Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Oh my

“It doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got
a young and beautiful piece of ass!” --DT

Monday, April 25, 2016

April meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: "I have no report tonight," he said

     [Please see Tere's Board Meeting Highlights.]
     6:29 - No sign of the trustees just yet. They're running late.
     While I'm waiting, I shall carp:

     LIP SERVICE. At the last meeting of the Irvine Valley College Academic Senate, Senators discussed the "lip service" college administration routinely pays to shared governance or collegial consultation. It was a dreary discussion. Over and over again, faculty are left out of the loop and things are done without consultation, and, usually, they are done badly. On that day, I complained that the college had set up a week-long program supporting "awareness" of sexual assault. None of the organizers of the event bothered to consult various faculty experts. The result? A program that looked like it was organized by the Young Republicans. It was an embarrassment.

     Yearly elections are coming up soon, and the Senate is having a hard time scraping up candidates for top Senate positions—a sign of apathy and low morale. Very little works on campus, a legacy of, in part, Prez Roquemore piss-poor administrative and mangerial hires. The college suffers scandal after scandal, fiasco after fiasco, and the trustees seem utterly oblivious, no matter how loudly some of us complain.
     --Aha! One trustee has emerged, Dave "Benedict Arnold" Lang. The meeting will be starting soon.
     [Here's the agenda.]
     6:39 - Chancellor Gary Poertner has entered the hall. He's talking with Lang.
     Besuited men are sitting all around me. One of 'em mentioned Sunday School. They keep referring to the town of Ramona. They seem to be preparing for some dreary presentation. Why dreary? Well, they're all dreary these days. Mostly anyway.
     Trustee Prendergast has appeared. --And now Board President Tim Jemal. We're still waiting for Jay, Milchiker, Whitt, and Wright.
     6:43 - Wright has arrived. --And now Marcia M. Where are Whitt and Jay?
     A silence falls over the hall as Jay and Whitt enter. we go:

     6:45 - "We're back," says Tim Jemal. Lang reports actions taken in closed session: none taken
     Invocation by Milchiker: "we pray for strength and wisdom. Ours is an exceptional nation!" [etc]

     One request for public comments. Pedram Heidarpour(?) of student government at Saddleback: fundraiser for cancer research coming up. All money goes to cancer research. "Shavees" are involved (people who agree to be shaved bald). He explains how people can support, donate. Thank you very much.

Board reports: "could rival Broadway"!

     Terri Whitt: it's been a busy month with the Galas. I enjoyed them. The IVC Gala was "phenomenal." Wonderful setting. I appreciate all the work that went into it.
     Marcia Milchiker: events she's attended during this "busy month." 40th Anniversary Emeritus art show--work by students. IVC Foundation event at museum. Everyone donated, very proud. Attended national debate society, hosted by IVC, "always a top winner." Over 1000 participants at that event. Rousing speeches given by instructors. Board of trustees listening sessions were good. Blah blah blah. Drama depts at both college, outstanding. Broadway musical productions, "She loves me," was incredible. And something at IVC. "Could rival Broadway."
     David Lang: forgoes report
     James Wright: attended various events. Attended IVC Foundation event, slot car event, lots of fun. IVC forensic team event, with 1000 participants, lasted four days. Listening sessions at both colleges. "Enjoyed them very much." Good attendance. IVC cultural competence summit: great keynote speaker. SC athletic trainer was chosen for a big prize, Trainer of the Year. "Wonderful person, does a wonderful job." IVC Tennis, blah blah blah. Three people retiring from Saddleback College: combined teaching 101 years. Carol Bander, Nancy Evans, Patrician Evans. Real talent.
     Timothy Jemal: IVC Foundation event, big thumbs up. Thanks everyone. Emeritus Inst. celebration in Laguna Hills. Proud to be a part of that. Tennis "is near and dear to my heart." Glad that IVC team took state title. Two trustee listening sessions. Lots of input by participants. We try to listen, decide if there is approrpriate action. "We're gonna try to do that."
     Barbara Jay: attended IVC Foundation Awards dinner. Excellent. Wonderful evening. Lots of fun. Attended both listening sessions. Very educational. Would like to have more listening sessions to hear more "from faculty."
     TJ Prendergast: has in past supported cancer events. Big announcement: "I'm gonna sign up to have my head shaved." Applause.
     Student trustee Lemar Momand: please donate money to have Prendergast get his dome shaved, etc. Momand's last meeting as student trustee. Asks that trustees continue to focus on "the students." Blah blah blah.

     Chancellor Gary Poertner: "I have no report tonight."
     SC President Tod Burnett: "This is the final stretch." Annual scholarship ceremony coming up in the gym." One Book One College" (?) event. Congrats professors of the year. Mentions three, including an Emeritus instructor.
     IVC President Glenn Roquemore: also will have a set of year-ending events. Erwin Chemerinsky of UCI Law School will speak at our commencement. Tenure recognition event. (Evidently, there's a move afoot at both colleges dedicate one special event to recognizing everyone who was recognized during the year.) Mentions instructors of the year.
    Student government: blah blah blah. The "Chief Justice" of SC student government announced various events, etc. Awareness Day coming up, homelessness, domestic violence. Water fountains finalized. Will be ordering units. Reads statement on behalf of outgoing SC ASG Prez, who could not attend.  The IVC kid: "ASG still doing great things." Blah blah blah.

Board requests for reports: 
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH WORKDAY? Workday progress report requested. Unanimous approval. Discussion item will be next month (May board meeting). (Evidently, plenty of classified carped about Workday during "listening" session.)

Consent calendar: 
Trustees identify a few to pull. They approve the rest unanimously.

5.4 - Wright: small correction.
5.7 - Lang:  Student Travel, Oxford Abroad. Concern: this item came to us without necessary sign-offs. We should follow protocol. So pulled until next meeting.
5.9 - Applauds IVC Emergency Phone/Mass notification system. Lots of money. Is this the whole cost? ($287K) Roquemore asks Davit to come up explain. Whitt: is there a continual annual fee? Davit: yes, minimal. Item approved unanimously.
5.11 - GUEST SPEAKERS. Whitt: college speakers. Curious: is there a rubric that we ask speakers to fill out? Do they offer us a sense of what they are going to share? Whitt once had a speaker go off on a topic not planned. Fitzsimmons: there is a contract that is filled out. That does not necessarily prevent people going off topic. Motion, approved unanimously.
5.2 - Jemal: re resolutions. New resolution process for the agenda. Seems to want to highlight honorees, those who are recognized. Jemal praises student trustee Momand. Insightful comments, good questions. "You're gonna go far." "Proud of you." Applause. Jemal presents a plaque and a long resolution, which essentially says, "He's terrific and we love him." Jemal forces all trustees up for big photo op for this kid. Funny. (Evidently, the district no longer takes official photos of such things. We resorted to people's phones.) "You can tell that wasn't scripted," said Jemal. They voted: unanimous. Applause.

General Action Items:

6.1 - APARTMENTS SNAFU. Lease of real property, presenters come up (FPA4Promenade, LLC and SOCCCD). Fitzsimmons starts off. Agreement re 23-acre site located on Margurite. Blah blah blah. Lessees have allowed the property (apartments) to deteriorate. Hence this renovation project. $16.5 million renovations. Builds "arboretum trail." Includes 128 beds of dedicated student housing. Shows architects' "before" and "after" pics. Blah blah blah. Fitz introduces various people (in suits) in audience. They stand. Questions?
     Jemal: board has "a lot of expectations" re progress. Discuss the benefits to the students of moving forward with this? Fitz: There will be dedicated student housing component. Motion to approve: unanimous.

6.2 - ATEP IVC First Building and associated ATEP utilities, blah blah blah. Open a public hearing. Items 6.3 and 6.4 of agenda are involved. (Environmental quality, approval of site plans.) Fitz and Brandye will answer any questions. Jemal: any questions? None. Hearing now open. No public comments. Public hearing is now closed. Any further discussion? Nope.
     It's democracy in action! Good grief.

6.3 - unanimous trustee yes vote.
6.4 - unanimous trustee yes vote.

6.5 - Public hearing re Saddleback College Exterior Lighting, etc. Energy service contract. 6.6 and 6.7 involved. GOD, THIS IS TEDIOUS. Jemal: public hearing now open. No public comments. Public meeting now closed. Any further comments? None.
6.6 - Blah blah blah unanimous yes.
6.7 - A LITTLE BIT OF HEARTBURN. Exterior Lighting. Blah blah blah. Lang: this item gave me "a little bit of heartburn." Sole-source award made under odd circumstances. Didn't plan well. Didn't get enough vendors to respond to this. Curious about this. Fitz? Fitz sends up Brandye: our typical bid process, she says. We advertised for two weeks. Then a third week, then collected proposals. 15 bidders were initially interested. Can't explain why only one came to the table. "Only one vendor came back." She talks about how this adds up to a black mark against us. Not a good thing for us. Lang: we advertised on March 1st and 8th, knowing that prop 39 funds would end. Shouldn't we have taken steps to get others involved? Brandye: she offers reasonable answer, though I didn't get it. Wright: asks similar question. Brandye manages to answer acceptably. Motion to move item: unanimus approval.

6.8 - EXPANDING CAL GRANTS, MAYBE. Supporting Legislation re Cal Grants. Tere Flugeman presents: resolution supporting two assembly bills. Reform the Cal Grant program. Currently, grants don't provide for books and other costs. These bills would raise the max award, from $1,500 to $3000. Also eligibility age limit raised. Would raise number of awards. Etc.
Wright: refers to attached table, costs. Cost at community colleges "much larger." Tere explains the lack of grant aid to CC students. "An interesting chart," adds Wright.
Marcia Milchiker: legis tasks force voted approval of these. Tere: also the Governor, etc. Jemal: what's the prognosis for these bills? Tere: probably not very good. Projected costs $400 million. Jemal jokes about asking the UC and State U system to yield to CCs some of that grant money. Laughter. Unanimous vote of approval.

6.9 - Saddleback College, Science Building project. Unanimous yes.

6.10 - Board Policy revision (for review and study). Traffic and parking regs. Credit by examination. Unanimous approval (for review and study).

6.11 - Board Policy revisions. Employee of relatives, Department Chair, etc. Unanimous approval (of revised board policies).

6.12 - Academic personnel actions. No changes. Wright: comment. (Correction, I guess.) Unanimous approval.

6.13 - Classified personnel actions. No changes. Unanimous approval.

6.14 - Full time faculty hiring amendments. Faculty hiring lists. Want to stay on top of recruitment. Unanimous approval.

6.15 - Sabbatical projects. Modification of one project. Prendergast: he's just got a joke, didn't quite catch it. Something about leaving off Notre Dame from list of "top teams." Har har. Unanimous approval.


7.1 - IVC professor of the year. No comments
7.2 - IVC and SC speakers.
7.3 - basic aid
7.4 - monthly financial status report.
7.5 - trust fund
7.6 - Quarterly something
7.7 - THOSE PESKY CONTRACTORS. facilities plan, blah Wright: what's the status of the Fine Arts something. Brandye: $5.3 million over three months. Need contractor to be "on point." Contractor has not performed yet. We're having more meetings, more pressure. Haven't decided to pull the plug yet. IVC Liberal Arts contractor: has no respect for the schedule. Two steps forward, one step back. Lots of delays. Scheduled to be completed at end of May. We don't believe that date. Perhaps early July. It's starting to endanger ability to start there in Fall.

Reports from groups:

I'm outa here. (7:55 p.m.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teddy, cat. Earlier this week.
Recruiting Students Overseas to Fill Seats, Not to Meet Standards (NYT)
     … “There are some incentives for not delivering complete clunkers, but the underlying motivation for both the university and the agent is to get warm bodies in the door,” said Philip G. Altbach, the founding director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College.
     At Western Kentucky, 106 of 132 students admitted through the recruitment effort scored below the university’s requirement on an English skills test, according to a resolution adopted last fall by the graduate faculty council, which raised questions about the program. “The vast majority either didn’t have any scores or there wasn’t documentation of their language skills,” said Barbara Burch, a faculty member of the university’s Board of Regents.
     The university senate and the student government association also expressed concerns. “It is ethically wrong to bring students to the university and let them believe they can be successful when we have nothing in place to make sure they’re successful,” the student association president, Jay Todd Richey, said….

   [A year or two ago, IVC's academic senators learned that there was a move afoot to expand our International Students program. Many faculty voiced concern that these students often are unprepared for their courses and tend to be mired in basic and remedial instruction before they can finish a degree or certificate (their visas are limited). The Senate approved the move to expand the program, provided these students were offered adequate remedial and other support and instruction. It is, of course, routine to find international students in our courses who have no business taking courses that require writing in English. --RB] 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New College-Enviro Activism Partnership Kicks Off Tonight with Racing Extinction (OC Weekly)
A lauded film about efforts to prevent mass extinction on this planet tonight kicks off a three-event partnership between Orange County for Climate Action and Coast Community College District organizations....

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oops—the students were excellent

     We recently received information to the contrary of what we reported, earlier today, about the Gala. No, as it turns out, students did not get up before the crowd to present their miserable circumstances in order to solicit assistance. The money they raised went to support the Foundation, not themselves. Further, I'm told that the students' speeches were excellent. So, there you go.