Sorry for the hiatus, here. I spent a week in Taos teaching at the Taos Summer Writers Conference (7/12-7/18) and the past week has been a flurry of activity in anticipation of the Wednesday 7/29 vote by the city of Santa Fe councilors on whether the city will acquire the land where the College of Santa Fe now resides. More on that below.
First, I want to say that it was my extreme pleasure to work with three wonderful poets in Taos--Raquel Flowers Rivera, Tina Carlson, and Dorothy Brooks--who brought their poetry manuscripts and worked very hard, all week, getting them ready to submit for publication. I am hoping to see all three mss. in print soon.
And, I do want to stand in favor of the city deal to acquire the land where the College of Santa Fe now stands. The deal will NOT COST RESIDENTS OF SANTA FE ANYTHING, no increase in taxes, no money out of residents' pockets. The deal with Laureate, Inc. (which will take over the administration of College of Santa Fe, thereby saving the college) means that Laureate will pay for the college's outstanding bond debt through its lease of the land from the city of SF. And, best of all, the city acquires the land and can lease it out (to Laureate and others) to generate revenue. It's a win-win deal for the city.
This said, I also spent many hours with Laureate last week, assuring myself (so I can assure you) that they are committed to the Santa Fe community, connecting the "new" College of Santa Fe with local residents, and providing access to education for local and regional post-secondary students. The college will still be pricey (no more than it was before, about 24K a year), still on par with high-quality liberal arts colleges, but scholarships will be available and Laureate is looking at offering in-state students a special fee for tuition. No, it won't be as inexpensive as our state institutions, but the new CSF will be a premiere, international institution for the arts and won't be like any NM state college/university.
I want Santa Feans to know that I asked Laureate many straightforward and hard questions in order to be assured that it's the right thing for the College of Santa Fe, its students, staff, alumnae, and for the community. I believe it is. Please urge your city councilors to vote FOR this deal.