Saturday, February 2, 2013

IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: a simple question


     FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW, various friends and colleagues who have some connection to the IVC Foundation have been urging me to write about the organization and its "poor leadership." These friends have no problem with the idea of a foundation, student scholarships, and all the rest. Their issue concerns certain people in positions of authority regarding the Foundation. That crew is, they say, er, south of competent.
     I ask for specifics. In recent months, that query has always yielded a reference to the October "Veterans Angels Gala" (See flier above). That event came and went, followed by a series of emails from IVC President Glenn Roquemore's office, thanking everybody and broadcasting news of the event's epoch-shattering success.
     From the start, various people told me not to believe Glenn's announcements. They'd refer to them and then roll their eyes.
     Let's take a look at one of those emails. Here's the one we all received on Oct. 19, 2012, nearly a week after the event:

     (I wonder if Glenn really thinks "angel" is spelled "angle"?)
     There can be no doubt that, in the above communication, Glenn declares the event to be a success—something, anyway, about which everyone involved should be "proud." It "set a record in funds raised by a single ... event," he says.
     He even gives us a specific sum of money raised. The event raised $16,588.50, he says. 
     "What about that?" I ask my carping associates.
     Their answer: "if the event raised $16K for the veterans, why then haven't the veterans received it yet?"
     "They didn't get that sum?"
     "They ain't received one thin dime from it."
     —OK. So what about that? Is that true? If so, why is that?
     Inquiring minds wanna know.
     Could we have a little honesty for once, Glenn? We're tired of your endless BS and plastic smiles.

* * *
     Months ago, a friend told me that the college's new foundation director has driven away half a dozen or so members of the foundation board. According to a new arrangement, I'm told, new members are supposed to bring a certain substantial sum of cash with 'em. $10k, I think.
     Has that been happening?
     Last week, I made some inquiries. Yep, quite a few longstanding members of the board have gone and some are about to leave. Have new people come in to replace them? Have they plopped down that scratch?
     Nope.
     I see Glenn at board meetings, hanging around with Don R, Saddleback's current director, and Richard, the new director he's hired for IVC. That crowd puts on a good show. At the last meeting, they showed up once again claiming great success but arguing that they are held back by a lack of professional staff, and that takes real money. "You gotta spend money to make money," they say.
     They seem to make a good case for the strategy of adding staff. They've got lots of facts and figures and comparisons with other colleges and systems. Still, it all adds up to an added expense for the district, even if the promised results will actually materialize. 
     I watch the trustees. They're pretty tight lipped. I don't know what they're thinking.
     I sometimes wonder if Glenn and his new pal Richard are pulling a kind of bait and switch up there. I'm prepared to believe that the Saddleback operation is really rarin' to go, poised to pull in the big bucks. Not so sure about IVC. 
     I'm thinking that Glenn and Richard are standing real close to Don and Tod, clutching their sleeves, disappearing in their billowing regalia, heads poking out from the side—so that the trustees don't notice that, well, they're not Don and Tod. They're not even Little Don and Little Tod. 
     They're just Dumb and Dumber, taking a ride.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks Roy, I couldn't have said it better myself...an IVC Veteran.

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  2. How is this connected to the mysterious tenure story?

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  3. It is not connected to the tenure story except that it is another example of an absence of leadership and its toxic effects. The tenure story has it own cast of characters. The one that links them all is Glenn.

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  4. Wouldn't this all come out when they run the numbers at the end of the fiscal year? Who is ultimately responsible?

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  5. 2:15 PM are you naive? Have you ever seen numbers from the foundation showing money received and money spent for events? Not in my 16 years here. Things were more transparent when Al Tello was here. Now Richard has hired his own people and put them in place and all you get is blah, blah, blah, but little facts or results.

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  6. But doesn't the district run an audit or something? Don't they have to square things with the state and the feds - let alone the donors? I just can't believe it is as bad as some make out.

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  7. 3:44pm You are right, it is not as bad as some make out, it is worse, but since there is no accountability or transparency most people don't realize it. If you have concerns then ask questions, don't just assume that everything is OK. Do you know anyone on the Foundation Board? (the members are listed on the IVC website under the Foundation tab) If you do, then ask them for information. (Like did the Vets get any money from the Veterans Angels event or not).

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    1. After spending 5 minutes with the 2011 Audited Financials (http://www.ivc.edu/foundation/FinancialStatements/Financial%20Statement%202011.pdf), for those of you who pay attention to the foundation, is the payment of only $266089 in scholarships but having $375956 in salaries and benefits considered normal? What revenues from the Veteran 'Angles' event were actually distributed to the 'Angles'? They should be able to produce such data immediately.

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  8. Frankly, who cares, the foundation department does very little for the campus. The only reason it exists is to coordinate scholarships and they do a lousy job at that.
    The funds are all raised by the account holders and their donors. As most faculty will tell you, the scholarship program is rife with problems.

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  9. Don't get me started on the scholarship program. It's a "feel good," "look good" photo op whose inetgrity is severely compromised from the beginning (outreach, advertising, etc) to the process (applications, decision-making, assessment, etc). to the finish (they can't tell you who is getting what scholarship until the moment they give and then they can't even tell you why).The way they complain about the challenges of running the program you'd think no one had ever done it before anywhere else. I stopped giving years ago.

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  10. I just read Glenn's email from the Gala in the article above. He must think we are completly stupid if he believes that (and I quote): "We have had multiple inquiries about the "Big" Veterans Angels event in June that is expected to have nearly 1,500 attendees"
    Are you kidding me??? The only way we will get 1,500 people there is if we give away free tickets. OK Glenn, what are you going to do if we don't get 1,500 people? Who is responsible? what are the consequences? Can you hold Richard accountable? June is only four months away....tick, tick, tick.....

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  11. 1,500 attendees? That's rich. (It would be nice if Glenn stood up to at least ONE of these bullies. He wonders why faculty and staff don't support him - that's why. Reason Number One.)

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  12. Yes Glenn needs to grow a pair and grow up.

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