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'Portland Community College President Jesus 'Jess' Carreon's decision to leave PCC for a similar position in Dallas, Texas, is disheartening.

'In less than two years, Carreon had helped to make PCC, already a very good college system, even better at a time in which public agencies and programs, particularly schools, are being battered and cut down in size and quality.

'Oregon Ñ not just Washington County and the rest of the PCC district Ñ will greatly miss Carreon. In a very short time, Carreon served notice that he was serious about his belief that a strong, properly funded community college system is very important to Oregon as a whole. Carreon preached a message to citizens, businesspeople and state leaders that they should think so, too, and make stronger investments in our community colleges.

'His ability to be direct, articulate and clear about educational needs for students from kindergarten through community college will be missed. His leaving is one more case of Oregon losing out on the leadership drain to other states and by resistance of civic and business leaders to help steer Oregon out of its current mess.'

Ñ From an editorial published May 8 in the Beaverton Valley Times