Monday, February 14, 2000

THE INFAMOUS DROPPED DRAWERS by Red Emma


From February 14, 2000 (Dissent 44)
Originally entitled:

GOODBYE, BLUE MOONDAY!

--The Feb. 7 union meeting


By Red Emma

“Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.”

—W.S. Gilbert

It’s hard to know where to begin reporting on Faculty Association meetings such as the one that occurred at IVC last Monday afternoon. Often, the elaborate digressions necessary to explain the bewildering context surrounding actions by the unhappy Old Guard dysfunctional family overwhelm this reporter’s ability to arrange his narrative into elements familiar to most readers: recognizable chronology, clear dialogue, description and convincing characterization of otherwise unconvincing characters.

How, for example, to fully explain dysfunctional paterfamilias “El Rey” Chandos’ time-wasting, obstructionist strategy of asking pointedly pointless questions, followed by his just plain getting up and leaving the meeting in order to destroy a quorum, but not before consulting his prepared Rep Council PAC vote spreadsheet? How to portray convincingly the transparent duplicity and obfuscation of Old Mother Sharon’s meeting facilitation? How to account for Sharon’s interminable non sequiturs about what she “was asked” by invisible others to do at Rep Council meetings (take a voice roll call, object to proposals, confuse Roberts Rules of Order with a Monty Python Sketch) toward promoting the views of those purposely not attending said meeting? Her leaving early for the past four meetings in a row to “pick up my little girl”? And how to avoid painting a pathetic picture of a weeping waif standing lost at a lonely Mission Viejo street corner, waiting for her mother?

“Where is your mommy, little girl?”

“She’s at a meeting overseeing the destruction of democratic unionism by right-wing born again Republican fundamentalists.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. My own dear mother was only an axe murderer.”


How to relate naughty Little Brother Lee Walker’s act of physically escorting his clueless Big Sister Deluda out of the meeting so as to—you guessed it!—avoid that quorum required even to hold this meeting, crucial to taking the PAC away from the cruel brood? And how to illustrate the outrage visible on the face of the usually unflappable Margaret Hoyos (CTA regional rep, God bless her) as she watched El Rey stand up and, just moments before the vote, leave? And, speaking of Brother Lee’s fully revealed white rear end, how, finally, to get through this confusing and possibly illegal obstruction of the democratic process by what’s left of the Old Guard Cosa Nostra without mentioning, dear readers, that, in a fit to please the bigger kids, Lee Walker, leaping up to harass Margaret, actually lost his pants, exposing his sagging bottom to a half-dozen remarkably sober, patient, and committed quorumistas, who never, not even after nearly three years of this coordinated acting out, imagined that they’d be exposed to that particular deportment? And how, finally, to avoid consolidating into this report every possible double entendre (and I do mean double), cheeky remark, flabby pun (i.e., “the naked truth,” “no ifs, ands, or butts,” “crack reporter,” “harass”—well, you see my problem)?

You know, people think Dissent reporters make this stuff up, like the part in the newly proposed board “speech and advocacy” policy where they give Raghu a yardstick and he gets to go out and measure the rainfall on the lawn to see if it’s okay for Deb and Wendy and Scott to plant signs in it. Yeah, that part. Raghu Mathur, Doctor of Horticultural Sciences. Raghu Mathur, Meteorologist. And, now for the weather report with Raghu “Fritz” Mathur: “Well, folks, we’ve got 74 per cent chance of no confidence today with possibility of ACLU.”

But I digress.

Regarding the meeting: first, there were the forty minutes where we all waited around for Margaret, who was later followed out of the meeting after opining that Red Emma’s vote did in fact count on the Rep Council. (Oh, yeah, did I mention? In an elegant concurrence of administrative mismanagement and easy political retaliation, Red’s own writing class was canceled in week 2 with 18 enrolled students—this as El Rey teaches Engineering courses with 6 students.) The question: should Red Emma, now paying his own monthly dues, be allowed, like Sharon, to remain on the Rep Council while on an extended (if involuntary) “leave”? Little Lee huffed and soughed, Sharon and El Rey passed wise looks (think Moe and Curly), Lee Haggerty was absent.

Then, in no particular order that I am capable of reconstructing, Margaret arrived, we “officially” started the meeting, Lee Haggerty arrived, Sharon left, Margaret left, Lee dropped his drawers, El Rey left, and we voted. And, with a quorum (with or without Red’s vote), this local finally changed the standing rules of the PAC at about 4:20 on a Monday afternoon! This without any of the Family Values Family even present.

A highlight:

Sharon
Sharon: I received lots of calls about this.

Red Emma: Excuse me, Sharon. You received a lot of calls about my not teaching? How many? Who called?

Sharon: Yes, I received some calls.

Red Emma: More than one? About little ole me, a part-time faculty? From whom?

Sharon: Yes. Um. Buh. Duh.


It doesn’t take much of a sleuth to identify the attempt by the old folks to rig the meeting, including somebody from administration contacting Sharon to catch her up on Red Emma’s cancelled course. Did I mention El Rey’s spreadsheet? Folks, you gotta admire that level of organization! I wish we were that together, except for the illegal and lying and conspiring part.

Butt (sorry) let’s return to that metaphorical moment when Lee actually lost his pants, hung so precariously from just below his gut. Yes, comrades, there it was, offered to the world, the proud derriere of a great great great-grandson of George Washington, that famous slaveholder and lousy general. Oh glorious, Oh vivid flab. Seeing it, exposed in the doorway of A403, made me want to chop down a cherry tree or throw Curt across the Potomac (except he wasn’t at the meeting) or just stand up and salute what makes America great: too much fried food.

Instead, I pointed. I really did. “Look,” I exclaimed. “His butt!” A couple of other attendees will vouch for the patriotic display, but the curious thing is that, when I mentioned the incident to a couple of SOCCCD veteran teachers, one said, calmly enough, “I’ve been looking at Lee’s ass for twenty years.”

To review: Lee again exposed himself, purposely or not. They all did. We won the historic PAC vote, returning our local to its constituents, as the last of the Old Guard assholes, fully revealed, left the room. —RE

“IT’S A MESS,” SHE SAID by Chunk Wheeler

[From DISSENT 44, 2/14/00]

"It's a mess," she said

Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer]

Anthrax:

February 7: As I neared Library 105, the distinctive smell of charred flesh filled the air. I stood by the locked door. The trustees were still in closed session, and, evidently, they were chowin’ down. Just then, a man sniffed skyward. “Smells good,” he said. I stared at a moldy brown Popsicle stick that lay on the ground.

Campus cop Harry Parmer came by amid the pall to say hello. He spoke of biological weaponry. “This much anthrax,” he said while holding an imaginary beaker, “would take out Orange County.” Wow. Such talk soon led to stories about the JDL’s Irv Rubin and the squad of Frogue-supporting neo-Nazi wackos that once attended board meetings. “I’m sure glad that’s over,” said Harry. “Yeah,” said I. Harry seemed to like Irv, but he clearly disliked the Nazis.

That reminded me of a special union meeting of a week or two earlier. Joe R, in a moment of hyperbole, had rebuked the union Old Guard for, among other things, supporting “a Nazi,” whereupon Lee Walker pointed a finger at Joe and exclaimed, “That’s a hate crime! That’s a hate crime!” Joe regarded Lee for a moment and then said simply: “Yeah. I hate Nazis.”

As we waited, more people gathered, but not many. Someone told me that, earlier—before the board went into closed session—Peter Morrison (IVC Academic Senate president) and Armando Ruiz (IVC VP of SS) had had “words” about something. I smiled. A war of words between Peter and Armando? That’s like a wrestling match between a gorilla and a twig.

Suddenly sensible of sustained stompage, we stared southward and espied Dot [Dorothy Fortune], who marched toward us at the opposite end of the hallway. Upon giving us—or just me—a dirty look, she opened the door to the Backroom and waddled in, causing meaty brown fumes to waft toward us like mustard gas. Someone choked, spilling a Coke on the ground, and we all regarded the foaming puddle of goo. In Hindi, “goo” means “shit.” I did not know that.

Then the main door of Library 105 swung open with explosive and deadly force, owing to the labors of one Nancy Padberg, board president. They say that Dot is just a piker compared to Nancy when it comes to micromanagement. Door opening, apparently, is among Nancy’s new areas of oversight. She dispatched this particular door by herself and then proceeded quickly to the administration of other objects. Oddly, she whisked past the aforementioned Popsicle stick without advising administration how to deal with it.

When it seemed safe, we entered 105, and, almost immediately, there was a roar of conversation, which made me sleepy. I looked over at the portion of the wall normally reserved for the display of trustee high school graduation photos. None was present, except the student trustee’s. A portent.

I looked across the boardroom, through the door to the Backroom, where the trustees, et al., had been meeting in private for the last hour and a half. There, I saw a rumpled fellow in a cheap suit and cheap shoes with his hands in his pockets. “The Cheap Detective,” I muttered.

In fact, it was Alan Willian, one of the district’s bad lawyers. “I bet that guy gets five bucks an hour and he’s happy,” I announced. As I recall, in her written rulings, Judge Audrey Collins, who handled the student’s 1st Amendment suit against the district, referred to Willian as “that fool.” Maybe it was another phrase. Could be.

Mathur
The BP 8000 juggernaut:

The meeting finally started at about 6:45. Item #1, of course, was the discussion of the proposed “speech and advocacy” policy (BP 8000), of which Mr. Willian is the chief author. That’s what I had come for.

Vice Chancellor Hodge was asked to comment on the proposal. Then the trustees weighed in. Marcia Milchiker opined that the policy is much too long (32 pages!) and much too complicated. It contains contradictions and other errors and it engages in unnecessary “editorializing,” said she. Plus it gives “too much authority” to administrators. In general, it is “too prescriptive”—for instance, the business about how many inches students should stand away from doors and urinals and such. And how are bands supposed to thump, as they ought, when they are prohibited from using the “bass” settings on their amplifiers? Anyway, she concluded, a speech and advocacy policy oughta apply only to students.

Someone awoke Cedric from his dogmatic snorage. He choked unpleasantly into consciousness and sputtered something about taking all this stuff down.

Dot Fortune, erstwhile board president, affecting her idea of elder statesperson deportment, leaned back in her chair and sighed. But before issuing any profundities, she took a gratuitous swipe at one of her colleagues: “Unlike Marcia,” she said, I have provided comments “in writing.”

I watched Marcia, who glared. She seemed frozen in an eternal moment of hatred, the pen in her clenched fist writhing and twisting, the ink of the pen oozing, the steam in her head spouting outward.

Cedric
Dot smiled while Padberg offered a supportive sibilation. Yes, said Dot, we must acknowledge that there are typos in the proposed policy. She went on to explain that this “speech and advocacy” business stems, ultimately, from a ’98 student lawsuit (against President Mathur). We thought, said she, that this matter was resolved in the spring of ‘99 with the adoption of board policy 5406, but no. That’s why this thing is so prescriptive, she said. We’re just responding to the federal judge! He wants all this stuff in the policy. So we can’t be less prescriptive. And what about playing that heavy metal music, which could go on for 6 hours? Gotta prevent that.

Dot leaned back, apparently weary from having delivered so magnificent and wise a riposte. The springs of her chair groaned salaciously. Willian, now in the audience, belched.

OK. It was trustee Lang’s turn. He had various “serious concerns.” He worried about extending the policy, which originally applied only to students, to faculty and staff. He noted that the policy is unnecessarily long. He spoke of the “word police.”

Nancy P, anxiously clutching her gavel, sensed that she was losing control of the situation, so she insisted on speaking next. The policy is not prescriptive, said she; rather, it is “descriptive and clear.” It gives greater “latitude” than the earlier policy. We’re just responding to the last court hearing, she added. “I think it expands what you are able to do.”

Mr. Frogue, who seemed more bewildered than usual, commended Alan Willian for his labors. “He’s done an excellent job here,” said Steve. (Meanwhile, Don, evidently writhing in some Wagnerian hell, quietly screwed up his face.) The Froguester declared that the policy is indeed “descriptive, not prescriptive.” The board, he added, has been “pilloried” (lovely image) for breaking the law—especially the Brown Act. When, he said, the trustees were alerted to those violations, they were “more than happy” to make corrections. (False.) So now the court has directed the board to amend the policy. Mr. Willian performed “Spartan labors” here, said Steve. We (the board) are an entity, he said, that is wondering which way the court will push us next! It’s one damn thing after another!

I got the feeling that Willian and Frogue are pals. As Frogue spoke, trustees generally cringed, but Willian nodded approvingly. At one point, in my imagination, as Frogue spoke, Willian shouted, “Good one, Uncle Steve!”

Williams, a sneer on his Hitlerian visage, called for the question and snarled.

But wait! Padberg was reminded to ask the student trustee, Jennifer Kalena, to comment on the proposed policy. “It’s a mess,” said Kalena. You say it is clear, but “I didn’t find it that way,” she added.

I think I like this kid.

Fortune groaned, then sighed a world-weary sigh, and everyone regarded her as one might regard a visiting bear. She reminded her colleagues that the proposed policy is “much more liberal” than the policy that was in place up through ’97. That one was very “paternalistic and controlling.” True, those rules were never enforced, “but they were there.” Anyhow, the district went over to UCI and took their new policy. “That [policy] was sued,” supposedly because it was too limiting. But with this new policy, “you can say anything”—as long as you’re not breaking the law. You can post anything; you can have meetings anywhere. The lawyers tell us, she added, that this policy is less restrictive than the ones at Stanford or at “Cal Berkeley.” She was referring, I guess, to the opinion of Mr. Willian, an apparent illiterate. (I’ve read the policy.)

Ms. Padberg suddenly made an announcement for the benefit of governance groups, directing them to provide their input in written form. She seemed pleased. Of course, no governance groups were in the room.

Ms. Milchiker objected to the policy’s assumption that religious events necessarily occur on Sunday. And these restrictions on roller-blading—what do they have to do with speech and advocacy?

Someone called for the question. The item passed.

Miss Fortune, you're trying to seduce me
Scandal!

Next, the “board from Hell” discussed item #2: “final distribution of net litigation proceeds…from [the] Orange County bankruptcy.” Essentially, the district has an opportunity to recover over $600,000 of its investment, if it files by a certain date.

Amazingly, Mr. Frogue sought to prevent the filing, for he was “very concerned” about an apparent cover-up. He alluded to grand jury testimony regarding the bankruptcy, which, he implied, has not been made public and should be “released”—something, he seemed to think, the board was somehow in a position to cause. Thus we should “withhold judgment” until we have an opportunity to look into ways to force officials to release the testimony. This matter, he said, “goes to the very heart of government.” (Willian nodded approvingly; Wagner’s eyes widened.) Frogue declared that he would not vote for approval until he gets “some answers.”

John “Brown Boy” Williams took the opportunity to tell one of his favorite canards: that the bankruptcy caused the district to slip onto the state chancellor’s fiscal watch list! He smiled, which, as I recall, caused his ears to become pointy and devilish. The audience recoiled. Someone whispered, “Look! He looks like Hitler!” Everyone nodded. (Maybe they were talking about Wagner; it’s hard to say.)

Lang opposed delaying the district’s receiving these monies. We need to act promptly, he said. Milchiker agreed, saying that it would be “irresponsible” to do otherwise.

Frogue then launched into a familiar harangue: that decision-makers need good information, but, damn it, information is withheld from them by sneaky and disloyal underlings. For instance, said he, administrators at SOCCCD failed to inform trustees that we were on the watch list until we were placed even higher (lower?) on the list! “We need information,” he added. Information, information, information! Referring to the bankruptcy, he said, dramatically, that it was a “scandal!”

Padberg became pragmatic; she suggested that they take the money and run--while simultaneously persuing this “information” thang. Doing the former does not preclude doing the latter, she said. With that, the item passed unanimously. Whew!

IVC’s “burgeoning administrative structure”:

Item #4 was an “academic personnel action”: “authorization to establish and announce [an] assistant dean position” for IVC. Essentially, Raghu P. Mathur wants to create another administrative position as a ploy to remove Bill H, a Mathur critic, from a quasi-administrative position and to expand his army of goose-stepping Goosters. Earlier that day, Peter Morrison presented the board a financial analysis that demonstrated that the new dean would cost the district $96,000. Ruiz had tried to blow him off. So Peter repeated his point and Armando got hissy and defensive.

Now, Mathur and Ruiz, furiously ignoring the money issue, argued that Bill’s position is essentially administrative, and thus it should be filled by an administrator, not a faculty member. Ruiz explained that he was “particularly troubled” that Bill, a member of the faculty, was evaluating other faculty. (He failed to mention that, during the days of the IVC “chair model,” faculty routinely evaluated faculty, and the sky refrained from falling.)

Mathur and Ruiz insisted that they had solicited “input” from all of the governance groups and that this input was duly “considered.”

When, at long last, trustee Lang spoke, he blew Mathur’s proposal totally out of the water. He said that, in the past, the board has recognized the folly of making ad hoc changes in the administrative structure without regard to the overall structure; it was precisely this sort of change that was being proposed in this case. Second, he said, with the addition of this administrator, IVC will have more administrators than Saddleback, despite being half Saddleback’s size! At IVC, he said, there is a “burgeoning administrative structure.” (Duh!) He also noted that the proposed position has not yet received approval from the state chancellor’s office. Finally, he explained that, in fact, the new position was “rejected by every single shared governance group” at IVC!

Whoa! Good trusteeage, Dave!

Dot opted to ignore Dave’s points. “I believe,” she said idiotically, “that a teacher’s place is in the classroom.” Her chair again groaned, and so did the audience.

Williams, in an effort to silence Lang and Milchiker, who sought to address the matter further, called for the question, but that failed. Padberg snippily ignored Milchiker and Lang and asked Wagner to speak. Wagner asked Mathur if it is true that all of the governance groups reject the proposed position. “It is not true,” said Mathur. How it was “not true” was not made clear.

Eventually, Lang was allowed to speak. If Bill is replaced, said he, the district would still have to pay his salary. Thus the new dean would mean new costs. Marcia reiterated that, since IVC has more administrators than Saddleback, it makes little sense to add more of them.

Frogue, referring to Lang, said that his “facts are wrong.” Not all governance groups opposed the position, said he. We ought to take the advice of the college president, he added.

Suddenly, Padberg remarked that the board needed to proceed to other business. Fortune called for the question, but the motion again failed. Frogue questioned Padberg’s understanding of Roberts Rules of Order. Then Wagner explained that, though he was worried about the number of administrators at IVC, this was not the time to deal with that problem. He worried that, by allowing faculty to evaluate faculty, there would be litigation.

Williams opined, nastily, that the board shouldn’t “second guess the president.” Eventually, the motion passed, 5/2.

Priceless
Unauthorized plaquage:

Item 7 had been added at the last minute. According to the agenda, someone (the chancellor?) was recommending the belated ratification of memorials “to Dr. Edward A. Hart and Sean J. Sheridan on the IVC Campus.” But wait! Those plaques were installed many years ago! What gives?

Evidently, the board was attempting to address unauthorized plaquage and namage. (Only the board is authorized to name stuff.) No doubt this action has something to do with Mathur’s plan to fire an instructor on the grounds of his alleged refusal to honor the “namage” policy in the case of the “Terry Burgess Garden.” It now appears that, in the past, college officials have often violated that policy.

Curiously, item 7 failed to mention other unauthorized plaques at IVC, including the one that graces the “Dan Larios Garden.” (Apparently, Mathur now plans to quietly remove that plaque. Payback time!)

Marcia asked why this action was being proposed now. Why, she asked, are we dealing with plaques put up 10 years ago?

According to the chancellor, the board has a “new administration in place.” As things come up, they are dealt with. This came up. We discovered the existence of these plaques, he said.

Frogue seemed lost. He thought they were discussing item 6. No, said everybody, we’re on item 7. Oh.

The discussion became raucous. Frogue became unpleasant and coughed up a hairball. Frogue and Milchiker butted heads. At one point, Marcia actually put her hands up by her head and made an infantile gesture at the Froguester. That stopped the meeting cold for about 20 seconds.

Item 7 was rammed through on a 6/1/1 vote.

Beanie Baby:

After the meeting, cat-lover Sharon Macmillan said she had something for me: a book about organic cat care or something. Someone else gave me a “Beanie Baby,” whatever the hell that is. I stuffed it in my pocket, where it could observe the proceedings. It was some kind of rodent, I think. As I shook a trustee’s hand, it seemed to glare with disapproval. The trustee stared back at the Beanie Baby and then left the building.

And that was about it. —CW

A student finds bad Fortune

Dissent 44

February 14, 2000

RUDENESS, NOT REASON

by g. valt [a student]

[graphic: mouse person]

Monday night was very special for me, a milestone, for I attended my very first Board Meeting. People had tried to talk me out of it. They warned of negativity like I had never before encountered. But, you know how it is. I headed for Saddleback College.

Frowning and scowling:

The meeting began with a discussion of Board Policy 8000—the proposed “speech and advocacy” policy. Right away, a surprising piece of “negativity” came flying my way. “There are those of us here,” said Trustee Fortune, “who think that you can play heavy metal that would blow your windows out. And that’s your free speech.” She seemed to be describing what she took to be the student activist’s conception of free speech. I wanted to stand up and tell Trustee Fortune that, hey, I’m a student activist, and I prefer folk music. Who does she think she is?
These trustees do a lot of frowning and scowling. Trustee Williams frowned very unpleasantly. Then Trustee Padberg directed a scowl at Trustee Milchiker. There was eye-rolling, too.
I studied the room. I saw the student trustee’s picture hanging on the wall. What a nice gesture, I thought. The student trustee must really be valued.
I turned my attention back to the Trustees. This time my eye fell on a flushed Trustee Frogue. He began to speak—something about the District having to follow the Brown Act (the law in California that requires openness and forbids secrecy among board members and the like). He spoke of lawsuits and self-examination. Pretty deep. Then, out of nowhere, he got negative, spouting ad hominems. He announced: “You know the OC Superior Court doesn’t follow the Brown Act itself!” 
       I’m not sure, but I think he might have stuck out his tongue, too. I wondered if the Superior Court had released an official statement that said that it held meetings illegally. Highly unlikely. Perhaps Trustee Frogue had an inside source? I waited for him to announce a lawsuit against the OC Superior Court. That’s what he seemed to want to do.
       Trustee Fortune declared that BP 8000 was a “liberal” policy: “You can do anything, anywhere, anytime, unless you’re breaking the law.” —Did she really mean to say that all actions were lawful unless they were unlawful? That something was either “A” or “not A”? Wow.

Bees:

       Trustee Padberg had a bee in her bonnet. When Milchiker attempted to speak, Padberg roared: “Put that in written form!” Milchiker struggled to continue. “WRITTEN!” said Padberg. But hadn’t several oral commentaries already been given? Hadn’t Fortune spoken several times, at length, in support of the policy? Apparently, certain viewpoints—namely, those opposing BP 8000—would not be heard.
       At least the student trustee’s photo was still hanging on the wall, a clear sign, I thought, of her importance.
        Wrong. Time came for a vote. Seven trustees voiced their opinions, and Trustee Padberg moved to the next item. But wait! What about the student trustee? With an apologetic giggle, Padberg caught herself and asked for the “advisory” opinion. Clearly, to Padberg and her friends, the student trustee’s view was not important at all.

Swordplay:

     The Board meeting continued, and so did the negativity. But nothing I witnessed during the meeting was quite so negative as what I encountered after it was over.
     At Coco’s Mission Viejo, I was speaking with a Professor about silly, irrelevant things like logic (which clearly had no place in a Board meeting), when a strange curmudgeon of a man walked by. Patrick J. Fennel—that was his name—suddenly stopped and told the Professor: “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword!”
Fennel
        I was afraid. I did not know how to respond. My mouth probably hung open. The Professor with whom I was speaking, however, remained completely calm and composed. “Are you saying I’m going to die?” he inquired.
        Reasonable question, I thought. The curmudgeon denied that he was saying that. He sent a vague warning in the direction of the Professor. Something very foreboding, as I recall. “Are you threatening me?” the Professor calmly asked.
        Perfectly valid question. One likes to know where one stands with curmudgeons and their swords. Again, a clearly negative remark was flung back at the Professor. He was being told that someone would get him, sometime, somehow. As Fennel stalked away, I started to think: hadn’t the district been portraying my professor as hostile and threatening? And hadn’t he in fact remained totally composed and polite, despite being threatened? Hmmm….
        I thought back to the negativity that I had witnessed during the evening. My professor friend had not generated any. He was not the one who mentioned death or violent weapons. But there was negativity at the meeting—the scowls, the fallacies, the attacks. The Professor had had no part in that. In fact, that stuff had all oozed from the Board.

        Thus ended the night of my first meeting. People had warned me. I offer this advice: if you go to SOCCCD board meetings--or even to Coco’s MV afterward--expect rudeness, not reason. —GV
Cedric and Dot

Dissent 44

February 14, 2000

“IT’S A MESS,” SHE SAID—The special board meeting

By Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer]

Anthrax:

       February 7: As I neared Library 105, the distinctive smell of charred flesh filled the air. I stood by the locked door. The trustees were still in closed session, and, evidently, they were chowin’ down. Just then, a man sniffed skyward. “Smells good,” he said. I stared at a moldy brown Popsicle stick that lay on the ground.
       Campus cop Harry Parmer came by amid the pall to say hello. He spoke of biological weaponry. “This much anthrax,” he said while holding an imaginary beaker, “would take out Orange County.” Wow. Such talk soon led to stories about the JDL’s Irv Rubin and the squad of Frogue-supporting neo-Nazi wackos that once attended board meetings. “I’m sure glad that’s over,” said Harry. “Yeah,” said I. Harry seemed to like Irv, but he clearly disliked the Nazis.
That reminded me of a special union meeting of a week or two earlier. Joe R, in a moment of hyperbole, had rebuked the union Old Guard for, among other things, supporting “a Nazi,” whereupon Lee Walker pointed a finger at Joe and exclaimed, “That’s a hate crime! That’s a hate crime!” Joe regarded Lee for a moment and then said simply: “Yeah. I hate Nazis.”
As we waited, more people gathered, but not many. Someone told me that, earlier—before the board went into closed session—Peter Morrison (IVC Academic Senate president) and Armando Ruiz (IVC VP of SS) had had “words” about something. I smiled. A war of words between Peter and Armando? That’s like a wrestling match between a gorilla and a twig.


       Suddenly sensible of sustained stompage, we stared southward and espied Dot, who marched toward us at the opposite end of the hallway. Upon giving us—or just me—a dirty look, she opened the door to the Backroom and waddled in, causing meaty brown fumes to waft toward us like mustard gas. Someone choked, spilling a Coke on the ground, and we all regarded the foaming puddle of goo. In Hindi, “goo” means “shit.” I did not know that.
       Suddenly, the main door of Library 105 swung open with explosive and deadly force, owing to the labors of one Nancy Padberg, board president. They say that Dot is just a piker compared to Nancy when it comes to micromanagement. Door opening, apparently, is among Nancy’s new areas of oversight. She dispatched this particular door by herself and then proceeded quickly to the administration of other objects. Oddly, she whisked past the aforementioned Popsicle stick without advising administration how to deal with it.
       When it seemed safe, we entered 105, and, almost immediately, there was a roar of conversation, which made me sleepy. I looked over at the portion of the wall normally reserved for the display of trustee high school graduation photos. None was present, except the student trustee’s. A portent.
       I looked across the boardroom, through the door to the Backroom, where the trustees, et al., had been meeting in private for the last hour and a half. There, I saw a rumpled fellow in a cheap suit and cheap shoes with his hands in his pockets. “The Cheap Detective,” I muttered.
In fact, it was Alan Willian, one of the district’s bad lawyers. “I bet that guy gets five bucks an hour and he’s happy,” I announced. As I recall, in her written rulings, Judge Audrey Collins, who handled the student’s 1st Amendment suit against the district, referred to Willian as “that fool.” Maybe it was another phrase. Could be. 

The BP 8000 juggernaut:

       The meeting finally started at about 6:45. Item #1, of course, was the discussion of the proposed “speech and advocacy” policy (BP 8000), of which Mr. Willian is the chief author. That’s what I had come for.
       Vice Chancellor Hodge was asked to comment on the proposal. Then the trustees weighed in. Marcia Milchiker opined that the policy is much too long (32 pages!) and much too complicated. It contains contradictions and other errors and it engages in unnecessary “editorializing,” said she. Plus it gives “too much authority” to administrators. In general, it is “too prescriptive”—for instance, the business about how many inches students should stand away from doors and urinals and such. And how are bands supposed to thump, as they ought, when they are prohibited from using the “bass” settings on their amplifiers? Anyway, she concluded, a speech and advocacy policy oughta apply only to students.
       Someone awoke Cedric from his dogmatic snorage. He choked unpleasantly into consciousness and sputtered something about taking all this stuff down.
       Dot Fortune, erstwhile board president, affecting her idea of elder statesperson deportment, leaned back in her chair and sighed. But before issuing any profundities, she took a gratuitous swipe at one of her colleagues: “Unlike Marcia,” she said, I have provided comments “in writing.”
I watched Marcia, who glared. She seemed frozen in an eternal moment of hatred, the pen in her clenched fist writhing and twisting, the ink of the pen oozing, the steam in her head spouting outward.
Dot smiled while Padberg offered a supportive sibilation. Yes, said Dot, we must acknowledge that there are typos in the proposed policy. She went on to explain that this “speech and advocacy” business stems, ultimately, from a ’98 student lawsuit (against President Mathur). We thought, said she, that this matter was resolved in the spring of ‘99 with the adoption of board policy 5406, but no. That’s why this thing is so prescriptive, she said. We’re just responding to the federal judge! He wants all this stuff in the policy. So we can’t be less prescriptive. And what about playing that heavy metal music, which could go on for 6 hours? Gotta prevent that.
Dot leaned back, apparently weary from having delivered so magnificent and wise a riposte. The springs of her chair groaned salaciously. Willian, now in the audience, belched.
       OK. It was trustee Lang’s turn. He had various “serious concerns.” He worried about extending the policy, which originally applied only to students, to faculty and staff. He noted that the policy is unnecessarily long. He spoke of  the “word police.”
       Nancy P, anxiously clutching her gavel, sensed that she was losing control of the situation, so she insisted on speaking next. The policy is not prescriptive, said she; rather, it is “descriptive and clear.” It gives greater “latitude” than the earlier policy. We’re just responding to the last court hearing, she added. “I think it expands what you are able to do.”
       Mr. Frogue, who seemed more bewildered than usual, commended Alan Willian for his labors. “He’s done an excellent job here,” said Steve. (Meanwhile, Don, evidently writhing in some Wagnerian hell, quietly screwed up his face.) The Froguester declared that the policy is indeed “descriptive, not prescriptive.” The board, he added, has been “pilloried” (lovely image) for breaking the law—especially the Brown Act. When, he said, the trustees were alerted to those violations, they were “more than happy” to make corrections. (False.) So now the court has directed the board to amend the policy. Mr. Willian performed “Spartan labors” here, said Steve. We (the board) are an entity, he said, that is wondering which way the court will push us next! It’s one damn thing after another!
I got the feeling that Willian and Frogue are pals. As Frogue spoke, trustees generally cringed, but Willian nodded approvingly. At one point, in my imagination, as Frogue spoke, Willian shouted, “Good one, Uncle Steve!”
       Williams, a sneer on his Hitlerian visage, called for the question and snarled.
       But wait! Padberg was reminded to ask the student trustee, Jennifer Kalena, to comment on the proposed policy. “It’s a mess,” said Kalena. You say it is clear, but “I didn’t find it that way,” she added.
       I think I like this kid.
       Fortune groaned, then sighed a world-weary sigh, and everyone regarded her as one might regard a visiting bear. She reminded her colleagues that the proposed policy is “much more liberal” than the policy that was in place up through ’97. That one was very “paternalistic and controlling.” True, those rules were never enforced, “but they were there.” Anyhow, the district went over to UCI and took their new policy. “That [policy] was sued,” supposedly because it was too limiting. But with this new policy, “you can say anything”—as long as you’re not breaking the law. You can post anything; you can have meetings anywhere. The lawyers tell us, she added, that this policy is less restrictive than the ones at Stanford or at “Cal Berkeley.” She was referring, I guess, to the opinion of Mr. Willian, an apparent illiterate. (I’ve read the policy.)
       Ms. Padberg suddenly made an announcement for the benefit of governance groups, directing them to provide their input in written form. She seemed pleased. Of course, no governance groups were in the room.
       Ms. Milchiker objected to the policy’s assumption that religious events necessarily occur on Sunday. And these restrictions on roller-blading—what do they have to do with speech and advocacy?
       Someone called for the question. The item passed.

Scandal!

       Next, the “board from Hell” discussed item #2: “final distribution of net litigation proceeds…from [the] Orange County bankruptcy.” Essentially, the district has an opportunity to recover over $600,000 of its investment, if it files by a certain date.
       Amazingly, Mr. Frogue sought to prevent the filing, for he was “very concerned” about an apparent cover-up. He alluded to grand jury testimony regarding the bankruptcy, which, he implied, has not been made public and should be “released”—something, he seemed to think, the board was somehow in a position to cause. Thus we should “withhold judgment” until we have an opportunity to look into ways to force officials to release the testimony. This matter, he said, “goes to the very heart of government.” (Willian nodded approvingly; Wagner’s eyes widened.) Frogue declared that he would not vote for approval until he gets “some answers.”
       John “Brown Boy” Williams took the opportunity to tell one of his favorite canards: that the bankruptcy caused the district to slip onto the state chancellor’s fiscal watch list! He smiled, which, as I recall, caused his ears to become pointy and devilish. The audience recoiled. Someone whispered, “Look! He looks like Hitler!” Everyone nodded. (Maybe they were talking about Wagner; it’s hard to say.)
         Lang opposed delaying the district’s receiving these monies. We need to act promptly, he said. Milchiker agreed, saying that it would be “irresponsible” to do otherwise.
         Frogue then launched into a familiar harangue: that decision-makers need good information, but, damn it, information is withheld from them by sneaky and disloyal underlings. For instance, said he, administrators at SOCCCD failed to inform trustees that we were on the watch list until we were placed even higher (lower?) on the list! “We need information,” he added. Information, information, information! Referring to the bankruptcy, he said, dramatically, that it was a “scandal!”
       Padberg became pragmatic; she suggested that they take the money and run--while simultaneously persuing this “information” thang. Doing the former does not preclude doing the latter, she said. With that, the item passed unanimously. Whew!

IVC’s “burgeoning administrative structure”:

       Item #4 was an “academic personnel action”: “authorization to establish and announce [an] assistant dean position” for IVC. Essentially, Raghu P. Mathur wants to create another administrative position as a ploy to remove Bill H, a Mathur critic, from a quasi-administrative position and to expand his army of goose-stepping Goosters. Earlier that day, Peter Morrison presented the board a financial analysis that demonstrated that the new dean would cost the district $96,000. Ruiz had tried to blow him off. So Peter repeated his point and Armando got hissy and defensive.
Now, Mathur and Ruiz, furiously ignoring the money issue, argued that Bill’s position is essentially administrative, and thus it should be filled by an administrator, not a faculty member. Ruiz explained that he was “particularly troubled” that Bill, a member of the faculty, was evaluating other faculty. (He failed to mention that, during the days of the IVC “chair model,” faculty routinely evaluated faculty, and the sky refrained from falling.)
Mathur and Ruiz insisted that they had solicited “input” from all of the governance groups and that this input was duly “considered.”
When, at long last, trustee Lang spoke, he blew Mathur’s proposal totally out of the water. He said that, in the past, the board has recognized the folly of making ad hoc changes in the administrative structure without regard to the overall structure; it was precisely this sort of change that was being proposed in this case. Second, he said, with the addition of this administrator, IVC will have more administrators than Saddleback, despite being half Saddleback’s size! At IVC, he said, there is a “burgeoning administrative structure.” (Duh!) He also noted that the proposed position has not yet received approval from the state chancellor’s office. Finally, he explained that, in fact, the new position was “rejected by every single shared governance group” at IVC!
Whoa! Good trusteeage, Dave!
Dot opted to ignore Dave’s points. “I believe,” she said idiotically, “that a teacher’s place is in the classroom.” Her chair again groaned, and so did the audience.
Williams, in an effort to silence Lang and Milchiker, who sought to address the matter further, called for the question, but that failed. Padberg snippily ignored Milchiker and Lang and asked Wagner to speak. Wagner asked Mathur if it is true that all of the governance groups reject the proposed position. “It is not true,” said Mathur. How it was “not true” was not made clear.
Eventually, Lang was allowed to speak. If Bill is replaced, said he, the district would still have to pay his salary. Thus the new dean would mean new costs. Marcia reiterated that, since IVC has more administrators than Saddleback, it makes little sense to add more of them.
Frogue, referring to Lang, said that his “facts are wrong.” Not all governance groups opposed the position, said he. We ought to take the advice of the college president, he added.
Suddenly, Padberg remarked that the board needed to proceed to other business. Fortune called for the question, but the motion again failed. Frogue questioned Padberg’s understanding of Roberts Rules of Order. Then Wagner explained that, though he was worried about the number of administrators at IVC, this was not the time to deal with that problem. He worried that, by allowing faculty to evaluate faculty, there would be litigation.
Williams opined, nastily, that the board shouldn’t “second guess the president.” Eventually, the motion passed, 5/2.

Unauthorized plaquage:

       Item 7 had been added at the last minute. According to the agenda, someone (the chancellor?) was recommending the belated ratification of memorials “to Dr. Edward A. Hart and Sean J. Sheridan on the IVC Campus.” But wait! Those plaques were installed many years ago! What gives?
Evidently, the board was attempting to address unauthorized plaquage and namage. (Only the board is authorized to name stuff.) No doubt this action has something to do with Mathur’s plan to fire an instructor on the grounds of his alleged refusal to honor the “namage” policy in the case of the “Terry Burgess Garden.” It now appears that, in the past, college officials have often violated that policy.
Curiously, item 7 failed to mention other unauthorized plaques at IVC, including the one that graces the “Dan Larios Garden.” (Apparently, Mathur now plans to quietly remove that plaque. Payback time!)
Marcia asked why this action was being proposed now. Why, she asked, are we dealing with plaques put up 10 years ago?
According to the chancellor, the board has a “new administration in place.” As things come up, they are dealt with. This came up. We discovered the existence of these plaques, he said.
Frogue seemed lost. He thought they were discussing item 6. No, said everybody, we’re on item 7. Oh.
The discussion became raucous. Frogue became unpleasant and coughed up a hairball. Frogue and Milchiker butted heads. At one point, Marcia actually put her hands up by her head and made an infantile gesture at the Froguester. That stopped the meeting cold for about 20 seconds.
Item 7 was rammed through on a 6/1/1 vote.

Beanie Baby:

After the meeting, cat-lover Sharon Macmillan said she had something for me: a book about organic cat care or something. Someone else gave me a “Beanie Baby,” whatever the hell that is. I stuffed it in my pocket, where it could observe the proceedings. It was some kind of rodent, I think. As I shook a trustee’s hand, it seemed to glare with disapproval. The trustee stared back at the Beanie Baby and then left the building.

And that was about it.  —CW

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