Saturday, August 4, 2007

The SOCCCD and EPA’s “List 11”


TODAY, while researching our benighted district, I stumbled across something odd. I came upon a website provided by The Center for Public Integrity, a respected watch dog organization with which I am familiar. (See Charles Lewis.)

It turns out that the website is part of the CPI’s March 2007 two-part report on the sorry state of the Superfund program (Wasting Away: Superfund’s Toxic Legacy). That report is mighty grim.

Here’s what the website claims to provide:

As a public service, the Center for Public Integrity created a search of the Environmental Protection Agency’s database that connects companies, organizations and government agencies to Superfund sites. The results below come from the database, also known as list 11, which tracks the EPA’s interactions with these “potentially responsible parties.”

For those who need reminding about the notion of a “Superfund” site, the CPI explains:

A Superfund site is a toxic waste site that falls under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program. After public awareness grew about heavily polluted areas like Love Canal, Congress passed the … Superfund law… in 1980. Under the law, companies and other parties found responsible for polluting sites are required to clean up the area or pay the costs for cleanup to the EPA.

But what is a “potentially responsible party”? According to the CPI,

A “potentially responsible party” or PRP, is a company, organization or individual that the EPA determines possibly played a role in the contamination of a Superfund site. … The EPA keeps a database of all PRPs called List 11….


List 11 is very long. I searched for “South Orange County Community College District” on CPI’s version of List 11 and, sure enough, our district appears on it, alongside “Casmalia Resources,” a Superfund site in Santa Barbara County.

According to an EPA website regarding Casmalia,

The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site is a 252-acre inactive commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility located … 10 miles southwest of the City of Santa Maria, 1.2 miles from north of the Town of Casmalia, and four miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Between 1973 and 1989, the site accepted approximately 5.6 billion pounds of waste at its 92 waste management facilities which included landfills, ponds, shallow wells, disposal trenches, and treatment units. More than 10,000 companies and government entities sent waste to Casmalia during this period.

…[T]he site’s owners and operators (Casmalia Resources, Hunter Resources, and Kenneth H. Hunter, Jr.) accepted ... industrial and commercial waste material, which included sludges, pesticides, solvents, acids, metals, caustics, cyanide, and nonliquid polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Facing multiple regulatory enforcement actions, the site’s owners and operators stopped taking shipments of waste material in 1989. In 1991, the owners and operators abandoned efforts to properly close and clean up the site. At that time, conditions at the site presented imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment.

From 1992 to 1996, EPA used Superfund authorities to take emergency actions to stabilize the site. These actions included installing and operating systems for collecting, treating, and disposing of contaminated subsurface liquids, controlling the flow of storm water, and stabilizing the landfills.
(See EPA.)


In its discussion of the Casmalia Superfund site, the EPA, too, refers to “potentially responsible parties” (PRPs). It then explains that

One of EPA’s major responsibilities is to create an equitable process to ensure that each of these parties [i.e., customers whose waste went to the site] pays its share of total site costs—both for the expenses that EPA has incurred already, and for future improvements and maintenance at the site. The current estimate of these expenses is $271.9 million….

EPA will finance site work through settlements with the entities that sent waste to be disposed of at Casmalia, as well as with the site’s owners and operators….


The EPA then goes on to describe a series of settlements with PRPs, one in 1996, another in 2000, and yet another in 2003. The favorability of terms of settlement appear to decline with the passage of time.

“EPA,” the site goes on to say, “will continue to offer ‘cash-out’ settlements to former Casmalia customers.”


It appears that this information was written in 2004. What has occurred since 2004 is not explained.

If CPI’s version of List 11 is accurate (a safe bet), SOCCCD is, according to the EPA, a potentially responsible party. But I have no idea if the current list includes the many parties (e.g., “de minimis” parties, i.e., parties with minimal responsibility) that have already settled.

Thus, for all that I know, SOCCCD has already settled (in which case, of course, there would be a public record of that).

Further, it is possible that the SOCCCD has successfully contested its status, assigned by the EPA, as a “PRP.” It would appear, however, that any customer whose waste went to Casmalia is ipso facto a PRP.

Can anybody shed light on any of this? —CW

P.S.:

Just now, I looked up "SOCCCD" and “Casmalia” with the Yahoo search engine, and, essentially, I got three items, only one of which was relevant.

It was Dissent!

In an article published in 1998 entitled Williams to Lang: “Stop living in an ivory castle!”, I described the September 14, 1998, meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees. At one point, I reported that

After a break, we heard about a lawsuit against the district filed by Casmalia Resources Site. Evidently, the firm took our hazardous waste and buried it at its site. Then the EPA showed up and told Casmalia that they’ll have to spend a million bucks cleaning up. Naturally, Casmalia is now trying to get the money from its clients, including us. Frogue said something, but it was stupefying, and so I have no clear memory of it.

A million bucks? Try $270 million!

So did we pay our share or what?

A small victory for free speech?

THE DISTRICT HAS F*CKED UP AGAIN.

Upshot: a judge has ruled that Board Policy 4000.2 is invalid because it violates the Ed Code.

Check out the Tentative Rulings site for Judge Robert J. Moss of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange.

Case #11 is Crosby v. South Orange County Community College [District].

Evidently, a student (Crosby) is suing our district with regard to an incident in which he or she was detained and questioned by a cop. Something about his headphones being too loud. The district, appealing to BP 4000.2 (see below), evidently suspended some of the student’s privileges.

Crosby has asked for a “summary judgment” and a “summary adjudication of issues.”

[UPDATE (8/4): reliable sources tell me that Crosby defended himself in court. Thus a non-attorney beat the district's attorney(s).]

Today (August 3), Judge Moss issued his "tentative." He did not grant the summary judgment. Further, he did not agree (with the student) that the policy is invalid “as applied.”

BUT he has agreed that BP 4000.2 is invalid. According to Moss, it violates the Education Code (see below).


Here's the ruling in its entirety:
Motion for summary judgment denied.

Motion for summary adjudication of issues granted in part and denied in part.


The defendant’s [i.e., the district’s] objections to the plaintiff’s declaration are overruled for failure to comply with CRC 3.1353(b). [?]

In summary, the court finds that Board Policy 4000.2 is facially in violation of E.C. § 66301. It is overbroad. It leaves to the Board’s discretion what is “appropriate” and what is not. E.C. § 66301 states students can engage in speech, conduct or communication on campus the same as they can off campus, whether the Board deems it appropriate or not. Since the regulation is invalid by the terms of the statute, it is unnecessary to address the Constitutional analysis. [My emphasis.]

The plaintiff established standing as he sustained at least some injury when he was detained and questioned by the security officer, even though this harm may not by itself be actionable. It is sufficient to provide a basis for challenge in this context. It is more then a hypothetical challenge. In facial challenge cases, the standing limitation is relaxed because there exists “a danger of chilling free speech” in society as a whole.

Since there is no need to consider facts to make this determination, the failure to separately address the issues in the statement of facts is of no consequence.

As to plaintiff’s claim that the regulation was invalid as applied, there are triable issues of fact. While he contends certain actions of the administration were retaliatory in nature, the defendant denies that they were and offers facially reasonable reasons for the action taken. For example, chastising plaintiff for the headphones being too loud could have been because they were. Likewise, suspending certain of plaintiff’s student privileges could have been because he failed to meet with the administrator. While these reasons may be pretexts for sanctions, whether or not they are is a question of fact for the jury to decide.

Defendant to prepare notice of ruling.
HERE'S BP 4000.2:

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
The Board of Trustees of the South Orange County Community College District recognizes that it is important for staff and students to have access to electronic-based research tools and skills through its electronic/digital information network. Such open access is a privilege and requires that individual users act responsibly. The electronic/digital information network consists of (but not limited to) District owned computers, computer networks, electronic mail and voice mail systems, internet services, audio and video conferencing, and related electronic devices such as cellular telephones, facsimile machines and copiers.

The Board recognizes that resources available on the network represent extraordinary learning opportunities and enriching educational materials, but they also offer persons with illegal or unethical motives with avenues for abuse of these resources. It is the policy of this District to restrict access to and use of the electronic/digital information network to students and staff for appropriate academic, professional and institutional purposes. Use of the District’s electronic/digital information network for other purposes is not authorized and will constitute grounds for revocation of user privileges, removal of offending material, potential disciplinary action and, in appropriate cases, referral to law enforcement authorities.

There is no right to privacy in the use of the District’s resources. The District may monitor and access information contained on its resources for investigative and/or administrative purposes, and may take administrative action in response to any violation of this policy, applicable administrative regulation, or other law. The Chancellor is hereby authorized to adopt and implement such administrative regulations to implement this policy.
HERE'S California Education Code, Section 66301:
(a) Neither the Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University, nor the governing board of any community college district shall make or enforce any rule subjecting any student to disciplinary sanction solely on the basis of conduct that is speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside a campus of those institutions, is protected from governmental restriction by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 2 of Article 1 of the California Constitution.

(b) Any student enrolled in an institution, as specified in subdivision (a), that has made or enforced any rule in violation of subdivision (a) may commence a civil action to obtain appropriate injunctive and declaratory relief as determined by the court. Upon motion, a court may award attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff in a civil action pursuant to this section.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any prior restraint of student speech.

(d) Nothing in this section prohibits the imposition of discipline for harassment, threats, or intimidation, unless constitutionally protected.

(e) Nothing in this section prohibits an institution from adopting rules and regulations that are designed to prevent hate violence, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 4 of Chapter 1363 of the Statutes of 1992, from being directed at students in a manner that denies them their full participation in the educational process, so long as the rules and regulations conform to standards established by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 2 of Article 1 of the California Constitution for citizens generally.

YEAH, BUT...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Gratuitous Fogville Imagery

TODAY'S PICS (click on 'em to make 'em bigger).

Fannie's house is very near the water, on what the locals call "Pedro Point." The maps seem to have other ideas.

The above shot is of the neighborhood behind Fannie's place. The trees and forests are wonderful. The people are the usual mix, I guess. Some are great.

Some of 'em are total rat bastards from hell, like a certain drug dealing family that I don't wanna talk about.

ELROY AND I left from Pacifica at about 11:00 a.m.

Above is a photo of the San Francisco Penninsula. As you can see, our trip to the hospital hugs the western coastline.

I think Elroy thinks I drive too fast. Not so. I accelerate too fast. There's a difference.

As we drove northward, I played some Smiths, some This Mortal Coil, and even some White Stripes. I think Elroy dug it. He was a Marine, you know, like my brother Ray.

There's a fair amount of shabbiness to how things are built and laid-out in this area. The land and sea are beauitiful, of course, but morons seem to "plan" things and build things around here. Maybe I'll show you tomorrow. Maybe not.

No doubt things are different elsewhere on the penninsula. Could be. Hope so.

(ABOVE) We're looking south, down toward Pedro Valley/Pedro Point and Pacific Beach. My sister's place is right there on the point, to the right of the middle of the picture. She's an artist, you know. You should see her famous Easter Goose, used by the American Cancer Society.

Here's a shot of Fannie's cat, Tiger-Ann. How come? Cuz I wanted to have at least one good shot in here. Tiger-Ann is photogenic.

The next three shots are on Highway 1, headed south. I wanted to give you a sense of how much fog there is around here, even on a nice summer day. Sometimes, it blows across the road in semi-discrete wisps, like spectral tumbleweed.

--I know. I'm a Southern Cal boy, and I don't understand cold and fog and incessant wetitude. Could be. So maybe this shit is standard all over the place. I dunno.

I guess I oughta travel more.

On the other hand, I think people oughta stop movin' around so much. Stay in one spot. Make it good there. Make it better. Pick up some trash.



These next shots are from the "Great Highway," just south of that crazy Cliff House. People are always flyin' kites there. This guy seemed to be pretty good at it. I watched him for a while.

Lots of sand, man.



On the Great Highway, I parked to take some pics, and this old guy stopped me to ask about my car. "Is that yours?", he asked.
"Yup. Just got it."

"It sure looks great. How does it drive?"

"Great. Fast. It's comfortable."

"These cars are popular, aren't they?"

"I guess so."

"My, my. How do you like that?"

He wasn't saying anything.

He paused. We stared at the car, then at the ocean. The wind blew. We looked north. Birds squawked.

"Bye now," he said, after a bit.

Fannie is doing better. She says "Hey."


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Motto Magazine blows


Sister Fannie is doing better today. Recoverywise—irrespective of how she feels—she’s doing wonderfully. She’s feeling a bit better too.

An hour ago, I took a few pics in and around Pacifica—in particular, near Pedro Point/Pedro Valley. Here are a few of ‘em. Plus I took some quick snaps of Tiger-Ann, the northern weasel. Click on the pics to make them larger.

MOTTOES. I noticed a curious item in this morning’s Inside Higher Ed. IHR reports that a new publication, Motto Magazine, intends to help people to “work with purpose, passion and profit.”


M&M offers its “top ten” list of college mottoes. Here they are (the commentary is my own):

1. Cornell University: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

Rumpology is a study.

2. Brown University: “In God we hope.”

Does this mean they hope God finally does the right thing? Understandable, but that’s a bit insulting to the (alleged) Deity. Not that I'm complaining. Or does it mean that they hope the guy (or Guy) exists? But then, if he does exist, he’ll be pissed at you, right?


3. Wellesley College: “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”

Not bad.

4. Stanford University: “The wind of freedom blows.”

I hate to break it to you guys, but, "blows" means "sucks."


5. University of Pennsylvania: “Laws without morals are useless.”

Truisms without panache are pretty useless, too.

6. Seton Hall University: “Whatever risk, yet go forward.”

Whatever risk? How about: the sky might be set on fire if we do this.

Don’t be an asshole.

7. Dartmouth College: “A voice of one crying out in the wilderness.”

I don’t get it. Are you talkin’ about Dartmouth’s voice? Hanover, New Hampshire. That's some wilderness.


8. Carnegie Mellon University: “My heart is in the work.”

I like this one. The business school must get a motto exemption, though.

9. Clark Atlanta University: “I’ll find a way or make one.”

Mottowise, a better fit might be: “we’re blowhards.”

10. Brigham Young University: “Enter to learn, go forth to serve.”

Jeez, these are the top ten? If these are the best, I wonder what the one-thousandth ranked motto is like? Maybe: "Get laid."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chunk and Elroy go downtown

Walk on, talk on,
baby tell no lies.
Don't you be caught
with a tear in your eye.

Come on, baby, let's go downtown,
Let's go, let's go,
let's go downtown.
Whitten & Young's "Come on Baby, Let's Go Downtown"

CLICK ON THE IMAGES to make them larger:

Sister Fannie is doing lots better today--although she isn't feeling lots better: she says she's at seven on the ten scale, painwise, which ain't good. I felt bad.

Elroy and I visited her just before noon, but she had just achieved a kind of sleepiness, so we left her to try to catch some ZZZZs. Meanwhile, we went into the city.

I took these snaps mostly from the driver's side of my Chrysler, so they're a little wacky, but I like wacky.

These pics might not be very good, but they are fresh. I just took 'em a few hours ago!

We blundered our way over to Coit Tower, where I half expected to see Clint Eastwood hotfooting it up the hill with his 44 Magnum. It was a nice day, so we got our tickets, crowded into the tiny elevator, and went straight up twenty-one floors.

I tried to speak German to a German family, but they just stared at me. Later, Elroy noted that they were indeed a German family, but they were a deaf German family. Oh.

Elroy knows some sign language, owing to his stint as a cop in Brisbane. He signed something to me, but I did not dare ask what he was saying. "Asshole," probably.

Weatherwise, this is one seriously fucked-up city. But I've got to admit that it is also one seriously beautiful city. I loved driving through downtown and through the nearby neighborhoods.

Take it from me: a Chrysler 300 is perfect for racing through the streets of San Francisco. You don't need no stinkin' Mustang.

Do bring a jacket, though. Burr.

I didn't spot anybody with goddam flowers in their hair.

Here's that famous Pyramid building. It looks pretty good, I guess. I wonder if anybody's ever sat on the point?

OK, there isn't much that's cooler than an old Studebaker. I do believe that this is a 1955 Studebaker Commander Coupe. It's a dilapidated specimen, but I'll take what I can get.

After the Studebaker, we headed back to the hospital. We visited Fannie for a good three hours. She says, "Hey."

Robin Williams says "Hey," too.

Dispatch #8: A Place Like This

ON MONDAY, a trip into nearby Truckee found me jaywalking to kill some time at the outlet mall while my colleague got her hair cut. The mall featured the usual collection of clothing stores whose mark-downs of up to 70% still couldn't lure me to part with my money. The styles were too tailored or too sporty or both. Geofrrey Beene, Van Heusen, Bass, Izod and then an absolutely frightening collection of lingerie manufacturers all jammed together into one storefront. Gleaming white headless female torsos clad in matching flouresecent bra and panty sets.

As I found the crosswalk to return to the beauty parlor, I noticed (how could I not?) a ten foot white cross at the corner of of the lawn that bordered the Izod shop. Closer inspection revealed a large rock at its base adorned with a plaque. According to the local historical society who sponsored the plaque, many years before the outlet mall was erected, the Graves cabin stood at the very same place. The Graves family was part of the ill-fated Donner-Reed party whose tribulations have transfixed generations of California school children and others.

California author, James D. Houston wrote a fine account of the Donner-Reed party in his novel "Snow Mountain Passage." I recommend it. Houston's refusal to dwell on the cannabalism aspect delighted me but disappointed a writer in the NY Times, whose review was titled, "Meals on Wheels."

Houston's most recent novel, "Bird of Another Heaven" traces the links between Hawaii and California through the lives of a California woman, Nani Keala, half-Hawaiian, half-Indian, who becomes a mistress of the last king of Hawaii and her great-grandson, Sheridan Brody, a Bay Area radio talk show host whose quest for his identity changes how he sees the past, the present and the future.

Of interest to our college community is Brody's observation near the end of the book:

"A while back I'd met a fellow from the English department at UC Berkeley. 'I have been around campuses for years,' he told me, 'but I've never seen a place like this. I mean, you're used to people stabbing each other in the back. That just comes with the territory, I guess. But here, they walk right up to you and make eye contact and stab you in the chest.' "

Because the night


I'M STILL REELING from the news of Tom Snyder's death. Snyder lived in Tiburon, which is near Sausilito, and so there seems to be a hightened interest in the gabby fellow in these parts (I'm in Pacifica right now, just south of San Francisco).

This morning, Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle offers a lovely column about Snyder. Check it out.

Goodman mentions a DVD that was released a year or so ago: The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder: Punk & New Wave. I had remembered some of those shows, with Johnny Rotten, the Plasmatics, Iggy Pop, the Ramones, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith (that one was amazing!), et al. As soon as the DVD was released, I snatched it up. It's wonderful!

Is this a sign that I've become an oldster, a geezer, an old-timer? Somehow, it's wonderful reliving those odd moments, twenty-five or thirty years ago, watching those late-night collisions of world-views (Snyder's vs. Smith's; the audience's vs. Smith's; the audience's vs. Snyder's) on more-or-less live TV. Little did I know at the time that I was watching something that would seem so wonderful so many years later.
Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I'm in your hands
Take my hand come undercover
They can't hurt you now,
Can't hurt you now, can't hurt you now

Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Plastic features and hollow eyes


WADDA DAY. After Fannie’s 8-hour surgery yesterday, she seemed fine, but then, this morning, her BP plummeted to 70 over 30 or something. To make a long story short, her doctors decided to move her to ICU where they pumped her full of drugs and new blood. Her BP had crawled up to more normal levels by the time (Fannie's friend) Elroy and I left the hospital two hours ago.

Whew!

Naturally, my folks called Fannie (from OC) this morning, only to hear their groggy daughter baldly state her BP numbers plus the fact that she was being moved to ICU. That’s when she faded out. My parents freaked. They left a panicked voicemail on my phone.

With a phonecall, I managed to de-freak them. I'm trying to encourage them not to talk to Fannie directly. Not at least until she emerges from her post-surgery groggitude.


GRUFF BUT GOOD. Elroy and I visited Fannie at about noon. That's when I observed Fannie's very gruff eastern European (Russian?) nurse, in whose way I managed to stand. “Vat is deh matter vit you, eh? Seet down over dehr! Be now out of trau-ble!”

OK, so I exaggerate. A leetle.

Just then, Fannie’s doctor showed up and happened to mention that nurse Natasha (or whatever her name was) was “the best nurse in the hospital.” She was standing right there, inspecting the previous nurse's work with the IVs and whatnot.

“Oh, please. Now you shaut aup,” muttered Natasha.

Later, my sister confirmed that Natasha was indeed a great nurse. “I like you,” said Natasha to Fannie, after Elroy and my first visit today. “Remember, dough,” she added, “Deh [namely, Elroy and I] are s’posed to entertain you, not you dem!”

OK, so probably she IS a great nurse.

At one point, I saw Natasha glaring at the Tower of IVs next to Fannie's bed. Something was wrong. Soon, Natasha grabbed one of the IV tubes and pointed to a section of it. She announced, "Dees tube ees keenked. You getting nutting! I feex!" And she did.


It was another dreary day, mostly, here in Fogland, though there were patches of sunlight, at least over in South San Fran, where Elroy and I visited the local Costco to buy Fannie a portable DVD player with video iPod thingamabob. It’s nice, but it looks like she won’t be using it any time soon. She can barely move.

I TOOK SOME TIME this evening to catch up on the news in OC, but that only managed to piss me off.

GRATUITOUS COUGAR KILLAGE. Evidently, last Friday, some assholes from the Department of Fish and Game shotgunned a cougar to death out near the fucking Coto De Caza Gold & Racquet Club. Evidently, two cougars were spotted there earlier, so the Fish & Game assholes went out there to check it out. According to the OC Register, “When the two big cats approached [the] wardens, one cat was shot and killed.”

That’s just fucking great.

A few hours earlier, says the Reg, a 14-year-old kid spotted a cougar at the golf course. The beast was quietly sitting in the grass, minding its own cougular business. The kid came within 25 feet of the cat and took dozens of pictures. He told the Reg, “I wasn't really scared or anything because (the lion) just seemed to be really calm and kind of reserved.”

Yeah, reserved.

Other people were with the kid, gawking and yammering, but that didn’t inspire feline aggression. Eventually, the creature got up and “wandered away down the golf course.”

—Yeah, only to be shotgunned to death by MORONS a few hours later.

Here’s one of the pics.


SEAL STABBAGE. As if that weren’t bad enough, yesterday, the Reg reported that a court hearing had been set for a local ASSHOLE who (“allegedly”) stabbed a sea lion to death with a steak knife:

Police arrested Hai Nguyen [aka TOTAL FUCKING ASSHOLE FROM HELL], 24, on charges of attacking a 150-pound, female sea lion near the 'M' Street Pier in Newport Beach, stabbing the animal repeatedly with a steak knife after it had taken bait fish from his fishing pole, Newport Beach police Sgt. Evan Sailor said…The wounds proved fatal, with veterinarians at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center electing to euthanize the animal after it was found the several chest wounds could not be treated, Richard Evans, the center's medical director, said.

Knife Boy is facing charges of cruelty to an animal. But he could face federal charges as well. Hope so.


UNBELIEVABLY STUPID WOMAN SCARED. One animal story managed to cheer me up:

Self-described psychic scared by 'unbelievably large man'
A woman who described herself as a psychic told police on Sunday that a large "crazy" man was on her balcony Saturday night…The woman described the man as "unbelievably large God-like man" with "plastic features and hollow eyes." She told police the man used her phone and then told her "thanks."…The woman reported that her cat is now terrified because of the experience.
I wouldn’t take the woman’s word for that last bit of info. I’d talk to the cat directly.

(All photos above taken today by Chunk from Elroy's car. —'Ceptin' for the cougar shot, which was taken by that kid.)

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