A fascinating article about Orange Coast College appeared in--of all places--La Prensa San Diego, one of the oldest bilingual newspapers in the United States. In it, longtime Costa Mesa activist and former OCC professor Humberto Caspa alleges that the community college is thinking about eliminating a "History of Mexico" course he once taught.
"Some might call it a ploy against Mexican-American students or bashing Mexico's Independence Day," Caspa writes. "I see it more as a matter of survival inside a campus feeling the onslaught of the economic recession. Latin American Studies is the weakest link in a department dominated by Western History tenured professors."
Caspa calls out Dr. Paul Asim, dean of the school's social science division, at the end. This prompted a spirited denial from Asim when the Weekly contacted him.
"The article by Dr. Humberto Caspa in La Prensa,San Diego, dated Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 is irresponsible because it is NOT true," Asim wrote to the
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via email. "A history course entitled 'History of Mexico' is not 'on the fringe of extinction.' It was offered and taught during Spring 2010 semester. It is being offered and taught again during the current Fall 2010 semester. It will be offered and taught again during the Spring 2011 semester. Does that look like it is 'on the fringe of extinction'?
But Assim went on to offer a qualifier--that schools "statewide...will closely examine all their course offerings to see which courses need to be offered every semester and which courses might be offered with frequency of less than every semester." Asim concludes, however, by stating, "Finally, I assure you that History of Mexico is alive and doing quite well at Orange Coast College. Dr. Caspa is sadly mistaken, and it is unfortunate that he would write such an inaccurate and misleading article."
Hmm...how can we blame this on Allan Mansoor?