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Presidents Message: A Year about Engagement, Advocacy & Transparency


by Seth Batiste, Ph.D. President, Texas Association of College Teachers


Greetings TACT Members:


I am excited and honored to serve the Texas Association of College Teachers (TACT) as President for the next year. We need to move quickly to get some things done to continue expanding our higher education footprint, something TACT has done for over 70 years! As members, we hope that you will consider joining one of the existing or upcoming TACT committees.


My higher education work began as a director of a federally funded college prep program that led to being recruited to full-time faculty Lone Star College System (LSCS) in August 2009, where I taught developmental Writing, College Success, and ESOL courses. I was appointed Director of Accreditation and Compliance for the System in 2019, and I briefly served as Chief Strategist before retiring in August 2021 and starting a consulting firm.


A special thanks goes to TACT staff lead, Liz Williams for stimulating my engagement as a member and to former TACT President, Dr. Lisa Hobson (University of North Texas-Dallas) who encouraged my board service. The leadership of all board members is what I have in mind as I consider my personal values that align with TACT. They are:

1. Engagement

2. Advocacy

3. Transparency


Engagement

TACT has a valued base of institutions around Texas. We’d like to grow this base by asking fellow members what they would like to see in the organization. To this end, you will see some TACT webpage changes that invite members to share thoughts about what is needed specifically for their campus. Activities are also being planned that foster an openness regarding nuanced concerns that impact our member-base.


Advocacy

Advocacy is the backbone of what we do at TACT. During our next TACT membership drive (stay tuned), we are asking each member to recruit at least two (2) addition members to TACT by sharing what we do…and the possibilities of what we can do through new member voices. By increasing our membership, our advocacy for Texas higher education employees becomes that much more powerful.


Transparency

As a lobby, TACT is accountable to its members. One goal is to increase member participation at our face-to-face and virtual functions. The transparent approach involves engaging members while encouraging each member helps the fellow members through individual and group advocacy efforts on respective campuses and beyond!


Moreover, TACT will continue its core mission of advocacy for the equitable treatment for faculty and higher education employees. TACT works directly with the Texas House and Senate on education issues that matter to our valued state institutions.


Finally, Dr. Jim Klein (Del Mar College), who has tirelessly preceded me as TACT President, has done a fine job in leading the organization, especially in the latest legislative session where he led efforts in thwarting some of the most damaging legislation to faculty tenure, academic freedom, and a host of other bills that TACT felt would ultimately disenfranchise some of our members. There is still work to be done. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Klein for his energy and that he will continue his work as an active TACT board member, even as he serves as a local city leader in Corpus Christi.


Cheers!


Seth Batiste, Ph.D.

TACT President

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