Monday, December 5, 2011

The December board meeting: ATEP of the mind

     6:06 p.m. – The meeting starts!
     Nancy Padberg's invocation begins, "Dear heavenly father, we honor this blessed season tonight in recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ." She throws something in there, too, about Hanukkah.
     Marcia Milchiker reads out actions taken in closed session: (1) a full-time student was expelled.

Yearly organizational meeting (upshot: they roll over the existing leadership team):
TJ Prendergast nominates incumbent Nancy Padberg for board Prez. Unanimous (with Tom Fuentes and Bill Jay absent; Jay was absent for the last two meetings, I believe. Fuentes has appeared only once since last March).
• Marcia nominates incumbent TJ Prendergast for VP. Unanimous.
Frank Meldau nominates incumbent Marcia M for clerk. Unanimous.
• Etc. Things proceed agreeably. No "no" votes on anything. [Dave Lang did not mess with the ducks, so carefully placed in a row.]
Special meeting of the Board of Directors, etc.
. . .

     6.1, 6.2, 6.3 advanced: public hearing, change of properties with County of Orange, at ATEP.
     Andy Bernstein, our counsel, speaks, presents "land exchange agreement." It concerns two ten-acre parcels. The County land is actually owned by the Navy. According to this plan, the Navy would give the ten acre parcel to the City of Tustin; and Tustin would give it to the district. Then the district would bury it with a bone.
     Various steps must be completed. One has occurred. We have a period of time to complete other conditions.This exchange would benefit both the district and the County, says Andy. (It appears that the current district 10 acres is adjacent to the Rancho Santiago CCD parcel of 15 acres. Maybe we just don't wanna be near those guys. Could be.)
     Dave Lang mentions that members of the public, too, can ask questions. Jeremy Something-or-other now discusses details of the exchange. Blah, blah, blah about environmental this and that. "Impacts" for the two parcels are the same!
     TRUSTEE QUESTIONS?: None. They're obviously really on top of it.
     Nancy opens the "public hearing." No one wants to speak. (Well, the public didn't show.) She closes the public hearing.
     They move on to 6.2, a "resolution" concerning this land exchange. Trustees vote. Unanimous.
     6.3, another resolution re land exchange. Unanimous.

     They advance 6.4 (district annual audit report)
     A suit walks up, presents. Says: counted those beans, and it's all good. The audit followed the usual standards. No restrictions placed on us; we could get anything we asked for. We're giving an unqualified opinion. We're external auditors: examining analysis provided by management.
     With regard to medical: no unfunded liability. Good.
     We found some items that should be corrected and management agreed. Not material to financial statement. Hunky dory.
     LAB ISSUE. State compliance finding (special areas examined based on state requirements): [Note: a "finding" appears to be a finding of fault or noncompliance.]
     Only one. TBA hours. Where a student has taken a lab, attached to a course. The existing tracking system didn't meet state requirements, in our opinion. Management has reviewed that, agreed to that finding.
     Yammers about earlier findings and corrections.
     Any questions? No.
     Motion to accept (for review?) Unanimous.

     Foundation audit: Sounds good. No identified weaknesses in two foundation audits.
     Lang motions to accept: unanimous.

RESOLUTION: Saddleback College Student Winners, College Broadcasters, Inc., National Student Production Awards. (October) — One member of the team has a blazing pink Mohawk. The others are relatively subdued. (Some leather.)
     Marcia offers a long preface to the resolution (Nancy is quietly peeved). Then she reads it. In Orlando, F'L, blah, blah, blah.... "From Bullets to Bubbles." Disabled veterans, scuba diving. Jazz radio program.
     Trustees do a roll call vote. —It's the usual: these kids are getting a prize for getting a prize. Later, they'll get a prize for getting that last prize for getting a prize. Repeat.
     Mohawk Girl comes up to speak. She's a good speaker. Excellent earrings. Has to run to her radio show, she says. She's actually landed a real job owing to all this! "You can tell that I'm the DJ," she says.

Public comments: none

Board Reports:

     Frank Meldau: no report, but wishes everybody happy holidays. (I hear a single cricket chirp.)
     Marcia Milchiker: draws attention to holiday programs at the colleges. She Marcia-izes awhile about all of the "wonderfulness" she has experienced at the colleges. What would that woman do without the word "wonderful"? She's like Lawrence Welk.
     TJ Prendergast: he says he went to a dance event at IVC. Especially liked the "dancing turtles." Thanks for rating my "mo," he says.
     Nancy Padberg: wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season.
     Dave Lang: wanted to "announce" those public schools that did so well on test scores (see the papers). Wished everyone happy holidays.
     Student trustee Jordan Larson: got accepted to CSU Fullerton. Took a bow. Happy holidays.
Chancellor's report [Gary Poertner]: mentions upcoming presentation of proposed programs, etc., for ATEP. Etc.
     Says he has a plaque for Nancy Padberg—honoring her service as President. He reads the plaque. "I suspect you'll be getting another one of these," he says. Laughter.
     Nancy: "hey, the last one I got had a gavel!"
     "These are difficult financial times...," says Gary. Laughter.

     Board requests for reports: Prendergast asks, can we plant a tree to replace all the paper we use for these dang meetings? Nancy notes that he'll have to ask for a report about the cost, which will entail grindin' up that very tree. Laughter.


[Upshot: IVC will focus on emerging technologies; Saddleback will focus on health care.]

     1. Craig Justice (IVC VPI) comes up to present proposals for ATEP [for IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE]. Nancy stares at him for a moment and then says something like, "Who are you?"
     Craig introduces himself. He discusses "emerging technologies and a "world class workforce." That's IVC's focus for ATEP.
     He throws out the usual buzz words re ATEP. Pretty old stuff, old promises and plans. It's like he ate one of those ten-year-old pamphlets.
     Mentions ATEP's proximity to other areas in the County. A significant advantage to be so central. "We don't make any decisions without data at Irvine Valley College," he announces, without irony. (Some tittering. Just in my head, I guess.) He's joined by Lisa Davis Allen (IVC Ac. Sen. Prez) and Dr. Werle.
     LDA: happy to be part of this. Mentions "multimedia green technology" and something-or-other.
Talks about using "anchors." Yammers about digital media and 3D animation. "A good anchor as we spread to ATEP," she says. These people like their buzzwords, man. What's the matter with 'em?
     Good numbers in OC for projected openings in multimedia arts jobs/needs.
     Recording technology and entertainment businesses. Simulation and gaming design. These areas are hot.
     Partnerships: mentioned Boeing, Raytheon, Blizzard. Pipe dreams?
     Werle: 2nd anchor area: Alternative energy systems." Will "burgeon" in the future.
     As the economy gets stronger, green technology will explode in terms of jobs. Solar. Zero waste management. Green is profitable. Toyota, Edison, US DoL looking for energy efficiency, partnership opportunities. Synergies. (That word should be banned.)
     Applied technology is another "hub area." Biomedical, etc. Product development.
     Justice: re facilities: 30K square feet facility (to be built).
We were invited to stare at these words: Flexibility. Innovation. Exhibition. Not sure why. [Kill me now.]
     Gives a "virtual tour" of the "space." Welcoming area. Administration, reception, conference room. Discusses future state-of-the-art media labs with computers. Multimedia labs: students working with instructors on computers. (They shoulda put a cam on some kid's head—or maybe on an ATEP rat—for a day and then showed it at X10 speed. Show some imagination, man!)
     A 30K square foot building will have 16-17K square foot classroom space, says Craig. We'll be able to schedule efficiently. Projected yield: 650-700 FTES. A large auditorium, 75 seats. We've got a room like that at BSTIC, very flexible, etc.
     We anticipate 4-6 state of art computer labs. Discusses outdoor solar lab.
     Mentions government agencies that have an interest in partnering with us. (Dept. of Synergy, etc.)
     And so IVC is poised and ready to "deliver the goods," says Craig, proudly. We want to be that workforce training hub. Our Academic Senate has endorsed it with a "position paper." Happy about that. That closes our presentation.
     QUESTIONS: None.

     2. SADDLEBACK'S presentation: she [the woman didn't identify herself] refers to a handout that trustees will get later, when they can go through it slowly. IVC has focused on emerging technologies. We've chosen to focus on an old area:health care. We'd like to share vision for a center for innovation blah, blah, blah.
     Uses example of Capt. Sullenberger landing that plane in the drink—he had only done that before on a simulator. [Ooooh.]
     Vision: to establish a regional simulated healthcare center. She shows a picture with all of the elements pointing to the middle. So Cal is in need of this facility. Mentions: medical records, wellness center, training center, emergency dept. Patient care. Labs. Patient services.
     Blah, blah, blah.... This gal is really into the dynamics of pausing and getting hushed, and then building up to something dramatic. You know, it's a kind of rhetoric, a style. I think she would have done as well discussing peanuts and gravel. I guess that's good. I hated it. She was really selling this thing, relying greatly on Saddleback nursing's established shiny reputation and morgue of old pics. (It's the old, "We're Saddleback nursing. Nuff said. So genuflect and step out of the way, fool!")
     Turns it over to Tammy Rice: she says they'll focus on three areas of training: allied health students, health care professionals, community participants. (Huh?) Blah, blah, blah. I guess she's discussing "revenue and funding opportunities."
     QUESTIONS?: Prendergast: any plan re epidemics, that sort of thing? Yes, through EMS.
     Diane Pestolesi now jumps up to discuss the "simulation idea." DP cheerleads the heck out of this thing. Now, she gravely discusses medical errors and resulting tens of thousands of deaths per year. "This center addresses that," she says. Blah, blah, blah. "We can contribute to positive outcomes in our community," she says, passing the baton to yet another gal, but shorter.
     That gal briefly discusses the simulated environment. Lots of industry partners excited about this. She's done.
     Larry [Grihalva?] now comes up: he seems very excited. Reminds me of Chris Farley. I was afraid he'd launch himself at me, destroying the chairs and tables, and me. I guess he really cares. I have no idea what he's talking about, but I'm damned sure he's excited about it. (He's discussing EMS, paramedics, etc.)
     He's got a joke: What do you call it when you're caught in a hurricane and tornado at the same time? It's a wind-wind situation.
     He's very excited. He's led away to his chair.
     This stuff will be up for approval next time. Gosh, it's so good that faculty were consulted.
     There's a five minute break.

Watch IVC and Saddleback reports: proposed use of ATEP

     7:59: now to consent calendar
     Lang pulls 5.1, 5.5, 5.6. Nancy pulls 5.12. (5.14-5.18 must be included.) That's it. The rest is approved. Unanimous.

     5.1 Lang corrects some points on meeting minutes. He's pickin' nits again.
     5.5 Lang: says he's in support of those IT projects we're pulling. Blah, blah, blah.... Lang says something, Padberg repeats it, but she's somehow annoyed. I don't care. Nancy is plainly annoyed to have to stop and think about motions and seconds and blah, blah, blah. I know how she feels. Get out the rubber stamp!
     What would this district be like without peevitude? Unrecognizable, is what.
     Burnett now launches into something, chattering like he does. It's like he gets paid by the word (per second). He's into style, too. It all sounds very reassuring, whatever it is, even if he's actually talking about beans and lint and, who knows. Nancy nods. All is well.
     Fitzsimmons says something with her usual pithy competence. TJ says something too, but it wasn't funny. I stopped listening, started just sensingstyle. I think the trustees are happy now.
Congrats Brandye!
     Glenn speaks. "Blah, blah, blah," he says. "I have only a superficial understanding of this, or anything else, but all is well," he seems to say (I mean the sound of his voice, like a babbling brook, said that; not his actual words).
     I'm growing weary. Prendergast points at somebody. LDA now speaks. She says soccer fields are dangerous. Huh? I have no idea what they're talking about. This discussion is a metaphor for lives of quiet desperation in fucking OC.
     Lang now murmurs. "Policy and regulations" he says. I do wish he'd shut up. I bet this item is about linoleum or nits. He's peevish about something. Wow! He actually says "pet peeve!" Nancy peeves back.
     OK, this is about basic aid and the board's old rule that BA money should go to one-time expenses for "unforeseen maintenance issues." I guess there's been some fudging about that. Too bad Fuentes isn't here to grumble and guffaw and make disturbingly ugly faces to lend to this topic the correct staunchular gravity. He's the master.
     Suddenly, everybody seems lost. Meldau says something, then Gary does. Gary looks like he's gonna clear everything up, i.e., shut everybody up. Says the state forces terminology on us but that's just BS. Something like that. The semantics of "deferred maintenance." Fitzsimmons jumps in.
     They vote: Lang votes no, but it is approved.
     Strike out the automatic trigger: that's how they change it. --I don't care what that means. (Something about the trustees retaining their right to approve something or other. They're makin' a power play.)
     5.12 — Trustee requests for conference moola. Nancy says she's interested, and so is Marcia. They vote on the item: unanimous yessireebob.
     5.14 — New software. Lang says let's approve all of these IT things. Unanimous.

     Next: general action items:
     6.6 Something about "reorganization" and administrative salary schedules. Blah, blah, blah. David Bugay yammers for a while. I'm sure it's terribly important. Something about salary schedules (for administrators and classified managers).
     Nancy: how come our consultant isn't here? It comes out that there hasn't been a change in the salary structure since 2007. ( I guess these people aren't getting raises.) Lang asks for the ultimate fiscal impact. They turn to Fitzsimmons. Doesn't feel comfortable providing draft info. Nancy asks for the "ballpark." Fitz: $20K per month.
     Lang: what's the urgency?
     Poertner: this has been planned for a long time. Blah, blah, blah. He's trying to get the trustees off this thing.
     Prendergast: just because other districts are doing this, that's why we should? I guess I don't know the context. Nancy asks for College Prezes to weigh in.
     Roquemore refers to a confidential matter that has delayed "it." Mentions two positions.
     —Looks like I just can't pay attention to this stuff any more. I oughta go home and watch House.
     Burnett weighs in. He too seems to say, come on, we've waited long enough. Let's move forward. I stopped listening to words. I'm going by the babble of each brook. He must've babbled effectively.
     —Well, no. Lang says we're putting the cart before the horse. Don't know what these changes are going to be. We've already waited a year and half, so let's get these answers.
     Poertner: we do know what these positions will cost. 8K per months per position, says Fitz. Fitz's babble is euphonious. Lang is actually nodding to her music. "Blah, blah, blah." Very pleasant. Hell, I'd vote for it, whatever it is.
     Prendergast mentions the consternation that recent faculty salary increases produced among trustees. Gosh, he says, we'll want to move slowly with these $25 k raises! Nancy yammers. Bugay looks pained. I guess they're waiting for a study to get done. Turns out if they approve this thing it will only affect these four people.
     Any motion to approve? Prendergast makes the motion. Any second? After long seconds, Marcia seconds. They vote: Meldau and Lang vote no. They needed four votes. Thus isn't approved.
     8:38 – OK, I'm goin' home, goddamit.

(Agenda here. Tere's board highlights here.)


  1. I love it when you do this - so funny. (Glad I'm not there though.)

  2. TJ LIKED the dancing naked turtles?

  3. Isn't the LAB issue have to do with the INVISIBLE computer labs at IVC?

    People taught them for years and were paid but the labs didn't exist?

    Nice work if you can get it.

  4. Like Craig's passive aggressive comment about IVC never making decisions without data.

  5. Sounds like a lot of tap dancing was going on.

  6. This was hilarious. Loved Craig's comment about never making decisions without data. He makes up the data, so I guess that's true. I'd like to see the position paper. Notice how the senate and the VPI are like Frick and Frack? There was so much bs in that report on ATEP, I'm surprised no one choked on the stench. Did the senate discuss this plan?

  7. Good color. Your brain must of been thinking of watching House. Spending the rainy day fund on technology and raises for managers and admins. The new salary schedule Mixes and combines managers and academic administrators, which means the Person that might evaluates or directs you in the future may have no academic background. It also evaluates all mangers and administrators and usually gives them a raise bc they will be re-placed, Some managers mostly expensive ones will be downgraded. Some deserve raises and COLA and this expands Years of yearly increases

  8. Senators, did the plan to move Digital Media to ATEP pass through the senate? I don't recall seeing that agenda item. Business Science is where most of the digital media courses are housed. Business faculty: Did you discuss and endorse this move? Remember, decisions aren't made without data at IVC. Where is the data that was used to make this decision?

  9. So Fuentes and Jay are the walking dead, but Fuentes is still watching and Jay is just snoring. Someone tell Burnett to go back to his sandbox and leave ATEP alone. No one cares about a lab that no one needs. Someone tell Justice there is no reason to provide training for jobs that don't exsist. You can cut ATEP up 1000 ways. In the end all you get is a money pit.

  10. I still don't understand the 10 acre swap.

  11. ATEP is worth keeping because that land will be very valuable one day. Keep it small, low profile, and don't try to make it into the IVC Vegas show. Serve the Tustin community and quit worrying about green this and green that. The only jobs out there right now are for food servers.

  12. Bio Med will work well at ATEP. The biggest center for that field is in Carlsbad/San Deigo. Not too far for our grads.

    Saddleback did their homework.

  13. 7:31. Passive-agressive comment? A friend shared with me what they call that at IVC. That was a CJism or just jism for short.

  14. Would be a delight to have the presidents of the two colleges get along rather than snipe at each other, probably reflecting deflections from their own shortcomings and vanities. ATEP might just work and each college could share in each others successes.

  15. Is Jesus Nancy's lord or "our" lord? Can she tell the difference?

  16. As much as we might not like the messengers, ATEP is a great asset to the district. We should
    build it out, slowly and with care. Delay on the high-tech aspect for now. The residents of Tustin will really appreciate having classes in their backyard with plenty of parking. It is a nice little campus. It will grow as the economy rebounds just like IVC grew over the strong objections of Saddleback.

  17. To 8:57: OMG Stop poking fun!

  18. ATEP, IVC, and their media dreams:

    Any large-scale move to create an animation and gaming program at IVC is almost surely doomed to be a failure and money pit. They don't have the experience, the resources, the curriculum nor a clue.

    The entire premise is flawed. It is like saying "If we build a really great stadium then we will have a good football team". To build facilities for a college with no real proven experience or talent at building a program of this content and scope with the hope that it makes the team better is laughable. Usually you reward a successful and popular team by building them a new stadium to hold all their fans. They got it exactly backwards.

    They will also be a stand alone program circled by competition. Every other college or university runs niches such as animation and gaming as part of a larger school based on cinema. It is in a cinema school that students learn story, writing, acting, special effects, storyboarding, production management, lighting, sound recording and design, directing, production design, etc. We have all of that here already and IVC simply has NO meaningful experience in these subjects and their ignorance shows by proposing a program in animation that stands alone from all of these critical elements. All they can teach is the design, rendering, and programming which is but one very small part of the entire process. Furthermore they are surrounded by colleges from OCC to Santa Ana to Chapman that not only offer classes in animation but also the whole range of skills needed to actually pull off a production. What are they going to design, render and program without writers, directors, and talent? Who is going to design the production? Who is going to record the audio and do the sound design? Who is going to manage these productions?

    IVC wants in on the education of media production, I get that. That this proposal receives any serious attention at all is totally beyond my comprehension.

  19. God-DAMN, you're funny, BvT.

  20. BvT, glad we have you to witness and explain to us, how the sausage is being made.

  21. You are so funny. The photo of the "cutting edge tech" at ATEP is classic. I laughed till I cried.
    Mulimedia as an anchor program? We must have looked foolish next to Saddleback who do know what they are talking about. No wonder David G. didn't deliver this pizza.

  22. We just began our own animation/gaming program at SBC. Why would you want two in the same district? As I read the board highlights, I was embarrassed for IVC. We prepare for our discussions with the BOT.

  23. This is so hilarious, is this a novel? It should be.

    Then everyone could enjoy it.

  24. Okay, so maybe you need better material for a novel. But you do amazing work with what you's tough to write fiction about milk toast.

  25. Um, 9:33...

    There is no meaningful or relevant program for animation and gaming at Saddleback either. But we do have almost all of the pieces already. IVC has nothing.

  26. Did you miss 6.7 E (1)? Better check it out...


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