Thursday, January 14, 1999

THE DISTRICT ACCUSES ROY "DISSENT" BAUER OF VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION

From Dissent 15, 1/14/99

ORIGINALLY ENTITLED:

A DISSENTER’S TALE by Big Bill
[See also How to inspire administrators/trustees to go after you]

In Dissent XIV, I reported that I had received a letter from the Chancellor that said that I was causing a “hostile work environment” “as a result of statements written and distributed” by me—namely, “statements” (and graphics) that appeared in the ‘Vine and the Dissent. Astonishingly, the Chancellor takes the position that some elements that appeared in those newsletters—he cited, among other things, a goofy 50s sci-fi movie still depicting three miniature people scrambling atop a chair to aim an enormous gun at returning “downsizers”—constitute “threats of violence.” Further, the letter charged that one of the newsletters’ monikers for IVC president RAGHU P. MATHUR—Mr. Goo—is racist. Inexplicably, it also referred to “statements” allegedly made by me “which members of the Christian religion experience as interfering with their work environment.”

Huh?

Most ominously, perhaps, the letter “strongly urged” me to seek counseling to assist me in dealing with my “feelings of anger.”

The letter, dated Dec. 2 and received by me on Dec. 8, was the first I had heard about any such complaints. Nevertheless, as I later learned, the document was immediately placed in my personnel file. Observe that the Ed Code specifies that any disciplinary action taken against an instructor must refer to items already in his or her file.

Naturally, I took the letter to be the first step in a process designed to result in my dismissal. I spoke to my lawyer, Bill Shaeffer—he helped in the Brown Act lawsuits—who told Sampson that he would be attending the meeting with me that the Chancellor had demanded in the letter. We arranged to meet in Sampson’s office on the 18th of December, a Friday.

* * * * *
The meeting started at about 11:10. Shaeffer, Sampson, and I were joined by Robina Husting, the Chancellor’s assistant and our note-taker, VP of Human Resources Georgiana Sizelove, and her replacement, Harry Parmer.

As we seated ourselves, Sampson looked at me and asked whether I was taping the meeting. “Taping?”, I asked. Yes taping—you know, with a tape recorder. I assured him that I wasn’t. I pointed to my pen and said, in jest, that that was the only recording device I needed.

Sternly and somewhat cantankerously, the Chancellor proceeded to explain the purpose of the letter and the meeting. As he spoke, he used the first person plural: “we.”

I politely interrupted him. “Who’s ‘we’?”, I asked.

“‘We’ refers to the district, to the Trustees,” said Sampson.

“Have the trustees been informed of the existence of the letter that was sent to me?”, I asked. Sampson seemed flustered. “No,” he admitted. I said: “So the trustees—and you—are taking this action against me, but they haven’t even heard about it yet. Is that right?”

Sampson looked annoyed.

At some point, Shaeffer noted that, as far as Sampson knew, I was not the author or the sole author of the elements of the newsletters that were at issue. Shouldn’t an effort be made to determine whether I am the author before these extreme steps are taken?

Sampson explained that “everyone knows” that Roy Bauer is the author and publisher of the ‘Vine and Dissent, that he is responsible for their elements. Then he turned to me and asked, “Are you?” He had never bothered to ask the question before. No one had. I refused to answer. Shaeffer referred to the 1st Amendment.

* * * * *
Eventually, the Chancellor got to the heart of the matter, insofar as it had a heart. Administration Regulation AR-4000.3, section 7, lists 15 “early warning signs of the potential for violence in the workplace.” Oddly enough, I had read through that list only two hours earlier. I remember telling Shaeffer that none of these “signs” applied to me, although I expected Sampson to claim that maybe one of them did.

Boy was I wrong. Sampson proceeded to go down the list, declaring in eight instances that the “sign” in question applied to me.

But not “warning sign” A, which is “any history of violent behavior.” Sampson turned to me and rudely barked, “Do you have a history of violent behavior?” “Of course not,” I said. We moved on.

“Warning sign” B describes

An extreme interest in or obsession with weapons; e.g., paramilitary training, weapons collections (often including semiautomatic weapons), and compulsive reading and collecting of gun magazines.

That’s me, said “doctor” Sampson: I’m obsessed with that stuff. Clearly.

Shaeffer and I looked at each other. Then we looked back at Sampson and asked: “And how does that one apply?” Answer: the newsletters have images of military aircraft, etc.

Now, in fact, literally hundreds of images have appeared in the ‘Vine and the Dissent, but only a handful have depicted weaponry. (I checked.) True, during the last days of the recall effort, a Dissent graphic placed Mr. Frogue in the pilot seat of a crashing W.W.II Nazi warplane. And for the December 7 issue, Mr. Frogue was depicted piloting a Japanese Zero. (Dec. 7 is Pearl Harbor day—and it is also the date of a board meeting in which many of us expected the trustees to “drop a bomb” on Pauline Merry, which they did.) These images have obvious meanings relative to the issues of the district, and those meanings fully explain the images; no reasonable person would cite the “warplane” graphics as evidence that their creators have an “obsession” with weaponry.

And consider: I own no guns and have never purchased a gun publication; I display no images of guns or weaponry at school or at home; and no one will say that I am in the habit of discussing weaponry in class or in any other setting.

Sampson’s “diagnosis”—that I am obsessed with weapons—is ludicrous.

It would be tedious to go through Sampson’s entire list of “warning signs” supposedly applicable to me. Suffice it to say that, according to “doctor” Sampson, I make threats, intimidate employees, have “failed” or “strained” relationships, hold grudges, am fascinated with incidents of workplace violence, disregard the safety of co-employees, and am under great stress.

(In tagging me with “sign” F—failed relationships, etc.—Sampson implied that my personal life is somehow extremely troubled. “What do you know about my personal life?”, I asked. “Well, you went through a divorce, didn’t you?” —Oh.)

* * * * *
At the end of the “warning signs” portion of our little meeting, Sampson declared that “referal to counseling is indicated.”

In his letter, Sampson had “urged” me to seek counseling. Now, without explanation, Sampson was upping the ante: he announced that I am “directed” to seek counseling. “‘Directed’ means ‘ordered,’” suggested Shaeffer. Sampson gestured affirmatively. Wow.

I was also “directed” to cease and desist in making “violent threats” and discriminating on the basis of race by referring to President Mathur as Mr. Goo.

How, we asked, is using the phrase Mr. Goo to refer to Raghu an instance of racial discrimination? Well, explained Sampson, Goo sounds like “gook,” and “gook” is a term of disparagement for Asians. “President Mathur,” explained Sampson, “is an Asian.”

I responded by noting that never—I mean never—had I associated the phrase Mr. Goo with the term “gook.” I said that I intended the term Mr. Goo as an allusion to “Mr. Magoo” and perhaps to, well, goo, the sticky substance. Besides, isn’t the term “gook” usually associated with Vietnam and the North Vietnamese?

“No no!”, said Sampson. “The term was used in World War II against Asians in general!” Sizelove nodded in solemn agreement: “Yes, it is applied to Indians, too,” she pronounced. Shaeffer guffawed. “But,” I said, “it isn’t World War II. It’s 1998, and nobody associates the term ‘gook’ with people born in India.”

Sampson made clear that he rejected my account of the term Mr. Goo. When he first encountered the moniker, he said, the first thing he thought of was “gook.” His reasoning seemed to be: “Goo is three-quarters of the way to ‘gook,’ and that clinches it! RACIST!”

Gee. I gave Sampson a collection of ‘Vines and Dissents in August, and I’ve been supplying him with new issues ever since—and he has happily taken them. They’re filled with references to Mr. Goo. If Sampson thought from the very beginning that our use of the phrase Mr. Goo is racist or offensive, why did he wait until now to say something about it?

* * * * *
Shaeffer then asked an important question: is the letter in Professor Bauer’s personnel file? “Yes.” He asked when it was placed there. Sampson referred to the date on the letter: Dec. 2. He said that the letter was placed in my file on Dec. 2 “or soon thereafter.”

Now, in fact, I did not receive the letter until about a week later. That means, Perry, that the letter was placed in my file before I knew of its existence—before, therefore, I had any chance to contest its assertions.

It is worth mentioning, I suppose, that section 4 of AR-4000.3 refers to the rights of the “accused”:

The supervisor in consultation with Human Resources and the college police should decide how to approach the accused. Fairness and due process require that the perpetrator’s side of the story be told.

No opportunity to tell my side of “the story” was provided before the accusatory letter was placed in my file. Further, during the meeting, Sampson did not ask me for my side of anything. Clearly, the point of the meeting was to explain what I had “done” and what I needed to do about that.

Shaeffer asked if Sampson knew who the author is of the various elements of the newsletters. Sampson said he “assumed” that I am the author. Shaeffer asked whether he had considered the possibility that there are multiple authors, editors, and distributors. Sampson said that I am “seen by everybody” to be the distributor of the newsletters and that it is “assumed” that I am the author of their elements.

A quick perusal of the newsletters quickly reveals, however, that at least one frequent contributor to the Dissent is a part-timer (I am not a part-timer) and that at least one other frequent contributor is a woman (I am not a woman). Further, obviously, that Sampson and others see me distributing the newsletters (I do indeed hand him a copy each week—and he always pleasantly thanks me) establishes neither that I am the sole distributor nor that I am the sole author or editor. Finally, that people commonly assume—if they do—that I am solely responsible for the newsletters hardly constitutes evidence for that belief. I have never made that assertion, nor am I inclined to make it.

Shaeffer suggested that, in truth, this whole “hostile work environment” business is just a way to get around the 1st Amendment. In reality, the Chancellor—and perhaps a certain trustee who gives him his orders each morning—are trying to stifle dissent, and charging a ‘Vine/Dissent contributor with “violent threats” and “racial discrimination” will serve that purpose. Or so they hope.

Sampson explained that I am threatening to people, and that, if the district does not take steps, it will later be held liable. “Look at it from our point of view,” he said. “People will say: ‘you had all these warning signs, and you ignored them.’”

Shaeffer suggested that no reasonable person would interpret the contents of the newsletters as violent or threatening. Sampson said, “Oh, yeah. Well, I’m not a reasonble person!” –Well, no.

Shaeffer asked what Sampson envisioned “counseling” to be. Answer: I am to seek a counselor through the Employee Assistance Program. I am to lay out for the counselor what I think my problem is, and I am to show him the letter.

“Why would he do that?”, asked Shaeffer.

It is an “opportunity,” said Sampson, to show that I have examined my “hatred and anger and resentment” concerning Mr. Mathur. Sampson added that, if I choose not to do these things, then that will be part of the record.

Shaeffer asked if this would be a district-wide policy. After all, perhaps dozens or even hundreds of employees are upset and frustrated these days. So will all these employees be ordered to seek counseling? “Blah blah blah,” said Sampson.

* * * * *
Things were winding down, but I really wanted to know what that “interfering with Christians” stuff was all about. I had no clue whatsoever. I pointed to the relevant section of his letter and asked the Chancellor to shed some light on the charge. “Surely, if I am going to be accused of such things, it is not unreasonable for me to ask what the accusation refers to,” said I.

Sampson thought about the matter a moment and then said he “didn’t know.”

“You don’t know?”, I said. “You put this accusation in the letter—a letter that is now placed in my personnel file—but you don’t know what it’s about?”

I honestly don’t remember how Sampson responded. At no point did he explain the nature of the accusation. He did explain that my accusers shall remain “anonymous.”

* * * * *
After the meeting, Shaeffer and I talked. We decided that Sampson had blown chunks.

Later in the day, I heard the following rumors from a friend: that (1) the district had already hired a law firm to deal with me—a request would be made for retroactive approval of the hire at the January 25 meeting—and (2) the district’s plan was to use my acceding to the counseling order—my going to a counselor to deal with my “anger” and “hatred”—as evidence that I am indeed disturbed—and the evidence would form the basis, or part of the basis, for my dismissal. “On no account,” said the friend, “should you accede to the order.”

Of course, if I don’t accede, they’ll try to dismiss me on the grounds that I’m insubordinate.

On the following Monday, I received another letter from the Chancellor, dated Dec. 18. It reiterated the “direction” I received the previous Friday. I am to see a counselor, it said, “for the purpose of addressing the anger and hate so openly displayed against the President of Irvine Valley College and other employees.”

I’ll keep you posted.

* * * * *
Like everyone, I am capable of flashes of anger and stupidity. But I hate no one. I suppose that’s true of a lot of people.

Though I can be unpleasantly and even boorishly direct, I have never been violent and am in fact gentle by nature. I don’t hate Raghu P. Mathur and I never have; and I certainly don’t mean him any harm. Am I opposed to his presidency? Yes. Do I oppose his conduct? Absolutely.

But opposition, even rude opposition, is not hatred. Neither is it violence. —BB


[AT ABOUT THE TIME I WROTE THE ABOVE ACCOUNT, I SECURED THE SERVICES OF ATTORNEY CAROL SOBEL OF SANTA MONICA.

I REFUSED TO GO TO COUNSELING.

I SUED THE DISTRICT. I WON. THE DISTRICT APPEALED. I WON THE APPEAL.]

Monday, January 11, 1999

It's a bad, bad, bad, bad world! (Dissent, 1/11/99)

ATEP's official "opening": some time in the last dozen years
This piece describes events in the district at the opening of the Spring 1999 semester

IT’S A BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD WORLD!
By Big Bill [i.e., Roy Bauer]
[Dissent 16, 1/11/99]

January 7, 1999

“News at eleven!”:
     What a week it’s been.
     Last Thursday (the 31st), I spent much of the day hanging out with Buster and my sister Annie—she was down for a visit—and intermittently communicating with my lawyer [Carol Sobel] and Kimberly Kindy of the Register [nowadays with the Washington Post]. Kindy, fearing scoopage by the Times, insisted on putting out a story about the Chancellor’s recent action against me. We filed in Federal Court that day, naming Cedric “Spanky” Sampson. Other names will be added. (See Bauer v. Sampson, 2001 for the final disposition of the case, upon appeal.)
     The next day, Friday, the excrement hit the fan. Kindy’s story appeared, not only in the Register, but in the San Francisco Chronicle and who knows where else. It was picked up by the Associated Press, and so a truncated version of the story appeared in other outlets, including the LA Times and various radio and TV newscasts around the country. These truncations yielded a version of the story that, to my mind, seemed to say: VULGARIAN’S RIGHTS VIOLATED!
     In fact, in about 35 issues of ‘Vines and Dissents, seldom if ever has anything like the inelegant “beemer up the butt” paragraph appeared. Nevertheless, the press seized upon that example, ignoring all else. Heimat Land!
     By Monday, I was talking to a reporter with the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. I told her the facts, as usual. She seemed to say, “You’ve got to be kidding. What kind of ***holes run your district?” I got that reaction from more than one reporter, and that made me feel better.
     Monday night, I dropped Annie off at the airport. It was great having her around during those crazy first few days of unwanted fame. We have much in common. Long ago, quite independently, we decided to become vegetarians, for we like animals, including the human kind, and so, naturally, we do not want to participate in hurting them. Have I mentioned that we were raised by wolves in the mountains of British Columbia? Arf, arf.

El Ced:
     Tuesday morning, I attended Chancellor Sampson’s address down at Saddleback in the cavernous McKinney Theater. On my way there from the parking lot, I stepped in some disgusting goo, and I noticed, too, that the campus was redolent of sewage. (Later, I encountered some workers who were pumping stinkwater from out of a manhole near the Library.) Despite these obstacles, I found my way to the theater and entered.
     It was nearly empty. Eventually, I counted about 100 people, nearly all seated in the back and along the sides. John Williams was there, looking as disgruntled as usual. He walked in with Raghu P. Mathur and Glenn “Dandy” Roquemore, the latter looking as gruntled as usual if not more so. The three seated themselves in awkward proximity, creating a grotesque little cluster of loutishness and ambition. Nice suits, though.
     At 9:17, the Chancellor began to speak. “Good morning,” he said. And then, absurdly, he added: “Nice to see so many happy faces here,” a line that bounced around the walls of the empty hall for several seconds. I sat smack dab in the middle of the audience, nearly alone, affecting a lugubrious expression. Sampson tried hard not to see me.
     Next came introductions of some visiting bigwigs, starting with Williams and then moving on to Nancy Padberg, one of the new trustees. Marcia Milchiker was introduced last for some reason. I seem to recall that Sampson also mentioned Trustee President Dot Fortune, who was not actually present, though she was there in spirit, a kind of moral stinkwater that covered the ground and filled the air. Dot gives Cedric his marching orders each morning. Despite her zany past (witchcraft, professional wrestling) and her manifest looniness and boorishness (she drives everyone nuts), she is now the Empress of SOCCCD, the “brains” of the operation. Good Lord. (I was just kidding about the professional wrestling.)
     At about that time, a confused-looking Lee Walker waddled into the building and sat himself down about 5 seats to my left. As he sat down, he seemed to hunt briefly for a seatbelt.
     Simpering Sam commenced speaking to the empty room; he told it that he wanted to share his thoughts and impressions. Though he professed wanting badly to hear from faculty, paradoxically, on this occasion in which an opportunity clearly presented itself, he failed to solicit comments and questions, borrowing a well-worn page from the Raghu P. Mathur playbook.
     Alas, our image in the educational community and beyond has gone south, said Sampson. Everyone seems to be focusing on our problems, not our accomplishments, said he. Not that we don’t have problems. But, he suggested, many of us are excessively devoted to “internal struggles.”
     He was saying, in effect, that we should just stop complaining. According to the Chancellor, then, when the board repeatedly violates the Open Meetings law, we should say nothing. When a college president flouts shared governance requirements and harasses faculty critics, we should say nothing. When the union leadership declares an election “null and void” because it doesn’t like its results, we should say nothing. When the Chancellor places an accusatory letter in an instructor’s file without bothering to make inquiries about the justice of the charges—or providing the instructor a chance to contest them—we should say nothing. And when faculty critics are ordered to seek counseling, we should SAY NOTHING.
     Imagine a population inclined to take such advice. Just add water, and you’ve got a Holocaust.
     The Cedric next spoke of fiscal matters; he seemed to want to deny that we have financial problems any longer. His reasoning seemed to be: “Since money is no longer a central problem for the district, it isn’t really any problem at all!” We’ve moved from level 2 to level 3 on the state’s fiscal watch list, he said. Maybe, by next year, he added cheerily, we won’t be on the list at all!
     Then came my favorite Sampsonian remark of the morning: “No one is to blame for where we are today.” I do believe he meant to say only that, “if we focus entirely on blame, we won’t progress.” But, in fact, he said no one is to blame.
     Isn’t that obviously false? Personally, I’m in favor of people being accountable for the messes they make. Could it be that our new Chancellor is into New Age psychology?
     Having listed the board’s goals for the district, Sampson proceeded to explain that each of us has the power to affect enrollments positively. For instance, he said, we should reassure students about our accreditation, for it isn’t threatened.
     Now just what is the Chancellor suggesting that we do? For instance, soon, the Accreditation Reports will be released. They will say, “Get your acts together, you idiots, or else!” Is Sampson advising us to hide this from students? Guess so.
     He moved on to the issue of student access, describing the Tustin “Learning Village” and facilities at the El Toro base. He displayed a slide labeled, “The airport and open space plan/year 2020 concept C.”
     Airport? Weren’t the two new trustees elected on the basis of a promise to fight the airport? Boy, things sure do get complicated in the SOCCCD.
     The Chancellor then described the second district technology initiative, which will go beyond providing mere “communication” and will provide s “pedagogical tools.” “We need to press the use of technology in the classroom,” he said. That’ll take money.
     Sampson, who stammered through much of his address, seemed relieved to turn the mike over to the lively and articulate Dr. Sam Chan.


“EK” cetera:
     Professor Chan’s address sported one of those “colon” titles—“Virtual Diversity: Responding to California’s Changing Population.” According to the Flex Week schedule, “Dr. Chan is recognized for his expertise in diversity issues and the design of training models to promote intercultural competence.”
     The guest speaker—half Chinese, half Scotch/Irish, he said—seemed aware that our district suffers from internal conflicts, for he went out of his way to explain that conflict is not all bad. In the Eastern Tradition, he said, conflict is viewed as a “gift of energy.”
     Eventually, Chan settled into discussing diversity. By the year 2040, he said, California’s population will be very different. He spoke of “the browning of America,” and he discussed how “cultural competence” issues will be increasingly forced upon us. The likeable Dr. Chan showed a video clip to illustrate differences in communication styles between cultures. It depicted a (clearly staged) exchange between a white male professor and a student from the nation of Cameroon. The white guy acted like a dope. At the end of the clip, the video commanded: “Pause for reflection. Discuss.” And we did.
     Chan said that the communication conflicts depicted in the video “play themselves out in the classroom.” I have no reason to doubt it.
     For a moment, there were signs of life in the audience. Someone way in the back (where almost everyone was) asked Chan whether immigrants should be made to adjust to “our” way of doing things or “we” should accommodate the immigrants. Chan sagely suggested that the situation should be a “two way street.” Students need to gain “survival skills,” but educators need to find “common ground” with these students.
     The otherwise articulate Chan is a member of “team EK cetera”—those educators who seem unable or unwilling properly to pronounce the phrase “et cetera.” I mention this only because, as the week wore on, I found that, goddamit, virtually all the flex week guest speakers that I encountered spewed numerous EK ceteras at the audience.
     Nevertheless, Professor Chan’s presentation was pleasant and helpful, a mild success, if success is possible in a nearly empty room down at Stinkwater Junction, the House of Dot. When we broke for lunch, I ventured down to the stage to thank Chan for his efforts. Sampson and Williams stood directly in my path, and so I said “Excuse me,” and walked between them. (More violence! More intimidation!) I saw Williams involuntarily reach for his Colt. Sampson hissed into my ear.
     Not really. In truth, everyone was terribly pleasant. It was as though we were at a college or something—you know, where people get to express their opinions without being sent to the loony bin.

     Outside, I spoke briefly with Margaret Hoyos, the local CCA (CTA) rep. Twice, we were heckled by a certain instructor, who did his best to impersonate a wandering and disheveled schizophrenic. “Who’s that?”, she asked. “Why, it’s just the odious Mr. P,” I said. “He’s one of the union regulars!”
By the way: some instructors at Saddleback—Old Guard union cronies all—have been involved in truly ugly episodes involving hitting and even injury. I wonder if they were ordered to seek “anger management” counseling? I wonder if anything appears in their personnel files?


“Going Nowhere”:
     On Wednesday at about 8:00, I attended IVC’s “President’s Welcome Address and Breakfast,” where the following was projected upon a screen:

President’s Address
Welcome Back to the Spring Semester 1999[?]
Raghu P. Mathur, Ed.D.
President, IVC

     Observe the letters after Raghu’s name. Raghu now refers to himself as “Dr. Mathur.” Evidently, he found a diploma in a box of Cracker Jack and decided to go with it. Good for him, I say. At one point, he announced his new title and then waited for applause. Feeble clappage washed over him. He feigned humility.
     Raghu thanked us for the excellent work we do and have done. He seemed flustered—evidently, he expected trustees to be present, but none could be found. He settled for President Bullock, whom he described as a “true professional.” She walked up and said Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla.
     Various other people in the room were identified, including new hires. As usual, Raghu forced us to applaud twice for each person, a truly, deeply annoying practice, reason enough to demand his resignation. [Since this piece was written, I’ve learned that this odd practice originated with Tom Fuentes, chairman of the OC GOP. Fuentes joined the board in July of 1999—seven months after the event reported here.] He thanked Tom Mucciaro, too. This time, Tom didn’t arrange for his Scoutmaster to speak. I think we should go back to the Scoutmaster.
     When I first arrived, I found a table near the front at which Tamara C. was seated. I asked her if she minded my sitting there, and she said no. I sat down, leaving an empty chair between us. Soon, a good looking fellow wandered in and sat between us. He was Robert Barr, the main “keynote speaker” for the occasion. (There were two “keynote” speakers.) I introduced myself, as did Tamara. He seemed like a nice guy, and we talked.
     I happened to leave a copy of Dissent XV in front of me. (It’s just possible I put it there on purpose.) Barr kept craning his neck to read it, so I handed it to him. “Here. For you.” He was enthralled by it. And why not? He read it while Herr Doktor Mathur spoke. (Everyone’s been saying that our Chancellor looks good in a dress. [See Dissent XV.] I wondered if Barr agreed.)
     After the introductions, president Mathur, who suffered from a cold, explained that he would comment on several things. He spoke of the organizational review on which the board will take final action on the 25th. Bla Bla Bla.
     Raghu then espied John “Strict Accountability!” Williams and Nancy “No Airport!” Padberg, and his spirits palpably improved. Williams came up and explained that our financial situation looks good, thanks to the diligent efforts of the trustees, those staunch fiscal conservatives. As usual, he failed to mention that he was as responsible as anyone—and more responsible than most—for our fiscal woes. “We hope to be off the watch list by fall,” said he. Gee, thanks, College Boy.
     Raghu made trustee Padberg speak, too. She indicated that she is impressed with the personnel she has met at the college.
     Back to Raghu. He explained that the college will be advertising 9 new positions though, realistically, we can only expect to get 2 or 3. It’s “a good way to go,” he said.
     I don’t think so. If we are advertising 9 positions despite knowing that (very probably) only 2 positions are real, then, in the case of 7 positions, we are advertising in bad faith, causing hundreds of people to apply and dozens to be interviewed—for nothing. No decent institution would do that.
     Trustee Don Wagner showed up, and, naturally, Raghu made him come up to speak, which he was more than happy to do. Wagner said that he has enjoyed meeting and talking with faculty and others. He acknowledged, refreshingly, that the trustees are far removed from what’s actually going on in the colleges, and they need to work against that. He invited us to call him at work to express our concerns. He was impressed, he said, that everyone with whom he has met is concerned about students. He suggested that concern for students is perhaps our unifying factor.
     Mathur went back to his blathering. He crowed about the many avenues of communication he has allegedly opened—new and different ways for him to express his autocratic will. He expressed hope that communication with the Academic Senate would improve. (As things stand, IVC Senate officers, who are now compelled to perform their duties as overload, don’t have the time to do the work. The upshot: the Senate may essentially shut down this semester. That, of course, should streamline Raghu’s communication with the Senate considerably.)
     Eventually, he spoke about the Tustin Base. Our role there, he said, is “up to us.” Evidently, we have been informed by the Chancellor that the process whereby a college is selected for involvement at Tustin is “competitive between the two colleges.” Raghu, of course, has allowed IVC to fall way behind in this competition. He will never admit this. He never acknowledges discrete errors of his own.
     After a while, Raghu spoke of “greatness” and commenced comparing himself with Abraham Lincoln. Having read a book about the man, Raghu decided that there are “three qualities of greatness”: being focused on self-mastery, fixity of purpose, and malice toward none. These are, he said, “my goals.” Achieving these goals is a “tall order,” he added.
     Then things got really weird. “I’ve been here for 20 years,” he said. “I know where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re going.” We can make things better if we work together, he offered. We need to work together “for the students,” “not our egos.”
     He discussed his critics. He has heard a lot from them, he said. “They are my best teachers.” Still, he wanted critics to know that he is “undeterred.” The critics want to deter him from his direction, but that won’t work because he, Raghu P. Mathur, is not going anywhere. The election and the recall are over, he said. “I’m here.” “So what’s the problem?” (The answer to that question can be found in this issue’s “Mathurian Candidate” column. Please see p. 10)
     There is, he said, no need to stand on the sidelines and criticize, to bring people down. We should be able to rise above that, to be constructive.
     There is, he added, no need to run to the newspapers. If you do, he continued ominously, “I won’t stop you.” He never has, he said. (Apparently, Raghu thinks that stopping us is an option, but one that he generously chooses not to take.)
     Go ahead and keep filing lawsuits and talking to the state chancellor, said Raghu. It won’t solve any problems. We need to quit dwelling on the past. We need to engage in compromise, give and take. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
     Ain’t he gracious? Ain’t he wonderful?

“A wonderful, gracious man”:
     The first “keynote” speaker was Michelle Bonds, President of the California Student Association of Community Colleges. She offered only one memorable remark, namely, her description of Raghu P. Mathur as a “wonderful, gracious man.”
     Obviously, she hadn’t read Dissent XV, which revealed the “epistolary” Raghu, a malicious scribbler who is perfectly happy to criticize and to “bring down” those whom he perceives as obstacles to the satisfaction of his enormous ego. (He is, he wrote, “the best qualified to do the job 100 times better than Clella Wood or any other dean in this position...on any day of any week, month, or year.”)
I missed the first few minutes of Dr. Barr’s address, for I was in the parking lot trading cat stories with Nancy Padberg. When I returned, he was explaining his view according to which things in education will continue to deteriorate until we force ourselves to go through a “paradigm shift” from “teaching” to “learning.”
     Barr obviously borrows heavily from Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a book whose concepts, though influential, have by no means achieved general acceptance within the philosophical community to whom the work was addressed back in 1962. But the scholars in the education department don’t know that. With them, phrases like “paradigm shift” sound new and thrilling and can be counted on to promote measurable pants wettage outcomes.
     Hours (it seemed like hours) later, Glenn gave a presentation concerning enrollments, among other things. “We’re adding classes where there are wait lists,” he said. (Thus requireth Empress Stinkwater.) He seemed defensive about the Spring enrollments picture. Students are waiting until the last minute to enroll, he suggested. Everything looks good, he seemed to say. Really, really good.
     In fact, as I write, IVC’s enrollments are down 10%, and the ad hoc measures that Mathur and company are taking have never worked in the past. Though things may improve, it now appears that we are witnessing the beginning of the Big Slide, the inevitable result of the Big Incompetence.
     As always, Raghu had placed Q&A dead last in the schedule for the program, and when, as always, time ran out, he explained that, regret-tably, there just isn’t time for questions.

     With that, the Mathurian Era lurched miserably into its fourth semester and into history. God save us all.
—BB [Roy Bauer]

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