Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Result of district's appeal of Bauer v. Sampson (2001)

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1214546.html
     Result of the district’s appeal re Bauer v. Sampson (1999), August 15, 2001
     (You may wish to skip down to “conclusion,” 4/5 of the way down the page. –RB)

BAUER v. SAMPSON

Roy BAUER, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Cedric A. SAMPSON, Defendant-Appellant. 
Nos.99-56964, 00-55408
Argued and Submitted May 8, 2001 – August 15, 2001
Before: RYMER, HAWKINS, and GOULD, Circuit Judges.
David C. Larsen (argued) and Robert E. King, Rutan & Tucker, Costa Mesa, California, for the defendant-appellant.Carol A. Sobel (argued), Law Office of Carol A. Sobel, Santa Monica, California, for the plaintiff-appellee.
Cedric Sampson, Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District (“SOCCCD” or “the District”), appeals a grant of summary judgment in favor of Roy Bauer, a tenured professor of ethics and political philosophy, in Bauer's 42 U.S.C. §1983 case. Sampson contends that: (1) the District's policy against workplace violence is facially constitutional; (2) the District's policy against workplace violence is constitutional as applied to Bauer; (3) the District's policy against racial discrimination or harassment is constitutional as applied to Bauer; and (4) Bauer is not entitled to attorney's fees, neither as awarded nor at all.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Bauer is a tenured professor of ethics and political philosophy at Irvine Valley College (“IVC”), one of two campuses comprising the District, which is located in Orange County, California. As the District's Chancellor, Sampson oversees IVC and its sister school, Saddleback College. Sampson, upset at writings and illustrations prepared and circulated by Bauer, sought to discipline him, order him not to make such writings or illustrations in the future, and force him to undergo counseling.
The writings and illustrations were prepared during a traumatic time for IVC and the District. Evaluating the District, an independent team of investigators from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (“the Accrediting Commission”), noted that “the college [IVC] and the district have experienced much turmoil in the past several years.” The Accrediting Commission attributed the turmoil partially to Orange County's financial troubles and primarily to a four-to-three split on the District's Board of Trustees (“the Board”). The report prepared by the Accrediting Commission characterized the situation thus: “A high-profile, often controversial group of trustees [the majority of four] felt obliged to involve itself actively in the day-to-day operations of the district and of the colleges far beyond the traditional role for trustees.” The Board's increased involvement allegedly resulted in the retirement of a chancellor, the resignation of two college presidents, and other attrition. Eventually, the Board appointed an acting President for IVC, Raghu Mathur, in, according to the Accrediting Commission, “a manner viewed by many as intrusive and by all as controversial.” Despite the controversy surrounding his appointment, Mathur was made the permanent President of IVC.
Bauer did not approve of Mathur's appointment and many of the Board's other actions. He voiced his disapproval in a campus newspaper called “Dissent,” which he published and circulated himself under fictitious by-lines. Four writings and two illustrations from “Dissent” are at issue in this case:
Writing 1: (November 2, 1998 issue) “I, for one, have etched the name of Sherry ‘Realpolitik’ Miller-White and others of her ilk on my permanent shit list, a two-ton slate of polished granite which I hope to someday drop in Raghu Mathur's head.”
Writing 2: (November 9, 1998 issue) Commenting on a remark by someone at a public meeting of the Board that those present were “the very best people in the district,” stating, “In a room like that, no decent person could resist the urge to go postal.”
Writing 3: (November 9, 1998 issue) A fantasy description of a funeral for a district trustee, who was the subject of a heated recall campaign, at which the other trustees and President Mathur are asphyxiated by “a lurid gas emanating from the Great Man's gaping mouth.”
Writing 4: (November 16, 1998 issue) Satirizing President Mathur's policies by writing: “[W]e at Dissent announce the founding of the Milosevich-Mathur Academic Integrity Matrix. I couldn't think of a more annoying business ed sounding type word than ‘matrix;’ besides, it permits a satisfying acronym: MAIM.”
Illustration 1: (November 16, 1998 issue) “Tales of the Backdoor Gooster.” Illustrates a story of underhanded tactics used by President Mathur in creating an “enemies list” and then beheading his enemies.
Illustration 2: (November 23, 1998 issue) “Quick the Downsizers are Coming Again!” Accompanies an article on micromanagement, discussing the anticipated “downsizing” of IVC. Shows three shrunken people assembling a rifle, with one pointing it outward.
Sampson responded to these writings and illustrations by letter, claiming that they violated the District's policies on workplace violence and racial discrimination or harassment. Sampson “strongly urge[d]” Bauer to participate in the District's Employee Assistance Program to “[deal] with [his] feelings of anger,” told Bauer that he was expected to comply with the Board's workplace violence and racial discrimination or harassment policies, and called Bauer in for a meeting.
At the meeting, Sampson told Bauer that the writings and illustrations violated the Board policies on workplace violence and racial discrimination or harassment and that a negative entry was being placed in his personnel file. This meeting was memorialized in a letter, which directed Bauer to: (1) “avoid any form of discrimination against or harassment of SOCCCD employees as described in Board Policy 4000.5”; (2) “immediately cease all verbal threats and violent behavior overtones as required in Administration Regulation 4000.3”; and (3) “[s]chedule a minimum of two meetings with the employee assistance counselor provided by the District, or make similar arrangements with another counselor approved by the Vice Chancellor [of] Human Resources, and report, in writing, that you have met the counselor. The confirming letter will become part of the District's record and your personnel file.” The letter warned that failure to comply with its terms “would be grounds for more severe discipline.”
Rather than adhere to these terms, Bauer brought suit in the district court, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as well as damages based on four causes of action: (1) abridgement of his free speech rights, in violation of First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. §1983, and Article I, section 2 of the California Constitution; (2) abridgement of his right to petition, in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. §1983, and Article 1, section 3 of the California Constitution; (3) abridgement of his right to equal protection, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. §1983, and Article 1, section 7 of the California Constitution; and (4) violations of the whistle-blower protections of California Labor Code §1102.5.
The district court granted Bauer preliminary injunctive relief, ordering Sampson (1) not to enforce the workplace violence and racial discrimination or harassment policies against Bauer and (2) to withdraw the directive for Bauer to undergo counseling.1
After discovery, Bauer moved for full summary judgment, which the district court granted as to his first two causes of action-the free speech and right to petition abridgements premised on his federal constitutional rights enforced through §1983. The claim based on his equal protection rights was dismissed as surplusage, the claim based on California labor law denied, and the request for declaratory judgment ruled moot. Sampson timely appealed.2
Bauer filed a motion to amend the judgment to include attorney's fees, which the district court granted. The court determined the fee rate for Bauer's counsel to be $375 per hour, for a total fee award of about $125,000. Plaintiff's costs came to just under $1700. Sampson timely appealed the fee and cost award as well. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§1291 and 1292(a)(1).
STANDARDS OF REVIEW
A grant of summary judgment is reviewed de novo.  Weiner v. San Diego County, 210 F.3d 1025, 1028 (9th Cir.2000). In the civil rights context, attorney's fee awards made pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988 are generally reviewed for an abuse of discretion.3  See Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 437, 103 S.Ct. 1933, 76 L.Ed.2d 40 (1983); LSO, Ltd. v. Stroh, 205 F.3d 1146, 1160 (9th Cir.2000).
ANALYSIS
I.Facial Challenge
Board Policy 4000.3 defines workplace violence as “verbal threats, violent behavior or physical conduct which interferes with the employee's safety in the workplace.” Administrative Regulation 4000.3 implements the policy “by defining its components and assigning responsibilities for carrying out the policy.” Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1) lists two definitions of “workplace violence”:
a. Workplace violence is defined as verbal threats, violent behavior or physical conduct, which interferes with employee's safety in the workplace.
b.Workplace violence includes, but is not limited to, making written, physical, or visual contact with verbal threats or violent behavior overtones.
In Vill. of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc., 455 U.S. 489, 494-95, 102 S.Ct. 1186, 71 L.Ed.2d 362 (1982), the Supreme Court articulated a standard for First Amendment facial overbreadth and vagueness challenges:
In a facial challenge to the overbreadth and vagueness of a law, a court's first task is to determine whether the enactment reaches a substantial amount of constitutionally protected conduct. If it does not, then the overbreadth challenge must fail. The court should then examine the facial vagueness challenge and, assuming the enactment implicates no constitutionally protected conduct, should uphold the challenge only if the enactment is impermissibly vague in all of its applications.
Sampson argues that the District's workplace violence policy does not reach constitutionally protected conduct because it only prohibits “threats” of violence. However Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(b) extends past “threats” to also proscribe expression with violent “overtones.”
“In general, threats are not protected by the First Amendment.” Lovell v. Poway Unified Sch. Dist., 90 F.3d 367, 371 (9th Cir.1996). As Lovell explains:
We have set forth an objective test for determining whether a threat is a “true threat” and, thus, falls outside the protection of the First Amendment: “whether a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom the maker communicates the statement as a serious expression of intent to harm or assault.”
90 F.3d at 372 (quoting United States v. Orozco-Santillan, 903 F.2d 1262, 1265 (9th Cir.1990)).
Because some expression with violent “overtones” would not offend this reasonable person standard (i.e., would not be a “true threat”), Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(b)'s proscription violates the First Amendment under Village of Hoffman Estates, 455 U.S. at 494-95, 102 S.Ct. 1186. Simply put, a substantial amount of “overtones” are not “threats.” Therefore, the second definition of workplace violence facially violates the First Amendment. Since Board Policy 4000.3 and Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(a) prohibit only “verbal threats which interfere[ ] with employee's safety in the workplace,” these definitions are facially constitutional.
II.“As Applied” Analysis
Sampson's admonitory letter to Bauer directed him to “avoid any form of discrimination against or harassment of SOCCCD employees as described in Board Policy 4000.5” and “immediately cease all verbal threats and violent behavior overtones as required in Administrative Regulation 4000.3.” As explained above, it was unconstitutional for Sampson to attempt to forbid expression with “violent behavior overtones” that fell short of being a “true threat” (Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(b)). However, it is facially constitutional to regulate “true threats” as do Board Policy 4000.3 and Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(a). Additionally, Bauer concedes that the discrimination and harassment regulation is facially constitutional.4  Therefore, we next consider whether the prohibitions on racial discrimination or harassment and violent threats were applied to Bauer in a constitutional manner.
Sampson based his racial discrimination or harassment charge on Bauer's use of the name “Mr. Goo” for IVC President Raghu Mathur. In a letter, Sampson told Bauer that his “misuse” of Mathur's first name was “dehumanizing and insulting.” Sampson contends that the name is a play on the pejorative term “gook” and the fact that “goo” means “excrement” in Hindi. Bauer claims that the name is simply a play on the similarity between Mathur's first name, Raghu, and that of a cartoon character, Mr. Magoo. Sampson based his workplace violence charge on Bauer's “verbal threats and violent behavior overtones.”
We agree with the district court's analysis that the policies were unconstitutionally applied to Bauer because “though at times adolescent, insulting, crude and uncivil, Bauer's publication focuses directly on issues of public interest and importance.” We also agree with the district court that Bauer's statements were not “true threats” and that the District's rights as an employer were not impermissibly burdened by Bauer's expression.
A.Protected Expression
Expression involving a matter of public concern enjoys robust First Amendment protection.  “Whether a public employee's speech involves a matter of public concern depends upon ‘the content, form, and context of a given statement, as revealed by the whole record.’”  Cochran v. City of Los Angeles, 222 F.3d 1195, 1200 (9th Cir.2000) (quoting Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 147-48, 103 S.Ct. 1684, 75 L.Ed.2d 708 (1983)).  “A public employee's speech or expressive conduct deals with a matter of public concern when it ‘can be fairly considered as relating to a matter of political, social, or other concern to the community.’”  Id. (quoting Voigt v. Savell, 70 F.3d 1552, 1559 (9th Cir.1995)). Sampson concedes that Bauer's expression dealt with matters of public concern, arguing not that the expression is unprotected, but rather that either (1) the expression loses its protected status because it constitutes “true threats” or (2) the District's interests as an employer in regulating the expression outweigh Bauer's First Amendment rights as an employee.
B.“True Threat” Analysis
“[T]he constitutional guarantee of free speech does not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action that is likely to incite or produce such action.” Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 446, 89 S.Ct. 1827, 23 L.Ed.2d 430 (1969).  “Whether a particular statement may properly be considered to be a threat is governed by an objective standard-whether a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom the maker communicates the statement as a serious expression of intent of harm or assault.”  United States v. Orozco-Santillan, 903 F.2d 1262, 1265 (9th Cir.1990).  “Alleged threats should be considered in light of their entire factual context, including the surrounding events and reaction of the listeners.”  Id.
We agree with the district court's holding that although Bauer's writings have some violent content, they “are hyperbole of the sort found in non-mainstream political invective and in context are patently not true threats.”  (Emphasis in original). Under the reasonable speaker test, these writings would not be perceived as “true threats.” They were made in an underground campus newspaper in the broader context of especially contentious campus politics.
Sampson argues that the expression takes on a more insidious tenor when considered in the overall context of Bauer's other behavior on campus. Sampson alleges that Bauer: (1) had verbal run-ins with his supervisor and other District employees more sympathetic to the administration; (2) told his supervisor, “You and Mathur are going down”; (3) told a co-worker, “Your day has come,” after the co-worker mocked a friend; and (4) referred to Mathur and an African-American Trustee as “the dark side.” Sampson has not, however, alleged that Bauer has ever been physically abusive or violent on or off campus. Nor did Sampson base his disciplinary action on any of these incidents; it was based on the six writings found in “Dissent.”
Within the larger context of the turbulent IVC campus community, the conduct alleged by Sampson does not transform Bauer's expression into “true threats.” We agree with the district court that there is simply no way a reasonable reader would have construed the writings and illustrations to be “true threats,” even if that reader were aware of all of the other conduct alleged by Sampson.
C.The District's Interests as an Employer
[T]he State has interests as an employer in regulating the speech of its employees that differ significantly from those it possesses in connection with regulation of the speech of the citizenry in general. The problem in any case [alleging First Amendment infringement] is to arrive at a balance between the interests of the teacher, as a citizen, in commenting upon matters of public concern and the interest of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees.
Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563, 568, 88 S.Ct. 1731, 20 L.Ed.2d 811 (1968). In order to prevail, a public employee must first show that his statements are constitutionally protected.  Johnson v. Multnomah County, 48 F.3d 420, 422 (9th Cir.1995). Once a plaintiff shows that his statements were of public concern and that the statements were a substantial motivating factor for the disciplinary action taken against him, the burden shifts to the defendant to show that its legitimate administrative interests outweigh the plaintiff's First Amendment rights.  Gilbrook v. City of Westminster, 177 F.3d 839, 866-67 (9th Cir.1999).  “This issue is one of law and a determination is to be made by the court.”  Cochran, 222 F.3d at 1200 (citing Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 148 n. 7, 103 S.Ct. 1684, 75 L.Ed.2d 708 (1983)).5
As discussed above, Sampson concedes on appeal that Bauer's expression was about a matter of public concern. Sampson also concedes that the expression was a substantial factor in causing the discipline upon which Bauer's suit is based. Therefore, the only issue is whether the District's interests as an employer outweigh Bauer's First Amendment rights.
Pickering “requires full consideration of the government's interest in the effective and efficient fulfillment of its responsibilities to the public.”  Voigt, 70 F.3d at 1561. In Brewster v. Bd. of Educ., 149 F.3d 971, 980-81 (9th Cir.1998), we listed five factors for use in the Pickering balancing analysis: (1) whether the employee's speech disrupted harmony among co-workers; (2) whether the relationship between the employee and the employer was a close working relationship with frequent contact which required trust and respect in order to be successful; (3) whether the employee's speech interfered with performance of his duties; (4) whether the employee's speech was directed to the public or the media or to a governmental colleague; and (5) whether the employee's statements were ultimately determined to be false.  “Because the Pickering balance necessarily involves a fact-sensitive inquiry involving the totality of the circumstances, no single factor is dispositive.”  Gilbrook, 177 F.3d at 868.
Under the Pickering balancing analysis, as elucidated by Brewster, the District's interests as an employer do not outweigh Bauer's First Amendment rights. First, Bauer's expression no doubt created some disharmony among his colleagues, especially those more sympathetic to the administration. In light of the Accrediting Commission's report, however, it can hardly be said that Bauer was the source of the disharmony on IVC's campus. IVC and the District were going through a contentious period-Bauer's commentary on these troubles may have raised awareness, but the expression certainly did not cause them. Second, given the nature of academic life, especially at the college level, it was not necessary that Bauer and the administration enjoy a close working relationship requiring trust and respect-indeed anyone who has spent time on college campuses knows that the vigorous exchange of ideas and resulting tension between an administration and its faculty is as much a part of college life as homecoming and final exams. Third, Sampson has not shown that Bauer's speech had any negative impact on Bauer's teaching or other professional responsibilities. Fourth, Bauer's expression was disseminated through “The Dissent,” which was distributed exclusively to the District community. Finally, fifth, Bauer's expression was clearly opinion, not factual assertions that could be proven false.
The district court properly conducted its Pickering balancing analysis. We agree that Bauer's First Amendment rights clearly outweigh the District's interests as an employer in silencing his expression.
III.Attorney's Fees
Sampson challenges both Bauer's entitlement to fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988 and the amount awarded by the district court.
A.“Special Circumstances”
Plaintiffs in §1983 actions “should ordinarily recover an attorney's fee unless special circumstances could render such an award unjust.”  Newman v. Piggie Park Enters., Inc., 390 U.S. 400, 402, 88 S.Ct. 964, 19 L.Ed.2d 1263 (1968). We have a two-prong test for determining such special circumstances, “(1) whether allowing attorney's fees would further the purposes of §1988 and (2) whether the balance of the equities favors or disfavors the denial of fees.”  Gilbrook, 177 F.3d at 878.
Sampson argues that three “special circumstances” warrant a departure from the usual fee award rule in this case: (1) this is a case of first impression, so the public benefits from full litigation; (2) Bauer could have found a lawyer without the fee award inducement because of the beneficial publicity generated by the case; and (3) Sampson litigated in good faith. All three arguments fail to rise to the level of a “special circumstance.”
We need not decide whether the first two of these grounds would qualify as a “special circumstance” because they lack a factual basis in any event.
This is not a case of first impression. Both the Supreme Court and this circuit have published widely on the free speech rights of academics, the requirements for a statement to be a “true threat,” and the invalidity of proscriptions on potentially violent expression that falls short of being a “true threat.” Though these particular facts have not been litigated, the legal principles which govern this case were extant at its inception.
It also seems unlikely that Bauer could have gotten a lawyer to represent him on his own. The attorney's fees in this case totaled over $100,000-an attorney would be hard-pressed to provide that magnitude of representation just for beneficial publicity. The purpose of §1988, allowing citizens to present constitutional claims when they have been wronged by governmental actors, would be frustrated by forcing a plaintiff such as Bauer to find an attorney willing to take on a decidedly local §1983 case at a cost to himself of over $100,000.
Finally, good faith litigation is not enough, on its own, to warrant a finding of “special circumstances.”  Williams v. Hanover Hous. Auth., 113 F.3d 1294, 1301-02 (1st Cir.1997) (“The circuits are in agreement that defendants' good faith reliance on settled law is not a ‘special circumstance’ warranting a denial of attorney's fees under §1988.”).
The district court was correct in ruling that this case does not present “special circumstances” justifying a decision not to award attorney's fees to Bauer.
B.Hourly Rate
Sampson argues that the hourly rate determined by the district court for Bauer's counsel, $375 per hour, is excessive. The district court followed the proper procedure for such a determination under Davis v. City and County of San Francisco, 976 F.2d 1536, 1545-46 (9th Cir.1992), vacated in part 984 F.2d 345 (1993), considering declarations filed by local attorneys on behalf of both Sampson and Bauer. Reviewing these declarations, we cannot say that the district court abused its discretion in determining the hourly rate.
C.Number of Hours
Sampson argues that Bauer was not sufficiently successful under Sablan v. Dept. of Fin. of Commonwealth of N. Mariana Islands, 856 F.2d 1317, 1325 (9th Cir.1988), and Hensley to merit a full fee award. Sampson argues that because Bauer filed five claims and only received relief from the district court as to two, his suit was only forty percent successful.
Such reasoning cannot stand under Sablan, which teaches that courts “must determine what [the plaintiff] sought to accomplish in bringing his lawsuit and then determine whether the lawsuit was causally linked to the relief actually obtained.”  856 F.2d at 1325. Here, Bauer asked that the two Board policies not be applied to his expression, that Sampson's reprimanding letter be removed from his personnel file, and that he not undergo counseling. His suit accomplished all of these goals, a result preserved in this appeal. It simply is not material under Sablan or Hensley that Bauer alleged additional causes of action which were dismissed on the merits or as surplusage or mooted by his victory.
Sampson also quibbles with the district court's calculation of Bauer's counsel's total hours. However, Sampson has not presented us with concrete evidence of which hours were overbilled, resulting in an abuse of discretion by the district court. We note that Bauer's attorney agreed to a voluntary twenty-hour reduction before the district court even addressed the issue. The district court did not abuse its discretion in calculating Bauer's attorney's hours.
CONCLUSION
The district court correctly ruled that Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(b) is unconstitutional on its face because it prohibits speech with violent “overtones” that falls short of being threatening. However, the district court erred in holding that the entire workplace violence policy is facially unconstitutional: both Board Policy 4000.3 and Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(a) pass facial analysis.
The district court correctly ruled that the Board's policies on racial discrimination or harassment and workplace violence are unconstitutional as applied to Bauer. The district court did not abuse its discretion in deciding to award Bauer's attorney's fees, setting the rate for those fees, or in calculating the number of attorney hours to be paid.
AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED IN PART. Appellee is awarded costs on appeal.
I concur in sections II.A, II.B, and III of the majority's analysis.
I respectfully dissent from section I because, in my view, Administrative Regulation 4000.3(1)(b) is not facially unconstitutional. I agree that, standing alone, the prohibition on expression with “violent behavior overtones” is unconstitutionally overbroad. However, this prohibition cannot sustain an overbreadth challenge because it does not reach a “substantial amount of constitutionally protected conduct.” See Vill. of Hoffman Estates v. Flipside, Hoffman Estates, Inc., 455 U.S. 489, 494-95, 102 S.Ct. 1186, 71 L.Ed.2d 362 (1982).
I also respectfully dissent from section II.C and decline to walk in the path of error taken by the majority. These are hard cases because of the great weight and respect that properly must be given the dictates of the First Amendment. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court has pointed to some limits in the context of employment. See Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563, 88 S.Ct. 1731, 20 L.Ed.2d 811 (1968).
As I see it, the evidence that Sampson submitted in opposition to Bauer's motion for summary judgment raised genuine issues of material fact concerning the ways in which Bauer's writings and illustrations, tinged with violence, affected the campus community, the peace of mind of administrators, faculty, and students, and the overall well-being of the college.1  The district court disregarded these issues, giving greater weight to the values underlying free speech. Yet, under Pickering the Supreme Court requires a balancing of facts relating to disruption in the employment context; a more fact-intensive inquiry was appropriate in light of the evidence submitted opposing summary judgment. In my view, the district court should have addressed the competing interests of Sampson and Bauer in a trial or at least in an evidentiary hearing where some factual determinations could be made, before conducting its analysis under Pickering and concluding that Bauer's free speech interests outweighed Sampson's legitimate administrative interests in restricting such speech.
The Pickering balancing analysis requires a factual inquiry into factors concerning: (1) whether the speech at issue disrupts harmony among co-workers; (2) the nature of the relationship between the employer and employee; (3) whether the speech inhibits the speaker's job performance; (4) to whom the speech was directed; and (5) the accuracy of the speech. Brewster v. Bd. of Educ., 149 F.3d 971, 980-81 (9th Cir.1998) (setting forth five factors for use in the Pickering balancing analysis). Here, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Sampson and drawing all permissible inferences in his favor, there are serious fact issues concerning the extent and impact of the disruption resulting from Bauer's writings and illustrations.
We should consider declarations submitted in support of Sampson. For example, an economics professor declared that he had been “discouraged from pursuing administrative jobs because of Mr. Bauer and his disruptive presence.” Another professor declared that she “felt physically threatened by the violent newsletter sequence which underlies this litigation, some of which target[ed] [her] personally.” Sampson declared that he placed restrictions on the “Dissent” only when “the publication became increasingly violent, suggesting physical harm to various employees, including Dr. Raghu Mathur, the College President.”
For me, the most significant declaration is from Dr. Lipian, a forensic psychiatrist who, based in part upon a review of the “Dissent,” concluded that: (1) “the District has a legitimate concern that Mr. Bauer has the potential, if not evaluated and possibly treated, of engaging in increasing forms of violent speech, and possibly violent conduct”; (2) “[i]n the absence of evaluation and treatment, [Mr. Bauer's] escalating interest in, discussion of, and threat to employ violent actions and violent tools is likely to worsen”; and (3) “Mr. Bauer's anger is likely to intensify  [And] [a]ction upon unambiguously stated fantasies of revenge and destruction becomes an increasingly ominous risk.” This declaration of a qualified forensic psychiatrist was given weight by the college and warrants more consideration than it received from the district court.
In an era when a wave of seemingly random, but frequent, violence has engulfed schools across our country, the district court gave too little attention to risks of ripening violence that may reasonably be inferred from the expert's submission. For Dr. Lipian to note an “increasingly ominous risk” of action based on “unambiguously stated fantasies of revenge and destruction” is no small matter, though one finds no mention of it in the district court opinion, or for that matter, in the majority's analysis. Accepting Dr. Lipian's statement as true for purposes of summary judgment, the college's response to this risk was moderate, reasonable, and restrained. The college did not censor Bauer, nor terminate him, but only sought to require that he submit to psychological counseling. Such a course was recommended by Dr. Lipian. Giving all inferences to Sampson, I decline to accept the views of the district court that risks of violence or other disruption must be disregarded without a trial or an evidentiary hearing to permit the district court to assess the evidence after determining credibility of witnesses.
I recognize that the college and the school district were experiencing difficulties when Bauer published the writings and illustrations at issue. But, I believe that, if Sampson's evidence is credited, the evidence supports the conclusion that Bauer did more than raise awareness of pre-existing problems. Rather, giving all reasonable inferences to Sampson, a trier of fact might conclude that Bauer was responsible for more than his share of the tension on campus.
Pickering “requires full consideration of the government's interest in effective and efficient fulfillment of its responsibilities to the public.” Voigt v. Savell, 70 F.3d 1552, 1561 (9th Cir.1995). The college owed a duty to faculty and students to exercise the utmost care to avoid the possibility of violence and irreparable harm. Cf. LaVine, 257 F.3d 981. We cannot from this record say whether there was, as Dr. Lipian explicitly said, an “increasingly ominous risk” of violence that outweighed Bauer's free speech interests. Summary judgment was premature and inappropriate.
FOOTNOTES
1.  The district court also ordered that Bauer be excused from posting a bond or other security to obtain the preliminary injunction.
2.  The district court did not award Bauer any damages and he has filed no cross-appeal, so damages have dropped out of the case.
3.  Section 1988 is the statutory provision governing fee awards for successful §1983 plaintiffs.
4.  Board Policy 4000.5 prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of certain listed characteristics “pursuant to applicable federal and state statutes, guidelines, and regulations, and district policies and regulations” in any District employment process, position, program, service, or activity. The district court rejected a facial challenge to this policy, a decision Bauer does not appeal.
5.  We note the dissent's concern that the district court did not draw “all permissible inferences” in Sampson's favor in conducting its Pickering analysis at summary judgment. Under the plurality opinion in Waters v. Churchill, 511 U.S. 661, 677, 114 S.Ct. 1878, 128 L.Ed.2d 686 (1994), when conducting Pickering balancing, “courts look to the facts as the employer reasonably found them to be.”  (Emphasis in original). Unlike Waters, the facts of this case are not in dispute. Here the parties agree precisely on the expression at issue-the six writings.  Connick and Waters teach that in such a circumstance the application of Pickering to settled facts is the province and duty of the court. We are not to defer to the governmental employer's analysis of the facts, just the governmental employer's reasonable determination of the facts. In any event, Dr. Lipian's declaration is largely conclusory and is not based on any personal interview or examination of Bauer.
1.  Although the majority urges in its footnote 5 that the “parties agree precisely on the expression at issue-the six writings,” the majority fails to address evidence in the record about the consequence of those writings for the campus. The majority does not even mention the government employer's submission of its expert psychiatrist's view that Bauer had an escalating interest in “violent actions and violent tools” and was sufficiently disturbed to require counseling. Recognizing that schools must have leeway to take protective or precautionary steps to counter risks of violence, we have recently upheld, against First Amendment challenge, a high school's suspension of a student who submitted a violent poem with descriptions of classroom shooting.  LaVine v. Blaine Sch. Dist., 257 F.3d 981 (9th Cir.2001). We should show similar tolerance here of the interests of the college, which at least warrant a trial or evidentiary hearing on issues of risks of violence and consequent disruption.
MICHAEL DALY HAWKINS, Circuit Judge:

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