Friday, March 3, 2000

The Jacobson Depo: re firing an instructor for naming a greenhouse


From the ‘Vine 19, April 3, 2000

WRITING AN “HONEST EVALUATION”: THE JACOBSON DEPO

BACKGROUND:

One might suppose that, when it comes to tenure and evaluations, faculty are protected by the contract, by various policies and procedures, and by friendly deans.
NOT!
Consider the “greenhouse” saga: At some point after Life Sciences faculty, prompted by a suggestion from Dean Ruth Jacobson (and oblivious to a board policy [BP1500] that authorizes only the board to name facilities), christened (and beplaqued) their newly-constructed greenhouse, President Raghu P. Mathur, true to totalitarian form, decided again to make an example of a Mathurian critic, and so he targeted biologist Jeff K[aufmann] for denial of tenure. Mathur’s plan involved securing a negative evaluation, and so he pressured Dean Ruth, who had just evaluated Jeff in May, to evaluate him again—and to ding him for alleged violations of “college policies and procedures”—violations that resulted in “discipline.” (Note: Mathur’s strategy—first discipline, then negative evaluation—violated the contract, which states that “No full-time faculty shall be disciplined unless the District has fulfilled its obligations to evaluate [him/her] in accordance with the procedures outlined in Article XII….”)
But what were the violations? The greenhouse naming? –But that was suggested by Jacobson herself. Was it the later garden-naming? –But garden-naming isn’t under the purview of board policy, according to VP Spencer, who handled the reprimand issue. (See Spencer depo.) What about Jeff’s failure to respond to an e-mail from the Chancellor? –But Jeff, mindful of protocol, left the response to his chair, who indeed responded on behalf of Life Sciences faculty. As you’ll see, Jacobson herself doesn’t seem to know the answer to this crucial question.
Well, in the end, despite Mathur’s recommendation and Jacobson’s curious evaluation, owing to tenacious lobbying, faculty and student demonstrations of support, and Board fears of further litigation and bad press, Jeff’s tenure transpired unopposed. But don’t kid yourself. This thing could easily have gone south. It very nearly did.
            Mathur’s plan hinged on arranging a negative instructor evaluation. Here, then, is the ridiculous saga of the origin and the evolution of that sorry document.

DEPOSED: Ruth Jacobson
Attorney for the plaintiff (Jeff Kaufmann): Sharon Robinson (accompanied by co-counsel, Carol Sobel [Roy Bauer's attorney; attorney for students in district First Amendment cases]
Attorney for the defendant (Raghu Mathur): Allan E. Wilion

Irvine, CA, March 3, 2000, 2:24 p.m.

Dean Ruth’s in charge:

SHARON ROBINSON: Did you look at any documents in preparing for this deposition today?
RUTH JACOBSON: I did…I reviewed again both faculty evaluations for Dr. Kaufmann, and I looked through portions of the Academic Employee Master Agreement. I…reviewed e-mails between Dr. Kaufmann and myself regarding setting up appointments…regarding evaluations….
…..
ROBINSON: …You mentioned “both faculty evaluations.” Are there two faculty evaluations?
JACOBSON: Yes. There’s one that was an original that was dated December 15th that included my observation of Dr. Kaufmann in the classroom and also related to information that was given to me by President Mathur. And in that particular evaluation, there was a statement…regarding the fact that I had been informed that Dr. Kaufmann did not comply with…Board Policy 1500….And then…I have a second one that the attachments go with….
…..
ROBINSON: …I’m just wondering, …is this how Jefferey Kaufmann received his evaluation, with these attachments attached?
JACOBSON: No. The first three pages was what he received from me.
…..
ROBINSON: …Does [your] contract…outline and delineate your responsibilities toward faculty members?
JACOBSON: Not real specifically, but it does…You’re in charge—as a dean, I am in charge or responsible for administering the scheduling of classes and the budget and evaluations of faculty…There is actually a list of faculty—when faculty members are due for evaluation—that comes out of the Office of Instruction. Pretty much the deans evaluate based on that list….
…..
ROBINSON: So, as a dean, would you always then consult that list prior to conducting an evaluation of a faculty member?
JACOBSON: I look at the list.
ROBINSON: …Is it a guide or is it a mandate…?….
JACOBSON: …According to the Academic Employee Master Agreement, a nontenured faculty needs to be evaluated every year, once annually for the first four years, and then at the beginning of the fifth year they become tenured….

Because she wanted it to be an “honest evaluation”…

ROBINSON: Have you ever been instructed by anyone to conduct an evaluation of a faculty member?
JACOBSON: Yes.
ROBINSON: When?
JACOBSON: This has to do with Professor Kaufmann…I was asked to do an evaluation.
…..
ROBINSON: Have you ever been instructed to evaluate anyone else?
JACOBSON: Not since I’ve been here.
ROBINSON: Who instructed you to evaluate Professor Kaufmann?
JACOBSON: President Mathur.
ROBINSON: When did he do this?
JACOBSON: Okay. This was in December, and there had been a letter of reprimand given to Professor Kaufmann back in October, which I was not a part of. President Mathur requested a meeting with me and shared that letter of reprimand because I had never seen it before….
            And then he asked if I would do an evaluation. And I did an evaluation, and I visited…Professor Kaufmann’s classroom and evaluated him in the classroom. He did an excellent job. My goal is to do always an honest evaluation and a fair one. He did an excellent job in the classroom, interacted very well with his students, and in doing the evaluation, I indicated that there were many glowing reports in that evaluation.
            I did include what I was informed [by the president]. There is a statement in that original evaluation I included…that I had been informed regarding the fact that the college president had written a letter of reprimand for Professor Kaufmann for not complying with Board Policy 1500, the naming of college facilities, because I had been informed, and I felt I had to put that in there because I wanted it to be an honest evaluation.
ROBINSON: I understand. Have you ever had meetings with the president before doing faculty evaluations of other faculty members?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: [Do] you think Professor Kaufmann is a good instructor?
JACOBSON: I do.

I have no position at this time:

ROBINSON: Do you think he deserves to be tenured?
MR. WILION: Objection. Calls for speculation. Not relevant.
MS. ROBINSON: She evaluated him.
MR. WILION: It doesn’t make any difference. It still calls for speculation. Argumentative, lack of foundation, not within the province of authority.
MS. ROBINSON: Thank you.
ROBINSON: You can answer the question [namely, do you think Jeff deserves to be tenured?].
JACOBSON: I have no position on that at this time.
ROBINSON: Had you seen the letter of reprimand before you evaluated Professor Kaufmann?
JACOBSON: Yes. That was what I just stated, that I met with…president Mathur. He requested the meeting so he could share [the reprimand] with me because I hadn’t seen it, because I wasn’t involved in that portion of that issue….
ROBINSON: You’re Professor Kaufmann’s dean?
JACOBSON: Pardon?
ROBINSON: You’re his dean?
JACOBSON: Yes.
ROBINSON: You weren’t involved in the letter of reprimand…?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Is that outside the normal procedure for discipline in [the] college?
JACOBSON: I don’t know….
ROBINSON: Did you tell Professor Kaufmann you had seen the letter of reprimand before you evaluated him?
JACOBSON: No.
…..

Special orders:

ROBINSON: Did you speak to anyone else about the letter of reprimand?
JACOBSON: No. Not the letter of reprimand.
ROBINSON: Did you speak to anyone else about the evaluation?
JACOBSON: I spoke with Vice President Pat Spencer.
…..
ROBINSON: Do you normally…bring [a faculty evaluation] to your supervisor for review?
JACOBSON: I could.
ROBINSON: Do you?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Are there any other faculty among [those] whom you serve as dean who are up for tenure this year?
JACOBSON: There are several.
JACOBSON: Have you evaluated them?
JACOBSON: I have.
ROBINSON: Were you instructed to evaluate each one of them?
JACOBSON: No. But that’s just—you do.
ROBINSON: Were you instructed to evaluate any one of them other than Professor Kaufmann?
JACOBSON: No.
…..
ROBINSON: …What other information do you rely on in making an evaluation?
JACOBSON: If faculty members have participated outside of the classroom and done something noteworthy, I generally note that…Some of them are very active on campus outside of the classroom…So I try to recognize them for their contributions.
…..
ROBINSON: So you decided…at president Mathur’s behest…to evaluate Professor Kaufmann in December of ’99?
JACOBSON: Yes.
…..

Mathur meets with Dean Ruth:

ROBINSON: So how did this meeting [with Mathur] take place?
JACOBSON: As I indicated earlier, it was because he wanted to inform me about the letter of reprimand because I had no knowledge of it.
ROBINSON: Was it in his office?
JACOBSON: I think he felt I needed to be informed, which was appropriate because I was the dean.
ROBINSON: Would it have been appropriate to include you from the beginning, back in October?
JACOBSON: Probably. However, Vice President Pat Spencer was the person he selected to deal with the letter of reprimand. She was his delegate, or at last that was the way I understood it.
ROBINSON: …How did the meeting take place? Did he call you to his office or by telephone or did you meet in the hall? How and when did the meeting with president Mathur take place?
JACOBSON: Well, he came to my office…It was the early part of December, I know…It was either the early part of December or the last of November….
ROBINSON: Was it a meeting called specifically to discuss Professor Kaufmann?
JACOBSON: Well, yes, because the main issue was the letter of reprimand….
ROBINSON: …So you discussed the letter of reprimand, and then he told you to do an evaluation of him; is that right?
JACOBSON: He did ask me to do an evaluation.
ROBINSON: Did you have the meeting with him about the letter of reprimand before he told you to evaluate Professor Kaufmann?
JACOBSON: It was at the same meeting.
…..

What did he want to see in the evaluation?

ROBINSON: So you had…until March 15 to do Professor Kaufmann’s evaluation…Why did you decide to do it in December [of ‘99]?
JACOBSON: I think specifically because president Mathur…asked me to do an evaluation. So that didn’t mean two months later. Or at least that’s what I understood….
ROBINSON: Did he tell you what he wanted to see in the evaluation?
JACOBSON: I don’t really recall at this time. The only thing I remember is that, when I think back on the whole thing, he shared it with me—my thinking on it was, because I knew of it, I had to put it into the evaluation because I was informed to have an honest evaluation.
ROBINSON: I see.
…..

The Greenhouse:

ROBINSON: Tell me a little about the building of the greenhouse. How did that come about?
JACOBSON: It was actually funded before I was the dean. It was when the last dean managed that school. There was a proposal submitted apparently by…Professor Kaufmann for block grant funding. We received funding from the state for equipment and various kinds of items. And they submitted a proposal for [a greenhouse], and they were awarded that funding.
…..

ROBINSON: How many times have you evaluated Professor Kaufmann?
JACOBSON: Two times.
ROBINSON: That was last May—May of ‘99—and December of ’99?
JACOBSON: Yes….
…..
ROBINSON: Did you tell [Jeff] you had seen the letter of reprimand before you evaluated him?
JACOBSON: No.
…..
ROBINSON: You’ve evaluated him twice. Did you find that his performance this year was consistent with his performance last year?
…..
JACOBSON: Yes.
ROBINSON: In your opinion as his dean, do you think he is an excellent instructor?
JACOBSON: I do. His performance in the classroom is excellent.
ROBINSON: Has president Mathur told you that Kathy Schmeidler is being reviewed by the president for a possible discipline regarding the greenhouse?
JACOBSON: No.
…..

Can I give ‘im a copy?

ROBINSON: Now, when in the evaluation process did you meet with Professor Kaufmann?
…..
JACOBSON: …I thought it was the 15th because I signed it on the 15th.
…..
ROBINSON: Did he ask you during that conference whether you had seen the letter of reprimand at the time you prepared the evaluation?
JACOBSON: I don’t know—I don’t recall at this time that he asked that specific question…But I did tell him I had been informed [about the reprimand].
….
ROBINSON: What did he say?
JACOBSON: Well, he said that he did not—he would—he did not want to sign the evaluation. He expressed some surprise. I don’t know how surprised he was, but he expressed some surprise…He asked me if he could have a copy of the evaluation. I wasn’t—I’ve never had that happen to me before. And because he had refused to sign it, I called Pat Spencer, because she was my immediate supervisor, and said, “What is the protocol and proper procedure? I’m not sure.”…Because…he was not signing it, I checked with Pat Spencer to say, “Can’t I go ahead and”—I had never done this before. And I wanted to make sure I was following proper procedures—[I asked,] “Is it appropriate to give him a copy?”
            [Spencer] contacted Sabrina Ruminer, the Director of Human Resources, who indicated that [giving Jeff a copy of his evaluation] was fine. So I provided him with a copy.
…..
ROBINSON: When was the next time you saw the evaluation?
…..
JACOBSON: When I received a copy back.
…..
ROBINSON: Was it before the winter break?
JACOBSON: No…[In January] or the first part…of February. Well, no. It was in January sometime. It was in January, I think.
…..

The “hearsay” issue:

ROBINSON: Now, you mentioned…two evaluations…How did the second evaluation come to be?
JACOBSON: …The January 10 e-mail…from Professor Kaufmann to myself indicates that he would like to meet with me. And it says, “I would like to meet with you as soon as possible regarding my last evaluation. Specifically, I’m requesting a modification of the document on the issue of Board Policy 1500”…I responded that same day….
…..
ROBINSON: You mentioned a few minutes ago that the first four e-mails we entered as exhibits—or the first five—dealt with one particular meeting. Can you tell me when that meeting took place?
JACOBSON: …I think that was on January 13…This meeting related to the initial e-mail from Professor Kaufmann regarding his evaluation in reference to Board Policy 1500.
…..
ROBINSON: Who was present?
JACOBSON: Professor Kaufmann, Professor Dan Rivas [Kaufmann’s Faculty Association rep], and myself…Basically, Professor Kaufmann felt that what he wanted to occur was for me to remove the statement regarding Board Policy 1500 because both he and Dan, as the Faculty Association representative, felt it was hearsay. [Article XII of the contract states that “Hearsay statements shall be excluded from written evaluations.”]
            And I listened to what they had to say. And I said I would be happy to consider it; I needed to read the contract carefully again to make sure that I wasn’t violating the contract because I did not want to violate the contract. I wanted the evaluation to be honest….
…..
ROBINSON: Did you actually reread the contract?
JACOBSON: After the meeting.
ROBINSON: What did you decide?

Sabrina Ruminer advises a revision:

JACOBSON: I decided perhaps it could be hearsay, based on [what] I had been informed. And I realized that maybe my statement wasn’t very clear.
            And so I made an appointment with Sabrina Ruminer, the Director of Human Resources, as to counsel with her. I said, “I’m concerned that, perhaps the way I have stated this, this is hearsay. I did in fact, read the document, letter of reprimand. I was informed verbally, but I also read it; and that, maybe the way I have stated this, this is hearsay and maybe I am in violation of the contract.”
            So she and I discussed it. She said, “Did you read it?” I said, “yes.” Then she said, “What you need to do is you need to revise your evaluation, and it needs to read clearly that you were informed and you reviewed the letter of reprimand to eliminate the hearsay involving that.”…She also stated that to comply with the contract, if there was something that…needed improvement, there needed to be a statement there to that effect on how to improve. So I included a statement on how to improve. That was—
ROBINSON: Did president Mathur inform you that he was recommending Jeff be denied tenure based on this evaluation?
JACOBSON: I don’t recall that at this time. I don’t recall him saying that to me at all.
ROBINSON: In the evaluation, you assessed Professor Kaufmann as needing improvement in his attitude to [the] college?
…..

Dinged for violating policies:

JACOBSON: Basically, [I assessed him regarding the heading:] follows college policies and procedures. And that has to do with the board policy that affects both institutions. Actually, the whole district, for that matter.
…..
ROBINSON: So you decided that he failed to follow college policies and procedures, and therefore gave him a “needs improvement” rating?
JACOBSON: Because of the letter of reprimand.
ROBINSON: Did you rely on anything else besides the letter of reprimand in making that decision?
JACOBSON: No. That was the main reference.
ROBINSON: Have you ever witnessed [Jeff] violating a school policy?
JACOBSON: Not that I can recall at this time.
ROBINSON: Have you ever witnessed professor Kaufmann perform any acts of insubordination during his—during the time you’ve known him here at IVC?
JACOBSON: Not that I can recall at this time.
…..
ROBINSON: Have you ever given a “needs improvement” to another instructor in this same subheading, “Follows college policies and procedures”?
JACOBSON: I have not had any occasion to do that.
ROBINSON: What is the relationship between purported violation of BP1500 and Professor Kaufmann’s attitude to [the] college? How are they related?
JACOBSON: I look at the example here, “follows college policies and procedures.” That is what I base my evaluation on. The specific text there.
ROBINSON: How long did the meeting last with you, Professor Kaufmann, and Professor Rivas?
JACOBSON: About 50 minutes…The bulk of the discussion was the reference to the Academic Employee Master Agreement and that particular statement in his evaluation that alludes to the naming of the college facilities. They were stating they felt it was hearsay.
…..
ROBINSON: Did you discuss your concern [regarding violating the contract] with president Mathur?
JACOBSON: I did. I mentioned it to him…I expressed my concern about violating the contract…And he suggested that we have a meeting with Sabrina to discuss it…. [Ultimately, Jacobson’s conference with Ruminer did not include Mathur.]
…..
ROBINSON: Did you actually change the evaluation after that meeting with Sabrina on the 20th?
JACOBSON: I did. That’s the revised version.
…..

The revised evaluation:

ROBINSON: Could you read to me what part was the new part of the evaluation that you added?
JACOBSON: “I have been informed and reviewed the letter of reprimand that the college president has given him for not complying with Board Policy 1500,” dash, ”naming of college facilities. For future improvement, I recommend that Dr. Kaufmann follow college policies and procedures.”
….
ROBINSON: Why was the revision made?…I’m unclear.
JACOBSON: Because Professor Kaufmann indicated that the original statement was hearsay and in violation of the contract. I was trying to clarify it to eliminate the hearsay and to comply with the contract.
…..
ROBINSON: So do you believe this January 20 revision [of the evaluation] is a more accurate statement?
JACOBSON: Yes. Because when I…made the original statement and said I had been informed, it was my assumption that that—I guess, in my mind, I thought that that was clear, but it wasn’t.
…..
ROBINSON: Did you notify Professor Kaufmann of the revision?
…..
JACOBSON: I explained to him that I had met with Sabrina Ruminer, that I…had counseled with her and that I was very concerned that I might be violating the contract. I wanted to correct my verbiage in his evaluation to comply with the contract, and I handed him a copy of the revision.
…..

Wilion’s “so what?”—no “nefarious plot”:

ROBINSON: There seems to be yet another evaluation of Mr. Kaufmann, another—
Mr. Wilion: I want the record to reflect that we’re not talking about different evaluations. There’s two evaluations, and there are draft copies of these documents. The notion that there are five different versions of this document includes drafts of documents. They’re not five different versions of the documents, and somehow it’s a nefarious plot here to have five different versions of this document. That’s not the case at all.
Ms. Sobel: Well, there are at a minimum three different textual elements.
Mr. Wilion: So what? I have documents that, in draft, I have 85 versions of.
Ms. Sobel: That’s before you turn it in to a court or give it to someone. These are all after they were given to Professor Kaufmann. It’s absolutely clear.
Mr. Wilion: So what?
Ms. Sobel: We don’t have to argue about “so what.” “So what” is what will happen when we go to trial or we make a summary judgment motion. We don’t have to argue about it now.
Mr. Wilion: I just want the record to reflect there are not five different versions of a document. There are the original document, which was changed at Mr. Kaufmann’s request, and there are apparently one or two versions of them, earlier versions.
Ms. Sobel: I’m going to object to this. You’re not testifying here today. And I don’t think Mr. Kaufmann would agree that the change that was made was a change that he requested be made.
Mr. Wilion: He did.
Ms. Sobel: No. He asked that he be fairly evaluated. He did not ask that somebody rewrite it in the way that they did or that the president put in the comments he did. But this is inappropriate….
Mr. Wilion: I’m not going to say anything further. I want the record to reflect [that] there are not five different versions.
Ms. Sobel: What the records reflect is we are introducing five exhibits, each of which is somewhat different, beginning with the first one provided to Professor Kaufmann on December 15 that is unsigned up to the last one in February of this year.
…..

Where’s the violation?

ROBINSON: In his comments, [Mathur] says that it’s recommended that Professor Kaufmann adhere to the board policies and administrative instructions during his employment. Did you read exhibit 17?…Do you know what he’s referring to in those comments?
JACOBSON: Well, I read the attachments. And the attachment that went with the evaluation and the letter of reprimand indicated that there was…an e-mail from Chancellor Sampson to Professor Kaufmann back in May of ’99 indicating that Professor Kaufmann needed to go through proper procedures to name the greenhouse.
ROBINSON: So those are the administrative instructions that he failed to follow?
JACOBSON: That’s my understanding. That’s part of it, I guess. [In fact, Kaufmann, mindful of protocol, gave over the task of responding to the Chancellor to his chair, Kathy Schmeidler, who did respond on behalf of Life Sciences faculty.]
ROBINSON: Is there another part of it?
JACOBSON: Somewhere—again, I don’t recall exactly where—I read an e-mail. It may have been part of the attachments—but from Professor Kaufmann to academic Chair Schmeidler indicating that she take care of it and that she indicated that she would follow the proper protocol.
ROBINSON: So how is that part of his failure to follow administrative instructions?
JACOBSON: Well, of course, this is secondhand information. But if, in fact, the greenhouse was named, he did not go through the proper procedures. [Note: As we’ll see, it was Jacobson who first suggested to the faculty that the greenhouse be named.]
ROBINSON: Did you think the procedure [in responding to the Chancellor’s e-mail] followed was proper, for him to go through—to ask Kathy Schmeidler?
JACOBSON: I probably—if he had asked my advice, which he did not, I would have suggested that he handle it himself and go ahead and follow Board Policy 1500, which indicates it does require Board approval to name a facility.
…..

Whose idea was it to name the greenhouse?

ROBINSON: Whose idea was it to name the greenhouse?
JACOBSON: I can’t answer that.
ROBINSON: Why?
JACOBSON: I do not know who came up with the name.
ROBINSON: Did you suggest a name?
JACOBSON: No. I suggested naming the greenhouse because so much effort had gone into constructing it and getting it up…[so] I said it deserves more merit than just the name “The Greenhouse,” which doesn’t have much PR polish to it. And I felt it would enhance their educational program to maybe name it “The Life Sciences and Learning Center” or “Enrichment Center.” I was thinking of something very generic.
ROBINSON: Was there a meeting prior to the dedication of the greenhouse where some of this was discussed?
JACOBSON: I have no knowledge of that.
ROBINSON: When did you suggest that it might have a name?
JACOBSON: Actually, in the hall.
ROBINSON: To whom?
JACOBSON: In the mail room.
ROBINSON: To whom?
JACOBSON: To Jeff because he had spearheaded the greenhouse…Priscilla Ross may have been standing there at the time, too, and maybe somebody from another school. It was just out in the lobby, if you will.
ROBINSON: Did you advise them of BP 1500 when you suggested that it might be named?
JACOBSON: No. I did not advise them of BP 1500 because I didn’t know, in fact, it was going to be named. I just made the suggestion, we need to name it something other than “the Greenhouse.”
ROBINSON: Did you know about BP1500?
JACOBSON: I was aware of it.
ROBINSON: What does BP1500 state?
JACOBSON: Basically, it has to do with the naming of facilities. In order to name a facility, it requires going through board approval and first going through the chancellor, as I recall.
ROBINSON: Have you ever been involved in the implementation of BP1500?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Have you ever had to report a faculty member for failing to follow BP1500?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Have you ever heard of another dean reporting a faculty member for failing to follow BP1500?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Have you ever felt compelled to give the review of “needs improvement” to any faculty member you’ve evaluated for the faculty member’s failure to follow policies and procedures?
JACOBSON: No. Only if the situation warranted it, I would.
ROBINSON: Have you ever?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: What situation would warrant a “needs improvement”?
JACOBSON: Probably any of the items that are listed here, if there appears to be some problem with it.
ROBINSON: What about the Larios Garden? Are you familiar with the Larios Garden here at the IVC campus? [The (former president Dan) Larios Garden, which until recently sported a substantial plaque, is situated between A300 and A400. The plaque was never approved by the board.]
JACOBSON: Not really. I’ve heard people talk about the Larios Garden, but I haven’t seen it.
ROBINSON: You don’t know if it has a sign or not?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Did you think it was not proper protocol for Professor Kaufmann to refer the matter to Schmeidler in response to Chancellor Sampson’s e-mail?
JACOBSON: I think he probably should have handled it himself…[i.e., he should have personally answered the Chancellor].
ROBINSON: So is this protocol written somewhere or is this just something you think is courteous?
…..
JACOBSON: I don’t think I’ve read that [protocol] anywhere.
…..

“I don’t recall”:

ROBINSON: In connection with the discipline that Professor Kaufmann would receive over—
JACOBSON: I have no knowledge of that.
JACOBSON: [Pat Spencer] never expressed any concern to you?
JACOBSON: It wasn’t discussed.
ROBINSON: Not discussed at all?
JACOBSON: I do not—I have no knowledge of any discussion. There’s a lot of this that occurred without my knowledge.
ROBINSON: Did you express any concern to her about it?
JACOBSON: Yes, I was concerned.
ROBINSON: What was the content of your concern?
JACOBSON: This had become an issue. The naming of the greenhouse had become an issue.
ROBINSON: Do you think it would have affected the environment at the college? [See the Spencer depo.]
JACOBSON: Could you please clarify that?
ROBINSON: Was there any friction or negativity…at that time in the college environment?
JACOBSON: Is there any friction? Could you restate that?
ROBINSON: Did you tell Pat Spencer that there was friction or negativity at the college?
JACOBSON: Did I tell—in what way?
ROBINSON: That the school environment—that there was a sense of negative feelings among faculty and administration. Did you tell Pat Spencer that?
JACOBSON: I don’t recall telling her that at this time. I think there’s common knowledge that there’s some friction from time to time here.
ROBINSON: Did you ever discuss that friction with her?
JACOBSON: Clarify it again.
ROBINSON: Did you ever discuss that friction with her?
JACOBSON: Probably. I’m always concerned. I like to see a positive environment in an institution of higher learning. That’s very important. That’s what we’re all here for.
JACOBSON: Did you ever express any regret to Pat Spencer?
JACOBSON: In what way?
ROBINSON: Did you ever mention to Pat Spencer that you regretted suggesting that the greenhouse ought to be named?
JACOBSON: I don’t recall that at this time.
ROBINSON: Did you tell Pat Spencer that you thought telling people to take down the greenhouse plaque would cause friction?
JACOBSON: Repeat that.
ROBINSON: Did you tell Pat Spencer that you thought telling people to take down the greenhouse plaque would cause friction?
JACOBSON: I don’t recall that at this time.
…..

The garden sign—or plaque?:

ROBINSON: Did you ever discuss the sign in the garden by the greenhouse with Pat Spencer? [After VP Spencer indicated that board policy 1500 does not prohibit the naming of gardens—see Spencer depothe Life Sciences faculty erected a sign near the greenhouse, naming the garden.]
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Did you ever discuss it with Raghu Mathur?
JACOBSON: No. I didn’t even know it was there.
ROBINSON: When did you discover it was there?
JACOBSON: Probably [when I read a story in] the local newspaper…I can’t answer that at this time.
ROBINSON: Was it the subject of the letter of reprimand?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: No?
JACOBSON: Not that I recall.
ROBINSON: So what exactly was the letter of reprimand regarding…?
JACOBSON: Wait a minute. Let me go back. Restate that again.
ROBINSON: The letter of reprimand: Did that deal only with the plaque on the greenhouse?
JACOBSON: The letter of reprimand dealt with not complying with Board policy. As I understand it, it started out with the nameplate on the greenhouse, and then apparently there was some nameplate that had been placed in the garden.

You’re not invited:

ROBINSON: When did you first learn about the letter of reprimand?
JACOBSON: When president Mathur met with me. No. I take that back. He had called me in before—[to inform me] that there was a meeting with Professor Kaufmann. And I don’t know who all was in that meeting. Vice President Spencer. And [he] informed me that there was going to be this meeting, and this [reprimand] was going to be given, but I was not invited to participate. He didn’t say that to me, but he was informing me that that was going to take place.
ROBINSON: President Mathur informed you that a meeting would take place that you wouldn’t be invited to?
JACOBSON: He didn’t say it that way. But he said there would be—he informed me that there was going to be a letter of reprimand given to Jeff Kaufmann.

What misconduct?

ROBINSON: It was your understanding that that letter of reprimand included what misconduct?…
JACOBSON: That dealt with the board policy 1500, not complying with that.
ROBINSON: Is…it your understanding that the nameplate on the greenhouse and the sign in the garden were the same sign?
JACOBSON: I have no knowledge of that.
ROBINSON: So let me get this straight. Tell me once again…When you decided that Professor Kaufmann needed improvement because of his failure to follow college policies and procedures, what exactly did you rely on to come to that conclusion?
JACOBSON: The letter of reprimand.
ROBINSON: And the letter of reprimand was based on his failure to follow board policy 1500 in placing a plaque naming the greenhouse; is that it?
JACOBSON: And the garden, I guess.
ROBINSON: And the garden?
JACOBSON: Yes.
ROBINSON: Did Professor Mathur ever discuss with you the garden sign?
JACOBSON: …Only when we met and he shared the letter of reprimand with me, provided it for me to read.
ROBINSON: Was the sign in the garden up at that time?
JACOBSON: I have no knowledge of that.

Room for improvement:

ROBINSON: Now, in this evaluation you’ve stated that he needs improvement in his following college policies and procedures. Have you given him an opportunity to improve in that area? [According to Article XII (1H) of the contract, “The academic employee’s evaluator shall take positive action to correct any cited deficiencies. Such action shall include specific written recommendations for improvement.”]
JACOBSON: Restate that.
ROBINSON: What did you do to give Professor Kaufmann an opportunity to improve in that area?
JACOBSON: I basically stated in the evaluation that he needed to follow the board policy and the procedures in the future, which in this case would have meant going through the proper channels to place a sign.
ROBINSON: Was that in your original evaluation or was it in the revised one?
JACOBSON: It was in both.
ROBINSON: In both? Is there a provision in the contract that regards an opportunity to improve?
JACOBSON: Yes. That’s why I made that statement. That was part of the revision.
ROBINSON: And what about a reevaluation? Do you want to explain that policy for us, please?
JACOBSON: Reevaluation? [According to Article XII (1G) of the contract, “Any academic employee who receives a negative evaluation shall, upon request, be entitled to a subsequent observation, conference and written evaluation.”]
ROBINSON: Is there also a provision for reevaluation?
JACOBSON: It states in the contract there can be a reevaluation.
ROBINSON: There can be or there must be?
JACOBSON: I’d have to read it…[It is handed to her. She reads it aloud.] Oh, yes.
ROBINSON: Did Professor Kaufmann request a subsequent observation, conference, or written evaluation?
JACOBSON: He has not.
ROBINSON: What opportunity would Professor Kaufmann have to improve and be reevaluated in a tenure year?
JACOBSON: I don’t know.
…..
ROBINSON: Have you taken any positive action to correct the cited deficiencies?
JACOBSON: I don’t think there’s anything that has occurred where there has been a policy or procedure involved to work with him. And I might add he has not asked for me to help him.
ROBINSON: Did you ever ask anyone in the administration how the “needs improvement” rating would affect Professor Kaufmann’s chances for tenure?
JACOBSON: Restate that. [She does.]
JACOBSON: No. Because I didn’t think there was any reason to ask that.
ROBINSON: Why?
JACOBSON: Restate that.
ROBINSON: Why?
…..
JACOBSON: I guess I can’t answer that at this point, at this time.
ROBINSON: Did you ever talk with Pat Spencer about the “needs improvement” rating?
JACOBSON: No. Not other than having her review my draft of the comments.
ROBINSON: Have you ever seen a professor denied tenure because he received a “needs improvement” in one area?
JACOBSON: No. Not in my experience.

Honest evaluations:

ROBINSON: As you sit here today, are you aware that President Mathur has recommended Professor Kaufmann not be granted tenure based on the “needs improvement” rating you gave him?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: If you had never seen the letter of reprimand, would you have given him a “needs improvement” in any area?
JACOBSON: No.
ROBINSON: Have you ever discussed with president Mathur whether or not Professor Kaufmann would get tenure…?
JACOBSON: I think there’s been some discussion, but I’ve never gotten any kind of an answer. I did share with President Mathur that I felt [Jeff] was an excellent instructor, and in terms of the classroom, he performed very well.
ROBINSON: Would you recommend him for tenure?
JACOBSON: He knew that at the outset. I explained to him that I was doing the evaluation. It would reflect what I had seen last year—it would reflect what I had seen this year. But based on last year, my experience in observing him last year and my written evaluation, he did an excellent job last year in the classroom.
ROBINSON: Did he do an excellent job this year in the classroom?
JACOBSON: His performance was excellent.
ROBINSON: What did president Mathur say when you told him that?
JACOBSON: He accepted that just fine. I said, “I have to do an honest evaluation,” and he said, “That’s what you should do.”
ROBINSON: Why was it a question that you had to do an honest evaluation? Don’t you do an honest evaluation every time?
JACOBSON: That’s part of my personal integrity.
ROBINSON: Did he ask you to do something other than an honest evaluation?
JACOBSON: No.
…..
ROBINSON: Are you concerned whether Jeff gets tenure or not?
JACOBSON: Based on his classroom performance—I would like to see him get tenure based on his classroom performance.
ROBINSON: His classroom performance alone?
JACOBSON: But the total—I guess you have to say that a faculty member’s functions are in the classroom and outside of the classroom, in that they generally—a faculty member could be involved in other extracurricular activities on campus. It’s cumulative in terms of how tenure is awarded.
…..

Balancing act:

ROBINSON: There are a number of [very positive] things you’ve recounted here in your comments in the evaluation. I’m wondering, in your view, does the alleged violation of BP1500 outweigh these other attributes that you’ve noted in the evaluation?
Mr. Wilion: are you asking for a personal opinion?
Ms. Robinson: I’m asking for her professional opinion as [Jeff’s] dean and as a member of the—
Mr. Wilion: I object on the basis it’s outside the scope of her authority. She’s not a member of the board of trustees. She’s set forth her evaluation. It sets forth an excellent evaluation. She sets forth the reasons for her evaluation, et cetera. Therefore, I would object.
Ms. Sobel: We would object [to your characterization] that it’s an excellent evaluation…in every respect. Please go on.
[Ms. Robinson repeats her question.]
Mr. Wilion: Same objection. Lack of foundation, lack of authority, calls for speculation.
ROBINSON: You can answer.
JACOBSON: I guess I don’t feel—based on what he is saying, I don’t know that I have the authority to make that statement.
ROBINSON: You do.
JACOBSON: Well, probably—considering there is one negative, I would probably say that it doesn’t weigh—I mean, it’s a very important thing because I think it’s extremely important to follow college policies and procedures. Otherwise, having read that letter of reprimand, I would never have indicated this “needs improvement” here, if it hadn’t concerned me. And I felt that I had to be honest in the evaluation.
            But the way you’ve stated it, I mean, there’s one statement as opposed to a number of others very—I think very very—positive statements, I think, in the evaluation.
ROBINSON: And you don’t know any other policy that he’s violated?
JACOBSON: I would probably say it doesn’t weigh that much compared to a lot of the positives. But I’m not the person that grants tenure.
Ms. Robinson: I think we’ve finished up here. Thank you very much, Dean Jacobson.

The Pat Spencer Depo (re attempt to fire instructor for naming a greenhouse)


From the ‘Vine 19, April 3, 2000

[I do believe that, by the time of the depo, Pat Spencer had quit her job as VPI at IVC and had found employment at Fullerton College, up the road.]

 IT’S PAT!: THE SPENCER DEPO (MARCH 3, 2000)

BACKGROUND:

            You know the story. The life sciences people struggle to put up a greenhouse and, when they do, Dean Ruth says, “Why not name it?” And so the Bio crowd, bein’ clever assholes, name it after Terry Burgess, former IVC botanist and #1 Mathurian nemesis. Raghu pops a blood vessel and the Bio crowd is ordered to take the sign down, which they do. But, just then, VP Spencer gets sly and hints: “Hey, there’s no rule against namin’ a garden!” So that’s what they do. This time, Raghu gets a brainwave: “Why not fire the untenured guy [Jeff Kaufmann] over this ‘insubordination’?—Yeah! This board’ll do just about anything I tell ‘em!”
Well, here’s former VP Spencer’s depo. Highlights: (1) Raghu focuses on Jeff for no apparent reason (except that Jeff, a Mathurian critic, is untenured and vulnerable); (2) From the start, Spencer’s clear that a garden ain’t a facility, but logic don’t count for nothin’ in Gooland; (3) there are lots of violations of BP1500, but Raghu insists that this one be pursued in isolation, despite Spencer’s concerns; (4) Spencer’s clear that the “naming” is the work of the Bio group, not Jeff in particular, but Raghu insists that “it’s Jeff”; (5) Dean Ruth expresses regret at having suggested greenhouse namage, poor dear; (6) Raghu expedites Jeff’s eval—now that he’s been “disciplined”; (7) Raghu tells Ruth to check that “needs improvement” box—and, of course, she OBEYS, sealin’ Jeff’s fate; (8) Raghu doesn’t tell Jeff when he’s the subject of a “first level” disciplinary action—oh, well.
—And so on.

FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA, FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2000 10:24 A.M.

DEPOSED: Patricia A. Spencer
ALSO PRESENT: Raghu Mathur

ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF (JEFF K) (asking the questions): Carol Sobel [attorney for Roy Bauer; attorney for students in district First Amendment lawsuits]
ATTORNEY FOR THE DEFENDANT (RAGHU MATHUR): Allan “Clueless” Wilion

PRELIMINARIES:

SOBEL: I’M NOTING FOR THE RECORD THAT YOU ARE A THIRD PARTY WITNESS IN THIS CASE. YOU’RE PRESENT HERE TODAY PURSUANT TO SUBPOENA, AND YOU ARE NOT A PARTY TO THIS CASE….COULD YOU STATE YOUR FULL NAME FOR THE RECORD.

SPENCER: PATRICIA A. SPENCER.

SOBEL: AND ARE YOU CURRENTLY EMPLOYED?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT?

SPENCER: I’M EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, FULLERTON COLLEGE.

SOBEL: AND PRIOR TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH FULLERTON COLLEGE, WHERE WERE YOU EMPLOYED?

SPENCER: IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE.
…..
SOBEL: AND AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE YOU WERE THE VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTRUCTION?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: HOW LONG WERE YOU EMPLOYED THERE?

SPENCER: NINE AND A HALF MONTHS.

SOBEL: IN YOUR POSITION AS VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTRUCTION AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE, DID YOU HAVE CONTACT WITH [LIFE SCIENCES INSTRUCTOR] JEFFEREY KAUFMANN?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU’RE HERE TODAY PURSUANT TO SUBPOENA IN A CASE ENTITLED KAUFMANN VERSUS MATHUR—THAT PROFESSOR KAUFMANN HAS SUED PRESIDENT MATHUR, CORRECT?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: YOU KNOW BOTH OF THOSE PARTIES, CORRECT?

SPENCER: YES….
…..

WHY ONLY JEFF? 

SOBEL: I THINK I’D LIKE TO MOVE TO [YOUR]…MEMO [CONCERNING THE “TERRY BURGESS” GREENHOUSE THAT] YOU JUST DISCUSSED. I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU A DOCUMENT, AND I’M GOING TO MARK THE DOCUMENT AS EXHIBIT 1…THE DOCUMENT I’M SHOWING YOU WAS PREVIOUSLY MARKED AS EXHIBIT 2 AT THE DEPOSITION OF RAGHU MATHUR. TAKE A MOMENT TO LOOK AT THAT…HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THIS DOCUMENT?

SPENCER: THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I’VE EVER SEEN IT. IT’S TWO PAGES, SINGLE-SPACED, SO IT WOULD TAKE ME SOME TIME TO READ IT.

SOBEL: IF YOU FLIP THROUGH EXHIBIT 2: ATTACHED AT THE LAST PAGE AND MARKED AS ATTACHMENT “E” TO EXHIBIT 2 IS A ONE-PAGE MEMO ON IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE LETTERHEAD. COULD YOU LOOK AT THAT [MEMO] A MOMENT?…AND DO YOU RECOGNIZE THAT DOCUMENT?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: AND THAT IS A MEMO TO “JEFFREY KAUFMANN” FROM PAT SPENCER, WITH COPIES TO RAGHU MATHUR AND RUTH JACOBSON, DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1999. IT SAYS, “RE: NAMING OF GREENHOUSE.” DID YOU PREPARE THIS DOCUMENT?

SPENCER: YES, I DID, IN CONSULTATION WITH RAGHU MATHUR.

SOBEL: WHEN IS THE FIRST TIME THAT ANYONE AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE TALKED TO YOU ABOUT THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: I COULDN’T…GIVE YOU AN EXACT DATE. IT [WAS PRIOR] TO THIS MEMO….

SOBEL: DO YOU RECALL WHO IT WAS WHO FIRST SPOKE TO YOU ABOUT THE GREENHOUSE, THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE IN PARTICULAR?

SPENCER: RAGHU MATHUR.

SOBEL: WHEN THAT DISCUSSION WITH RAGHU MATHUR TOOK PLACE, WAS ANYONE ELSE PRESENT?

SPENCER: NO.

SOBEL: DO YOU RECALL WHERE IT TOOK PLACE?

SPENCER: IN HIS OFFICE.

SOBEL: DO YOU RECALL IF IT WAS THE ONLY SUBJECT DISCUSSED IN YOUR MEETING WITH HIM IN HIS OFFICE ON THAT OCCASION?

SPENCER: I MET WITH RAGHU TWICE A WEEK ON A REGULAR BASIS AS WELL AS INTERMITENT MEETINGS AS THINGS WOULD OCCUR. I HONESTLY CAN’T REMEMBER IF THIS WAS FIRST RAISED AT ONE OF THOSE MEETINGS OR IF IT WAS A SEPARATE MEETING….

SOBEL: DO YOU RECALL WHAT WAS SAID IN THAT MEETING REGARDING THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: REGARDING THE GREENHOUSE—I DO REMEMBER THAT RAGHU SAID THAT THE GREENHOUSE HAD BEEN NAMED, THAT THERE WAS A SIGN OUT THERE ON THE GREENHOUSE, AND I HAD NOT SEEN THE SIGN AT THE TIME. WHEN I’D BEEN OUT TO THE GREENHOUSE FOR THEIR OPENING THERE WAS NO SIGN AND I HAD NOT BEEN BACK OUT IN THAT AREA SINCE. RAGHU SAID THERE WAS A SIGN AND THAT IT DID NOT COMPLY WITH BOARD POLICY 1500. AND I WAS NOT PARTICULARLY FAMILIAR WITH 1500, ALTHOUGH RAGHU WAS. AND WE DISCUSSED THE POLICY. AND HE ASKED ME TO PREPARE A MEMO TO ASK—I BELIEVE IN THE BEGINNING HE SAID TO ASK JEFFEREY KAUFMANN AND [LIFE SCIENCES CHAIR] KATHY SCHMEIDLER TO REMOVE THE SIGN. THIS MEMO WENT THROUGH AT LEAST THREE RENDITIONS, AS I WROTE ONE AND THEN TOOK IT TO RAGHU AND HE MADE SOME [SUGGESTIONS] AND I REWROTE IT…IN ONE OF THOSE HE SAID HE WANTED TO GO—JUST GO TO JEFFEREY KAUFMANN DURING—AFTER THE CONVERSATION I DON’T REMEMBER IF RAGHU GAVE ME THE BOARD POLICY OR I GOT IT FROM MY OFFICE.
WE HAVE THE BOOKS IN THE OFFICE. AND I READ IT, LOOKED UP THE TERMINOLOGY IN THE DICTIONARY, AND STUDIED IT SO I FELT I WAS ABLE TO WRITE A MEMO THAT DID INDEED ADDRESS BOARD POLICY 1500 AND THE CONCERN OF THE GREENHOUSE BEING NAMED.

SOBEL: YOU SAID THIS WENT THROUGH THREE REVISIONS OR VERSIONS…DO YOU RECALL HOW THE EARLIER TWO VERSIONS DIFFER FROM THE FINAL VERSION, OTHER THAN REMOVING KATHY SCHMEIDLER’S NAME FROM THE RECIPIENT LIST?

SPENCER: LET ME THINK. I CANNOT [REMEMBER] ANY SPECIFICS….

SOBEL: WHEN YOU WENT THROUGH THESE VARIOUS VERSIONS, DID YOU DISCUSS EACH VERSION WITH RAGHU MATHUR AS YOU PREPARED IT?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: AND WHEN RAGHU MATHUR TOLD YOU TO HAVE THE MEMO JUST GO TO JEFFEREY KAUFMANN, DID HE GIVE YOU A REASON WHY?

SPENCER: ONLY IN SOMETHING GENERAL, IN THAT HE FELT THAT IT WAS MORE APPROPRIATE TO JUST GO TO JEFFEREY, AND I DON’T REMEMBER THE SPECIFICS.

SOBEL: DO YOU REMEMBER ANY OF THE GENERALITIES ABOUT WHY HE THOUGHT IT WAS MORE APPROPRIATE TO GO TO JEFF KAUFMANN THAN TO BOTH KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND JEFF KAUFMANN?

SPENCER: GENERALLY, MY PERCEPTION OF WHAT HE SAID WAS THAT HE FELT THAT JEFFEREY WAS REALLY THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE.

SOBEL: DID HE TELL YOU WHY HE THOUGHT THAT JEFFEREY WAS THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: I DON’T BELIEVE SO.

SOBEL: DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCUSSIONS WITH HIM ABOUT WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT IN THE BEGINNING I WROTE THE MEMO TO JEFFEREY KAUFMANN AND KATHY SCHMEIDLER AS CHAIR OF THE AREA. AND I DID THAT IN MY FIRST DRAFT BECAUSE I HAD—RAGHU HAD SHOWN ME I THINK IT WAS TWO E-MAILS, AND ONE OF THEM WAS AN E-MAIL BETWEEN KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND CHANCELLOR SAMPSON ON THE GREENHOUSE NAMING. SO FROM THAT E-MAIL COMMUNICATION, I FIRST WROTE THE MEMO TO THE BOTH OF THEM, KATHY AS CHAIR AND JEFFEREY—IF I’M REMEMBERING CORRECTLY.

SOBEL: PRIOR TO THE TIME THAT YOU WROTE THE MEMO, HAD YOU HAD ANY DISCUSSIONS WITH ANYONE IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SCHOOL ABOUT THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: YES. WHEN I TRIED TO—IT’S MY STYLE—WHEN I WRITE A MEMO, WHEN I HAVE A REQUEST, IT IS MY STYLE TO MAKE THAT REQUEST ORALLY FIRST TO SEE IF IT CAN’T BE TAKEN CARE OF, AND I DID SPEAK TO BOTH JEFFEREY AND KATHY AND TELL THEM THAT THE NAMING WAS AN ISSUE, THAT IT WAS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH BOARD POLICY 1500, THAT I HAD LOOKED AT THE BOARD POLICY, AND I DID FEEL THAT THE GREENHOUSE ITSELF COULD BE CLASSIFIED AS EITHER A BUILDING OR A FACILITY. THEY DID NOT THINK IT WAS [A DISTRICT BUILDING] BECAUSE OF THE PARTICULAR FUND THAT…IT HAD BEEN PURCHASED OUT OF. SO THEY DID NOT THINK THAT IT WAS A BUILDING OR FACILITY.
            I SAID I WAS CONFIDENT IN THAT IT WAS—IT DID COMPLY WITH THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF A BUILDING AND FACILITY AND THAT I WOULD BE SENDING THEM A MEMO TO ASK THEM TO REMOVE THE SIGN.

IS IT A BUILDING OR A FACILITY?

SOBEL: AT THE TIME YOU HAD THE DISCUSSIONS WITH THEM, HAD YOU LOOKED AT THE CALIFORNIA EDUCATION CODE TO SEE WHETHER IT DEFINED “BUILDING” OR “FACILITY”?

SPENCER: I WENT THROUGH TITLE 5. I CAN’T REMEMBER. I WENT—I THINK I WENT THROUGH TITLE 5 AND THE EDUCATION CODE TO TRY TO FIND SOMETHING. I DIDN’T LOCATE ANYTHING. THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT ISN’T THERE. THEY’RE BOTH HUGE DOCUMENTS.
            …WE HAVE A DICTIONARY IN MY OFFICE, AND I LOOKED UP [THE WORD] “FACILITY.” I THOUGHT “FACILITY” CAN [BE] MORE OF A NEBULOUS SORT OF DEFINITION. AND THE DEFINITION, AS I REMEMBER IT, WAS SOMETHING CONSTRUCTED FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE, LIKE A HOSPITAL.
            AND FOR ME IT WAS REASONABLE TO THINK A GREENHOUSE IS A SPECIFIC BUILDING BUILT FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE—FOR GROWING PLANTS. AND SO THAT WAS REALLY THE FINAL THING THAT CONVINCED ME THAT THE GREENHOUSE COULD COME UNDER THE CATEGORY OF FACILITY [AND THUS CAME UNDER BP1500].

SOBEL: WHEN YOU HAD THIS…DISCUSSION, DID YOU HAVE IT WITH DR. KAUFMANN AND DR. SCHMEIDLER TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME?

SPENCER: MY MEMORY IS THAT…IT WAS IN THEIR OFFICE.

SOBEL: AND DO YOU RECALL IF ANYONE ELSE WAS PRESENT WHEN YOU SPOKE TO KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND JEFF KAUFMANN ON THAT OCCASION?

SPENCER: I DONT REMEMBER ANYONE ELSE BEING THERE.

THEY TOOK THE SIGN DOWN: 

SOBEL: WHEN YOU SPOKE TO THEM, WHAT DID THEY SAY?

SPENCER: [WE HAD] THE DISCUSSION THAT I WAS SHARING WITH YOU…THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE GREENHOUSE WAS A BUILDING OR A FACILITY, IN PARTICULAR BECAUSE OF THE FUNDS THAT IT WAS PURCHASED FROM.
            …I WAS FAIRLY NEW AT THE COLLEGE, AND I THINK THEY WERE ALSO TRYING TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF ME IN [MY] MAKING THIS REQUEST AND [THEIR] COMPLYING IN THIS REQUEST. THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULD TAKE THE SIGN DOWN, WHICH THEY DID…WITHIN THE TIME FRAME, AND THEY ALSO SAID SOMETHING LIKE, “WE UNDERSTAND WHERE THIS IS COMING FROM.”
…..
SOBEL: NOW, YOU STATED JUST A MOMENT AGO THAT THEY TOOK DOWN THE SIGN IN THE TIME FRAME YOU HAD SET; IS THAT CORRECT?

SPENCER: CORRECT.

SOBEL: HOW DID YOU KNOW THEY HAD TAKEN DOWN THE SIGN?

SPENCER: I WALKED OUT AND LOOKED.
…..
SOBEL: NOW, YOU TESTIFIED EARLIER THAT THIS WAS THE THIRD VERSION OF THE MEMO THAT YOU PREPARED…DO YOU HAVE ANY RECOLLECTION OF OVER WHAT TIME SPAN THE THREE DRAFTS WERE PREPARED?

SPENCER: …JUST ONE DAY AFTER THE OTHER. I DRAFTED [A VERSION]…, AND THEN I THINK—I DON’T REMEMBER IF LATER IN THE DAY OR THE NEXT AFTERNOON I TOOK IT IN, AND RAGHU MADE SOME SUGGESTIONS, AND I WORKED ON IT AGAIN AND BROUGHT IT BACK THE NEXT DAY. MY MEMORY IS THAT [THE THREE DRAFTS WERE WRITTEN]…IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

SOBEL: WOULD IT BE FAIR TO SAY, THEN, THAT IF THIS MEMO WAS PREPARED ON SEPTEMBER 3RD, 1999, THAT YOUR MEETING WITH RAGHU MATHUR IN WHICH HE ASKED YOU TO PREPARE THIS MEMO WAS THE VERY END OF AUGUST, BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER?

SPENCER: YES.

FROM GREENHOUSE TO GARDEN: 

SOBEL: …PRIOR TO THE TIME THAT YOU PREPARED THE SEPTEMBER 3RD, 1999, MEMO, DID YOU HAVE ANY DISCUSSION WITH RAGHU MATHUR ABOUT WHETHER THE GARDENS OUTSIDE THE GREENHOUSE COULD BE NAMED?

SPENCER: …OTHER THAN THE GREENHOUSE COULD BE NAMED?

SOBEL: YES.

SPENCER: BEFORE THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE MEMO WAS SENT OUT, YES AS I STARTED—WHEN RAGHU BROUGHT THE ISSUE TO ME OF THE GREENHOUSE…AND IT’S [NAMING WAS] NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH BOARD POLICY 1500, AS I STARTED RESEARCHING THE BOARD POLICY AND TRYING TO COME TO THE DETERMINATION OF HOW TO DO THIS, I DID FIND THAT THERE ARE—THERE WERE AT THE TIME TWO TREES ON THE CAMPUS THAT HAD NAMEPLATES ON THEM, AND THERE WAS ANOTHER GARDEN [THE DAN LARIOS GARDEN, NAMED AFTER MATHUR’S PREDECESSOR] THAT HAD A NAMEPLATE ON IT.
            SO I WANTED TO KNOW IF INDEED THOSE HAD BEEN BOARD APPROVED, AND SO I ASKED SOME ADMINISTRATORS WHO HAD BEEN THERE A LONG TIME, WHO HAD HISTORY—I WANTED TO KNOW OF [THOSE NAMEPLATES’] BOARD APPROVAL. I CALLED THE BOARD SECRETARY…TO ASK HER TO LOOK IN THE BOARD POLICY—OR DID SHE HAVE MEMORY OF ANY OF THESE BEING APPROVED? SHE LOOKED THROUGH SOME RECORDS. I DON’T KNOW HOW EXTENSIVE[LY], BUT SHE SAID SHE HAD NO MEMORY. SHE DIDNT FIND ANY [RECORDS].
            SO I WENT TO RAGHU AND SAID THAT WE HAVE SOME OTHER TREES, BUSHES, SORT OF GROWING, THINGS THAT HAD NOT BEEN NAMED [BY THE BOARD, CONTRARY TO 1500?], AND SO IT SEEMED TO ME WE HAD A COMMONALITY THERE.
            NOW, LET ME JUST SAY HERE—I’M TRYING TO THINK IF I’M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF IN THAT YOU’RE ASKING ABOUT THE CONVERSATION BEFORE THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE, AND I AM TRYING TO PINPOINT THIS CONVERSATION, IF IT WAS ACTUALLY BEFORE THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE ITSELF OR IT WAS AFTER RAGHU TOLD ME THAT THEY TOOK THE GREENHOUSE SIGN AND PUT IT IN THE DIRT AND CALLED IT THE GREENHOUSE, PUT IT IN THE GARDEN INSTEAD OF ON THE BUILDING OF THE GREENHOUSE ITSELF.

SOBEL: DID YOU EVER SEE THE SIGN OUTSIDE THE GREENHOUSE IN THE DIRT?

SPENCER: NO, I DIDNT.

SOBEL: IF YOU LOOK AT THE EXHIBIT THAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU AND LOOK AT ATTACHMENT “A”—IS THAT THE SIGN THAT WAS ACTUALLY ON THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: I COULDNT SAY. WHAT I REMEMBER OF THE SIGN IS THAT IT WAS—I DO REMEMBER THE NAME “TERRY BURGESS” [IVC’S FIRST BOTANIST]. AND I REMEMBER THAT THE SIGN WAS GREEN, AND IT WAS SORT OF A PLASTIC MELAMINE SORT OF MATERIAL.

SOBEL: AND I BELIEVE YOU SAID YOU’VE NEVER SEEN THE FIRST TWO PAGES OF THIS [DISCIPLINARY?] DOCUMENT BEFORE. IS THAT CORRECT?

SPENCER: RIGHT. I DID NOT RECEIVE A COPY OF THE LETTER.

SOBEL: IS IT CORRECT THAT YOU WERE PRESENT ON OCTOBER 28,1999, AT…WHAT’S DESCRIBED IN HERE AS A SECOND LEVEL…DISCIPLINARY ACTION INVOLVING JEFFEREY KAUFMANN AND RAGHU MATHUR?

SPENCER: [WITH]…ARMANDO RUIZ?…YES.

SOBEL: DID YOU SEE THIS DOCUMENT AT THAT TIME?

SPENCER: NO. IT WAS READ TO JEFFEREY, BUT I WAS NOT GIVEN A COPY OF IT.
…..
SOBEL: AND AS IT WAS READ—I’M GOING TO REPRESENT FOR THE RECORD THAT THE DOCUMENT DESCRIBES SEVERAL PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ARE ATTACHED AS EXHIBITS.
            YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO COMPARE THESE DOCUMENTS AND SEE THAT B1 AND B2 ARE NOT THE SAME SIGN AS “A”?

SPENCER: NO.

A GARDEN IS NOT A BUILDING: 

SOBEL: OKAY. THANK YOU.
…AT SOME POINT AFTER YOU SPOKE WITH KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND JEFF KAUFMANN AND TOLD THEM THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO TAKE DOWN THE SIGN FROM THE GREENHOUSE, DID YOU HAVE A DISCUSSION WITH ANY MEMBER OF THE LIFE SCIENCES SCHOOL CONCERNING WHETHER THE PLACEMENT OF THE SIGN IN THE GARDEN AREA CAME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF BOARD POLICY 1500?

SPENCER: AT ONE POINT JEFF KAUFMANN SAID TO ME...EITHER THAT THEY WERE GOING TO PUT THE SIGN IN THE GARDEN OR THEY HAD PUT THE SIGN IN THE GARDEN, LIKE THE DAN LARIOS GARDEN, IN THE NAMING OF THE DAN LARIOS GARDEN. I SAID, “I AM IMPLEMENTING BOARD POLICY 1500, WHICH HAS TO DO WITH BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES.”

SOBEL: DID YOU TELL THEM THEY COULD NOT PUT THE SIGN IN THE GARDEN CONSISTENT WITH BOARD POLICY 1500?

SPENCER: NO. BECAUSE I DIDNT SEE THE GARDEN…[AS UNDER THE SCOPE OF] BOARD POLICY 1500 [AND ITS PROHIBITIONS].

ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS? 

SOBEL: NOW, I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE MEETING WITH RAGHU MATHUR, THE DISCUSSION YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT BEFORE, IN WHICH YOU RAISED THE ISSUE OF THE TREES WITH THE NAMEPLATES AND THE OTHER GARDEN PLAQUE. WHEN YOU RAISED THOSE MATTERS TO RAGHU MATHUR, DID HE RESPOND?

SPENCER: YES, HE SAID THAT HE WANTED TO GO AFTER THIS NAMING FIRST AND THAT HE WANTED ME TO GO AFTER THE OTHERS ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. I EXPRESSED CONCERN WITH THAT, [FIRST] BECAUSE MY INTERPRETATION—I DID NOT THINK THAT TREES AND GARDENS FIT UNDER BOARD POLICY 1500, BUT [SECOND]…WITH THE IDEA OF GOING AFTER ONE OR ANOTHER. MY PREFERENCE IS EITHER GO AFTER ALL THE TREES, BUSHES, AND GARDENS OR NONE OF THE TREES, BUSHES, AND GARDENS.
            AND I TOLD HIM THAT…I WOULD NOT GO AFTER ONE GARDEN…I WAS STICKING WITH THE INTERPRETATION OF BOARD POLICY AS [APPLYING ONLY TO] A BUILDING AND FACILITY.

SOBEL: NOW, WHEN YOU PREPARED THE MEMO ON SEPTEMBER 3RD, 1999, DID YOU PROVIDE IT TO PROFESSOR KAUFMANN ON THE SAME DAY THAT YOU PREPARED THE FINAL DRAFT?

SPENCER: DID I ACTUALLY DELIVER IT TO HIM ON THE SAME DAY OF THE FINAL DRAFT? I BELIEVE SO…I KNOW THE TIME LINE WAS SHORT. IT WAS A PRETTY CONCISE TIME LINE ON ASKING THEM TO REMOVE THE SIGN. AND I MADE EVERY EFFORT TO GET IT TO THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

GROUP ACTION: THIS WASN’T DONE “IN THE DARK”

SOBEL: WHEN YOU SAID, “GET IT TO THEM,” WHO DID YOU GIVE IT TO?

SPENCER: I’M SAYING “THEM” BECAUSE I WAS THINKING OF KATHY SCHMEIDLER AGAIN [AND] TO JEFF, KNOWING THAT IT’S GOING TO THE GROUP.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU SPOKE TO THEM PREVIOUSLY—”THEM” BEING JEFF AND KATHY SCHMEIDLER—DID YOU INQUIRE AS TO WHO HAD MADE THE DECISION TO NAME THE GREENHOUSE AFTER TERRY BURGESS?

SPENCER: NO, IT SEEMED TO ME TO BE A GROUP INITIATIVE. I DIDNT ASK FOR NAMES.

SOBEL: WHY DID IT SEEM TO YOU TO BE A GROUP INITIATIVE?

SPENCER: JUST BECAUSE I HAD—THEY WERE ALL INVOLVED IN THE BUILDING OF THE GREENHOUSE. THEY WERE INVOLVED IN THE DEDICATION OF THE GREENHOUSE. THE E-MAILS THAT I’D BEEN SHOWN, THERE WAS ONE FROM JEFF, THERE WAS ONE FROM KATHY.
            THIS WAS NOT—IT DIDN’T APPEAR TO ME [THAT] THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS DONE IN THE DARK. IT SEEMED TO ME [THAT] THE NAMING OF [THE GREENHOUSE]…WAS AN OPEN THING THAT THEY WERE DOING AS PART OF THE GREENHOUSE. IT WASN’T ANYTHING THAT WAS SORT OF DARK AND HIDDEN AND THEY WERE TRYING TO HIDE. SO IT SEEMED TO ME IT WAS A DEPARTMENT INITIATIVE.

MR. WILION: FOR THE RECORD, I WANT TO MOVE TO STIKE HER TESTIMONY AS TO THE WORD “SEEM” ON THE BASIS IT CALLS FOR SPECULATION, LACK OF FOUNDATION.

MS. SOBEL: YOUR OBJECTION IS NOTED.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU SAY THAT IT “SEEMED TO YOU,” ON WHAT DO YOU BASE THAT STATEMENT?

SPENCER: THE FACT THAT KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND JEFF KAUFMANN HAD COMMUNICATED TO ME ON THE SUBJECT, ON THE FACT THAT THIS WAS THE E-MAIL FROM KATHY SCHMEIDLER, THE E-MAIL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND THE CHANCELLOR ON THE ISSUE. SO THOSE ITEMS ARE WHAT MADE ME HAVE THAT SENSE.

SOBEL: OTHER THAN KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND JEFF KAUFMANN, DID YOU TALK TO ANY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE LIFE SCENCES SCHOOL ABOUT THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: I DONT REMEMBER ANY DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH ANY MEMBER OF THE LIFE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT ON THAT.

ENTER DEAN RUTH JACOBSON: 

SOBEL: DID YOU EVER TALK TO [LIFE SCIENCES] DEAN [RUTH] JACOBSON ABOUT THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: WHEN DID YOU FIRST TALK TO DEAN JACOBSON ABOUT THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: I BELIEVE MY FIRST MEMORY OF TALKING TO DEAN JACOBSON ABOUT THE GREENHOUSE WAS WHEN I WAS PREPARING THE MEMO. JEFF KAUFMANN AND KATHY SCHMEIDLER REPORT TO DEAN JACOBSON [IN THE COLLEGE HIERARCHY]…I FELT SHE SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE COMMUNICATION THAT I WAS PLANNING TO HAVE.
THAT IS MY PRACTICE. IF I WOULD CALL ANY FACULTY MEMBER, EVEN TO ASK THEM TO GO OUT TO LUNCH FOR THE FUN OF IT, I WOULD LET THE DEAN KNOW FIRST THAT I WAS CALLING THEM ABOUT AN ISSUE SO THAT THERE WAS NEVER THIS FEELING THAT I WAS GOING AROUND BEHIND A DEAN’S BACK.
…..
SOBEL: CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THE FIRST CONVERSATION WAS YOU HAD WITH DEAN JACOBSON THAT YOU RECALL ABOUT THE MEMO?….

SPENCER: THE MEMORY THAT I HAVE OF IT IS WHEN I HAD THE MEMO WRITTEN, I CALLED HER AND TOLD HER THAT I EITHER HAD WRITTEN IT OR I WAS FINALIZING THE MEMO AND WHAT THE CONTENT OF THE MEMO WAS AND THAT SHE WOULD BE GETTING A COPY OF IT [THROUGH] INTERCAMPUS MAIL, AND A COPY WOULD BE GOING TO THE FACULTY AT THE SAME TIME.
            …INTERCAMPUS [MAIL IS]…SOMETIMES QUICK; SOMETIMES IT TAKES THREE DAYS. I DID NOT WANT JEFF TO GET HIS MEMO AND RUTH NOT TO HAVE HAD HERS AND NOT HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT WAS GOING ON. I DIDN’T WANT [THE MEMO] TO COME AS A SURPRISE TO HER.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU CONTACTED RUTH JACOBSON TO TELL HER THAT YOU WERE PREPARING THIS MEMO, DID SHE RESPOND TO YOU?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: WHAT DID SHE SAY?

DEAN RUTH IS CONCERNED: 

SPENCER: SHE WAS CONCERNED FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. SHE [HAD] SOME OF THE SAME CONCERNS THAT I HAD EXPRESSED TO RAGHU: THAT I REALLY FELT THAT GIVEN THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE COLLEGE AND THE FRICTION IN THE COLLEGE, THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT WORTH GOING AFTER; THAT THE HARD FEELINGS [AND] NEGATIVE IMPACT THAT THIS WOULD HAVE ON WORKING RELATIONSHIPS AND THE WORK—[THE] NEGATIVE IMPACT THIS WOULD HAVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT—IT WAS REALLY NOT, FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE, A THING THAT WE SHOULD DO. IT REALLY WASN’T WORTH THE NEGATIVE IMPACT.

DEAN RUTH EXPRESSES “REGRET”:

            SHE ALSO—AND I DON’T REMEMBER IF IT WAS IN THE FIRST CONVERSATION, SECOND, OR THIRD—WE HAD NUMEROUS CONVERSATIONS. SHE ALSO EXPRESSED SOME—I DON’T KNOW WHAT EXACTLY IS THE RIGHT WORD—SOME REGRET BECAUSE SHE TOLD ME THAT AT THE DEDICATION OF THE GREENHOUSE—AND THE GREENHOUSE WAS NOT NAMED; THERE WAS NO PLAQUE AT THE DEDICATION—...SHE HAD SAID TO ONE OF THE FACULTY MEMBERS…IN AN OFFHAND WAY…: “GOSH, WE OUGHT TO NAME THIS BUILDING, NAME THE GREENHOUSE”… SO SHE EXPRESSED SOME REGRET AT HAVING SAID THAT.

SOBEL: DID SHE TELL YOU THAT SHE HAD ADVISED THE FACULTY MEMBERS SHE WAS SPEAKING TO [THAT], IF THEY WANTED TO NAME IT, THEY WOULD HAVE TO COMPLY WITH BOARD POLICY 1500?

SPENCER: NO.

SOBEL: DID SHE SEEM FAMILIAR WITH BOARD POLICY 1500 WHEN YOU INFORMED HER YOU WERE WRITING THIS MEMO ABOUT A VIOLATION OF IT?

SPENCER: NO.

CONSIDERING “INPUT,” MATHUR STYLE: 

SOBEL: YOU INDICATED IN DESCRIBING YOUR CONVERSATION WITH RUTH JACOBSON THAT SHE EXPRESSED TO YOU THE SAME SENTIMENT THAT YOU HAD EXPRESSED TO RAGHU MATHUR—ABOUT IT NOT BEING WORTH GOING AFTER. WHEN WAS IT THAT YOU EXPRESSED THAT SENTIMENT TO RAGHU MATHUR?

SPENCER: THAT WAS IN PART OF OUR FIRST DISCUSSIONS WHEN HE INFORMED ME THAT THERE WAS A NAMEPLATE UP ON THE GREENHOUSE AND THAT HE WAS REQUESTING THAT I TAKE STEPS TO HAVE IT REMOVED.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU EXPRESSED THAT SENTIMENT TO RAGHU MATHUR IN THAT FIRST MEETING, DID HE RESPOND TO YOU ON THAT ISSUE?

SPENCER: YES. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, HE ASKED ME SOME MORE QUESTIONS AND JUST ABOUT MY FEELNGS AND SAID THAT HE WOULD CONSIDER THEM, BUT THEN, IN THE END, IT WAS HIS DIRECTION TO GO FORWARD.

SPENCER PLEADS FOR CONSISTENCY, REASON—TO NO AVAIL: 

SOBEL: NOW, AFTER PREPARING THE SEPTEMBER 3RD MEMO, DID YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER DISCUSSIONS WITH RAGHU MATHUR ABOUT REMOVING THE OTHER PLAQUES ON TREES AND THE ROCK THAT YOU HAD IDENTIFIED…?

SPENCER: AT THE…POINT WHERE I WAS TOLD THAT THE SIGN…HAD BEEN PUT IN THE GARDEN, RAGHU REQUESTED THAT I TAKE STEPS TO HAVE THAT SIGN REMOVED. I ARGUED THAT I DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE POLICY COVERED SIGNING GARDENS IN TREES AND BUSHES THAT WE HAD; THAT I KNOW OF THREE OTHER INSTANCES THAT WERE NOT BOARD APPROVED AND THAT TO GO AFTER ONE OF THOSE WAS NOT THE APPROPRIATE WAY TO HANDLE THAT.
            I TOLD HIM THAT I DID NOT BELIEVE THAT WE WOULD HAVE DISTRICT SUPPORT ON DOING THEM ONE AT A TIME. I TOLD HIM AGAIN [ABOUT] MY PERCEPTION THAT THE NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENT ON THE CAMPUS WOULD ONLY BE INCREASED BY SUCH AN ACTION AND THAT THE COST TO WORKING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PACULTY AND ADMINISTATION WAS REALLY NOT WORTH DOING THIS.
            AND I CONTINUED TO EXPRESS THAT I FELT WE EITHER NEEDED TO DO ONE TREE OR BUSH OR NO TREES AND BUSHES, AND I EXPRESSED TO HIM, “I CERTAINLY DON’T THINK…WE SHOULD HAVE EVERY TREE, BUSH, OR PIECE OF CONCRETE NAMED, BUT WE NEED A BOARD POLICY THAT SAYS SOMETHING LIKE, ‘ANY DISTRICT PROPERTY TO BE NAMED MUST BE BOARD APPROVED.’”
            AND I ALSO EXPRESSED THAT CONCERN TO [TRUSTEE] NANCY PADBERG IN A LUNCH MEETING. I TOLD HER, “I CERTAINLY DON’T WANT TO SEE EVERY BLADE OP GRASS ON THIS CAMPUS WITH A NAME PLAQUE ON IT, BUT I NEED A BOARD POLICY THAT IS MORE SPECIFIC, THAT JUST SAYS,’COLLEGE PROPERTY TO BE NAMED MUST BE APPROVED BY THE BOARD.’”
…..
SOBEL: …WHEN DID YOU LEAVE IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE EMPLOYMENT?

SPENCER: I BELIEVE THE LAST DATE WAS [JANUARY] 17TH [2000].…

SOBEL: OTHER THAN RUTH JACOBSON, NANCY PADBERG, AND RAGHU MATHUR, HAVE YOU HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH ANYONE ELSE IN THE ADMINISTRATION OR BOARD AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE REGARDING THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE?
…..

BABY, WE CAN WORK THIS OUT:

SPENCER: I BELIEVE I HAD A DISCUSSION WITH CHANCELLOR SAMPSON.

SOBEL: WHEN DID YOU HAVE THAT DISCUSSION?

SPENCER: I COULDN’T ACTUALLY PINPOINT THE DATE. IT WAS IN THE PROCESS OF WHEN ALL OF THESE EVENTS WERE TAKING PLACE….

SOBEL: WAS THAT DISCUSSION IN PERSON?
…..
SPENCER: IT WAS AT THE DISTRICT—IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN IN HIS OFFICE OR ONE OF THE CONFERENCE ROOMS NEXT DOOR…I EXPRESSED TO HIM MY CONCERN OVER THE CONTRIBUTION TO THE NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT THIS WOULD CAUSE. I ALSO INFORMED HIM, BECAUSE I WAS CALLING THE BOARD SECRETARY…AND MAKING A REQUEST FOR AN INVESTIGATION. AND IN PROTOCOL, IT SEEMED APPROPRIATE TO ME THAT HE SHOULD KNOW I’M MAKING CALLS TO THE BOARD SECRETARY.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU HAD THIS DISCUSSION WITH THE CHANCELLOR REGARDING THIS ISSUE AND YOUR EXPRESSION OF YOUR VIEWS ON IT, DID CHANCELLOR SAMPSON RESPOND?

SPENCER: NOT TO ANY GREAT LEVEL. HE DID AGREE THAT THE ENVIRONMENT WAS VERY DIFFICULT, A LOT OF CONFLICT. AND THIS CONVERSATION, I’M PRETTY CONFIDENT, WAS BEFORE THE MOVING OF THE SIGN INTO THE DIRT OR GARDEN...AND AT THAT POINT…HE SEEMED TO THINK THAT [THIS ISSUE]…WOULD BE RESOLVED AND IT WOULD BE FINE.

SOBEL: NOW, WAS THAT CONVERSATION WITH THE CHANCELLOR BEFORE YOU PREPARED THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE SEPTEMBER 3RD MEMO?

SPENCER: I DON’T THINK SO, NO.

SOBEL: AFTER THAT, THEN?

SPENCER: I THINK SO, YEAH. I THINK SO.

SOBEL: DO YOU RECALL WHETHER IT WAS BEFORE OR AFTER AT LEAST SOME MEMBER OF THE LIFE SCIENCES SCHOOL REMOVED THE SIGN FROM THE GREENHOUSE, OR SOME PERSON REMOVED THE SIGN FROM THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: I CAN’T BE SURE.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU SPOKE TO CHANCELLOR SAMPSON AT THAT TIME, DID CHANCELLOR SAMPSON INDICATE TO YOU THAT HE BELIEVED THAT KATHY SCHMEIDLER AND JEFF KAUFMANN HAD BEEN INSUBORDINATE IN THE MEETING WITH RAGHU MATHUR TO NAME THE BUILDING UNDER BOARD POLICY 1500?

SPENCER: …I HAVE NO MEMORY OF CEDRIC USING THE WORD “INSUBORDINATE.” WHAT I REMEMBER HIM SAYING WAS THAT HE HAD DIRECTED—AND I DON’T REMEMBER IF HE SAID KATHY OR JEFF—HE—MAYBE HE JUST SAID HE HAD DIRECTED THEM TO SEE RAGHU MATHUR AND WORK WITH HIM ON THE ISSUE.

SOBEL: AND DO I RECALL CORRECTLY IT WAS YOUR TESTIMONY A MOMENT AGO THAT, IN THAT CONVERSATION THAT YOU HAD WITH CHANCELLOR SAMPSON, HE CONVEYED TO YOU THAT HE BELIEVED THAT THE MATTER WOULD BE WORKED OUT?

SPENCER: THAT WAS MY IMPRESSION OF WHAT HE SAID; THAT HE HAD TOLD THE FACULTY TO WORK WITH RAGHU, AND HE WAS SURE THAT SOMEHOW IT WOULD BE WORKED OUT.

SOBEL: DID YOU EVER INITIATE A DISCUSSION WITH RAGHU MATHUR ABOUT WHETHER THE GREENHOUSE GARDENS WERE INCLUDED WITHIN BOARD POLICY 1500?

GARDENS DON’T COUNT: SPENCER ON BP1500 

SPENCER: DID I EVER INITIATE IT? I WOULD SAY SO BECAUSE THAT WAS MY CONCERN. THAT [THE GARDEN] WAS NOT [INCLUDED]—WHEN I READ THE POLICY AND LOOKED IT UP IN WEBSTER AND DID MY RESEARCH, IT WAS MY CONCERN THAT A GARDEN, A TREE, DID NOT FALL UNDER BOARD POLICY 1500. SO I WOULD SAY YES, I WAS THE INITIATOR OF THAT CONVERSATION.

SOBEL: THATS THE CONVERSATION THAT YOU’VE REPORTED THAT OCCURRED AFTER THE GREENHOUSE SIGN WAS TAKEN DOWN, CORRECT?

SPENCER: YES. AND THEN REPLACED IN THE GARDEN AREA, THE DIRT.

SOBEL: WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME AWARE THAT A SIGN HAD BEEN PLACED IN THE GARDEN AREA IN THE DIRT OUTSIDE THE GREENHOUSE…?

SPENCER: RAGHU TOLD ME—WELL, FIRST I HAD THE CONVERSATION THAT I SAID I CAN’T REMEMBER IF JEFF SAID HE WAS GOING TO PUT THE SIGN UP, OR HE HAD PUT THE SIGN UP, BUT THEN RAGHU TOLD ME THAT THE SIGN WAS IN THE GARDEN. I DID NOT GO OUT AND LOOK…[RAGHU] TOLD ME IT WAS IN THE GARDEN.

SOBEL: AFTER RAGHU TOLD YOU THAT THE SIGN WAS IN THE GARDEN, DID YOU TAKE ANY ACTIONS TO HAVE THE SIGN REMOVED?

SPENCER: NO.

SOBEL: AFTER YOU LEARNED THAT THE SIGN WAS IN THE GARDEN, DID YOU SPEAK TO ANYONE IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SCHOOL ABOUT THE SIGN HAVING BEEN PLACED IN THE GARDEN?

SPENCER: NO.

SOBEL: …DOES THAT INCLUDE DEAN JACOBSON IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SCHOOL?…

SPENCER: DID DEAN JACOBSON AND I DISCUSS THAT THE SIGN HAD BEEN PUT IN THE GARDEN?…YES, WE DID.

SOBEL: WHEN DID YOU DISCUSS THAT WITH HER?

SPENCER: IT WAS PART OF THE DISCUSSIONS, I WOULD SAY, FROM THE POINT THAT RAGHU TOLD ME THAT THE SIGN WAS IN THE GARDEN, AND IT WAS BROUGHT UP THROUGHOUT THE—UNTIL THE END OF THE EVALUATION PROCESS, I WOULD SAY.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU SAY, “IT WAS BROUGHT UP,” WHO BROUGHT IT UP IN THE EVALUATION PROCESS?

RAGHU ORDERS DEAN RUTH TO EVALUATE JEFF—AFTER DISCIPLINE: 

SPENCER: I THINK IT WAS JUST PART OF THE COMMUNICATION GOING BACK AND FORTH AS DEAN JACOBSON WAS WORKING ON THE EVALUATION. RAGHU ASKED TO HAVE THE EVALUATION DONE, AND I CALLED RUTH TO TELL HER IT NEEDED TO BE DONE. IT WAS JUST PART OF THE GENERAL DISCUSSION THAT THIS GREENHOUSE NAMING IS WHAT GOT JEFF INTO THIS PICKLE.

SOBEL: NOW, YOU’VE JUST SAID THAT RAGHU TOLD YOU THAT THE EVALUATION NEEDED TO BE DONE; WAS THAT CORRECT?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: DO YOU RECALL WHEN IT WAS THAT HE TOLD YOU THAT?

SPENCER: I COULDN’T GIVE YOU THE EXACT DATE. HE TOLD ME THAT HE WANTED…TO KNOW WHEN JEFF WAS DUE FOR EVALUATION. HIS DUE DATE, IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, WAS BY MAY OF THIS YEAR [2000]. RAGHU SAID THAT HE WANTED TO HAVE THE EVALUATION DONE RIGHT AWAY. AND I SAID, “WELL, WON’T THAT BE A PROBLEM? THE DATE IS UP TO MAY 2ND.” RAGHU SAID NO, HE WANTED IT DONE NOW.
            SO I CALLED DEAN JACOBSON, AND SHE TOLD ME THAT RAGHU HAD ALREADY SPOKEN TO HER ABOUT DOING THE EVALUATION. SO…IT HAD ALREADY BEEN DISCUSSED WITH HER IN A MEETING WITH RAGHU—THAT SHE WAS TO START THE EVALUATION.

SOBEL: AT THE TIME THAT RAGHU INFORMED YOU THAT HE WANTED THE EVALUATION OF PROFESSOR KAUFMANN DONE RIGHT AWAY, WERE YOU AWARE WHETHER PROFESSOR KAUFMANN HAD JUST BEEN EVALUATED AT THE END OF THE PRIOR SEMESTER [I.E., IN THE SPRING OF ‘99]?
…..
SPENCER: YES, I BELIEVE I WAS. AND HE WOULD BE—IF I’M REMEMBERING THE PROCEDURE CORRECTLY—HE WOULD BE EVALUATED AGAIN BECAUSE IT WAS HIS TENURE YEAR.

SOBEL: DID RAGHU TELL YOU WHY IT WAS HE WANTED HIM EVALUATED RIGHT AWAY?

SPENCER: I DO NOT BELIEVE HE GAVE ME ANY SPECIFIC REASON. HE JUST SAID THAT HE WANTED IT BEGUN RIGHT AWAY.

SOBEL: CAN YOU GIVE ME AN IDEA OF WHEN IN THE SEMESTER THIS DISCUSSION TOOK PLACE BETWEEN YOU AND RAGHU MATHUR ABOUT JEFF KAUFMANN’S EVALUATION?
LET ME ASK SOME OTHER QUESTIONS THAT MIGHT HELP YOU. DID THIS DISCUSSION WITH RAGHU MATHUR TAKE PLACE AFTER THE OCTOBER 28, 1999, DISCIPLINARY MEETING?

SPENCER: YES.
[NOTE: Article XXV of the contract states that “No full-time faculty shall be disciplined unless the District has fulfilled its obligations to evaluate such faculty member in accordance with the procedures outlined in Article XII….”]

SOBEL: AND IF THE EVALUATION OCCURRED THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER, DO YOU HAVE ANY WAY TO GIVE A BETTER ESTIMATE OF WHEN IN LATE OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER THE DISCUSSION TOOK PLACE?

SPENCER: I CAN SAY THAT THE TIME FRAME BETWEEN WHEN RAGHU DIRECTED DEAN JACOBSON AND I TO DO THE EVALUATION TO THE TIME THAT IT WAS DONE WAS VERY SHORT…WE WERE DIRECTED TO DO IT IMMEDIATELY, AND THAT WAS DONE.

ON WHETHER THE SEPT. 3 MEMO WAS A FIRST-LEVEL DISCIPLINARY NOTICE 

SOBEL: AND WHEN YOU PREPARED THE [SEPT. 3] MEMO THAT…IS BEFORE YOU NOW—WHAT WAS YOUR PURPOSE IN PREPARING THAT MEMO?…

SPENCER: [IT] WAS TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTION OF MY PRESIDENT TO GET THE SIGN REMOVED FROM THE GREENHOUSE.

SOBEL: AND…IS IT YOUR UNDERSTANDING [THAT] THAT MEMO SERVED AS A DISCIPLINARY NOTICE?

SPENCER: NO.

SOBEL: ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE AS VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTRUCTION?

SPENCER: ONLY TO THE POINT OF READING IT. I’VE NOT BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY DISCIPINARY ACTION AT THE COLLEGE EXCEPT FOR THE PERIPHERAL INVOLVEMENT IN THIS ONE.

SOBEL: IF YOU LOOK AT THE FRONT PAGE OF EXHIBIT 2 THAT IS IN FRONT OF YOU—AND I KNOW YOU’VE INDICATED YOU HAD NOT SEEN THIS LETTER, BUT YOU HAD BEEN PRESENT WHEN IT WAS READ BY RAGHU MATHUR TO JEFFEREY KAUFMANN ON OCTOBER 28, 1999…THE FIRST LINE OF THE LETTER SAYS, “THIS LETTER SERVES AS A SECOND LEVEL DISCIPLINARY ACTION.” DID YOU EVER ISSUE A FIRST-LEVEL DISCIPLINARY ACTION TO JEFFEREY KAUFMANN REGARDING THE GREENHOUSE?

SPENCER: NO. I PERSONALLY DID NOT.

SOBEL: ARE YOU AWARE OF ANYONE ELSE WHO ISSUED A FIRST-LEVEL DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST JEFFEREY KAUFMANN FOR THE GREENHOUSE NAMING?

SPENCER: I’M NOT PERSONALLY AWARE OF THAT, NO.

SOBEL: WERE YOU EVER INFORMED BY RAGHU MATHUR IN THE COURSE OF MEETING WITH HIM REGARDING THE NAMING OF THE GREENHOUSE AND THE GREENHOUSE GARDEN THAT YOU WERE INSTRUCTED TO ISSUE A FIRST-LEVEL DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST PROFESSOR KAUFMANN?

SPENCER: NO.
[So, apparently, Jeff had been treated to a first level disciplinary action but did not know it.]
…..

JACOBSON AGONIZES: 

SOBEL: AFTER YOUR INITIAL DISCUSSION WITH RUTH JACOBSON IN WHICH YOU LEARNED THAT SHE HAD ALREADY BEEN INFORMED BY RAGHU MATHUR THAT HE WANTED AN EVALUATION OF PROFESSOR KAUFMANN DONE IMMEDIATELY, DID YOU HAVE FURTHER DISCUSSIONS WITH DEAN JACOBSON CONCERNING THE EVALUATION?

SPENCER: YES. WE HAD SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS. SHE WAS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT DOING AN EVALUATION, ABOUT WRITING THE EVALUATION. SHE EXPRESSED TO ME THAT IT WAS HER PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT THAT JEFF KAUFMANN WAS AN EXCELLENT INSTRUCTOR…I BELIEVE SHE SAID THAT THE FORMER EVALUATIONS HAD GIVEN HIM EXCELLENT REVIEWS BECAUSE HE WAS A HIGH-QUALITY TEACHER.
            SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION AND WHAT HER ROLE WOULD BE IN IT. SHE WAS CONCERNED THAT THIS WAS GOING TO CREATE SOME VERY NEGATIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HER AND THE FACULTY, WHICH IS A PROBLEM FOR A DEAN…[A DEAN IS] THE FRONT LINE PERSON WITH THE FACULTY, SO THAT WHEN YOU‘RE THE ADMINISTRATOR AND YOU’RE ASKING A FACULTY MEMBER TO CREATE A NEW PROGRAM OR CUT BACK ON THEIR BUDGET, IF YOUR WORKING RELATIONSHIP IS NOT GOOD, IT CAN MAKE THOSE THINGS DIFFICULT.
            SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE ACTUAL WRITING OF THE EVALUATION AND THE CLASSROOM OBSERVATION BECAUSE SHE KEPT SAYING, “MY COMMENTS WILL SHOW THAT HE’S AN EXCELLENT INSTRUCTOR, I’M SURE.”
I SAID, “WELL, JUST GO DO THE OBSERVATION AND WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU SAW, NOT YOUR OPINION, BUT WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU SAW. DO WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TRAINED TO DO: A CLINICAL OBSERVATION. WHAT DID YOU SEE IN THE CLASSROOM? WHAT DID JEFFERY DO AND SAY? WHAT DID THE STUDENTS DO AND SAY?
            “WRITE DOWN…THE ACTIVITIES THAT YOU SAW, RATHER THAN WRITING AN EVALUATION THAT IS PHRASED MORE IN ‘WELL, I THINK HE WAS,’ ‘IT SEEMED TO BE,’ ‘IT LOOKED LIKE.’ JUST WRITE ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES YOU SAW AND BE VERY CLEAR AND GIVE GOOD DETAIL, AND LET WHAT YOU SAW SPEAK FOR ITSELF.”
I DON’T REMEMBER—WE HAD SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS, SO I’M PUTTING SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS TOGETHER. I DON’T REMEMBER IF IT WAS IN THE FIRST CONVERSATION WE HAD ON THE EVALUATION OR THE SECOND CONVERSATION WE HAD ON THE EVALUATION. DEAN JACOBSON WAS CONCERNED BECAUSE SHE SAID THAT RAGHU HAD ASKED HER TO MARK IN ONE OF THE SQUARES, THE—I THINK IT’S CALLED “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT,” “UNSATISFACTORY,” OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT—IN THE [CRITERION] THAT SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT FOLLOWING COLLEGE PROCEDURES.
            AND I ASKED HER IF SHE HAD OBSERVED JEFFEREY NOT FOLLOWING PROCEDURES, AND SHE SAID NO. AND WE AGREED THAT THIS [REQUEST] HAD HAD TO DO WITH THE GREENHOUSE INCIDENT. AND BOTH OF OUR CONCERNS WAS THAT DEAN JACOBSON WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THE WRITING OF THE MEMO…TO MY KNOWLEDGE, SHE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF…THE REPRIMAND LETTER. SHE HAD NOT SEEN IT OR READ IT. SHE WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE MEETING WHERE THE LETTER WAS READ OUT LOUD. I HAD NOT INVOLVED HER IN THE WRITING OF THE MEMO TO REMOVE THE SIGN.
            SO WITH HER INTERACTIONS WITH JEFF, SHE DIDN’T EXPRESS TO ME THAT THERE WAS ANY PROBLEM WITH [JEFF’S] FOLLOWING THE [COLLEGE] PROCEDURES, THAT IT WAS OUTSIDE OF HER [OBSERVATION]. SO SHE WAS ASKING MY ADVICE ON CHECKING THE BOX OR NOT CHECKING THE BOX.
AND I TOLD HER I REALLY…COULDN’T ADVISE HER; THAT I WANTED TO CALL SABRINA RUMINER, WHO IS OUR DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES, AND TALK TO HER ABOUT IT…WITH RUTH NOT ACTUALLY BEING INVOLVED IN THE GREENHOUSE PAPERWORK…I COULDN’T ADVISE RUTH COMFORTABLY TO SAY, “CHECK THE BOX.”
            SO I CALLED SABRINA. SHE SAID THAT “YES, INDEED, RUTH”—AND I CAN’T REMEMBER—EITHER [RUTH] “COULD” OR “SHOULD”—MARK THE BOX AS RAGHU REQUESTED, BECAUSE INDEED IT WAS THE PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE THAT JEFF HAD NOT FOLLOWED PREOCEDURE.”

SOBEL: NOW, IN YOUR POSITION AS VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTRUCTION AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE, WERE YOU MADE AWARE OF ANY MATERIALS DESCRIBING HOW EVALUATIONS WERE TO BE CONDUCTED?

SPENCER: YES. IT’S PRETTY PRESCRIPTIVE. IT’S LAID OUT STEP BY STEP.

SOBEL: WHERE IS THAT LAID OUT?

SPENCER: LET’S SEE…IT’S EITHER IN THE CONTRACT OR REGULATIONS….

SOBEL: I WILL SHOW YOU A MARKED ACADEMIC MASTER AGREEMENT, 1997 TO 2000. I DON’T HAVE COPIES…I’M NOT GOING TO MARK IT AS AN EXHIBIT…I’M OPENING IT TO PAGE 25, AND IT’S ARTICLE 12, FACULTY EVALUATION PROCEDURES. IF YOU’D TAKE A LOOK AT THAT AND TELL ME IF THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT—THE PRESCRIPTIVE DOCUMENT THAT TELLS YOU HOW TO DO AN EVALUATION. [NOTE: section L of Article 12 states: “The evaluator shall not base his/her evaluation of an academic employee on any information which was not collected through the evaluation procedures. Hearsay statements shall be excluded from written evaluations.”]

SPENCER: YES, THIS IS IT.

SOBEL: …ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY OTHER MATERIALS THAT WOULD PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO SOMEONE PREPARING AN EVALUATION AS TO HOW EACH OF THE BOXES WERE TO BE COMPLETED?

SPENCER: NO, I’M NOT.

DEAN RUTH MARKS THE BOX: 

SOBEL: LET ME SHOW YOU A DOCUMENT AND MARK [IT] AS EXHIBIT 5. AND THIS IS A THREE-PAGE DOCUMENT…THE FIRST PAGE IS SADDLEBACK COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT INSTRUCTOR’S EVALUATION REPORT. THE INSTRUCTOR IS JEFFEREY KAUFMANN. THE DATE IS 12/6/99.
            THE FIRST PAGE HAS A NUMBER OF CATEGORIES AND BOXES…“SATISFACTORY OR BETTER” IS ONE CATEGORY OF BOXES AND THE OTHER CATEGORY OF BOXES BEING “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.” THE SECOND PAGE IS CALLED “INSTRUCTOR’S EVALUATION REPORT.” THIS COPY IS COMPLETELY BLANK OTHER THAN TO HAVE ADDED AS COMMENTS ON THE FIRST TWO CATEGORIES “PLEASE SEE ATTACHED.” AND THEN ATTACHED IS A ONE-PAGE DOCUMENT WITH TWO SUBHEADINGS—“QUALITIES OR TECHNIQUES WHICH ARE COMMENDABLE” AS THE FIRST AND “COMMENTS BY EVALUATOR” AS THE SECOND. THIS DOCUMENT BEARS NO SIGNATURES FOR THE EVALUATOR’S SIGNATURE OR THE INSTRUCTOR’S SIGNATURE.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THIS DOCUMENT BEORE?

SPENCER: YES…IT IS THE FORMAL EVALUATION [FORM] OF INSTRUCTORS AT IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE, AND THIS ONE IN PARTICULAR IS FOR JEFFEREY KAUFMANN.

SOBEL: HAD YOU SEEN…THIS VERSION OF [HIS EVALUATION] PRIOR TO TODAY?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: WHEN DO YOU RECALL FIRST SEEING IT?

SPENCER: AT THE POINT THAT RUTH WAS FINALIZING IT; SHE HAD DONE HER OBSERVATION, AND SHE JUST ASKED ME IF I WOULD READ IT BEFORE SHE MET WITH DR. KAUFMANN, AND I DID.

SOBEL: WHEN YOU READ IT, DID YOU HAVE A DISCUSSION WITH DEAN JACOBSON ABOUT IT AT THAT TIME?

SPENCER: I THINK WE DISCUSSED THE FACT THAT INDEED HER OBSERVATION DID TURN OUT TO CONFIRM THE FACT THAT [KAUFMANN]…HAS SOME VERY HIGH-QUALITY TEACHING TECHNIQUES AND METHODS; THAT HE, FROM ALL ACCOUNTS FROM OBSERVATION, IS AN EXCELLENT TEACHER.
            WE ALSO TALKED ABOUT…WHAT WE THINK OF AS THE PROFESSIONAL WORK OF AN INSTRUCTOR, THAT HE HAD DONE SOME THINGS IN THAT AREA. FOR EXAMPLE, THE BIOLOGY LAB MANUAL: THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT…I THINK—WITHIN THE TIME FRAME SHORTLY BEFORE THE EVALUATION, I BELIEVE IT WAS—WAS EVEN HIGHLIGHTED AT A FOUNDATION MEETING. JEFF WAS THERE TO SPEAK…AND PASSED AROUND THE MANUAL FOR OUR FOUNDATION MEMBERS TO LOOK AT.
AND SO I THINK THOSE WERE THE DISCUSSIONS, AND RUTH AND I JUST DISCUSSED THE CONTENT AS YOU SEE IT.

SOBEL: NOW, IF YOU LOOK UNDER THE FIRST PARAGRAPH UNDER THE HEADING “COMMENTS BY EVALUATOR,” THERE’S A SENTENCE THAT SAYS, “I HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS GIVEN HIM A LETTER OF REPRIMAND FOR NOT COMPLYING WITH BOARD POLICY 1500…NAMING OF COLLEGE FACILITIES.” DID YOU DISCUSS THAT SENTENCE WITH RUTH JACOBSON AT THE TIME SHE WAS PREPARING THE EVALUATION?

SPENCER: I’M NOT SURE IF IT WAS WHILE SHE WAS PREPARING IT OR WHEN WE WERE READING THIS OVER. SHE WROTE THAT HE WAS INFORMED AND I THINK…SHE WAS SAYING SOMETHING LIKE, “I’VE BEEN INFORMED. I HAVEN’T SEEN THE LETTER. I WASN’T IN ON THE HEARING. IS THIS AN APPROPRIATE WAY TO CONVEY THAT?”
…..

THE EXIT INTERVIEW—“NO SECRET”: 

SOBEL: LET ME SHOW YOU—WHEN YOU LEFT YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE, DID YOU UNDERGO AN EXIT INTERVIEW? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE TERM “EXIT INTERVIEW”?

SPENCER: I’VE NEVER HAD ONE. THE CHANCELLOR REQUESTED AN EXIT INTERVIEW WITH ME, BUT HIS BROTHER BECAME ILL, AND WE HAD TO CANCEL THAT…I DON’T KNOW HOW “EXIT INTERVIEW” IS PRECISELY DEFINED. I HAD SEVERAL MEETINGS WITH GLENN ROQUEMORE BECAUSE HE WAS GOING TO BE TAKING OVER FOR ME….
            AND THEN I HAD SEVERAL OF THOSE MEETINGS: CONVERSATIONS WITH RAGHU IN OUR REGULAR MEETING SCHEDULE. AND HIS OFFICE IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM MINE. MANY TIMES I WOULD JUST SEE THE DOOR OPEN AND POP IN AND SPEAK ABOUT SOMETHING OR ANOTHER. THE LAST SORT OF THOSE MEETINGS WAS—I THINK IT WAS A MEETING SCHEDULED, AND I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE JUST WITH RAGHU.
            BUT WHEN I WENT IN, ARMANDO AND GLENN ROQUEMORE WERE THERE, WHICH MADE SENSE BECAUSE THEY WERE WORKING ON A LOT OF THINGS TOGETHER, “PARTNERSHIP FOR EXCELLENCE” AND THINGS TOGETHER, AND GLENN WAS INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM REVIEW. AND I WAS TURNING MY PART OVER TO GLENN AND—
            SO THAT LAST MEETING WAS THE FOUR OF US, IN WHICH I PREPARED A WRITTEN LIST OF THE THINGS THAT I FELT I HADN’T QUITE NAILED DOWN IN CONVERSATIONS WITH GLENN AND WITH RAGHU. WE WENT THROUGH THAT LIST, AND PEOPLE ASKED SOME QUESTIONS. AND SO THAT WOULD—I GUESS THAT LAST MEETING MIGHT BE AN EXIT INTERVIEW. I’M NOT SURE.

SOBEL: IN THAT LAST MEETING, WERE YOU ASKED BY ANY OF THE—I TAKE IT THERE WERE THREE PEOPLE PRESENT IN ADDITION TO YOURSELF: ARMANDO RUIZ, GLENN ROQUEMORE, AND RAGHU MATHUR?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: DID ANY OF THEM ASK YOU WHETHER YOU TOLD PROFESSOR KAUFMANN OR ANYONE FROM THE SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES THAT IT WAS OKAY TO NAME IT THE TERRY BURGESS GARDEN?

SPENCER: YES.

SOBEL: AND YOUR ANSWER TO THAT WAS?

SPENCER: NO. I DID NOT TELL THEM THEY COULD PUT A SIGN IN THE GARDEN…THE ONLY THING I SAID WAS THE COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION THAT YOU ASKED EARLIER, IN THAT, WHEN JEFF TOLD ME EITHER THEY WERE—THEY WERE GOING TO OR THEY HAD PUT A SIGN IN THE GARDEN, I SAID THAT I WAS IMPLEMENTING POLICY 1500 IN REGARDS TO BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES, AND JUST LEFT IT AT THAT.

SOBEL: DID YOU TELL HIM THAT 1500, IN YOUR VIEW, DID NOT APPLY TO THE GARDEN?

SPENCER: I MAY HAVE. I WAS EVEN QUOTED IN THE “IRVINE WORLD NEWS” AS SAYING THAT. THERE’S AN ARTICLE IN THE PAPER, AND I HAD MADE THAT COMMENT TO RAGHU. I HAD MADE IT TO NANCY PADBERG, SO THAT WAS NO SECRET, THAT THAT WAS MY PERSPECTIVE.

MS. SOBEL: I HAVE NO FURTHER QUESTIONS.

MR. WILION: I DONT HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

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