Sunday, August 13, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Remember the high-falutin branding that the administration of the ever-evolving, chameleon-like Texas Southmost College-University of Texas "partnership" used to concoct seems like every few weeks?

At first, the partnership was deemed a "unique" experiment combining the best of a world-ranked university system withe the best of a community-based college institution designed to serve the special needs of a culturally-diverse population.

That changed after a bit when people began to realize that all the money that was fueling the "partnership" was the tax base of the community college and the millions in debt they voluntarily incurred to pay for facility construction bonds because under the terms of the "partnership," the UT System was not responsible for allotting funds for construction.

Tuition fees were pegged at university levels, albeit the results were more like a dropout-plagued school district.

Then they started calling it a "community university," again, another "unique" invention that the TSC-UTB administration under Julieta Garcia and her pliant boards of trustees concocted in a wild flight of fancy. Slowly, even that wore off and the administration sought to paint the partnership as a learning center of the hemisphere and the jumping off point for learning for all of Latin America.

After 22 years of fleecing the tax payers of the community college district – starting in 1991 – the Garcia branding and sloganeering was  bit much and TSC became operationally independent in 2013.

Yet, the pretense was continued well after Garcia was replaced as president of the new and improved University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). She invented something called the "Institute of the Americas," that was supposed to be a beacon of learning and knowledge to be shined on Latin America from the second story of the Cueto Building.

But the new administration at the UT System at Austin didn't have the threshold of pain that TSC taxpayers did. They shut that little show down quick and placed Garcia at some office in Austin where they could keep an eye on her while she compiled awards and plaudits for her "revolutionary" educational acumen.

Well, TSC since has been on the road to recovery since the Garcia Dark Ages and has returned to its original mission that had been tossed on the side of the road when the branders took over the cash register.

Just recently – and without much pomp or fanfare – TSC did something that Garcia and the UT System didn't do in the 23 years they had control of the college. They actually established a formal relationship with the educational institutions right across the Rio Grande.

In an attempt to strengthen their friendship and partnership, the college invited Mexican university presidents to TSC to see for themselves what opportunities the community college has offer to their students. The Mexican university presidents took a tour of the campus while talking to TSC officials on how to implement their memorandum of understanding.

Prior to that, in June, TSC entered into a MOU with the Secretary of Education in Tamaulipas, Hector Escobar Salazar, which will allow TSC and universities in Tamaulipas to expand and exchange programs at their respected campuses.

“This is sort of the next step,” TSC Interim President Mike Shannon told the local daily. “Now we’re starting to meet people and starting to put faces and names together, and so this is just the next step in the process.”

We notice that this basic first step to establish ties with our neighbors didn't require the community to encumber itself with millions in debt or to hire expensive consultants to guide the administration's hand. In its face, it seemed like a logical first step. A first step, by the way, that was delayed by 23 years of the wasted years under the so-called "partnership."


Anonymous said...

So who was actually to blame - Juliet or UT? We did see a lot of infrastructure with Juliet, didn't we?

Anonymous said...

TSC is still an "Alternative High School." clearly.

Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveiras Austin World about to get rocked

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying people from Mexico have more opportunities here than in mexico?...Mexicans see what they have to offer in Mexico, yet they see selling their blood in the USA as a better viable option...

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying people from Mexico have more opportunities here than in mexico?...Mexicans see what they have to offer in Mexico, yet they see selling their blood in the USA as a better viable option...

August 13, 2017 at 10:06 PM

If they pay the international tuition rate, WHICH THEY DO, they are entitled just as everyone else on this side. I don't care if they come from Mexico, China or Argentina. If they PAY in American dollars, they have the right to use the services available to them.
When I was getting an M.A., I remember applying for a "graduate tuition scholarship" and paying only for my parking permit. When I told that to many of my fellow graduate students, some told me they didn't know the "graduate tuition scholarship" existed, others told me they didn't care much for all the time and effort it took to apply, others just said they were not interested. International students PAY, American student have the options but don't use them.

Anonymous said...

If TSC is defined as an "alternative high school", it means that BISD is not doing its job to prepare students for higher education. BISD doesn't do its job to prepare students for higher education or for life, in general. TSC as a stand alone community college is what Brownsville needs now. Juliet Garcia sold out this community to UT System and the "Partnership" only facilitated giving local taxes to the UT System. Juliet Garcia got her training in manipulating peoples money from Mary Rose Cardenas...the Queen of deception.

Anonymous said...

We are talking about academic options for everyone

Anonymous said...

Blogger at 10:47 - where did you go to school? Our of all the RGV schools, BISD has been rated the top educational institution as far as success after graduation and many do not stay here at TSC selecting prestigious colleges where they excel in many areas. Many of us, if not all of us, were educated by BISD and if we learned we learned and if we didn't it was because we didn't care and our parents didn't bother to push us. Quit knocking the hand the feeds you, carbon! Where are your kids going to school?

Anonymous said...

Embidiosos los mismos mejicanos! Que falta de respeto a la Senora Cardenas de parte de los que la oponen. Esa Senora trabajo todo su vida a lado de su esposo para tener lo que llegaron a tener. Sirvieron a la communidad en muchas cosas y nunca le pidieron nada a nadien. Al contratrio, que tal tu?
La Senora Cardenas se merese mucho respeto y nuestras gracias por todo lo que
ella, a in que esta malita, sigue ayudando al pueblo y a mucha gente.

Anonymous said...

Thank you TSC Board of Trustees, past and present. All journeys begin with a single step and this journey has just begun.