Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tom's crowd


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As you know, a few years ago, the IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE Foundation honored Orange County Sheriff MIKE CARONA as it’s “Hometown Hero.” How did that happen? Well, at the time, Carona was a Republican star, and Tom Fuentes, one of our trustees, was the chair of the OC GOP. Maybe that's it. Dunno.

So, anyway, Carona gets this hero prize. But there's a turd in the punchbowl, cuz Carona, as it turns out, is a seriously out-of-control lecher, is generally sleazy, and is a member of the ruthless and corrupt gang that seems to own this county. Some hero.

The gang? Some people call ‘em the Republican Mafia. (See our recent "The man who sued his own mother".)

For a while, Carona’s best pal was similarly unsavory Assistant Sheriff GEORGE JARAMILLO, Carona’s likely successor. But, somehow, Jaramillo got on somebody’s bad side, and so he was charged with bribery and corruption by the OC DA, TONY RACKAUCKAS, another member of our Republican central mob.

Naturally, Jaramillo doesn’t want to be prosecuted by Rackauckas, cuz Rackauckas is part of Carona’s gang, and he’s advised by the same rat bastard who advises Carona, namely, Friend-of-Fuentes MICHAEL SCHROEDER.

Schroeder seems to be the Republican Mafia’s consigliere—you, know, like Robert Duvall's “Tom Hagen” in The Godfather. He may be more than that. Brando? Dianne Keaton? Talia Shire?

Today’s papers explain that Jaramillo’s request to move his case out of the OC DA’s office was denied. (DA still on Jaramillo case.) According to the Reg,
Jaramillo said he was a friend of Rackauckas' before he was fired by Carona in 2004, and that Rackauckas' office filed charges against him after being influenced by Carona and Republican activist Michael Schroeder. Schroeder is an adviser to both Carona and Rackauckas.
MEANWHILE, the state has been investigating our boy Carona for sexual harassment. But, yesterday, in the blog Total Buzz, Peggy Lowe reported that one of Carona’s accusers now refuses to cooperate with the state:
The state AG's office had to drop its probe into the claims made by Erica Hill, who had said Carona made inappropriate sexual advances, because she refused to cooperate. I left her a message yesterday and she got back to me last night. I picked up her message today...Hill, as those of you following the sheriff saga well know, is the sister-in-law of George Jaramillo.

Here's what she told me about why she wouldn't talk to investigators:

"Look what happened to George Jaramillo when he became a threat. Look what happened to BILL HUNT when he became a threat. I'm just a little, single mother of three."
See Hill speaks on sheriff investigation

Lovely, isn’t it?

You're supposed to obey, lady


DO YOU REMEMBER that 85-year-old woman and leader of a Christian sect in Costa Mesa who was arrested during a rhubarb over the presence of county health inspectors at the group’s little "tea room"? It was all about health permits, the county’s health standards, and, well, whether the county may enforce its notions of how people should run businesses.

Marie Kolasinski was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years probation. According to the Times (“O.C. sect leader gets 10-day sentence”), at a court hearing,
Piecemakers Judy Haeger, 59, and Doug Follette, 52, were [also] sentenced to three years' probation and 30 days of community service.

…"No man is above the law, and no man is below it," the judge said, quoting Theodore Roosevelt.

When the judge asked the three if they understood their sentences, [leader Marie] Kolasinski, wearing a black beret, said she didn't know why she was being punished.

…[Judge] MacEachern said Kolasinski got jail time because she was the "instigator" and had a "long history of disobedience."

Some Piecemakers burst into tears as deputies took Kolasinski into custody.

…The Piecemakers, made up mostly of 26 elderly women who live communally, run a homey store on Adams Avenue that features handmade quilts, craft supplies and a small tearoom that serves sandwiches, soups and sweets.

Since 1991, the group has barred health inspectors from its facility, citing freedom of religion.

…"These laws are stupid laws," said Diane Sieker. "The government bullies us, terrorizes us. They come in with their guns and attitude and give us people who are trying to make a living a hard time."

…According to probation reports, the three refused to acknowledge wrongdoing and felt they were victims of government harassment, unjust laws and discrimination.

…Kolasinski said she had "absolutely no remorse" and "regrets nothing."
According to the OC Register (“Piecemakers leader gets jail”), the judge told Kolasinski, “Mrs. Kolasinski, you're going to jail right now…How much time that you get is up to you."

I suppose this means that she got the jail time that she did because she failed to be penitent. I mean, you’re supposed to “obey.” And when you don’t, you’re supposed to say sorry.

That’s the way it works, lady. Just suck it up.

P.S. (11:00 a.m.):

Just came across the OC Register's Steven Greenhut's angry reaction to the Kolasinski judgment (yesterday):
...Yes, jailing an 85 year-old woman for illegally selling soup and pies to non-complaining customers really warranted the time and effort of the justice system...So congratulations to the OC DA for imprisoning a peaceful, senior citizen, who makes her living running a crafts store and baking apple pies and proving that government is the boss in America of 2007....

Friday, January 12, 2007

"Offhand" question

IVC EARLY COLLEGE @ TUSTIN HIGH SCHOOLS? ALL ABOARD! See this morning's OC Register: ”Tustin high schoolers can take college courses”. Some excerpts:
Tustin high school students will be able to graduate with a high school diploma and a college associate's degree at the same time after the district and Irvine Valley College agreed Monday on a program that will start in the fall.

The program will put college professors in high school classrooms to teach college courses, giving students a chance to earn college credit throughout high school without paying college tuition.

…The early college program will launch in the fall at Beckman High School, and will be brought to Tustin High and Foothill High schools soon after.

…The district is targeting students in high school honors and college preparation courses…Students participating in the program will be enrolled in Tustin Unified and Irvine Valley at the same time. Credits earned through Irvine Valley will count toward high school graduation.

…The early college idea has been around since November 2005, when the partnership was formed. The possibility for Tustin high schoolers to take college courses at Irvine Valley has been around for years, but never as a program.

…Board President Jonathan Abelove will also be impacted by the program. He is a parent of a Pioneer eighth grader who will be going to Beckman when the program begins. He said he was worried about the idea that college courses would be taught to a young age group….
This program was explained during last week’s IVC Academic Senate meeting. During the meeting, some issues and concerns arose (including Abelove’s sort of concern).


HOWARD AHMANSON AGAIN. The OC Register is now on the “Let’s call it Christmas” story ('Christmas' comments revive religion claims.) Unsurprisingly, Trustee FUENTES’ pal, HOWARD AHMANSON, pops up:
A question about what to call the winter holiday has resuscitated concerns that three new trustees for the Capistrano Unified School District are backed by religious interests.

Ellen Addonizio – who, with Larry Christensen and Anna Bryson, was elected to the district board in November – asked during a board meeting Monday whether naming the holiday break "Christmas vacation" would be appropriate, Capistrano Unified spokeswoman Beverly DeNicola said.
The question, described by DeNicola as "offhand," came during a discussion of the school calendar.

It was followed by requests from Addonizio and Bryson that district staff look into the legality of the matter. A report will be written.

"The federal government has established the Christmas holiday because most people have asked for it to be in that manner," Bryson said. "That doesn't mean we aren't aware of other values, Hanukah and everything else."

…During the election, the candidates' opponents criticized them for what they saw as a connection to religious groups – including donations from the foundation of philanthropist Howard Ahmanson, who has supported religious causes….
Ahmanson is one scary dude, and he’s got some serious money. (Heir to Home Savings fortune.)

@ UC/CSU, PISSED OFF AT ARNOLD. In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:
When he was running for re-election last year, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made much of his work with legislators to find money to cancel planned tuition increases for the University of California and California State University systems. Now that he’s inaugurated for a full term, tuition increases don’t bother him so much, and they were included in his budget plan for higher education, released Thursday. Student leaders are calling the budget “a betrayal,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Community college fees would not increase under the plan.
BOARD MEETING, NEXT WEEK. Don't forget: there's a meeting of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees next week (on the 16th). For the agenda, go to SOCCCD board agendas

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tally Ho!

So Far, So Good

I STILL GET EXCITED about walking into class that first day. I do. So far, so good. My classes are full. Some students have already left but have been replaced with eager petitioners. My students are reading (they have no choice—for the ones without books, I photocopied the first week's assignments), raising their hands with questions, smiling, meeting my eyes, signaling that they are with me, here for the long haul.

Then Again

On the other hand, the administrative hand, there are problems. The first grade grievance of the season. The summer schedule. The fall schedule. But the one issue that keeps me up at night—really—has to do with low-enrolled classes. A handful of the developmental writing sections are inexplicably low. I believe we have discovered the primary reason: in the print schedule and, more importantly, on the online schedule, the classes are not listed where they should be listed—under Basic Writing. Instead, these sections are under College Writing.

This isn't so bad when one looks at the catalog because the classes are all there together on the same physical page—but when one looks online under Basic Writing, only three sections of a more rudimentary course (WR 301) appear – and nothing else. The students can only discover the Basic Writing WR 201 class if they happen to peruse College Writing classes.

Why would developmental writing students look up classes they aren't qualified to take in order to locate classes they are qualified to take?

They wouldn't.

The result? Low-enrolled classes threatened with cancellation.

The chair (moi!) should have noticed this glitch while proofing the catalog but I didn't. I was too busy making sure the right staff person was matched with the right section and that all the classes that I scheduled appeared.

It didn't occur to me that a whole raft of classes could sail over and dock in another place entirely. How did this happen? I chatted with the VP of Instruction today and we did some detective work only to discover that the error was first made last fall and went undetected until now.

Tuesday: "Teacher, what is 'tally ho'?"

Walking back from my Tuesday afternoon class, I was chatting with a hopeful petitioner when I lost my words. A young man had caught my eye and as they say, I was flabbergasted. (Now, there's a word this English instructor doesn't often use!) His chest was broad and he was walking with a purposeful have-to-get-to-my-class stride. But what caught my eye and stole my words and flabbered my gast was the image on his t-shirt: a rifle sight with a human figure in its center. I couldn't decipher all the words printed on the shirt because I was so busy trying to simply keep walking, one foot in front of the other. But I remember some of them: STOP—CLOSE THE BORDER—IMMIGRATION.

I kept seeing the rifle sight and the human figure at its heart.

I don't know if the student at my side even noticed my discomfort, my sudden loss of speech. It didn't last long, just long enough to walk across the B-Quad.

Later that day, as evening came on, I met some colleagues and my husband at the Bowers Museum in nearby Santa Ana. Gary Soto was reading and even though it was a Tuesday night and the first week of the semester and we were wiped out, we kept telling each other that we needed to go, that if we went we wouldn't regret it. We never do, we told each other. We were right.

Years ago, we hosted Soto at the college a couple times and he did what he does best: read his work yes, those wise, funny poems full of wonder. But even more importantly, he met our students and spoke to them about where they were, where they came from and where they hope to go. I use his work every semester and it never fails. The students who don't read anything else come to class having read him. They raise their hands. They talk. They write.

That night, the crowd was small, the room large. He asked everyone to move up close and they did; middle-aged folks like us, a few families with kids, young students. He read something for everyone, selections from his collections Junior College and A Natural Man . He even read from a few love poems from a young adult collection in progress. There was something for everybody. For me, it was the first poem he read, about teaching English as a Second Language, about his students and how they learn and another about the desire to wear a mariachi suit.

As he read, I thought about the kid in his t-shirt, the rifle sight image, what it means to get up in the morning and put that over your head and walk into the world filled with people who see the t-shirt and see themselves or someone they know. I remembered the homemade sign on a blue tarp that appeared on the overpass of a local freeway last April. It read: Deport Them or We Shoot Them.


The pronoun reference was not unclear.

I thought then how much time it had taken the people (there must have been at least 2 or 3) to design it, paint it and hang it. They must have worked on the phrasing, choosing the word with care, deciding which words were going to be large (DEPORT and SHOOT) and which ones small.

What do you do? What do you say? On Tuesday it helped to be with friends and hear a fine poet devoted to community, to art, to empowerment.

But it's not enough.

Adelante, indeed. Tally ho.

Finally

Among the items adding a certain industrial ambiance to our A-200 lounge is the A-200 printer, a small workhorse of a machine around which staff and faculty are often seen gathered as they wait for their jobs to be printed.

The machine complies or it doesn't. Someone prints a massive job, page after page and hides, shamed suddenly at its size while others wait. The paper is full or it isn't. The tray is shut or it is open. Then this week, Tray #2 was disappeared, leaving a gaping hole.

Truth be said, Tray #2 was always tempermental, throwing the other trays off somehow, but still, I miss it.

They are fools

● A FROGUE IS BORN.

In this morning’s LA Times: 3 Capo Unified trustees want 'Christmas' put back in the vacation:
Three newly elected school board members in southern Orange County want to rename the two-week winter vacation the "Christmas" recess.

Ellen Addonizio, Anna Bryson and Larry Christensen, who were elected to the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees in November, say they are not pushing religion into public schools, but are honoring the federal holiday that falls on Dec. 25.

"Traditionally, it was always called that," Christensen said. "It's what it is: Christmas break."

Some parents recoiled at the proposal.

"I'm very offended by what they're doing," said Gila Jones, a San Juan Capistrano mother whose two children graduated from district schools. "I'm not Jewish, I'm not Muslim, but if they think that this is respectful of our non-Christian students and their parents and community members, they are fools." ….
● SHE CARRIES A STEAK KNIFE

From this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:
A student in a GED course at Malcolm X College, in Chicago, used a steak knife to stab an instructor in the back of her left shoulder Wednesday, The Chicago Tribune reported. Witnesses told the Tribune that the student had been asking the instructor questions and then grew frustrated. Other students wrestled the student, described as a 40-year-old woman, to the ground. The instructor was hospitalized, but reported in good condition after receiving stitches. Most students who attack professors are male, and while such incidents are not common, there have been killings at several universities.

Abbey Rogues

Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur, Trustee Dave "Quisling" Lang, Trustee John "Brown Boy" Williams, Don "Spanky" Wagner, Tom "Dr. Evil" Fuentes


Cats, bribes, fools.

Catwalk ends:
NEWPORT BEACH – The cub has returned to its mother, and everything again is right in this jungle.

For months, Corona del Mar resident Mikette Von Issenberg has been on a cat hunt, searching every day for Kimba, her beloved 3-year-old African jungle cat hybrid.

On Saturday, Jerry and Carol Ann Ruoff captured the miniature cougar-like animal in Pelican Crest in a 4-foot trap by baiting the animal with mackerel. Kimba was soon after reunited with his owner.
…..
Von Issenberg contacted animal foundations, visited county animal shelters weekly, put ads in newspapers and continuously posted fliers around town. Von Issenberg said Kimba lost 15 pounds in the wild, and she said she dropped 50 pounds in the eight months from walking countless miles through neighborhoods and canyons at Little Corona trying to find him.
…..
She left all of his bedding at the canyon in hopes that Kimba would return and even turned to "pet psychics" for help.
…..
"Before it got out, it was a handful. It was a nasty, mean-tempered cat," said Randall Aten, Kimba's veterinarian. "… Since coming home on Saturday …it was the reverse. The cat was very easygoing and completely sweet."
UC Riverside official is accused of bribery:
Federal agents arrested a UC Riverside administrator Tuesday on suspicion of bribing a general contractor in charge of building the school's new psychology building, authorities said.

Theodore Chiu, 53, of Riverside is accused of soliciting a $50,000 bribe from Irvine contractor FTR International Inc. last Halloween.

Chiu allegedly asked for the payment when the company's president, Nizar Katbi, raised concerns about the $35-million project, including Chiu's choice of a subcontractor, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court.
…..
Kris Lovekin, the university's director of media relations, said she didn't know of any problems university officials had with Chiu during his 19 years in the school's design office. His salary is $108,000 a year.
…..
At a November meeting between Katbi and Chiu, which federal investigators recorded, the contractor offered to write Chiu a check. But Chiu demanded cash because a check would be traceable. If Katbi didn't pay, Chiu said, he would make life difficult for the contractor and his company, according to the affidavit….
● In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:
Some British universities, seeking to test the “customer care” their institutions provide to prospective applicants, are using fake applicants and parents to test how institutions respond to questions and concerns, The Times Higher Education Supplement reported.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

No relief in sight

According to that always-wacky New York Times, Orange Countians (well, Los Angelenos) are headed for Alaska! And we’ll be passing by San Francisco on the way! See Long-Term Global Forecast?

I don’t mind whizzing by Frisco, but ending up in Alaska sucks.

Meanwhile, inexplicably, RAGHU P. MATHUR continues as the Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District. No relief in sight.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Coming Home: Dreams for the New Year

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

--Antoine de Saint Exupéry's The Little Prince
We spent our last night in the port town of Ensenada, after seven hours on the two lane highway that took us from the Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California, if you wish) through the blooming Sonoran desert, then down to the Pacific and northward through the string of dusty agricultural pueblos, booming with the entrenchment of agribusiness which has bestowed a vaguely pesticidal haze over all.

Ensenada was deflated. Christmas was over and so was New Year's. The big cruise ships had steamed away. It was Tuesday January 2. King's Day wasn't near enough to fill the panaderia windows with cakes and breads yet.

We were tanned and rested but ailing a bit too. So while we walked to dinner, we stopped by one of the fabled pharmacias and bought a potent cough syrup. I blame that and the beer (Bohemia) and grilled octopus I ate for the dreams that followed that night. That, and the general state of this sorry world.

The First Dream:

The department of English met and decided to give a party to show our appreciation to our underpaid and often unrecognized part-time colleagues. It was decided by unanimous vote that the best way to do this was to give each part-time instructor a manicure and pedicure at the party. Funds were donated to me to hire a friend of mine, D.W., a screenwriter/professional waiter, to assist with the treatments. Previous to this, I had no idea that D.W. had expertise in this area, especially judging from his own gnarly toenails that peek out of his flipflops. But D.W. arrived, well-equipped with emollients and creams, tiny scissors and trimmers and buffers, ready to work. My colleagues brought platters of food. The part-timers showed up and started taking off their shoes.

You can see why I woke up.

Upon awaking, I chugged more of the cough syrup and flipped on the television.

It was the funeral of Gerald Ford. Pomp. Circumstance. Flags. Henry Kissinger at a podium. Kissinger cited Ford's "artless decency.” Henry Kissinger. Artless decency. Kissinger. It was too much, really. He shouldn't even be allowed to say those words, I thought.

Back to sleep.


The Second Dream:

A month and a half ago, my friend, E.Z., was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a aggressive brain cancer (This part is true). In the dream, me and my sweetie pay a visit to E.Z. in his house in Echo Park. Since his diagnosis, a group of friends have come together to help them manage their lives, donating time and money to make things work as best they can (This part is true too).

In the dream, his lovely wife D. doesn't seem to be happy to see us, though E.Z. is. He seems fine enough, and likes whatever it is we have brought him. I look around for the kids, - their eight year old boy, the 6 year old twins. E.Z. and D. were so happy to become parents. Before the first child was born, E.Z. had the nursery furniture painted pale yellow, with wistful scenes from Antoine de Saint Exupéry's The Little Prince.

But now, I can't locate their children though the house seems full. Young people I don't know are hanging about, here and there, lounging on the sofa, sitting at the kitchen table. Other visitors, I think, people from his life as a public defender, maybe. Maybe that why the wife is acting that way - there's too many people around, there's too much commotion. We should have called. We should have come another day. As we make our leave, I discover the secret though, through the oddness of dream logic, I don't know how is it that I learn it.

But this is it: most of the money raised by the circle of friends has gone to help their three children grow quickly to adulthood so that E.Z., their swiftly dying father, can see who it is they will become. The young adults I don't recognize are the missing children, having grown years in a matter of weeks.

It's not that D., the wife and mother, doesn't want us around, it's that they need to keep this a secret, this gift, these grown children. And they need their time together. All they have is now. We understand. We leave them there in the house with their lives moving so fast.

This time when I wake up it is near dawn. The two people who make up my immediate family are breathing deeply, still dreaming. Their breath sounds like the ocean, one wave after another.

When they wake, I will tell them my two dreams. Then, we'll eat breakfast: oatmeal for my husband, pancakes for the little guy and chilequiles verdes con huevos revueltos for me. Lots of coffee. Then we'll get in the car and drive home to the new year. Lots will happen. It always does.

~ RG

The man who sued his own mother

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IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL about OC Republican politics, then you know that Friend-o-Fuentes MICHAEL SCHROEDER is among the most powerful people in the county.

He’s also among the most ruthless, evidently.

This morning, the Times has turned the spotlight on Schroeder: The OC Republican politicos love and hate.

And get this! Our own NANCY PADBERG appears! Evidently, she is not a member of the Mike Schroeder fan club.

Some excerpts:
[HE EVEN SUED MOM:]

…Schroeder, 50, revels in his reputation as the enforcer of Orange County Republican politics, acquaintances and party insiders say…. And for the last decade, he has been the power broker Orange County candidates must appeal to if they want the Republican Party's blessing — and the big-business campaign contributions that come with it, [insiders] say. Schroeder can also be ruthless when crossed, say those who have stepped outside the party leadership's good graces.

A USC-trained lawyer who made his fortune selling malpractice insurance to chiropractors, Schroeder isn't hesitant to file lawsuits when he believes he has been wronged…. A decade ago, in a dispute involving a family business, he sued his own mother.
…..
At the local government level, Schroeder has focused on law enforcement races. Eight years ago, he helped Sheriff Mike Carona and Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas win office. Since then, he has served as a political advisor and sometimes spokesman for both men, helping them weather a series of controversies....

[THE "REPUBLICAN MAFIA"]

Despite his many political victories, Schroeder has deeply divided the Orange County GOP leadership, many Republicans say.

Detractors say Schroeder leads a small cadre of party officials who effectively control who runs for office in Republican-dominated Orange County, shutting out credible and respected candidates who aren't in lock-step with his wing of the party.

Former Assemblyman Gil Ferguson (R-Newport Beach), who retired in 1994, is one of many old-line Republicans who view the Schroeder-led "Republican mafia" with distaste. "He can kill you if you are a politician or a candidate," Ferguson said....

[DON'T SCREW WITH MY MACHINE:]

[County Sheriff Mike Carona’s] tenure had been marked by controversy, including allegations of sexual misconduct and political cronyism, both of which Carona has denied. Many Republican leaders thought it was time for a change, and so were backing Lt. William Hunt, a 22-year deputy who also had the backing of rank-and-file deputies.

Hunt's supporters successfully urged the committee not to endorse anyone in the primary, a clear defeat for Schroeder and Carona.

But Schroeder refused to go down without a fight. He lined up enough votes to secure the endorsement for Carona and called for a second vote the following month. With the committee's stamp of approval, Carona went on to defeat Hunt and two other challengers in the primary with a 51% vote, thus avoiding a runoff.

The morning after the election, the sheriff put Hunt on administrative leave and later told him he was being reassigned as a patrol officer, with a substantial pay cut….

"It's not about whether a candidate is the best candidate," said NANCY PADBERG, an Orange County lawyer who sits on the committee. "Schroeder's whole motivation is to keep his powerhouse going."

[A SCENE FROM THE GODFATHER:]

…..
Wally Wade, a former prosecutor who twice challenged Rackauckas, knows what it's like to feel Schroeder's sting. He was demoted and ultimately transferred out of the district attorney's office after his unsuccessful runs.

…The morning after he lost to Rackauckas, a messenger delivered an envelope to Wade's home. The only thing in it was Michael Schroeder's business card, he said. "Nothing else," he said. "It was like something out of 'The Godfather.'"

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