Original URL: http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/metro/5796.php

TUSD puts 2 ethnic programs under directors
Jan 14, 2004

By Sarah Garrecht Gassen

The TUSD Governing Board created new director positions for its Raza/Mexican-American Studies and Pan Asian Studies departments Tuesday night.

The board will also hire an executive director of multicultural studies to oversee efforts to specifically help minority students.

The moves came after months of pressure from the community asking the Tucson Unified School District for director positions for the Raza/Mexican-American and Pan Asian departments, which now puts them on equal footing with the African-American and Native American studies departments, which have historically had director-level administrators.

The executive director position was created but left unfilled so far, by the administrative restructuring Superintendent Stan Paz did last summer.

It will cost the district about $105,000 a year for the new executive director's position, which was already budgeted. The two new director jobs will cost a total of up to $200,000 a year, which the district must find within the existing budget.

Paz said creating director positions in the Raza/Mexican-American and Pan Asian departments is an issue of equity and parity.

The board voted unanimously to advertise nationally for the new jobs, as well as the existing but unfilled directorship of African-American Studies, as soon as possible.

"It's important for the community to see we're doing the right thing," Paz said.

The directorships emerged as a hot issue over the summer when Paz restructured the administration and community groups were upset by a lack of minority individuals in his executive-level staff.

"This is good news," said Gus Chavez, Pima Community College history department faculty member who criticized Paz for the restructuring. "It's about time the Mexican-American Studies Department was on equal par with the other programs. We're the greater part of the population, and we deserve our own programs and at least a director."