SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
A Forum and Discussion of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board was scheduled to be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Rio Conference Center at Rio Salado College located in Tempe, Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice having been duly given.
Scott Crowley, President
Ed Contreras, Secretary
Linda Rosenthal, Member
Don Campbell, Member
Rufus Glasper, Chancellor
Mary Kay Kickels
CALL TO ORDER
The forum was called to order at 4:05 p.m. by Governing Board President Scott Crowley.
President Crowley welcomed those present and encouraged comments from those wishing to come forward and express their views. Mr. Crowley stated that following the evening’s agenda which included comments from Chancellor Glasper, comments from the audience, and comments from Governing Board Member, the Chancellor would be provided desired recommendations and instructed to implement required policy changes. President Crowley further commented that the recommended changes would be something that made sense and will not put the District at risk.
Chancellor Glasper extended a welcome to everyone in attendance and reiterated President Crowley’s invitation to those present to come forward and voice their opinions during this forum. This forum was meant to provide an opportunity to comment and also to look at policy, structure, and liability issues. This forum was also meant to provide the Governing Board Members to hear comments and
subsequently provide recommendations to the Chancellor, whereupon an implementation would be set up. He reminded everyone that the timeline would make provision for the appropriate due diligence to be done.
Donna Schober, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, facilitated comments from the audience. She informed those present to please come forward when their name was called and requested that comments be limited to 3-5 minutes. All those wishing to speak were requested to fill out a form listing their name and who they represented.
1. Dr. Gene Giovannini, President of GateWay Community College, representing the Chancellor’s Executive Council.
Dr. Giovannini read the following statement pertaining to the Position of the Chancellor’s Executive Council (CEC) on Issues Related to College Safety:
“From early 2004 to present time, the Chancellor’s Executive Council has been actively engaged in discussions related to the safety function at our colleges.
Prior to this evening, the Governing Board received the full text of the Chancellor’s Executive Council’s position related to College Safety. On behalf of the Chancellor’s Executive Council, I offer the following summary to the CEC position.
1. We reaffirm our commitment to the responses to the six key questions that were transmitted to the Chancellor and accepted by him.
2. We see value in the work done by the consultants and believe especially that the following should be explored further:
- Develop and maintain District-wide policies and procedures while maintaining local college oversight and accountability.
- Establish District-wide uniform training requirements to be administered by each Director of College Safety.
- Establish District-wide use and procurement standards for physical and electronic security systems.
3. We want to assert our strongest possible support for the continuation of local control of college safety at the campus.
Our Presidents have responsibility and are accountable for everything that happens at their colleges. We do not think it wise to change the way we operate in one area. We don’t presume that Presidents have greater expertise than the specialists at their colleges. We do assume that they are the best equipped to appropriately use the expertise of the specialists and others, and to make decisions about what is in the best interest of their colleges.
4. Finally, CEC recognizes and respects the role of the Governing Board in setting broad policy direction within the parameters of Policy Governance. We urge the Board to provide that broad policy direction to the Chancellor who in turn will determine how to move forward in operationalizing that policy direction using established decision making processes.”
2. Wilfred McFadden, Safety Director at Phoenix College, representing College Safety at Phoenix College
Mr. McFadden made the following comments:
“I’m Wilfred McFadden, Safety Director at Phoenix College, and I am not standing as the representative of the College Safety Directors. I’ll keep my comments brief. Maricopa is known as one of the best consortium of community colleges in the country but when it comes to uniformity of police and safety practices, we are probably close the worst. I content that we should be the example that others should seek to emulate. As a start to eventually becoming that example, I propose the following:
- Conduct a national search to seen and hire a police administrator to serve as the District Director of Police Services and give that person the responsibility of overseeing all campus police and safety functions. Further, allow that person to hire support staff to assist in developing standardized policies, procedures and hiring and training of police and safety staff. Rationale: The level of safety is different at every campus and that is a huge liability issue. For example, standardization would eliminate the possibility of our officers patrolling our campuses without wearing a police uniform. The uniform provides a visible presence that the police are on the job and provides a deterrent to criminal activity.
- Release the ban on hiring support staff. There is a need for security positions on campus to supplement the police officers.
- Allow all eligible police officers to transition into the Public Safety Personnel Retirement Program. In addition to providing an excellent program for the current officers, that program would provide an excellent recruiting tool to help fill vacant and upcoming police slots in the District.
The safety of our students and employees is of paramount importance to the men and women we have hired to help ensure that safety. We have an experience level in this District that surpasses all the local municipal agencies. These men and women are the experts. I encourage the Chancellor and Governing Board Members to finally do the right thing and centralize the police function at Maricopa because decentralization simply will not work. Thank you”
3. Robert Isaac, Chandler Gilbert Community College, representing self
Mr. Isaac indicated he had worked at CGCC four year and would like to be afforded same opportunities as police officers. There are exemptions for some and not for others. He stated that he was not biased on local or district control but there will be much liability if the district won’t support full certification.
4. Robert Everett, Chandler Gilbert Community College, representing College Safety
Mr. Everett stated that College Safety needs direction, rules, policies, and procedures. Police cars are being used but we are not ready for a police department. Police officers in name only. Infrastructure not in place right now for college safety. The Vice Presidents of Administration are equipped to support this function. He expressed concern that directors hire who they want and that is white males. There are no African American officers and only a few females and one Hispanic. 77% of College Safety is comprised of white males.
5. Mark Lacey, Phoenix College, representing College Safety
Mr. Lacey stated that College Safety is concerned with numerous things including protection of people on campuses and buildings. They are governed by state and federal laws. College Safety is a fractured division that needs to be consolidated. There needs to be a better handle on where funds need to go and can track pattern of crimes. He provided comparisons of crime statistics in New York, Phoenix, GCC, PC, SCC, MCC. He further remarked that some groups want to remain status quo but the world has changed and Maricopa needs to change as well. He also pointed out that the consultant’s report had left out information pertaining to licensing for Public Safety.
6. John C. Boylan, Mesa Community College, representing College Safety
Mr. Boylan cited crime statistics experienced on campus and stated that average experience of college safety is 18.5 years. He has twenty-five years of experience. The District has great resources but College Safety need the tools and ability to make arrests.
7. Mark Deterding, Estrella Mountain Community College, representing College Safety
Mr. Deterding stated that he has 36 years of experience as a police officer, 32 of those as an official officer and last four with Phoenix College and EMC. He stated that no standardization exists and there needs to be one leader in a centralized place. He questions whether they will be supported by administration. Police officers are duly sworn to uphold the laws of Arizona and at Maricopa they are not allowed to lay hands on anyone. He hopes that the Governing Board will recommend implementing a police department.
8. Charles Summers, Estrella Mountain Community College, representing self
Mr. Summers provided comparisons with Arizona State University who has four campuses and a police force. Maricopa needs a good mixture of police officers and safety officers. Statistics show we should be a one officer per 2500 and at Maricopa we are one officer per 6700. Violent crimes in Phoenix are up 15%. The SecuraCom Report did not use Arizona standards. Centralizing would pull everyone together.
9. Tim O’Hearn, Estrella Mountain Community College
Mr. O’Hearn has been at Maricopa since 2003 and this is the first time he has been asked his opinion regarding college safety. The staff that is part of College Safety has many years of experience. Some time ago this monster was created and there really shouldn’t be a power struggle. There should be limited police officer presence who supervise all others. Each campus should work on the same page. Everyone should work together on safety issues. There should be standards to abide by. Failing to take corrective action could lead to serious repercussions.
10. Maria Hesse, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, representing self as a teacher and administrator of 30 years.
Ms. Hesse thanked the board for pursuing an inclusive process to hear various perspectives on this important issue. She also had an opinion, informed by being a teacher, high school principal, and college administrator for 30+ years. Ms. Hesse stated that she believed that much of today’s discussion has at its heart a need for mutual respect for all of the individuals who help a college function well on behalf of students and communities. At CGCC they have an exceptional college safety department and she was deeply grateful for their ongoing contributions. She read the various committee and council recommendations, the CEC recommendations, and the consultant’s report, and wanted to offer her own opinion. She stated that she liked some of the recommendations from the consultant’s report, particularly those concerning increased coordination and collaboration among college safety departments. To her, there are benefits to be achieved from this and there are clear examples of successful coordination efforts in the district (i.e., another highly regulated, high liability department such as nursing). This also seems consistent with the Chancellor’s directives, however, she was not in agreement with the notion of losing college-based control to respond to emergencies. It is hard for her to imagine a scenario whereby she would be asked to respond to say an aviation or dormitory emergency and as an experienced advisor have someone, not even familiar with their circumstances, call the shots. The potential for significantly increasing college liability and decreasing student safety is significant. She also had concerns about process. It is her hope that MCCCD will stay committed to Governing Board Policy Governance models. Those who are students of history may remember that at a particular moment in MCCCD history, when the role of the Board as a policy entity and the role of the Chancellor as the operational officer of the district was breached, the next college to undergo accreditation was not fully accredited. As CGCC is the next college this fall to undergo accreditation, she had a substantial concern. She also has a student safety concern. She is hoping that the safety officers and staff who are truly concerned about the students will sit down to discuss the revision of policies. The need for recognition is clear and she can truly sympathize and respect the incredible work many of them do. It was her sincere hope that the requests being made are not related to need for recognition but rather the needs of students. Schools are not the community. They are unique entities. Ms. Hesse stated that she is aware that the policy makers and the operational decisions makers will never make everyone happy. However, in order to maintain an orderly environment, she believes everyone is willing to implement policies and operational decisions that are made.
11. Steve Corich, Mesa Community College, representing MCC College Safety
Mr. Corich commented that he is in support for central structure and suggested that models at Pima, ASU, and the University of Arizona been looked at.
12. William Crawford, Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Mr. Crawford stated that he had previously worked with the Phoenix Police Department for thirty-three years as a paid and reserve officer. He has been involved in putting together a College Safety Department for about ten years and is proud of the progress that has been made. He cautioned not to rush into full service as there are a lot of hidden issues that need to be kept in mind, such as us being seen as full service but still needing backup. We still need the cities to respond. This could become very expensive, therefore, we need to be cautious and mindful.
13. Dr. Barry Vaughan, Mesa Community College, representing Faculty Executive Council and Faculty
Dr. Vaughan commented that the faculty have the highest respect for what College Safety does. He asked if we wanted a centralized college safety agency and based his thoughts on philosophical issues. We are not the Maricopa College but rather colleges. When we contemplate a centralized law enforcement agency, there are some arguments towards centralization such as costs and whether we will be getting what we need versus another bureaucratic level? It needs to be kept in mind that each college is unique and may require different levels of security. Crime statistics may not represent statistics at colleges. Just as he would not hire a centralized police department, we also do not need a fire department.
14. Dr. Anna Solley, Phoenix College, representing Phoenix College
Dr. Solley stated that she supported the recommendations made by CEC with an emphasis on safety and a hybrid model. She commented that she values the work of College Safety Officers. She further remarked that even though Phoenix College was located in an urban area, it was a very safe campus. Crime data at Phoenix College for the last four years included primarily burglary/theft (including vehicle theft) which are lower level types of crime. She supports local control for total operation of the colleges and working together with team efforts. There is a role for a district model for certain issues and supports hiring both certified and non-certified officers. She also supports the development of common pages for liability issues for safety and security. She recommends giving this responsibility to the Chancellor to carry out recommendations for a hybrid model.
15. Janice Reilly, President, Faculty Association, representing Faculty
Ms. Reilly indicated that two representatives from the Faculty Executive Council have been involved in this effort and their stance is that there should be local control. She indicated that Faculty Executive Council would not support a law enforcement agency.
16. Michael Duran, Concerned Father, representing all parents
Mr. Duran stated that he was the father of a 17 year old daughter and happened to be in law enforcement. He commented that there are sexual predators at colleges and wants his daughter to go to a safe school. Officers without weapons appalls him.
Governing Board Member Comments
Dr. Don Campbell commented that he was pleased at the manner in which fifteen individuals made their presentations without animosity. The purpose was for students and that is what it should be what we are all about. Centralized or decentralized will have to be resolved eventually. Everyone was a real professional.
Ed Contreras stated that he thought about this meeting and what he would say different. He has real concerns about college safety and what is difficult is that each side has a genuine regard for what they stand for. Presidents do not want to lose control of their schools and Certified Officers want to do a good job for their campuses. The Board has to look over the whole picture. In 1995 the Board talked about Certified Officers. Heard both sides and remembers discussion. The Board’s feelings were that we needed to be more professional. If we hired certified police officers we would set a standard. One of the top concerns of the community was safety. We have got to provide a safe environment for our students. Concerns escalated 4-5 years ago when concerns were discussed. A lot of information given and he voted against guns. It is always said, “Where is an officer when you need one?” but there is a presence if the need arises, they will be there. Mr. Contreras didn’t think we had any consistency across the district. Procedures need to be consistent. Wants all students to be safe and provided same effort. Security has not been looked at in a long time. Heard several people recommend that need to compromise and come together and focus on policies, procedures, dress, and reporting. Reports need to be available on any given day. Equipment should meet standards. Staffing standards need to be in place. Need to move forward with a good starting point.
Linda Rosenthal felt that good discussion had taken place. She stated that she did not hear very much different from what was heard in the spring. She also stated that she firmly believes in policy governance and that the Board should set broad direction and proposed the following: Direct the Chancellor to revise or recommend a new policy which emphasizes safety as paramount. The policy should mandate needed standards, stressing collaboration and coordination, i.e., a policy governance type of umbrella, and then devise regulations to carry out these policies. We need to put the recommendation into a First Reading and put them on the web. By November we can have the policy in place and by the first of the new year have this in place.
Jerry Walker indicated he was in agreement with Mrs. Rosenthal and wanted to make a couple of points regarding administrations not controlling police officers since they are commissioned to carry out the law. He stated that we are governed by laws and not individuals and we ought to carry that out in the District. The response time is slower the fewer people are available. Qualified people are needed and training needs to be provided. The key is to prepare to compete for qualified personnel. Good standards are needed.
Scott Crowley expressed concerned that we don’t have enough to move forward such as infrastructure, training, staffing and cost issues. Respect needs to be obtained for certified or college safety officers. Very qualified officers work for the District that can create standard operating procedures. Everyone works for Maricopa but there are differences of opinion. Central coordination is needed for phones, equipment, funding. We are a different world now because of 9-11 and understands control but also understands protect and serve. The mandate to the Chancellor is broad and it is up to him to bring this together. No one answer to this issue. Arizona Statutes made to protect us. They need to be changed. Give direction to Dr. Glasper to look at infrastructure, training, costs, and uniforms. All perspectives need to be heard.
Concluding Remarks by Chancellor Glasper indicated he had heard three different things.
- Policy governance broad direction to begin the policy with revisions.
- Consistency across the board
- Centralized coordination recommended policy toward implementing policies, changes, staffing, policies.
He stated that strategies will be developed to proceed, train, report, and standardize staffing, and then accept as change and move ahead.
The retreat adjourned 5:50 p.m.
Governing Board Secretary