Thursday, September 29, 2016

Third Annual Banned Books Day

For the third year in a row, IVC celebrated Banned Books Week with a reading and book giveaway. Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and celebrates our freedom to read. The IVC event has been organized by Professor Virginia Shank and IVC's librarians.

Inspired by the ALA's superhero theme, the intrepid Professor Shank made a cape. 

Quotations about censorship and the value of books were chalked on the sidewalk
from the library to the new Liberal Arts building.  Some students joined in. 

Red "I Read Banned Books" buttons were distributed to all. 

Dean Feldhus looking soulful as she reads.
Professor Shank sported a nifty open book shaved hair design.

It was admired by many.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just who "stepped on" free speech in the SOCCCD? Will YAF be truthful?

From the chapter's Facebook Page.
     Saddleback College's YAF ("Young Americans for Freedom") club—not sure what its standing is these days—has a Facebook Page.
     Here's something interesting I found on it today, evidently posted on Thursday:

     I gather that the chapter is sponsoring an initiative to "amend BP and AR 8000," the district's "speech and advocacy" policies, which were adopted about a dozen years ago.
     The YAF chapter says it "will be educating and informing students and faculty about the speech restrictions." I wonder if these YAF kids will acknowledge that the authors of these speech-limiting policies (AR 8000 etc.) were conservative Republicans and not "liberal" academics?  
     They will if they have a drop of integrity. 
     Let's see. 

SEE Students Sue District over 1st Amendment (DtB, April 15, 2002)

They stand for freedom. But do they stand for honesty?
     BACKGROUND: the YAF chapter posted the following back on the 8th:

     According to this post, the "full story" is at The Young America’s Foundation website, where we're told that the professor's action "is a perfect example of the way schools, and radical leftist professors like Lovett, leverage their bureaucracies to limit students’ right to free speech." Nowhere does the article note that the professor was enforcing district policy. 
     The article also reports that Saddleback College "attempted to block the YAF chapter’s 9/11 memorial earlier this week." Again, nowhere are we told that the memorial was "blocked" owing to the YAF kids' failure to turn in the needed forms to become an active club.
     The local YAF chapter has generated this and other misleading stories and, as near as I can tell, has done nothing to disabuse organizations of their errors. Nothing that has happened to these YAF kids reflects professor Lovett's politics. The unwanted events—"blocking" of the special YAF 9-11 event and Lovett's removal of posters—were the result of the kids' failures to follow the rules, including those established by conservative Republican trustees.

Tomorrow's board meeting

     The agenda can be found HERE.   
     Open session starts at 6:30.
     There'll be the usual reports, including, of course, the IVC report and the Saddleback College report.
     Burnett's report mentions SC's 9-11 event and student Audra Leslie of YAF:

     The Discussion Item is 4.1: SOCCCD: Legislative and Advocacy Overview
  • Presenters will be Tere Fluegeman, Executive Director of Public and Government Affairs,
  • Mark MacDonald, State Legislative Advocate from McCallum Group Inc., and
  • Dana DeBeaumont, Federal Legislative Advocate from Capitol Advocacy Partners
     Here are some slides from their presentation:

This one's called "Who we are"

Full-time and Part-time, eh?

Item 6.1 of General Items is "Agreement for Chancellor Search Consultant Services with Professional Personnel Leasing, Inc." About $30K.

Item 6.5 is "ATEP IVC First Building Project, Change Order No. 1, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Approve Board Change Order No. 1 for the ATEP IVC First Building project and authorize staff to execute the corresponding change order with the design-build contractor resulting in an increase of $1,268,345 for a revised contract amount of $17,553,345 and add 15 days for a revised contract completion date of November 24, 2017."

Under "reports" is item 7.2: "2017 Teacher of the Year Recognition Ceremony Information on OC Teachers of the Year program. The nominees being honored from SOCCCD are Claire Cesareo, Anthropology Professor from Saddleback College and Rebecca Beck, ESL Professor from Irvine Valley College."

Item 7.3 is "Technology Plan Accept for review and study the proposed SOCCCD Technology Plan." Here's the presentation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Leaving A-200

Poster for our valiant - and ultimately failed - recall effort. 
Most A-200 denizens are packing up and moving their new digs in LA Building  (as the new Liberal Arts building is called by some) which presents opportunities for archaeological discoveries like the poster above and the reading packet below.

Who could forget the Holocaust denier on our board, who was supported by so many faculty and administrators, some still in their positions?  Who could forget that among our part-time faculty were two fellas who went on to publishing acclaim, one wining a Pulitzer Prize? Quick, someone tell our PR folks. It's not every community college who can make such boasts. Indeed, imagine a evening exchange of ideas between Steve Frogue and Michael Chabon in the faculty lounge. Or not.

"A long memory is the most radical idea in American history," so said historian Clare Sparks.  It certainly is in the SOCCCD.  Come visit us in LA Building!

Reading packet for WR 11, the Short Fiction Workshop, almost 30 years ago.
Still in its shrink wrap.
Perhaps worth a pretty penny on eBbay? 
Trustee Frogue made the over of the OC Weekly.
We still have copies!

Rebel Girl, c. 1986
UPDATE, Friday, the 23rd: today, Rebel Girl was busy taking Limber Lou to an audition in Hollywood. Meanwhile, I taught until 11:45 and then hotfooted it over to LA101, where a meeting of the new VPI (Chris McDonald) with faculty of the Schools of Humanities and Languages & Language Resources was underway. As I entered, a guy asked me to turn in my keys (to A239, my office for the last 28 or so years). He gave me a new key—to LA214, my new lair, again with Rebel Girl.
     Soon, we broke for lunch, and some of us ate with the new VPI, Chris McDonald, who seems like a decent guy. As it turns out, our long-time dean, Karima, just snagged the Interim version of McDonald's old gig at Saddleback, and so the meeting was about more than just moving to new digs. Who would be our interim dean? Lots of tongues were flappin'. Lots of rumors were flyin'. What will the future bring? Who knows.
     As usual, snafus surfaced. The boxed books and shite from one office hadn't been moved, and the movers were now gone; some of the new office computers didn't work right; some folks couldn't get the printer to work; and so on. The usual stuff.
     The door to my (our) new ofice doesn't stay open, so I've got to use this big dumb door-opening wedge thingy. The air-conditioning seems to produce a temperature a notch above comfort. I could go on, but mostly I'm excited about our new building and office. It's all shiny and new and, for the first time, faculty in my school have their own lounge, complete with comfortable chairs and a fridge and a sink—plus a great big mirror ball over in the corner. (Well, no.) College faculty offices need to be on the second floor of a cool looking building with windows, and now we've got that, so I'm happy.
     For now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Issued this morning:
Saddleback College President Tod Burnett
Announces Plans to Retire
September 20, 2016 – Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett has announced he plans to retire next summer. Dr. Burnett was hired in 2008 from the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office where he served as vice chancellor.
Dr. Burnett has led Saddleback College in achieving extraordinary goals, each year setting a vision with his state of the college address. Through his unique ability to bring people together, he has unquestionably grown the college’s capacity to serve south Orange County students and the surrounding community. His skills have brought measurable contributions to the college’s organizational leadership, advocacy, fundraising, grant development, business and community partnerships, facilities construction and renovation, academic programs, and student success.
Board of Trustees President Timothy Jemal commented, “Dr. Burnett has led Saddleback College in achieving outstanding results for our students and community. He has been a tireless advocate for Saddleback College and his substantial contributions will have a lasting impact on our district.”
South Orange County Community College District Interim Chancellor Debra Fitzsimons, who has worked with Dr. Burnett since 2011, said, “We appreciate Dr. Burnett’s visionary leadership at Saddleback College and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. He set a high bar of greatness for Saddleback College and our district.”
Dr. Burnett plans to serve until June 30, 2017. A nationwide search will commence for his replacement.

* * * 

     The word is that the board has been seeking Burnett's exit for years, but he hired a lawyer and gummed up the works negotiating a sweet sendoff, a "decision to retire." I've also heard that his "announcement" was delayed a bit by the 9-11 brouhaha. 
     A reader commented that IVC VPI Justice's intention to retire has been known for quite some time, and that is true. Nevertheless, I've been told that something happened to force an "announcement" earlier than expected. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Asians now are the largest group in Irvine. Is it Chinatown? Hardly
(OC Reg)

     …New census estimates show that, for the first time, Irvine has more Asian than white residents. It’s a thin lead, well within the report’s margin of error, but the strongest evidence yet of what many residents, scholars and real estate professionals see as an accelerating trend.

. . .
     More than 45 percent of Irvine’s roughly 257,000 residents are Asian, according to American Community Survey estimates released Thursday....

Corporate psychopath rates 'similar to prison population', says researcher 
(ABC News)

5 Most Toxic Right-Wing Moments This Week: Trump Is America's Worst Troll

Jill Stein: Hillary Clinton Wants To Start An Air War With Nuclear-Armed Russia Over Syria 
(RealClear Politics)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Batsh*t crazy @ Saddleback College

"Gensler designed the wings." Gensler in action. 
Batty Man
      Ever wonder about Saddleback College Econ instructor—and one-time IVC Dean of Humanities and Languages—Howard Gensler?
     Yeah, we have too. (See The most unappreciated person in the history of humankind.)
     Somehow, we missed this article, which appeared in the OC Register nearly six months ago:

'Batman v Superman': A mild-mannered economics professor by day, but a caped crusader by night 
(OC Reg, March 24, 2016)
     ...He’s got a piece of Robin’s cape from the 1960s Batman TV show. He’s got a life-sized Catwoman mannequin. Other costumed mannequins populate the room – Poison Ivy, Harely Quinn, Wonder Woman.
     “When people come in here, they just say ‘Wow,’” Gensler said....
"He wears this custom-made Batman suit for Halloween while teaching."
"He has an impressive home museum dedicated to the superhero."
Catwoman and Power Girl have "a custom made shelf to
house them." Howard made the shelf all by himself. Grrrrr. 
Batshit Crazy Man
See also The “Howard Hilton”