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VALLEY PERSPECTIVE

Problems at Pierce College

November 29, 1998

Re "Board Votes Pierce College President Out," Nov. 21.

The problems that beset Los Angeles Pierce College should not be laid on the shoulders of the college president but rather at the feet of the board of trustees and district administration. They have continually taken the enrollment funding Pierce has generated and subsidized other district colleges that have been unable to support their own budgets.

For example, this year Pierce generated $37 million based upon enrollment, but the district has demanded that Pierce operate within a $25-million budget. This needed revenue of $12 million goes to other district colleges and programs.

Pierce's budget has constantly been reduced over the years while the cost of operating the college continues to rise. Pierce has been unable to maintain, let alone improve, the appearance of the college or the number of programs offered.

It is no surprise students living in Pierce's service area have been attracted to other community colleges outside the boundaries of Los Angeles Community College District. Santa Monica and Moorpark colleges have campuses that are well-maintained and offer a greater number of programs.

The board of trustees and the district administration must take responsibility for the financial problems and enrollment decline at Pierce. Dr. E. Bing Inocencio has been used as a scapegoat for their poor management decisions.

CANDICE VORHIES and WILLIAM RUSSELL, Woodland Hills

*

I read with interest the article regarding the ouster of Pierce College's president. I wondered why, since "Mission did a spectacular job," the college district did not simply assign the president of Mission College to run Pierce.

After I read Sunday's Times article regarding Mission's president forfeiting $4.7 million in building funds, I understand why.

SANFORD SAMUELS, Northridge

*

Re "Plans for Pierce Land Offered," Nov. 18.

Is everything for sale?

When I saw the article detailing the proposals to "develop"--I'd call it rape--what used to be the Pierce College farm, I was sickened.

Every year, my wife and I take our children to enjoy the open fields, green hillsides and animals on the college's farm walks. Every year, as Canada geese fly overhead, I know where they are headed. Any day I pass by and watch the wind rustle the grass I feel the warmth any human does when they see something other than concrete and asphalt . . . .

With surrounding communities (Thousand Oaks' hillside preservation ordinances, Simi Valley saving Corriganville, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy doing just that and the good people of Ventura County just this month on election day) saying stop the sprawl, I am disgusted by what has happened to the Valley I was born in.

If this deal goes through, say goodbye to the open space, farm walks, geese and the tiny bit of our past the farmland represents.

If the college district needs cash, let them try a bond. It worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

How many more golf courses and hotels and conference centers does the San Fernando Valley need?

Just leave it alone.

BRAD SMITH, Granada Hills

*

Since when is golf for the well-to-do minority more essential than food for the vast majority?

RUTH LORING, Calabasas

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