SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES: THE DECEMBER 13 BOARD MEETING by Chunk Wheeler

[From Dissent 40, 1/4/00]

“I never go to church; kneeling bags my nylons.”

From [Billy Wilder’s] Ace in the Hole, 1951

F Troop

DECEMBER 13: I arrived at Library 105 just after 6:00 p.m. and, for once, I found that the room was packed. Why? Lee Walker, dressed as an American Revolutionary, was busy organizing something. But what?

All the seats had been taken, and so I leaned against the right-hand wall near the main door. After several minutes, I looked to my left: Lee, now strapped to a drum, had settled in the doorway. I regarded him. He regarded me. I said, “Nice drum, Lee.”

Right about then, the audience thrilled as one of the videocamera operators initiated an impressive TV studio-style countdown, culminating in the point of a finger at Dorothy Fortune, who then spoke to all the lovely voters out there in the dark. She explained that a group known as the “Sons of the Revolution” would help us to celebrate the 200th anniversary of George “Worshington’s” death. That was Lee’s group.

The lights dimmed; then four of the Sons, including two musketeers, marched the colors up the left aisle. Meanwhile, Lee, along with a bugler and a fifist, tooted stoically up the right aisle. When they reached the back of the room, Lee played his drum. Then a woman warbled the national anthem. Trustee Padberg said something about “honoring our war dead”; this was followed by a moment of silence.

Boy, it was one damn thing after another.

Next, John Williams led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Naturally, this was followed by a brief address from the “great great grandson of Francis Scott Key.” The fellow spoke warmly of the Father of Our Country, highlighting his military victories. He neglected to mention our national Dad’s vast slave holdings or his questionable abilities as a military commander. In general, the evening’s anniversary “activities” presupposed a Disneyesque take on American history--a Goofy history.

Suddenly, a Gold Star mother stood behind the podium to read a “poem.” It said that it is the soldier, not the “campus organizer” or the “reporter,” who ensures our liberties. Thanks to brave American fighting men, it continued, those darned campus protestors are free to “burn the flag.”

One suspects that, if it were up to this Gold Star mom, flag burners would be skinned alive. Trustees nodded and smiled approvingly.

Next, a student, doing an impression of Henry Gibson, got up and said, simply, “George Washington,” whereupon he recited five or so bowdlerized factoids about “the Father of Our Country.” Williams and Frogue took notes.

President Fortune attempted to say something: “Now we will have”--SQUONK! Apparently, the bugler, having studied Dot for several minutes, decided it was time for “Taps.” He spewed the tune all over the back of Marcia Milchiker’s head; the latter, plus its owner, fled to the wings. When the horn emitted a breathtakingly sour note, everyone thought: “F Troop!”

After Taps, one of the Sons took command. “Skirt the obstacle! March!”, he barked, and the color guard tramped back down the left aisle. Meanwhile, the Lee Walker Trio tramped down the right aisle. No one was surprised when the strap of Lee’s drum caught one of the legs of a video camera, briefly offering the hope of a dramatic and expensive faux pas. Alas, Lee managed to extricate himself and soon caught up with his pals, who, in typical American Revolutionary fashion, had deserted, leaving Lee to fight the camera leg alone.

Pam Zanelli, her brain a needle in her haystack head, preserved the moment on film. I think Lee looked up and said “cheese.” Then, as Lee marched under my nose, I briefly met the glances of the two senate presidents, who, judging by their wild eyes, were either very ill or much amused.

When it was clear that the Sons of the Revolution had finished their performance, the audience simply got up and left, taking no notice whatsoever of the board meeting that struggled to continue in the background. After all, they had come for flag-waving and protester-bashing, and that was now over. Why stay for the actual meeting? Why would anyone do that?

A year of Miss Fortune

The board clerk, Mr. Wagner, read out the board’s closed session actions: Glenn Roquemore, an IVC geology instructor and Mathurian crony who, despite an almost total lack of administrative experience (he had been a school chair for two months), was appointed Acting VP of Instruction two years ago, was now appointed as permanent dean of Advanced Technology, a role, naturally, for which he is not even remotely qualified. (Also, a man named Deshazer, I think, was appointed the assistant director of something.)

Next, in another exercise in bowdlerization, Dot listed the board’s alleged achievements under her presidency. The first of these was the televising of board meetings, an act which, she said, “expresses” the board’s “openness.” (I wondered what its “persistent and defiant” violations of open meeting laws expresses?)

Meetings, she said, have been productive. Plus board members are now dedicated to “civility and respect,” and they’ve “stayed on point.” Trustees, she added, asked for reports—for instance, they requested an accounting of faculty “release time,” which led to a cap on release time expenditures that, she insisted, saved the district big money.

Dot failed to mention the $127,000 the district spent on its own attorneys unsuccessfully defending El Ced when he violated the Constitutional rights of a certain philosophy instructor. (Eventually, the district will have to pay his attorney, too, though they seem to imagine otherwise.) And what about the huge legal costs incurred in Brown Act II, which the district lost? And the legal expenses incurred defending the district’s unconstitutional speech and advocacy policy?

The board, she said, has tried to improve its relationship with the faculty, even scheduling a “prayer breakfast.” Dot forgot to mention that only one instructor showed for the prayer breakfast, and the board’s relationship with that guy was already pretty good.

Evidently striving for maximum irony, she added that the board has worked to increase “accountability.”

Hiring processes for administrative positions, she noted, have yielded the “best candidates” rather than the “in house” crowd. That remark was mighty strange in view of Glenn Roquemore’s appointment a few seconds earlier. And what about Armando Ruiz’s appointment? Wasn’t he “in house”? And how does all this “best candidate” guff square with the fact that almost no one is applying for SOCCCD administrative openings? And why did Patricia Spencer, IVC VP of I, flee to Fullerton College after only one semester?

At the end of her account of board achievements, Dot expressed relief that she could now remove the “cross” of the board presidency from her shoulders.

Yeah. Everyone else was pretty goddam relieved, too.

An uncivil action

Next came the organizational meeting, the chief task of which was the appointment of officers for the coming year. Trustee Frogue explained that he had witnessed Nancy Padberg’s performance as vice president over the past year and was therefore pleased as punch to be able to nominate her for the presidency. She was the only nominee.

Evidently relying on intuition, Dot dispensed with a formal vote and declared that Padberg was elected “by acclamation.” She then handed the gavel to Padberg, saying, “It’s in your hands.” That was Padberg’s cue: she walked over to a bag behind the table and pulled out an ugly brown plaque to which a wooden gavel was afixed. She handed the thing to Dot, who yanked the gavel from its mounting and said, “This is very handy.”

Next, Don Wagner was elected vice president—again, “by acclamation.” That left only the office of the clerk. Marcia, who has held every board office, nominated Dave Lang, who, despite his three years on the board (two more than Padberg or Wagner), has held no board office. No doubt she refrained from nominating Dave for the higher offices because they are powerful, and the Board Majority will not share power.

Marcia noted some of Dave’s virtues. Then she expressed her quite reasonable belief in the rotation of offices among trustees. It was high time, she said, for Lang to “become an officer,” even if that office was only clerk. Surely she was right.

Fortune, Williams, Padberg, Wagner, and Frogue were unmoved by Marcia’s plea. Indeed, they simply ignored it. Amazingly, without discussion, they made Mr. Frogue, who has already held various offices, the new clerk on a 5-2 vote.

It was a clean sweep for the Board Majority.

It was also a nadir of board “civility and respect.”

When, a few days later, the board meeting was broadcast, TV audiences saw none of this. In the broadcast, after Wagner’s election “by acclamation,” the screen fades to black, and the following message is displayed: “Due to a loss of video during the taping of this meeting, the election of Steven J. Frogue as Clerk of the Board was not recorded. He was elected in a 6-1 [sic] vote.”

How’s that for “openness”?

The snubbing incident seemed to anger Marcia. She spent the rest of the evening voting against Board Majority initiatives and sniping at Miss Fortune.

During the break, I asked the student trustee why she had failed to vote for Lang for clerk. She said, “Well, I talked to Dave. He didn’t seem interested.” “Yeah,” I said, “but Frogue’s a Nazi.”

That, of course, was only a joke, a poor one. Still, Frogue never repudiated the support he received from hard-core neo-Nazis and racists (such as Joe Fields and George Kadar) in the days following his Michael Collins Piper “seminar” fiasco. Frogue’s friend Piper, of course, works for Willis Carto, who, in a sworn deposition in 1979, acknowledged that he embraces the tenets of Francis Parker Yockey’s “Proclamation of London,” a document which advocated the expulsion of Jews from Europe. Carto, publisher of the anti-semitic The Spotlight (one of Frogue’s favorite publications) and founder of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review (one of Frogue’s favorite organizations), has reprinted Yockey’s infamous book, Imperium—The Philosophy of History and Politics, which is dedicated to—you guessed it!—Adolf Hitler. But I digress.

Lip buttoning & gratuitous prize-giving

When the meeting reconvened, the trustees tackled more “organizational” issues. Wagner urged the board to hold more meetings at IVC, but Dot demurred, saying that Wagner’s proposal—to hold every third meeting at IVC—was “a little excessive.” She asserted that Irvine meetings burden the staff. Marcia responded by saying, “I appreciate that Dorothy Fortune thinks she knows everything,” but on what basis was she making these assertions?

In the end, Wagner prevailed—mostly, I think, because IVC’s Raghu P. Mathur, who never misses an opportunity to enhance his importance, enthusiastically supported the initiative.

Somehow, Study Abroad came up. Dot, who has consistently expressed contempt for such programs (she once referred to the Costa Rica program as a “surf party”), had authored an amendment, just then provided, which, in Marcia’s mind, expressed Dot’s unreasoned animus. It would be a “courtesy,” said Marcia, taking a swipe at Dot, to be provided such documents in a more timely fashion. “I think that the intent of this is to inhibit the Study Abroad Program,” she added. Frick and Frack immediately came to Dot’s defense.

Soon, there was a discussion about the length of time permitted for trustee reports. About four years ago, in an attempt to rein in Mr. Frogue (who then devoted much board time to rants against the Anti-Defamation League, the boogeyman of choice among American anti-Semites), trustee reports were limited to 5 minutes. A year ago, they were limited further, to three minutes, an action the Froguester, who loves nothing more than to hear himself speak, opposed. This night, Dot, who was ready for her closeup, sought to limit reports to one minute. We need to “button our lip a bit,” said Dot. Well, she does, anyway. No one supported her. In the end, a more moderate “two minute” proposal passed.

The organizational stuff seemed to go on forever. When it finished, we returned to the regular meeting, and president Padberg asked whether there were any requests for public comments. There were none. Later, there were no reports from the Academic senates, or the student government officers, or the unions. Yeah. What would be the point?

Next, a resolution praising Mr. Armando R. Ruiz for his “outstanding leadership since 1989” was read aloud. I have found no one who has worked with Ruiz who has much good to say about him. On the other hand, he’s willing to play ball with Mathur and his BM patrons. Hence, the prize. They’re grooming him for something.

Raghu P. Mathur offered a few feeble words of praise for Armando: “reliable,” “trustworthy.” Armando smiled so hard, it looked like his face might split. He spent about a half hour shaking every hand in the room.

A very special Christmas party

Eventually, the trustees gave their reports. Padberg said she attended a “Graucho Banquet,” I think. Must be where everybody dresses up as one of the Marx Brothers. She wished everyone a happy holiday. The student trustee had no report. “Finals,” she said.

Williams, looking staunch while humming a Disney tune, reported that he went to the “Feast of Lights” concert and raised money for football by playing golf. He said something about getting a “hole in his head,” I think. Good honesty. But why does he persist in dying his hair a nasty shade of “Hitler” brown?

In her report, Dot referred to a Christmas party, which occurred on the previous Friday at Don Wagner’s place. I later learned that the faculty’s representatives—the academic senate presidents—were not invited. The party, said Dot, was an attempt to bring together board members and district administrators. Faculty didn’t figure in.

But, in fact, some faculty were invited—people like Sharon MacMillan and Lee Walker. Those two, or course, are members of the union’s Old Guard—the faculty group that, despite howls of protest from the rank and file, used tens of thousands of union dollars to help get Fortune, Williams, Frogue, Padberg, and Wagner elected.

Wagner, looking sheepish, had nothing much to report.

Frogue thanked Dot for a “fine and productive year.” He reported that he had attended an IVC ASG meeting plus a Christian Club Bible Study meeting, the “highlight of my week.” He also attended the Global Humanitarian Club’s showing of a “heart-rending film” on child soldiers. He explained that an application to join the “Sons of the Revolution” has been sitting on his desk for 28 years, and, soon, garshdarnit, he will submit it. Frogue will fit right in. Maybe his pal Piper can come along and play a Hessian.

Marcia reported attending a performance of the IVC Wind Ensemble. Perhaps for Frogue’s benefit, she mentioned the ADL “man of the year,” who, because his children attend Saddleback College, called her and expressed concerns about our colleges’ accrediting status. Just as her two minutes ran out, Marcia, amid efforts by Padberg to shut her up, closed by saying: “I’m appalled and astounded and furious at the letter that was sent out to the U.S. Department of Education—that I never got.”

Dave Lang, alluding to the party, thanked the Wagners for their hospitality and wished everyone a happy holiday.

As usual, Sampson, Bullock, and Mathur had nothing to say. Mathur, who, for once, refrained from referring to his “goose pimples,” yammered about a $20K challenge grant to help open a multicultural center for which matching funds have been found. “Multiculturalism” at IVC: that’s when you arrange screenings of “The King and I.” Really.

Cedric’s Big Adventure

Eventually, we got to the Chancellor’s items on the agenda. Item 26 concerned a proposal, by the Chancellor, to revise board policy 2100.1—“delegation of authority to the academic senate.”

On Nov. 27, a Times article reported the following:

The faculty senates at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges vow to fight—in court, if necessary—a suggested policy change aimed at reducing their power and giving the Board of Trustees more say over academic matters...Sampson’s recommendation would change the senates’ role from “authority over” academic and professional matters to “responsibility for advising the board” on those matters...“The board felt it delegated too much authority to the faculties and it needs to clarify and correct some of the policies,” Sampson said...According to Sampson, the wording change would bring the board policy more in line with state regulations...Peter Morrison, senate president at Irvine Valley, disputes Sampson’s reasoning: “The board policy is exactly in compliance with [state] regulations.”

(The article cites the “soccer” issue at Saddleback as an example of the board’s failure to accept senate recommendations. I’m told that one dean took the faculty’s side in this particular dispute [Robinson]. Guess what? A few weeks ago, his administrative contract was not renewed.)

If you’ve been reading your Dissent, you know that Peter is right. Dissent 38 reprinted the language of board policy 2100.1 and Title V, section 53203. These documents make clear that Sampson’s (reported) assertion—that 2100.1 is in some sense out of compliance with Title V—is erroneous. Title V states that “the governing board” may elect “to rely primarily upon the advice and judgment of the academic senate.” Our board policy says that the “governing board...will rely primarily upon the advice and judgment of the academic senates.” As usual, Sampson doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Incidentally, the board has engaged in persistent and defiant violations of Title V, section 53203. The latter says that, when the board elects to rely primarily on the senate, “the recommendations of the senate will normally be accepted...If a recommendation is not accepted, the governing board or its designee, upon request of the academic senate, shall promptly communicate its reasons in writing to the academic senate.” Accordingly, our board policy states, “If a recommendation of the senate is not accepted, the governing board or its designee will promptly communicate its reasons in writing.” But, as I understand it, on several occasions, the board has failed to accept the senate’s recommendations (on matters over which it is given authority by BP2100.1). Then the board has failed to provide the required reasons in writing.

On the 13th, Sampson announced that he will soon recommend this change to lessen the Senates’ authority. He also said that he will seek the consent or agreement of the faculty senates. If, however, the senates don’t agree to the change, said Sampson, the board can make the change unilaterally.

In fact, however, the board has no such authority. This is made clear by the existing board policy, which states: “This policy is a mutual agreement between the governing board and the academic senates and may be modified upon mutual consent of the parties.” It mentions no exception to this requirement.

During the meeting, Sampson ignored our own board policy and drew the board’s attention instead to an “exception clause” in Title V, which gives to the board the right, under special circumstances, to make a unilateral decision. According to Title V, the board can indeed make a unilateral decision--when the status quo “exposes the district to legal liability or causes substantial fiscal hardship”--but only after it has made a “good faith” effort to “reach agreement” with the senate. Sampson, winking and purring through his nose, argued that it is the board’s prerogative to judge whether these exigent conditions obtain; thus, if it so judges, it can make a change unilaterally.

There are three flaws in this reasoning. First, no such exigent conditions obtain. Second, the Title V exception clause refers, not to board/senate disagreement over the policy itself, but disagreement over “policies and procedures on academic and professional matters”—such as whether to have a soccer program. Third, and most importantly, Sampson is ignoring our existing board policy, which expressly prohibits a unilateral change of 21001.1 by the board, and which, as a definition of senate rights agreed to by the board itself, is not voided by the language in Title V, with which it is not in conflict.

TRANSCRIPT:

Here’s what was actually said during the discussion of item 26:

SAMPSON: This item is before you today simply for notice that I will be making future recommendations in regard to this board policy. What occurred is that I brought this up for discussion in the chancellor’s cabinet, and it became something of notice to the press, and there were several articles about it in the press, and I had not brought it to the board for your attention until it was my plan to have had it discussed in the cabinet. However, because it is an item of public notice now, I’d like you to take this under advisement...[He discusses the content of the packet he has given to trustees.]

In dealing with the Accreditation process and the many comments about shared governance in our district—that it is not understood and there is confusion about faculty roles—I’ve identified this policy as the center of the problem and something that the board needs to devote some time and attention to possible modification. My expectation [is] that I will bring this back to you for action in January. However, that action will be simply to request that I take this to the Academic Senates to ask them to change what is a mutual agreement and to solicit their response to that proposal....


LANG: My first question is that—assuming that this does go back to the Academic Senate, and they do not agree, mutually consent, to change the existing policy, then what would you be recommending to our board?

SAMPSON: Well, I think we’ll go with an effort to solicit their support of a change. However, if they do not wish to change it, there are provisions in the code for a district to act—(LANG interjects: “unilaterally?”)—after a certain process is followed. And we will fully comply with the law.

FROGUE: ...I would like to report—I won’t do it now—but just to report on certain problems that have existed in the past with the Academic Senates regarding to [inaudible] delegate to them the right to operate under the constitution. This is before—Dr. Sampson—before you came here. I think it is important that this be part of the record in understanding why there might be a lack of confidence—uh—I never meant this to be, you know, sniping—but I could never get answers to certain questions about certain operations, certain reports that were being made, replete with false information that was being passed off as fact—one or two board members trying to pass it off as fact also, and that leads to disinformation, confusion, and I think it leads to a lack of trust, an erosion of trust, over the years. I think that that brings us pretty much to the point we are at now. And I think the process resulting—we need to review the history of it and I would be happy to do that. [Frogue looks hopefully at Padberg, who says nothing.]

[The Academic Senate presidents—Peter Morrison of IVC and Anne Cox of Saddleback College—are asked to comment on item 26:]


MORRISON: [He distributes a packet to help trustees prepare for the January meeting.] ...I’d like to read into the record a letter on behalf of the senate this evening. It reads as follows:

“Because we’ve found neither the current format nor the conduct of board meetings conducive to dialogue or fruitful exchange of views between the Academic Senates and the governing board, the officers of the IVC Academic Senate request a meeting with the officers of the board to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the senate as understood by the trustees and by us. Events of the past year have persuaded us that we indeed have a fundamental difference of opinion on this matter. If this is indeed the case, we believe the specific forms and content of that difference must be defined before the parties can agree how best to resolve it. If not, then we need to understand how best to avoid [inaudible] conflicts or potential conflicts between us. Our previous efforts to identify and work [out?] these differences have unfortunately not proved effective. And we hope that direct, frank, and informal meetings between the senate and elected board officers might reverse the situation.” [End of letter.]

You have a copy of that letter as part of your packet...I have included a correspondence between our senate and the chancellor on this matter over the last year...Let me restate that, should you take action, [inaudible] proposal here, we will of course agendize that and give it all due consideration. Thanks.


COX: Thank you. Of course, as Chancellor Sampson has said, he put this on the chancellor’s cabinet agenda—I believe it was November 9 and again December 2. He asked the presidents of the Academic Senates to go back to their respective constituencies...[Cox goes on to explain that “the discussion that ensued” among the Saddleback senators “was overwhelmingly opposed to these changes.” She then reads a unanimous senate resolution which rejects Sampson’s proposal in no uncertain terms. Finally, she reports two unanimous petitions from two divisions that also oppose the proposed changes.]

SAMPSON: [Smiling unctuously:] Well, I would just like to respond that, happily, the board and the board item before you complies fully with the request here from the Academic Senate in that no change will be made—uh—the board has not yet had an opportunity to study or discuss this. The board has not yet given any direction, and I have not yet requested a change from the Academic Senates. However, when I do, then we will be in consultation on this item. We are recognizing this as a mutual agreement. We’ll deal with it as such.

[Naturally, at this point, some trustees are confused. “We,” says Sampson, are recognizing this as a “mutual agreement”; and yet “we” can--and apparently should--unilaterally change the policy?]


WAGNER: ...In the event one or both Academic Senates absolutely refuse to change the existing mutual agreement, is there a process by which this board can then implement changes in the policy or not?

SAMPSON: Yes, there is.

FORTUNE: [She asks for the specific language in the “state law” that would permit the board to change the policy unilaterally. Sampson spends a few seconds looking for it. Then he reads:]

SAMPSON: “in instances were the governing board elects to provide for mutual agreement with the academic senate, and agreement has not been reached, existing policy shall remain in effect unless continuing with such policy exposes the district to legal liability or causes substantial fiscal hardship. In cases where there is no existing policy, or in cases where the exposure to legal liability or substantial fiscal hardship requires existing policy to be changed, the governing board may act, after a good faith effort to reach agreement, only for compelling legal, fiscal, or organizational reasons.” [Sampson fails to read the crucial section of Board Policy 2100.1 that expressly forbids a unilateral change of 2100.1 by the board.]

What this says to me is that, if the district has compelling legal, fiscal, or organizational reasons, it may change this policy—and of course in the conversation and the discussion of this, the board would be the group who would determine whether you had those compelling reasons.


PADBERG: O.K. [End of transcript.]

“They made us do it”

Item 32 concerned the Saddleback soccer program. President Bullock expressed her support for soccer. Uncle Steve explained that he was once a soccer coach. John, looking especially staunch, pressed the chancellor for resolution of the “soccer” issue. Sampson agreed that resolution is necessary, but offered none. Bullock, despite her support of soccer, expressed the faculty worry that, by pursuing soccer, other sports, which are often underfunded, will be hurt. John blathered about the “huge demand” for soccer among women. Dot silently tore away at some jerky treats, occasionally spitting a fragment into the camera.

Items 33 and 34 concerned faculty stipends. Trustee Fortune seemed to suggest that faculty are getting paid for work they are not doing.

Item 35 was “reports” from constituency groups. There were none.

After the meeting, out in the parking lot, Trustee Frogue approached me, saying, “When are we gonna get together at my place?”—or something to that effect. It wasn’t the first time. I shook his hand, but I affected reserve. I said: “I was surprised by your vote to appeal the judge’s ruling in my First Amendment suit. I thought you believed in the First Amendment. You always say you do.”

Frogue seemed flustered. I said something like, “I’m not violent or threatening, and you know it.” He said, “Of course not! But these lawyers. They made us do it. We could get sued if we don’t pursue this.”

Williams walked up. “Good evening, Roy,” he said. I said “good evening,” and walked away, into the night and into a new goddam millennium. --CW

Comments

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