Monday, November 1, 1999

LISA’S DEPOSITION: A “STRATEGY OF HARASSMENT”

From Dissent 35, 11/1/99
Slightly updated, 7/10/06

On Tuesday, October 5, 1999, IVC English professor Lisa Alvarez was deposed in regard to Roy Bauer’s First Amendment lawsuit. She was represented by attorney Bob Myers, formerly City Attorney of Santa Monica. Also present were Bauer’s attorney, Carol Sobel, and the Chancellor’s attorney, David Larsen.

Essentially, Bauer’s lawsuit was a response to an action perceived by him as a first step toward termination. The district (Chancellor Sampson, the Board Majority, Raghu Mathur) was sick and tired of Bauer’s newsletter, which was highly critical of those in power and the ruthless unionists who put them there. And so Sampson and the board went after him. Bauer and his contributors’ satirical writings suddenly were labeled “violent” and “racist.” Bauer was told to cease his violence and discrimination and to seek anger management counseling.

Bauer refused to go to counseling or to change his publication. Instead, he and attorney Carol Sobel went to federal court.

From the beginning, things went Bauer’s way. Early on, a judge described the district’s action against Bauer as “Orwellian.” Later judges seemed to agree.

After much legal wrangling, Bauer prevailed. The district appealed. Bauer prevailed again. This took years.

In the course of the litigation, the district deposed several persons, including Bauer’s office mate, English professor Lisa Alvarez. Her deposition is presented below.

Here are some facts to keep in mind. Bauer did much of the writing of his newsletters (‘Vine & Dissent), but, in those publications, he also published pieces by colleagues, including Rebel Girl and Red Emma. These, of course, are pseudonyms.

I’m happy to report that these two individuals continue to write for Dissent, i.e., Dissent the Blog, under the same pseudonyms.

Six specific elements of the newsletters were cited, by Chancellor Sampson, as violating the district’s anti-discrimination and “workplace violence” policies. As I recall, two of them were actually authored by Red Emma.

I think you’ll find the deposition to be interesting.

CONTENT:

1. They want to know what she thinks:
2. On Sampson’s “surprising” declaration:
3. The clock tower incident:
4. The Accrediting Team’s report:
5. Anger, faculty assemblies, raised voices:
6. Shit list:
7. Mr. Goo:
8. “Going postal” deconstructed:
9. The infamous “MAIM” remark:
9b. That would be a beheading
10. Unabauer:
11. Shared governance and the school chair:
12. Discomfort, threats, passion:
13. Lookin’ for dirt:
14. Civility, fear, petitions:
15. A hostile work environment:


1. They want to know what she thinks:

Q Do you recall what [Mr. Bauer] said…about the excerpts [from Bauer’s newsletter that appeared in Sampson’s letter to Bauer in December of 1998]…?

MR. MYERS: If you’re asking what Mr. Bauer told Ms. Alvarez, I think that’s an appropriate question. Any commentary that Ms. Alvarez may have made concerning her opinions drawn from reading a newspaper, I don’t think are within the scope of legitimate questioning at this deposition because it may relate to her political beliefs, opinions, and other matters.

MR. LARSEN: Well—

MR. MYERS: This is not a forum for the college to find out what other faculty members may think about their chancellor.
…..
Q Do you recall anything else that Professor Bauer said about the deposition excerpts that were published in the newsletters?

A Not in particular.

Q What did you say with respect to those deposition excerpts?
…..
MR. MYERS: [To Lisa:] If your comments were your expressions of opinions concerning the excerpts, I’ll object to the question on the basis that it violates the First Amendment of the State and Federal Constitution to inquire into her political commentaries and opinions.

MR. LARSEN: Are you going to instruct her not to answer?

MR. MYERS: If that’s the purpose of your question—…to inquire into her opinions about what she thought of the chancellor’s deposition—yes, I will instruct her not to answer.

MR. LARSEN: Well, I think, Counsel, that I’m entitled—if she made expressions about testimony that’s been elicited in these proceedings, she’s commented on testimony that’s been elicited in these proceedings, I’m entitled to know what those comments on that testimony are.

MS. SOBEL: Why?

MR. MYERS: Why?

MR. LARSEN: Why? Because she’s been designated as a witness.

MS. SOBEL: To events that occurred long before Chancellor Sampson’s deposition was taken…David, if Chancellor Sampson at [his] deposition said he did not have any idea what the Christian Coalition was—which is I believe something he testified to, which I believe was excerpted in [Bauer’s] newsletter—what relevance does that have to anything—any information Professor Alvarez has that led to the district, now almost a year ago, issuing the disciplinary letters to Professor Bauer that they did?

MR. LARSEN: Her commentary on evidence in this proceeding is very, very relevant, if nothing else, to show its bias, prejudice. I’m not going to argue with you. If [Mr. Myers is] going to instruct her not to answer, let’s [do] it and we may have a judge decide [the matter].
…..
MR. MYERS: It seems to me, Mr. Larsen, that the only point that you have is the bias to the extent she becomes a witness in the proceeding…[B]ut that doesn’t seem to justify some open-ended inquiries into what Professor Alvarez happens to think about the chancellor of the [district]. Maybe we can just agree that…she has disagreements with the chancellor without you using this as an opportunity to inquire into her political beliefs.

MR. LARSEN: You know, my question is really simple, and I think everyone is trying to twist it, but I’ll ask it one more time. You can either instruct her not to answer or not.

Q What comments did you make [to Mr. Bauer] about Dr. Sampson’s testimony [i.e., his deposition]?
…..

2. On Sampson’s “surprising” declaration:

A Among the comments I made, I said I was going to read the testimony, that I would find it interesting.

Q Did you read the testimony?

A Yes, I did.

Q Okay. What other comments did you make to Mr. Bauer about the testimony?

A I believe I indicated I was surprised.
…..
Q Okay. Did you identify any of those statements that you were surprised about?

A I know I indicated surprise about the chancellor’s professed ignorance about the Christian Coalition, a political action group.

Q Any others that you expressed surprise at?

A I believe I indicated surprise at the chancellor’s characterization of a college gathering that I…attended.

Q Any other statements that you made to him about surprise?

A I was surprised at the chancellor’s characterization of one of my colleagues, a bearded man [not Bauer]—his characterization of him as “menacing.”

Q Any other statements that you—

A None in particular. I think…that in general I was surprised at the sections of the deposition I read…I think that’s an honest, accurate assessment of my response and the comments I made about it.

Q Did Mr. Bauer respond to your comments?

A Nothing that I recall in particular. I mean he listened as office mates do.

3. The clock tower incident:

[The “clock tower” incident was a more-or-less impromptu response to rumors that President Mathur planned to transfer his secretary, owing to his unfounded suspicions of her. On the morning in question, two or three Humanities & Languages faculty—not Bauer—quickly organized this show of concern, which led to a discussion with the Chancellor. Bauer heard about the effort and witnessed it, but he was advised by his Brown Act attorney not to become directly involved. Though he helped inform a few people of the event, he also heeded the advice.]

Q Now, you say you were surprised at a characterization of a college gathering that you attended. What college gathering are you referring to?

A It was a rather spontaneous gathering of faculty and staff in the A quad by the clock tower, and I’m trying to remember the date, but I cannot. My sense is it might have been last spring, but I’m not sure.

Q Outside the president’s door/window?

A Yes.

Q A spontaneous gathering—How many faculty gathered?

A I believe the student newspaper indicated it might have been 40 faculty and staff.

Q This was spontaneous? Everybody just happened to be there at the same time?

A Perhaps “spontaneous” is imprecise…I was not on campus last year. I was on sabbatical, so I don’t know the nature of communications around this particular event. I received a phone call at home.

Q So somebody invited you to be there?

A Yes. [They] suggested that something was happening.

Q Okay. Who made the phone call?

MR. MYERS: I object to that question. If you want to ask about comments [people made] about the deposition, that’s fine. Now, you’re inquiring into a political event on campus—who organized it, who was involved with it. And as a state institution, I don’t believe that your client can inquire into these political matters. This is getting pretty far afield.

MS. SOBEL: I’m going to interpose an objection, too, on behalf of a third party who is not present, but because the First Amendment permits third-party protections to be raised by someone who is present in a proceeding such as this, I’m going to interpose a “First Amendment right of association” objection for whoever it was who telephoned Professor Alvarez.

MR. LARSEN: Was it Roy Bauer?

MR. MYERS: Objection to the question.

MR. LARSEN: Are you going to instruct her not to answer?

MR. MYERS: Yes. If you want to sit here and violate the constitutional rights of my client, we will object and instruct her not to answer.

MR. LARSEN: You and I obviously have disagreement—

MR. MYERS: Let the judge decide.

MR. LARSEN: Okay.
…..
Q What surprised you about the chancellor’s characterization of this gathering when you read his testimony?

A His rather casual dismissal of the concerns of a large [group] of my colleagues.

Q So you…disagreed with how he viewed the gathering?

A. …[His] attitude…became obvious.

Q Now, you said that you were surprised by the characterization of a colleague as “menacing”?

A Yes.

Q And what colleague were you referring to?

A In the deposition, the chancellor mentioned a bearded man in his fifties, I believe.

Q Okay. Who did you understand him to be referring to?
…..
A At first, I assumed it was biology teacher and later I revised my…assumption to…the art history professor.

Q Was Mr. Bauer involved in this gathering?

A Mr. Bauer was in attendance at the gathering.

Q And did Mr. Bauer say anything or do anything that you noticed?
…..
MR. MYERS: What is the relevance of inquiring into people’s political activities at a political event?

Q This was a public gathering, correct?

A It…was a public gathering, political in nature.

Q …Your understanding was the purpose of the gathering was to communicate something to the chancellor?

A Not necessarily to the chancellor, no. I believe the chancellor happened to be in the college president’s office at the time. It is my recollection that people were surprised to have discovered that Dr. Sampson was in the college president’s office at the time we gathered at the clock tower.

MS. SOBEL: Counsel, I’m going to object to inquiry about my client’s [i.e., Roy Bauer’s] political activities. I don’t believe this gathering is in any way the basis of any of the charges the district made against Professor Bauer regarding discrimination, harassment, or violent overtones in his writings.
…..
Q Did Professor Bauer say anything at this gathering?

MR. MYERS: Objection on the basis that you’re inquiring into areas that are clearly outside the scope of the litigation and designed to inquire into the political activities of a professor at Irvine Valley College. And it’s inappropriate and I instruct the witness not to answer.
…..
MS. SOBEL: …the chancellor did not observe anything done by Roy Bauer at that event…the district has absolutely no contentions that…anything Professor Bauer did at that incident was in any way part of the charges against him.

MR. LARSEN [to Lisa]: Well, are you going to refuse to answer the question?

MR. MYERS: If you would like to ask a question that’s related to her observations of any conduct that might be within the scope of your lawsuit, I’m certainly going to allow her to respond to that question. But these open-ended questions that inquire into political beliefs don’t seem to be narrowly tailored to getting at the information that you need. Since the First Amendment is at stake, it seems to me that you have some duty to narrowly tailor your inquiries to get at the information you need without trampling [on] Professor Alvarez’s First Amendment rights.
…..
Q What do you recall Professor Bauer doing at this gathering?

A Standing around.

Q Was he in any way close to the window?

A Not to my recollection, no.

Q Do you recall anything that he said at this gathering?

A I believe I noticed he said nothing.

MR. LARSEN: That wasn’t so bad, was it?

MS. SOBEL: But it took you a long time to get to a direct question.

MR. MYERS: [To Larsen:] If you ask the narrow questions, we’ll try to accommodate you.
…..

4. The Accrediting Team’s report:

Q Have you ever read the evaluation report [of the accrediting team or commission]?

A I’ve read sections of the evaluation report…I recall reading the cover letter….
…..
Q Did you agree with it?

MR. MYERS: Hold on a second. What is the relevance of whether or not a faculty member agrees with the evaluation report of an outside entity to this litigation?

MR. LARSEN: Well, Counsel, it’s an exhibit in these proceedings. She’s a witness—potential witness—in these proceedings. I’m entitled to know if she’s read [the Accrediting report]. Are you going to instruct her not to answer?

MR. MYERS: You need to do a little better than that, Mr. Larsen…Professor Alvarez is not a party to this litigation. The college, I don’t believe, has a right to use this deposition as an opportunity to find out what faculty members believe about the organization that they work for. So can you do a little better in explaining what the purpose of this inquiry is?…We’re trying to be fair and reasonable here. This is a professor of a college institution. You are representing her employer. You cannot use a deposition as a fishing expedition into Ms. Alvarez’s beliefs about matters unrelated to the litigation….
…..
MR. LARSEN: [I want to ask Ms. Alvarez about] the summary of the evaluation report, which happens to consist of three and a half pages, which she testified she read. My question is, was there anything in the summary that she disagreed with?

MR. MYERS: The college has no right to know about her beliefs concerning the summary report.

MR. LARSEN: Are you going to instruct her not to answer, Counsel?

MR. MYERS: Yes, I am.

Q [To Lisa:] Are you going to take the advice of your counsel?

A Yes, I am.

Q Going to page 4 of the document, [it says] “Though the team was aware of the trouble[d] times.” Did you agree [with the Accreditation team] that there are divisions between factions of the faculty?

MR. MYERS: Objection…Until you provide a reasonable explanation as to why you want to subject a member of the college faculty to a general inquiry about her political beliefs and other opinions, …I will object.

MR. LARSEN: Well, this has nothing to do with political beliefs. It has to do with the comment and impact of the comment on the college, and if you’re going to instruct her not to answer—

MR. MYERS: Why don’t you take the deposition of the evaluation team if you’re interested about their opinions? [Lisa’s] opinions are irrelevant to this litigation. You couldn’t ask this in court. She’s not an expert witness. Ms. Sobel couldn’t ask her questions about this evaluation report. Nor can you, and particularly you can’t because [you represent] her employer. And to have her sit here and respond to these questions seems to be completely unreasonable and in violation of her constitutional rights.

So why don’t you move forward in the areas that might be relevant?

MR. LARSEN: I’ll ask more questions and we’ll let the judge decide [whether my questions are relevant].

MR. MYERS: Fine.

Q The last paragraph talks about divisions paralyzing governance, shattering collegiality, and adversely affecting students. Both current and future. Do you agree with that?

MR. MYERS: Once again, I object to the question.

MR. LARSEN: Are you going to instruct her not to answer?

MR. MYERS: She’s not going to be answering these questions.
…..
Q Are you aware of any hate mail on the campus?

A Yes. I received one.

Q What’s your definition of “hate mail”?

A I actually don’t have a definition that I carry around with me.
…..
Q I’m going to direct your attention to page 25 of Exhibit 5. Under “Recommendations,” item number 3, it says, “The team feels strongly that all players need to cease their negativism and focus on constructive steps toward building a future.” Do you see that?

A Uh-huh.

Q Do you agree with that?

MR. MYERS: Why is it relevant whether she agrees with it or not? Why do you need to know what her beliefs are concerning this report?

MS. SOBEL: I would object to its inquiring into political beliefs about the negativism of Mathur…, Sampson, and other public officials in the district.

MR. LARSEN: Well, Miss Alvarez, is there negativism at Irvine [Valley] College?

MR. MYERS: Once again, why is her opinion relevant to this litigation? And you have to have a compelling showing of relevance to overcome her First Amendment interests that are at stake.

I just don’t understand why you think you can have a deposition and call in a faculty member and start asking a faculty member about [her] opinions.

If you want to ask about observations, statements made by Mr. Bauer, things that might be relevant to this litigation, please do so. But to use this as part of the college’s strategy to harass faculty members seems to me to be inappropriate.
…..
MS. SOBEL: We would disagree strongly that what you’ve asked are questions about what is at issue in these proceedings.

What is at issue in these proceedings is a letter issued by the district in December delineating six writings and graphics in [Bauer’s] newsletter that the district contended evinced discrimination and harassment by Professor Bauer as well as a violation of the district’s policy on workplace violence.

And what is at issue is whether the district then lawfully sought to discipline Professor Bauer and direct him to psychological counseling…That’s the scope of this lawsuit, whether they had a basis for doing that. Not whether any individual faculty member believes that there is negativism on the campus…It is not a field day for you to inquire about everyone Professor Bauer interacts with and what their views are of what’s going on [at] the campus based on your client’s narrow reading[]—the contention you’ve made to the court, which the courts have squarely objected [to], that Professor Bauer is single-handedly responsible for every problem identified in the accreditation review—which would, as I indicated earlier, include the financial irregularities of district officials, the factionalism of the board of trustees, the problems of the union at both campuses.

…Professor Bauer would probably love to believe that his newsletter is so extraordinarily forceful, but since many of the issues raised in the accreditation review predates his newsletter by five to six years, it is highly unlikely he has any relevance [to these issues], and many of them have not been covered in his newsletter…If you’re going to get to the newsletters, that’s fine. That’s what we’ve said all along. But you’re not asking about that, Counsel.
…..

5. Anger, faculty assemblies, raised voices:

Q Ms. Alvarez, in the last two years, have you attended faculty assemblies with Roy Bauer?

A Yes, I have.

Q And at any of those, [was] Dr. Mathur present?

A On occasion, yes.

Q And have you witnessed any interchange between Dr. Mathur and Mr. Bauer?

A Yes, I have.

Q During any of that interchange, …did Mr. Bauer use a raised voice?…Have you ever seen him speak louder than was necessary to communicate?

A Not in my opinion, no.

Q Have you ever seen him become angry at the president?

A Not really. I wouldn’t characterize it as anger.

Q How would you characterize it?

A Like many faculty, I believe he feels disappointed and sometimes frustrated with the president.

Q Has he expressed that disappointment and frustration in faculty assemblies?

A Yes.

Q What has he said in that respect?

A I recall once he asked the president when he was going to answer questions, because no time allotted to questions appeared on the agenda—or else we had run over time and the items that were removed from the agenda were the items devoted to questions.

Q Did he do that in a raised voice?

A As I indicated earlier, …we have over a hundred faculty at Irvine Valley College, and in such assemblies it is not uncommon when speaking from the floor to speak in a tone of voice that is louder than the voice one would use for normal discourse.

Q Have you ever seen Mr. Bauer angry?

A I have trouble with that adjective. It doesn’t seem accurate to me, so I would say no. I would say I haven’t really seen him angry.

Q Have you ever seen Mr. Bauer distribute his publication?

A Yes.

Q How has he distributed them?

A Informally. Sometimes when faculty or staff approach him for a copy, and at other times through…mailboxes.

Q Have you ever seen him go from desk to desk and leave them—

A No, I have not.
…..

6. Shit list:

[In the November 2, 1998, Dissent, Bauer described a (trustee) candidates’ debate. At one point, he wrote:

“Padberg also spoke…of the need to bridge the “gap” between the warring sides in the district. Evidently, she believes that the sides can come together and be pals again—perhaps by means of a carefully planned Halloween party. I don’t think so. I, for one, have etched the name of Sherry “Realpolitik” Miller-White and others of her ilk on my permanent shit list, a two-ton slate of polished granite which I hope someday to drop on Raghu Mathur’s head.”]

Q …[Let’s go to the article that] talks about “two-ton slate of polished granite.” Did you ever discuss that with Mr. Bauer?
…..
A I believe mention was made of it because it appeared in the…charges that the chancellor made [in his letter to Bauer of December, 1998].

Q So what did Mr. Bauer say about it in that discussion?

A I believe he indicated surprise that this [remark] was considered a threat, a credible threat.

Q Did you say anything to him about it?

A I believe I concurred with his surprise.
…..
Q Were you involved in the editing of this comment in any way?…Were you involved in the editing of this article?

A No.

Q Did Mr. Bauer ever tell you he had a permanent shit list?

A No.

Q Did he ever discuss with you people that—did he ever tell you or talk to you about having kind of a list of people?

A No.

Q Were you surprised to read that he has a permanent shit list?

MS. SOBEL: I’m going to object. Assumes facts not in evidence.

MR LARSEN: The document says he has one.

MS. SOBEL: The document—as he’s testified to in his declarations and as the court found—suggests that this is rhetorical, political hyperbole, not that he has a shit list, permanent or temporary. [The document suggests]…that he wrote an article in which a sentence appeared, and I believe he has testified in his deposition as well [that] he has no such list. This was political hyperbole.

Q Are you aware of any list of names that he has of people that he doesn’t like?

A No, I am not.
…..

7. Mr. Goo:

Q …Has Professor Bauer ever told you that he hates anybody in connection with the South Orange County [Community] College District?

A No, he has not.

Q Did [he] ever tell you that he doesn’t like Dr. Mathur?

A No.

Q Has he ever told you he’d like to see Dr. Mathur removed?
…..
A As college president?

Q Yes.

A Like 70 percent of our faculty…, I believe that Mr. Bauer does not approve of the policies instituted by the college president. And I believe…when we voted no confidence in the college president—that was an indication of our desire to see someone new in that office.

Q Have you ever heard Mr. Bauer refer[] to the college president as “Goo”?

A Verbally?

Q Yes.

A No.

Q Have you ever seen him do it in writing?

A As far as the Dissent goes, I know there’s occasional references. Using I think a longer term than that…with a title in front: “Mr.”

Q Mr. Goo?

A Yeah.

Q Did Mr. Bauer ever tell you why he used that term?

A I believe it came up in discussion in terms of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
…..

8. “Going postal” deconstructed:

[The Nov. 9, 1998, Dissent included an account of election night. It included this somewhat humorous passage:

“Later in the evening, someone said that, as you look around the room, you see the very best people of the district: people known for their integrity and decency. I could not help imagining the party for the other side: Mr. McClendon discoursing on democracy and unionism; Lee Walker in the corner, trying to think of the name of the Governor; Ken Woodward hissing and sneering and alerting others of his “Ph.D. in economics”; a bepolyestered Sherry bitching and moaning about her unparalleled labors at the Xerox machine; some of the “Scandalous Boys” leering and choking and turning red; Frogue and Mathur trading paranoid fantasies. In a room like that, no decent person could resist the urge to go postal.”]

Q Have you ever heard the term “going postal”?

A Yes.

Q What does it mean to you to go postal?

A …It’s…a term in sort of popular usage now, I believe, which has its…original roots in certain episodes in post offices, but has grown I think [to be] very…common. My students use it often to indicate [despair], frustration.

Q Does it have any connotation of violence to you?

A I believe it depends on the context in which it’s used. When my students tell me they are going to go postal because I have given them yet another assignment to do, I don’t think that’s a threat of violence. I think it’s…an expression of frustration.

…It has roots in specific incidents. And now it has metamorphosed into…a popular slang term. I think those roots were originally violent, yes. But I think…the way it’s used now, it doesn’t really carry that weight.
…..
Q …Did you ever discuss [the appearance of the phrase “going postal” in the newsletter] with Mr. Bauer?

A …[W]e discussed this [phrase] because it appeared in a letter that Dr. Sampson wrote [to him].

Q Did Mr. Bauer share that letter with you?

A I…can’t recall, but I was made aware of its existence.

Q How did you become aware of it?

A He mentioned it to me.

Q What did he say about it?

A I believe he indicated surprise at the contents of the letter.

Q Did he indicate any concern with the letter?

A He indicated concern that the procedures that we have in the district had been overlooked…I think he was concerned that the letter had been placed in [his] file without…allowing him an opportunity to respond, which I think is the policy in the district.

Q Did he ever discuss with you a meeting that he had with Dr. Sampson to discuss the letter?

A Yes.

Q What did he say about that meeting?

A I think in general he was disappointed and frustrated.

Q What did he say?

A I couldn’t recall exactly…I believe he anticipated an opportunity…for serious discussion with the chancellor, and he…felt he did not have that opportunity.

Q Did he tell you whether or not the chancellor asked him any questions?

A None that I can recall…I recall [that Roy] indicated that the chancellor suggested that he had an obsession with military hardware and guns, which struck both of us as surprising.

Q Did he laugh about the meeting? Did he laugh about that assertion?

A He did not laugh about the meeting, no. I think he found that assertion sort of absurd and very sad.
…..

9. The infamous “MAIM” remark:

[I won’t go into the details again. Suffice it to say that, in a piece entitled “A modest proposal,” Red Emma humorously compared Mathur to Milosevic, using the acronym “MAIM.” Red was implying, of course, that Mathur is ruthless; no reasonable person could infer that he was expressing the intention to injure Mathur or anyone else.

[Larsen attempts to determine who authored the “offending” article. Note: neither Lisa nor I authored it.]

Q Did you discuss that article “Modest Proposal” with Mr. Bauer prior to its being printed?

A I actually don’t recall. I don’t recall if I did or not.

Q Did you edit the article?

A No, I did not.

Q Do you know whether Mr. Bauer edited the article in any way?

A No, I don’t.

Q Do you know whether Mr. Bauer wrote the article?

A I know Mr. Bauer did not write the article.

Q How do you know that?

MR. MYERS: Objection. Calls for information that’s privileged and protected by the First Amendment.

Q Did you write the article?

MR. MYERS: Objection. Calls for information that’s protected by the First Amendment.

Q Are you going to refuse to answer?

A Yes, I am.

Q What does the term “maim” mean to you?
…..
A To wound in a particular way.

Q In what way to wound?

A …I’m trying to do better here with my definition—

MS. SOBEL: You can only do as well as you can do, Lisa.

A Well, I’m an English teacher. I have certain standards…It’s when…you’re wounded and you lose a certain portion of your body, I suppose—a limb or something to that effect….

Q So it’s a term of violence?

A Term of violence? It could be. It’s not always, you know.

9b. That would be a beheading:

Q …You see the cartoon in the upper right-hand corner? [Larsen is referring to the “Backdoor Gooster” graphic, which accompanied an article about Mathur’s “enemies list.” The graphic shows a fiend holding the head of his victim.]

A Yes, I do.

Q Do you consider that a violent depiction?

A I consider it a comic depiction of…something that is, I suppose, literally violent, the same way a Superman comic is violent or a Fantastic Four [comic] is violent.
…..
Q Would you consider the depiction in the upper right-hand corner as being one of maiming?

A Actually, I would think the only body part that you could [lose] and not have it be considered maiming would be your head. I would offer that that would be a beheading. I’m sorry, I am this English teacher, okay? So I am amending my earlier definition of “maim.” Now, I…believe this is a depiction of a beheading, not a maiming.

Q Now, right underneath…the picture is a phrase, “a slimy and duplicitous rat-bastard.” [Actually, the phrase occurs in this context: “Unfortunately for the Gooster, Larios (to whom Raghu had offered the enemies list) was not a slimy and duplicitous rat-bastard….”]

A Yes.

Q Did you ever discuss that with Mr. Bauer?
…..
A No, never.

Q Did you ever discuss this particular cartoon with Mr. Bauer?

A I believe the cartoon was one of the ones indicated, again, in the chancellor’s letter to Mr. Bauer.

Q What was said in your discussion with Mr. Bauer about this cartoon?

A I think I pointed out that I was surprised that [the graphic] was perceived as a threat, since my understanding of the cartoon was that it indicated that the people being threatened were the faculty by the college president.
…..

10. Unabauer:

Q do you know when [Bauer] first started using [UnaBauer@aol.com] as an e-mail address?

A I believe he started using it after a high-profile piece appeared in the Orange County Register where the…then-president of the board of trustees of the college district, John Williams, compared Mr. Bauer to Ted Kozinski, the Unabomber. I believe he…said that the newsletters were similar to the writings of Ted Kozinski.

Q Did you ever discuss with Mr. Bauer why he used that as his e-mail address?

A I think he was—we did discuss it, yes.

Q What did he say?

A I think he thought [Williams’ “Unabomber” comparison] was an absurd comparison and…he needed an e-mail address….
…..
Q In this discussion about the letter from the chancellor, did he say anything about, “Gee, maybe I’ve been misunderstood.”

A Nothing that I would characterize as “Gee, maybe I’ve been misunderstood.”

Q What—did he say anything to that effect or anything similar?

A I believe he expressed disbelief that…his writings were seen as threats of violence, credible threats of violence. He expressed surprise. We discussed Jonathan Swift and the role of satire and rhetoric and hyperbole and irony.

11. Shared governance and the school chair:

[Since the summer of ’97, it has been clear that the IVC “Chair” model is gone forever. Nevertheless, Bauer’s critics have insisted, absurdly, that he is motivated by a desire to become chair again. Bauer had been chair for two months. He has never sought administrative positions.]

Q Did [Bauer] ever discuss with you…his feelings about the elimination of the school chair position?

A Yes.

Q Did he tell you he was upset about that?

A He thought it wasn’t a very good policy to remove the school chairs.

Q Did he ever tell you that he was upset that he was no longer a school chair?

A He expressed disappointment that our school chair model had been abolished.

I know personally he was not looking forward to his term of service as school chair, but was willing to serve, so he did not express…personal disappointment that he was not a school chair. He expressed disappointment, again, about [the abandonment of] this model of administration that we had enjoyed at the college.

Q Did he tell you why he was not looking forward to serve?

A It’s a lot of work…I don’t know…any faculty member who looks forward to their term as school chair. People do it because they’re committed to the institution and to their colleagues and to the idea of self-governance.
…..

12. Discomfort, threats, passion:

Q Have any…employees ever expressed to you any discomfort as a result of any of Mr. Bauer’s publications?

A Not to my recollection, no.

Q Are you aware of any faculty members that have sent any e-mail or any other threats to Raghu Mathur?

MS. SOBEL: I’m going to object to the question as assuming facts that are not in evidence at all in this case. And “e-mail or other threats” makes it sound like there were e-mail threats, and I don’t believe that there is any documentation of such threats. And I’m also going to object to the extent that it suggests that Professor Bauer has ever sent a threat of any type to Raghu Mathur.

MR. MYERS: Miss Alvarez will be happy to respond to the question as interpreted as…is she aware of any threats being sent to Raghu Mathur by e-mail.

A Okay…Am I aware of any faculty members…having sent threats by e-mail to President Mathur[?] No.

Q Are you aware of anyone having sent any written threats?

A No.

Q Have you ever heard Mr. Bauer make any threats about Raghu Mathur which you would consider to be threats?

MS. SOBEL: I’m going to object to the question as vague and ambiguous. Threats of what? Threats to bring a Brown Act action? He did that. Threats to challenge other actions and question the college president in meetings? He’s done that. What do you mean by “threats”?
…..
Q Have you ever heard Mr. Bauer threaten Raghu Mathur?

A I have never heard Mr. Bauer make physical threats or threats of violence toward President Mathur.

Q Have you ever heard him make any other types of threats toward President Mathur?

A I have heard Mr. Bauer passionately oppose some of the policies instituted by Mr. Mathur and suggest that he will oppose those policies, those measures.

Q Describe what you mean by “passionately oppose.”

A I believe Mr. Bauer, like many of the faculty, [is] outraged, for instance, about the abolition of shared governance on the campus. Many, including Mr. Bauer, are quite passionate about it.

Q By “shared governance,” you’re including the school chair model?

A Shared governance is sort of a broad term that…indicates the areas where faculty are required by law to participate in governance of the campus, curriculum, hiring, et cetera. And yes, the school chair model…is a result of shared governance, but the process by which it was abolished struck many as…outrageous.

Q You would include Mr. Bauer as one of those that was outraged by that; is that correct?

A Yes.

13. Lookin’ for dirt:

Q Did Mr. Bauer ever discuss with you any directive from the chancellor that he seek some kind of professional counseling?

A Yes, I believe it was part of the letter that the chancellor placed in his file.

Q What did he say about that?

A Again, he was surprised and disappointed that…the chancellor saw the situation [as he did].

Q Did Mr. Bauer ever tell you that he participated in any way previously in any type of counseling?
…..
A I…seem to recall some sort of mention of…a counseling session in the past, but it had to do with…Mr. Bauer’s wife, I believe, but, again, this…is years ago….
…..
Has Mr. Bauer ever indicated any type of anger with respect to his marital dissolution?

MS. SOBEL: I’m going [to] object to the question on the grounds of privacy.
…..
A No.

Q Frustration?

A No.

14. Civility, fear, petitions:

Q In your opinion, is civility important on a college campus?
…..
A …I expect civility in my classroom. I hope for civility in other places, but it’s the nature of the academic institution that…discourse becomes…contentious sometimes.
…..
Q Has anyone, any…employee of the college…district told you that they’re fearful of Mr. Bauer?

A No.
…..
[Larsen seizes upon an OC Weekly profile on Bauer.]

Q Are you familiar with this article [from the OC Weekly]?

A Yes, I am.
…..
Q Did you have any involvement in getting this article published?

A No, I did not.
…..
Q Last sentence of the first partial paragraph says, “But most faculty won’t even sign a fucking petition.” Do you see that?

A Uh-huh.

Q Do you know what petition he’s referring to there?

A It could have been the petition that was being circulated [for] the recall of Mr. Frogue. I know some faculty expressed concern to me that if they signed the recall petition, they would be subject to reprimand by administration. But this is also some time after the…recall, so it could also have to do with another petition.

I know that there was a petition being circulated…and finally given to…President Mathur about his recognition of faculty accomplishments. I think there was also another petition.
…..

15. A hostile work environment:

Q If staff members were to testify that, in their view, Mr. Bauer’s publications create a hostile work environment for them, would you disagree with that?
…..
A I would hesitate to disagree with people’s perceptions, but I would point out that I think Mr. Bauer’s publications respond to a hostile work environment. I don’t think they create it….

Q So you think the working environment at Irvine Valley College is a hostile working environment?

A On occasion, yes.

Q And from your perspective, in what way is it hostile?

A I’ll give you an example. I write for local publications. My work has appeared in the LA Times and the OC Metro. And on occasions I have been in meetings with the college president where he has asked people not to talk to the press, where he has suggested that this is an inappropriate way for faculty to communicate.

I was disturbed by that. [I]n some ways I’m a member of the freelance press. I thought it was an inappropriate comment for him to make, to say that we should not speak to the press as faculty members about the situation on campus.

I think it’s a hostile work environment when policies are not followed on campus in terms of hiring, in terms of reprimand, and such. It creates a climate where the rules are broken and people are afraid such as the example I used earlier, with people being afraid to exercise their rights to sign a recall petition because they were afraid of retribution by their employers.

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