As all DISSENTers know, SOCCCD faculty recently experienced abject screwage—by DAVE LANG, the current president of the Board of Trustees. For years, IVC faculty have regarded this conservative Milquetoastian bean-counter as a friend and a stalwart in the crucial enterprise of ridding the district of Mr. Goo (aka Raghu P. Mathur).
We worked on Dave's campaigns, we gave the fellow our time and our money. We knew, we thought, that we could always count on old Dave—just as we could always count on Marcia Milchiker and Bill Jay.
By the beginning of last Spring semester, owing to Trustee Nancy Padberg’s evident change of heart re Raghu—it appears that she now despises the fellow—it seemed that we finally had the votes to rid ourselves of His Pestilence. In December, Mathur's contract was not renewed, and he and his Board boosters (Williams, Wagner, & Fuentes) had but a few short months to pull a rabbit out of a hat.
"No way," said the optimists. In our hearts, we rejoiced and commenced anticipating a new day of heavenly Goo-lessness.
Suddenly, despite the severe Accreditation spankage the colleges received--thanks largely to Raghu--and expensive Mathur-generated litigation against the district, Lang did a complete 180 re Mathur. Our jaws dropped as Dave helped renew Mathur’s contract. They dropped lower still when Mathur was given a Quarter Million Dollar salary, making him the highest paid Chancellor in the known universe.
WHAT HAPPENED? Naturally, some faculty confronted Mr. Bean. During these confrontations, Dave generally explains himself by insisting that he, Dave, is a CHANGER OF MEN. With Dave’s help, Raghu, he says, can somehow be made anew into a decent human being, one who embraces "open dialogue" and all other things warm and fuzzy.
“You must be nuts,” we say, jaws resting firmly upon the floor.
So is Mr. Goo new? Who, if not old Goo, does he DO?
WELL, HERE’S THE THING. Among the issues roiling the SOCCCD is how to define the roles and duties of the governance groups. (That's like saying that New Orleans is wet.) Recently, the Accreditation people recommended that "the board of trustees, district leadership, and college leadership [should] define, publish, adhere to, [&]regularly evaluate...the respective leadership roles and scopes of authority of college and district constituent groups...."
So it's official. Gotta think about roles.
Naturally, the district and the Academic Senates don't see eye to eye on this. What to do? Well, one approach is to call for "technical assistance," a process whereby a "neutral" party enters the picture and helps resolve conflict.
Now, the Academic Senates of our district have long been promoters of "technical assistance" (T&A). Here's how it usually works in our case: some third party comes in on behalf of the district and another third party comes in on behalf of faculty, and then fair and balanced discussion happens.
That's the theory anyway.
In actual practice, the district usually calls in the organization of community college trustees to be their "third party." That club is way slanted in favor of boards. We faculty counter by asking some pro-faculty entity like the State Academic Senate to by our "third party."
The district's Academic Senates have been calling for T&A for years, but the Imperious Goo has always just said "no." As you know, he has always prided himself on his staunch intransigence.
But the New Goo--the "open dialogue" Goo--has surprised everyone. He is now calling for T&A with regard to this Accreditation-fueled "roles" issue!
Could it be that the New Goo is new for true? Whoo!
NOT SO FAST. Not long after Mathur's surprise suggestion, Wendy G, President of the IVC Academic Senate, TOLD RAGHU that we (i.e., the faculty) were thinking of asking the Association of American University Profs to be our "neutral third party" instead of the silly old State Academic Senate.
The AAUP!? Those tireless champions of academic freedom? Raghu didn't like that at all. He sniffed and snorted.
So what does the True New Goo do? Does he shoot straight? Is his blue true?
Nooooo. Without telling the district's two Academic Senates, and in utter disregard of what Wendy told him, he went off and wrote the State Academic Senate, asking that body if it would represent faculty in T&A!
It was a classic Mathurian end run.
Ladies and gentlemen, behold the New Goo! --CW