Monday, May 18, 2015

The May meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: fines for smoking at IVC

     [Please see Tere's Board Meeting Highlights. Lots of nice pics.]
     6:28 - Nothin' happening yet. There seem to be lots of faculty union folks milling around just outside. The Ronnie Reagan room is slowly filling up. Looks like a good turnout.
     Stay tuned.
     6:29 - T.J. Prendergast, board Prez, has just entered the room. The meeting will start soon.
     I see that trustee Tim Jemal now sports a beard, a goatee. Chancellor Poertner has taken his seat, with his usual reluctance. Jim Wright is circling his chair. The new student trustee is talking to somebody. He looks pretty darned cute and young. A kid.
     VCs Bugay and Fitz are yuckin' it up. SC Prez Tod Burnett is busy getting his stuff together. Marcia Milchiker and Barbara Jay have entered the room and are wandering toward their stations, on opposite ends of the dais. David Lang, too, has arrived. Roquemore is conferring with his pal Gary R, the debate guy. Everybody's smilin'. That means nothing's gonna happen but bullshit tonight.
     6:34 - Prendergast is trying to get things started. Padberg, again, is absent. (That might be a permanent situation. Expect a move on that within the next few months.)

     6:35 - the meeting begins. Report of closed session actions: Wright: 6-0 vote approved settled agreement classified settlement, blah blah blah.
     Prendergast: the other "action." Requires something in open session. Administrative recommendation of expulsion of student. Vote: unanimous (one trustee [Padberg] absent; student trustee abstains).
     Jemal: invocation, etc. Does he allude to unseemly attitudes among board members? Not sure. (Something about how they need to think about what's good for the district.) Lang: Pledge of Allegiance. Blah Blah.
     Swearing in of new Student Trustee. Nervous kid.
     Resolutions, outstanding service awards. Mayra Arias, Corine Reymond, Mark Sierakowski, Leleega Meredith, IVC Women's Volleyball State Champions.
    Roll call, photo ops, applause, etc.
    6:45 - Yes, it's still goin' on. Big smiles. I'm dyin'.
    The room is pretty full -- lots of green (faculty union) shirts. Marcia's "Aye" just now really woke me up (she barked it). Applause, photo ops, applause, blah blah blah.
    Ms. Meredith steps up, evidently state champ, Women's Golf (IVC). Cute kid. Coach Burnett (?) makes a brief speech. Says Leleega is the best player he's seen since the championship started years ago. The kid beams.
    Next: IVC Women's Volleyball Team, State Champions.
    (No doubt Jim Wright has many abilities, but reading names is not among them.)
    27-0 record. Etc. Roll call, etc.
    Coach Pestolesi accepts res. He speaks: "Obviously, the team isn't here; they're all studying.... Wonderful group of kids...." He's pretty gracious. Shout out to Keith Shakelford, dean. Applause.

Trustee James Wright
Next, commendations:
    Craig Hayward - got an award for "excellence in research." Roquemore reads commendation. Applause, photo op, more applause.
    IVC Speech and Debate Team - gold awards in debate, etc. Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in beauteous Cleveland, Ohio ("Cleveland, city of light, city of magic"). Coach introduces many members of the team, male and female. Applause, etc.
    6:56 - SC's Burnett comes up: another speech and debate team, for taking 4th place at a national tournament. Big team. 4th out of 59 schools. Competed with students at 4-year universities. Very cute and shiny kids. Photogenic. I feel that I'm in the pages of a magazine. Somebody hands out particular awards, yadda yadda yadda. Raddin briefly speaks.  Last year as coach. Applause.

Public comments:
    Mark Mclroy - faculty member here at SC. So many people work hard for student success; some wonderful people on this campus, proud of that. Mentions the long-promised SC "athletic stadium." Now going through the process. It "looks like that could happen." Will be biggest facility on campus, would bring in the most people. "It's gonna be a wonderful facility that's gonna reach out to our community...." Very proud to be faculty member here. Lots of people behind the scenes that "we don't even know about."
    Jim Leach - Pres. Board of Gov's, SC Foundation. Talks about last week's SC Foundation event. Business guy in business suit. Moving event, he says. Yadda yadda. Calls out two faculty: Morgan Barrows and Jean Harris Caldwell. Glad about athletic stadium building project. An "important renovation." Thanks, etc. Applause.
    Eva Seraphin(?) - World History instructor. Part-timer, evidently. She says: I love to teach. Indicates all that she does on her courses. Hours and hours of work. Rewritintg her lectures. Teaches students how to write. I net 12 -13 hundred dollars a month, she says, unhappily. I'm at the highest pay grade. Think about that, she says.
    Vince Cooper: asks Roquemore and Schmeidler to come up. Publicly thanks these two for their support of IVC Classified Senate. We've accomplished quite a bit in last two years. Prof development program has been beefed up. Hands certificate to each. Applause.
    Kurt Meyer - Prof of English, IVC. For nearly 18 years, dedicated to serving here, like many. Many of us are stuck on the last step of salary schedule. Please recognize and reward longserving faculty by adding a longevity step--for those "stuck on this last step."
    Beverly Hudson W(?) - Reads statement by a student. "I have some thoughts about my teachers...The teachers need pay raises to match inflation, etc....I love teachers at Saddleback." [Charming ESL English.] Praises Dr. Lovett, et al. "Learned how to admire America." (Vietnamese immigrant.) --Applause.
    Dan Hogan - Have taught at IVC for 3 years. I work hard, 60-80 hours a week, grading research papers, etc. I have students meet with me at the Coffee Bean on Saturdays. I do not have an office or office hours. That's not fair to students. I also offer phone conferences. (A plea for higher pay for adjuncts.) Applause.
    Elizabeth, librarian at SC. Has a chart indicating pay increases for FT faculty in recent years. Pretty grim: No increases, 2010-2013. Small increase, 2013-4 (state COLA). "We would like to see what was kind of honored.... We backed off, for the good of the district, on demanding raises. It is time to come through, etc. Applause.
    Margot Lovett: been teaching history here for 18 years. I hope that one day I don't have to stand here. Holds up same sign: no increase in pay for FT faculty for quite a while. We're asking that the board give the faculty what we voluntarily gave up during recent hard times. I don't know what else we can see. We've given every argument. We've spoken about the appalling situation for part-time faculty, etc. We've said it all. We hope the board will negotiate a fair contract. Thanks. Applause.
    Paula Jacobs: Been here many years. We used to lured faculty away from districts. We can't do that anymore. We recently advertised for an articulation officer. Poor pool of candidates. We'd love to lure some excellent people, but they are turned off by our low, uncompetitive salaries. It's time for a raise for the faculty. We are no longer competitive. I hope we can get serious about settling this contract. Thank you. Applause.

Board Reports:
Trustee David Lang
     Marcia Milchiker: busy time of year. Lists some of her activities. IVC's Kathy Schmeidler invited Marcia to her bio class. Had two cadavers in the class. Sounded pretty gruesome. I think she said they pumped up some stiff's lungs?! Culminated with field trip to "body exhibits" in Buena Park. Incredible experience for students, says Marcia. (Not sure, but I think everybody seemed amused by Marcia's evident failure to note the oddness of what she was describing.) My Prof of Spanish, says Marcia, Prof Carmen H-B, had guest author, etc. Quickly lists more events she attended. BOT self-evaluation, etc.
    TJ looks on with a whimsical look. (She's running over time and seems unstoppable.)
    Jim Wright: priviledged to attend various events. Dogfight (no, dog-something) here at Saddleback. Honored "canine veterans." School Board Association annual meeting. Nurses pinning ceremony "I thought was wonderful." Friday, 13th, Supporting Services event. Looks forward to Commencement ceremonies.
    Tim Jemal: jealous of Milchiker--how about the rest of us getting a look at those cadavers? Mentions accomplishments earlier mentioned. Great work you're all doing. Nurses pinning; 51 graduates; moving and uplifting ceremony. Inspirational. BOT self-evaluation. We take this very seriously. Topics came out of recent listening sessions. The latter are valuable and productive. We ask: what is the next step? You'll see us addressing points that came up. Thanks to Leach's Foundation event, etc. Fantastic work.
    TJ Prendergast: been busy with his own swim team at Beckman High. Will have to miss commencement for the first time. He'll be in Fresno (I believe he offered this factoid to gain our sympathy). Welcomes new student trustee (Lemar Momand). Self-evaluation retreat: we dove in depth into surveys. Very valuable information for us to digest. We are working on these things. Hopefully, you'll see in coming months our response to your issues.
    Barbara Jay: Scholarship ceremony. Wonderful. Took pictures, sent them all around. Looking forward to more Scholarship ceremonies.
    Dave Lang: I really enjoy this time of the year: commencement, awards ceremonies, etc. IVC honored their tenured faculty, nice ceremony, very impressive. Board self-evaluation workshop. SC new tenured faculty reception. Was great meeting new faculty. Nursing ceremony is always tremendously moving, not to be missed. Vets recognition event. IVC Forensics banquet last night. Very impressive group of students and those who support the program. He and his wife enjoyed IVC production, "The Fantastics." Wonderful. High quality of faculty and everybody else that we're fortunate to have in this district. Looking forward to Commencement.
    Student Trustee Momand: thanks board for warm welcome. Wants to maintain correspondence with student at both campuses.

    Chancellor Gary Poertner: looks forward to Commencements. Everybody's so happy. It's what we're all here about.

Trustee Tim Jemal
    7:35 - SC Prez Tod Burnett: the usual yadda yadda. Introduces members of our new "management team." Various people stand up in the audience, like undertakers. Thanks trustees for attending so many events. Can't say enough how proud he is of SC Foundation, money given students. Thanks donors, Foundation. Human Services Grad Thursday night. Look forward to Friday's commencement in the gym.
    IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore: invites student trustee to visit him. "Might not be there, though," he adds. Laughter. Scholarship event at Live Oak Terraces. Also Commencement there on Friday at 5:00.
    No board requests for reports.
    4.1 Tonight's discussion item: basic aid allocation recommendations for FY 2015-6.
    VC Fitz comes up to present. There's a PowerPoint for this. See HERE. ("In February, 2011, both IVC and SC were placed on warning by ACCJC, with 6 recommendations, several involving the need for comprehensive district-wide planning that drives resource allocation.")
    Fitz mentions our dismal history on this score, underscored by Accred smackage of a few years ago. She goes through history of our efforts to proceed transparently in allocating Basic Aid bucks. New BP and AR 3110.
    Yadda yadda. (See PowerPoint.)
    Carol Hilton steps up and continues this thang. How has the process been working? Our new process is a model process (allocation process). Yadda yadda. The BAARC committee (basic aid allocations) meets, produces recommendations, hands 'em to chancellor, etc. New BP and AR are strictly followed. BAARC discussions collegial, albeit "lively." Final rec's were very "mindful." She seems to have trouble with her PowerPoint buttons. Tech guy steps in. On it goes.
    Amount available for allocation: $61,352,000
    Take out 20% contingency, etc.
    Net available BAARC allocation: $57, 527, 000.
    Shows this slide, essentially:

    After calculations, they were $1 off. (Laughter.) So they gently cooked the books to fix that.
    Next few slides, blah blah blah.
    Long term obligations, etc. (Essentially she goes through elements of slide above.)
    Next Brandye D:
    Brandye steps up, all smiles. Shows slide with capital projects, etc. Small and major projects. Yadda yadda.
    Brandye gets all dry-as-toast and factual, unavoidably, I guess. Everybody's dying, I think. (Well, I'm dying.)
    Mentions the SC Athletics stadium, renovation project, $17 million. Etc. (Folks briefly come alive.)
    We have (only) two uncertified projects (winnowed down from much larger number).
    ATEP, development of utilities, $7 million, etc.
    Data Center project here at Saddleback College
    Small and Major Renovation Projects, yadda yadda. SC Fine Arts HVAC, etc. SC cafeteria upgrades. Yeah! says Brandye. Others seem less enthusiastic.
    Jim Gaston: District-Wide technology projects. Campus desktop refresh, IVC, SC: $1,500,000
    Lots of other projects listed. He highlights some of them. Mentions "Tableau for Data Visualization." Also mentions "Workday Student" system. No doubt this means something to somebody.
    Hands off to Anthony(?). Yadda yadda. Technology keeps changing.
    Jim Gaston comes up, highlights some projects. Printing issues. Looking for new vendor. District-wide platform for online tutoring. Unified ID card system.
    [8:06 p.m.]
    Fitz returns: ATEP operations: $758K. So that's it. Questions?

    Jemal: three questions. Only 1-time projects are to be funded. But later in report it speaks of long-term obligations. Can you explain the apparent conflict? Fitz: long-term obligations are one-time payment for (something or other). Jemal: but it's not a one-time project? Fitz: that's right. Ongoing commitment. (I didn't understand Fitz's answer. She seemed to chew on it as though it tasted bad.)
    Jemal: $23 million in prior year contingency.... A fairly significant number. Is that routine for that number to be so high? Fitz: 20%.... We allocate Basic Aid based on a conservative estimate. So we budget based on one number but then get a better number.
    Jemal: capital outlay for athletic stadium--glad to see that. Could the coach [Tony] come up and discuss the "community element" involved in erecting the stadium once and for all?
    Tony comes up: I've put off my retirement to see this thing through. We don't have a decent facility in South OC for sports, especially football. We have some great local teams. They've had to travel to OCC, Santa Ana, Fullerton, etc. Not good. We've had up to 10,000 come to campus for games. We're talking about very significant teams, #1 in the nation, that level. When there are only two restrooms, it's "an atrocity," said Tone. If this goes through, these teams will come here and be impressed. It's the "front front door" of our campus. OK, sports is not the most important thing we do, but it's what we're known for in the community. We should have the best facilities. We have great athletes. We're lucky to be where we are. The community deserves this first-class facility. Long overdue.
    "Anything else?", he says, and that is somehow funny.
    Jemal: thanks.
    Lang: We've identified projects to allocate basic aid funding. I'm concerned about the relocation of district offices project. We have put it on the list for future basic aid consideration ($23 million). I need to be convinced that this would be a high priority project. "Right now, I'm not convinced." Can people speak to that?
    Fitz: yes, it was prioritized by the colleges, but not recommended this year for funding (so shuddup).
    Lang: also interested: what didn't make the cut? Higher priority than distric office?
    Kathy Schmeidler: I can tell you that all of the documentation for all of the meetings of the various committees is available. It's all available, posted on Sharepoint. I can show you where to find those and explore them at your leisure. (That seems to sooth the savage breast, er, Lang.)
    Brandye: refers to the "strategic planning process." In that plan, desire for district services to be centrally located, identified as a top priority. We've only taken the first step in the process of raising the profile for the central district project. Wasn't considered for funding this year. But will be discussed in future.
    Walsh: speaking for faculty: we want this, has been ignored for years. We want the discussion, so it has to be on the list. Putting this project on the list ensures that we'll discuss it, not that we'll fund it.
    Lang: questions the priority. We've got plenty of land, yadda yadda. "I'll leave it at that for now."
    Another question: for techno folks. We have a very ambitious set of projects that we are funding. How much of this will be done by our own IT folks? How much subbed out? Etc.
    Gaston: we don't expect all of these things to be done in the next year. Yadda yadda. Mentions some projects that won't require consultants: desktop upgrades, etc. (They leave the impression that they're pretty organized.)
    Lang: we've been proud of MAP (?) program, which will be integrated into Workday, etc. Is that right? Can you explain?
    Gaston: mentions MAP and SHERPA(?). Yammers about this for a bit. Development teams have met with consultants, etc. We have a strong sense of ownership with MAP. Might be transitional problems with Workday. Blah blah blah. We want an integrated system. Whole system integration in 2017, then transition for two years. Workday is a longterm goal.
    Lang: security, proprietary stuff...Has our stuff come under attack?
    Gaston: yes, any system comes under attack. We've got lots of security safeguards in place. We have vendors' help with that. We try to stay on top of security. Another advantage of going with Workday, which meets European (higher) security standards. We have some great firewalls, etc. Some of the hacks come from on campus, not just external.
    Student trustee: re techno projects. Big student gripe: connectivity. Do these projects address those problems?
    Answer: Wi-Fi access a big headache for students at SC. Yes, we're aware. Will be addressing. Need lots more bandwidth to deal with so many students using Wi-Fi. (He satisfies student trustee.)
    Student trustee: often we're forced to go to special zone where there is a printer. Takes time. Is there a better solution?
    Answer: new capacities will address this. Much flexibility coming soon.
    8:31 - consent calendar items. Wright: 5.1, 5.5-8, Jemal: 5.4, 5.18, 5.13
    Vote: unanimous

Jim Gaston
    Wright: small correction on 5.1. Approved.
    5.14 - IVC food and coffee cart services. New vendor. Jemal: was there a ranking of the vendors who made bids? I'll try to get you the ranked list, says Brandye.
    Vote: unanimous yes.
    5.5 - Wright: asks about clean room facilities. Schmeidler: no, only a model of a clean room; no room for real clean room. Vote: unanimous.
    5.8 - Wright: Deleting a number of transfer degrees. Explain. Kathy Werle: they degrees are largely being replaced. Vote: unanimous. [Prendergast asks for the list of replacement degrees. Will receive in future.]
    5.13 - Jemal: no longer has question. Lang: Fire Repair project. He came across an interesting letter: unwillingness to enter into contract with a subcontractor. Brandye, do you know what this about? Brandye: No, we can't know that. And we don't need to know.
    Wright: how soon will this be repaired? Brandye: construction going on right now. Doing the work in the evening. Not sure about duration of project. Will be ready by next "spring." Vote: unanimous.
    5.18 - Jemal: noticed uptick in our purchase of Apple projects. IT services have told me that they do not provide support for Apple products. Has that been addressed? Fitz: identifies all the Apple products. College is addressing the deficit in the area of Apple products. They are adding support for Apple.
    They vote: unanimous.


    6.1 - Mareen Dimarco Award Nomination: Marcia nominates IVC's Kathy Schmeidler. Schmeidler says: thank you. Jemal has conflict-of-interest concerns (inside baseball). Vote: unanimous.
    6.2 - authorization of payment to absent trustee (they always vote to approve this)
    6.3 - Smoke Free District, Fine Amount.
    Jemal: this came up last meeting for review and study. Very supportive of policy, the right policy. Pleased to see both colleges move forward on this. Jemal: when will this take effect? There's an Admin Regulation that puts this into effect at somewhat different times at the two colleges. Jemal: be specific. Roquemore: May 23 at IVC. Burnet: Fall 2015 (August).
    Jemal: imposition of fine, that's the issue. Would have preferred a grace period (transitional period) before sticking students with fine of $38. Seems premature to impose fine on students. I suspect the motion will pass, though I totally support "smoke free district". Just wonder about this $38 fine thing.
    Wright: agrees with Jemal. I feel that it should be the same at both campuses. He wants to see if the fine "works" at IVC. We'll gor from there.
    Roquemore: we're looking at the fine as a symbol of our seriousness about the board policy. I don't think anybody thinks we'll actually be issuing any tickets. There are five different steps involved. Directing students to resources, etc. --We do other things differently between the two campuses in the policing areas. It's not just fine amounts.
    Prendergast: yes, we already do things differently at the two colleges. I'm not bothered that we have different approaches. We have two different colleges, and that's fine. I would have preferred, however, a trial period before we fine people.
    On the other hand, let's trust the process. [Sounds like our Senate reps got to Prendergast and Co. since the last meeting.] We do want to honor their hard work, the time they've put in in making this decision. If this is what IVC wants, and if it can be reevaluated, then this is good. Let's trust the process.
    Trustee Momand: agrees with Prendergast and Jemal--need smoke free district. But smoking is very addictive; it's hard for smokers to quit. Will there be areas where they can smoke?
    Burnett: yes, we've taken all of this into account. People can smoke in public places (roads, sidewalks), but not on the college campuses. This applies not only to students but to employees.
    Student trustee: undue burden?
    Burnett: we agree with trend toward smokefree campuses. We're all in favor of helping students to kick the habit. We'll do that.
    Prendergast: asks about vaping.
    Everyone rushes to answer: already covered. We want no kinda smoke at these here campuses.
    They vote: only Wright Jemal votes no. Passes.

Trustee TJ Prendergast
    6.4 - board policy revisions. Marcia: we're doing away with BP, using AR. Why? Fitz: is more appropriate as AR. We've made these kinds of adjustments before. (BPs should be broad and overarching.) Marcia is concerned that students know that we have a policy for grade grievances. She wants a "short" BP that states that there is an AR for grievances.
    Jemal: asks about policy re people with disabilities. Exploring reasonable accomodations. Does that language satisfy the law?
    Bugay: I think the B-man says that it comes down to if it costs too much. Fitz says that the legal beagles said this is OK (I think). Bugay: if there's a problem, the employee meets with manager, discusses. That's exploring.
    They vote: unanimous.
    6.5 - something about the A400 building at IVC. Adjusting cost, I guess. They vote: unanimous
    6.6 - blah blah
    6.7 - fulltime faculty hiring amendment
    Lang: for three new guidance and counseling positions? Explain please.
    Roquemore: the monies are allocations from state, student success program. Went through process at college to decide how to maximize money. Worked with Academic Senate.
    Wright: hiring now? Roquemore: "my vice president says 'yes'." They vote: unanimous
    6.8 - Academic Personnel Actions - unanimous yes votes
    6.9 - Classified Personnel Actions - unanimous yes votes
    6.10 - disposal of records - unanimous
    6.11 - sabbatical revision - unanimous
    6.12 - district initial proposal, CSEA - Prendergast: in closed session, agreed that we're OK with our proposal. Vote: unanimous
    6.13 - SciQuest, Inc. contract. Predated Workday selection. Fitz explains: yadda yadda. She's pretty eager to explain. Please stop. "This is the one that was recommended by everybody." Etc.
    Lang: what caught my attention--we used an outside group, Strada info group, that vetted the companies we received bids from. We didn't have the expertise? Fitz: that's not it. We're really strapped right now. Didn't have the time. Stradda did blah blah blah. Lang: normally we're using our own contract language, but in this case we're signing their agreement, with their language. I'm guessing that we had input from legal counsel? Fitz: yes. Some companies give us their contracts, take it or leave it, they say. But our attorneys gave the OK. We got everything we wanted in the agreement. Vote: unanimous.
7.0 Reports

7.1 Mission statements.....
7.2 SC and IVC speakers
7.3 Basic Aid report
7.4 Facilities plan status report....
7.5 Monthly financial report
7.6 Quarterly investment report

8.0 Reports from administrative and governance groups

 --OK, I'm outa here.

Pre-meeting warm-up

     As you know, in a little over an hour the May SOCCCD Board of Trustees meeting will commence, and it promises to be a total snoozefest.
     Here's tonight's discussion item, a real barn-burner:
SOCCCD: Basic Aid Allocation Recommendation for FY 2015-2016 Item being presented to the board for information and discussion prior to approving the basic aid recommendations as part of the FY 2015-2016 Tentative Budget.
     Here're a couple of graphics that go with the presentation:

      Make of it what you will.
     The college presidents will be back at issuing prizes and commendations tonight: mostly the grave business of giving awards to people on account of their having received awards someplace else. What I can't figure out is why they stop where they do. They oughta follow these awards sessions with yet another session, whereupon those who just got the commendations and resolutions are issued more C's and R's for having received the aforementioned goshdarn C's and R's. (They can call 'em "meta prizes." Or just "more meretricious bullshit.") Plus those who give out the commendations—the ever-smiling trustees and Presidents, natch—should get commendations for having given out those commendations. And ad infinitum. They could go on for hours like that. Wouldn't it be nice?
     Kant said that the mark of truly moral action is that one is motivated to do it—the moral action—not because one is inclined to (wants to, gets something from doing it, etc.), but purely out of recognition that it is demanded by the moral law, i.e., by reason itself.
     Well, sir, my attendance of tonight's meeting is prompted by no inclination at all, that's fer sher. But will I get a prize? No! I could be home watching Fast 'n' Loud, for chrissake! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

IVC's "Hometown Hero" freed from federal prison

Mike Carona and Glenn Roquemore
Former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona freed from prison early
(OC Register)
After four-plus years, he has left a federal medical center. Next stop is reportedly Irvine Valley College, where he’s the “Hometown Hero.”

IVC memories: The Michael S. Carona Administration of Justice Scholarship

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Should Graduate Students and Adjuncts Unionize for Better Pay?
(New York Times)

Colleges have been cutting costs by using more nontenured instructors, including graduate student teaching assistants and adjuncts, instead of professors. They account for over half of teachers on college campuses. Both adjuncts and graduate instructors have been organizing for higher pay and employment benefits.

But is unionization the answer? [Click here]

(Five debaters)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Distribution of grades at our colleges (♫ We're makin' the world taste good ♫)

Must be grade time at the ol' SOCCCD
     Boy, here at the SOCCCD, we give out As and Bs like freakin' candy.*
     At the State Chancellor’s Office website, I found these data about grade distributions in the SOCCCD (from Fall 2014):

     34% of SOCCCD grades are As. 54% are As & Bs. Wow. (If one deletes "withdrawn" students from the calculation, then 38% of our grades are As and 23.5% of our grades are Bs; that is, in that case, nearly 62% of our grades are As or Bs.)
     For the sake of comparison, here's the equivalent grade distribution data for the Coast Community College District (CCCD):

     Here's a handy dandy graph of these data, comparing SOCCCD grades with CCCD grades:

At SOCCCD, more than half (54%) of grades are As & Bs. At Coast, As & Bs account for half of all grades.
Grades in no way reflect reality

Above: the data circa 2006
* * *
     FIVE-YEAR-OLD DATA. The district has an almanac (See) that provides, among other things, “Student right to know” data, per college, available via links to the State Chancellor’s Office website (here).
     Unfortunately, the data available there are pretty old: the most recent info is from 2010. That is, evidently, students have a right to know what their college was doing five years ago, not what it's doing nowadays.
     Sheesh. That sorta takes the starch out of that ballyhooed right, don't it?
     For what it's worth, here are those data:
Irvine Valley:Fall 2010 Cohort:
Completion Rate: 37.65 %
Transfer Rate: 17.28 % 
Saddleback:Fall 2010 Cohort
Completion Rate: 34.80 %
Transfer Rate: 15.99 % 
Orange Coast:Fall 2010 Cohort
Completion Rate: 37.11 %
Transfer Rate: 16.05
Santiago Canyon:Fall 2010 Cohort
Completion Rate: 31.62 %
Transfer Rate: 12.61
Santa Ana:Fall 2010 Cohort
Completion Rate: 22.99 %
Transfer Rate: 8.37
Fullerton:Fall 2010 Cohort
Completion Rate: 21.02 %
Transfer Rate: 18.89 %
The IVC Student success “scorecard” can be found here. The Saddleback College student success “scorecard” can be found here
What we've got here is a failure to evaluate - August 2009
*See lyrics to the song The Candy Man 

Rancho Santiago College Foundation Considers "Unconditional" Open Meeting Law Compliance
(Coker; NavelGazing)

Asked at a March forum about Rancho Santiago Community College District's controversial $105 million consulting contract with two technical schools in Saudi Arabia, Chancellor Raul Rodriguez stated that the public community college's private foundation that struck the deal was not subject to California's open meetings law, commonly referred to as the Brown Act.

So, naturally, the foundation's board is scheduled to meet at noon today in the district trustees' board room to consider "approval and ratification of unconditional commitment as to compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act," according to the agenda….

Moms in the fight against GMOs (Lariat) [Pseudoscience at Saddleback]