Monday, February 24, 2014

The February meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: Saddlebackians want a new stadium and it's all that matters!

     [Please see Tere's Board Meeting Highlights].
     It's 5:59 p.m., and it looks like the board is about to boardize. Stay tuned.
     No boardifications just yet. Everybody's here but Marcia Milchiker.
     It begins! (Just after 6:00.)
     Actions taken in closed session: Nancy reads: 6/0 vote, approved 3 mo leave of absence; 6/0 vote, board approved recommendation to transfer manager from one college to another, I think; 6/0 vote approved non-renewal of 2 probationary faculty members (one per college); 6/0 denied appeal of administration termination based on discrimination.
     No recognitions tonight. Slow month, I guess.
     Public comments: three requests.
     Jim Petkin(?): been at SC since 1968. Watched Saint Ronald turn over the dirt. 5-year construction program for the stadium. (He seems to be referring to agenda item 6.5: new 5-year construction list. See below.) Thanks for putting the stadium on the list. It's now #15 or so, so pleased. "I'm talkin' about what SC has done for me" and many other players. Brought us farther into our lives. I have long supported SC football and other programs. Wanted to let you know, this vision brought by first administrators—it will be continued...that field is a perfect location to help So Cal to produce additional income for this college, etc.
     Charles Wright(?): class of '95. We're very excited, appreciative for your elevating this potential project. The stadium. Magnitude of importance.... The community benefits. A great opportunity to generate revenue. Will serve the community. I'm an alum. Tells his history: briefly pro-ball, got masters at Stanford, blah, blah, blah. Goes back to stadium. Will benefit, a tremendous opportunity. (Why do these guy all seem to have swallowed the same lexicon?)
     Jan Duquette: Kinesiology chair? What Jim said. There've been many master plans, many changes. Our athletic stadium has remained the same. Been here 35 years. We've had national championships, but same stadium. "Heartbreaking." "We're still having to deal with" this old stadium. Bad for recruitment. Blah, blah, blah. Oughta have an adequate facility.

Board Reports:

     Bill Jay: backs up what Jan and the two gentlemen said. It's time to get a new stadium. Looks like we'll finally get it.
     Tim Jemal: I too support a stadium. Hope it comes to fruition during my tenure. Sorry that Marcia's not here tonight. Her husband is "a little ill." We miss her. On my mind: the for-profit colleges and universities. I try to keep in mind, we are doing our part to ensure that current and prospective students know the value of our community colleges. Don't want to contribute to path of debt for students. This issue has gotten some national attention. It's a concern, on my mind. We're paying attention to it. [Good Lord, it's about time. We've been talking about it here at DtB for YEARS.]
     Nancy Padberg: reiterates our getting a stadium. "I'm a big athletic supporter." (No one laughs.) Students have a way to engage with each other (while they're wearing athletic supporters?). Blah, blah, blah. We are one of the only CC districts in county that does not have a decent football stadium. It's really time; we have to get off the dime. I'm sure we can. Attended Freedom Foundation Aware luncheon. Student honored. Eagle Scout project. (Yeah, I did one of those.)
     TJ Prendergast: school board dinner. Presenter from Gallup polling. One finding: 2 main factors for success: "someone who cared about you" and "hope." Hope?
     James Wright: attended IVC homecoming basketball game. IVC vs. Santa Ana College. IVC has a good basketball record.... Also attended the dinner. Brandon (something) was the Gallup guy. Hope is a stronger predictor of success than GPA, etc. Teachers demonstrating caring is important. Congrats both colleges: US Dept of Energy: Solar Decathlon. Team Orange. We'll hear more about this. Accreds gave us a pass. "Wonderful." Last: spent a day and a half at a hospital; two of the three nurses were from Saddleback. They recognized me, said chirpy things about SC training.
     Dave Lang: very much interested in the item concerning capital improvement projects. I want all of them done. Want to hear more about the football stadium, the foundation's goals, etc. Shout out to Irvine Unified SD, recent achievements. Ranked so highly in "excellence in ed" awards. These schools make Irvine one of the most attractive places to live in the goshdarned country.
     David Robinson, student trustee: Emeritus Institute lectures, blah blah blah. Support and echo comments about facility improvements.
     Chancellor Gary Poertner: Item 6.16 - granting tenure to 22 probationary faculty. We'll move this up to be the first on agenda. We want to recognize them. I want to congratulate these faculty. District software development team, blah blah blah.
     The room is pretty full. Could these be the 22 faculty and supporters?
     (For IVC:) Craig Justice filling in for Glenn Roquemore: blah blah blah. Speech and debate team has won Point Loma tournament. 13 students took awards. One student won a $3k scholarship. Team ranked 3rd in conference.
     For Saddleback College: Tod Burnett mentions some things already noted. Decathlon, etc. other exciting things: Ashley Wagner, Olympic skater from Saddleback. (U.S. team captured the Bronze.) A great year in basketball for our teams. Kickoff luncheon: social entrepreneurship. [Social entrepreneurship?] Blah blah blah.
     Kid went through list of activities on behalf of ASIVC. The kid's sneakers glowed green. Really.
Look! It's another SOCCCD "completion agenda" presentation!
Next: advanced 6.16 - newly tenured faculty:
     Burnett: Faculty: full tenure status. Introduces each of them (at SC). He goes through the names. Big yells, applause. WTF? It's not unlike a sports event: foolishness prevails. This continues with each name called. I don't recall this much hoopla in the past. Good grief. They all line up against the wall. Photo op. Confusion. Stupidity. Ridiculousness. Snap. Over. --No, one more round of applause as everyone walks back to their seats. Hail the conquering heroes.
     Now that they got their recognition, half of the room walks out. Some board members suggest it might be nice (i.e., polite) if they stuck around for the actual vote--and for the reading of IVC's tenured faculty. But no. The crowd continues its joyful egress.
     Craig Justice comes up to read names of IVC faculty. The three not here tonight are in class. Others come up. More applause, though pretty thin. OK though. Craig mentions Jeff's baby girl. Photo op. Much less confusion. Click. That's it. At least they didn't get ribbons and shit.

Newly tenured IVC faculty
Newly tenured SC faculty
Item 4.1: SC: a new vision for student success at SC
     (Prendergast briefly mentions a requested report. Then they move on to "vision" stuff.)
     Burnett: we make lots of presentations here at the district. But really proud of this one. It's about student success. Not new to us, no sir. Completion agenda is national, state and local priority. Always a recommendation: need to have an entire college-wide effort. We all play a role. Starts with faculty, but all the other segments, blah blah blah. Now SC's turn: what we're doing for student success. Introduces three people: Bruce Gilman, Patty Skaff?, Shay Sharp?  Gilman comes up: change is afoot. Under the name of student success. He reminds us of events leading up to this. Pathways to Success. Blah, blah, blah. Fall 2012: something happened, SB1456 maybe. Blah blah blah. (This goes on, usual thing. I'm tuning out, checking my email.)
     ...We need to rethink everything...Shows a slide of "student success." What a lot of hooey.
     Bright and perky and blonde is next. Pretty damned chirpy. Shows organizational chart of student success. More utter hooey. Big smiles. "Pretty exciting" that we've got this huge group on the case. (Um, no.)
     [I dream of a world without endless piles of horseshit dotting the landscape, blocking my view. I especially dream of a world without the endless, mindless saluting of said horseshit. "Yes sir, right away sir!" This gal sounds like a cheerleader. She doesn't seem to be saying anything. Things will be developed. Success will be pursued. Completion too. Pedagogy, man. --Um, I routinely get nearly whole rooms of students just blowing off assignments. If you ask them to read a chapter of a book between classes, they groan; then they blow it off. Why don't we address that? But no. Their standards are lower than a barefoot snake. What about that? Half my students seem unable to write a coherent sentence. Anybody gonna bring that up? OF COURSE NOT.... Save me from horseshit. --The chirpy gal is still chirping. Gosh she's enthusiastic, pleased as punch. Probably a great person, but please. She holds up a shirt that says, "Ask me!" How cute. How pleasant and nice. What horseshit. C'mon. What about SLOs? They're a collosal waste of time and money. The chirp persists. She turns the whole shebang over to young Ms. Sharp, the student. She says she's also in student government. Seems like a great kid. She reports on a survey of student opinion about all this shit: what does it mean to be a successful student? She lists the predictably ridiculous student answers: "it's when you succeed a lot." They also asked students what role faculty should have. (Why do they bother with this?) "They should be role models," said one kid. "They determine my mood" said another. "They make the world of a difference," said another. Isn't that ungrammatical? WTF? How can faculty improve their connection with students? Answer: "Engage with students more." --Is anyone ever gonna talk about what STUDENTS could/should do? Hell no. And everybody with half a brain knows that's where the problem is, if it's anywhere. We encourage them to think they can have a social life, a job, and take six classes. NO WAY. --OK, I'm seriously thinking of just going home. --The gal is done. Gilman comes up and mentions the "RP group" and their research. (I've looked into the RP people; worthless shite. People with Ed.D. degrees should be banned from all colleges and universities.*) Now he's blathering about "tranformative change." Is this a TV show? Will he be offering valuable cash prizes? Any questions? Surely someone wants to poke at this pile of horseshit, knock it over. But no: Wright declares that it was a "wonderful" presentation. Don't think so, Old Dude. They start blathering about the ABOT program. "It's just wonderful." Not likely.

     Jemal: how does this new vision relate to counseling? More chirps. "We are leading the state, guys!" We're implementing all the new mandates. "No one can touch us." SHERPA, etc. Lots of noise, little substance. --OK, I'm tuning out again. She continues... This will take lots of counselors....Why, of course it will! They're so very valuable!
     Robinson: refers to student survey. Mentions a buzzword: mentorship. (F*ck me.) Is concerned that students be involved on these committees addressing completion and so on. Chirpy answers. Gilman comes up and speaks forcefully about the definition of success that they came up with. (It's pure blarney.) Good Lord it was important to get that defined! (You've got to be kidding.) I think this guy is serious. Yes, students must be at the center of the effort. (You mean on these committees? Why?) More committees, more students, more shirts, more blather! Behold the spectacle!
     Padberg: it's really rewarding to see how enthused you all are. (Nancy, it's horseshit. They're enthused about horseshit.) How do we ensure that it will continue? Chirpy answers: there'll be updates. Two committees, right out of the chute. (So proud!) Then 8 workgroups! (Is she kidding? Is she f*cking with me?) Yeah, let's create more committees. Maybe we can produce another illiterate and clueless list of barriers," followed by the joyful emulation of suicidal rodents. Gilman now talks about a "silo mentality." "You can feel the spirit in the room, and the camaraderie." Applause.
     OK, I'm dying. I've had about all I can take.

Yes, athletics brings out the best in people
Consent calendar: 5.4 pulled.

5.4 Jemal pulled this item, ATEP development master planning services. Will this inhibit going forward with a collaborative partner who suddenly comes along? I understand the need for master planning. We do lots of planning for ATEP. I get it. But at some point we need to stop planning and start implementing.
     Um, YEAH!
     Fitzsimmons: partner inquiries will be processed as per usual if they come along. Jemal: If a firm comes along and wants to go forward quickly--do we have to wait? Fitz: blah, blah, blah. Reassuring blatherings. Passes.

General action items:

6.1 Energy Service Contract, IVC.  Fitz presents. Blah, blah, blah. Public hearing is opened. Public may speak. Natch, none. Closes public hearing. (It's democracy in action.) Discussion? Of course not.

6.2 - energy service agreement, IVC. They vote: unanimous.
6.3 - Air handling...  Unanimous vote.
6.4 - Marian Bergeson Award Nomination. Lang: nominates Marcia Milchiker. He says she's interested in, um, getting this award, I guess. Happy to nominate her. Unanimous.

6.5 - 5 year construction plan. Fitz asks Brandye to come up. Mentions priority of stadium--moved up to #15. #8: new baseball/restroom/concession stands at IVC. Fine Arts restoration went from 23 to 22. Quad landscape renovation, etc. --Unanimous. Prendergast "jokes" that the pool is missing from the list. (He's into swimming at his high school, I guess.) Lang: what's the thought process behind the reordering? Brandye: 5 year plan takes two lists, one per college (prioritized), and then there's the state chancellor's office....--identify how we want to fund projects in the future. Gateway Bldg. at SC. Fine Arts at IVC. Waiting for matching funding from state. Lang: that we downgrade a project: does that jeopardize state funding? B: No, we've been careful. We're very aware. Lang: I'm supportive of the football stadium. Much popular sentiment for that. Athletics is important. BUT it is very expensive. There was lots of Foundation support. Where does that stand? Burnett: Foundation did feasibility study. Frankly, our community is not ready to raise the necessary amount of money. $500k commitment by Foundation. But it's got a $10 mil price tag! Half a mil is chump change. So there's that. Burnett talks about complexities in pursuing building. Prioritization. Lang: asks about "occupy date." Three, four years, says Burnett. Not so long. Could be finished by 2017, even 2016. .... Lang: has this gone through shared governance? Supported by other groups? Burnett: it has gone through our college wide process. ... Wright notes that the money (for stadium) will have to come from basic aid. Wright worries: Science/Math building (renovation) way down on list. Brandye: yes, we're concerned. Jemal: Any other commitments, beyond Foundation's $500K? Burnett: yes and no. Two high schools rent our facility. We don't get as much high school usage because we have substandard facilities. If we have the facilities, we'll accrue more revenue. Robinson: Is the college open to naming rights; that sort of thing to defray costs? [This student trustee seems to be more or less on the ball, unlike some of his predecessors.] Burnett seems to like the idea of pursuing that. We certainly would entertain proposals for that. --Passes unanimously.

6.6 - Academic Calendar. Wright: problems with the Spring semester. Four fewer instruction days. Craig Justice: always short in Spring because of holidays. This calendar has the correct totals. Wright: but are more instructional days in Fall. Craig: that's an issue. Wright: was this considered? Craig: yes. Monday night classes: fifteen minutes added, etc. Wright has a bee in his bonnet. He keeps buzzing. Wright declares that this hasn't been a problem every year. SC Ac Senate Prez speaks up: yes, it is a problem. Hard to equalize days. We've tried to improve the situation. IVC Ac Senate Prez (Schmeidler): we had put this calendar to bed. Next year's calendar, we've tried many things. Tried to even out semester. Several years ago, holidays were not as much as a problem as now. We're certainly aware of the problems. --Unanimous approval.
6.7 - Board policies. Unanimous.
6.8 - Strata Info Group. Fitz addresses. The $500K isn't going to one person, no. Jemal asks a question.... Unanimous.
6.9 - Life Sciences, IVC. Lang: contract has more than doubled since original. Brandye: first contractor went bankrupt. Unanimous.
6.10 - IVC, ATEP swing space. Fitz: mentions substitution page. Revised rec. --Unanimous.
6.11 - SC, Tech & Applied Sciences Building Renovation. --Unanimous.
6.12 - Academic personnel actions. --Unanimous.
6.13 - Classified personnel actions. --Unanimous.
6.14 - 92 faculty. 1st year probationary faculty. Two year contracts. --Unanimous.
6.15 - 2nd year. --Unanimous.
6.16 -- we've done.
6.17 - Human resources management reorganization. Unanimous.


7.1 - no comments
7.2 - no comments
7.3 - no comments
7.4 - no comments
7.5 - no comments
7.6 - no comments
7.7 - Lang: Retiree Trust Fund. Wants report. Lots of press recently, different entities have mangaged their resources. In the Register. UC Foundations. Important that our board understand how the investment committee works. Benchmarks, etc. Should have a discussion about this. Need to learn more. OK.

Reports from administrative and governance groups:

SC Ac. Senate Dan Walsh: blah blah blah
Faculty Association (union): blah blah blah.
IVC Ac. Senate: Echoes what Dan Walsh said about Decathlon. IVC has no plans to have a football stadium (laughter)--so there's  another benighted college. Mentions that we do well in what everyone else in the world calls "football" and we call soccer.
Peebles, et al.
I'm outa here. It's 7:45

*Please excuse my exaggeration. I do know decent and intelligent people with such degrees. Yes, of course. But they seem to prevail, as decent colleagues, despite their "training."


  1. Standing by. Ready for the prayer and the pledge.

  2. I want one of those t-shirts!

  3. Blah, blah, blah … nothing has changed … god, I'm so grateful not to be there anymore!

  4. Hilarious. Excellent coverage as always!


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