The Barcelo Administration has perfected disaster capitalism at the college, citing manufactured crisis after manufactured crisis as reasons to more than double tuition in the past three years, to cut Heritage Arts Programs and Career Tech Programs, and to reduce courses, faculty and services. When Barcelo pushed to remove NNMC's Child Development Center, popular Associate’s programs in Radiography, Automotive Technology, and Construction Trades in the spring of 2014, a coalition of faculty, staff, and students submitted a “Moral Budget” to the NNMC Board and Administration. It outlined the proposed cuts could be easily offset by minor cuts in Administrative expenditures, the over $260,000 transferred out of instructional to the expenses of the basketball team, and tracing the mysterious loss of millions in assets during the Barcelo Administration that had previously been held in CDs.
The “Moral Budget” submitted to the NNMC Board of Regents and President Barcelo was accompanied by a sheet charting the enormous growth in Administrative salaries and the addition of Administrative Assistants—several of whom are friends, family, and paramours of top Administrators. The chart showed over a million dollar increase in Administrative salaries alone. (See the "Moral Budget" and increases in NNMC Administrative expenditures at: http://www.nnmcstudygroup.org/budget.html )
It has been clear to the community that fiscal mismanagement and the extraction of resources has led to deficits, which Barcelo has used to justify cuts to instruction and direct services to students. In the 2013 Fact Book released by NNMC’s Office of Institutional Advancement, NNMC's own office noted that INSTRUCTION constitutes less than 30% of all of NNMC’s institutional expenditures, while “Institution Support” and “Other Core Expenses” (read = Administrative) are 54% of NNMC expenditures. (2013 Factbook available at: http://www.nnmcstudygroup.org/records.html )
Funding for the no-bid dorm project by an out-of-state limited liability corporation was rejected by the New Mexico Board of Finance in July. The New Mexico Board of Finance was clearly disturbed by the $978,000 in fees charged by Monument Construction (balance outstanding) for a “student housing study” to—as a member of the New Mexico Board of Finance put it to the President of Monument in attendance at the Board of Finance meeting—“[do] the study to show need for housing… and you’ll build it?” Yes, NNMC’s Administration agreed to pay just under one-million dollars to Monument Construction, to determine the need for the student housing Monument would be building to the tune of $13-15 million. (Full story on New Mexico Board of Finance meeting here: http://www.nnmcstudygroup.org/blog/nnmc-dorms-indefinite-hold )
Other expenditures by Barcelo’s Administration have included flying the entire men's basketball team to Hawaii, including Coach Ryan Cordova, his wife, and children. This sports junket was paid by the transfers of money out of instructional that, per NNMC’s VP of Finance, in 2013-2014 totaled over $260,000. Coach Cordova himself receives over $70,000 per year in compensation, and his wife, Brandi Cordova, has been added to the payroll as well. She is one of the growing class of “Administrative Assistants” behind the newly built glass doors of Barcelo’s newly remodeled inner sanctum. Barcelo, perhaps sentimental about her own years playing basketball, has been NNMC's men’s basketball team’s greatest cheerleader—requesting more staff, more services, more locker rooms, more buses and vans, new equipment, new uniforms, and recruitment of men's basketball players from as far away as the Cameroon. All at the expense of instruction and student services.
Coaching the men's basketball team has been especially lucrative for Ryan Cordova. In addition to his salary, which far exceeds that of any faculty appointment at NNMC, Cordova's insider connections have resulted in massive monetary extraction for the Coach, whose resume includes his ownership of “Blue Sky Builders” (Cordova listed himself on his resume as Owner of Blue Sky Builders. A sampling of the original Blue Sky Builders purchase orders, invoices, and payment approvals:http://www.nnmcstudygroup.org/blue-sky-builders---ryan-cordova.html )
Coach Cordova’s family has completed numerous no-bid contracts for NNMC. The NM Secretary of State lists Ryan Cordova as the Vice President of "Blue Sky Builders" (see: http://www.nnmcstudygroup.org/uploads/1/7/6/4/17644239/cordova_biz_liscence.jpg The)
The purchase orders and orders to pay the no-bid contracts (in the hundreds of thousands for 2013-2014 alone) show NNMC's internal "approval to pay signature" as Ryan Cordova's wife, Brandi Cordova. The Cordova family business “Blue Sky Builders” has invoiced the college for a remodel of the NNMC bookstore totaling $309,000, though our local Pueblo-owned Avanyu Contractors bid over $100,000 less for the remodel. (Avanyu’s owner was trained in the very Construction Trades Program that President Barcelo and the Board cut in 2014.) A small sampling of the invoices paid to the Cordova family business “Blue Sky Builders” in 2013-2014 include: $24,690 for a new porch, $19,790 to put silkscreen logo of an eagle on the tile entrance; $17,824 for remodeling the Board room; $13,472 for “debris removal” at the Auto Tech, whose program was closed by Barcelo and the Board; and over $10,000 for rust removal and maintenance for the Child Development Center closed by Barcelo and the Board in 2014.
As NNMC students struggle to pay their last tuition payment for fall 2014 before starting their payment plans for spring 2015, and as tuition continues to increase, NNMC Administrators prioritize: unsuccessful and unnecessary dorm schemes, a sports program that exceeds its budget and is paid for by transfers out of instruction, and no-bid renovations that do more to improve the lives of the Cordova family than the lives of the students, community, or taxpayers who pay out each dollar. As the college continues to sink under President Barcelo's leadership, the Cordova family will have yet another very, very comfortable Christmas season.
And they are, no doubt, looking forward to the cash they will rake in from New Mexico Bond C, passed by voters in 2014. The Bond measure, which provides for capital expenditures for higher education improvements, will go straight from the voter and taxpayer's pockets into the already full pockets of Blue Sky Builders.