Emails allege race remarks by Guzmán

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Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2013 11:00 pm

Following the release late this week of thousands of emails documenting strife on the Santa Fe Community College campus under recently ousted president Ana “Cha” Guzmán, additional emails obtained Saturday indicate a Governing Board member had raised concerns that Guzmán may have made racial remarks.

In an email dated Sept. 16, 2013, to Guzmán — who was terminated by the Governing Board early this month in a bitterly divided vote — board member Kathy Keith said she was afraid some comments Guzmán had made “may lead others to think that the college may be tolerating an environment that could lead to discrimination against certain groups.”

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  • Ella Trujillo posted at 10:23 am on Sat, Dec 28, 2013.

    Martinez22 Posts: 9

    When the voters don't pay attention to the election of SFCC Board Members, this is what happens! It is the Board who hires the President and then sends emails regarding personnel matters...dumb, dumb! We need a Board of Directors not a Board of Dictators!

  • Ben Martinez posted at 9:40 am on Thu, Dec 26, 2013.

    Ben Martinez Posts: 5

    Establishing trust is paramount when a new leader takes office. It is obvious that during Guzman's time at SFCC, she did the exact opposite--established fear and distrust throughout the organization. While her comments about hiring blacks may be in dispute, the FACT is that Guzman made executive decisions based on race when she stated that she wanted to 'break up “the white women’s country club” at the college'. This is a discriminatory statement and reveals the true nature of Guzman's intent--this is more than just 'mentioning' words Abbermudez--it is using a position of power to further Guzman's bigotry.

    Guzman's intolerance of critics and her inability to establish trust in a professional and collaborative manner led to her demise. This is the 'real' reason--Abbermudez--and I applaud the board members that had the resolve and courage to make this decision.

    Going forward, it will take time to mend the damage of Guzman's reign of terror. This may be a perfect time for the board to review various SFCC policies and the system of checks and balances that would prevent a repeat of this series of poor presidential behavior. As the saying goes: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

  • Cynthia Martinez posted at 11:33 am on Mon, Dec 23, 2013.

    tigerlily Posts: 33

    Agreed, Abbermudez. Anytime there is an allegation of 'racism' it should be a giant red flag ...the situation should be examined deeply and painstakingly. That accusation of racism - used often in a wreckless way by certain types of people to vindicate personal grudges - has lost a lot of credibility thanks to just such use.

  • Abbermudez posted at 7:11 am on Mon, Dec 23, 2013.

    Abbermudez Posts: 7

    It is very dangerous to confuse hearsay with fact as one can end up with slander. The allegation that president Guzman used a racist statement has been disputed in this article by the only person who was present. It is allegations like this that the Board should fear when this case is heard in Court. Just as there is a difference between misunderstandings and lies, there is also a big difference between being a racist and mentioning the words Black,Latino, White.... If we as a public who supports education do not find out the real reason why Dr. Guzman was terminated (and why now), we are simply sweeping this otherwise inexplicable event under the rug. Hardly the way to give SFCC a fresh start!

  • Stan Bies posted at 10:26 am on Sun, Dec 22, 2013.

    Patron Posts: 37

    SFCC needs to move on with a new search ASAP . Time to hire a Leader not a "Change Agent" with an agenda preset by the Board or individual Board Members.

    Like it or not higher ed organizations are not corporations but communities. Find a candidate that understands how a college works. Change is important and maybe required but you have to end the process with a functioning organization ready to move forward enthusiastically. Go fast but do it the right way.Stop digging a deeper hole that will cause real impediments to finding a great successor.


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