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Letter to the Editor: Confidence in Toda

— Disbelief

To the editor:

I read and reread with increasing disbelief and indignation the articles on the Columbia Gorge Community Colleges teachers’ vote of “no confidence” in President Dr. Frank Today. You have to be kidding. No confidence? No confidence in what?

The no-confidence vote was given not because of the college’s stellar fiscal and academic performance, but because President Toda had the audacity to select his own management team and increase operational efficiencies by combining two positions. The teachers thought they were best to make these decisions. Go figure.

For the record, under Toda’s leadership our college is one of a handful of colleges in Oregon successfully navigating the turbulent and uncharted waters of declining and uncertain funding. While decreased funding has forced other colleges throughout the state to restructure, increase tuition, cut staff (Clatsop Community College laid off one half of their staff) and resources, our college rests upon a solid financial foundation and even maintains a contingency reserve in case of emergencies.

While maintaining fiscal stability, the college has kept tuition affordable, developed programs to address the demands of a 21st century work force (nursing and wind technology), nurtured strategic partnerships and provided free tuition to local students with good grades. Oh, yes, under Toda the college recently received accreditation.

As for this writer, I have the following messages to both President Toda and for the college faculty.

For President Toda, the college is highly successful, so stay the course, soldier. Through your leadership, the college has given hope to many from the dislocated worker to the high school graduate and the persons who want to change careers or enhance their skills.

The community and the graduates are eternally grateful to you and your staff for making the Columbia Gorge Community College a place where opportunities abound and dreams are realized. We have your back.

For the college faculty, you have done a wonderful job providing our 21st century workforce with skills they will need to survive. However, please remember that in the real world, successful businesses are run by boards of directors, the leaders they select and the leaders’ hand-picked management team. Businesses are not communes, co-ops or collectives run by committees of workers, who tend to be more concerned with their own vested interests than the success of the enterprise.

John Hutchison

The Dalles

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