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Dallas College Faculty Split Over Chancellor’s Continued Leadership

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Dallas College faculty members are split over chancellor Joe May’s continuation of leadership. Some faculty members called for May’s immediate termination after passing a no-confidence vote against him on Friday, while others supported the long-time leader.

Earlier this spring, May announced his intentions to retire in August 2022. However, more than 71% of the board members who participated in last week’s poll voted for the resolution that demands his removal or resignation now.

This is in reaction to the consolidation of Dallas College, which was overseen by May. The school previously consisted of seven colleges, each as an individual institution part of the Dallas County Community College District. In 2021, they were merged into one. According to May, the consolidation was carried out to facilitate a smooth process for students while obtaining their degrees or certificates.

The poll resolution was led by Richard Menchaca, a professor of integrated reading and writing at Dallas College. He believes that immediate leadership changes are needed to save the school. Menchaca, who has been an educator at the college’s El Centro campus for fifty-five years, said that the work environment under May’s leadership is hostile and toxic. According to him, the current chancellor has created a workplace that induces “hardships, fear, and pain for numerous faculty and staff across the institution.”

The Dallas College board had a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. At the meeting, trustees and other faculty stood in support of May. Board chair Monica Lira Bravo spoke in his support, explaining that improvements will be visible as the school’s transition to one college progresses. “We believe in the vision that our chancellor has made for us,” she said.

Less than a third of the full-time faculty participated in the vote.

A counter-petition was led by Michael Noble, a professor of history at Dallas College. “A ‘vote of no confidence’ is inappropriate and extreme, and does not represent our views… operational issues are not grounds for a ‘vote of no confidence,’ which sets a dangerous precedent and would stifle the innovation necessary to meet student needs,” the petition reads. More than fifty faculty members signed the counter-petition.

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