Monday, November 27, 2000

Dissent 56

November 27, 2000

‘Twas the Thursday After Election…

by Chunk Wheeler [Roy Bauer] 

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”
                 —Robert Maynard Hutchins

“On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”
                 --W.C. Fields’ epitaph

        It was the Thursday after the election, about 7:30 a.m., and I was driving to school with a Carl’s Jr. coffee in one hand and the steering wheel kinda in the other. Things sucked bigtime. They way sucked.
But I had forseen suckage. I had known, or at least believed, since July—the month of the Dark Side’s Frogue/Fuentes switcheroo—that the November trustees election would stink on ice. Steve Frogue’s trustee candidacy was by far the best thing we of the Rebel Alliance had goin’ for us, and we knew it. Pre-July, the standard joke was that John “Bailiff Boy” Williams was goin’ nowhere fast, what with Stevie the Nut firmly strapped to one hip and Dotty the Barbarian—whom the OC Weekly, in a rare moment of understatement, recently called “despicable”—firmly strapped to the other. We’d laugh.
      And then, suddenly, Our Steve was gone, and a Cadillac-flak who spends his time “talkin’ Ronnie” with Republican money was sittin’ in the Froguester’s chair—and sportin’ that all-important incumbent’s advantage besides.
       The new reality was mighty grim. First of all, “downballot” races—trustee, judge, and dogcatcher contests—draw little public interest and, thus, get little media attention, leaving the voting public clueless, unless vigorous (and expensive) efforts to clue them in are made.
“But,” you ask, “what about all the ‘negative’ news coverage of recent years?” Well, even assuming that they read the papers, voters generally retain no clear picture of tedious sagas of buffoonery—or of anything else. Hell, some of our advisors even suggested that a particular trustee’s notoriety—e.g., Frogue’s—could gradually turn into positive name recognition, so benighted are voters. Dude, it’s true, an’ I’m dyin’.
To top it off, clueless voters generally pop chads for incumbents, when they get that far down the ballot, and they often don’t.

Scam:

        The Frogue/Fuentes switcheroo wasn’t the only one we had to contend with. In July, Dot Fortune announced her decision to retire, which encouraged two candidates to run for her seat. (I’m told that she helped recruit one of these guys, but I’m not sure that’s true.) But then, at the very last minute, she filed for candidacy. Wow! Suddenly, “Despicable” Dot was sittin’ pretty, goin’ into the election armed now with the incumbent’s advantage plus a split in the non-incumbent vote! (In the end, however, she managed to wrack up more votes than her two opponents combined, so the shell game was unnecessary.)
        It all makes you wanna just give up on this trustee election thing—and on democracy in general.
On the other hand, on the 7th, incumbent Dave Lang, the bean-counting leader of the “Clean Slate” (or the “Tabula rasa,” as I liked to call them), garnered by far the most votes among SOCCCD trustee candidates, both in absolute numbers and in percentages (65.1%). It appears that the Langster’s reputation as a Board Buffoonery Contra plus our various efforts to sell him to voters yielded about 12 or 13 thousand votes (9 or 10 percent of the total).
Maybe with a bit more effort, Bob Loeffler, Fuentes’ “Clean” opponent, would have won, too, for the Bobster garnered 93,00 votes—more, by far, than any other non-incumbent among the trustee candidates, and only 16,000 fewer than Dot.
—I’m dreamin’.

Dirty:

       As usual, the Dark Side fought dirty: clean Slate campaign signs were daily stolen or vandalized; that old “same-sex” hooey was mailed out anonymously to selective neighborhoods; libelous unsigned fliers were strewn about both campuses; a “newsletter,” filled with misinformation and inept personal attacks—a pathetic homage to Dissent, I guess (Dissent’s personal attacks are ept)—was sent to local reporters, who immediately deep-sixed it. It, too, was anonymous.
Do you detect a pattern here? Cowardice, dear reader, is the hallmark of Dark Sidery.
There was nothing that could be done about the dirty tricks. On the other hand, we knew that these plebeian shenanigans wouldn’t significantly affect the election outcome.
       Natch, Williams and Fortune ran around South County, claiming credit for the district’s fiscal health, a situation that, in truth, is entirely attributable to an unexpected property tax windfall, which in turn must be credited to a decision—to switch the district’s funding model—made by the state, not the goddam board.
       In my view, we will never be able to topple undesirable incumbents until we change the curious manner in which trustees are elected. As things now stand, a trustee for a particular area is elected, not by voters of that area, but, absurdly, by voters of the entire South Orange County district, the vast majority of whom have, or retain, no clear notion of the district’s actual predicament, and no clear notion of those responsible for it, despite the numerous, largely-accurate news stories.
“So educate them!” you say. Well, sending voters just one mailer, in hopes of alerting them of some sliver of the worrisome truth, costs about $40,000! Incumbents, on the other hand, can approve and mail out expensive district propaganda at taxpayers’ expense.
Scandalously, that’s just what they did, despite the vocal objections of Lang and Marcia Milchiker. Admittedly, the district’s $50K mailer—carefully timed for the election—was so badly written that it couldn’t have been much of a factor.

Press:

       Post-election media coverage has been the usual mixed bag of entelechy and error. The Register’s “morning after” article concerning the trustees’ race placed our board “at the center of disputes the past few years that have led to the departure of key administrators and a host of lawsuits.” Exactly. On the other hand, the article failed to challenge Fortune and Williams’ mendacious boast, which it reported, that “the improved financial stability of the district” is “proof that [Fortune and Williams’] policies have been successful.” Again, the boast is a lie; in truth, the Board Majority’s ill-conceived policies have driven productivity into the ground and slowed growth to almost nothin’. (Check the district’s online “almanac.” It’s all there.)
The Reg also reported that these two “downplayed the unhappiness of faculty” caused by “a few disgruntled members.” That claim too was left unchallenged, despite the recent overwhelming votes of no confidence in El Ced and Mr. Goo at IVC (94% and 90%, respectively).
       The Times “morning after” article was a bit better:

            Inflammatory and anonymous fliers were circulated during the campaign saying that the so-called Clean [Slate] candidates supported domestic-partner benefits and a gay-and-lesbian-studies program. [But] Board President Nancy M. Padberg, part of the board majority, said those subjects were not an issue in the campaign. One flier even made the untrue claim that one of the challengers had been endorsed by…an obscure group that endorses pedophilia….
            The California Teachers Assn. is investigating whether money raised under the old union leadership to support political candidates was mismanaged. Most of the former union presidents who controlled the fund have refused to cooperate, and the CTA may take the issue to court….
            Even before the election, the district was synonymous with controversy. The…accrediting agency said the district was “wracked by malfunction” and placed it on warning status. It finally accredited Irvine Valley and Saddleback in February.
            Much of the controversy centered on Trustee Steven J. Frogue, who was accused of being an anti-Semite. He resigned in June, and the board appointed Fuentes to replace him….
            Most recently, more than 90% of the Irvine Valley faculty voted no confidence in President Raghu P. Mathur and Sampson.

Bright:

       There is one bright spot amid the general education-related electoral gloom. You’ll recall that, two years ago, the Old Guard-dominated faculty union spent big money to help elect Nancy Padberg and Don Wagner, two Republicans whom “Captain Curt” McLendon insisted are “political moderates.” In truth, the Wagberg are right-wing extremists and avowed anti-unionists, which was clear already back in 1998—the year of Curt’s warm endorsement—when these two acknowledged their association with Education Alliance (EA), a Christian Right outfit founded, funded, and furthered by such reactionary fools as Frank Ury, Mark Bucher, Jim Righeimer, and banking heir Howard F. Ahmanson. Wagner has also been active in the “Federalist Society,” one of Robert Bork’s retrograde legal clubs.
EA, based in Tustin, emerged in late 1994 with a plan for politically crippling teachers unions—the Religious Right’s Great Satan of education—and packing school boards with EA members. According to Jerry Sloan of the Institute for First Amendment Studies, Alliance members oppose multiculturalism and condom distribution in schools and “want to see evolution and creationism taught side by side.” (You’ll recall that one of Padberg’s new diversions—the media “watchdog” group Accuracy in Media—sells anti-evolution bumper stickers.) The organization’s leader, Frank Ury, authored 1998’s failed Proposition 226, a measure designed to “radically reduce unions’ political muscle” (George Will, Times, 2/8/98).
EA has had some success in Orange County. According to the OC Weekly (10/27/00), its members dominate the Orange County Board of Education, a body that recently “canned a daycare program that served nearly a thousand low-income families,” though it continued to fund “an $82,320 beaver exhibit.” Over a dozen EA-supported candidates—including Wendy Leece of Newport-Mesa, who has proposed plastering the Ten Commandments on classroom walls—have been elected to OC school boards.
But all is not well with Education Alliance. According to a recent Register article (“Conservative Group Backs Only 10 for Board Seats,” 11/6/00), the EA has had trouble finding candidates and keeping them elected. Several years ago, Fat Cat Howie Ahmanson gave EA some seriously big money. This year, however, he forked over a paltry $5,000.
It appears that EA has run outa money and outa steam. Thank God!

Phone:

       —But let’s get back to the Thursday of the 9th and my lousy cuppa Carl’s Jr. coffee.
Once in my office, I found a copy of a report, by Peggy Casey, Exec. Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor (Admin./Business Services), which lay, unexplained, on my desk. As I recall, this report was instigated many months ago by those well-known “fiscal conservatives” John Williams and Dot Fortune, who were concerned about excessive cell phone use in the district. Ms. Casey’s report focused on cell phone bills for the month of April.
Guess who tops the list? Of the 21 persons issued cell phones at the two colleges, by far the biggest abuser is—who else?—Raghu P. Mathur. Last April, he wracked up a bill of $75.07. The second highest bill for that month was Dixie Bullock’s, which was nevertheless half of Raghu’s. The vast majority of individual cell phone bills were below $20.00.
Among district personnel, one bill stood out like a turd in a glass of milk. According to Casey’s report, Sabrina Ruminer wracked up a cell phone bill of $507.45! That’s about $420 more than the second highest.
I should mention that five employees reimbursed the district for costs incurred from “personal use.” But not our Mr. Goo.

Ray:

       I checked my email. Dark Sider Ray Chandos had spammed faculty with more dithering about the IVC Academic Senate’s decision, many weeks earlier, to hold votes of confidence in the Chancellor and President. (That referendum had by now occurred, its results promulgated.) The decision was made via secret ballot, and, in Ray’s estimation (he’s no lawyer), it thereby violated provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act (the Open Meetings Law), which requires maximum openness in the conduct of “public bodies.” (Whether an Academic Senate, whose members are not elected by the public, is under the purview of the Brown Act is an open question.)
       The potential problem here concerns, not the votes of (no) confidence, which were conducted very professionally and appropriately, but the senate’s having decided whether to conduct these referenda via a secret ballot. (The decision to use secret balloting, of course, reflected widespread [and reasonable] fears, among senators, of retaliation by Raghu and his minions.)
       Those familiar with the Brown Act know that, under such circumstances, the error (if there be an error) can often be corrected simply through a repeat vote done openly. Indeed, just prior to Judge Seymour’s January ‘99 decision in my second successful Brown Act lawsuit against the board, the trustees, over a year after the fact, “cured and corrected” several of their illegal actions—including the July ’97 Reorg and the appointment of Mathur as IVC Pres.—retroactively making them valid, despite their initial illegality. (See OC Register, 1/21/99.)
       It was precisely this sort of after-the-fact “cure and correct” action that the senate was set to discuss and contemplate at the meeting to be held at 2:00 on this day. Ray, of course, hoped for something else: an action that would undo the overwhelming votes of “no confidence” that the Chancellor and the President had recently suffered at the hands of full-time faculty at IVC.
       Ray had written:

The senate should follow the Brown Act scrupulously, not only to discharge its duties under the law, but to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy after criticizing and conducting a vote of no confidence in the chancellor for alleged violations of the Brown Act.

       A cup of Joe in my lap, coffee-stained fingers trembling, I responded to Ray in an email, noting that his powerful allies often did not seem to share his enthusiasm for obeying the law. Indeed, said I, recently, El Ced opined that observing the Brown Act is “irrelevant.” I closed by writing: “Ray, please help me to understand. Are you people pro-law or not?”

       Those interested in the Brown Act and its possible applicability to California Community College Academic Senates should see www.thefirstamendment.org /brown.htm#The Basics.

Inspired: 

“The press…delight in negative coverage. It’s like, ‘if it doesn’t bleed, it won’t read’….”
                             —Nancy Padberg, Oct. 20

After my office hours, I taught my Critical Thinking class, coffee in hand. Nancy Padberg, an avowed “dittohead” (for those of you in Rio Lindo, CA, that means she’s a Rush Limbaugh fan), will be delighted to learn that, among the texts of the course is Logic and Mr. Limbaugh, by philosopher Ray Perkins, Jr., which employs Rush’s incomparable writings to illustrate fallacies and sophisms. Rush is terribly helpful in that way. Hence, in his “Acknow-ledgements,” Professor Perkins writes, “to Rush Limbaugh, without whom this book would not have been possible.”
Perkins notes, with droll understatement, that “Much of Rush Limbaugh’s reasoning is logically incorrect or FALLACIOUS.” One cannot read Perkins’ book without agreeing with that judgment, unless, of course, one is a blockhead, which one might very well be.
In class, I covered two chapters—Rush on the Environment, Rush on Animal Rights—and then turned to another text, Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, by the estimable Dean Edell, M.D., which seeks specifically to provide scientific information to readers who are daily bombarded with media hype and pop culture pseudoscience concerning health.
Yes, Nancy, Dr. Dean shares your distrust of the news media—“Trust” it, he warns, “at your peril.” The media, he argues—sounding very much like the board president—offers a distorted picture of reality by consistently emphasizing bad medical news over good medical news, though, unlike the Nance, he is disinclined to explain the pattern via a vast liberal conspiracy.
Edell, like Nancy, views himself as a champion of truth. Should, asks Dr. Dean, researchers inform the public of suppressed “incorrect” truths? —Yes! Correctness be damned!
For instance, research consistently indicates that moderate drinking of alcohol is actually beneficial, and yet we are made to feel that such facts must never be acknowledged. Indeed, they must be denied!
Edell believes otherwise:
Dr. Curtis Ellison, Chief of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Boston University, got in a tangle over this at an American Heart Association meeting in 1994. The issue: How much should the public know about the benefits shown in alcohol research? Ellison suggested publicizing findings that five to six drinks a week cuts heart disease risk by 28 percent. That compares with 15 percent by rigorously lowering blood pressure or 23 percent with a low-fat diet. Only quitting smoking can compare…A firestorm ensued…But ethically, is it right to withhold information from people who could benefit because others might be harmed? (194)
Edell eschews political correctness in favor of “scientific correctness”—i.e., focussing on the findings of science. (You gotta love ‘im.) Accordingly, a few pages later, having moved to the subject of illegal drugs, he is compelled to say:

Let’s first admit that some illegal drugs give pleasure to people who do not, as a result, suffer apparent horrible consequences from the practice [Gasp!]…There is no evidence that occasional marijuana use is harmful. [No! No! No!] Most studies, in fact, have found that marijuana users are better off [Commie!]…. (201)

I’m sure that Nancy and her friends will be pleased to learn that, owing to her fine example, I have decided to devote my considerable energies to combating the media and their endless politically correct tomfoolery. I shall present the unvarnished truth—as it comes to us from science—and I shall not be deterred by the inevitable disapprobation and nattering nabobery of brainwashed nudniks and mendacious conspirators. Amen.
Nancy, without your example, my noble enterprise would not have been possible!

God:

       After class, I bought another cup of Joe and hotfooted it over to the grassy expanse in front of the Student Services Bld., where Mr. Goo was about to introduce IVC’s first annual “Veterans Day Observance,” evidently the brain-child of Frank Pangborn and other veterans at the college. There, amongst a sea of tiny, flapping American flags (no doubt flapping in violation of BP8000), I ran into a student friend dressed in his Marine Corps uniform. He looked good, and I said so. He snapped a salute and I swelled with pride.
       The gathered dignitaries seemed to await the arrival of an audience, but it had not yet materialized, nor would it do so later, although, eventually, about ten homeless Vets showed, a situation no doubt attributable to Mr. Goo’s ludicrous efforts to promote the celebration on local TV.
       I snagged a copy of the program, which featured yet another American flag, upon which was written, “In God We Trust.” Beneath that: the Pledge of Allegiance, which, of course, featured the Lord.
Eventually, Nelson C. said a few words in his snazzy sailor suit. He was followed by Pastor Darrin Stevens of the Voyagers Bible Church, his pet gerble Samantha perched precariously on his head. The pastor said the usual things to “Father God” and “Jesus Christ.” God, it seemed, was the real star of the show, judgin’ by all the mentions He got. Darrin twitched his nose coquettishly and instantly disappeared: “Poof.”
Then four uniformed dudes, representing each of the military branches, accompanied by canned martial music, marched the “colors” straight up the middle of the Big Grassy and planted them, limbs akimbo, boldly in a hole. This was impressive, despite the audio guy’s unfamiliarity with the concept of fade-out, which lent an aspect of grade-schoolery to the proceedings. Then, after the Pledge, Frank Pangborn, formerly a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, warbled the Star Spangled Banner and pretty much nailed it.
Frank introduced Mathur, our next chancellor. Mathur, marbles in mouth, lower lip jutting upward hideously, hair slicked straight across his fat head, spoke of a place called “Irwine Valley College.” The audience stared.

Nabobs:

Mr. Goo made a big point of identifying “dignitaries” in the audience, including Tom Fuentes, who, two days earlier on TV, railed indignantly against the “liberal media” for jumpin’ the gun on Gore’s “victory” in Florida, but who offered no similar railage, a few hours later, when the same media jumped the gun on his pal George Dubya’s presidential “victory.”
The Obsequious One, subtly genuflecting, identified Fuentes, not as a trustee, but as the “chairman of the Orange County Republican Party,” as though that were a high government office. How unseemly.
Well, that’s our Mr. Goo. Get used to it, Saddlebackians. He’s headed your way, I think. Maybe that’ll wake you up.
Looking desperate, Raghu sought the faces of two further bigwigs: Irvine City Council members Mike Ward and Dave Christensen, two sleazy, pro-development Republicans, who had faired poorly in the elections. Not long ago, these two helped pull the plug on Irvine’s much-ballyhooed “Great Park” initiative, the latter being a part of Larry Agran’s anti-airport strategy. The plug-pullage pissed voters off, I guess.
Amazingly, incumbent Ward, a shill for the Irvine Company, received fewer votes than first-time candidate (and liberal Agranite) Chris Mears, though Ward did manage to get reelected, albeit now on a liberal council. Incumbent Christensen, who’s facing a serious FPPC investigation concerning conflicts of interest, lost bigtime, despite his Irvine Co. connections.
Ward and Christensen’s AWOLery seemed to cause Mr. Goo to regurgitate more marbles and jut more lip. The audience cringed and cowered. In a futile effort to compensate, I grinned furiously. Wendy P came by, thus making possible stereo grinnage. John Williams made an ugly face while Nancy dithered in her seat.
But Raghu, now sweating copiously, pressed on. Just thinking about veterans and soldiers an’ all, he yammered, gives a guy “goosebumps.” Displaying his usual grasp of English usage, Mr. Goo then spoke of our country’s many “freedom fighters” in uniform. I could take no more. I turned my back on ‘im.
Some old soldier who had not yet faded away gave a good speech. (I turned back around for that.) Then a hairy old hippy representing Viet Nam Veterans of America spoke. I bet he had some health cigarettes on ‘im. But I had to leave for class, so I don’t know what he said, though he looked good sayin’ it.

Intimidation:

       Back in my office at about 2:00, I found more Chandosian e-spammery. Ray had turned up the heat in his intimidation program, intimating, portentously, that senators who participate in Brown Act violations are guilty of a “misdemeanor.”
Translation: “if you don’t pull the plug on the ‘confidence’ votes, you could go to jail!”
The Senate President and Tom P, a lawyer, had independently fired off indignant responses to “this transparent attempt at intimidation” of senators. “Way cool,” thought I.
       Full of hope, I ran out the door for the senate meeting.
       As I entered B209, the senators were debating the “cure and correct” issue. Some bemoaned the climate of fear created by Raghu. Others objected in particular to Chandos’ execrable scare tactic. Some senators expressed concerns about an open vote, fearing retaliation, should they fail to vote in a manner pleasing to Mr. Goo. Meanwhile, VP (and future P) Armando Ruiz, sitting in the back, scoffed and grunted, intimidatingly.
Undeterred, the senators voted to perform the correction. Then they repeated the vote (to hold the referenda), this time openly. 19 senators voted for the referenda—the same number as had voted for them via secret ballot, several weeks earlier. 4 senators voted against them (weeks earlier, the number was 5).
The recent “no confidence” votes were now legal and valid. Ray’s “Brown Act” issue had been rendered moot.
The loathsome attempt to prevail through intimidation had failed.

“Asshole”:

As the meeting continued, I walked over to the other end of the room and sat next to Armando. I said something like: “Armando, did you come to intimidate senators?” Armando responded by calling me an “asshole.”

Concerns:
            Jeez. I don’t think powerful administrators oughta be callin’ faculty members “assholes.” What’s next? Floggings? Urine tests?

            Sometimes, when I have concerns, I offer them to the board via a pleasant email. When I got back to my office, I had concerns. So I wrote the board the following message: [Letter now missing]

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