An Open Letter to New Cleveland Community College Interim President and Board of Trustees. –And Public Record Requests –By Robert A. Williams

August 6, 2017

Dear Dr. Aiken and the Cleveland Community College Board of Trustees,

My first reports from Cleveland Community College regarding Dr. Aiken taking over as Interim President on August 1, 2017 was that there was a lot of “apple polishing” going on at CCC. Next I see the agenda for the August 8, 2017 Board of Trustees meeting and there are the same presenters as before the recent “scandals” broke, giving the impression that everything is again business as usual at CCC. Then I see Dr. Aiken’s first email message to the CCC administration and staff that states in part “While little will be gained by focusing on the past, I hope that we can rebuild community confidence and campus morale quickly. I look forward to meeting each of you. I will soon visit each department and confirm the many fine things that are already occurring. Feel free to visit me and share your ideas of how we can make improvements in the campus. Change can be healthy especially when it is accompanied by viable solutions.”

I would like to take a few moments to make some comments and explain in detail just how disappointed and concerned I am with the direction CCC appears to be taking.

First, I will say that most of you already know that I am no “apple polisher” and I make no apologies for that. I have spent all of my working career in the nuclear engineering field where the path to excellence is only found by finding and fixing problems, never by phony press releases falsely proclaiming “Happy Days are Here Again!” A perfect example of failing to comprehend this concept was the shutting down just this week of a new generation of nuclear plant being constructed near Columbia, SC. 5,000 workers were dismissed and billions of dollars were lost.

Now, to the point at Cleveland Community College.

Such a statement as “little will be gained by focusing on the past” in the present situation at CCC is totally false, misleading and a planned deception. Again, “Code Words” for business as usual.” Scandals at CCC are not in the “past” just because the CCC Board of Trustees have spent over six months in gridlock. The scandals are still smack dab in the “present” at CCC and those scandals, problems and issues talked about all over CCC and Cleveland County for months now are just as real today as they were ten years ago when they first started to surface and nothing was done. Replacing Former CCC President Thornburg was only the start of the problem fixing process at CCC, not the end of that process. Any objective evaluation of CCC will tell you that. Rebuilding community confidence (receiving donations from the public) in CCC will never occur by such “moving forward” propaganda as the new Interim President and the same old gridlocked Board of Trustees seems to insist they are doing. People in Cleveland County are smarter that you apparently think they are.

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