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State Community College System

August 30, 1990

In your article "Community College System Is Failing" (Part A, Aug. 12), state Community College Chancellor David Mertes complains he's unable to fill top administrative positions in his office because he cannot offer salaries greater than $100,000 per year (plus benefits, of course). Mertes makes $101,000 and wants to pay his chief deputy $107,888. The Department of Personnel Administration has approved "only" $86,533.

Locally, San Diego Community College Chancellor William Wenrich announced he will cancel his $105,000 district contract after only two years because he could not resist the $140,000 pay offered by the Dallas Community College System. If we are paying administrators more than $100,000 and our college system is still failing, will it improve if we give them another $25,000-$50,000? Why are we paying administrators two, three and even four times the amount we pay teachers who have the ultimate responsibility for educating our citizens?

Schools must not allow themselves to be forced into bidding wars. We must seek individuals who are eager to meet the challenge of turning around an educational system in crisis, not those simply seeking high-salaried career opportunities.

DENISE MORENO DUCHENY

San Diego

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