Regent Guy Watts is once again at the center of controversy, having received a third censure at the Aug. 8 board meeting and a possible fourth on the way.
A censure is the highest form of discontent that the Board of Regents can give to one of its members. However, a censure has no real consequences and is more of a public slap on the wrist to show the public that the board does not approve of what one of their members is doing.
The board has issued three censures since April 2016, with investigations preceding each. However, in fall 2014 the board publicly repudiated statements made by Watts in a letter to the editor for the Island Moon in which Watts claimed that the college was “swamped” by “unprepared” and “remedial” students. Watts attempted to prove his accusations by correlating financial aid grants, illegal immigration and the increased Hispanic population statewide.
Trey McCampbell, chairman of the board, expressed his frustration with Watts.
“A regent has to follow the bylaws, and he isn’t,” McCampbell said.
McCampbell said each censure following the first has been the result of more information regarding Watts that has appeared. The most recent censure stated that a third investigation by Augustin Rivera, the general counsel for the board, had found 36 pieces of evidence pointing to Watts violating six bylaws.
When asked about his censure, Watts said: “Stay out of it. Completely ignore it.”
A fourth investigation has been authorized by the board and a resolution for censure is expected to be reviewed and voted on in a future meeting.