Is Trustee Leonard Hitz sensing a disconnect between the reality of the working organization at Garden City Community College and the governance of the institution? Has this disconnect allowed mismanagement of the institution in several significant ways?

My concern and the reason I am writing is because of what I perceive as mismanagement of the ammonia refrigeration program in the Occupational Education division, resulting in its recent demise.

The GCCC ammonia program was formed in pre-Carver model days with an administrative structure that empowered the deans and allowed faculty to seek and develop programs that could offer vital employment skills, not only to traditional students but also to those already employed in industry.

The college vision at that time was interpreted as supporting this development. Has it changed that much over the years? Seminars of about a week in length and requiring an industrial fee for each enrollee was decided upon for funding. Traditional tuition and fees were deemed incapable of supporting such a program. During its hay day, the ammonia program was bringing in gross revenue of nearly $1 million a year (this was not tax dollars!). That this level of revenue should have been sufficient to maintain and upgrade the program is evident in the fact that a competing for-profit business was established and is still going.

Management of such a program is paramount in maintaining it for the long haul. Without support, the program does not have the resources to upgrade and sustain enrollment. Dr. Swender once proposed the college establish training for the oil and gas industry. We in the Jarmer Annex chuckled as we knew by then that the administration was clueless in what it took to develop, sustain and upgrade such a program. They obviously couldn’t do it for an existing program. Keep asking the questions.