[From Dissent 11, 11/10/98]
WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT RAGHU MATHUR BEING CENSURED FOR LYING? by Chunk Wheeler
It is often said that Irvine Valley College president Raghu Mathur is the “only person ever to have been censured for lying in the history of the college.”
That is correct, sir! On April 5, 1994, he was censured for lying to members of IVC’s Instructional Council on March 22, 1994 .
At a previous meeting, the membership of the IC had agreed not to go “outside the process” with respect to the choice of chair of the IVC presidential search committee, a choice to be made by Chancellor Lombardi, who, nevertheless, planned to base his choice on the recommendation of faculty. During an IC meeting on March 22, Raghu was asked whether, despite this agreement, he had presented a petition on behalf of a particular faculty member to the Chancellor. In fact, as he later acknowledged, he had. But, on the 22nd, he answered that he had “not forwarded” a petition to Lombardi or anyone.
Unfortunately for the Gooster, some members of the IC were familiar with his duplicitous ways and were not satisfied with his answer. After the meeting, they determined that, on the 21st, Raghu had indeed shown Lombardi a petition in support of his crony Craig Grossman. (Perhaps on that basis, Lombardi chose Grossman as one of two co-chairs.)
It was clear that Raghu had betrayed and then lied to the membership of the IC.
Raghu’s action was brought to light at the Instructional Council meeting of April 5. In his defense, he asserted that, though he did indeed show the petition to the chancellor, he did not “forward” it to him. Hence, he seemed to say, he did not actually lie. In legal circles, this is called making a “distinction without a difference.” Outside legal circles, it is called, “being a lying weasel,” which, of course, is unfair to weasels, who are, by all accounts, extremely direct and up-front in their dealings with others. They’re no hair-splitters.
Here are the relevant portions of the minutes for the April 5, 1994, IC meeting:
INSTRUCTIONAL COUNCIL MINUTES, April 5,1994
Terry Burgess, Shu-Yung Chen, Bob Deegan, Pam Deegan, Ron Ellison, Dave Everett, Larry Kaufman, Kathy Paukstis, Nick Kremer, Wendy Phillips, Sue Long, Chris Riegle, Margie Luesebrink, Bob Urell, Mark McNeil, Leann Cribb [Secretary], Raghu Mathur
INFORMATION AND REPORTS
[Seven items are listed under this heading.]
[The first item concerns the “Marine Base Two Year Plan.”]
[Second item:] Presidential Search Process:
Terry wrote a memo on March 23 to Chancellor Lombardi expressing the views given in Instructional Council at the March 22 meeting. He asked that the Council be given the opportunity to review the job announcement before it went out and recommended that a chair from IVC be appointed to convene the search Committee.
The Chancellor has since appointed Craig Grossman and Jerry Rudmann as co-chairs to convene the committee and they are in the process of setting up a meeting with the different governance groups to determine the composition of the committee.
Also, Terry passed around a copy of the published job announcement. The position is already being advertised and will close on May 20.
Wendy mentioned that she had met with Chancellor Lombardi on March 25 and he indicated to her that he had met with Raghu on Monday, March 21, and was aware of the petition Raghu had been circulating. [My emphasis.]
Many chairs expressed anger at hearing this because, at the Instructional Council meeting on Tuesday, March 22 [i.e., one day after Raghu’s meeting with Lombardi], Raghu had been questioned regarding this petition and had said that he had not forwarded [it] to anyone. [My emphasis.]
Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council because he had already spoken with the Chancellor [about the petition]. Working outside our process, by anyone, undermines all of the work the Council and the Senate does and makes IVC look bad [said members of the Council].
It was generally felt that the co-chairs being appointed and the announcement going out before review by IVC is directly related to the fact that the administrators at the District think we are in chaos because people keep working outside the process.
Margie made a motion to censure Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty. Wendy Phillips seconded the motion.
Raghu stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi prior to the last Instructional Council meeting. [My emphasis.] He still has the petition in his possession.
Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation. He also stated that he never said he was representing Instructional Council or the faculty; he was only representing himself and that he has every right to talk with the Chancellor.
Nick said that he was opposed to the motion on the floor because he did not feel this was the appropriate forum to deal with this issue. Ron also stated that he did not [see] the merit in this motion. He felt that Instructional Council was allowing this to pull the unit apart, which is exactly what we have been working against. He said that we needed to pull together and act as a unit.
Shu-Yung asked what it meant to censure Raghu. Margie responded by saying that she has been a long-time colleague of Raghu’s and has always treated him with respect, and hopes to continue such a relationship with him. However, this motion states that we are unhappy with his actions and wish to protest his misrepresentation of our faculty.
Bob Urell stated that he agreed with Raghu in that Raghu, or anyone else, does have the right to speak with the Chancellor, but that he did not agree with what Raghu had said to the Chancellor or his misrepresentation to the Council at its last meeting.
The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions. [END OF QUOTATION] [My emphases throughout.]
Observe that, in order to conclude, regarding this episode, that Raghu lied (among other sins), one need only appeal to his own admissions. They are damning all by themselves.
* * * * *
Raghu is big on petitions. You’ll recall that it was one of Raghu’s petitions that caused the Gang of Four to appoint him IVC’s interim president in April of ’97—one month after the decision had been made to appoint then-Chancellor Lombardi to the position. Oddly, the signatories of the petition have never been made public. (Raghu’s gang of supporters are unfailingly cowardly.) --CW