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Letter to the Editor: Defending Toda

— Defending Toda

To the editor:

Dr. Frank Toda has done an excellent job in developing our college into something this community can be proud of. He’s single-handedly raised millions of dollars for The Dalles and Hood River campuses. Beautiful new buildings grace these two campuses, and the older buildings have been remodeled and improved. The college has recently become accredited. The list of accomplishments continue.

Dr. Toda is a man of character. In his 12 years of service he has demonstrated a high level of personal integrity, honesty and commitment. He has invested untold hours and energy into developing the college into what it is today. As a former neighbor, I watched Dr. Toda typically leave for work at 7 a.m. and not return until after 7 p.m, not to mention countless road trips promoting the college at a state and national level while raising millions of dollars in funding.

It’s unfortunate that a handful of disgruntled teachers have caused such a ruckus over a decision that didn’t go their way. I wonder how well these teachers would handle the pressure and responsibility that goes with this kind of high level leadership position?

Leaders must make tough decisions. They synthesize an overwhelming amount of input and information, then through experience and sometimes gut instinct make what they believe is the best decision for the organization. Will everyone be happy? No. But that’s why it’s lonely at the top. And that’s what we admire about good leaders. They’re not trying to win a popularity contest, they’re doing what they feel is best for the organization. Winston Churchill said, “The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” So will a community.

The story about the no confidence vote by a few teachers was one-sided and based on an anonymous letter. Journalists should work hard to get all sides of a story, and anonymous letters are not worth the ink it takes to print them.

Dr. Toda seems to have the support of the board of directors that hired him. So I suggest that the faculty allow Dr. Toda to do what he was hired to do — lead. And perhaps the faculty can focus on what they were hired to do — teach. Then maybe the college can get back to the business of building dreams and transforming lives.

David Clear

The Dalles

Editor’s note: The nine department chairs of the 13-member Instructional Council voted unanimously Aug. 7 to approve the resolution outlining the reasons for their lack of confidence in Toda. During a fall in-service meeting Sept. 21, other faculty members voted on the same resolution, with 40 voting no confidence. The anonymous letter sent to The Chronicle that contained the text of the resolution was confirmed legimate by CGCC faculty members Tim Schell and Dan Ropek.


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