Tuesday, February 14, 2017


By Juan Montoya
On May 12, 2012, 1,377 voters of the Texas Southmost College District cast their votes for Dr. Reynaldo Garcia.
TSC was in the process of dissolving the ruinous "partnership" between it and the University of Texas at Brownsville. Garcia was seen as lending some stability to the TSC board as it sought to disentangle itself from the UT System which it had subsidized for the past 20 years.

Garcia's six-year term as a board trustee will end in May 2018. We think that the good doctor may want to consider resigning before then. Here's why.

Garcia and former TSC trustee have filed formal complaints with the SACS-COC, the entities that have the authority to either give or remove the accreditation of TSC, the only community college in Brownsville. In their complaint, the two men are asking the SCS-COC to sanction the board – and indirectly – the college for what they see as meddling by the board in the administrative functions of the college.

The options before the SACS-COC range between reviewing the complaints and proceeding with a formal investigation and review of TSC's accreditation. One of the options of the COC is to remove the community college's accreditation. Garcia took an oath to accept the fiduciary duty to protect the college.

An individual in whom another (in this case, the 1,377 voters) has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. It is a relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another's benefit.

A fiduciary relationship encompasses the idea of faith and confidence and is generally established only when the confidence given by one person is actually accepted by the other person. Mere respect for another individual's judgment or general trust in his or her character is ordinarily insufficient for the creation of a fiduciary relationship. The duties of a fiduciary include loyalty and reasonable care of the assets within custody. All of the fiduciary's actions are performed for the advantage of the beneficiary.

When Torres, as a former TSC trustee, complains to the SACS-COC, he is now acting on his own as an individual. But when Garcia joins in as a sitting TSC board member and undertakes an action (his complaint) that may result in harm and damage to the very institution he has sworn to protect it is a very different situation.

We know that Garcia was in the losing end of the 5-2 vote to dismiss former TSC President Lily Tercero. She has also filed a lawsuit in federal court against the majority and TSC seeking more than $650,000 in back pay for the three-year extension unwisely given her by the outgoing board members, a vote in which Garcia joined.

But other trustee have been on the minority, often losing votes that were important to them. But they didn't strike out against the institution they swore to protect. Their loyalty was to the college nurtured for more than 70 years by this community and which has provided them and their children an avenue to get an accessible and affordable rung up to better their lives. Garcia's loyalty is obviously to the former president, and not to them.

Garcia is not a child, although some of this actions like this one would seem to indicate it. He knows that the answers to his (and Torres') complaints with the SACS-COC review will be incorporated into the Tercero lawsuit against the very institution he represents. By providing the former president with a weapon to wage her lawsuit which might harm TSC, he is being a willing derelict to the fiduciary duty and trust that he sought from TSC voters.

For that reason alone, he should resign.


Anonymous said...

You are out of your mind,Juan.

Anonymous said...

The real fiduciary neglect goes back to the original 4: Adela, Rene, Trey and Kiko. It's been awhile, but we won't forget that!!

Anonymous said...

Ever think that he may be right....and the review is necessary???

Anonymous said...

Garcia needs to go

Anonymous said...

The weapons to wage the lawsuit against TSC were given to Dr Tercero by Adela Garza and her board when they violated her rights over and over again. Those actions by an ignorant board are going to cost TSC lots of money. Those five board member that voted should step down for violating their fiduciary responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Those "five" are the ones that need to step down before they get stepped on by SACS-COC. Ignorance is bliss!

Anonymous said...

Why would the answers from Garcia's and Torres's complainant from TSC to SACSCOC be be a weapon for Dr. Tercero in her lawsuit against TSC if the majority of the board did nothing wrong? You are clearly afraid the answers will be incriminating. Just saying!