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Sierra College losses nothing new

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During the Sierra College board of trustees meeting Tuesday, I was dismayed to learn that during a period of increasing revenues, Sierra College administrators were beginning to systematically dismantle several vocational education programs. According to President (Leo) Chavez’s figures, state revenues steadily increased from $64 million in 2001-02 to $97 million in 2008-09. I was dismayed, because during that same time, the administration refused to replace key retiring faculty beginning in 2002, resulting in the demise of the machining program, the deterioration of the cabinetry program and the dismantling of the horticulture program. There was also a move to dismantle the ag program in 2002, but it was saved at the time with a massive letter-writing campaign. Just prior to dismantling, these programs were popular and extremely well attended. So I do not believe the underlying issue is merely one of finances, though that is now the cause in vogue. There are clearly other behind-the-scenes factors. It would be interesting if someone could do some investigative reporting on this issue. I imagine Marcia Braga, former chair of the horticulture program, and Ed Wicks, former chair of the construction program, could provide much information. Aileen Kader, Davis