Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal
New Coastal Bend College President Dr. Thomas Baynum made it clear on Friday he sees CBC as one college with many equal sites.
He said it has nothing to do with taxes; it has to do with students.
"All the students are Coastal Bend students, all the programs are Coastal Bend programs and today was very important for us. Our whole administrative team threw ourselves in a van and came down. It's all Coastal Bend College. I don't see myself sitting in any one of those colleges; we're all working together," Baynum said.
In this new administration, CBC-Alice Director Dr. Rito Silva will report directly to Baynum. It will be his role to communicate as often as possible about what is taking place at the Alice site.
Baynum said he wants to take a direct approach with students and staff by holding monthly forums at the Alice site, to allow students and faculty an opportunity to voice questions or concerns they may have.
"I think that might be a little of a change. I hope to make it more real for people, so it's not just verbiage. When the students have a question, their questions are going to be answered by the same people here as the students in Beeville," Baynum said. "Their questions are going to go to me and the vice president, their concerns are going to be my concerns, and we're going to be here with them.
"When a student comes to Coastal Bend they should have the same opportunities, the same kind of services no matter where they go."
Baynum said his ultimate goal would be to have key programs hubbed at each one of the sites, instead of all at one area in Beeville. For example, the oil and gas program will be hubbed in Alice. So students from Beeville would come here for those programs.
He said his whole view is that Coastal Bend College is one college, not a main branch with three sub-sites.
Baynum said the potential for growth here and the potential of service to the community is incredible. Baynum met with Alice Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez and Alice ISD superintendent Henry Herrera, and he said without exception, people are excited about Alice.
"It's really exciting for the college, Coastal Bend or any college, to be a part of that," Baynum said. "I plan to be here, a part of Alice as I am a part of Beeville."