Higher Learning Commission to investigate allegations against Pima College - Tucson Local Media: News

Higher Learning Commission to investigate allegations against Pima College

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:05 am

The Higher Learning Commission will be visiting Tucson in January to investigate allegations that have been made against Pima Community College.

The college was informed through a letter sent by Karen Solinski, the vice president of Legal and Government affairs.

“Earlier this year the Commission received complaints regarding the college from a group that characterizes itself as ‘faculty and staff at Pima Community College,’ Solinski said. “The Commission had also received complaints from another organization, the Coalition for Accountability, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility, echoing some of the concerns articulated in the other compliant.”

The complaints center around allegations of sexual harassment by former Chancellor Ray Flores. Flores retired earlier this year, citing health problems.

The Interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles addressed the allegations in a response to the Commission in July.

Miles called the allegations politically driven in an election year, with two of the five board members up for reelection.

Solinski said the college’s response has been refuted, with claims of it being untrue.

“As previously indicated, the allegations regarding the former president as well as other senior administrators and the Board of Trustees are relevant to the institution’s compliance with Criterion One regarding mission and integrity,” Solinski said. “Finally, the more recent allegation that your response did not candidly and accurately explain the recent circumstances at the college raises additional questions about the institution’s compliance with Core Component I: regarding integrity.”

The Commission will be sending Dr. Kathleen Nelson to conduct a fact-finding visit to the college to investigate the issues identified in the complaint.

In a statement, Miles said she welcomes the Commission, and Pima College will cooperate fully.

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