Monday, January 25, 2010

Mathur's out

Dissent the Blog. 7:30 p.m. (See also Tracy's Board Meeting Highlights)

It's official. During tonight's board meeting, Board Clerk Marcia Milchiker read out board actions taken during tonight's closed session. She reported that a decision was made essentially to end Chancellor Raghu Mathur's continued tenure as Chancellor.
“In the closed session, the board approved an agreement with Dr. Mathur persuant to which Dr. Mathur’s service as the district chancellor shall end on June 30th, 2010, and provides for his retirement from the district effective June 30, 2011. The board vote on this matter was as follows: in favor: Trustee Wagner, Padberg, Jay….” [My camera went haywire at this point. Sorry.]
Marcia reported that Tom Fuentes and Dave Lang voted against the agreement. Voting in favor: Trustees Milchiker, Wagner, Padberg, Jay, and Williams. No other details were provided.

* * * * *

Tonight, during "public comments," numerous speakers addressed item 6.1, a recommendation (from Mathur) to restrict broadcasting on Saddleback College Channel 39 and IVC Channel 33 to programming that meets the restrictive PG standard. The speakers spoke passionately in favor of returning to the less restrictive PG-13 standard. (See my previous post.)

The speakers were generally impressive. They made strong points. One made reference to a particular student documentary that seems to have started one trustee down the path of investigating the Communications Program. We'll see what the board decides later tonight.

* * * * *

Mathur spoke strongly in favor of 6.1. He seemed to say that it was backed by Saddleback College President Tod Burnett. (That seemed odd.)

The discussion of this item was somewhat confusing, but it was clear that trustee Dave Lang was very opposed to the board's imposition of the PG standard, as was trustee Marcia Milchiker. John Williams, too, opposed it, noting the fine reputation of the program and the possibility of violating Constitutional rights.

In the course of the discussion, Nancy Padberg made clear that members of the community had complained about some channel 39 broadcasts. (After the meeting, some in the Communications crowd suggested that these complaints were highly exaggerated and seemed to be engineered by trustee Padberg.) In Padberg's own view, these broadcasts pushed the limits even of PG-13 (at this point, I heard groans from supporters of the program, sitting behind me; the room was nearly full).

Early in the discussion, 6.1 was divided into two parts:

1: imposing a policy that only PG (or tamer) programming may be broadcast by 39 and 33
2: increasing membership of the "oversight" (?) committee, adding other members of the community

The Communications people didn't seem to object to 2. Everybody was on board with that.

Oddly, some administrators noted that, recently, the programs/channel had voluntarily adopted the PG standard. Evidently, they did that after the Nov. 17 report came out. (See earlier post. I could find nothing in the report to inspire concern.) So the issue became: why object to 1, which imposes the PG standard, if you have already voluntarily agreed to self-imposition of PG?

Tom Fuentes made a point about others' frequent references to the "community," which, he said, does not comprise the people in the room or even the people at the colleges, but the one million people living in South County. We need to consider their perspective, their interests, he said.

Board President Don Wagner seemed to like 6.1, noting that what goes on in the classroom and what is broadcast on channel 39 are two different things. He supported the program and its instruction; he seemed to lean towards imposing the PG standard.

Oddly, no one seemed to insist on a clear answer to (what strikes me as) the key question: how exactly would, as public speakers claimed, the board's imposing the PG standard hurt the students or the program? (I can easily imagine ways; but still--why not spell them out?)

Bob Cosgrove spoke forcefully against part 1 of 6.1, noting the possibility of accreditation difficulties down the line, which would be very distracting, expensive, etc. He noted that the board often speaks of accountability, and so, if they take this action, they should pay the cost if things go badly.

At some point, in view of Communications' voluntary imposition of the PG standard to their broadcasts (since November), Nancy Padberg suggested "tabling" 1--and coming back to this matter in a year to see how things have gone.

In the end, Padberg's suggestion was taken up. #2 was passed and #1 was tabled. (It seemed to me that Nancy didn't have the votes for #1, and so Dave's embrace of the tabling suggestion was a strategic error.)

This whole episode really doesn't add up for me. My guess is that there's more to it that we have not heard. I don't understand why the communications people would agree to restrict broadcasts to the PG standard. (After the meeting, one communications instructor did tell me that students do not produce films that are problematic anyway: no gore, etc. One communications person told me, "Nancy Padberg should get a hobby.")

In the coming year, no doubt Padberg will be watching the program(s) and the channel 39 broadcasts like a hawk.

Throughout the evening, Chancellor Mathur looked subdued, with dark, sunken eyes. My guess is that he was upset. It is likely that the closed session was stormy. It was supposed to end at 6:30 but stretched to at least 7:15.

The board is, I think, as fractured as it has ever been. Fuentes and Wagner, formerly the core of the board, are now profoundly at odds over this Mathur business, which Wagner pursued. Lang appears to have sold his soul to the devil (viz., the one with whom he voted in support of Mathur). There are no substantial alliances. I'm not sure what to make of it all or where it's headed.

I suggest that we concentrate our energies on urging the board to engage in a careful and honest search for a new Chancellor.

Matt Coker of OC Weekly noted our little story. Over the last dozen or so years, the Weekly has often marveled at some of our more colorful districtular players, especially Mathur.

Comments:

‪Anonymous‬ said...
Where's the party?
8:11 PM, January 25, 2010

Anonymous‬ said...
How much $$$$ are they paying him to go away?
8:12 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
It's about a decade too late. The guy has run the district into the ground and made us a laughingstock. Furthermore he has surrounded himself with incompetents that will wreck their own havoc. 

It will take years to undo the sort of damage that has been done.

 Sort of like the country in the aftermath of Bush.

 STILL -- where IS the party?
8:15 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
Thanks ROY -- for everything but especially for keeping the heat on and the lights bright. You are the BEST.
8:16 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
They should give us reparations for putting up with that guy and his management style! 

I guess he finally betrayed and lied to too many people but we've been calling it all along ...
9:02 PM

‪Anonymous‬ said...
Not with laurels but in shame.
9:22 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
My RSS feed isn't broken anymore!! Hooray! Thank you!!
 ES [That's right; everybody should re-subscribe, I guess.]
10:33 PM

Anonymous‬ said...
I understand there will be admonitions to not "dance in the street,"  regarding Mathur, but there are dozens of people whose personal and professional lives he killed. There yet remain malignant pockets of Mathurian creation. Congratulations and thanks to all who had the fortitude to see this through. I thought my feelings would be joyous come this day, but all I feel is sadness for his victims.........and no, Mr. Fuentes, this is not hyperbole.
7:29 AM, January 26, 2010

‪alannah said...
(1) Yes it will cost us money, but I'd rather pay for him to be gone than pay for him to be present.
 (2) He did surround himself with people who say "yes" well, but many have lots of other skills, have been doing good work in spite of him, and may now have the chance to really shine (I have a few in mind but don't want to out them).
 (3) The party, friends, is spread out across many happy hearts this morning.
 (4) If I had been at the meeting, I might have yelled, "Thank God!" . . . would that have been bad? ;)
7:51 AM

‪Greg‬ said...
Congratulations to you all. Thanks to those who have worked so hard for this day.

 I miss you.

 Greg
8:13 AM

Anonymous said...
What's the back story? [Note: much of the backstory has been explained here on DtB.] Why'd Williams and Wagner turn against him? As of last week, Mathur was defending Williams and his Florida junkets - even encourgaing other trustees to go out of town more often like Williams - maybe now we know why Mathur wanted them away!
8:43 AM

Anonymous‬ said...
No dancing in the streets?

 Can we dance in the hallways? In our offices and classrooms? While we watch PG movies, may we dance in our desk chairs? 
By all means, someone get on the horn to the people whose careers he ruined and let them know.
8:48 AM

Anonymous said...
Now Raghu can teach full-time at Argosy, passing on his experience and wisdom to those who thrist for it.
8:51 AM

Anonymous said...
They tolerated his gross mismanagement and irresponsibility for years -- it must have gotten personal for them to decide to take a stand. That's my guess.
8:57 AM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
I hope he comes back to teach at IVC. I'd love to run into him at the vending machines.
9:08 AM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
Thanks for your coverage of this Roy -- now and in the past.
9:18 AM, January 26, 2010

13 Stoploss said...
congratulations! :)
9:28 AM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
No official word from the district yet -- are we sure Roy isn't pulling our legs?
9:37 AM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
Someone needs to tell Cely Mora, Bob Loeffler, the Deegans, Nick Kremer, Terry Burgess -- Bobbie Weiner!-- all the people, fundamentally decent, whose careers he went after...

Who else?
10:18 AM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
Wagner has known for quite some time that Mathur is unscrupulous and conniving, but, in recent months, the Chancellor was caught in some lies that were rather spectacular, self-serving, and personally offensive to the Wagster. Mathur needed to go, but Fuentes is all about protecting "his people," and so firing Mathur had to occur in bold defiance of Fuentes. Wagner should get some credit for putting his personal interests (i.e., his prospects of winning that Assembly seat) aside to do the right thing (for once). There's been bad blood between Williams and Fuentes at least since the latter sicced Steve Greenhut on the former during the last trustee election (remember how G called out Republicans who cozied up to unionists?). Recently, the head of the local GOP, Mr. Baugh, made a big policy speech condemning this sort of thing, and so Fuentes, by tagging Williams, has made things very difficult for the Brown man.
11:42 AM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
I'm REALLY happy for you all. I hope that further good will happen this year for you!

" The wicked witch is dead...."

 --MAH
12:49 PM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
Oh horrors--you don't suppose he'll stoop to coming BACK into the classroom, do you???

 Dancing in the streets seems to be the only moral thing to do...that and trying to pick up the pieces of all he destroyed.
1:11 PM, January 26, 2010

Bohrstein said...
Congratulations indeed. I had to read and re-read the first paragraph to "get it". I still don't think I do.

 So what now, exactly?

 Where IS the party? Why does this feel so anti-climactic?
2:05 PM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
Looks like the Reg is on the case: College district chancellor reportedly voted out
3:07 PM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
BS, to whom does it feel anti-climactic? To you? Are we sending a vibe of anti-climax?
 It feels anti-climactic to me, but that's because we've been told that Mathur's on the ropes so many times, and then he has always managed to pop right back up again, like one of those daffy balloon clowns. This time, too. Back in mid-December, the word was that Mathur was total toast. Perhaps he was, but we really didn't hear anything about it again until last night. 
Looking at the board last night, I didn't know how to feel about things. The board continues to harbor (arguably) four clueless right-wingers. They were a kind of occasional voting block, but they are so no longer. I'm not sure what we've got. But surely it's got to be less "fun" being a trustee on such a board. There's lots of hatred and feelings of betrayal there. They oughta make a TV show about it. They could call it "The Board of Hell." --BvT
3:19 PM, January 26, 2010

Anonymous said...
Can we have a farewell vote of no confidence?

 Please.
3:26 PM, January 26, 2010

Bohrstein said...
My sensors are not picking up the climatic feelings if they are there. So, its a possibility that you are not sending out the proper climatic vibe. Judging by what you just wrote, it's your fault!
*insert crass climaxing joke here* BS
3:28 PM, January 26, 2010

twojobsago said...
It will be so long overdue if this "separation" comes to pass. No doubt the AHOLE negotiated some sweet deal to extend his "retirement" to July 2011. Whatever. A price well worth the cost. I still have great affection for your district, and particurly IVC to whom I gave 19 years of my career, and hope that this milestone marks a future of recovery. Cheers!
4:04 PM, January 26, 2010

Click on comments for subsequent remarks...

30 comments:

  1. Where's the party?

    ReplyDelete
  2. How much $$$$ are they paying him to go away?

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's about a decade too late. The guy has run the district into the ground and made us a laughingstock. Furthermore he has surrounded himself with incompetents that will wreck their own havoc.

    It will take years to undo the sort of damage that has been done.

    Sort of like the country in the aftermath of Bush.

    STILL - where IS the party?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks ROY - for everything but especially for keeping the heat on and the lights bright. You are the BEST.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They should give us reparations for putting up with that guy and his management style!

    I guess he finally betrayed and lied to too many people but we've been calling it all along ...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not with laurels but in shame.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My RSS feed isn't broken anymore!! Hooray! Thank you!!
    ES

    ReplyDelete
  8. I understand there will be admonitions to not "dance in the street", regarding Mathur, but there are dozens of people whose personal and professional lives he killed.There yet remain malignant pockets of Mathurian creation. Congratulations and thanks to all who had the fortitude to see this through. I thought my feelings would be joyous come this day, but all I feel is sadness for his victims.........and no, Mr. Fuentes, this is not hyperbole.

    ReplyDelete
  9. (1) Yes it will cost us money, but I'd rather pay for him to be gone than pay for him to be present.
    (2) He did surround himself with people who say "yes" well, but many have lots of other skills, have been doing good work in spite of him, and may now have the chance to really shine (I have a few in mind but don't want to out them).
    (3) The party, friends, is spread out across many happy hearts this morning.
    (4) If I had been at the meeting, I might have yelled, "Thank God!" . . . would that have been bad? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations to you all. Thanks to those who have worked so hard for this day.

    I miss you.

    Greg

    ReplyDelete
  11. What's the back story?

    Why'd Williams and Wagner turn against him?

    As of last week, Mathur was defending Williams and his Florida junkets - even encourgaing other trustees to go out of town more often like Williams - maybe now we know why Mathur wanted them away!

    ReplyDelete
  12. No dancing in the streets?

    Can we dance in the hallways? In our offices and classrooms? While we watch PG movies, may we dance in our desk chairs?

    By all means, someone get on the horn to the people whose careers he ruined and let them know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now Raghu can teach full-time at Argosy, passing on his experience and wisdom to those who thrist for it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. They tolerated his gross mismanagement and irresponsibility for years - it must have gotten personal for them to decide to take a stand. That's my guess.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I hope he comes back to teach at IVC. I'd love to run into him at the vending machines.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for your coverage of this Roy - now and in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  17. No official word from the district yet - are we sure Roy isn't pulling our legs?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Someone needs to tell Cely Mora, Bob Loeffler, the Deegans, Nick Kremer, Terry Burgess - Bobbie Weiner!- all the people, fundamentally decent, whose careers he went after...

    Who else?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wagner has known for quite some time that Mathur is unscrupulous and conniving, but, in recent months, the Chancellor was caught in some lies that were rather spectacular, self-serving, and personally offensive to the Wagster. Mathur needed to go, but Fuentes is all about protecting "his people," and so firing Mathur had to occur in bold defiance of Fuentes. Wagner should get some credit for putting his personal interests (i.e., his prospects of winning that Assembly seat) aside to do the right thing (for once). There's been bad blood between Williams and Fuentes at least since the latter sicced Steve Greenhut on the former during the last trustee election (remember how G called out Republicans who cozied up to unionists?). Recently, the head of the local GOP, Mr. Baugh, made a big policy speech condemning this sort of thing, and so Fuentes, by tagging Williams, has made things very difficult for the Brown man.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm REALLY happy for you all. I hope that further good will happen this year for you!

    "The wicked witch is dead...."

    MAH

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh horrors--you don't suppose he'll stoop to coming BACK into the classroom, do you???

    Dancing in the streets seems to be the only moral thing to do..that and trying to pick up the pieces of all he destroyed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations indeed. I had to read and re-read the first paragraph to "get it". I still don't think I do.

    So what now, exactly?

    Where IS the party? Why does this feel so anti-climactic?

    ReplyDelete
  23. BS, to whom does it feel anti-climactic? To you? Are we sending a vibe of anti-climax?
    It feels anti-climactic to me, but that's because we've been told that Mathur's on the ropes so many times, and then he has always managed to pop right back up again, like one of those daffy balloon clowns. This time, too. Back in mid-December, the word was that Mathur was total toast. Perhaps he was, but we really didn't hear anything about it again until last night.
    Looking at the board last night, I didn't know how to feel about things. The board continues to harbor (arguably) four clueless right-wingers. They were a kind of occasional voting block, but they are so no longer. I'm not sure what we've got. But surely it's got to be less "fun" being a trustee on such a board. There's lots of hatred and feelings of betrayal there. They oughta make a TV show about it. They could call it "The Board of Hell." --BvT

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can we have a farewell vote of no confidence?

    Please.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My sensors are not picking up the climatic feelings if they are there. So, its a possibility that you are not sending out the proper climatic vibe. Judging by what you just wrote, it's your fault!

    *insert crass climaxing joke here* BS

    ReplyDelete
  26. twojobsago.

    It will be so long overdue if this "separation" comes to pass. No doubt the AHOLE negotiated some sweet deal to extend his "retirement" to July 2011. Whatever. A price well worth the cost. I still have great affection for your district, and particurly IVC to whom I gave 19 years of my career, and hope that this milestone marks a future of recovery. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  27. twojobsago: Don't scare people! It's 2010, not 2011!

    ReplyDelete
  28. twojobsago.
    Retirement in 2011. Departure in 2010. Hence the $$$$$.

    ReplyDelete

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