Former city councilor Andrew Feldman says he’s leaving his position at Luna Community College in part because of the dysfunction that exists with the board of trustees.
“It’s bittersweet because I like Vegas,” Feldman said during a recent telephone interview. “Vegas is unique. There’s great people here. It’s a great place to live, but I have to go where my career takes me. I love my home. I love this town. It’s a great place, but it’s time for a new adventure.”
Feldman’s last day at Luna was Aug. 15. He had worked at Luna for seven years and served as the school’s director of Science, Math & Engineering Technology.
He begins his new job as dean of science, engineering and math at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon, on Sept. 9.
Feldman has lived in Las Vegas for the past 11 years and served a four-year term as a city councilor. He has been active in water issues.
Feldman is one of several high profile employees at Luna who have left since the board election in March. Since then, there has been a power struggle among board members.
Among the other employees who have left are Lawrence Quintana, the former human resources director, and Susan Groh-man, director of Luna’s Health Sciences Department.
“The biggest problem right now, and part of my decision was because of the way the board of trustees is behaving,” Feldman said. “They need to start acting in a way that looks out for the institution and for the students instead of on their own. This is not all of them. This is only some of them.”
Feldman said in his view, board members Frankie Tenorio, Tony Valdez and David Gutierrez care about Luna and try to do what’s best for the institution.
“It’s the rest of them that are not doing what’s in the best interest of the institution,” Feldman said. “I want Luna to succeed. There’s a bunch of great people who work there. They deserve to have a good institution.”
Ironically, three board members presented Luna President Pete Campos with a letter on Aug. 14 complaining about low morale. The letter, from Dan Romero, Kenny Medina and Ernie Chavez, states, “The morale of the school is very low and continues to deteriorate. This low morale is sure to be a factor in the accreditation process and the outcome of the accreditation. The President should be engaged, accessible and responsive in trying to improve such morale...
“Staff occupying important positions at the school are leaving because of poor morale and unresponsiveness of administration to the needs of the programs.”
The letter goes on to raise other concerns and asks Campos to be on campus as much as possible and to present the board with a work schedule for the remaining time that Campos is at Luna.
Feldman said the instability with the board of trustees is the problem, not Campos.
Feldman said morale has been hurt by the actions of the board, but he said the bigger issue is that employees are worried about what the board is going to do and how that’s going to affect them.
“I think morale could be better, but I don’t think it’s bad,” he said. “People want to see good, strong leadership from the board, and they’re not seeing that...”