Saturday, May 13, 2006

Premature congratulation


1. THE CURSE OF MATHURIAN PRAISE.
In the latest Lariat (5/11/06), Chancellor Mathur writes to tell the Lariat staff that they're doing a heck of a job:

Dear Brownie:
I wanted to take this opportunity to compliment you on the outstanding April 25, 2006 edition of the Lariat. To see on the front page headlines: Students to Grade Classes; Students Help Irvine Celebrate; New Student Leaders announced; Volunters Gather to Brighten Campus was phenomenal. You truly captured the essence of what a college newspaper is about...students.

The quality of all the articles was excellent, but in particular I wanted you to convey my congratulations to Leah Sims for the thought provoking article Driving Under the Influence.

Congratulations to everyone on the Larat staff for a job well done! [OK, I made up the salutation. But the rest of this is verbatim, I swear!]

When I mentioned Mathur's praise of Sims' "Driving Under the Influence" to Rebel Girl, the Reb dryly asserted:

"I bet she's against it."

But get this! In the very Lariat in which Mathur praises the paper's recent bout of gratuitous positivity, we find a distinctly negative investigative piece. It concerns alleged steroid use among student athletes at our own colleges!

In "Lucky Swing" by Ryan Kuhn and James Haynie IV, we read:

Some players say steroids have been around the OEC [the Orange Empire Conference], including both IVC and Saddleback, since at least 2002.

Former Irvine Valley catcher Justin Meisner, who played for the Lasers from 2002 to 2004, witnessed the use of steroids during conference play.

"Some players from other schools would actually talk about using steroids," Meisner said. "Others you could see the affects first-hand."
OK, that's bad enough. But then we read:
Steroids have not only been a factor for the opposing team but also for the [IVC] Lasers. According to Meisner, there were four teammates who used anabolic steroids during his IVC playing career.

"The coach knew about it," Meisner said. "He didn't say anything as long as his players were producing."

Naturally, inquiring minds wanna know if Lariat reporters contacted the coach and asked for his side.

We're not told.

Evidently on the basis of Meisner's testimony, the Lariat concludes that anabolic steroids "have been a factor...also for the Lasers."

A similar approach is taken with regard to Saddleback:
...[S]teroids have reemerged, this time at Saddleback.

According to Saddleback sophormore outfielder Mike Elkerson, Winstrol [an anabolic steroid] has been used by a number of his teammates including one of the starting pitchers.

"I know a total of four guys on the team that have used or are using the steroid," Elkerson said. "There is one pitcher starting to use it again that has done it in the past."

Something tells me that the Lariat won't be getting more of those Warm and Fuzzies from the Chancellor for a while.


2. IT'S FINNISHed. In today's edition of What's New?, the always-reliable Bob Park reports on a flaw recently found in touch-screen voting machines:

The most severe security flaw ever found in a voting system has been discovered by a Finnish expert working for a non-profit group. A professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins told the NY Times that he, "almost had a heart attack," when he learned of the problem. This was not some innocent design error that wasn't caught. Diebold, the company that makes the machines, built in a secret "back door" to "update the software." It could be opened in minutes if someone knows the code. Don't worry, the code is a proprietary secret of Diebold. Of course, there was that 2003 fund-raising letter to Ohio Republicans from the Diebold CEO that said, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its votes to the President" (Park) .

At one of the events of the recent LA Times Festival of Books, Gore Vidal talked up a book on election fraud: What Went Wrong in Ohio: the Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election, edited by Anita Miller. Check it out!

3. WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' TREES. Not long ago, Dissent reported that several trees at IVC were marked with a lurid orange graffitum of death.

Well, Paul finally brought his bunion, and now the trees have joined the angels. I'm told that Glenn smiled with satisfaction as various extremities of our inanimate earthly brethren fell upon the concrete. "Crack!" "Crunch!"

Snicker, smile.

Here are some pics, which document the arboreal atrocity. Picture 1: "before." Picture 2: "after." Picture 3: Stumpy.




They say that, if you count the rings, you get Glenn Roquemore's IQ.

P.S.
8:30 p.m.


One of the authors of the Lariat investigative piece on steroid use is one Ryan Kuhn. In the Lariat edition that Mathur singles out for praise (4/25/06), Mr. Kuhn participates in a "pro" and "con" article on "vegetarianism" ("Vegetarianism: love animals or eat them?").

Mr. Kuhn takes the "con" side (eat 'em). He writes:

There are some vegetarians that eat no meat whatsoever but instead eat foods that have lots of carbohydrates like bagels and pasta. Also cutting out met [sic] might shave off some pounds but they do eat cookies and candy, not balanced eating plans to say the least.

Morals and ethics have been a big controversy whether or not to eat meat. I do agree that some ways of killing animals are completely wrong but some hunting techniques have been around for so long they are viewed as OK. Fishing has become extremely popular....

No matter what reason a person has for not eating meat it is not mandatory for being healthy. Besides that the taste of a barbecue pork sandwich is so good, eating meat is just part of a balanced diet.

...Who wants to eat a veggie burger? Eat meat instead.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The end is near

Site Meter
"No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.”

--Ralph Waldo Emerson


1. WHAT ABOUT TOM? Did you see the article about Trustee Padberg in yesterday’s LA Times?

As you know, Nancy is running for Superior Court judge, office No. 4. She is running against a Superior Court Commissioner, Lyle Robertson, and a senior deputy DA—Sheila Hanson, Democrat.

Robertson has the endorsement of Robert Gallivan, the retiring judge, plus a gaggle of other judges.

But he seems to be without funds.

Plus his website is daffy. On his site's endorsement page (Robertson's website), Judge Chaffee is quoted as saying, "he's a keen guy!"

A keen guy?

I noticed that among Robertson's endorsements is one from Adam Probolsky. Probolsky is a card-carrying member of Team Fuentes/Schroeder.


anson seems most likely to win. Her campaign war chest is four times larger than Nancy’s. Plus Hanson’s been endorsed by Tony “Rat Bastard” Rackauckas, the DA. She's got the inside track.

Rackauckas, of course, has close ties to Trustee Fuentes. It is commonly said that Fuentes' crew--led by attorney Mike Schroeder--is very powerful in OC. Schroeder is a close advisor to both DA Rackauckas and OC Sheriff Mike Carona.

To Beelzebub, too.

Meanwhile, Nancy Padberg has been endorsed by the State California Republican Assembly—a very conservative body. Plus the OC Young Republicans. They're pretty conservative, too.

An impressive group of prominent Republicans has endorsed her. (See Nancy's website). Plainly, Nancy's the Republican choice, and the conservative choice, for this non-partisan office.

According to Nancy's website, all of our (SOCCCD) trustees have endorsed her.

Except for one. Guess who?


’ve been told (I’ll seek confirmation) that, in this race, if no one achieves a simple majority in the upcoming election (June 6), then there’ll be a run-off.

Further, I’ve been told that, if Nancy remains in the race at that point, she cannot also serve as Trustee.

Looks like things could get interesting, starting June 7.

2. ABOUT NANCY. Nancy Padberg’s website includes a section “about Nancy.” It says:

Prior to practicing law and nearly 20 years ago, I was instrumental in securing the arrest and conviction of a high school teacher who sexually molested his female students for nearly ten years. When school administration and local law enforcement were unable to protect our students, I was able to secure his removal from the classroom and end his access to students by getting his teaching credential revoked before his conviction and incarceration.

I did not know that. Inquiring minds wanna know more.

Here’s an odd factoid. Listed among Padberg’s endorsements is “Councilwoman Christina Shea, City of Irvine.”

But listed among Hanson’s endorsements is—you guessed it!— “Christina Shea, Councilmember, City of Irvine.”

Um, I don’t get it.

I guess voters have sex crimes on the brain. In her biography, Hanson emphasizes that she was:

Sexual Assault Prosecutor—Prosecuted Orange County’s most dangerous sex offenders while assigned to the sexual assault unit prosecuting rapists, child molesters and sexually violent predators for more than 5 years.

3. CAREER STUDENT. This morning's New York Times had an odd little story about “career students." It focussed on one student in particular:

Despite his 12 years as an undergraduate student, Johnny Lechner realized something was missing from his academic career: he had never studied abroad… And so, Mr. Lechner, 29, who was finally expected to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, withdrew his application for graduation on Monday, five days before commencement…Michelle Eigenberger, an editor at the student newspaper, The Royal Purple, said Mr. Lechner might have achieved celebrity status, but most students were tired of it…"It's getting old," Ms. Eigenberger said. "For the sanity of the rest of the campus, we want him to get out of here."

Many of us in the district have the very same feeling about Raghu Mathur.



4. THE END IS NEAR. Recently, at a birthday dinner, I sat next to the spouse of a colleague. This fellow, who teaches at a local High School, told me that a particular year of students—I’ve forgotten which one: maybe it was 16-year-olds—is significantly “worse” than anything before seen. He spoke about these students as though they were a cloud of locusts on the horizon.

“How’s that possible?” I asked. "Aren’t such changes usually gradual? What could explain a sudden drop in the quality [aka "preparedness"] of students?” I asked.

The fellow was adamant. He was not sure why this was happening, but it was happening all right.


Then, this morning, I came upon an article (in the NYT) about a mysterious drop in SAT scores:

…[A] new mystery has arisen over the college admissions exam. Many colleges are reporting that their applicants' average scores this year on the verbal and math sections of the exam fell significantly, some by more than 10 points. Usually, scores change glacially, a point or two a year. Colleges and board officials are unsure of the reasons for the decline, and no one points to scoring errors. But the declines have created jitters and puzzlement.

Lee Stetson, dean of admissions [and, no doubt, of hats] at the University of Pennsylvania, said he noticed the decline last fall. "It was only four or five points," he said, "but it was too much of a shift to be a coincidence…He added that at a meeting of Ivy League admissions deans yesterday "there was general concurrence that SAT scores had dropped a nominal amount."

That trend is being reported elsewhere. The University of California saw a 15-point drop in average scores. At the University of Washington, the decline was 5 to 10 points.

The article goes on to offer possible explanations. Check it out. (Colleges report mystery decline in SAT scores)

I sure hope that my High School teacher friend wasn’t onto something! Creepy, ain't it?

But enough about that.

Summer's arrived!

Plus: Happy graduation, graduates!

Monday, May 8, 2006

Diary of a Mad English Professor

“A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”

—George Orwell
“Politics and the English Language” (1946)



oday was one of those days. Rebel Girl’s head cold continued to linger, a blizzardy winter in her skull occupying what should be a sunny So Cal spring but instead perseveres as a drizzle-filled season of no-name.

I drove home, picked up the mail, heated leftover pizza, and read Patricia J. Williams’ column in my latest issue of the Nation (May 15, 2006), standing up in the kitchen, warming myself by the stove.

Last March, Red Emma was in Chicago, attending the Conference on College Composition and Communication (aka the 4 C’s) courtesy of UCI and his own talents. He bought me Williams’ latest book, Open House: of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons and the Search for a Room on My Own. I’ve been making my way through it in the evenings since.

It’s a wonderful and inspiring mix of the personal and the political. Williams is a professor of law at Columbia University and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School, but I know her mostly through her regular columns in the Nation, which appear under the heading: “Diary of a Mad Law Professor.”

This week’s column is titled, “The Deciderator” and begins with the epigraph below courtesy of President Bush, followed by the text I quote after:

“I hear the voices, and I read the front page and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense." —President Bush, April 18

“I wish I could stop over-analyzing everything President Bush says, but since his pronouncements so often require deciphering, I just can't seem to stop myself at plain meanings. For instance: What on earth's going on with his self-inflicted depiction as our fearless ‘decider’? A preference for Germanic rather than French suffixes? A penchant for verb-lers rather than noun-atives?”


A moody English professor who seems to be in perpetual despair, I identified with William’s tendency to over-analyze the President’s rhetorical stylings.

Naturally, I kept reading. A few lines later, Williams admits that her “worry is not solely about language.” She points out, “This Administration has circumvented the thoughtful, the consultative, the diplomatic with phraseology so twisted that one indulges the temptation to laugh at it as meaningless rather than to unpackage the purpose behind the mangled mots.”

She cites Bush’s endorsement of “affirmative access” over affirmative action during one of the presidential debates, describing it as “an artful dodge…a refusal to engage as well as a refusal to commit.”

“That maneuver,” she writes, “has in it the ingredients of so much of what I find troubling about this Administration: there’s a whole lot of decideration and precious little consideration. This is an Administration that has leaped without looking, that has prized efficiency (or the idea of it anyway) over equity and enshrined secrecy over communication at every turn. Competence is unquestionably sacrificed in that kind of bunkered, blinkered governance. And accountability—which is, after all, what we should be debating when it comes to Rumsfeld’s performance—is not even on the table.”

My impulse is simply to present you with her entire essay. But there are laws against that kind of thing, and besides you can pursue Patricia J. Williams yourself: buy the Nation, find it in the library or read as much as they will let you online at: www.thenation.com)

But some of you know where I’m going with this. Of course. Perhaps you recognize the syndrome too. For indeed, as much as I found myself nodding in agreement with Williams’ assessment of the Bush Administration, I also found myself seeing the sorry state of our college district reflected in her words:

“…there’s a whole lot of decideration and precious little consideration.” —Yup

“This is an Administration that has leaped without looking, that has prized efficiency (or the idea of it anyway) over equity and enshrined secrecy over communication at every turn.” —Oh yeah.

“Competence is unquestionably sacrificed in that kind of bunkered, blinkered governance.” —You got that right!

“And accountability…is not even on the table.” —Uh-huh.

And, in terms of the “mangled mots” uttered by our own local fearless leaders, well, dear reader, simply cast your eyes to the sidebar of this blog, where Chunk usually has the doozies posted. “Stop living in an ivory castle!” Indeed.

This regime—the board and Chancellor, the administrators in charge of the commonwealth, public education, our cultural and political lives—have done to language what they have done to our nation, our state (Der Terminator) and our county. They are foolish people for whom language is something less a tool than a destroyerator of tools. As Orwell claims, “Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

“Pure wind.”

Brrrrrr.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Oh, the indignity!

Last Wednesday, at 2:00, Chancellor Mathur met with the School of Humanities & Languages at IVC.

Now, it’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that Raghu meets with Divisions/Schools for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to get leadership cred with Dave Lang and the other trustees.

Nevertheless, I show up to this thing, and I’m sitting there with the new and totally untenured guy, plus three or four female faculty—I’ll call ‘em the “Girl Scouts,” ‘cause they’re pretty dutiful.

I guess women are more dutiful then men when it comes to School meetings. Most of the time, when I attend an H&L meeting, I’m the only guy in the room, or very nearly so.

For about ten minutes, me ‘n’ the new guy and the Girl Scouts are just twiddling thumbs. I start looking at the door. But then, finally, Raghu shows, with Glenn in tow.

So, there we are: the dean, four H&L faculty (out of twenty-five or so), and Raghu & Glenn, sitting together in a goddam circle. The dean gets the new guy to explain about the new Religious Studies courses he’s written. That’s good for maybe 1 minute. After that, Raghu gives his standard speech about how he meets with all the schools and divisions.

Then he says: “Is there anything you’d like to share?”

Silence.

Right about then, Lisa, the chair of the English Department, joins the meeting, and she’s got something on her mind. According to the rules, she says, there’s no reassigned time, and so she’s gotta teach a full load plus all this chair stuff. Somebody’s got to do it, and it’s her turn.

As English chair, she’s gotta schedule and staff and evaluate part-timers and mentor them and who-knows-what-else! Plus: how’s she supposed to evaluate part-timers who are teaching when she teaches?

Chairs get a stipend, but them are measly bucks, which makes sense, because they’re for ten hours per month.

TEN HOURS PER MONTH? ARE YOU KIDDING?

This reassigned time ban, she says, is “completely unworkable.” Under the existing circumstances, the English chair job “simply can’t be done.”

Well, Raghu asked for sharing, and he got sharing.

Lisa made her points calmly, professionally. But if you know the Gooster at all, then you know that he flat hates women, especially women who’ve got something to say and they’re saying it to him. So, as Lisa ticks off her points, Raghu’s ears turn redder and redder until they're spurting blood across the room.

Then Jeannie says, “Yeah, the chair of Languages has the same problem.” To be a chair, she says, you’ve gotta be a martyr. You end up shortchanging your students, cuz something’s gotta give.

Mathur can hardly stand it. He’s got women coming at him from left and right. Oh, the indignity!

—But, for now, he holds his temper. He explains that this “reassigned time” business is a union issue, that he’s working with the union president, and they’ll be “collecting data.” Plus: lots of us (he means RAGHU) put in time “above and beyond the call of duty.”

—Not that he’s refusing to talk about this issue. “I’m open to the whole topic,” he purrs.

Open? OK, so Lisa pursues the matter. She reminds him that he was among those who advocated eliminating reassigned time. OK, fine. “So how is this supposed to work?” she asks.

He doesn’t answer the question. He’s got no ideas. We’ll be gathering data, he says. “I’m keeping an open mind.

Then Brenda brings up another problem. There’s this new practice: when enrollments in part-timers’ classes fall below 22, they’re paid proportionally. Thus, in a class with only 17 students, the instructor is paid 17/22 of regular pay.

Others join the chorus of complaint. We seem to be alone in adopting this peculiar practice, they say, and so we’re losing part-timers to other colleges. “Let’s do what is ethical and good.”

Mathur offers: “We’re not violating the contract, are we? So what’s the problem?”

Glenn enters the fray. He explains that there’s the “humanistic” side and there’s the “business” side of the issue. During a time of declining enrollment, the business side is important. We’ve either gotta offer part-timers courses under these unattractive “contract” terms, or we’ve gotta offer them nothing.

Mathur, who makes about a quarter million dollars a year, explains that he is not “philosophically opposed” to keeping courses that fall below 22. But he fails to say what, if anything, he might do about “contract pay” for part-timers.

Someone notes that writing courses are capped at 25. And that means that, even when they are full, they can easily drop below the magic number, and then the “contract pay” business kicks in. That’s “unfair,” she says.

Steam starts whistling out of Raghu’s crimson ears. Didn’t he just say he was “open”? What is WITH these women!

Lisa raises the issue of summer. Chairs have duties during the summer, but they receive no compensation.

Glenn and Raghu commence blathering. One of ‘em refers to when they were a chair. So Lisa asks: OK, when you guys were a chair, what did YOU do?

For a moment, the two just stare into space.

But Raghu coughs up an answer: Well, he got a stipend. But that was in the old days, before summer stipends and such were eliminated. “I worked within the system,” says Raghu.

Yeah. But the new system “isn’t working well for me,” says Lisa. How are we supposed to make this work—without a summer stipend, without reassigned time?

At this point, Mathur’s temper begins to show: “I gave you my answer,” he declares, a tad too emphatically. “No system is a panacea!” he adds, grumpily.

Panacea? In Raghu World, evidently, to find fault is to demand perfection.

Raghu next asserts that reassigned time was eliminated because it is “expensive.”

DON’T THINK SO: In reality, in 1997-8, during its corrupt years, the Faculty Association secured the elimination of reassigned time for everyone but union officers. The Old Guard rejected reassigned time, not because it was expensive, but because it was a “scandalous system for the favored few,” or so said Bill Heffernan at board meeting (8/97).

During the same meeting, Tony Garcia declared that “the community should erect a statue to [Raghu] for his courage” in “condemn[ing] the obscene and immoral practice of release time.” Obscene? Immoral? Yes. According to the Old Guard, teachers should teach. It is “immoral” for teachers to administrate.

When Raghu became interim President of IVC in 1997, he had been the chair of his school for years. He received 80-100% reassigned time.

Suddenly, Raghu’s phone starts playing Bach’s Minuet in G. He inspects it and then shuts it off. Meanwhile, Lisa presses for an answer. What about these problems? she asks. What can we do about them? Things aren’t working now, that’s for sure.

“I gave you my answer,” says Raghu, peevishly. Besides, he says, making sacrifices “all comes with the territory.” “I’m listening, I’m open,” he adds.

So what. “Something needs to be done to make [the system] more reasonable,” respond the Girl Scouts.


“Nobody has all the answers,” responds Raghu. He commences speechifyin’. He asks a rhetorical question: how come faculty don’t come to board meetings and tell the trustees “Thank you”?

Raghu begins to describe his heroic labors on behalf of the colleges. He portrays himself as going up against miserly trustees. They don’t want to use basic aid money for ongoing expenses. But there’s a big problem: we’re $700-800 million short of what we’ll need to carry out the master plan.

Lisa asks: would the board support a bond measure?

Raghu yammers about that for a while. He seems to say that he’s trying to get the board to see that, sooner or later, they’ll have to pursue that option. I’m “trying to raise their awareness,” he says.

Lisa leaves. She’s got a kid to raise.

Frank shows up. He says, “I don't know what you’ve been talking about, but I think we need to do something to adequately support department chairs!”

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