd think that she'd be pushing the board to really study its options before jumping into this hornets nest with no certainty of anything but yet another lawsuit.

    Even if you believe that Smith is the root cause of a lot of the college's biggest problems, termination still isn't the only way to solve it, and it definitely might not be the best. Even if the college really believes it can win the suit, it still might not be the best plan of action.

     
  • Jose Boix posted at 9:41 pm on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    Jose Boix Posts: 160

    At the end of the day, there were 3 COM BOT candidates At-Large. They all had the chance and opportunity to get whatever voters to vote and win the election - Voight, Steed or Delgado. Somehow, 62% of the voters who made the effort to vote did not elect Voight or Steed; they selected Delgado. There was a similar path in 2011.
    What does that say for the losing candidates? What kind of support do they have - when it counts? In my book, case closed!

     
  • kevjlang posted at 2:01 pm on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    kevjlang Posts: 3010

    Robert, like they say, when you point your finger at someone, you have 4 fingers pointing back at you.

    All of these boards, legislatures,, etc., need to get their heads out of whatever clouds or body parts they're in. I think we all get it that most of the problems predate their arrivals on the scene. They were all hired to solve problems, not find scapegoats.

    Killing scapegoats may make for some prized trophies on the mantle, but once you get rid of all the scapegoats, what will you do when the problems are still their?

     
  • Robert Buckner posted at 11:28 am on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    Robert Buckner Posts: 731

    Lewis hasn't helped heal the situation, I doubt Delgado can help it. The two elected before Delgado weren't able to help. Everybody wants to blame Smith. Just chain the doors, everybody go home, and I'll gladly pay one less tax.

     
  • kevjlang posted at 11:20 am on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    kevjlang Posts: 3010

    Muddying things up more, but taking nothing away from gecroix's point:

    That's 61,314 Registered Voters. What percentage of the Eligible Voters bother to even register? Could it be that gecroix's original numbers were perhaps closer to reality than thought?

    Then, there are the questions of whether the protestors are even representing eligible voters, let alone registered voters. They may have driven in from Kemah, League City, Galveston, or flown in from Berkeley.

    Which, as gecroix ably states, still proves nothing.

     
  • gecroix posted at 9:48 am on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 3000

    Replacing supposition with the 3rd 'R' in the three of them that have been replaced with 'modern teaching methods', we use the figures provided by Jose Boix to get a better picture:
    I stand corrected based on the latest numbers provided.
    3,000 voting out of 61,314 eligible in the COM tax district is 4.9%. Higher, but still a low number.
    60% of that 3,000 is still 1,800. Which, out of 61,314,000, is 2.9%. Still a too low number to be deciding the course of anything.
    20 protesting out of 61,314 eligible COM tax district voters (and even more eligible protestors, which would include both registered voters and non-registered voters, or if preferred anyone ambulatory and still breathing who could get to the location from anywhere else, but we'll leave them out of it as an unknown quantity) is only 3.3/100ths of 1 percent (or 3.3 people out of every 10,000, if one prefers), and still only 1.7% of the losing side 1200 voters . Still not much of a protest.
    In summary, it DOES appear NOW that 95.1% don't care what the outcome of a COM vote is. An improvement. BUT, if we use that methodology, we also must conclude that only 99.99967% don't care what becomes of Smith. Every little bit more counts.
    ALL of which, though corrected, still proves.
    Nothing.

     
  • sverige1 posted at 7:09 am on Fri, May 31, 2013.

    sverige1 Posts: 3623

    Another fired teacher?? /gasp/ All I know is that after college, I moved on. I doubt if any of my former "professors" will vouch for me if I get "the boot". Why some folks are so adamant about defending their teacher...that sounds so odd. I've always looked at teacher/professors as an adversarial type who has the power to fail your arse if he/she doesn't like your essay that you wrote on "Are Zoos Cruel to Animals?"

    These folks are in the teaching field, and they can easily apply for another position. Jeepers, we have 10, maybe up to 15 colleges in the Houston area.

    As kevijlang said, his political ideology should bear no reason for termination. His competency to disseminate lessons and his ability to work well with his colleagues should be factors in his hiring/re-hiring/firing.

    One thing I think we all should know is that you shouldn't wrangle with upper echelons, trustees, and/or administrators or supervisors. Folks who make a stink and are cantankerous almost always end up being shown the door - even though they might have hundreds of admirers in the wings.

     
  • Jose Boix posted at 11:13 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Jose Boix Posts: 160

    Just some factual numbers. According to the Galveston County Tax Office there are 81,316 registered voters in Galveston County as of 4/25/2013. Of these, there were 61,314 within the COM Taxing District.

     
  • kevjlang posted at 9:09 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    kevjlang Posts: 3010

    There's a reason why they say that statistics are one of the 3 types of lies. Politicians love numbers. 75% of people think they have some understanding of numbers. The other 75% admit they're baffled by them. The reason that Yogi Berra's quote about baseball being 90% mental and the other half is physical is so remembered is because it actually adds up to lots of people :-)

    Thinking back, I remember when Trident advertised that 9 out of 10 dentist surveyed recommended their gum. They never told us how many dentists they actually surveyed.

     
  • Jbgood posted at 8:32 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Jbgood Posts: 1955

    Gecroix,

    You are absolutely right,but see, they make it sound so good, lovely and cool, you see. So then,.. when their hoarse voices say, 72% of the voters turned out for so-n-so-n-so, when only 25 people out of a zillion voted,..it makes you wonder!
    -
    That is using deception, deceit, and duplicity to enhance a point. I was told years ago that I was born at night, but I know for sure it was not LAST night. An old wise man told me years ago in my youth,...."Young man it's okay to think you are intelligent,...just don't go around thinking everybody else is a DAM FOOL!"
    -
    You can't buy wisdom, like that these days, but nevertheless, it is wisdom and prudence many people could benefit from.

     
  • carol4com posted at 5:05 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carol4com Posts: 66

    Its always a good idea to buy American with everything if at all possible, since it supports American companies, American families and the American tax base. I research every BIG purchase I have for sure to make sure it was made in American, by Americans, with American engineering and parts. Very difficult to do these days.

     
  • carol4com posted at 5:02 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carol4com Posts: 66

    Chairman Mao? I'm pretty sure your friend was somewhere else or was at someone else's home, but hey, you can say whatever you like.

     
  • gecroix posted at 4:57 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 3000

    Good point made about turnout.
    3,000 voting out of 100,000 elligible IS only 3%. A low number.
    60% of that 3,000 is 1,800. Which, out of 100,000, is only 1.8%. An even lower number to be deciding the course of anything.
    20 protesting out of 100,000 elligible voters (and even more elligible protestors, but we'll leave them out of it as an unknown quantity) is only 2/100ths of 1 percent (or 2 people out of every 10,000, if one prefers), and only 1.7% of the losing side 1200 voters . A pretty weak protest. More like a mumble.
    In summary, it DOES appear that 97% don't care what the outcome of a COM vote is. BUT, if we use that methodology, we also must conclude that 99.9998% don't care what becomes of Smith.
    ALL of which proves.
    Nothing.

     
  • carlosrponce posted at 4:23 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carlosrponce Posts: 2579

    Not to worry. With his ideology, Smith could easily get a job with one one the many leftist colleges in this country or even the Obama administration. A friend of mine once visited the Smith home but left after seeing the shrine to Chairman Mao. But without Smith, COM might lose its nickname of Communists of the Mainland.

     
  • carol4com posted at 2:18 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carol4com Posts: 66

    Your right gecroix. Dr. Smith will get his day in court, but it will Lewis, COM and us taxpayers that will walk out unhappy. Especially when the same federal judge just told COM in February not to retaliate against Dr. Smith. He also encouraged COM to settle to avoid a court trial.

    Do you know what usually happens when ignore a Federal Judge? I'll let you speculate.

     
  • carol4com posted at 2:10 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carol4com Posts: 66

    Obviously, you never took his class. He taught American and Texas Government, not politics. We learned American and Texas Govt. You know, the 3 branches of govt, executive, legislative and judicial. That really only occurs in capitalist nations so your assessment of his class is in error. Sorry to disappoint you.

     
  • Jbgood posted at 1:54 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Jbgood Posts: 1955

    I don't know about Russia, but the RED Chinese seems to be doing real good. If we don't watch it, the RED Chinese will actually DO what the RED Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev promised the old RED Soviet Union would do, but did not. What did Premier Khrushchev promise? Take a look:
    -
    "WE WILL BURY YOU WITHOUT FIRING A SHOT!!" I got to start watching what I buy! I got some stuff here that some Vietnamese who might have taken a shot at me, could have had a hand in making, and I ended up buying it! What's up with that? Mr. Blair in Crockett Texas will help me with this, I just know it.

     
  • carol4com posted at 12:58 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carol4com Posts: 66

    Mr. Boix, 62% of less than 3000 voters in a district of almost 100,000 voters does not a majority or mandate make. You could benefit from one of my math classes. What it does say is voters don't care about COM anymore and would rather see it implode on itself rather than give up 5 minutes on a Saturday to make a choice. While I disagree with the apathy, I do understand it. In 2011 the voters didn't vote FOR anyone, they voted AGAINST any incumbent Board member and the bond. That will happen again in 2 years when COM tries again for a bond proposal. The voter turnout will be much higher and if the environment at COM continues, the same thing will happen again. Any incumbent will be voted out and any random person running against them will win.
    Don't fret. There may not even be an election in two years now that the national press, AAUP, and SACS knows what's going on. The college may be gone. Guess that's what some of you are hoping for anyway.

     
  • raifm posted at 12:56 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    raifm Posts: 86

    Is Smith teaching the course description?

    Sounds like only information that the right approves, should be taught.

    I think you should also let everyone know if you are a refugee of the Marxist Government in Cuba. And does that give you a bias
    against anyone who has different ideas then you?

    Do you think that local taxpayers should say what political thought should be taught?

    Sounds to be like you also support a lawsuit against Com!

     
  • gecroix posted at 12:53 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 3000

    Pull your hair out or jump for joy, depending on your 'side', because Smith isn't going anywhere.
    All that's likely to happen is the taxpayers get soaked for another lawsuit. I'm going out on a limb and guessing that the Board does NOT have documented, proveable evidence of performance standards failure by Smith. An actual we-followed-the-policy racetrack for removal. You know, some of that stuff that real leaders and managers are supposed to be sure they have plenty of before cocking the gun and aiming it at their foot. They'd have used it long ago as a means to put as much blame as possible on as many other places as possible, besides themselves. IF they could cast aside the tenure cloak they put on him in the first place (tenure...it's long past time for a change...but, another time). IF that's so, then how about eating a poop sandwich now BEFORE we pay local mouthpieces more money to yet again prove the superiority of the system that their client routinely uses to his advantage, while badmouthing it at other times?
    Please.
    Us mean old white right wingers don't want to be wastin' our tax money on secure communists when we can draw down on insecure adolescents, and others who act like them.

     
  • miceal o'laochdha posted at 12:42 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    miceal o'laochdha Posts: 540

    I have asked this question before but, never did find out the answer: when did we start calling community college Instructors "Professors"?

    I mean come on. it is just a trade school, not Berkely. Anyone getting their geopolitcal world view in a goverment class at a community college is welcome to whatever opinions develop; they are unlikely to go out and change Western Civilization. Breaking news for Mr. Smith and his syncophants: the CCCP didn't make it. Its just the Russian Federation now. Oh, and the "Revolution" in America... it fizzled out by 1970 and those who remember it have also forgotten it.

    This fellow has been taking himself way too seriously for years. I have no doubt he thinks of himself as a cross between Marion Savio and Emma Goldman. You will only encourage him by alluding to Biblical "dreamers".

     
  • kevjlang posted at 12:20 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    kevjlang Posts: 3010

    mainlandlass, his politics should NEVER be the reason for his dismissal. If it can be shown that the only way to pass his class is to subscribe to Marxism, that's one thing. However, the mere fact that he states a position pro-Marxism in class, outside the class, or anywhere else, cannot be the reason for his dismissal. It establishes far too many ugly options. What if they then decided that conservative or liberal democratic or capilalist views are not mainstream enough? What if they attacked the moderates or populists?

    It's like the old saying goes, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    I don't care what political philosopy he tries to represent in his class. As long as he welcomes open discussion and debate, and grades his students on the quality of their arguments, regardless of their positions, then he is doing his job. That's true even if he were taking your political stance or mine, or any other poster here.

    As a government teacher, he owes it to his students to make sure they consider all points of view, including those they might vehemently disagree with. It's just not enough to let people come out of school with opinions. They must be able to understand other people's opinions, but more importantly, they must be able to clearly state the rationale behind their opinions.

     
  • Jbgood posted at 11:53 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Jbgood Posts: 1955

    I agree with Mr. Lang, on this one, and I will also say in addition to what he said, you can transform or TRANSMOGRIFY that board until the cows come home, but in the end you better make sure you are not setting the taxpayers up for a massive lawsuit as a result of your efforts!
    -
    Moreover, it looks like to this Ole East Texas Ploy-Boy, that this BOT and their supporters are taking a page out of the bible in their plight to rid themselves of Dr. Smith! Yall know what I'm talking about, ...and yall know you do!!!
    -
    Genesis 37:19-20: ( The jealous brothers of Joseph plotted to kill him, to rid themselves of Joseph because of selfishness and that green jealousy within their hearts, by any means necessary, similar to this situation.) Hear now what the brothers spoke to each other in secret after the father sent Joseph to check on what deviance the brothers might be performing!! THEY SAID THIS:
    -
    "BEHOLD THIS DREAMER COMETH. COME NOW THEREFORE,AND LET US SLAY HIM,AND CAST HIM INTO SOME PIT, AND WE WILL SAY, SOME EVIL BEAST HATH DEVOURED HIM: AND WE WILL SEE WHAT WILL BECOME OF HIS DREAMS!!"
    -
    In other words, what will become of the employees, the unions, and those who are oppressed, and subdued at COM, after they FIRE Dr. Smith?
    -
    It looks like to me the BOT out there would rather deal with any collateral damage involved in a lawsuit coming from someone like Mr. Griffin, than to allow Mr. Smith to continue to work at COM. It is the old kill the head, and the body will soon die METHODOLOGY. Only in this case I think this methodology will blow up in their collective faces either way this incident turns out! Even if they do elect to gamble and pay the lawsuit, the "SERPENT" will miraculously GROW another head, and carry on business as usual. THEN WHAT?
    -
    The other consideration, is like one of my fellow EAST TEXAS PLOW-BOYS, stated in the GDN, the other day, and COM was mentioned with several other organizations. Galveston County has become like a screwed up play, a COMEDY OR ERRORS,..which is being acted out in public! In fact I think Mr. Blair called us all a bunch of COMICS,...or CLOWNS! Ahhhhhhhahahah! Don't get mad at me, I'm just saying what one of my fellow Plow-BOYS said!
    -
    I did try to defend us, but I hereby apologized to you Mr. Blair! You are right! I eat my words publicly! I would like to take a pilgrimage journey to Crockett Texas and hang out with you a little bit, and learn from you! You are the king Plow-Boy! It took me years to find out what you spotted in a day or two! I found out many of these high and mighty moral citizens won't even honor their word given, unlike we practice in East Texas! A man's word is his bond, up there, and reflects on that man's character! So, what brand of moral turpitude are we witnessing here, in this incident? I guess honesty and fair dealings are completely out of the question!


     
  • kevjlang posted at 10:29 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    kevjlang Posts: 3010

    I think that the board has now painted itself into a corner. Certainly, popularity should not be a prime consideration in this decision. The board is right to consider the big picture. However, before thinking they are seeing the whole picture, I'd suggest they check the tint on the glasses. I think they should check the glasses for clarity, too.

    It sure sounds like they may be driven more to gain some political popularity, which is something they will likely gain, win or lose, if the conservative "anti-commie professor" crowd is who they think is the swing vote. However, if they are going to follow the political winds, they should also regard the shifts in reaction to their actions.

     
  • mainlandlass posted at 9:45 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    mainlandlass Posts: 52

    Fresh faced kids enroll in classes at COM to further their education. What they get instead, from Smith, is an introduction into leftist, radical politics. If he would leave his radical politics outside the classroom door, I would support him, but he doesn't. His goal is to convert as many of these young minds to marxism as possible & he should go.

     
  • Jose Boix posted at 9:45 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Jose Boix Posts: 160

    I am here a registered voter of the College of the Mainland taxing district and a resident of Texas City.

    I have two statements.

    First – I would like to thank the whole Board of Trustees and welcome the newly elected members of the COM Board of Trustees for their willingness to serve. I would like to specially thank Rachel Delgado for running an outstanding race earning a voter-based mandate to help continue the transformation of the COM Board.

    And second – In light of all the vocal debates and arguments - specially regarding the recent developments, I speak as one member of the silent majority of voters who spoke by voting in the 2011 and 2013 COM BOT elections. As a reminder, back in 2011, we elected 2 new Trustees with a 62% and 75% voter-mandated majority, and again in 2013 we elected Rachel Delgado with a 62% voter-mandate majority. As one member of the silent majority of voters, I’m here to vocalize my support for the COM President and Board. Let transformation continue!

     
  • gecroix posted at 8:49 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 3000

    "The old white right says students aren't important, only old disgruntled taxpayers are important."
    Why didn't you use that line in your bid for election? It's a good one. Very instructive.
    Taxpayers and voters should keep it in mind.

     
  • gecroix posted at 8:47 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    gecroix Posts: 3000

    "If you had multiple degrees like I do, you wouldn't argue with me!"
    "If you're so smart, why are you here at a junior college and not a university?"
    The attempted quashing of dissent, and resistance to it, can work both ways.

     
  • npappous posted at 8:42 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    npappous Posts: 312

    Don't be surprised that lightening strikes you after you hold yourself out as a lightening rod.

     
  • carol4com posted at 8:15 am on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    carol4com Posts: 66

    And during yesterday's protest we learned that 5 more teachers are leaving, 4 more are thinking about it, and two students tried to transfer their nursing credits from COM to ACC and were told ACC would not accept transfer credits from COM because the COM nursing courses were weak and did not meet the rigor of ACC's nursing curriculum.

    Yeah. Losing and firing great teachers is really doing wonderful things for the students! The only thing this idiocy is doing is destroying our college.

    But its ok. The old white right says students aren't important, only old disgruntled taxpayers are important. Hmmmm. In 10 years or less they may be gone, but the young people they ignored yesterday will be the new taxpayers. Wonder how they will vote? After all, most of these young people voted for Pres. Obama!

    Can't wait for THOSE new taxpayers to become Board members!