Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cookie Mas w/ Cuban cigars

     Yesterday, Rebel Girl and King David put on their annual “Cookie Mas” event, a delightfully loose and informal all-day party, featuring cookies (some baked by David’s mom, others baked by humanistic epicureans and dastardly feminists), cider, cheese 'n' crackers, and much mas. Cookie Mas—or "Cookiemas"—is vaguely Christmassy (some red and green cookies, natch), seriously informal (clothing optional), and way fun (Cuban cigars all around). It is always held, of course, in that ridiculous locus of the rotting wing of A200—known laughingly as the “faculty lounge,” a set of couches and chairs and patience-testing HP equipment. (Our “faculty lounge” used to feature a noise-making Scantron machine, too, but a clever and rogue colleague banished that Flintstonian device to the nearby, soul-sucking duplicating/mail room/fortress/chamber.)

     All manner of persons dropped by throughout the day, including colleagues of other Schools—other, that is, than Humanities & Life Sciences, for the Reb and King D are members of those estimable units—administrators, classified employees (who seemed particularly happy to be there), students, and even one or two varmints, though no maggoty rats or mold spores.

The Reb was, again, intermittent host & cheerleader
     “Where,” asked some visitors, “was the scene of the notorious maggoty rat?” I showed ‘em. “It’s gone now, seriously gone now,” I insisted, sensing an unsavory clash between cookie and maggot. Jeannie insisted on telling the whole story, including mention of "300 writhing maggots on the carpet."

     At one point, the Reb declared that this would be the "last Cookie Mas ever to be held in A200," a factoid that immediately inspired tears and "ahhhhs." Feeling sentimental, I pondered: Can an event really be a Humanities event, if it does not occur in a lurid corner of a rotting and molding building?


     I do believe that yesterday’s Cookie Mas, the best Mas ever, achieved a fevered pitch at about noon yesterday. I was in my office preparing and grading exams, but I could hear the laughing and joking and Twister-playing in the background, a pleasant din. Someone yelped. Laughter. Swoonage. "Just like old times," I said.

     I will be insisting that the Reb and King D claim Flex Credit for this event, which exceeded virtually all other college events, official or otherwise, in camaraderie and funitude.

King D resides in the weird end of campus

Tell all the relatives: this is how we drive to work in So Cal

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Marie de la Palme (1959-2014): An Illuminated Heart

Marie De La Palme-Mulroy, IVC Professor of Dance passed away on December 14 at age 55 after a long struggle with breast cancer. "Madame De La Palme," as she was called by her students, was a wonderful colleague, a generous and radiant presence in the classroom, on the stage and in the world.  She is survived by her husband, son and daughter — and her legions of students and colleagues.

Click on the above video to watch her perform Le Coeur Illuminé (The Illuminated Heart), Choreography: Marie de la Palme. Music: Maurice Ravel, Adagio Movement for Concerto in G Major.

In the Lariat two years ago:

IVC Awards Teacher of the Year : Marie de la Palme

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to:

Marie de la Palme Memorial Scholarship Fund:



Monday, December 15, 2014

December meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: singin' the adjunct blues!

     (Be sure to read Tere's Board Meeting Highlights.)

     About nine green shirts (faculty union presence) in the room....

     6:02 - meeting starts. Reading of actions in closed session: Some law firm's claim against SOCCCD rejected, reported Marcia.
     The usual: invocation/pledge: yadda yadda yadda

     6:03: Jemal speaks:
     A guest: appointed by Gov Brown a few weeks ago, OC Judgeship. My wife, says Jemal. Attractive, elegant looking (nice threads) woman walks up to the podium and swears in Prendergast, Padberg, and Milchiker. (I think I'm in love.)
     That goes well.

Annual organizational meeting: officers of the board

     Jemal: nominates TJ Prendergast for Pres. (to serve again). Gets a 2nd. Unanimous vote.

     Milchiker nominates Tim Jemal for VP. 2nd. Unanimous vote.
     [This is excellent. Jemal is a bright bulb on this board. Let's hope he makes the move to Prez next year.]
     Lang nominates Jim Wright for Clerk. 2nd by Padberg. Jay nominates Marcia for Clerk.
     Procedurally, we must vote on Wright first, says TJ.
     Lang: "He'd make a fine clerk."
     Jemal: both are great candidates. Very well qualified candidates.
     Jay: Marcia has tremendous experience as Clerk--and other offices.
     Marcia agrees to withdraw. 

     With Marcia out of the running, they vote: unanimous yes (for Wright)
     Jemal: notes gracious move on Marcia's part
     Secretary? Assistant Secretary? Traditionally, the Chancellor takes the Sec job. Jay thus moves. They vote: unanimous approval.
     Vice Chancellor of Business Services (Fitzsimmons) traditionally serves Assistant Sec
They vote: unanimous (for Fitzsimmons)
     Next: trustee representative. Currently: TJ. Lang calls for rollover. Jay agrees. Unanimous
     Dist. Pol Action rep: currently Wright. They vote on Wright: unanimous
     Legislative task force, Marcia. Vote to keep. Unanimous.
     Rep to SOCCCD audit committee. Lang holds this office. Rollover again. Unanimous.
     Regular meeting dates and times. Have a proposal. Approved unanimously.
     Agenda planning calendar: no changes. Unanimous approval.
     Agenda format: dropping something about closed session on agenda. Unanimous.
     Next: a minor change involving labelling of attachments (from IVC's Kathy Schmeidler). VC Fitzsimmons notes that this change could cause significant problems. Lang: let's take Kathy's recommendation under advisement; see if we can find a may to make this work without this formal motion. Unanimous.
     End of organizational meeting.

     Next: meeting re "facilities corporation."
     TJ adjourns meeting for the musical chairs process (changing name-tags and adjusting voting program). Ten minute break. (This is all routine, uninteresting. I'm sitting here waiting for these people to do whatever it is that they are doing. Rearranging deck chairs, I guess. There's a voting snafu that never gets quite fixed. It's pretty comical.)

     Good grief. It's late, and we haven't even gotten to public comments yet. The green faculty are getting restless. I'm watching my life tick away. I think the tech boys are trying to fix some bug in the voting system. Or not? Nancy Padberg's hair is saying, "I don't give a shit." I've often said the same thing in the same way. In fact, I'm saying that righ--

Meeting restarts:

2.7, public comments. Three speakers.

Meyer sings
     Andrew Dzida(?): have been invited by the Faculty Association to share experience as part-time instructor in this district. I've been working at SOCCCD as adjunct for twenty years. Hope to continue. My compensation is pretty bad. Can't support myself except by constantly teaching. I teach philosophy and Religious Studies. I was a Roman Cath priest for 16 years. Left priesthood and church twenty years ago. Now 67 years old. My own spiritual state: I find myself always, when I come to work, just a little furious. Not extremely furious, but furious. I don't like this. It's not a good thing X all the time (someone sneezed; don't know what "X" was; being furious?). Perception: being treated unfairly. But there's no realistic way to get out of the situation. (Time's up) (Applause)

     Bill Etter: cochair of English dept at IVC. So many courses are required, so we offer many. Couldn't do this without adjuncts. They teach 71% of comp courses we offer. Fortunate to have adjuncts. These instructors teach multiple courses, teach at mutliple institutions, still find time for their families. Our adjunct faculty exceed their job requirements for students' success. Meeting with students after class, etc. Adjuncts not required to hold office hours. They review students drafts for applications to universities, etc. Many adjuncts devote many hours to "norming" sessions at start of semester. Many examples of this. They make students their top priority. They are not paid for these things. (Applause)

     Kurt Meyer: a pleasure to speak to you. FA rep for School of Hum at IVC. He offers a "song," a Christmas carol, about the plight of adjuncts. "On the twelfth day of Xmas, " etc. "ten students a conferencing", 8 different classes a-teaching, seven freeways a-driving. Five hours of sleep! Etc.
     Kurt's right. He's no singer, but he makes this work. Gets laughs. Applause.

Board reports:

     Bill Jay: Wishes everyone a great new year, merry Xmas, happy etc. Good year for the colleges. Hang in there! We hope that things improve!
     Marcia Milchiker: attended So Cal conference for undergrad research at CSF. Amazing research projects. Faculty took lots of time to help students. Mentions her own history in research. Thanks all professors and students for participating. Saddleback and IVC had more students than others. Legislative Task Force meeting. Econ development conference. Happy holidays to all! See you at Prof Development!
     Jim Wright: attended a number of events. TV interview, channel 6, Laguna Woods. Saddleback College symphony and choirs. Saddleback College Nurses Pinning ceremony. 52 graduates. Candle ceremony. Parties at SC and IVC. Chancellor's holiday party. Wants to recognize IVC's Glenn Roquemore, went to White House event. Congrats SC, one of ten recipients, grant award, STEM teaching. Happy holidays.
     Tim Jemal: Thanks for selecting me VP, Etc. Attended CCLC conference, Rancho Mirage. Attended Econ Develop Conference. IVC Foundation Board meeting. Critical moment. Lost exec director. New person will be put in place. Also attended nurses pinning ceremony. (Not everyone received a gift from Santa this year.) Missed the IVC open house. We have a terrific district. We all know that. Happy new year, etc.
     TJ Prendergast: attended some of the events mentioned. Parties, open house, nurses' pinning, etc. ACCOC meeting--they asked me to attend. Business leaders, etc. Goal to create a system where it is no longer necessary to "reinvent the wheel" re regulations, etc. Looking forward to serving on that committee. An honor. Cal Teachers Assoc trustee dinner. Blah blah blah. Happy holiday!
     Nancy Padberg: would like to say to everyone, Happy Holidays! I haven't been to many events, owing to recovery from injury. I'll return to those events when I can. I enjoy these events. (Pretty halting delivery. She's struggling a bit.)
     Dave Lang: a difficult month for me (he's a bean counter). I won't sing my remarks. Attended nurses pinning ceremony. They do a stellar job. Best in state. Shout out to couch Tom Pestollesi - women's volleyball, IVC. Captures the state title, no losses. Tom and Dianne excellent people. Happy new year!
     Student trustee Keefe C: blah blah blah. I want to be thankful for everybody in this room. I didn't attend many events, I've got finals. Attended McKinney concert. Brought my girlfriend. Nice. Thanks both colleges for success - stuff that happened this year. Blah blah blah

     Chancellor's report (Gary Poertner): we'd like to give a plaque to TJ for his last year of service. Tonight, we'll begin series of discussion items that relate to listening sessions less April. You'll recall that trustees met with employees, confidentially, sort of. We'll return to those topics. Tonight, the 50% law and faculty obligation number. Subsequent months: academic calendar, policy for hiring managers & administrators, policy for hiring faculty, etc. Happy holidays!

     Colleges presidents:
     IVC Pres Glenn Roquemore: great sadness, loss of colleague Marie de la Palme. She joined us in 2008, Dance Ensemble. Also lost a student, Sunday, to traffic accident.
     SC's Tod Burnett: blah blah blah. Also mentions loss of faculty. Kay X(?) Happy holidays.

     No board requests for reports.

I assure you, young lady, that making love to a fat old sovereign
is an officially recognized "alternative." Do be reasonable!

4.1 SC and IVC Enrollment Management Plan Presentation
     Werle speaks. Introduces others. Data driven scheduling. Outreach and recruitment. Managing the "funnel." K-12 partnerships. Online education.
     Craig Justice. We believe that the schedule should be student centered. Student demand. Room availability. Unique needs of student populations. Student data. Identifying market segments, their needs.
     ---blah blah blah.
     A glitch in the sound system marrs the presentation a bit. Justice provides pie charts, showing student populations.
     Werle comes up with her pie charts. Perfect storm in last year or so. Enrollments declined a bit, then headed back up. Regulatory changes. Economic uptick: thus less need for new training. Etc. Technology glitches. Declining population base in some cities. Greater competition.
     Juan: Blah blah blah. At SC, our numbers will be going down--unless we make adjustments.
     Linda F: blah blah blah. Growth at IVC, 7-8%.
     Juan: we've employed strategies to leverage, or something. Blah blah blah.
Retention campaigns. Nudging individuals through our system.
     Linda F: blah blah blah. Students should get as much data as possible, blah. Outreach, blah. Support enrollment management plan, blah. I got an Ed.D. from a Cracker Jack box, blah. An awful lot of applications to process for financial aid. We had our first Mega Outreach event. We fanned out to contact entities and give them cookies. 426 organizations got cookies that day. Blah blah blah. Liz Cipres helped. Blah blah blah.
     Praises Anne Akers for her efforts in outreach.
     Fast Friday events. Invited students and their parents. Got assessment tests. Campus tours. Parent orientation. Will do 24 such events this coming year.
     Juan: blah blah blah. "Feshmen advantage" events. Using the scans to do what we do. We've got to do a better job "managing the funnel." Shows chart showing discrepancy between enrollment and applications. Also financial aid applications. K-8 grade outreach. Get those students ready. High School partnership programs. Blah blah. Major effort at OC Fair. We need to reach out.
     Linda: crucial thing students can do: contact their counselors. Students need to be engaged. Blah.
     Craig Justice: forcasting future needs. Blah.
     Any questions?

     TJ: this report based on Marcia's request. Thanks for that.
     Refers to p. 15, decline at Saddleback, increase at IVC. Slide. Seems like limited data. Shouldn't there be more data, especially re Irvine construction, etc.?
     Justice: Blah blah. IVC's enrollment grew 5% this year. A temp shift.
     Werle: we've done similar research. We're monitoring growth. We can't count on population the way we could in the past.
     TJ: seen what you've done; looks good. [Evidently, there are still some technical snafus.]
     Marcia: I'm pleased with the report. Advised emailing students about their appointments re admission. Accepted. Blah blah blah. One concern: student success act of 2012: so many parts such as limits on repeatability. Students are disappointed. But you're dealing with this. We need to get the word out how great our colleges are. IVC has the No 1 transfer rate in the state. Etc. Incredible CTE, etc. Student debt is the second highest kind of debt. Incredible. If students avail themselves of what we have, they'll be better off.
    Wright: how are you using the wait lists (Justice mentioned IVC's use of that).
     Craig Justice: at first, there were glitches in wait lists. But will overcome them. Using data for planning next year.
     Wright: I still see empty classrooms.
     Justice: it depends on the time of the day. We are very aware.
     Werle: yes, we really work on this. Working on room utilization, etc. Yes, we're working on the phenomenon of empty classrooms.
     Jemal: re p. 7, market segments. Different types of audiences. Have you prioritized these segments, etc.
     Werle: yes, we are reaching out to each of these groups. We are reaching out to underrepresented groups. We're aggressively seeking out high school graduates, etc. (She rattles off the various strategies per segment. Werle has a way of making sense despite all of the buzzwords.)
     Blah blah blah.
     Jemal: re slide 13, perfect storm. We can't control all of these.
     Werle: we addressed all of these. Sometimes we confronted mysteries: why registration was so slow, etc. Still trying to sort this stuff out, to make the process smoother. Glitches arose, got fixed. It was hard to address all these things.
     Lang: you mentioned online education. I know that that area is getting more competitive. How does that fit into our system? Are we planning to offer more online?
     Werle: we're working with tech people to enhance this. Trying to improve success rates in this area. We offer online tutoring. We hope that will help us retain students. Increasing access, etc. Blah blah blah.

4.2 SOCCCD: 50% Law and faculty obligation number (FON)
     Fitzsimmons and gang come up. Carol Hilton, Davit.
     50% law: per district. Davit: at least half of expense on classroom instruction. (He shows what  goes in numerator, denominator. Shows historical info:) We've floated around 52%. [How come he isn't discussing the point of the law--the problem that it was responding to? I seem to recall it was an effort to minimize administration.] Discussing monitoring. Discusses the exemption process (to avoid penalties).
     Hilton on FON. Cal Code of Regs Title 5 Section 51025 requires districts to increase the number of fulltime faculty over the prior year in proportion to their admount of growth in fudning credit FTES.
     Overload not counted. (Hilton is pretty clear.)
     My laptop is running out of juice....
     Jemal: what are the consequences of failing to be in compliance? "Onerous," says Hilton.
     Jay eventually launched into a meandering speech about the 50% Law and our district's colorful history with it. He made good points, I guess, but he seemed to need to restate them two or three times. With each ending, I prayed that Pendergast would just jump in and put a period on it, but no. Off Jay went again, saying the same thing. It was like the eternal return.
 . . .
     I'm home and I'll just write out what happened next:
     They finally got to the consent calendar and pulled 5.1, which concerned minutes for the last meeting, 5. 7, which concerned work done on Health Sciences ("wet seal project"), and 5.8, which concerned SC stadium renovation. None of that was particularly interesting, as I recall.

 That brought us to general action items:

6.1 was SC's student equity plan report, and it was everything one might have expected it to be. I think we have one too few Gypsies. No Druids. Something like that. Gotta do outreach, man.
     I think the trustees were pleased with the report.

6.2 was about a proposed agreement with Workday, Inc.--the idea is that the district will collaborate with that company, thereby gaining great savings in the long run on student services STUFF--while being all cutting edge. The Techno Twins were there, and they're good speakers, and so the whole thing went down pretty easy. We're gonna partner with this Workday outfit, but there's an "escape clause," which, evidently is something like a Santa Claus, and it will save us from some kind of death spiral should the company go south. Something like that. Actually, it all sounded pretty good. The Student Trustee chimed in to represent the "digital native" POV. That sealed it, baby. I think when he said the word "mobile" all the trustees fainted, so excited were they to do something technical that the kids liked.

6.3 was something about liability funds and the choices we have to join this or that. That all seemed to go pretty well. VC Fitz will get back to the board on details, I think.

The board was pretty agreeable tonight, so they seemed to go along with recommendations regarding Review & Study or Approval of Board Policies. Ditto re the Academic Personnel items and Classified Personnel items. Slam bam, thank you ma'm.

I didn't stick around for the reports. Humdingers, I'm sure.

Women’s Studies at IVC, factoidal update #3: unlike the School of G&S, the School of Humanities has several faculty who have done significant post-graduate work specifically in WS

     Three new hires in the School of Humanities have admirable cutting-edge backgrounds in Women's and Gender Studies, two very closely related/overlapping fields. 
     Women’s Studies at IVC factoid #3: unlike the School of G&S, the School of Humanities has several faculty who have done significant and recent post-graduate work in WS.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Women's Studies at IVC, factoidal update #2: only IVC houses WS in Guidance and Counseling

     Given Women's (and Gender) Studies' particular nature, it should surprise no one that these programs are housed in Humanities, Liberal Arts, and the Social Sciences at colleges and universities across the state (and country).
     Factoid #2: only at IVC is WS housed in Guidance and Counseling, a fact that has caused and will cause articulation problems for IVC's WS courses.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Women's Studies at IVC, factoidal update #1: there is no "program" now

     Oddly (and uniquely), at IVC, Women's Studies is housed in the School of Guidance and Counseling, not in Humanities or Social Sciences, where one usually finds it.
     Factoid #1: IVC once had a Women's Studies Program, but Guidance and Counseling, which only offers three courses in WS, has allowed WS to languish, and so it is no longer qualifies as a program.
     The School of Humanities, which hopes to develop an extensive, inter-disciplinary WS (and Gender Studies) program, would secure program status for WS once again.
     But Guidance and Counseling insist on retaining WS.

Yes she is!

She's Beautiful When She's Angry Trailer from nancy kennedy on Vimeo.

At a theater, well, probably not near us, but near someone.