It's not the first time. In fact, we've been through worse!
Let's return to a more innocent time: spring, 1997, in beauteous Irvine, California....
A few weeks after Mathur’s illegal appointment as interim President of IVC (April), Professor Rebecca Welch, who had been serving as the chair of the college’s accreditation “self-study,” resigned in protest over Mathur's ascendancy.
Months later, Mathur appointed his crony (and union Old Guard pal) Ray Chandos as chair. By local tradition (if not law), the chair of this committee is supposed to be jointly decided by the Academic Senate and the college President. The senate held a vote in which Connie Spar was chosen (to be recommended) by a wide margin over Ray. This did not stop Mathur from appointing Chandos as head of the Accred self-study.
What follows are bits of some relevant newspaper articles.
April 2, 1998
Controversy arises over Chandos appointment
By Jason Chittenden
Staff Writer [The IVC Voice]
Contributing to the tension on campus, Irvine Valley College President Raghu Mathur appointed Ray Chandos as Accreditation Self-Study Chair on March 23 despite the Academic Senate's vote of 15-4 in support of Connie Spar for the position….
April 21, 1998
College: Harsh report softened?
EDUCATION: Committee members say south- county accreditation report was altered.
By KIMBERLY KINDY
The Orange County Register
Harsh criticisms directed at the embattled South Orange County Community College trustees were removed from a draft report prepared for Irvine Valley College's accreditation review, according to district records released Monday….
[Kindy's article included the following comparison: Original draft vs. Chandos' draft:]
HOW DRAFT REPORT DIFFERS FROM ORIGINAL
ORIGINALApril 22, 1998
"General community perception of the current board majority holds that (it) ... is not an 'independent body' but rather operates at the whims of a small vocal group of faculty, notably the faculty union leadership."
"...the board is an independent policy-making board capable of reflecting the public interests..."
"...this board has repeatedly violated the California Open Meetings Act ... such repeated violations have resulted in additional lawsuits now underway and in a general breakdown of confidence."
Statement was omitted from draft report.
"In the past, the board has interviewed the chancellor's final recommended candidates. More recently the board has instead directed the selection process itself..."
"The governing board selects the college president under the employment procedures for executive positions, and delegates the evaluation of the president to the district chancellor."
"The president (Irvine Valley College President Raghu Mathur) makes every effort to review budgets and expenditures, though his unfamiliarity with college-wide budgeting and state fiscal concerns requires him to rely extensively on the advice of others, notably, specific board members' preferences..."
"The president is well informed of state allocations and other income projections early in the budget development cycle." [End]
College District's Self-Evaluation Draft Draws Fire for Its Omissions
• Education: Critics say items critical of South Orange County trustees were omitted from the faculty administration report being sent to accreditation agency.
By ROBERT OURLIAN
LA TIMES STAFF WRITER
…Critics of the majority of the Board of Trustees charge that a draft report of a "self-evaluation" prepared by faculty and administrators was altered to remove lengthy passages critical of trustees.
The editing—while not illegal—shows an attempt to cover up problems at Irvine Valley College, one of the campuses administered by the South Orange district, critics charged….
College District Not at Risk, Trustees Say
• Education: leaders offer assurances on quality and accreditation after the latest flap, over criticism edited from a report.
By ROBERT OURLIAN
LA TIMES STAFF WRITER
Leaders of the South Orange County Community College District hastened to offer assurances Friday that educational quality is being maintained and that accreditation is not at risk as students threatened to leave the district to attend other colleges...Criticism is intensifying over faculty contentions that a draft college accreditation report on the school system's administration was "sanitized" when criticism of trustees was removed. But administrators said the process has retained its integrity....
May 1, 1998
A Clockwork Orange
by Matt Coker
ERASER HEAD: Stinging criticism of the South Orange County Community College District board of trustees was reportedly removed from a self-evaluation prepared by a committee of faculty students and staff for Irvine Valley College's accreditation review, it was disclosed on April 20. Key passages detailed board micromanagement and violations of the state open-meeting law. Language blaming the district's state financial-watch status on the board's refusal to heed the advice of its own financial experts was apparently excised. The Irvine Valley professor who headed the eight-member committee reportedly said he edited many statements out of the report for length's sake. But it wasn't short enough for trustees, who complained the sanitized version was still too critical of them. Accreditation officials invited committee members to send them an alternative report if they believe the final version is inaccurate....