Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Saddleback College Academic Senate pushes back against Prayer Boy

Burnett: exploiting an alleged "loophole"
in the Westphal/Wagner settlement
     A friend at Saddleback College writes:
     Last week our Academic Senate approved the attached resolution. I’m not … sure how the decision to invite a Rabbi for the invocation this year was made—I know Tod wanted to invite him last year but he was unavailable then….
     If you could check and see how the decision is being handled at IVC, that would be great. I know last year, the [IVC] committee voted [i.e., was allowed to make the decision whether there would be an invocation], but I’d be curious to see whether they’ve been “allowed” to again this year. Do you think there’s any chance that IVC’s Senate would consider a resolution backing up ours?
     Feel free to use the resolution on Dissent the Blog. …[W]e tried to keep the focus on shared governance and not on the prayer issue itself. ... This resolution was passed recognizing the legal reality that currently the “Event Planners” are supposed to make the decision about whether or not to have an invocation.
     Here’s the resolution:
     Whereas, Commencement is an important event for all members of the Saddleback College community, be they students, faculty, classified staff, or administrators, and
     Whereas, the College Commencement Committee includes representatives from all of these groups to ensure that their voices are heard in planning this ceremony, and
     Whereas, the principle of shared governance is that all constituent groups should have a real role in the decision-making process, and
     Whereas, President Burnett’s decision in 2011 to override the Commencement Committee’s unanimous vote to offer a moment of silence instead of an invocation in that year’s ceremony is inconsistent with the principle of shared governance, and
     Whereas, such top-down decision making has repeatedly caused problems for our College in the Accreditation process,
     Therefore, be it resolved, that
     The Saddleback College Academic Senate affirms that the College’s Commencement Committee is the best group to decide whether or not to include an invocation at the annual Commencement ceremony,
     And, resolved, that
     The Commencement Committee as a whole should be explicitly charged with making this decision and their decision should be final,
     And, resolved, that
     This should go into effect beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, as an invitation for a speaker to deliver an invocation has already been issued for the 2012 Commencement ceremony.
     So. What say you?


  1. the committee did indeed make the decision on it's own. I was there.

  2. Orange Coast College stopped having an innovcation in the late 1980's and the world didn't come to an end....yet

  3. Good point, 11:39--why an invocation? Why a pledge? Why all this homage to mythology and nationalism?

  4. How about a crucifixion instead of an invocation? Oh wait, the school does this kind of thing in private – or at least they try.

  5. I would vote to support Saddleback. This isn't a private religious school and a moment of silence seems much more appropriate.

  6. Bleh. Respect my belief. I dont care.

  7. Kudos to SBCAS for having the guts to air their opinions.

  8. When in Rome, do as the Romans do... Respect my beliefs... Blarney!

  9. Who is on the IVC commencement committee? Isn't it Rebel Girl?


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