Friday, May 18, 2007

Irvine Valley College 2007 Commencement

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IVC's commencement went well, I think. Near as I can tell, students loved it.

It was brief, which worked out well for several reasons, not the least of which being the sub-academic Motivational Claptrap served up by some speakers. Still, there were no howlers, no pratfalls, and for once Raghu didn't utter his "three fingers" bromide.

I came late and missed the invocation, evidently given by Bush Appointee and noted Spanophile Thomas A. Fuentes. No doubt, it was memorable. (If you heard it, tell us about it!)

Here sit the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, et al. (Fuentes is off-camera.)

EARNEST, EFFECTIVELY DELIVERED CODSWALLOP:

AS SEEN ON TV: Keynote speaker John Spencer Ellis.

Apparently oblivious of (or indifferent to?) logic or science, Dr. Ellis (he has a doctorate in education, just like the Chancellor) declared that there "are no coincidences" and there "is no randomness." One should, he said, set about to establish "self-efficacy"—evidenty a condition beyond mere efficacy.

He offered "10 words" that are more important, he said, than all other words put together: please, thank you, I love you, how may I help?

Sure enough, they add up to 10. (They're not really ten words, though. Four utterances, perhaps?)

Ellis urged students to find their voice, and "their bliss," too. He was particularly determined that they find their bliss.

The handsome fellow ended with, "Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life."

For more of John's wisdom (and for an opportunity to spend a great deal of money), go to John Spencer Ellis Enterprises. There, one learns that, according to the New York Post, "John is a combination of Tony Robbins & Jack Lalanne."

(Our Rebel Girl was on the "commencement speaker" committee, where, armed with carefully written proposals, she urged its membership to consider other candidates, including prominent writers and editors. Nope. Too boring, it seems.)


Student speaker Alexandra Shaygan, eschewing motivational twaddle, charmed; Trustee Don Wagner, eschewing decorum, scowled, albeit intermittently. He scowled consistently when he looked my way! What's up, Don? (But at least we agree on the Claptrap, don't we Don? I just know you're cringing when you hear that stuff about "bliss"!) (See Raghu Successorizes.)

HAPPY GRADUATES:






THE CHANCELLOR: NO NATTERING NABOB OF NEGATIVISM HE:

Chancellor Raghu Mathur told his "yacht" story. Evidently inspired by his extensive reading list—it runs the gamut from A to B—the Chancellor advised that "you become what you practice most." Were he an educated man, Mathur would realize that Aristotle gave that advice 2400 years ago. It's a tad familiar in academic circles.

Mathur's message: "always do your best." Why? Because of the "new global economy," he said.

Aristotle gave a different answer.

A retiring colleague is honored.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY:






A GOOD VIBE AT OUR LITTLE COLLEGE:

IVC President Glenn Roquemore and Academic Senate President Wendy Gabriella


One odd factoid that emerged during today's commencements was the increasing dominance of women among the community college studentry. (Soon, it seems, 2/3 of Saddleback's students will be female!)

At IVC today, women seemed to dominate the task of documenting the event.

“Don’t go!”—the Saddleback College 2007 Commencement

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I WENT TO the Saddleback College 2007 Commencement this morning. Initial gloom gave way to sunshine and smiles. It was a pleasant event, especially for the students.


The SC football field and stand offered a beautiful setting: lots of green grass, lots of trees in the background, and lots of red— the graduates' gowns and the elliptical track.

Board President David Lang got up to quote from Chicken Soup of the Soul, one of his favorite books, evidently. He told a story about somebody named I CAN'T who gets buried. "I can't is no longer with us," he read.

The theme to Romper Room played in my head.

Then Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur got up to tell that old saw about the guy who builds his friend a yacht, but he does it on the cheap so he can pocket some dough. When he finishes the build, the friend hands him the keys to the yacht. “It is my gift to you.”


Now, what did we learn from this? Not sure. Maybe: "Do your best," 'cause otherwise you'll get stuck with a shitty yacht.

The “commencement address” was given by one Nico Melendez, the Orange County Municipal Dogcatcher. Well, no, he’s the “Western Field Director, Transportation Security Administration.” Nobody bothered to explain what that is, which was probably wise. He didn’t say anything about transportation or security. He did say that he wasn’t gonna give his prepared speech, cuz he tried it on his wife, and she said it was a snoozer. So, instead, the fellow explained what a shitty student he was (he went to Saddleback College), and how he didn’t go to a university after graduating. Instead, he joined the Navy.


The moral of the story? Some graduates, he said, will now go to a university. “Congratuations,” he said. And some won’t. “Congratulations,” he said again. “You’re just taking a different road.”

Well, at least he was brief. SC Prez Rich McCullough managed to make a joke about Director Melendez—something about asking him to take off his shoes.

Near as I could tell, the audience thought Melendez was great, 'cause he was WAY brief.

ASG Prez Rebecca Cunningham described how Saddleback College saved her from directionlessness. Even at Saddleback, she said, for the first two years, she was a lousy student. Then she took a self-esteem course, and that “changed my life.” Now, she knows that she “can do anything.”

Nevertheless, Cunningham is a decent speaker. Better than the transportation guy.


Next came Ruth McCoy, who is 80 years old and was wearing a “cap and gown” for the fourth time. I’d say she was the highlight of the commencement ceremony, what with her story about going to college (must’ve been around 1945), quitting to get married, and then returning to college in the 60s for a bachelors degree. She described her time at Saddleback, how her fellow students accepted her as a peer and had the good sense not to call her “grandma.”


Don’t ever think, she said at the end, that your education is over! It was a nice moment.


Carmen and the SC Wind Ensemble next provided a rousing version of the “Star Spangled Banner.” They were accompanied by the Concert Choir, and they sounded pretty good, too.

After presentation of the “Professors of the Year,” Academic Senate President Bob C came up and gave an effective little speech. He described an address that Bob Hope gave at a commencement many years ago. Everyone at the college expected Hope to be funny, but, instead, he was very serious. Then, at the end of his speech, the Bobster said that he wanted to give graduates one small piece of advice before they entered the big world out there. He leaned forward and said,

“Don’t go!”


Well, that was about it. Next came the reading of the names, and I was on my way. I do hope you like the photographs.







P.S.:

I arrived a few minutes late for commencement. Tonight, a friend told me that some sort of "protest" against the religious invocation (usually given at the start of the ceremony) was planned. If that occurred, I missed it.

P.P.S.:

5/22: There was indeed a protest. This is the banner that was displayed during the commencement invocation:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Situation normal, all ducked up

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SANS WAYNE, THINGS ARE LOOKING UP!

AS YOU KNOW, facilities for the School of Humanities and Languages at IVC have long been conspicuously excrementitious (aka "way shitty"). Here at Dissent we have occasionally endeavored to reveal that shittitude, and, in so doing, we have often found it advisable to present the PHILOSOPHY ROOM (A405) in particular. Were one to construct a lowerarchy of A405ular shittitudinality, one would surely start with the floor, an expanse of linoleum more scuffed than which can hardly be conceived.


Imagine my surprise, therefore, when, on Monday, students in my philosophy classes commented on the loveliness of A405's floor!

I looked down and—zut alors!—the floor was clean! Spotless!

It even sparkled!

On behalf of my students, Fumiko's students, and I-don't-know-who-else's-dang-students, I'd like to thank the F&M crew for doing such a fine job. Don't know why they did it, but they did, and we thank them.

Vielen Danks!

DUCKED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION

AT ONE POINT TODAY, Brenda alerted me to the sudden and precipitous duckification of the planter between the Library and SSC. I took my camera out there and found that, indeed, the northern planterama was totally ducked up:

I tried to get close to the peevish beasts, but they quacked & shat & threatened to fly away, so I backed off.

On the way back to my office, I espied a ruminative long-eared, short-tailed lagomorph:

He sat very still for this portrait, and for that I thank him. Viel Spass!

COMING SOON: THE HUMANITIES BUILDING!

I happened to be in the President's Conference Room in old A100 today, and I noticed all that crap they have hanging on the walls. Most of it was the usual stuff, including an architect's rendering of the "Performing Arts Center":

—Somebody must've been hopped-up on stink-weed when they rendered this, cuz it doesn't look anything like the lurid new edifice out in the field, the one they're calling the "Performing Arts Center."

But I noticed another, a much older, architectural rendering. Check it out:

—That's right. It's the long fabled HUMANITIES BUILDING. It is legendary. I had heard about it twenty years ago, when I was first hired, and, once in a while, rumors would fly that the damn thing would finally be built!

And why not? After all, H&L practically carries the whole dang college! I mean, without H&L, we could fit everything in a quonset hut!

I don't get it. Those Chem and Math clowns got a new building a decade ago. And now those Fine Arts knuckleheads are gonna get theirs. Meanwhile, the H&L crew is stuck teaching in friggin' Hooverville!

So help me out here. What does it mean that this particular painting hangs upon the Presidential Conference Room wall? Has it always hung there?

Perhaps it has no meaning at all. That, of course, would be very IVC. —CW

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Room 666

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I FIGURED OUT a long time ago that, if you think of the public as a PERSON, that person is a blithering idiot.

I guess that’s obvious. In my case, it took some figurin'.

So, naturally, the latest study to state the obvious—that high schools generally* suck—won’t affect the average American’s thinking.

I mean, if you tell a parent, “Generally, high schools suck,” you’ll get:

“Chunk, why do you hate America?”

Or: “Well, I guess that’s true for lots of high schools, but not my kid’s high school. My kid's high school is exceptional."

No, dude, probably your kid’s high school sucks, too.

From this morning’s New York Times: In Study, College-Prep Classes Left Many Unready:
Only one-quarter of high school students who take a full set of college-preparatory courses — four years of English and three each of mathematics, science and social studies — are well prepared for college, according to a new study of last year’s high school graduates released today by ACT, the Iowa testing organization.

The report analyzed approximately 1.2 million students who took the ACT college admissions test and graduated from high school last June. The study predicted whether the students had a good chance of scoring C or better in introductory college courses, based on their test scores and the success rates of past test takers.

The study concluded that only 26 percent were ready for college-level work in all four core areas, while 19 percent were not adequately prepared in any of them.

…Cynthia B. Schmeiser, president and chief operating officer of ACT’s education division, said she was stunned by the low level of accomplishment for students who had taken the core curriculum, which was recommended 24 years ago in “A Nation at Risk,” a United States Department of Education commission report that prompted widespread efforts to improve American education.

...In 1999, Clifford Adelman, then a researcher at the federal Department of Education, found that the strength of high school work was the most important factor in determining college success, even more than the socioeconomic status of a student’s family. The new report, which cites Mr. Adelman’s research, makes the case that many high school courses are not providing the necessary quality that he described.

…Kati Haycock, director of the Education Trust, another Washington-based group that advocates standard-setting, said that as she traveled around the country, she found many schools not offering challenging work. “When you look at the assignments these kids get, it is just appalling,” she said. “A course may be labeled college-preparatory English. But if the kids get more than three-paragraph-long assignments, it is unusual. Or they’ll be asked to color a poster. We say ‘How about doing analysis?’ and they look at us like we are demented.”….
*Please note the presence of this weasel word: "generally." I do believe that there exist some pretty impressive high schools out there. I personally know some truly EXCELLENT high school teachers. Saying that "Xs generally (or mostly) suck" is not the same as saying that "all Xs suck." OK? And even if I were to say that all high schools suck, that would still be consistent with saying, "there exist some truly excellent teachers in high schools."

CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY GOES FRIGGIN' NUTS:

University Diaries alerts us to this intriguing article:
Colleges offer on-campus resting places

ORANGE, Calif., May. 14 (UPI) -- College campuses, including Notre Dame and Chapman University in Orange, Calif., are offering burial plots for alumni and faculty.

Chapman opened a honeycomb structure designed to hold the cremated remains of alumni and faculty and Notre Dame announced plans to unveil a pair of limestone and brick mausoleums designed to hold full-body crypts, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The Notre Dame crypts are expected to sell for as much as $11,000 apiece.
"People look back on their college years and say, 'Those were the best days of my life,'" cemetery consultant Mel Malkoff, who oversees Chapman's columbarium, told the Times. "Why not spend eternity there?"….

Music to Grade By: I'll Take You There

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FOR THE MORNINGS, Rebel Girl suggests the latest from Mavis Staples: We'll Never Turn Back, a rousing revue from the Civil Rights era that bridges then and now. It's not over, folks. Keep your eyes on the prize. Just listen to Staples' own composition, With My Own Eyes. Produced by Ry Cooder with liner notes from John Lewis (!).

Lewis says it best: "The music you are listening to right now was the soul of that revolution. It was this music that gave us hope when it seemed like all hope was gone. It was the heartbeat of this music and its steady, reassuring message that bound us together as one solid force. So when we were beaten, arrested and jailed; when we stood together on picket lines or marched through the streets of the Deep South; when we faced the guns drawn, the billy clubs and the bullwhips raised; when we were teargassed, trampled by horses, or scattered by fire hoses, it was these songs that lifted us and pushed us to a higher place."

Later on in the day, turn to Ry Cooder's My Name is Buddy. Imagine The Grapes of Wrath as told from the point of view of a banjo-playing itinerant cat. Hit the road three fellow travelers: Buddy Red Cat, Lefty Mouse, and the Reverend Tom Toad. Flanked by his usual suspects plus the Seeger brothers (Pete and Mike), Cooder continues his musical chronicle of the California experience.

Toward the evening, Rebel Girl recommends Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's final recording, Neruda Songs. With music composed by her husband, Peter Lieberson and text from Pablo Neruda, Lieberson's mezzo-soprano soars full of passion and tender desperate peace.

from Neruda:
XCII
My love, if I die and you don't —
My love, if you die and I don't —
Let's not give grief an even greater field.
No expanse greater than where we live.

Dust in the wheat, sand in the deserts,
Time, wandering water, the vague wind
Swept us on like sailing seeds.
We might not have found one another in time.

The meadow where we find ourselves,
O little infinity! We give it back.
But Love, this love has not ended:

Just as it never had a birth, it has
No death: it is like a long river,
Only changing hands, and changing lips.

A final note:

Rebel Girl still dreams of the day when she gives a party and, the stereo blasting, the Staple Singers begin to sing, "I'll Take You There"—and all her friends who still can, join her and they begin to dance.

A girl can dream, can't she?

Happy grading! —RG

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Real cop donuts": the Saddleback College Trustees Forum



SO THERE I WAS, today, at IVC. I was done with exams for the day, and that’s when I remembered the Board Forum down at Saddleback College!

I drove down there and headed straight for the Student Services Center, upper floor, the scene of many a union midday feedbaggery. The Forum was set for 3:00 p.m., and, when I entered the hall, sure enough, it was 3:00 exactly, only there wasn’t a soul in the audience. Naturally, I sat smack dab in the middle of the empty rows of chairs, next to the lonely microphone stand. Meanwhile, worried trustees and administrators mingled and yacked along the periphery.

By about 3:04, a woman appeared two rows behind me, and, soon, more folks started seating themselves. But they were mostly the usual suspects—faculty and classified leadership.

By 3:10, the audience had swelled to about 15—that only made the audience seem thinner—and that’s about when Board President Dave Lang got things rolling:

Any public comments?

Nope, said Robina. “No public either,” she almost said.

Marcia Milchiker led us in a “moment of silence,” which was kinda nice, but it was followed by Mr. Fuentes’ typically pompous introduction to the Pledge—something about “the cause of freedom around the world.”

Lang explained about the forum, how members of the community could enter into discussion, and so on. He mentioned that the board had held a forum not long ago at Irvine Valley College, and that had been pretty successful. (Only the usual suspects showed for that one, too.)

So, with a daffy smile, Dave opened up the floor to questions and comments.

Silence. Horrible silence.

“Adjourned!”, someone shouted. Yuk yuk yuk.

Silence? No problem: Fuentes coughed something up. That’s right, the man can always cough up some kinda hairball, all smiley-faced. He’s been traveling, he said, from Washington, D.C., for meetings, to the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, for his daughter's graduation. He liked the U of A's grounds. The buildings there, he said with a twinkle, date back to what Alabamians call “the war of Northern aggression.”

For a second there, I thought he was referring to the IVC Senate! But no. He said that, while in 'Bama, he compared notes with people and compared facilities, too.

He said, self-importantly, that he came back from his trip “a more grateful member of the community.”

Jeez, if he wants to say something, why doesn't he just spit it out? Was he saying that at least we don't live in Alabama? Was that it?

Lang yammered about the recent scholarship events at the two colleges. He hopped on the "gratefulness" bandwagon.

He's a quisling and a pinhead.

A classified leader finally walked up to the mike and suggested that the college isn’t spending enough money on maintenance. If, he said, the college would spend more on routine, day-to-day maintenance, we probably wouldn’t have to shell out so much on crumbling and rotting buildings like BGS. Plus what about Basic Aid?

Chancellor Mathur took the opportunity to pat himself on the back. Colleges, he said, should identify maintenance needs and develop a maintenance plan. Years ago, they didn’t do that, but now (get it?) they do, he said. “Me me me,” he added. (At another point, he referred to the important work of some committee, adding "a committee I started.")

Lang jumped in to acknowledge that maintenance does tend to get “short shrift.” Too bad about that, he seemed to say. Too bad for you.

A classified guy who works in Saddleback’s TV studio fretted about the fate of the studio during relocation—an event necessitated by the notorious dilapitude and stinkitude of the Library Building.

Mathur declared, peevishly, that such worries were “premature.” We’ve not yet exhausted the “administrative process,” he said, and so that’s why he hasn’t clued the board in on this kind of problem.

Sounded defensive to me.

There was another horrible lull, and so I stood up and asked about ATEP. Park Ranger Bob explained that construction is moving forward at the Tustin facility and they’ll be offering about 35 classes in the fall. There’s a big marketing campaign, too, and the “partnerships” are moving along. The Camelot people are working with the district on agreements and such. That Bob sure can be pithy.

It was 3:26—fifteen minutes into the meeting—and there was another lull. I saw Lang glance horribly up at the clock. He seemed to wince. “Good Lord!”

Mathur said something about data, but nobody listened.

Apparently desperate, Fuentes mentioned the recent fate of former Student Trustee Paul Ho (a friend of mine), who was attacked last week by three thugs in a park. He had just finished his finals (at Columbia). One of his eyes was damaged and he might need facial surgery. Some of us heard about this late last week. Bad news.

Saddelback’s student president got up to sing the praises of the college’s mental health facilities. She chirped about the Vagina Monologues, too. Wagner stared.

A woman came up to say the usual positive things about scholarships. Thank you, thank you, thank you. She was as pleased as punch.

There was another lull. I got up to remind the chancellor that, a year ago, he had visited my own School of Humanities and Languages (at IVC), where he got an earful of complaint (not from me, by the way) about the lack of reassigned time for academic chairs. I explained that the situation in my school has grown worse, that, right now, the English Department is having a devil of a time finding an experienced member of the School who is willing to serve as chair. The situation is bad, I said. The School is suffering.

Mathur was annoyed. It’s a matter of “compensation,” he said, so go tell the union. Yeah, I said, but what’s your view on the matter? Same thing, he said. Plus its up to the colleges. If the college president decides that there should be reassigned time for academic chairs, then he can recommend that.

OK, I said, so if our president recommends reassigned time for academic chairs, will you accept that recommendation? At some point, Mathur announced that he wasn’t going to answer any more of my questions.

I figured, what the hell? So I mentioned that he keeps coming around my school to say that he’s gonna help us out, but where’s the help? I remember when he came around sympathizing with our complaint that we are the biggest School on campus and we seem to be last on the list for our own building. "I'll be your advocate!", he seemed to say. That was, like, five years ago.

Nothin'.

Lang did what he always does. He said: “This isn’t a dialogue between you and the chancellor.” So that was that. Nothing real may be discussed, evidently.

That’s when Fuentes popped up like a salmon to ask if there was anybody out there “who doesn’t receive a check from the district”? We all looked around, stared at each other.

Nobody like that around here. Nope. Silence.

A woman got up, genuflected, and asked for more staff development bucks. Mathur patted her on the head.

Mary Williams got up to ask, not for the first time, for some sort of summer scheduling change that would minimize gas consumption. Is the answer “still no?”, she asked. That’s another “negotiated” item, said Mathur.

Some Forum.

Police Chief Harry Palmer thanked the board for its foresight years ago, equipping the campus police. (I think he was referring to their guns. Palmer was wearing a nasty little 9 mm.) The trustees’ approach, he said, would be proven right.

He announced an upcoming “open house,” with “real cop donuts.” That got a laugh.

Randy Anderson got up to ask for closed captioning of board meeting broadcasts, etc. Everybody seemed to like that idea. Machines whirred into motion! Tracy jumped up and headed somewhere, I think. (Well, no.)

Just a few minutes before the meeting’s end, John Williams finally showed up. He had just enough time to ride his hobby horse—that it’s just a matter of time before there’ll be another incident like the one at Virginia Tech. Officers need to be given the tools they need to do their job, he said, tautologically. “We need to have a safe environment…Times are changing…These things didn’t used to happen,” etc.

Mathur mentioned the “Stadium” initiative (the idea of building IVC's first stadium and a new one for Saddleback College). At the last board meeting, architects reported the likely cost of these projects, and it was alarmingly high, so they were told to go back and produce Plan B, the Cheapy Plan.

This led to the usual snipery between Mathur and Padberg—even Fuentes got in on the act. "$35 million is too much!" "Who ever said anything like $35 million? It's only $25 million!" "Oh yeah, we get these figures and it ends up being $50 million!"

The usual eyes rolled.

And that was about it.

1998: the great gun debate

BOARD MEETING, SEPT. 14

by Chunk Wheeler
When I arrived at 6:55, about thirty-five people were waiting for Library 105’s door to open, a number that grew somewhat during the next 50 minutes. As I waited, I spoke with reporters and friends, but I kept noticing Lee Walker skulking in the background. At one point, the Walk Man’s face suddenly appeared from afar through an opening in the crowd; he seemed to be studying my face, I knew not why. Did I mention that he looks like a cross between Sleepy and Grumpy, two of the seven dwarfs? If there is a dwarf named “Incredibly Stupid,” he looks like that one, too….

Give us our new guns!

The “gun” issue emerged once again. At the last board meeting, campus police chiefs Parmer and Romas asked for money to replace the police forces’ old and relatively unsafe 38s with au courant 9mm weapons. Their presentation established that, if campus cops are going to have guns, then they should be new 9mm jobs, not the old 38s. Trustee Fortune--who, before she decided to call herself a “fiscal conservative,” was active in the Democratic party--emerged that night as a strong proponent of defanging campus cops. (It turns out that most community college cops are gunless; indeed, ours is the only district in OC that arms its cops.) As I recall, then-Chancellor Hodge and Dave Lang agreed with Fortune, which must have been painful for them. In the end, the cops went home without their new guns, but they managed to keep their old ones.

Surprisingly, the issue was back on the agenda on the 14th. Fortune once again spoke to the issue. In her remarks, she demonstrated her uncanny knack for really pissing people off, for, in effect, she called Parmer and Romas liars. You see, after the October board meeting, she called up the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. and talked to a “fellow” there. She asked him about the safety of 38s.”They’re safe weapons,” said the fellow. (Of course, Parmer and Romas didn’t exactly say that 38s are unsafe; they said that 9mms are relatively safe.) The Fortunate One concluded that she had been lied to or misled by Parmer and Romas. “That’s what you get when you only listen to people with a special interest,” she added. “Let’s spend the money on students, not on guns,” concluded Dot.

In response, chief Romas acknowledged that 38s are not unsafe; but the district’s 38s are old, he said. Lang jumped in to express both his respect for Romas/Parmer and his inclination to disarm them. “Why are we the exception among community college districts in the area?” asked Lang. Frogue opined that it is unwise to leave cops unarmed. Williams, finally finding a topic he cares about, stated that it is a “travesty” to suggest not arming police officers. Apparently addressing Mr. Lang, he said, “Get real.” “Stop living in an ivory castle.” (Yes, an ivory castle.)

Lorch noted that the presence of guns is a deterrent. Fortune shot back by suggesting that the worst thing that happens on our campuses is the theft of car radios (well, not quite), so the cops don’t need guns. “Even the radicals [i.e., Frogue’s racist friends and their equally polite JDL adversaries] who sometimes come to our board meetings aren’t that bad,” she said. At that moment, I felt Dave Lang’s pain.

Student trustee Marie Hill noted that she has seen men removing their shirts and revealing tatoos on campus. “Gang members,” she said. So cops gotta have guns.

Frogue explained that, if only people knew the details--details, he implied, that were suppressed by the press!--of the Lorches’ fabled encounter with violence (?), they would understand the need to arm campus cops. (Huh?) Idiotically, Lorch explained that only someone who has experienced what she experienced knows whether campus cops should have guns. “You don’t know until you’ve experienced this yourself,” she said, thereby marking the nadir of the evening….
—From the ‘Vine (#7), 9/16/98

(For the entire article, see Williams to Lang: “Stop Living in an Ivory Castle”)

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