Thursday, January 7, 1999

Professor, college leaders at odds over newsletters

THE IRVINE WORLD NEWS, January 7, 1999

Professor, college leaders at odds over newsletters
By Laura Hayes

Oo, violence!
     It’s no secret that Irvine Valley College philosophy professor Roy Bauer has long opposed actions of South Orange County Community College District trustees and administrators and he is not alone in his dissension.
     But as the plaintiff in lawsuits against those authorities and as the creator of two underground newsletter, “The Vine” and “The Dissent,” Bauer may now become the lightening rod for possible district action.
     Chancellor Cedric Sampson warned Bauer in December that aspects of his writings and artwork in issues of “The Dissent” has caused concerns of potential workplace violence to arise. The chancellor advised Bauer to seek counseling. [Note: on the 18th of Dec., Bauer was “directed” to seek counseling.]
     In response, Bauer filed a lawsuit against the chancellor and the district on Dec. 31, claiming violation of his First Amendment rights. Carol Sobel, a Los Angeles attorney specializing in First Amendment issues and lawyer to two Irvine Valley students who filed a case with the ACLU against the district last spring, is working on his behalf. Bauer is also seeking legal representation from the California Teachers Association.
     Sampson, in his letter to Bauer, said that individuals have complained the newsletters are creating a hostile work environment and fear among district employees. Cartoons, fantasy stories and commentary from “The Dissent” were extracted as examples of violation of district policies pertaining to workplace violence and discrimination and harassment. One citation was the metaphorical account of a trustee’s demise.
     Sampson’s letter said, “It’s like a person going on an airplane and making a joke about a bomb. This is not a First Amendment issue, it relates to district policy.
     “Employees of the district have certain responsibilities,” he said. “We’re not interested in restricting the freedom of speech.”
     Sampson said the district uses a checklist of warning signs to determine actions concerning employees, but he did not comment further on Bauer’s case or the impending lawsuit.
     “I haven’t seen the suit, but we will respond,” he said. According to Sampson, the district is taking action now because of a change in the tone of the newsletters.
     Bauer is a graduate of the UC Irvine department of philosophy and has taught at the community college district since 1986. He said his personnel file contained nothing but a perfect record and glowing evaluations until now.
     He claimed his newsletters have not changed and one issue among 35 has been held up as the only criteria by which he is being judged.
     Debbie Burbridge, a Cal Poly Pomona student who attended Irvine Valley last semester and is still a part time student there, started a student rights club on campus last spring. She questioned the district’s timing and singling out of Bauer.
     “He’s been writing it for 18 months and only now they’re reprimanding him. I’ve been reading it for six or seven months and it’s always been that way. For me, it was really informative, because I couldn’t go to all the board meetings and I relied on “The Dissent” for what was going on. I find his sense of humor satirical. I didn’t take it very seriously at all. If anyone knows Roy he’s the most soft-spoken and non-violent person you can imagine.“
     Jody Hoy, a professor in the humanities and languages department, said, “People say he’s creating a hostile working environment, it’s not true. It’s a response to a hostile environment. It’s a refusal to accept a hostile environment.”
     Pam Zanelli, acting district public affairs officer, said. “It’s a workplace. Whether you agree with him, or disagree we all have to work here. Some of it is political lampooning. It is very clever, very creative. But over time you see different people react. It ranges from uncomfortable to fearful.”
     Wendy Phillips, Irvine Valley instructor and Bauer’s attorney in two other cases against the district involving alleged violations of state laws requiring open board meetings, said the singling out of Bauer is retaliatory. “Very, very clearly, the newsletters are not creating a hostile working environment.”
     By claiming to enforce a policy, Phillips said, the district is abbreviating an employee’s rights. “Employees are still citizens of the United States.
     “In my opinion, Roy’s cartoons and writings are just like those you find in the L.A. Times. They are just trying to drum up a case against him,” she said. Phillips said the actions against Bauer could represent a serious threat to the rights of other faculty members as well.
     Bauer said “The Vine” and “The Dissent” have their origin in a newsletter he once co-wrote for faculty members in his role as academic senator and later as chair of the Department of Humanities and Languages at Irvine Valley. When an administrative reorganization occurred in July 1997, and chairs were replaced by deans from Saddleback College, Bauer’s writings went underground and the publications were widely distributed.
     Bauer takes most of the heat and credit for the news sheets, but they often are compilations of information from public and not-so-public sources. Various writers with pseudonyms contribute humorous, straight and satirical commentary. The publications also contain excerpts or whole articles from newspapers.
     “My primary intention is to keep members of the district community informed. Also to express the frustrations they themselves feel about the place,” said Bauer.
     “I got into this whole thing because I take seriously principles and ethics. When I see good people being fired or being pressured to leave the district, violations of procedures, violations of state law, corrupt politicians lying to communities, I feel an obligation to throw in with others.”
     Bauer said accurate accounts of events are important to him. In-depth descriptions of public board meetings in his newsletters are coupled with background information and Baueresque editorial touches. The juicy stuff—confidential letters, memos and conversations—don’t remain in the dark long once Bauer publishes them.
     What about the extras? Graphics include Bauer’s favorite targets, Irvine Valley President Raghu Mathur and “board majority” members Dorothy Fortune, Steven Frogue, John Williams and former trustee Teddi Lorch, with a host of other district characters. Their photos are stretched and distorted in often unflattering poses. Mathur, a favorite Bauer target, has been cast as Napoleon, Alfred E. Newman and Elvis shaking hands with Richard Nixon.
     “The Vine” and “The Dissent” emerged as an unsanctioned outcry from some on the Irvine Valley campus after four trustees voted down their three colleagues to make major changes in the district over two volatile years.
     Lawsuits were brought against the board concerning two specific actions. The board set aside traditional hiring practices in appointing chemistry professor Raghu Mathur as president and they changed the administrative structure of the district and the college, replacing faculty chairs at Irvine Valley with deans from Saddleback College. Faculty chairs were tenured professors and enjoyed a certain degree of independence. Deans and vice presidents do not. As newly elected Trustee Don Wagner stated in a recent letter to the editor of the Irvine World News, “administrators at institutions of higher education do not have tenure, but serve at the pleasure of their superiors.”
     Wagner said he is not familiar with Bauer’s publications. In one issue he read, Wagner said, Bauer made some substantive points about college and district problems. But Wagner added, Bauer’s “rhetoric” won’t accomplishes his purposes and won’t win him any friends.
     “If his purpose is to air legitimate grievances, I think he could go about it in a more measured way,” said Wagner.
     “He has very definite opinions. He’s a player and he’s involved in these problems. He’s someone I’d like to work with,” he said.
     But Wagner said from what he’s seen, the newsletter is not persuasive to those outside Bauer’s audience. “He’s preaching to the choir.”

Monday, January 4, 1999

Classic Raghu Mathur: "I feel discriminated!"

THE MATHURIAN CANDIDATE: “I FEEL DISCRIMINATED!”: RAGHU’S REMARKABLE LETTER TO CHANCELLOR SNEED, OCT. ’89; by Chunk Wheeler [Dissent 15, 1/4/99]

Theorists of the origins of our calamity inevitably point to, among other things, the remarkable career of one Raghu P. Mathur, the president of Irvine Valley College, and the only person in the history of the institution to have been censured for lying (4/5/94).


Raghu has been a player of sorts in our district almost from the beginning of IVC’s existence in 1979, when he began his single-minded quest for administrative glory. The fellow’s penchant, however, even in those early years, for duplicity and connivery earned him the enmity of IVC’s first president, the forthright and unforgiving Ed Hart. Hart moved on in ‘86, but Raghu still failed to “advance,” and, owing to his paranoia and narcissism, he necessarily blamed the situation on others, most notably Terry Burgess, who, like Raghu, was hired as an instructor during IVC’s early days, but who, unlike Raghu, successfully made the shift to administration, where he flourished.


Raghu being Raghu, he responded to the situation by constructing a private reality in which he was continually thwarted by racists and those who envied his supposedly superior abilities. This fantasy was the germ of a conspiratorial Weltanschauung carefully fashioned by Raghu to appeal to some of his more insecure colleagues—people who do virtually no “shared governance” work on campus but who resent the “undo influence” of those who do. This world view is evoked and invoked even now by Raghu and his Mathurians. Naturally, when asked to defend it, these people have nothing of substance to offer. In this respect, they are like Mr. Frogue, with whom they are allied, and like conspiracy fans everywhere.


By 1989, Raghu’s self-promotional labors had profited him nothing, and so he appealed, not for the last time, to the Chancellor--this time in a letter. As you’ll see, the letter, which is reprinted below, is remarkable in many respects.


Judge for yourself. [See blue highlighting below.]

October 9, 1989...
Dr. Richard Sneed, Chancellor…


Dear Dr. Sneed:

I wish to document certain issues of interest and concerns [sic] to me and others at Irvine Valley College. I realize this is a long letter; however, I would appreciate your indulgence in full consideration of issues presented herein in the best interests of students of Saddleback Community College District.

Spring Schedule Development Process


With respect to the development of chemistry schedule [sic] for spring 1990, I received a memo during my summer vacation, in mail in late August, from Seth Hochwald, Chair, School of Physical Sciences, Math, and Technologies, that our input for chemistry schedule was due to him within a couple of days which I found to be suspiciously short notice for such vital task [sic] of schedule development. So Walter Floser and I, two full-time chemistry instructors at Irvine Valley College, promptly called in our input to the school secretary. Within a week or so when the college opened for instruction, I received a spring schedule from the school secretary seeking staffing recommendations. Frankly I couldn’t even recognize the schedule as compared to what we had proposed. This obviously meant that our input was ignored. On friday, September 1, I met with Seth and asked him if this was indeed his recommended schedule to the administration. He said yes. I asked him if he had seen our input. He said no. I couldn’t believe that he was recommending only one section of Chem 1A for spring 1990 whereas we could fill 3 sections of Chem 1A considering a) what we have generally offered in the past and b) ensuing growth this year. Incidentally, we could have filled three sections of Chem 1A during fall ’89 but only two were allowed by Terry Burgess. We literally turned one section full of Chem 1A students away during Fall ’89 even though he had given me his word of honor last May that he would open an additional section of Chem 1A if needed which, of course, he did not. This proved to me that Terry Burgess is neither trustworthy nor responsive. On monday, September 4, I asked Seth again if this was indeed his recommended chemistry schedule for spring ’90. At this time he said he had nothing to do with it and, in fact, the schedule was pre-determined by Mas Hayashi, School Chair for Spring and Summer ’89 only, and Terry Burgess last May. So obviously Seth lied to me on friday, September 1. Furthermore, we are infuriated on why did Seth seek input from us in the first place when he knew that the chemistry schedule was already determined? Obviously Mas and Terry had predetermined chemistry schedule for spring 1990 without any input or consultation with chemistry instructors. We find this extremely insulting. We would like to know why was it so? We have inquired about this but we have gotten no answers from Mas Hayashi or Terry Burgess.

A Classic Conversation with Area Dean


Subsequently I met with Dr. Clella Wood, Area Dean, and asked her if she was at all aware of the Chair’s proposed chemistry schedule for Spring ’90. She stated no. This shows lack of communication and coordination between school chair and the area dean. In the meantime, she talked with Seth and then a few days later the following conversation occurred between her and me:

Raghu: Are you supporting one section of Chem 1A as proposed by Seth?

Clella: Yes, however, I could go along with offering two sections of Chem 1A if we cut Chem 2B as proposed by Terry. (Chem 2B is a course for nursing majors.)

Raghu: Do you know what the enrollment was in Chem 2B last year in the spring before you have apparently agreed to cut Chem 2B with Terry?

Clella: No. (In fact it was 21).

Raghu: Do you know how many sections of Chem 1A were offered last spring and what the enrollments were in those sections before your making a decision for next spring?

Clella: I believe 2 sections of Chem 1A were offered (when in fact three sections were offered). No, I haven’t checked the enrollment in those sections of last spring.

Raghu: Considering the fact that schools have historically received augmentation for new courses and/or programs, did you present our need for 18 hours of organic chemistry sequence of Chem 12A and 12B to the Instruction Council so that we could offer organic chemistry courses in our organic laboratory in this new physical sciences building in which you sit as dean?

Clella: I didn’t know that you needed OSH or that you needed to offer organic chemistry courses (for science majors) or that we have organic chemistry laboratory in this B200 building. You have never told me this.

Raghu: I had so informed the school chair about the augmentation need last spring. Didn’t he inform you as he should following channels of communcation?

Clella: No.

Raghu: Do you know if the augmentation issue for organic chemistry was ever brought up by the school chair in the Instruction Council meeting?

Clella: No (when in fact it was brought up but the dean was absent as I used to find her absent quite frequently when I attended these meetings regularly as school chair).

There you have it! This conversation exemplifies the existence of an utterly dysfunctional administration at IVC. You have an area dean who is not in touch with what’s going on in her building, in her division, and in instructional council meetings. I, as a past candidate for the dean position, cannot help but honestly feel that she was hired for the position not because she is knowledgeable and competent but because she is white. I feel discriminated. I feel extremely disturbed and angry. She is literally out to lunch several days each week for extended periods of time. She claims that she goes out to lunch meetings with business/industry leaders to develop contacts for IVC. Give me a break. If so, where are the results of such meetings? How many new vocational programs has she singlehandedly [sic] brought on line at IVC? There doesn’t seem to be any accountability of her whatsoever. Is this the kind of knowledge and performance expected and accepted by her bosses?

With respect to resolution of issues surrounding chemistry schedule for spring 1990 with Terry Burgess, certain characteristics of his leadership and management style have made significant impressions and have, in fact, painfully grieved me about the tremendous lack of instructional decision-making processes, trust, and respect at Irvine Valley College. It is with great reluctance and after much soul searching that I bring these concerns to your attention for deliberation and resolution, perhaps through better administration.

Administration By Misleading


Terry Burgess stated in a memo to Dr. McFarlin (see attachment II) that Seth Hochwald and Clella Wood had advised him that he cut the single section of Chem 2B (for nursing majors) from spring schedule and, therefore, he concurred with it. In fact after receiving the memo, when I inquired Seth and Clella if they had indeed so advised him, they denied it and stated that the recommendation had actually come from Terry and they (Seth and Clella) simply agreed with the recommendation. Incidentally, the agreement occurred without any consultation or discussion of the program by any of these three people with the full-time chemistry instructors and Chem 2B was summarily cut from the spring schedule. When I confronted Terry in the presence of Dr. McFarlin, Seth and Clella, he admitted that he had indeed lied in the memo and had deliberately mislead [sic] us. Furthermore, this shows that he is advancing his own bias against Chem 2B course by using Seth and Clella. He needs to learn to stop using people in this manner and instead institute a mechanism through which school chair and dean could work with faculty, discuss issues honestly and professionally, providing recommendations through win-win approach to problem solving that would best serve the short term as well as the long term educational needs of students in a globally equitable manner considering all departments and schools at IVC. In my judgement when administrators facilitate decision-making in this manner, they can help build a strong and productive team.

Administration By Hypocricy [sic]

Terry Burgess repeatedly states that he welcomes input from subject experts but, in this context, when we had given him our highest professional judgement to best serve student needs, I feel that it has met with direct criticism, immediate dismissal and indifference rather than deliberation, accomodation, and genuine compromise. Needless to say that his such behavior is clearly perceived as hypocritical.

Regarding Chem 2A/2B program for nursing majors, we, the chemistry instructors at IVC, have repeatedly asked him that he and Ev Brewer should jointly call a meeting of all the biologists, chemists, and nursing faculty in the district to evaluate and revise, as necessary, chemistry requirement for biology courses which serve as pre-requisite for entrance to nursing program but, not once, have we heard from him that he, as vice president of instruction, would be willing to provide leadership in this vital curriculum and instructional area. We have proposed that, in the meantime, Chem 2B be offered just one more time in spring ’90 as a continuation course for students in Chem 2A this fall semester. We feel that we have a moral obligation not to shortchange students who are already, so called, in the pipeline.

He has provided a lot of leadership in quadrupling the biology program in the last ten years at IVC whereas chemistry program has not been allowed to grow proportionately. Apparently it does not occur to him that a vast majority of biology students must take chemistry simultaneously to persue [sic] their educational goals. As vice president of instruction, I believe that it is his duty to provide leadership in strengthening all viable programs at IVC and if some programs are not growing as they should, he should investigate by working with concerned faculty and rectify the situation. Instead, so often (approximately 80% of the time) in the last three years, I have found him sitting in front of a computer terminal in his office managing data, which is important, but he needs to know that the real curriculum and instructional business occurs in the classrooms where he is rarely to be found. It is well known among faculty at IVC that he is not a people’s person.

When Annie advised us all to get together, discuss, and compromise, he sent his compromise proposal to me through Seth with the idea that the chemistry instructors should either accept it or forget it. No meeting of all concerned parties was called by him. Yes, I had discussed the issues with him earlier but to no avail and that’s why I had requested Annie’s intervention. After our meeting with Annie and all concerned parties, she had advised me to continue to meet with Terry to help resolve scheduling issues. In response to this, I scheduled a meeting with Terry for October 2 at 4:30 p.m. When Walter and I arrived for the meeting, we were told by Lorraine, his secretary, that Terry felt that the case was closed and there was no need for any further meetings and thus, he refused to meet with us. We were appalled. What a blow to communication! Is this the kind of behavior expected and accepted by his bosses? Such practices would reflect negatively on the Chancellor if they are allowed to continue. I believe that the communication should have still continued since the deadline for schedule to go to press was still a week away.

In a subsequent meeting on tuesday, October 3, called by Annie at my request, Terry Burgess states that he has “lost patience in dealing with chemistry schedule issues”. I reminded him that the schedule deadline was still a week away and I, for one, had not lost patience and was still available and willing to discuss and resolve the issues. Once again I asked him at this meeting that I would like to see the final chemistry schedule before it goes to press so that I could help ensure that the classes were scheduled in appropriate labs and times without any conflicts. He agreed to do so but he NEVER sent me a copy and the schedule was sent to press on October 9. Please ask him why was this so? I would like to know.

Administration By Unilateral Proclamation of Compromise


The compromise Terry suggested regarding spring schedule was unacceptable to chemistry instructors because just last May when the school was planning schedule of classes for the current school year, we had experienced a cut of 42 hours (approximately 30%) in chemistry program and his compromise proposal contained yet additional cuts. Thus, with his proposed additional cuts in Chem 2B and Chem 106, nursing chemistry and general chemistry programs faced significant destruction. In fact we have been concerned that his line of thinking would lead to total elimination of chemistry program for nursing majors, from Fall and Spring semesters, at IVC.

In fact, when I suggested a viable compromise in meeting with Annie and Terry on October 3, it was immediately discarded by Terry. Terry Burgess would be happy to tell you that he proposed compromise [sic] that the chemistry instructors would not accept; however, he fails to give any significant credence to our compromise proposal. Incidentally, Webster’s dictionary defines compromise as an “agreement between two parties”. In fact Terry has insisted on prevailing on his compromise “proposal” and has arrogantly walked away from the discussion table.

Administration By Arbitrary Decision Making Process


We have advised Terry Burgess repeatedly that he should not increase chemistry lab CAP from 28 to 30 students but he has done so arbitrarily with no regard for creating an overcrowded situation in laboratory [sic] where chemicals, which are inherently dangerous, are used for experimental purposes and, therefore, would endanger the health and safety of students, staff, and the instructors. I must state uncategorically [sic] to you that if this overcrowding situation is allowed to exist, Saddleback Community College District will be liable. Existence of dangerous conditions for chemistry may pose potential embarrasement [sic] to the Chancellor if IVC administration is allowed to make decisions with disregard for necessary checks and balances.

Terry Burgess states in a memo dated October 4 (see attachment III) that Seth, Clella, and he have agreed to raise the CAP from 28 to 30 students. As of friday noon on October 6, Seth told me that he did not support such an increase in CAP and had indeed told Terry so. Well, to me, this amounts to another lie from Terry. This is just another example of Terry using school chair’s [sic] name to advance his agenda. I wonder what he is advancing using the Chancellor’s name and possibly in the name of Board of Trustees.

Administration By Violation of District Policy


Chemistry instructors had proposed a section of Chem 106 (2 LHE class) for spring ’90 which Terry Burgess, Seth, and Clella had deleted without any consultation with us. We have offered Chem 106 for the last ten years to assist Chem 1A students with problem solving skills. When I asked Terry as to why he had deleted Chem 106, he stated that the course could be taught by us in our office hours. Upon our further insistence that the course was indeed a necessity for Chem 1A students (for example, Saddleback College is offering 5 sections of Chem 106 for its five sections of Chem 1A this Fall semester), he agreed to offer one section of Chem 106 on TBA basis, not so recommended by us and apparently set up for failure with a requirement that the class must have 25 students in it to go which, I believe, is in violation of district policy of 18 students. See attachment V in this regard.

Administration By Lack of Logic


Terry Burgess has scheduled 3 sections of Chem 1A on T Th; two of these sections are scheduled on 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. on T Th. Furthermore, Terry has scheduled 2 sections of Chem 1B on MW. Common sense would seem to suggest that it is preferable to spread out like classes over different week days and times to target different student populations as we had initially recommended. Apparently the classes were so scheduled so that they will not fill and then be cancelled later. I continued to question the wisdom behind offering same classes on same days and, especially the same times but logic is no where [sic] to be found. Now, all of a sudden, he has deleted the third section of Chem 1A without any discussion or notification to us. We had to send him a registered letter by mail asking that Chem 1B be scheduled in the appropriatae [sic] lab room before that was corrected. His such tactics amount to unnecessary harassment of professional people.

Administration By Failed School Chair Model


As far as I am concerned, the whole discussion and approach to schedule development and decision-making had been extremely deficient and rather chaotic and stressful. It has taken a lot of positive energy away from faculty working with their students in classrooms. Is it acceptable for school chair to abandon his responsibility for schedule development and transfer it to another faculty member? I believe not but it is being done in the School of Physical Sciences, Math, and Technologies at IVC. Do you know who is in-charge [sic] of school operations when a given school chair is teaching part of his/her load and/or overload classes? It is the secretaries who are serving as administrators by default. It points out clearly that the school chair model has failed miserably and should be immediately abandoned. Department chair idea can work in a large college or university, like, Saddleback College, along with division deans in the governance structure. A small college like IVC does not need school chairs and division deans. Different faculty members in a given school are being asked to serve as school chair on a rotational basis. School chairs are coming and going through a revolving door and, I feel that it is so because many of these faculty members cum school chairs have had absolutely no educational background in administration, are not experienced in performing administrative duties, and have not even had any aptitude for such responsibilities but they serve as school chairs because the position is rotational and it is now their turn to get burned out. Furthermore, it has had divisive influence, pitting faculty against faculty within the same school which would have its own far reaching consequences for the future. I understand the whole situation exceedingly well because I have served as school chair and have observed and discussed the situation with other school chairs. It is unfortunate that even though IVC is now aproximately [sic] 10 years old, its administrative channels of communication and decision-making processes are still rather primitive and urgently need professionalism, sophistication and class.

Administration By Lack of Leadership


I have found that even though Terry and I have discussed chemistry scheduling issues a few times, his positions on a vast majority of issues remain totally unchanged and nonetheless he wishes to embrace his self-proclaimed compromise. Such stubborness on one hand and the concept of compromise on the other hand just don’t match. In fact, such behavior shows arrogant abuse of power. Is this the spirit of AB 1725 in which faculty and administration are expected to mutually resolve academic issues? I ask once again is this the kind of behavior expected and accepted by his bosses?

Furthermore, to compound the complexity of the situation, chemistry schedule was sent to press without our knowledge and signing off on the final version. In other words, we knew of several discrepancies in the schedule and we have no idea whether they were adequately resolved but the schedule was sent to print. I ask how would such a schedule best serve students? We have asked Terry, Clella, and Seth repeatedly about our seeing the final copy but our requests have apparently been either ignored or denied. As of noon on friday, October 6, I stated to Seth that Walter and I have not yet seen the final chemistry schedule. He was surprised that Terry had not shared the schedule with us. I was surprised to hear from Seth that even he had not seen the final copy. The schedule went to print either that afternoon or was so scheduled to go on monday, October 9, 1989.

Administration By Lack of Instructional Support


This semester we are offering Chem 12A: organic chemistry course for science majors at IVC which is supposed to have 6 hours of lab component each week. Each week, since the semester started, no experiments are being done in this class because the school chair, area dean, and vice president of instruction have failed to plan adequately to get all needed chemicals and supplies for the course. It is evident that these students are not getting an education, they are getting a shaft! IVC stands to get a bad name as a result. Saddleback Community College District stands to get a bad name as a result. Does anybody care? We have tried to work with Terry Burgess for the last three years regarding equipping organic chemistry program but this is where we are today.

Conclusion


As you know, last year Clella Wood and I were candidates for the position of Dean of Physical and Business Sciences. When we both made it as finalists, the process was stopped because, I was told, that the interviewing committee did not recommend 3 candidates to College President as the district hiring procedures had required. I firmly believe that the process was stopped not so much because of the hiring procedure requirement but because Terry Burgess and his personal friend, Honorable Shirley Gellatly, didn’t want me selected with no regard to qualifications, competence, and the best interests of the college. This reflects negatively on the Chancellor. This was a pure and simple case of racial discrimination against a professional educator, who all his life has worked hard to earn people’s trust, confidence, respect, and affection. There is absolutely no question in my mind even today that I am the best qualified to do the job 100 times better than Clella Wood or any other dean in this position at IVC on any day of any week, month, or year. In fact, I felt honored when Riverside Community College, through their own objective hiring procedures, offered the same kind of dean position to me that the Saddleback Community College District had denied. However, the IVC position was readvertised, the interviewing committee (which was this time unquestionably stacked against me by Terry Burgess) recommended once again only two people to the President but this time selection was made with total disregard for hiring procedure requirement of recommendation of three finalists to the President. From my perspective, selection was intended to be made when I was not part of two finalists. Is this because Terry felt threatened with my competence? What a blow to justice! I feel strongly that injustice has been done to me and, as far as I am concerned, the entire Board of Trustees and the Chancellor are now as much guilty of this as remains Terry Burgess. I would have had no problem accepting that I was not selected if I have had a clear perception that people involved and procedures used have been reasonably fair. Furthermore, my perception of unfairness in selection process is shared by many other faculty members at IVC. Under the current environment of dysfunctional administration at IVC, I would not accept any administrative position and, in fact, I consider myself fortunate to have been excluded from such an utterly failed administration, whose reputation for failure and problems seems destined to grow and spread like a cancer which, if allowed to continue unchecked, may envelope [sic] the Chancellor.

IVC faculty’s general perception of Terry Burgess is that he is not a fair player. There is no question in my mind tht [sic] he would ruin the college in the long term. Even the last accredditation [sic] team saw it through and stated that he was trying to transform IVC from community college to a liberal arts Reed college at the expense of the need for a comprehensive community college and he is apparently succeeding in it in subtle ways with perhaps your blessing. I realize that we don’t live in a perfect world but, at the same time, I don’t believe that deliberate unfairness should be promoted or tolerated as normal behavior. IVC deserves a vice president of instruction who tries to be fair and truly is vice president of “instruction for all disciplines”. IVC deserves a vice president of instruction who would not sit in front of a computer terminal almost whole day long [sic]. I encourage you to talk with each full-time faculty member at IVC and look around carefully to find out what’s really going on. Let me be very candid that if you believe everything is running smoothly at IVC, you are operating under great illusions.

In summary, there is general perception among faculty at IVC that Terry Burgess is a pathological lier [sic]; is a person who uses names of other administrators to advance his own personal agenda filled with biases and prejudices; and is a person who lacks the appropriate breadth and depth of administrative experience and personal characteristics of even-handedness, patience, team building, and knowledge of necessary strategies for conflict resolution. If you were to examine all the circumstances of his instructional management, I feel most confident that you will wonder whether he is indeed best suited for the position of vice president of instruction at IVC. I would contend that IVC is growing partially because of him but mostly in spite of him.

In the meantime, I ask for your intervention in resolution of all issues, including the ones surrounding chemistry schedule for spring 1990 as outlined in this letter. I request that you investigate the instructional budget allocation at IVC. I contend strongly that various schools and their departments have been given inequitable instructional budgets through faulty and rather deceptive mechanism established by Terry Burgess.

Let us create an environment of true collegiality and shared governance with mutual respect and cooperation among professional educators. It can be done. There has to be a better way. I have worked extremely hard to contribute positively and to do my part. I have never believed that I am perfect. I am always willing to listen, learn, and improve. I have bent backwards to work with Terry Burgess but each time he has failed me. In my 22 years of experience in education, I believe that IVC currently has the worst instructional leadership that I have ever seen.

I would appreciate a written response from you to all issues presented herein. I would be most delighted to clarify and discuss these matters with you in greater detail if you wish. Hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
RAGHU P. MATHUR

cc Ed Romeo
Mike Runyan
Lee Walker

BURGESS RESPONDS:

Editor’s note: I contacted Terry Burgess in Hayward about the Mathur letter. He stated that he vaguely remembers it, but that Mathur had authored so many similar polemics over the years that one letter virtually ran into another.

Upon reflection, he did recall that the primary precipitant of this particular letter was a dispute over the offering of a section of Chem 2B (Nursing Chemistry) and Chem 106 (Problem Solving in Chemistry) in the spring semester of 1990. It seems that Burgess had warned Raghu and Walter that, if the fall semester enrollments for Chem 2B were low (as predicted by the 1989 decision by the Saddleback Nursing faculty to remove the course as a requirement for program admission), then the class, which was slated to be among Mathur’s overload assignments in the spring, would not be offered.

Similarly, Burgess had argued against offering multiple sections of Chem 106, when fall section enrollments has been in the single digits. Mathur had promised strong fall enrollments, but they hadn’t materialized. Hence the cancellation decision. As this melodramatic episode unfolded, it became clear to all involved (including Chancellor Sneed and President Annie McFarlin) that the real issue was Mathur’s overload—an issue not particularly burning for anyone but Mathur’s banker.

The closing diatribe about the “travesty of justice” in Mathur’s failed attempt at administrative appointment is particularly curious. Then President Kong made the initial decision to suspend the search process when an insufficient number of finalists (fewer than three) were identified. Later, in the second search process, then President McFarlin decided to proceed with final interviews of two finalists, one being Nick Kremer, who was ultimately appointed.

The “minimum of three finalists” requirement was President Kongs’, not President McFarlin’s.

As to Burgess’ “stacking” the committee in the second search process, he was actually on vacation for eight weeks in Europe when the search process was conducted. He didn’t even participate with President McFarlin in the final interviews leading to Nick’s selection!

Burgess also remarked that his so-called “failed leadership” in guiding the growth and prosperity of IVC for nearly twelve years certainly does contrast starkly with the current IVC leadership. He directed me to the web site for IVC’s spring 1999 enrollment to illustrate the difference.

* * * * *
Should anyone else desire an opportunity to respond to Mr. Mathur’s letter--or to defend the president--please contact one of the persons associated with the ‘Vine or the Dissent. Or email us at Unabauer@aol.com

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