Tuesday, April 14, 1998

Some Crazy Shit Down at the District, Baby

by Tom of South County [Roy Bauer]

Dissent 5 – April 14, 1998


Listen up, kitten, ‘cuz I’m only sayin’ this once, and then I’m outta here. I was down at the district offices on the 6th of April—that was a Monday. I was tryin’ to get some ZZZs behind a box in the Chancellor’s Conference Room, but, man, the Chancellor and her Chancellorettes came in for a meetin’ and things didn’t let up in that room all day!

So, anyway, these people came in the room, and they were joined by Patrick Lenz, who’s Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Policy up at the state, and his sidekick, and also the new district fiscal guy, Newmeyer, I think. It was some pow-wow, baby, and your Tom was right in the middle of it as usual.

But then things started hoppin’, ‘cuz [Dot] Fortune and [John] Williams—don’t hiss, baby—came in, and this time they dragged somethin’ in with ‘em. It was a court reporter!

So Lenz says “No fuckin’ way,” but Fortune’s prepared, see, ‘cuz she whips out a letter for Lenz to sign sayin’ he won’t let ‘em do the court reporter thing like they wanna. But Lenz, he’s on top o’ things, see, and he just says, “I ain’t signin’ that shit!” or somethin’ to that effect. So, now, Fortune and Williams are steamed more than you can imagine, but, the way I remember it, they stay in the room, even though they’re not set to be under the Lenz until like 3 o’clock. That’s some pushy shit.

So, anyway, Fortune and Williams joined [Kathie] Hodge in her office at some point—it’s all gettin’ fuzzy in my head—but, after a coupla minutes, they stomped out again still hissin’ and steamin’ like before. Yuh see, Fortune and Williams came back into the Conference Room and thought they could sit there all day for this string of meetings, but the Lenz Man coughs up this big hair ball and says, No Goddam Way. I mean he says they’re just not welcome, OK? So like Fortune fills her shorts and runs around like a goddam dog, ‘cuz she’s gotta stay on the outside lookin’ in. And that’s just what she does--glarin’ and glowerin’ and snarlin’, I mean. And she’s somebody who can do that, baby.

Well, these meetings went on all day, like I said, and, ki-TEN, they were somethin’ else. When all those trustees finally met with Lenz in the afternoon, they got real hissy, and I was afraid the hair’d start flyin’. So, I just bolted right outta there. And I don’t bolt, you know that.

Well, when all was said and done, a letter of reprimand was placed in Hodge’s file, I guess ‘cuz she didn’t grab Lenz by the neck and slap ‘im around or somethin’. Piss on it, I say.

One thing more, baby. This district is in some serious shit. I may have to drag my feline ass to greener pastures real soon. What’s more, some accreditation big wigs are comin’ to visit on the 13th, an’ what’s THAT about?

You’d best listen to Tom, kitten. Get your financial and governance shit together, and do it soon too, ‘cuz some o’ these days, somebody’s gonna kick your big ol’ litter box clean across the room. And then the shit is gonna fly, baby.

MEOW

INVISIBLE INK MEETS INVISIBLE REP—or HOW I JOINED THE UNION – PART II

Red Emma: "Look to the sky!"
By Red Emma

Dissent 5 - 4/14/98

News flash #1: Nobody from the union showed up at last week's meeting of the IVC Adjunct Organizing Group (AOG). Surprise. Yet despite its apparent lack of interest in, even disregard for what is numerically the majority of its potential voting membership, half of the dozen part-time faculty attendees left with the union's membership forms, vowing to join up pronto.

Here's a frightening thought: What if part-time faculty joined the union, used their new political power, and played a role in contract negotiations, workplace issues and the life of our academic community? Scarey, huh?

Yes, there is a price. No, it's not $14.00 a month. You may recall Red Emma's previous report, when he left readers on a precipice of curiosity regarding whether he'd be charged full or part-time dues. Payroll botched it, but happily, caught its own error. A kind staffer from SOCCCD took responsibility for the error and called to inform me that I would in future have $18.00 removed from my walloping big adjunct faculty remuneration.

$18.00. That's it. And, of course, getting involved.

Reminder: The AOG meets pretty much bi-weekly. We're prioritizing concerns, so please attend or communicate your interest to 497-3876 (Andrew's home number).

News flash #2: We did it! IVC Adjunct Assembly elections, facilitated by the A.S., now allow us to, among other things, elect Adjunct Faculty to two positions on the Senate. That's a start.

News flash #3: Telephoned by a part-timer last week, Red Emma found himself lacking information sufficient to answer questions regarding the newly passed contract and much-touted part-time faculty health benefits. The contract is meant to be retroactive, so that, figures R.E., Adjunct Faculty who qualify and have already worked five semesters should immediately query Personnel and the union rep, asking for details of enrollment in a health plan.

Some questions: Is summer session teaching included? Consecutive semesters? How soon can we enroll?

These questions should be directed immediately to SOCCCD Personnel and your Union Rep.

Finally, it's Springtime and, like the swallows of Capistrano, the urge to threaten somebody with libel returns in the form of a whimsical photocopy from an anonymous wag superimposed over Red Emma's previous communique. Interesting that the local cannot produce its own part-time faculty newsletter, instead apparently choosing to mess with Red Emma and Dissent.

As regards the Red One's report, he stands by all material and points out that the only legitimate potential slander issue here has to do with privacy. In fact, Red Emma's article effectively blew full-time Prof. Ray Chandos's (R.C.) well-protected and profoundly deep cover as Union Rep, a position thus far successfully concealed from over two hundred IVC part timers by him and the union local for years.

To that offense, Emma pleads, of course, guilty. —RE

SEE PART III of this series

Contract ratification: "What a pr*ck," I thought

Counting the ballots

by Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer]

Dissent 5 - April 14, 1998

Quote of the week:
     “The board put that provision in the contract so that it could hide from the state the fact that they’re giving teachers a raise.”
Sharon MacMillan, FA President-elect, in OC Weekly, 4/10/98
Pat Fennel
On Tuesday, the 31st, I headed down to Saddleback College for the Counting of the Ballots--the final episode of our union’s shabby contract election. Unfortunately, a week earlier, a fit of generosity caused me to assent to Sharon M’s request that I participate in this event. So, I had to go.

I arrived at Saddleback a few minutes late—largely because I put off leaving from IVC until the very last minute, so eager was I to participate. Upon finding the designated room, I entered from the rear, where the odious Mr. [Patrick J.] Fennel was sitting alone, chewing his lip and growing his hair. He spotted me, and with his usual flair for the ugly, he spit forth something like: “Well, c’mon, Bauer! They’re waiting!”

“What a pr*ck,” I thought.

Just then, an unfamiliar man—evidently, the imported “mediator” or “neutral party”—started the proceedings. He announced that he was there to authenticate the ballot-counting, not the entire election, which, obviously, he could not do. I walked, warily, toward the front of the room, hoping that my obligation to participate had somehow been rendered moot by the leadership’s usual sequence of unexplained changes in plan; but then Pete E noticed me and directed me to my assigned position next to the mediator.

So I walked up to this fellow, whose name, I believe, was Hart, and shook his hand. “How are ya!” he shouted. “Nice day, doncha think!” he said. “Stand right there, fella! That’s it!” Later, he asked me if I ever played football. No, I said, and his eyes communicated bewilderment.

Kopfstein
I suppose that, among my critics, there are those who believe that I am always unaffected by their occasional signs of hostility toward me. Not so! On this day, I had had quite enough of that sort of thing to last me a while, and so I tried to do the job at hand without regard of any expressions of hostility. I was relieved to find that Mr. [Robert] Kopfstein, another of Mr. Hart’s little helpers, was behaving almost courteously. I felt so warm and fuzzy inside, that I almost gave him a hug.

Before I could do that, however, I noticed that the voting instructions taped to IVC’s ballot box were distinctly different from the instructions taped to the Saddleback box. I recall in particular that the IVC instructions required that the voter show her photo ID and sign a roster prior to voting, while the Saddleback instructions made no such demands. I apprised the audience of this peculiarity.

In response, Sharon MacMillan briefly explained how the disparity had come about. I think she said that, at first, Saddleback faculty were asked to show IDs and so on, but some objected, and so the Saddleback, but not the IVC, instructions were changed in mid-election. Naturally, union leaders saw no problem with this change at one campus but not at the other. For his part, Mr. Hart seemed particularly uninterested. “I’m just here to count ballots, ya know!” he said.

“Hey, everybody, I’m practically worthless!” he added, in my imagination.

No doubt Mr. Hart was in danger of being late for his weekly poker game. Under his direction, we hastily recorded names, ripped open outer envelopes, ripped open inner envelopes, and studied the occasional electoral curiosity (unknown voter names, etc.). I watched with amusement as the Neutral One rashly threw the inner envelopes into a trash barrel, for the separate piles of white paper that we created were almost indistinguishable, and we helpers could easily have placed ballots and envelopes in the wrong piles.

“Pretty half-assed,” I thought.

At times, the four or five of us on the counting crew were in ridiculous independent uncoordinated motion, like bumper cars or ants, and it was clear that neither Mr. Neutrality nor anyone else could keep track of us all. (Not that it mattered.) Out of the chaos, I think I saw one envelope pop into the air, fly across the room, and land in Sherry’s hair, but no one noticed. I bet it’s still in there somewhere.

Sharon M
When some in the audience complained to Mr. Hart that he was not making the meaning of our efforts clear, he responded by picking up the pace and explaining things loudly and with many gestures. It was as though he had been told that the audience comprised deaf simpletons who were growing impatient. For what it’s worth, the process was clear to me, and it seemed indeed to be on the up and up, albeit unnecessarily confusing to the audience.

When all the ballots (except for a handful of mutant instances) were counted, 104 proved to be “pro,” while 86 proved to be “con.”

Some in the audience made celebratory gestures and sounds. Others glowered. I glowered.

And thus it was that the contract was ratified.

Reporters began to buzz around. I talked to a Lariat reporter for a few minutes and then walked over to Diane Fernandes-Lisi (of CCA/CTA), who, earlier, had been studying my every action as though I were a grifter counting the day’s receipts. I asked her if she was concerned about the various irregularities of this election--the union leadership’s failure to provide a ballot box at IVC during the first few days of the election, their numerous bewildering changes of the election closing date, their failure to sunshine some elements of the contract to the membership, the failure of the union’s negotiating team to understand, or even to read, the terms of the restoration of steps 26-30 until negotiations were over, the exclusion of eligible voters (new members) from the election process, etc.

She was, she said.

I asked her if she understood that, until recently, the union leadership had planned to hold the bylaws ratification election among the Rep Council, not the membership, contrary to the FA’s current bylaws. I asked if she knew about the illegal “refusal ballot” scheme that the union leaders were now contemplating applying to upcoming elections. She grew glum and glummer.

In the background, I could here Ken [Woodward] declaring to all who would listen to him that this election was the most honest and above-board event that had ever occurred in the history of the entire world and of all possible worlds, too.

I left.

AFTERMATH

By the next morning, word had spread that a press conference was scheduled for the purpose of announcing the attainment of a faculty contract. It was to be held at 5:30 that day.

That same morning, I received a call from Trustee [Marcia] Milchiker. Among other things, we discussed our alarming mutual pen pal [a reference, I think, to Michael Collins Piper]. She told me, parenthetically, that she had just read about the press conference in the paper. Evidently, Pam Zanelli, the hapless board majority-hired media consultant, did not judge it necessary to invite Marcia or some of the other trustees to this event.

Later, on my way home, I dropped by the district offices shortly after 5 o’clock; I left copies of the Dissent with the usual suspects. At one point, I espied Teddi Lorch, who was conferring with Zanelli in her office, and John Williams, who was conferring with unfamiliar faces inside Chancellor [Kathie] Hodge’s office. A pyrotechnics team, perhaps?

I was aware that, just by standing there outside the Chancellor’s office, I would inspire a conspiracy theory or theorette in Williams’ feeble brain, even though, in reality, I was merely waiting for the Chancellor’s secretary (I’ve forgotten her name) to finish her phone call. Sensing an opportunity, I assumed a conspiratorial air by raising one eye brow. Williams, on the other side of the glass, unconsciously felt for his weapon.

As I walked away, I noticed that the Chancellor’s conference room just down the hall was all decked out for a major PR event: microphones were set up, name plates were displayed, tasty beverages were set out, and a band was practicing in the corner. (Well, I made up the last part, although I think I saw a John Tesh cassette on the table.)

But nobody was around. Something told me it was time to blow.

The next day, I found out that not one reporter showed up for the press conference.

The Register had covered Tuesday’s ratification vote-count in its Wednesday edition. The story started like this: “The state’s highest-paid community college professors approved a new contract Tuesday that will cost the South Orange County Community College District at least $5 million in raises and perks over the next five years.”

It went on to explain that “Some professors are angry with their own teachers union and say the fighting began during the November [1996] elections for four seats on the district’s board of trustees.” Pete E was quoted as saying that “There wasn’t an agreement on how to go about choosing which candidates we would advocate for. A small group made decisions for us.”

Mr. Woodward, however, was quoted as expressing a very different view about the source of conflict within the union: “[He] said the bitterness stems from a board decision several months ago [July ‘97] to reorganize the district...Professors who chaired their [schools] were removed from these quasi-administrative posts and sent back to the classroom. The teachers union didn’t protest, which angered some of the professors...‘Nothing bad happened,’ said Woodward. ‘They just had to go back and teach.’”

This analysis of the union’s internal problems is demonstrably false. Among that group of persons who have been most active in challenging our union’s leadership, only one was ever a school chair—me. My quarrels with the union leadership began way back during the campaign of ‘96—eight months before I started my two-month stint as a school chair. Finally, the letter of complaint about our union—signed by 109 full-time “concerned faculty”—was sent to CCA/CTA eight months prior to the “reorganization” meeting to which Ken refers. That letter ultimately caused the CTA to send down a “leadership team” to investigate the union early in 1997. Again, all of this occurred before the Trustees’ infamous (re)organizational meeting.

A successful student protest—designed to call attention to the actions of the Board Majority and Raghu Mathur and the threat these actions pose to students—was staged at IVC on Thursday, the 2nd. The day before, President Mathur and at least one other administrator met with the students who were organizing the protest. If the organizers encountered pressure at that meeting, they withstood it successfully, for the demonstration proceeded more or less as planned at noon on Thursday. It was, by all accounts, a great success.

At first, a handful of students with signs marched alone around the A-quad near the administration building. Soon, however, others joined them, including numerous full- and part-time faculty and even some brave classified employees. At least fifty marchers snaked through the quad area and the environs for thirty minutes (as planned); they chanted, waved signs, joked with the many onlookers (perhaps 100), and generally had a great time.

At the end of the “march,” the still-intact group silently paraded through the administration building. Afterward, the students explained that they would resume the protests (on Thursdays) after the Spring break.

The event was reported in the OC Register’s Metro section, page 2, on Friday, April 3 and the Irvine World News, April 9.

On Thursday (4/3), the Irvine World News, the (IVC) Voice, and the (Saddleback) Lariat came out, and each covered recent district events and related matters.

An article in the IWN announced that “Gay and lesbian groups” have joined the Frogue recall effort. According to the article, “gay and lesbian organizations...are upset because Pamela Zanelli, a political consultant who gave advice to a Faculty Association political action committee campaigning for Frogue’s reelection in 1996, is working for the district [as its public affairs consultant] and may apply for a newly created public affairs position.” The article goes on to explain that Zanelli has been accused of authoring the infamous “same-sex marriage” mailer of the ‘96 campaign. (The mailer, sent to South County Republicans, got [Steve] Frogue, [John] Williams, and [Dorothy] Fortune elected.)

Jeff LeTourneau of ECCO (Elections Committee of the County of Orange, a gay political lobbying group) described the mailer as “the most deplorable, awful, homophobic piece of garbage that I’ve seen in 25 years of political activity.

Zanelli denies having written the mailer. I am told that, during the last Board meeting, she told a reporter that she would never write such a thing, for a relation of hers “died of AIDS.” Zanelli’s reasoning is reminiscent of the puerile moral logic often embraced by the current union leadership (“We’re not responsible! The consultant made us do it!”--Remember?), for, though, evidently, she would never “author” homophobic literature, it appears that she advised our union to author and use it:

Zanelli...said she was hired as a consultant in October 1996 by the Faculty Association political action committee to help target issues for campaign, purposes. The domestic partners benefits issue was among the polling topics of discussion during the summer and fall of 1996, said Zanelli. Polls showed that 70 percent of voters in the area would have voted against domestic partners benefits, she said.

LeTourneau said the flier came about based on Zanelli’s advice.

“Whether she sat down and wrote the flier is irrelevant. She designed the hit piece attacking gays and lesbians. That’s not tolerable,” he said.

Zanelli was hired by the district board earlier this year as a temporary public affairs consultant, which, according to some college officials, has resulted in an ethical conflict of interest.

Trustee [Dave] Lang, who voted against the move to appoint Zanelli as a consultant, said, “It is inappropriate for a person to be writing political cover for four trustees (Fortune, Frogue, Williams and Teddi Lorch).

“She wrote, or helped write, Dorothy Fortune’s (commentary) for the Times. In my view that represents a theft of public funds. I’ve called for a full investigation of her activities since she was hired to work for the district.”

In an article concerning the faculty contract, Trustee Williams’ involvement in the contract negotiations—unprecedented among trustees, as far as I know—was discussed:

Williams took criticism for being a member of the negotiating team. Fellow trustee Joan Hueter said, “Whenever a trustee goes into a negotiating situation like that it puts a whole different spin on things.”

She said trustees have to make the final decision and shouldn’t have an influence over the bargaining process.

Williams said he had to get involved as president of the board.

“I did involve myself when the process was bogging down as a last-ditch resort, to break a log jam,” he said. [Wow, mixing three metaphors. ]

What’s “extortion” mean?

Negotiations had gone on for more than a year, he said, and he felt that he had direction from the board to bring back information to them.

Also in the Apil 2 Irvine World News was a guest editorial by Trustee Williams, accompanied by Williams’ high school graduation picture, evidently. Here, Mr. Williams says that Terry Burgess “was not informed his contract would not be renewed and...was not fired.” Consider this: Mr. Williams’ recently-alleged attempted quid pro quo depended on the understanding that Mr. Burgess’ contract would not be renewed in June, for, allegedly, Williams suggested (to at least one minority board member) that he would arrange for Burgess’ (and Deegan’s) contract to be renewed (contrary to everyone’s expectation)--if the minority would agree to refrain from voting against Raghu Mathur (for IVC president).

Mr. Williams offers the fact that the chancellor of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College district offered Burgess the Chabot presidency as evidence that Burgess was not fired. Huh? In fact, knowing that his contract would not be renewed, Burgess sought other administrative positions and was offered one by Chabot. Obviously, that he sought the position and got it is not evidence that he was not told that he would be fired!

Mr. Williams defends his violations of the Brown Act by suggesting that he is not accountable; rather, the district’s legal counsel is accountable:

The part-time board relies on the full-time chancellor and district legal counsel, who said we were in compliance with the Brown Act Open Meeting law.”

This from a man who, elsewhere in his article, asserts that “actions taken by the board of trustees are not about ‘politics and power and winning.’ They’re about accountability.” Evidently, in Williams’ view, everyone should take responsibility for what they do—everyone, that is, excepting the Gang of Four.

Williams implies that the board’s Brown Act violations involved mere technicalities. If so, why then did Judge McDonald render null and void every action that had been based on the illegal appointment of Raghu Mathur as interim president of IVC?

Williams asserts that “no attempt was made to keep the proceedings secret.” Really? In fact, for the meeting in question (April 28, 1997) the board failed to indicate on its agenda that it was considering an interim presidential appointment. Further, it failed to allow the public to comment on this action before the meeting. Finally, the names of the signatories of the petition upon which Mathur’s appointment was based were not made public.

An article in the 4/2 Lariat reports that, according to Saddleback student Antonio Aguilar (the student who, months ago, challenged an explicit Holocaust denier during a board meeting), he was ‘spit at’ by English instructor Tony Garcia on March 30. Evidently, Garcia responded to the charge by saying that “I cleared my throat as [Aguilar] went by.”

The article ends with a masterpiece of understatement:

Richard McCullough, Saddleback College Interim President, said he would not condone this type of behavior from faculty if it did, indeed, occur.

“That’s not what they should be doing,” he said.

In a letter to the editor, Lynn Wells responds to a comment that had been attributed by the Lariat to Sherry Miller-White:

...I address a response attributed to Sherry Miller-White that “the association (membership) had its chance to object to the provision (an increase in salary steps 26-30 for Doctorates) before it went into the contract. She says, “A lot of times, people don’t read the information...”

A South Orange County Community College District Faculty association newsletter (2/98) reports “salary scale steps 26-30. One step movement will be allowed per year.” In that document there is no mention made as to which full-time faculty this will apply.

After reading this and reading the contract proposal, I made phone calls to negotiators, who claim they had been misled by administrative negotiators (the chief of which was a former association president and negotiator [Bill Jay].) Right up to the first Contractual Explication meeting, association representatives claimed steps 26-30 did apply to the entire faculty. During that meeting (March 2) negotatiors claimed that they negotiated a contractual item which clearly alluded to a prior contract (specifically the 1980 contract) without having even read that contract. In fact, they begged that anyone with a copy to bring it forth.

Appalling words; appalling behavior.

In a story concerning the contract that appeared on the front page of the April 2 IVC Voice, English instructor Lewis Long is quoted as saying

“The contract makes it difficult for there to be any faculty participation in shared governance...The contract does not serve the interest of the college nor does it serve a majority of the interests of the faculty. The qualified people with teaching experience might not want to come here because it limits what they might be paid as compared to other campuses.”

The article briefly discusses alleged “inconsistent voting practices”:

“...according to Paula Jacobs, Saddleback’s faculty development chair and professor of counseling and special programs, there were two different voting procedures at Saddleback, depending on when one voted.

“On the first day, each member had to mark their ballot and put it in the master box. There was no second envelope, no signature, no social security number, nothing,” said Jacobs. “Beginning the second day, each ballot had a number on it. Members then had to put the ballot inside of a sealed envelope, place it inside of another envelope, seal it and write their name and social security number on the front. If you deviated from that process at all, they wouldn’t count your vote.”

Jacobs raises another issue:

“There are two deans at Saddleback who are members of the union. For years, the association has continued to take their dues and allowed them to vote. During the ballot counting, the union refused to count their votes. If they are not allowed to vote, why did the union continue to collect their dues? Or, if they are members, why weren’t they allowed to vote?” she said.

DOROTHY FORTUNE TRIES TO INTIMIDATE A BEANCOUNTER FROM THE STATE CHANCELLOR’S OFFICE, BUT IT DOESN’T WORK by Tom of South County

In 1997, the Board Majority (Williams, Frogue, Lorch, and Fortune), those "fiscally responsible" trustees, managed to run the district into the ground. The district was placed on a Priority 2 fiscal watch list in 1997 because of low reserves. Naturally, this meant that state auditors showed up and insisted on looking at the books. This article describes how Fortune and Williams behaved during one of those visits.

From Dissent 5, 4/14/98

[“Tom from South County” was one of Chunk’s alter-egos, a cat.]

Originally entitled:

Some Crazy Shit Down at the District, Baby

by Tom of South County

Listen up, kitten, ‘cuz I’m only sayin’ this once, and then I’m outta here. I was down at the district offices on the 6th of April—that was a Monday. I was tryin’ to get some ZZZs behind a box in the Chancellor’s Conference Room, but, man, the Chancellor and her Chancellorettes came in for a meetin’ and things didn’t let up in that room all day!

So, anyway, these people came in the room, and they were joined by Patrick Lenz, who’s Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Policy up at the state, and his sidekick, and also the new district fiscal guy, Newmeyer, I think. It was some pow-wow, baby, and your Tom was right in the middle of it as usual.

But then things started hoppin’, ‘cuz Fortune and Williams—don’t hiss, baby—came in, and this time they dragged somethin’ in with ‘em. It was a court reporter!

So Lenz says “No fuckin’ way,” but Fortune’s prepared, see, ‘cuz she whips out a letter for Lenz to sign sayin’ he won’t let ‘em do the court reporter thing like they wanna. But Lenz, he’s on top o’ things, see, and he just says, “I ain’t signin’ that shit!” or somethin’ to that effect. So, now, Fortune and Williams are steamed more than you can imagine, but, the way I remember it, they stay in the room, even though they’re not set to be under the Lenz until like 3 o’clock. That’s some pushy shit.

So, anyway, Fortune and Williams joined Hodge in her office at some point--it’s all gettin’ fuzzy in my head—but, after a coupla minutes, they stomped out again still hissin’ and steamin’ like before. Yuh see, Fortune and Williams came back into the Conference Room and thought they could sit there all day for this string of meetings, but the Lenz Man coughs up this big hair ball and says, No Goddam Way. I mean he says they’re just not welcome, OK? So like Fortune fills her shorts and runs around like a goddam dog, ‘cuz she’s gotta stay on the outside lookin’ in. And that’s just what she does—glarin’ and glowerin’ and snarlin’, I mean. And she’s somebody who can do that, baby.

Well, these meetings went on all day, like I said, and, ki-TEN, they were somethin’ else. When all those trustees finally met with Lenz in the afternoon, they got real hissy, and I was afraid the hair’d start flyin’. So, I just bolted right outta there. And I don’t bolt, you know that.

Well, when all was said and done, a letter of reprimand was placed in Hodge’s file, I guess ‘cuz she didn’t grab Lenz by the neck and slap ‘im around or somethin’. Piss on it, I say.

One thing more, baby. This district is in some serious shit. I may have to drag my feline ass to greener pastures real soon. What’s more, some accreditation big wigs are comin’ to visit on the 13th, an’ what’s THAT about?

You’d best listen to Tom, kitten. Get your financial and governance shit together, and do it soon too, ‘cuz some o’ these days, somebody’s gonna kick your big ol’ litter box clean across the room. And then the shit is gonna fly, baby.

MEOW

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report  — up again USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes LA Times  ...

Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix