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14 thoughts on “Diversity is as diversity does

  1. dyfed

    Their student body is significantly more diverse than Buncombe County is—any more diverse than it is and it wouldn’t be representative of the people who actually live here. What’s the problem?

    • luther blissett

      “any more diverse than it is and it wouldn’t be representative of the people who actually live here. ”

      That’s a strange piece of logic. What’s the function of A-B Tech and community colleges in general?

      • dyfed

        To educate people. So again, what’s the problem with the composition of the student body at AB Tech?

        • luther blissett

          Small steps. What’s different about A-B Tech and community colleges compared to UNCA or WCU or Warren Wilson or… Duke?

          • dyfed

            There are many things different about them. I’m sorry, I don’t really have the time to play at Socratic dialogues with you. Would you like to answer my question?

          • luther blissett

            You have time to hang out odd arguments about benchmarks. A-B Tech serves the county in general, but it has a particular set of priorities that don’t necessarily map to the entire county. Other tertiary educators have different priorities.

  2. Dedicated Educator

    Wow, this is not only inaccurate, but needlessly cruel to a wonderful institution and a dedicated public servant who has devoted his entire career to serving students in community colleges! Does your paper even understand the issues in play here? ONE commissioner complained about spending money on the building after having already voted not once, but three times to build and fund it. Did it occur to you to explore why he changed his position? It wasn’t because he didn’t know what he was voting on! Read the minutes – he knew exactly what he was voting for. ONE other commissioner asked about the diversity of the college’s student body. This commissioner also openly admitted she had an exe to grind with the college over a personal issue and, according to your own report, her diversity question was prompted by a disgruntled former employee. For the record, A-B Tech’s student body diversity is greater than the community’s , currently over 18%, as reported in your own publication. And, finally, ONE other commissioner unnecessarily attacked Dr. King for his presentation to county commission. Public insults are always unnecessary and unkind, but since Dr. King was asked to present to the commission on ALL current and future needs of the college, it was truly out of line. But, in that commissioner’s defense, most commissioners seemed confused and apparently didn’t realize the intended scope of the presentation since another commissioner chose to cloud the issue by focusing on a single building – a building that had already been approved and was about to be built! Nor have you reported that NC STATE LAW requires the county to fund all A-B Tech facility needs and that Buncombe County secured a special state law to take control of A-B Tech’s construction projects. Some folks are making it sound as if the college is demanding new buildings; those casting stones should actually explore the state of the buildings should they be under the misperception that most are new or in good condition. The county used to give A-B Tech $8 million a year to meet facility needs, but a few years ago reduced the annual appropriation to $6 million — have you explored that issue? The quarter-cent sales tax is a measly 25 CENTS on every $100 dollars spent, much of which is paid by tourists. But Buncombe County would still be responsible for A-B Tech buildings without it and might have to look at raising property taxes to meet the needs for which it is responsible. A-B Tech is by far the largest college in WNC, serving around 25,000 students a year from five locations. Yet the county has recommended demolishing two buildings on the A-B Tech campus and selling the Enka property, where there were two other buildings. That is a loss of four buildings, not one! Running a college and programming for education is complicated and complex at best — it shouldn’t have to be explained in five minutes at 9:30 at night to people who are not educators or contractors. Your depiction in this cartoon and your reporting have been extremely unfair to all A-B Tech employees. We’re definitely not here for the money! We are dedicated to serving our students and helping them improve their lives every single day and it is insulting to us and our students when the news media mischaracterizes a few questions from commissioners who aren’t familiar with the scope of the college or the county’s responsibilities to the college as an indictment of the college. There are thousands of alumni and students who can attest to the value of A-B Tech. Ultimately, our current and future students are the people most harmed by the biased reporting and needlessly cruel depictions! And, finally, employees of A-B Tech also recognize it when a former employee of the college is suddenly writing demeaning news reports about us. Ethically, you should not allow a former employee to cover the college, but you should, at the very least, disclose it every time he writes about A-B Tech.


  3. Deplorable Infidel

    Speaking of diversity, WHY do we continue to FUND TWO government screwl systems that avoid DIVERSITY by not meshing together ‘for the children’ ? Could it be overpaid ‘educators’ that have to justify they jobs ? WHY do even NEED a ‘City School Foundation’ ? With true DIVERSITY in an ALL ONE system, there would be no need, and they would not have to occupy part of a PUBLIC school building for their operations.

    • bsummers

      Woop! Woop! Woop! Off-topic police!! Pull that thing over, Fred Caudle!

    • bsummers

      Check the cartoon, duh. It’s about A-B Tech, a community college, not your unrelated pet issue of gutting Asheville K-12 schools. Simply including a word from the title doesn’t make it ‘on-topic’.

      • Able Allen

        Okay, the ruling on the field is: on topic enough. Please don’t quibble about it. And save some of your educational thoughts for upcoming articles on public education.

  4. Deplorable Infidel

    it helps to explain the millions of WASTED tax dollars frittered away by running two separate systems…people are waking up to this gross injustice to the taxpayers…

  5. Idris

    I was at the meeting last night. I stayed for 3 hours and spoke.
    I am also a student at AB-Tech. If anyone thinks it’s diverse or even close to 70/30, you need a reality check. Ab-Tech may be more diverse than others (and that’s not saying much), it’s not even as close as to being diverse. How do you connect with a certain ethnic group when you don;t have anyone in place that identifies with that group?
    Are you going to send a wolf to attract sheep?

    Money is being wasted. I’m in one of the groups affected. And those in the group (black and white) are angered by the recent events.

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