Transparency is our friend. It is only a foe to those who try to fight against it.
The hiring committee voted in closed session against a public forum for the Pierce president search.
A public institution, such as a community college, should inform its populace, instead of choosing to keep them in the dark.
The salary of the position is paid by the public, therefore they have a right to know who is running to represent a community college. The faculty, staff and students should be looked to for approval and should have the peace of mind of knowing whoever is chosen is someone they can confidently support.
A forum allows candidates to introduce themselves – providing a platform for public discourse, ensuring the community has a chance to ask questions.
What’s the harm in transparency?
A forum would highlight one’s strengths and could showcase their weaknesses – all of which would help to reach an informed choice.
This sentiment is underscored by the thoughts of a faculty member, who was a former union representative.
“The public forum gives a perspective on the candidates. This creates a true democratic process where we have a community judging who is the best fit,” said Fernando Oleas, a professor of modern languages and Spanish. “You hear their vision, their professionalism and their capacity to speak in public.”
If decisions are made behind closed doors, how can anyone trust that the head of the college will work with us, have an open ear and lead with our best interest in mind?
This is not a decision to be made lightly. Without transparency, the future may be in hands of someone whose values and goals are unknown.