Monday, May 21, 2012

That's some leadership, that leadership à la Roquemore

     Some readers have been carping about the IVC Commencement guest speaker. He was entertaining, although some of his jokes were overly familiar—personally, I’m inclined to give ‘im a pass on the Cosby line from “mom”—and some of his sentiments, um, well—have been expressed before.
     I just spoke with Rebel Girl, who served on this year’s Commencement Speaker Committee. (I, too, have served on this committee in recent years.) This year, as in previous years, the committee assembled an initial list of possible speakers and, in the end, chose just three to forward to President Glenn Roquemore. That list of three constituted the committee’s recommendation.
Keith Rhodes
     Our commencement speaker, Mr. Keith Rhodes of “Big Brothers/Big Sisters, OC”, was not among the three names.
     What happened? Likely, none of the three people recommended accepted the invitation or were available for the gig. Let’s hope that was the case, otherwise….
     If that’s what happened, wouldn’t the next step be to notify the committee to come up with further recommendations? I’m told that Rhodes’ name was on the “big” list, but, obviously, it is the committee’s job to make recommendations from that list. So why wasn’t the committee told to do so?
     That would be the process, wouldn’t it?
     Yeah, process. Roquemore and crew’s commitment to process is a bit iffy. Consider the recent “civility statement” snafu. And last week’s curious last-minute call for “input” regarding an administrative reorganization. (That one borrowed a page from the Raghu P. Mathur playbook!) Or last year’s supplantation of the MRC with the Academic Senate’s CAFÉ (an idea that was ultimately aborted, owing in part to massive grumbling).
     (In future, we'll have something to say about serious "process" failures in the distribution of student scholarship this year.)
     At IVC, often, stuff just happens, and people are left wondering how or why. Sometimes, all that’s necessary is a brief answer: here’s why we did that. But we don’t even get that kind of courtesy. Such failures of communication inspire resentment and ugly theories.
     Two years ago, and on a previous occasion, the committee recommended, among others, nationally syndicated columnist Gustavo Arellano. But Gustavo isn’t a businessman or sports guru or seller of fish tacos. And he’s definitely not an OC Republican. So Predictable Glenn nixed the Gustavo-for-commencement possibility.

     Two years ago, Gustavo was passed over in favor of tired old state chancellor Jack Scott, a nice guy, but a guy who showed up late and then offered the usual clichés and bromides. Meanwhile, Gustavo ended up giving the commencement address at UCLA. He was a big hit.
     This year, I’m told, Gustavo, who is now the OC Weekly’s editor, will be doing the commencement address at Long Beach City College (on Wednesday).
     My guess: next year, IVC will have Misty May-Treanor giving the address; she'll instruct everyone on how best to fall on sand. Maybe she'll wear a bikini.
     I noticed that, this year, the commencement ceremony started with a prayer, an invocation.
     You’ll recall that, as a result of a settlement reached after lengthy and costly litigation, the commencement committees of the colleges are supposed to arrive at recommendations about whether to have an invocation—sans pressure from above—and to send these recommendations to the President. (Last year, Prez Burnett down at Saddleback just blew off the committee's recommendation not to have a prayer.)
     Is that what happened at IVC this year? Did the President accept the committee’s recommendation? And, if so, what was the basis of the committee’s decision to have a prayer?
     Inquiring minds wanna know. I mean, after all, there was lengthy litigation and considerable interest in the community about the "prayer" issue!
     But we’re told nothing.
     As usual.
     That’s some leadership, that Roquemore leadership.


  1. It will be interesting to watch his speech when the commencement video is released.

    I think he was a fine speaker and i don't know if they tell people that their speeches must be entirely original.

  2. I liked the speaker.

  3. Add to the commencement speaker selection snafu, the classified employee of the year selection snafu. Let me direct readers to the recent Trustee evaluation comments section, item #11 (near the end). “Selection of Classified Employee of the Year was not handled well this year.”

    Evidently Roquemore disbanded the Classified Employee of the Year selection committee and chose the winner himself, another feather in his cap, so to speak…

  4. I think the usual presumption is that the speaker delivers an original speech. The one last year did. He was a former student and you could tell he wrote it specially for the occasion. This one this year is a professional motivational speaker.

  5. Big empty box Glenn should know better. Doesn't this quash shared governance? Certainly not good moves considerimg the accred's checkup visit this October.

  6. Whether or not a speaker is "likeable" different from whether or not the speech given is entirely original. The later should be of concern to an educational institution.

  7. 10:23 - please explain what happened with the selection of the Classified Employee of the Year.

    Its sounds like a serious violation.

    The commencement speaker committee which had been proceeding well these past few years was suddenly put under "new management" and long before Glen even saw a list of "finalists" it was mismanaged. Then Glen made it worse.

    As usual, there is the "impression" of process and shared governance meanwhile Glen and Craig do what they want.

    People go along with it because they are either afraid or they get short-term rewards - or both.

    The scholarship process is much worse because that involves real money and real people. And I suppose real laws. Who can demand an audit?

  8. The old carrot & stick!

  9. They're trying to use the cover of the economic crisis as an opportunity to pull some fast stuff.

    Don't know what to say about the scholarship mess - last year as I understand it people were given the weekend to review apps - that's it.

    You'd think if the donors discovered just how little effort is put in to reward the truly needy and meritorious students they would be shocked.

  10. The Scholarship Program has failed to grow along with the college - instead it is stuck in the past, as if we are still a tiny campus. The result is rushed decision-making and dispersal of funds.

    The selection committee is dominated by well-intentioned people but many of them are not trained in how to assess applications. Since letters of recommendation are now optional they must try and evaluate the student's own essay against an incomplete and often contradictory record.

    There seems to be little desire to reform the system in a way that would make it really work because
    it might interfere with the planning for Astounding Inventions and Casino Night.

  11. I don't like to criticize the scholarship program because it does so much good but I think it could do more good for more students if it was administered better.

    There is always a crunch, a pressure to JUST GET IT DONE which leads to mistakes. Those mistakes, that pressure disenfranchises deserving students.

    There is also pressure to reward students who are high profile students in student government or other programs - to over-reward them or over recognize them at the expense of other students.

    We used to have a policy that limited the number of scholarships or the amount of money a student could receive in order to reward more students.

    These are serious systemic problems. I know there's task force trying to address these but I think the problems are bigger than the task force.

  12. Who did the original Classified Employee of the Year selection committee choose?

    I want to know because I nominated someone very deserving. Just curious.

  13. Who served on the Classified Employee of the Year committee?

  14. Sonya, Hedy and Jamie?

  15. Glenn likes thinking outside the Jack-in-the-box, ya know...

  16. But how can Glen just disregard the committee's recommendations?

    People do that they were asked to do and then all that worked is dismissed.

  17. That's what Glenn does. Simple.

  18. So the whole thing is reduced to a meaningless scam. Thanks, Glenn! Not.

  19. so you're suggesting the AV guy doesn't deserve the award or wasn't the choice of the committee?

  20. Everyone knows Barry is GREAT - and the chosen speaker spoke well - but I think people are pointing out that at a certain point Glen disregarded the people charged with the task and did what he wanted - that's all.

    I could have used those hours I spent on committee work on something else if Glen is just going to do what he wants anyway without any explanation or apology or anything.

  21. The democratic process of shared governance snubbed and thwarted by Glenn. As if the classified are children and have to accept that...

  22. That's not good for our accredidation

  23. I heard the guy that the commencement speaker plagiarized on National Public radio this week!


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