[The ‘Vine was Dissent’s predecessor, though, for a time, the two publications overlapped.]
[As I recall, this piece was contributed by a highly miffed counselor. For a time, Raghu and his gang were looking for faculty who were willing to play his ugly game. Ruiz, from Saddleback College, was all that they could scrape up, and so it was that he became an administrator at IVC. Years later, upon retiring, Ruiz, who was a trustee for the Coast Community College District, gained universal condemnation for scandalously taking advantage of a loophole that allowed him to feed mightily from the public trough. But such stories are typical of the Mathurians.]
As far as I can tell, they were made for walking over anybody who is in his path—or around any work that might need doing.
I’m speaking, of course, of Armando “Boots” Ruiz, who transferred to IVC from Saddleback College during the summer of ’98. It is rumored that President Mathur, Trustee Frogue, and Chancellor Sampson conspired to move the Bootmeister to IVC in order to position him to sli-i-i-i-ide nicely into the soon-to-be vacant VP of Student Services position—a theory confirmed by at least one Saddleback counselor, who reports that Armando spoke of his eventual IVC VP-hood while still at Saddleback!
The résumé that Armando provided during his “interview” back in ’98 failed to list even one administrative position. Odd. Administrative experience usually helps when applying for a VP job. This deficit may explain why, reportedly, the first level interview committee gave ‘im the old thumbs down. (Then again, maybe it was his general verbal incoherence. Could be.)
The saga of Armando’s “transfer” and of his eventual appointment as VP of Student Services are two long stories, fraught with questions marks, exclamation points, and much head shaking to boot. Stay tuned.
Leadership via e-mail is the Bootster’s preferred management style. For instance, recently, counselors received this message:
By Monday, Armando needs to communicate to Pat Spencer (in the form of the attached spreadsheet) required OSH amounts for the School of Guidance and Counseling.
He is asking for our permanent upstairs faculty (or a few of them) to coordinate amounts and fill in the blanks of Pat’s spreadsheet. Without this information, Armando says he will need to develop arbitrary amounts for the School based on his own best estimates.
If you have any questions about this process and Armando’s request, he requests that you contact him immediately.
Best estimates? Arbitrary amounts? Isn’t the task of determining nonarbitrary and accurate figures precisely the work for which Armando, our nouveau administrator, is handsomely paid?
He didn’t even write or send the e-mail himself! He had the Senior Administrative Assistant for the School of Guidance and Counseling (an overworked school secretary) do that.
Meanwhile, Pat S had already contacted counselor Connie S—apparently at Armando’s suggestion—requesting Connie’s assistance. Fearing the promised arbitrary estimates, Connie and colleagues put together a budget report in one day—despite having been shut out of any budget review or budget development for the past two years. Who’da thunk that faculty might be called upon for their expertise, experience, and knowledge of budget matters? I guess this is only an option in the face of having to look good for the Prez and not knowing your boots from your house slippers.
Next: Armando, who had not consulted the counselors, was overheard instructing Susan, our beleaguered school secretary, to schedule Ann Doty’s attendance at the regular weekly staff meeting of the School of Guidance and Counseling. I guess Doty, the Director of Research, Planning, and Grants, was supposed to help work through the Student Services Action Plan, or Strategic Plan, or whatever they’re calling it these days. Since Armando conducts business by sticking his head into offices, leaving his questionably shod feet outside, it’s known that Connie told him that attendance at these meetings is supposed to be voluntary. She explained that “planning” meetings were not being scheduled as part of other Schools’ regularly scheduled meetings—and that his directive effectively excluded everyone in Student Services who wasn’t a counselor.
‘Mando responded by saying that no one had to stay at the meeting. Susan’s tactful e-mail (who’s in the middle here?) invited Counseling and Supportive Services to attend the meeting. OK, but most counselors were “on the clock” during those two hours, having previously scheduled themselves to attend a regular staff meeting. Not attending the meeting could be construed as not fulfilling their counseling load.
What to do? Armando’s optional attendance plan was never made clear and it was still more or less mandatory for the counselors to attend the Ann Doty meeting during Counseling’s regular Wednesday afternoon staff meeting.
The good humored, apparently well-intentioned, Ann Doty lead the counselors’ Supportive Services staff in an attempt to interpret Armando’s intentions for the meeting. In truth, Ann couldn’t vouch for where any of the written plan she had brought came from, but it seemed to have Armando’s fingerprints all over it, for it was poorly conceived, poorly written, redundant, and embarrassing. No wonder he wasn’t there.
That’s right: Armando, who had communicated his “request” via e-mail via the school secretary did a no show. What a leader! What a communicator! What a guy!
One can’t help but think that there will be more such silliness as the Phantom Boot continues to kick a wide swath with his e-mail directives. —FP