Residential faculty for the American Indian Studies and Sociology departments Mona Scott Figueroa and Student Life program specialist Erick Tanchez Jr. discuss the selection of Tammy Robinson as the new college president at Mesa Community College.
Members of the MCC community gave feedback on the selection of the new college president Tammy Robinson, who is the third president in four years.
An extensive search for a new president at MCC was held due to interim President Lori Berquam leaving. Faculty, community, and student feedback led to the selection of Tammy Robinson as the new college president.
Those who have been at the college for an extended period of time have dealt with a quick turnover rate of presidents in recent history. Many would have to get acquainted and reacquainted with different presidents to build relationships that turned out to be temporary.
“Just in general it feels exhausting. We have to go through the process of getting to know someone again,” said Mona Scott Figueroa.
Figueroa has been at MCC for 23 years. She has seen many different college presidents come through MCC. Figueroa states there is worry about whether or not the president is going to stay, listen, and be the right choice for the college.
According to Figueroa, the connection of a woman of color as president made her feel confident of Robinson’s ability to empathize and prioritize students of color at the college to help them succeed.
“I am confident that the way she is going to lead this college will be very different from our past predominantly white male leadership,” said Figueroa.
However, the turnover rate of college presidents will not fully allow Figueroa to fully put 100% trust in Robinson. This was the reason she chose not to be involved in the college president selection process.
“I have stepped out of the arena of expectations. I know there are other groups that have met with her to address certain issues, I am just going to watch,” stated Figueroa. She added, “I just want to be supportive of the President. That’s it,” Figueroa said.
Another member of the MCC community who also declined to be active in the selection process, but chose to watch from afar, was Erick Tanchez.
“There’s a lot to be worried about. We’ve had three different Presidents since I have been here in a span of four years,” said Tanchez.
Tanchez, similar to Figueroa, had questions about the goals for the college and the length of time they will take.
“I think MCC needs consistency, longevity, and they just need someone to stick around. There is a lot that needs help fixing,” said Tanchez.
As a program specialist of Student Life, Tanchez had specific things he wanted to see addressed soon.
According to Tanchez, “I feel like they need to take a better look at the Student Life which is the center of the students. The needs we need here.”
The Student Life and Multicultural Offices have merged, and Tanchez said that a new space is needed. Students are back in person on campus and now a need for a bigger space to allow students to relax at student life should be addressed. He does understand that other aspects of the College need to be addressed also.
“I want students to have an office where students can say let’s meet at the student life office and have lunch,” stated Tanchez.
Currently, Tanchez does not feel comfortable to say he is confident in Robinson because of the turnover rate of college presidents he had seen. He plans to sit back and watch what Robinson does for MCC for the time being.
This story was updated on 9/16 and 9/21, respectively, to accurately reflect the title and affiliation of those interviewed.