Monday, January 27, 2014

January's meeting of the SOCCCD BOT—live and direct!


Nancy's new friend
     (Be sure to read Tere's Board Meeting Highlights.)
     It's 6:00 p.m. and there's no sign yet of the SOCCCD Board. They're in closed session and they're running late, I guess. Back atcha in a minute.
     The crowd here tonight at the fabulous Ronnie Reagan meeting room is about usual. There are maybe 25 or so people in the room right now, happily yappin' away.
     It'll be interesting to see what sort of action, if any, the trustees will take re the Director of Student Life at IVC, namely, Helen Locke. As you know, five or so weeks ago, IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore suddenly "fired" Helen. Sent her home anyway. Roquemore recommended her dismissal I suppose, but somehow that didn't happen at the subsequent BOT meeting closed session. "No action."
     6:08 - I see that some of the administrators have just arrived. A sign that the board is done with its closed session? We'll see.
     Yes! I see Prendergast and Lang. And the student trustee.
     It's 6:11, and we're still waiting for the rest of the board. Chancellor Gary Poertner is here, conferring with Roquemore. Wright just arrived; now Nancy and Marcia. Glenn seems to be getting his ducks in a row about something. He's smiling, too. So maybe Helen's toast, dunno. We'll see soon enough. Prendergast runs the show these days, and he's stepped out. Haven't seen Jay or Jemal yet either.
     The trustees are pretty quiet up there. Jay just wandered in. But where's Prendergast? Jemal just stepped in.
     6:14 - still no Prendergast. Ah, there he is.

     6:14 - Prendergast starts the meeting.
     Clerk reads out actions: only action, 7/0 vote approved 3 mo. unpaid leave of absence for classified employee.
     Lang does the invocation--a prayer, it seems. Asks that the country continue to be great...
     Next COMMENDATIONS. Tod Burnett steps up. Yadda yadda.
     It's a "commendation" of 9 "Bridge 2 Engineering" students who have been accepted to NASA's "National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program." Burnett is yammering about that. Now he's identifying each of the students. "Thank you very much, we're proud of you...." Applause. Photos.
     Any public comments? OF COURSE NOT.

     Board reports:

Jemal: a "substantial investment"
     Bill Jay: commends students who were just commended.  I wonder if anyone will commend Jay for commending the students for being commended.
     Tim Jemal: he attended Pres breakfast at IVC. Missed some Saddleback activities. Astounding Inventions thing, attended that. "What struck me...how much common sense oriented" they were. Career readiness, etc.
     Marcia Milchiker: the semester just started. Attended professional development week. I attended meetings each day. I found that the two colleges are doing incredibly well. Heard the presidents speak, the constituency groups. (Mentions various individuals.) "Incredibly excellent presentations."
     Nancy Padberg: been busy. Was unable to attend "Astounding inventions." Was educating myself for the state bar (25 hours). Missed the last meeting (December), first missed in 15 years. A brand new kitten. Had a disagreement [with the kitten] and got an infected hand. "More than you wanted to know." Prendergast quips: "You've got a minute [more]." Laughter.
     TJ Prendergast: attended Presidents' cup, first round. Exciting overtime comeback. Classified luncheon. Attended "Astounding inventions." I've been involved for seven years. Now as a trustee. Joy and excitement of students - is great. "Interesting, very powerful event."
     James Wright: attended inservice week, an "exciting week." Heard presentation on civility. "Very well done." I applaud IVC for doing this. Semester has gotten off to a good start at both colleges. Excited about Bridge 2 Engineering program. "A wonderful program." He's getting whispery again.
     Dave Lang: was unable to attend inservice sessions. Heard that it went "very well." Congrats to both college presidents. Congrats to newest faculty members. Hope to meet them. Heard speaker re state's fiscal state of affairs--lots to rejoice about, but I suspect that benefits to us as basic aid district "somewhat muted." We should be "vigilant." Congrats Dr Jerry Rudmann Western Psych., Association Fellowship. Have long known him, have great respect for him.
     Student trustee Robinson: compares student hunting for parking to animals hunting for food. Laughter.
     Chancellor Gary Poertner's report: highlights discussion items. First, informing the board in greater detail about activities to comply w/ requirements of students success act. IVC will be reporting. Assessment, orientation, etc. 2nd item: replacement of Human Resources and Financial Systems software, explanation of the process to make selection (?).

College Presidents:

Fitz.
     IVC's Glenn Roquemore: introducing Dr. Kay Reagan. (She stands up in the audience. She looks kinda grim.) Hired to be acting director of "student life." (So she's Helen Locke's temp replacement.) Flex week went very well. Fall leadership retreat: had each manager, director,... filmed. Answer to question: "What keeps you awake at night?" I was "absolutely impressed" by how each of them came out (these video moments, I guess). We call 'em "voices of passion." (I think I'm gonna vomit.) Led to some great advances for the institution. (I'll bet.) Benefit concert coming up. Folk rock music. A former member of the Byrds. Also Toulouse Englehardt. Astounding Inventions gets better each time.

     SC's Tod Burnett: Flex week went "real well." Thanks to Academic Senate. Parking is a little challenging, though "better than we expected." Started construction on new Sciences building. Two major initiatives SC is undertaking this semester. First, working with IVC. $250 million state grant. Career readiness. Partnering CCs with K-12. K-14 training programs for high-wage jobs in CA. Trying to get this grant. Second half of Presidents' cup coming up. "May the best teams win."

     Associated Student Government report, SC: blah, blah, blah. It is "survival of the fittest" in the parking lot. Had to park at business center across the street. Car got towed. $250. Sheesh.

     No board requests for reports.

     Discussion item 4.1: IVC "approach to Student Success Act of 2012."

     Linda Fontanilla is joined by L Cipres, T Tran, R Melendez (and M Scharf). Strategies we are implementing, etc.

     Cipres: School of G and Counseling... accelerated something program. Hands off to Counselor Tran--

     Tran: will discuss educational plans. Has trustees open a packet. Shows educational plan of engineering student. Refers to something called "MAP" [My Academic Plan]. Explains comprehensive educational plan, reviewed by a counselor. We noted first what works well in helping students to create these plans. We need to work with Instruction. Best way is to expand Counseling Curriculum. Develop accelerated academic planning courses that are geared toward students who want to transfer to a specific UC, CSU, etc.

     Created COUN 200A, B, C. For AA/AS, UC, CSU.

     Shows flier for these courses. Turns over to Rob't Melendez

     Melendez: whenever you have a new program or course, you need to promote it. Had good data from Fall 2013. 212 student enrolled. 100% completed the plan.
     Were we successful? 72 hours of instruction yielding 212 completed academic plans. Yeah.

     We want to hear from students. He shows video student testimonials (good Lord). One student says, If only I'd taken the 200 course, I would have saved so much time. Uh-huh. A counselor gives her testimony. Wow this sure is great.

     What's next? Will continue to offer these courses. Extend to Psychology, etc. Honing in on specific majors. Any questions?

     Jemal: He liked the presentation, clear and concise. What percentage of students lack a comprehensive academic plan? Melendez says it's hard to know. How about a ballpark estimate? 40-50%? (They're just making this up.) Jemal: what's our goal? M: Student Success Act wants 100%.

     Prendergast: how does this COU 200 compare with COU 10? M: COU 10 is a studies skills course. COU 1 is closer.

     Milchiker: I particular liked the clips of students. M: Mysite ad seemed to work. Milchiker: yes, reaching students "where they live." (Good grief.)

     Fontanilla: had to give students $20 gift certificate to In-N-Out to get 'em to do testimonials. Laughter.

     Prendergast stops the show to tell student government gal (who's about to leave) that the trustees have collected some dough to offset her parking ticket costs. So moved is the audience by this act of love that they break into spontaneous applause. I vomit upon the floor but no one notices.

     Item 4.2: [This is liable to be dull. D Fitzsimmons is up with the usual suspects: Bugay, Hilton, Davit.] Business Process Analysis, Software project.
     OK, I refuse to pay attention to this. Just too painful for my brain....
     Current software systems for HR and Finance are "old and out of date." She spells that out. Thus lots of our processes are "manual" and labor intensive. We knew we wanted to improve these processes.
     Hilton: blah, blah, blah. Outlined existing process. Very depressing. Came up with small, nimble process. Described ideal model that is simple, user friendly, compliant, transparent. Wanted to avoid the "COSTCO effect." Not sure what that was, though she explained it. "If we automate a mess, we have an automated mess." --Motto, I guess. They self-examined. She started talking about "BPAs". Don't know what they are. Oh yeah, business process analysis. Blah, blah, blah. They're hoping the board will approve the new streamlined system and processes. She hands off to Bugay:
     Bugay: we want a "one source system," i.e., one entry point. Current. Blah, blah, blah. We want to eliminate "shadow systems." We learned that transparency works very well. Everyone knows what's going on. A series of common themes emerged. Starts talking about DFPs. (?) Turns it over to Davit.
     Davit: seven initial responses from vendors. 3 were invited to give presentations.

     Workday, Inc. is recommended as the HR/Financial Software system
     CedarCrestone, Inc. Is recommended to be the implementation partner for the project.

     Why Workday? Blah blah blah. Starts saying things like "cloud based," "object oriented," "data analytics."
     Lists "technological advantages." These are mere assertions, of course. Promises made. Blah blah blah. Available on any mobile device. Davit liked that. Turns it over to Fitz:
     Fitzsimmons: expands on "mobility of this product." Talks about dashboards. User-friendly. Fitz seems genuinely excited. Implementation will take 18 mos. for both phases. Blah blah blah. We anthicipate going live at end of fiscal year 2014... Mentions "steering committee." Consultants. Lots of college input.
     Now turn to 6.1. They advance that (approval of agreement with these firms).
     They divide the question--for the two vendors. That is approved unanimously.

     So 6.1A: approve Workday, Inc.
     Questions?
     Milchiker: it appears that the process went well. How did you get people to participate? Fitz: we invited folks, had much participation. They had much to say.
     Padberg: so impressed that we're finally doing this. Such an important activity, hiring.
     Jemal: I concur. Long overdue. But this is a very substantial investment. Fitz: has Bob Bramucci explain. B: student-centered. An expectation of that now. This is true cloud-based software. New paradigm. Has a different data model, thus more upgradable. Object-oriented model. Talks data and codes.
     I have no idea what he's talking about.
    A "tower of Babel problem." Huh? Service-layers. Hard coding. --Whatever. What he said: it was a "nutshell," evidently. That's some nutshell.
      Jemal: current process is labor intensive. This new process is less labor intensive, presumably. New training in the district? Is cost of that factored into this? Fitz: will eliminate some duplicative processes. People will be doing more service oriented tasks, not menial tasks. I can't give you a dollar amount. Yes, training of our employees is "embedded in the cost." Software is more "intuitive." Jemal: hope this happens smoothly. Hopes this will follow timeline presented.
     Prendergast: I didn't hear answer about "ongoing costs." Maintenance costs. Fitz: "data migration" .... yadda yadda. I dunno what she's saying. Looks like this is less costly than others. This was the better product in terms of price too. Prendergast: I've heard that it has "superb security." What do you know about that? B: better role management. Again, I dunno what he's talking about. Prendergast likes B's answer, though. It's because B plays the guitar, I think.
     Jay: the complexity of this program, its "hugeness" is "beyond imagination." He seems to be advising that "we" take this in in bite-sized chunks. Yes, overall a simpler model. But this process is going to be big. He seems to be saying, "Don't blame me if, in the end, we don't like this" cuz its fucking big.
     Wright: want to applaud all of you for your hard work. Were all the committees on board with this? I guess so. Bugay comes up to praise Fitz bigtime. Agrees with Jay, will be "big." Describes the way updating occurs. Micro-updating occurs all the time, etc. Thanks Debra's leadership.
     Lang: what sort of due diligence have we done? Other districts using this software? Fitz: quite a bit. Workday is a fairly new product. Their HR much older than Financial. Had conference calls with other districts/universities: USC, et al. U of Texas, Washington system, et al. Examined contracts: we got a better deal. "We feel that this is a good product."
    Milchiker: blah, blah, blah. Keep us apprised, how this is going.
    Prendergast: let's vote on 6.1A. Unanimous, except for one abstention: Lang.
    Jay abstains on vote re 6.1B, I think.
    Poertner: how much work has gone into this project. Special thanks to VC Fitzsimmons; an unbelievable amount of work shepherding this through. Did this while negotiating the ATEP agreement. Applause. (Looks like Fitz is riding high.)

Last grizzly shot in the Santa Ana Mts., 1908
     Consent calendar is mentioned; Jay roars "so moved." 5.0, 5.15, etc. are pulled. 5.6, 5.7. 5.3..... I didn't get all that. They voted: unanimous. Marcia's button isn't working. Natch.

     5.3. Wright corrects a typo. Approved unanimously. They vote without the fancy system which is somehow busted. Not for Marcia.
     5.5. Jemal: political science/anthropology. UC system? No. Specifically at Cal State. Approved. Buttons working again.
     5.6,7. Prendergast: working with these two companies 30 years. Why do we do this a year at a time? Fitz: It's ed code. Approved unanimously.
     5.15. Lang: one of my clients is on here as a subcontractor, p 23/25. Corrects the name. It turns out the name is correct. Approved unanimously.
     5.16. Jemal: original contractor, life sciences building, went bankrupt. Is there a triggerpoint to request an audit? (during the bidding process). Brandye comes up: yes. Blah, blah, blah. Our switch to design build fixed this. (I think.) Lang: pump in cooling system of HVAC too small.... Tracking for gold certification.... Unanimous.
     5.21 Jemal: 30 duplicative memberships to organizations. IVC and SC paying the same organization, etc. I have concerns. How much does this cost the district? Can we reach out to these associations? Some of the dues or nominal, some are not. Fitz: 27 memberships might be duplicative. Some memberships are necessarily college-specific. But there were some opportunities. We can take a look at those, see if we can coordinate. (Chambers of Commerce, etc.) A good suggestion. Burnett: we're always looking for ways to economize. We're often trying to get on district-wide basis to save money. We've saved lots of resources and dollars on weekly basis. [Sounds a bit defensive.] Lang: Education Avisory board CC Forum--this really stood out as an expense.... nearly $30K. Fitz: the very large grant accepted a few months ago is tied to this. Called a membership; really, subscription services. Item approved unanimously.
   
     6.2 SC grant acceptance. No discussion. Unanimously approved.
     6.3 nominations for....
     6.4 Trustee absent, payment - unanimous (one abstention - from Padberg; Lang refers to Padberg's "cat story." Laughter.)
     6.5 ATEP demolition ...
     6.6 notice of completion... approved unanimously
     6.7 SC architectural agreement ... approved unanimously
     6.8 BP for review and study. Approved unanimously
     6.9 Academic Personnel. Approved unanimously
     6.10 Classified Personnel. Wright makes minor correction. Approved unanimously.
     6.11 Sabbatical recommendations. Approved unanimously. Wright makes belated correction.

     7.0 board requests for reports. They zip through. No one requests to speak. Prendergast mentions how healthy we are compared to other districts with regard to ... some trust fund, I guess.

     8.0 reports from administration and governance groups

I'm outta here.

9 comments:

  1. Running late due to Helengate......

    ReplyDelete
  2. My god the new director of student life is old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Discrimination at its best. Have you worked with her? Do you know her? FYI: It is not about how old we look or how well we age. It is about how we do the work, competency, attitude etc. I saw her at the club day today with her sleeves rolled up working hard.

      Delete
  3. Fitz should be riding high. She is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent coverage, as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where do we find these re-treads as our interim Deans and Directors? It appears our Administration is saying that we have no good people at IVC that can step into these roles. And they wonder why there is no loyalty from faculty and staff.

    ReplyDelete
  6. IVC has morphed into a corporatized hell hole where backstabbing is the name of the game. Why won't our FA stand up to this crap? Where are all the critical OC Reg articles like in the raghu days? Is it that DO is really that effective at controling the flow of information?

    ReplyDelete
  7. In case you haven't noticed, coverage of higher ed issues has dwindled as the newspapers have collapsed - where have you been? The Register just covers photo ops these days which the college produces with regularity.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The OC Register isn't in support of the mission of the community colleges, so they wouldn't care. That rag is only interested in fluff and completely overblowing what they loosely see as wasted taxpayer resources.

    ReplyDelete

Trolls and flamers will be cursed by our team of black magicians