|Is there any "there" there?|
• We keep encountering murmurings—from many sources—about the IVC Foundation. Something’s afoot and amiss, but we don’t know what. You’ll recall that, last Spring, the student scholarship process was revealed to be fubar, though good work was then done to start to turn things around. Stay tuned.
• We hear that the crummy temp box that has housed the IVC bookstore is finally falling apart and that the store will be moved into B100—which, of course, has long housed classrooms.
• The mother of a student contacted me, hopping mad about expensive textbooks that her kid bought, mostly for math courses. Somehow, the kid had to drop those particular courses, but then the bookstore wouldn’t buy back the books. The instructors, I'm told, are selling very special (and expensive) editions that can only be used in their own classes. We’ve been hearing about this sort of thing—and worse—for years.
• It’s a little thing, really. Denizens of IVC’s Bldg. A200 are wondering why both the building printer and photocopy machine were allowed to be so fouled up during the crucial first two days of the semester (things seemed better today)—a period in which, obviously, many important documents (APCs, rosters, syllabuses) must be printed or duplicated.
As usual, there is no sense that anyone has heard the complaints, recognized their gravity, and issued reassurances. The people with power at IVC lack people skills bigtime. They leave us all hanging, wondering why things go the way they do. We're forever in the dark. Things just happen.
Here at IVC, at the top, there's a permanent leadership vacuum. Both the college President (who, you'll recall, got his start owing to a compact with the odious Raghu P. Mathur) and the VPI are, in different ways, utter non-leaders. The Prez seems never to have a freakin’ clue. (Chronic cluelessness seems to define him for most of us.) The Vice Prez, meanwhile, runs the college, and he rules through fear. Mouths are shut tight. People are unhappy. Especially classified.
Meanwhile, the IVC Academic Senate is a new entity, with mostly new leadership, after a three-year period of largely dismal leadership from a president who had curious values (the CAFÉ—the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence—was repeatedly hobbled by weird spasms of elitism, and it sits essentially unused; despite substantial faculty concerns, the scandalous Early College Program was allowed to proceed, robbing resources from our students; the Senate actually went to bat for Prez Roquemore over his turf war re ATEP, that amorphous money pit par excellence) and who obviously proceeded with her longstanding administrative ambitions firmly in mind. Good grief.
Will the new Academic Senate step up? Think so. We’ll see.
• And then there's the faculty union. If the Faculty Association chooses to endorse that über-creep John Williams—evidently on the meager grounds that Williams will likely support the contract—then I would love for someone to explain to me the difference between this FA and the nasty old FA that got all homophobic and Frogue-loving in order to protect "life as we know it" back in 1996.
To quote an infamous Alabamian, there ain't a dime's worth of difference.