Two Pima Community College Governing Board members are facing possible recalls.
One campaign was launched against Scott Stewart, and one against Marty Cortez today. The backers of the campaigns allege the board members contributed to the reasons the college is now on probation.
PCC was placed on probation in 2012, and now must prove it meets the Higher Learning Commission's standards on a number of regulations, ranging from academic to administrative.
The commission placed PCC on probation after a report cited numerous issues with administration, human resources, and financial oversight. The college has until July to submit a report showing it has rectified the problems.
The recalls are being conducted separately, but in conjunction with one another. Phil Lopes is leading the recall effort against Cortes, and Cort Chalfant is leading the recall effort against Stewart. The recall attempts come after several requests for the four board members who have been in office since Chancellor Roy Flores's tenure. They are Stewart and Cortez, plus David Longoria and Brenda Even.
“I’m convinced, speaking only for myself, that in order for Pima to get off probation and not risk its accreditation, these board members have to go," Lopes said. "They were the ones that were there when all of these decisions that were made that the Higher Learning Commission found to be dangerous to their accreditation.”
The groups leading the recalls plan to launch another against Longoria later, Lopes said. They are not targeting Even because she is up for reelection in November, at the same time as the recall elections would be held if they make it to the ballot.
“Pima is too important to this community for there to be any question about the validity of Pima’s degrees, and that’s what would happen if the accreditation was lost,” Lopes said.
To recall Cortez, the campaign must submit 10,500 signatures by early May. To recall Stewart, the campaign must submit 15,000 signatures by the same deadline, Lopes said.