Between merging administrations, revamping the curriculum, and the director of the program stepping down, UT's Community College Leadership Program is going through questionable changes.
Known for its prestigious alumni that have gone to become successful college administrators, UT’s Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) is undergoing some renovations.
One renovation is its recent decision to start a new Higher Education Leadership Program by merging the community college and university’s higher education administration programs together.
Also, the CCLP is abandoning old practices by now undergoing a new curriculum. The curriculum will focus more on scholarly research of publishing and writing rather than applied research.
Then, with the recent departure of former director John Roueche, and its shrinking graduation class, the decision has raised much controversy amongst alumni and other higher education officials at UT.
Roueche expressed his thoughts on the merge and new curriculum to Inside Higher Ed about his uncertainty of the programs future:
“It’s clear that UT is following other major research universities in disengaging from the business of training community college presidents, despite a coming wave of retirements among leaders in the sector, which faces newfound prominence and deep challenges.”
This also prompted his decision to resign as director after nearly fifty years.
However, some disagree with his views. Norma Cantu, chairwoman of UT’s Department of Educational Administration, believes that although the program may “have a sense of being dismantled,” it is only undergoing renovations to improve the community college’s department.
Despite having some revenue disagreements between community college administrators, Manuel Justiz, dean of UT’s College of Education, also believes nothing is to be worried about.
“Our level of commitment (to community colleges) is going to increase,” Justiz said in a Texas Tribune article.
Others who have a strong affiliation with the community college like Bryon McClenney, director of Student Success Initiatives for the program, and Kay McClenney, leader of Center for Community College Student Engagement, have expressed their thoughts about the uncertainty but importance behind the program.
Bryon McClenney told the Texas Tribune that if doctoral programs are not established to “deal with the students… then this nation is going to be in decline.”