Monday, August 29, 2011

August 2011 SOCCCD Board Meeting (and rodent observation op)—live and direct!


     [Please see CORRECTION below re item 6.8.]
     [These are lowlights. For Tere's "highlights," go here.]
     6:11: Well, it's just after six o'clock here in the Ronald MacDonald BoT meeting room in beauteous Mission Viejo, CA. The meeting was supposed to start at 6:00, but there's no sign of the trustees.
     6:15: the room's filled up a bit. Still no sign of the trustees. Someone's brought a baby into the room; I hear her crying.
     There's something festive about summer meetings (yes, I said summer; I refuse to relinquish it). The drive was lovely. Mission Viejo really is "beauteous."
     Helen Locke is huddling with some of her students. What's that about?
     6:21: As you know, the trustees are in closed session (prior to their open session at "6:00."). I bet they're yelling at each other about now. I wonder if Lang and Padberg ever get into fistfights? She'd win.
     There's no "discussion" item tonight, which could really streamline things. The two student governments will be presenting their final budgets. In the old days, with Fuentes and Wagner, that reliably produced fireworks, and often for good reasons. You know where ASG gets much of its money? It's a fee tacked onto textbooks bought at the bookstore.
     It's nearly 6:30, and still there's no sign of the BoT.
     6:37: Trustee Prendergast has emerged! There's Bill Jay, chewing on something. Looks like he just woke up.
     6:41: still only Prendergast and Jay. A minute ago, they were standing next to that awful bust of Ronald Reagan. Yes, it's sitting immediately behind the trustees at about trustee chest level. From down here, he looks like a peeping tom, poking up from behind some bushes.
     Here's Meldau, and now Lang. I do believe Nancy punched Betrayal Boy in the face. His hair looks like mine and his face is all mushy.
     Nancy and Marcia have entered, though Dave's gone off somewhere. Looks like Bugay will be filling in for Poertner.
     6:44: They're about to START.

Pinch hitter
     START. Clerk reads out actions: no actions taken.
     Invocation: Bill Jay. Says: 38 killed in hurricane, many without power. So he holds a moment of silence.
     The Pledge: Lang
     Nancy: urgent family matter took Poertner away. Bugay will fill in.
     Resolution: model classified senate award. Blah, blah, blah. Laura U got a "vision" award even though she's wearing glasses. More awards. Sherpa. Bramucci, Gaston, introduce.
     Erin Long comes up to make comment. Catastrophic leaves. They oughta be better.
     Woman barges in, comes up to podium. A Ms. Do. Something about her handicap, which is not apparent. Has some legal papers. Is she a crank? Nancy tries to shut her down; no luck. "You didn't turn in a slip!," she says, always the stickler for rules when it suits her, as the lady stalks away. (Were those tiny mouse heads I saw poking out of the top of her bag? Who knows.)

Board reports:
Jay: comments on parking. It took him a while to find a space.
Meldau: toured renovation of library at Saddleback. Impressed by quality of people "here." He's downright gabby tonight.
Milchiker: has much to say about the upcoming chili cook-off. Ceramic work by students, local artists, faculty--at this chili thing, I guess. Money will go to veterans memorial.
Prendergast: library tour was impressive. "Kinda interesting." Chancellor's opening session, too, was "kinda interesting." Usually, he's funny. Tonight, he's a knucklehead, kinda.
Padberg: at chancellor's opening session. Will be on Laguna Woods TV. Check it out.
Lang: couldn't make the Chancellor's opening session. "Intersected with our vacation plans."
Student trustee Larson: went on library tour. Seems pleased as punch.
Bugay: we do a lot of things really well. "I'm proud of where I work," he said. (He can be that way.)

Nancy P: will pull 5.8 from consent calendar. Advance 7.3.

7.3. That's the district-wide strategic plan presentation.
     IVC Prez Roquemore, Saddleback Prez Burnett, Bob Cosgrove, Lisa Davis Allen, walk up to podium. (Was that a mouse I saw, scurrying across the floor?) Slides shown.
     The bulk of this plan was developed over the summer time. Yadda yadda. Roquemore introduces two faculty: Cosgrove/Allen. (As Cosgrove walks past me, he steps right on my foot. Funny. Burnett and I exchange smiley faces.)

Lisa Davis Allen:
     Lots of hard work. Names of participants listed. (Not a crew that inspires confidence, I've gotta say. Almost all of 'em have a strong motive to placate the powers that be.)
     A very collegial experience, she says. Cookies and punch, no doubt.
     Accreds focused on strategic planning. Short-term and long-term. Gotta plan better.
     What is a "goal"? --An overarching concept used as conceptual tool used to determine policy and practice, she says.
     We move toward accomplishment of goals through objectives: "smart" criteria. Specific criteria. Measurable, achievable, etc.
     We developed 6 goals, 13 objectives, 73 action plans.

Goal 1: create district-wide culture...of mutual respect/collaboration..celebrates uniqueness of each institution. [Good grief. Any true conservative would vomit projectiles.]
Objective: chancellor will see to collaboration. Will periodically communicate goals, etc.
Goal 2: support innovations....
Objective: increase rate of completion....5% annually
Goal 3: maintain tech leadership, make future advancements
Objective: district will articulate its vision....

Mr. Cosgrove
Bob Cosgrove:
     We hope to get away from all these dealings with the ACCJC

Goal 4: increase effective use of resources by developing cycle of integrated district-wide planning.
Objectives: develop a model for the cycle...; review resource allocation process; will provide annual report that goes through goals. Want to base everything on evidence.
Goal 5: will prepare date-driven district decison-making processes that are collaborative, transparent, etc.
Goal 6: assess ed needs of communities and pursue joint venture partnerships.... This is particularly directed toward ATEP.
Objectives: collaboration to determine responsibility and use of ATEP

     A slide is shown: three circles. I hate these things. Two circles with arrow pointing at bigger circle, which is the district-wide planning council.
     Want info from the community (by Sept. 15). Direct to college Prezes or VC.
     Bob offers a quotation: "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Love that Bob. END.
     Bugay: we employed consultants for this. They went off and interviewed many people. Turns out we don't always have a positive culture of discussion between groups. Poertner has worked hard on this. College Prezes will lead by example. Etc.

     Nancy: Anything to pull from consent calendar? 5.8, 5.12
     Vote on consent calendar: unanimous.

7:26: Prendergast asks why counsel A,L,R&R gets more money. Good question, dude.
     Bugay: they "review" their rates annually. Increased 'em. We've used this firm, have been pleased with their services. You can vote for or against.
     Approved unanimously.

The Board Prez
6.1: final budget of both student governments. Start with Saddleback.

Saddleback College:
     Prez of ASG at Saddelback: Joseph Hessine?
     Two things have changed: allocation to scholarships is one. There's another, dunno.
     The kid is good, but rattles on a bit too quickly. None too clear, though no doubt accurate and relevant.
     Scholarships and awards: $106,000. Actually more...
     Essentially, budget has same structure. Same foci. Any questions?

     Lang: thanks for fine presentation. Unlike IVC report, you didn't have headers showing comparative years. (Students start to stare at each other.) Question about rollover grants. Line item. About $90K. Blah, blah, blah.

     They vote: yes, unanimous

Irvine Valley College:
     Mr. Allen w/ Vice Prez (didn't catch her name). They look seriously young and cute and lost. Allen looks like he just now got out of bed.
     Highlights of changes: increase of beginning fund balance. Higher revenue than expected. So will be funding more things.
     Beginning $158K. Lots of rollover from prior year.
     This is OK, but the kid rattles on too quickly.
     $355K comes from bookstore.
     Total use of funds: $594K
     $232K goes to co-curricular!
     Questions? None.
     Vote: yes. Unanimous.

7:43:
     District final budget. Deb. Fitzsimmons comes up to present. Has important contributors stand up for recognition. (Beth Muller, et al.) "Great fiscal team." She really seemed to mean it.

Overview:
$555.8 million budget (half a billion)
     Workload reductions will occur in community colleges. That's 6.2%. Doesn't apply to basic aid districts. If we were under SB... that would be 8 million...
     Tax revenue will be lower or flat. So will get less basic aid moola.
     85-89% salaries/benefits at colleges. Acceptable range.
     Shows basic aid trends. Up and down over years. Wise to use for one-time only.
     $40.4 million for future projects (of basic aid). Roll-overs no longer allowed. That hurts.
     If revenue projections not met (and they surely won't be), then reductions will be triggered. Basic aid districts have more vulnerability. Esp. in Categoricals.
     State chancellor's office priorities: categorial restorations, COLA, growth.
     New activities (planning) prompted by Accred will be good for us.
     Fitzsimmons seems to do a great job. But what do I know.
     Questions?
     Prendergast: moves the budget
     Carries unanimously. (I see a mouse running past the podium. It's been dashing all over the front area of the Ronnie Reagan room.)
     Burnett comes up to present proposed "Ronald Reagan: A Saddleback College Tribute"
     At that point, the mouse climbs upon the Reagan bust and shits on it (in my imagination)
     Burnett: we couldn't find all the stuff about Reagan & Saddleback over the years. That's just not right. Goes through history of Reagan and district. 1968: then-Gov Reagan dedicated Saddleback College.

8:00 p.m.
     Pictures shown. "We're a college town!" says dead paper. Lost the original copy of paper. Good grief.
     1970: Letter from Reagan to district.
     1986: Letter: congrats to Saddleback on 20th anniversary. We see letter.
     A video: 1992. Reagan appears, talks about Saddleback College. First-rate faculty. 25 years of excellence, he says. Nice little video. Thanks, Ron.
     "That's very special," says Burnett.
     2008: we named this very room after Ronald Reagan. (Yeah, check out that bust with a turd on it.)
     We have many more artifacts. 1968: one of RR's quotations: "Function of education: each individual grow... fulfill potential ... our job to provide that opportunity...great rewards for the community."

     A nice, elderly lady named "Joyce" comes up: mentions the "little mouse." (She cringes.) Was afraid it would climb "up your leg," she says to Burnett, who mock freaks. A good laugh is had by all. But not that mouse, I bet.
     Padberg says: this item says "various memorabilia" to give to Reagan library. Too general for her.
     A worthy project. A bit too nebulous to support, says Nancy. Motion: to table for next meeting. Maybe a subcommittee can work on this so we can have our own Reagan display here.
     Burnett: most of what we have are copies anyway....
     Lang supports motion to table (to next meeting). [I almost interrupted to recommend that we hand over that funky bust.] Vote is unanimous except for Milchiker's "no."

     6.4: unanimous. 6.5: unanimous. 6.6: etc.
     6.8 directing basic aid money away from BSTIC to Fine Arts building, I think. [CORRECTION: SEE END OF POST.] Unanimous. (I'm surprised they didn't direct it all to that goddam speech program.)
     Yadda yadda.....

Reports: blah blah blah.
No comments or questions. This gang is focused on getting home.

Finally, 8:0, reports from constituent groups

An attorney was there
Saddleback College Ac. Sen Prez: blah blah
Faculty Association: no report
IVC's Ac. Senate Prez (LDA): have finalized our lecture series, etc. Sept. 22, we'll have distinguished academic lecture: Robert Young, star of Father Knows Best (well, no, not that one). Something about Paradise and middle age.
Randy Peebles: nothin'
IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore: one of our faculty was selected as winner of win-tale design, license plate. Also: commemoration of tenth 9-11 anniversary.... At Performing Arts Center. Nancy Padberg will be offering remarks on behalf of the board. Sandra Hutchins, et al. Growth: it is flat. Parking lots are full, growth is flat. Last year, we were running 3% unfunded. Had to bring that down. Productivity values quite high. 525 is state average. Probably 540 or 560 when things settle at IVC.
Saddleback's Burnett: we're up a bit in headcount. Our productivity is also up. Mentions "Tod stadium" jokingly.
Bramucci: the MOE apps--we've just updated. He got all wonky. Don't know what he said.
Deb. Fitzsimmons: nothin'
IVC Classified senate: gone
. . .
8:36, meeting over

[UPDATE: turns out the trustees went on their Library tour from 4-5 and then got back to their closed session at 5:00.]

CORRECTION: I do believe I grossly misdescribed item 6.8 of the agenda. Here is the actual item (which was approved):

13 comments:

  1. I love when you do this.

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  2. It's gonna b a long night in the rrbotr. Just waiting. Did someone tell them we are out here

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  3. Yes, Glen, the parking lots ARE full.

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  4. It only took Trustee Jay 10 minutes to find parking.

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  5. Trustee Jay couldn't find his ass in an empty parking lot.

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  6. The meeting started 45 minutes late so the Trustees could tour the new Saddleback library while 30 people were kept cooling their heels waiting for them to show up. Evidently neither the meeting being on time nor the people in the audience mean very much to the Trustees...so much for respect!

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  7. SOCCCD Trustees don't care how long anyone is waiting. They milk this once a month basking in the glory of being an "elected official" to the max. This is the one time a month they all get out, eat food on the tax payer's nickle, hob nob with other OC republicans, and get to think they are important. You really think they care about being on time? I have a thought, perhaps faculty should start their classes 45 minutes late and see what happens? Talk about double standard...do what I say, not what I do.

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  8. Two things: Why does student government with their Tracey Flick like personae get to have their fingers all over such large amounts of money--and who gives a flying f*uck over Reagan, who was no great supporter of education?

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  9. Why is IVC's Fine Arts getting BSTIC resources? Who decided that? What is the process?

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  10. 5:59, please see CORRECTION at end of post.

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  11. Maybe the redirected $$$$$ is to finish that outdoor amphitheatre taht has us, been languishing since last year...I would like to know about the mysteriously empty BSTIC though. It's like ghost town, especially the first floor in the afternoon...second floor is a bit better but not much. Why aren't classes being taught in there?

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