TSC dismisses its president

BROWNSVILLE — After hearing more than two hours of evidence, the Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees decided yesterday in a public dismissal hearing to terminate President Lily F. Tercero.

Trustees Reynaldo Garcia and Art Rendon voted against the motion for dismissal, while Chairwoman Adela Garza, Vice Chairman Trey Mendez, and Trustees Ruben Herrera, Ramon Champion Hinojosa and Tony Zavaleta voted for dismissal.

Tercero was represented by attorney Richard A. Illmer of Husch Blackwell, a law firm based out of Dallas.

“We are disappointed with the result, but it is not unexpected,” Illmer said. “We will be reviewing her legal options to decide where to go from here.”

At the hearing, TSC attorney Frank Perez listed the nine reasons for cause for dismissal, among them her handling of the windstorm insurance policy (which was renewed without board approval), her inability to inform the board of the deteriorating nursing program, and her failure to comply with “reasonable” requests.

Tercero renewed the policy when she was informed it was set to expire in two weeks, which was not enough time to go out for bids. Illmer said she was advised she had one more year to automatically renew the policy.

Perez disagreed. Prior to former vice president for finance and administration Chet Lewis’s resignation in October, he informed the board at the April 23, 2015 meeting that it was the last year the college could automatically renew.

“There was a discussion on timing of when the item should be brought to the board in 2016 and a couple of comments were made. … She was present at the meeting, and I assume she was paying attention,” Perez said.

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