Wednesday, February 1, 2006
"Liberal Busybodies": Wagner takes aim at the American Library Association
elow are two short audio files (click on the icon) of last night's board meeting. They concern item 5: membership in organizations (i.e., memberships of the two colleges in professional organizations)
1. Trustee Milchiker can't support the motion (Marcia forgot to turn her mike on.)
2. Trustee Lang joins Milchiker ("my wife's a member")
3. Trustee Wagner responds
4. Trustee Fuentes makes a point of clarification
5. The vote is taken
(about 3 minutes)
I should mention that, immediately after Wagner made his motion, Chancellor Mathur noted that, in our district, librarians are indeed considered faculty (I edited that out). Wagner said he understood Mathur's point.
Mathur did not oppose Trustee Wagner's motion. Before the vote, it seemed clear that Wagner's motion would pass, as it did. Mathur did nothing to stop that.
Wagner vs. Hanoi Jane and the AAUW:
Wagner has a history of attempting to end our colleges' associations with "liberal" or "leftist" professional organizations. Six years ago, as a trustee, he took aim at the American Association of University Women. I looked in old issues of our newsletter (Dissent), and I found the following transcripts. Note: at the time, Dorothy Fortune was president of the board.
Transcripts, July 26, 1999 Board Meeting
FORTUNE: Trustee Wagner?
WAGNER: A couple of comments. I noticed here that both of our colleges are paying fees for the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. I'm curious why there is some overlap there-not that I have anything against the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, of course. But it seems there's some overlap…
The one item that gave me the most trouble is the numerous payouts to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which recently gave an award to Jane Fonda. Now, our chancellor served in Viet Nam-I don't know if he was there the same time Miss Fonda was in North Viet Nam, but I have a very serious problem with that organization and with us spending the tax money of residents of South Orange County to support such an organization. So I would like to make a motion…since apparently there is no time pressure here…that all payments to that organization be stricken from this agenda item and brought back to us with a report on why we belong, what benefit we feel we're getting out of that organization, and [we] can address it in particular. It may very well make some sense ultimately to pay these fees, but, uh, I would like to so amend item 20. [Someone seconds the motion. Perhaps Williams.]
FORTUNE: Would you repeat your motion?
WAGNER: The motion is to amend item 20 to strike any payments to the AAUW and to bring that item back at a later date with a report as to that organization, the benefits that we believe we're getting from continued membership in that organization, and any other information regarding that organization that administration believe is appropriate for us to know.
FORTUNE: I would like to comment on your motion. I'm a lapsed member of the AAUW, and, while you might not like their poster girl of the year, they have a wonderful magazine, they have wonderful activities, they're represented on all university campuses.
They're annual fee seems to be $100. On the other hand, the Orange County Forum is here for $1,000, which--I don't know about that one. I understand your concern, but at the same time I think we need to have a little bit of openness. We don't have to agree with everything that an organization does….
[Trustee Milchiker moved to table the entire item. It was tabled.]….