Campos reverses course

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Accepts one-year contract extension at Luna

By Martin Salazar

Eight months ago  — amid continued deteriorating relations with the board — Luna Community College President Pete Campos announced that he planned to retire when his contract with the school expired on June 30, 2014.

Then in February, Campos rejected an offer from the school’s board of trustees to stay on an extra year to help get Luna through its accreditation process.

But with a little more coaxing from some on the board, Campos has changed his mind.

The board voted once again late Monday to offer Campos a one-year contract extension, and this time around, he accepted.

“I am grateful to the Luna Community College Board of Trustees for the opportunity to continue serving as president,” Campos said in a statement issued by the college shortly after Monday night’s meeting.

“I am confident that we will be able to work together to move the college forward and focus on the overall well-being and education of our students,” he said. “They deserve the best we can offer, and I am committed to that. I also believe through our faculty, staff, administration and service area, we will collectively improve our college to be recognized as a strong competitor by preparing our students for the job market.”

A one-year extension means that Campos will remain at Luna’s help through June 30, 2015. The college announced that Campos’ salary and benefits will remain the same.

Campos has served as Luna’s president since July of 2008. He was given a five-year contract when he was hired, and that contract was extended to June 30, 2014 in January 2013.

For most of his tenure as president, Campos has enjoyed support from the trustees. But since a new board was elected last February, Campos and his administration have been subjected to relentless public criticism by trustees.

Still, several Luna board members have been pushing for Campos to remain on as the college’s president for a year given that the college will be undergoing an accreditation review by the Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association. The accreditation process includes an intense self-study that is currently under way and an evaluation site visit in October 2014.

“It’s important that Dr. Pete Campos remains as president during the accreditation process,” Luna board Chairman Abelino Montoya Jr. said in a statement.

“I have witnessed his achievements while he’s been president, and he has taken the college to a new level. His ability to use his senatorial seat to keep Luna Community College in the forefront is important to students, staff and the community. More of our programs are now nationally accredited, which gives our students an opportunity for better jobs and better pay.”

The vote to extend Campos’ contract occurred at a board work session. Typically, the board only discusses items at its work sessions and doesn’t take formal action until its regular meeting.

In this case, however, the board published on its agenda that it would be voting on a contract extension for the president.

Voting for the extension were Montoya, Frankie Tenorio, David Gutierrez and Tony Valdez. Voting against were Dan Romero, Ernie Chavez and Kenneth Medina.