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Central Management of Community Colleges

March 29, 1986

I must take exception to Prof. Les Boston's remarks concerning the Los Angeles Community College District (Editorial Pages, March 21), "Community Colleges Need Central Management to Cure Ills".

When institutions are forced to shift their time and attention away from their primary activity to questions of basic survival as many districts in California have been forced to do, they must make extraordinary efforts to remember their mission and purpose, to hold to their educational principles, and to appropriately serve their local community.

Let me be quite clear that the central problem faced by this district, and the system as a whole, has been underfunding. All other concerns, such as governance, are symptoms of the same malady. Because of our size, the L.A. district is closely examined by the "expertise" of a larger public. However, the scrutiny is welcome, for it has continually shown that we are on a determined course toward providing quality education to our students.

Boston makes reference to the state's Little Hoover Commission. However, he failed to mention that of the 11 areas specifically dealing with the Los Angeles Community College District, the commission's investigation did not uncover a single instance of nonfeasance. In fact, seven of the areas were dismissed outright or satisfactorily resolved upon review. The remaining four issues were found either to be not a concern of the L.A. district alone, or involved charges found to be untrue.

The L.A. Community College District is making tremendous strides to revitalize its educational programs to meet student demand, and has already placed its fiscal condition on a sound and balanced course. It is time others recognized these efforts.



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