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.
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.
That’s some leadership, that Roquemore leadership.