Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm shocked, shocked!

SOME READERS have asked to see the “district/trustee RESPONSE” to the Accreditors that suddenly materialized at Monday’s meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees.

Well, here it is (at the end of this post; click on the images to make them larger).

Background:

As you know, teams at Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College have been working for months now—in accordance with Accreditation guidelines, which require openness, broad input, and careful documentation—to write the latest in a series of reports to the accrediting commission. The accreditors have asked that the colleges take steps to address such problems as continuing trustee meddling and the prevailing atmosphere of “despair" (caused largely by the policies and actions of the Chancellor and board).

These latest reports are due to the Accreditors in October, but anything sent to them must be approved by the board in September, for the board meets only once a month. That's why the teams provided their drafts this month.

On Monday (see Machinations SNAFU!), at the “eleventh hour,” this accusatory and undocumented response appeared, without warning. Further, Chancellor Mathur, with typical ruthlessness and indifference to process, ordered the teams at Saddleback and IVC simply to “incorporate” the unvetted document into the Accreditation Focused Midterm Reports that they have just finished writing.

During Monday's discussion, trustee Milchiker asked who authored the Response. She received no clear answer. We still don't know exactly who was involved in writing it, beyond Mathur. (Based on the character of the board discussion, it seems likely that trustee Wagner had a hand in writing it.)

I present the 7-page RESPONSE below. Just click on the image, and it should enlarge sufficiently that you’ll be able to read it.

WATCH THE DISCUSSION:

You can actually watch Monday night’s discussion by going to Board Video.

Click on the link; then, at the district site, click on "video," at the bottom right. Look for the “jump to” area. Jump to the section of the meeting devoted to item 7.1. Look just below the video image. You’ll see a timer. Using that timer (and manipulating the green slider) you should be able to go directly to the following points in the discussion:

2:27
Chancellor Mathur’s introduction (to 7.1)

2:29
Trustee Don Wagner’s support of the Response document

2:30:45
Trustee John Williams’ support

2:35
Randy Anderson (representing Saddleback College’s report), offering concerns about the response.

2:38:36
Mary Williams (also representing Saddleback College’s report), offering further concerns.

2:41:08
Irvine Valley College Academic Senate President Wendy Gabriella, offering detailed concerns.

2:50:15
Board President Dave Lang responding (especially to Wendy)

2:52:30
Wagner again

3:01:24
Mathur. At 3:04:45, Mathur explains that IVC's example of Chancellor micromanagement (the goals he gave IVC's President) is "shocking."

3:08:57
Trustee Marcia Milchiker offers concerns about the “response.” At 3:11:07, she rejects some elements of the “response,” despite its supposedly representing the view of the board. At 3:11:50 she asks, “Who wrote it?” She gets no clear answer.

3:19
Mathur decries mistreatment of the board at the hands of Accred report authors.

3:22
Milchiker worries about impression of “continuing dissention” that including the “response” will leave.

3:22:45
Trustee Nancy Padberg complains that the board “minority” was not invited to participate in the writing of the “response.”

3:25:30
Wendy notes that the “response” obviously fails to represent all seven trustees.







Labor Day: to be of use

MONDAY IS LABOR DAY. The first Labor Day was celebrated one hundred and twenty-five years ago, on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The Central Labor Union in New York City organized the first commemoration, a parade and a picnic featuring speeches by union leaders. 20,000 workers filled the streets in a parade up Broadway. Their banners read "Labor creates all wealth," and "Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for recreation!" In 1894, Congress made Labor Day a national holiday.

In lieu of a parade, here is a poem by Marge Piercy.

To be of use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ruben Salazar, presente

Daniel Hernandez's most excellent blog reminded me that today is anniversary of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the Vietnam War. When the LA Sheriffs brutally put down the demonstration, it resulted in the death of Ruben Salazar, the noted Los Angeles Times journalist. He was struck in the head by a tear gas canister which was fired into the Silver Dollar Bar in Whittier.

Photos from the UCLA Digital Library (Ruben Salazar, above and the Silver Dollar Bar, below.)

You Asked For It

TAKE YOUR MIND OFF Monday's board meeting and bake some of these.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

cupcake recipe
makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
• 1 cup soy milk
• 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
3. Pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Variation: for Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes: Mix into cupcake batter 1 cup (about 10 cookies; chop first, then measure) of coarsely chopped vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (like Newman-O’s). Bake as directed. Using regulation Nabisco Oreos will disqualify this cupcakes from its vegan status.

Fluffy Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Makes: 4 cups
Ingredients
• 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
• 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, we use Earth Balance
• 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer

Instructions
1. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

Variation: for Cookies ‘n’ Cream Frosting: Stir into frosting 1/2 cup (about 5 cookies; mash first, then measure) of finely mashed vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (like Newman-O’s). Frost cupcakes generously, and top each cupcake with half of a sandwich cookie.

You can purchase the vegan ingredients such as Earth Balance margarine and soy creamer at Mother's Market or Whole Foods.

*No, Rebel Girl isn't a vegan, she just eats like one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday’s board meeting: machination SNAFU


LAST NIGHT'S nasty little meeting (of the South Orange County Community College District board of trustees) started with Trustee Bill Jay’s bizarre “invocation,” which was actually several minutes of amorphous blather about—no, not the Lord and his benighted creation—but Bill’s 38 years with the district and other decidedly worldly matters. Eventually, the fellow did get back to pious invokery. I do believe Bill then asked the Lord to “serve the students.” But surely that can’t be right.

Soon, trustee John Williams was presented with a tiny toy gun (well, I couldn’t really make it out) for his 15 years of service as a trustee. Irvine Valley College’s new VPI, Craig Justice, was introduced. He beamed.

Trustee Nancy Padberg, pushing for greater transparency, made a stink about some requests for conference money. She seemed to be sniffing around for evidence of John Williams’ notorious spendthriftian junketeering. (The fellow is shameless.)

Evidently, one of the conferences will be held in Canada. So which trustee was planning to go way the hell up there? Inquiring minds wanted to know. Well, it appeared that we just weren’t gonna find out.

Nancy noted, with interest, the assiduous efforts being made to keep this Canada-bound trustee's identity secret. Eventually, Williams got all huffy and brayed loudly that the board was “wasting time” on this issue when more expensive items remained to be discussed! He snorted. Board Prez Dave Lang then said he had no problem with more transparency about who seeks to go to these conferences, given that, as he said, trustees should be “applauded” for going to these darned things.

Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no.


BOARD POLICY REVISIONS:

Eventually, the board got to item 5.2: board policy revisions. There were 32 policies to consider. Now, these policies have appeared on the last two agendas for review, but, last night, they were finally up for approval. For whatever reason, Nancy and Bill waited until last night to voice any objections to them. Nancy wanted to consider each of the 32 policies individually. Bill complained that he didn’t even know who wrote the policies and he was troubled that trustees had had no input in their production.

Lang then explained that this was the third meeting in which these policies have appeared and, as far as he knew, he was the only trustee to offer input concerning them. He plainly took offense at the suggestion that trustees had had no opportunity for input.

But it does appear that Chancellor Mathur, the district's putative chief, runs the place like a partisan sycophantic weasel. That is, he runs the district with his four trustee patrons—Lang, Wagner, Fuentes, and Williams—and he pretty much leaves Jay, Milchiker, and Padberg out of the loop. For what it’s worth, I was at the previous board meetings, and I never got the sense that there was a clear opportunity for trustees to discuss these drafts.

And shouldn’t that be made clear? I mean, obviously, these policies are bound to generate some controversy. And they’re important. Shouldn’t the Chancellor or the Board Prez say, “OK, we’ve had time to look at these, and, next month, we’re gonna vote on ‘em, so do you have any input?”

Mathur just sat during the meeting, twitching his nose.

If you’ve attended board meetings, then you know that Williams, et al., routinely suggest that, if trustees have a question with an agenda item, then they should contact the chancellor ASAP and get their questions answered that way, privately, not during board meetings—which are liable to get bogged down with details. Harrumph!

On occasion, some trustees (Padberg, anyway) have responded to this advice with hostility, hinting that they are uncomfortable communicating with the Chancellor, cuz, well, he’s a lying, scheming, sycophantic weasel. I do believe that Nancy has said so—which, I must say, shows a degree of discernment in the woman that is far from contemptible.

Last night, Nancy seemed to say that there’s too much business being conducted between certain trustees and the Chancellor behind closed doors. The board, she seemed to say, should be engaging in discussion with each other—i.e., during meetings—rather than engaging in private “Q and A” sessions with the chancellor.

She motioned to table the “board policy” item. That failed.

Bill Jay stressed that we will be “living with” these policies for many years, and so it’s important to get them right. There should be a discussion, not just a vote of approval, he said.

Nancy then opined that it was “shameful” to push through important items without first gaining board input.

That set Don Wagner off. You know how he gets. I got off a nice pic of him fuming and spewing. Check it out.

In the end, thanks to Lang’s swing vote, the board voted 4/3 to separate the parts of the item—i.e., to consider each of the 32 board policies separately. Most policies passed unanimously, though Nancy voted against a few of ‘em. Maybe Bill did too.

Naturally, watching the discussion of these items was like watching paint dry.

THROUGH SONG AND DANCE:


After a brief break, Park Ranger Bob Kopecky and his crew made a presentation regarding the recent opening of ATEP in Tustin. Bob showed lovely pictures of the new facilities. He showed charts and graphs. He explained about the ongoing conversations with potential partners Camelot and the “Young Americans,” who, he said, are “spreading the American spirit around the world through song and dance.”

I looked up at him. Was he kidding?

He was not kidding.

The ATEP crew showed a recent KOCE TV news story about ATEP, which was pretty spiffy.

Wagner was curious about Saddleback College’s relative lack of presence at ATEP. What was that all about? Evidently, the problem boiled down to IVC folks carping that some of the courses that Saddleback had proposed would have competed with IVC courses.

Dean Peterson had lots of good chirpy news about the courses slated for next semester.


THE “PEACE DIVIDEND”:

Trustee Tom Fuentes was quiet last night, but he did offer some interesting remarks about the opening of ATEP. He noted that Saint Reagan had “turned the first spade of earth” at Saddleback College back in 1967. And now, thanks to the “peace dividend”—afforded by His Ronaldness—we’ve been able to close military bases (such as the Tustin helicopter station) and build our next college campus.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said.

THE BLOODY ACCREDITATION SHOOT-OUT:

That finally brought us to the item (7.1), which concerned drafts of the Accreditation (midterm) reports. As you know, the Accreditors have dinged us badly—about, you know, trustee micromanagement, administrative instability, the climate of despair—and now we’re supposed to report on our progress in dealing with these problems. A team at Saddleback and a team at IVC have been working for many months to pull all sorts of data and input together, and they’ve produced drafts designed to sooth the savage Accreditation breast. The final reports (one per college) are due in two months, and so drafts have been made ready for review for last night's meeting, with the idea that final drafts will be ready for approval next month.

Whew!

So what do Raghu and his merry band of trustees do? At this eleventh hour, they have produced a nasty little document entitled “Response to the November 30, 2006 Progress Visit Report” that seems designed to piss off the Accreds and the various governance groups. Essentially, it is a rant expressing objections by the Board Majority to the accreditation process and to faculty leadership.

Supposedly, it expresses the “district,” i.e., the board, perspective.

Mathur has ordered the colleges to “incorporate” this “district perspective” document (or its contents) in their drafts.

Really.

It’s not clear to me just how long this "district perspective" document has been circulating. Evidently, it has been floating around among trustees for several weeks anyway.

Once again, however, it became clear that the Board Minority (Padberg, Milchiker, Jay) were left out of the loop. Padberg complained that she first saw this document a few days ago. Marcia acknowledged that she had indeed seen this new “district” document weeks ago, but she did not understand its significance (namely, a document expressing the board POV) and so she did not attend to it.

Wagner, for his part, explained that any discussion of the document will have to occur now, since the final drafts of the two college Accreditation reports must be ready by next month’s board meeting.

Saddleback’s Randy Anderson spoke on behalf of the team that had produced the draft for his college. He noted that the new “district” document contains elements that lack documentation. Oddly, the document seems to address issues that concern, not the present Accred demands, but earlier Accred demands. He expressed concern that, by virtue of adding these new elements, the colleges will be failing to “move forward.”

Mary Williams, representing classified employees, shared Randy’s concerns. In developing the draft for Saddleback, she explained, an effort was made to avoid any further visits from the Accreditors. But these new elements, some of which are inaccurate, will just “cause debate.”


WENDY:

Finally, IVC’s Academic Senate Prez, Wendy G, spoke. She said that when, very recently, she first encountered this new document, she was very “disappointed.” A great effort has been made, she said, to avoid “pointing fingers,” but that’s what this document does in spades. Each element of the Accred report, she continued, should be documented. But now, she said, we’re being asked to integrate elements that are not documented. “That’s a big problem.”

Some of the elements of the document, she said, are “petty.” For instance, it complains that faculty leadership talk loudly amongst each other during meetings. (I’ve not encountered this phenomenon at board meetings, and I attend all of them.) If this is a problem, said Wendy, it has never been brought to leadership’s attention. Why does it appear for the first time in this document? The document refers to faculty filing complaints with the State Chancellor’s Office, and yet, in fact, faculty have not filed any such complaints since 2004.

Wagner looked worried.

The document, she continued, complains that faculty “go to the press.” But, said Wendy, if one Googles faculty leader names, “you won’t find” them coming up anywhere. (You will, of course, find the names of certain trustees.)

Finally, she noted that, if some of these new elements are integrated into the existing drafts, it is not clear to her that she, as Academic Senate President, can sign off on the report.

Whoa!

Wendy then dramatically piled each of the exhibits that the district wanted included, one by one. Each one, she noted, had already been included in the existing drafts. (The only exception was a document that had absolutely no relevance or standing.)

That point made Mathur and Co. look like total a**holes.

Lang responded by suggesting that the district (i.e., Mathur and the Board Majority) was not asking that all of this new material be added “verbatim.” All we want, he said, is inclusion of “our views.”

Wagner reacted quickly to that. Wait a minute, he said. As far as he knew, the idea was to include all this stuff verbatim.

Raghu seemed to be smack dab in the middle of a machination SNAFU!

Wagner carped that Randy and Company’s complaints about the new material’s lack of documentation are “very hollow.” He pointed to alleged examples of documentation deficits in the Accred draft for Saddleback College.

Randy then explained that the authors of the existing drafts have followed Accreditation guidelines, implying that inclusion of this material would violate those guidelines.

Raghu snorted that he knows all about Accred guidelines. He scrunched his nose.

At some point, Wagner started to back off. There was talk of some of the principles getting together in the coming weeks to arrive at new content (re the “district” perspective) that would be acceptable to all parties. “Maybe,” said Wagner, this new stuff wouldn’t have to be included at all.


Marcia Milchiker reminded everyone that our goal is to be accredited, and that’s what the existing drafts from the colleges seek. She asked aloud why, at this “eleventh hour,” this new information was being added.

There are some things in the new district document, she said, that she personally did not want in the report to the Accreditors. If, now, we whip up all of this disagreement, we will only be “shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Padberg suggested that perhaps some trustees (namely, Wagner and his ilk) should simply file a “minority report.”

That’s when she made explicit what was implicit in much of the night’s discussion. She said that the “Board Majority” (namely, Lang, Wagner, Fuentes, and Williams) does not “include” the “Board Minority” (namely, Nancy, Marcia, and Bill).

Well, yup.

Wagner blew his cork over that one. There is “no attempt to exclude input from any trustee!” he fumed. (Methinks the fellow doth protest too much!) But it seemed pretty obvious that certain trustees had been very involved in the production of this new document, and, plainly, the “minority” had not been.

John Williams then grabbed his enormous flanks and hopped up on one of his hobbyhorses. Some trustees, he said, just don’t do their homework!

“As a board member, I’m embarrassed,” he said. I heard a whinny.

Wendy then noted that this new document is supposed to represent the district and board perspective. But, obviously, she added, the document fails to represent the views of all seven trustees.

Well, that was about it. In any case, I’m tired of writing about it.

(To view the meeting, go to Board Video.)

Hot Cupcakes to go!

IT'S A WEEK AND A HALF INTO THE NEW SEMESTER and Rebel Girl continues her campaign to have her students write email requests that are, sigh, grammatically correct and absent the annoying "text" abbreviations that have snuck into written English. She explains it's for their own good. That it's part of their writing practice. She explains that they present themselves poorly when they do not.

While she is at it, she is also asking them to avail themselves of their college email accounts for this correspondence in order to prepare for the university (where such compliance is more or less mandatory) and so that Rebel Girl's emailbox will not fill up (as it has done in the past) with mysterious requests from the likes of Muscleman1991 and HotCupcake18.

So far, this campaign is an abject failure.

For those of you who don't know what she is talking about, she offers a helpful albeit brief and incomplete lexicon below.
Professor: prooffesser

Professor Alvarez: pfsr alvarez

Your, as in "your class": ur cls

You and please as in "can you please explain": u pls expln

Please, as in please help!: plz

I, as in "I need to add your class": I nd to ad ur cls

Writing class, as in "I need to add your writing class": writting cls

Missed class, as in "I am sorry I missed class the first day": im sry I msd cls the first day
Why the article "the" gets special treatment at the expense of "sorry" or "missed" or "class," she cannot fathom.

Her middle-aged mind reels whenever she deciphers the collision of language and technology. She mourns for the lost vowels.

Yes, Rebel Girl knows, she's old, very, very old. And she didn't sleep well last night.

You knew all this and more, didn't you?

(Pictured: cookies and cream vegan cupcakes. Yes, vegan.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tonight's Board Meeting sucked


Tonight's meeting of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees was pretty ugly. There was open talk of the "Board Majority" (Lang, Wagner, Fuentes, Williams) leaving the "minority" out of the loop.

That's pretty evident. Nancy rolled her eyes. Don sneered.

Mathur was a creep, taking petty shots at faculty leadership. He and his patrons are gonna screw up the latest Accreditation report, looks like, with an incompetent rant--penned by Wagner?--that is supposed to be "incorporated" into the existing reports.

But Wendy G took 'em to task. Made Mathur, Wagner look bad.

I gotta feed the cat. I'll have a real report tomorrow.

Too bad he resigned before he could arrest himself

Pictured: Rebel Girl's Alberto Gonzales car and country deodorizer

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crap in a can

HEY, BALLOONS BURN!

Last Thursday, the OC Reg reported once again on our county’s BIG ORANGE BALLOON (BOB). Now, I like BOB. I’ve been pumping BOB up for months.

Yesterday afternoon, Rebel Girl called me from the very foot of BOB. She and the gang were planning to take a BOB ride, but the wind was up and so BOB was grounded.

Then, last night, I noticed a news story entitled Two people confirmed dead in hot-air balloon tragedy, near Vancouver.

The story is awful. It includes phrases like “big ball of fire.” How can that be?

Shouldn’t these balloons be fireproof? I mean, what with the abject Hindenburgitude of the very idea of a friggin’ BALLOON, I just assumed they were! —But no. Not that one in Vancouver, anyway.

CRAP IN A CAN:

A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting my sister at the hospital. Owing to her kidney failure, she was required to drink some crap in a can. She told me about it. “What’s it called?” I asked.

Beneful, I think,” said Fannie. “Something like that.”

I said: “Beneful? Isn’t that the name of some kinda dog food?”

Turns out this “Beneful” has a truly disgusting taste. It even smells bad. It was stinkin’ up the room.

Fannie’s friend Angela came by and sipped some of it. She gagged. (To be honest, Angela does more than her share of puking and gagging.)

Turns out lots of patients are routinely given this drink along with their lunchtime rubber chicken. It wasn’t just Fannie.

So Fannie told the doctors, “Listen, this Beneful tastes like shit. I guarantee that nobody’s drinking it.”

They stared. They sniffed it. They looked at each other. They stared some more.

Near as I can tell, it was later determined that, probably, lots of patients were dumping their Beneful instead of drinking it, cuz, well, it really does taste like shit. Medically, that was very bad, it seems.

Evidently, nobody had bothered to say that their daily Beneful tasted like shit. Some just held their noses and drank it. Others just passed on it. Nobody in that hospital had put two and two together.

MORE CRAP IN A CAN:

All this talk of post-Hindenburgian burning balloons and idiotic crap-in-can imbibery reminds me of our district and Raghu P. Mathur’s new contract. Somebody told me that there’s a rumor that Raghu has installed bulletproof glass in his office. If so, then at least he understands the absurdity of his new contract. You’ve gotta give him credit for that.

There’s a BOARD OF TRUSTEES meeting tomorrow night.

I perused the agenda.

The trustees are poised to adopt the Final Budget for 2007-2008 and a whole slew of new or improved board policies.

Among “information items”:

• Draft responses to the Accreditation reports (on the two colleges)
• The cost of security cameras

I’ll try to be there. I must be nuts.

Suffragette City

SATURDAY found Rebel Girl and her two men in attendance at the Women For Suffrage Day Celebration at the University Club at UCI.

What's Women For? Let's take a look at the recent write-up in the OC Weekly, written by one Andrew Tonkovich:
Women For is the local Orange County grassroots organization you’d point to if you wanted to mess with people’s minds, and who doesn’t want to do that? This Irvine-based progressive women’s forum hosts monthly public-education meetings in the heart of conservative South County when it isn’t sponsoring the Great American Write-In each spring. Sure, the nice ladies at WF: OC look harmless, but they’ve lately featured films, panels and speakers on global warming (against), voter-rights suppression (against), single-payer health care (for), uniting women in prison with their kids (for) and military recruitment in the schools (against). They pay for all this terrific agit-prop by dressing up once a year, having lunch together, and honoring some of the other riot grrrls and women who live and work in the OC.

This year’s Suffrage Day Celebration honorees include Professor Paula Garb of UC Irvine’s Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, Susan Kopicki of Democracy for America, Jeanette Merrilees of Save Crystal Cove and two Cal State Fullerton political-science majors who persuaded their campus to go sweatshop-free—which means you’ll have to find someplace else to buy a T-shirt sewn by exploited Central American labor. (See, I am messing with you, and it’s fun!) CSUF Criminal Justice Professor Jarett Lovell (host of KUCI-FM’s Justice, or Just Us?) introduces the young women, Caitlyn Whitney and Charlotte Samuels of the Campus Coalition Against Sweatshops, everybody enjoys some bitchen chow courtesy of UCI’s snazzy University Club, and then it’s back to kickin’ right-wing reactionary ass . . . er, I mean educating our citizenry on a variety of important peace, human-rights, social and economic-justice issues.
You get the idea. Some fun if you like this kind of fun. We do. Three years ago the group saw fit to honor Rebel Girl. So there we were, hand shaking with local activists and elected officials: Irvine mayor Beth Krom, former mayor and now councilmember Larry Agran and councilmember Sukhee Kang. (Did Rebel Girl ever tell about the time that she and Red Emma got arrested with Mayor Agran out in Nevada? No? —Another time.)

Anyway, nothing like meeting with a community college professor to make local elected officials gush about the great services the colleges provide the community. Really. That was nice. And when queried about the state of the colleges, (What do you think of Glenn? How's it going over there now? Any, uh, better? Who chose the color for the new Performing Arts Center? ) Rebel Girl took the high road for the most part. Really. Or at least the carpool lane on the high road. It was easy. These are smart people. They don't need Rebel Girl to confirm what they know.

Rebel Girl and her family were joined at their table by SOCCCD trustee Marcia Milchiker, who reported on one thing and another: her recent study abroad trip to Santander, Spain (that hot bed of international terrorism and anti-American sentiment), as well as the board's summer activities and developments. There's a lot going on but Rebel Girl won't get into here. It's not the time and place. Really.

Both Marcia and Rebel Girl were happy to see former IVC VP of Student Services, Pauline Merry in attendance, looking elegant as usual. Pauline, one of the early casualties of the current regime, had gone on to Long Beach City College and now, years later, has retired. She, too, was once an honoree at another Suffrage Day Celebration.

The lunch ended after the pair of students from Cal State Fullerton were honored for their successful campaign to persuade CSUF to drop their contract with exploitive sweatshops which made me want to rush right home and see where her IVC t-shirt was manufactured.

The answer: her Fruit of the Loom heavy cotton t-shirt was "assembled in Mexico of U.S.A. fabric." This means, Red Emma quips, that the fabric made the two minute trip across the border to the maquiladoras or, in American, sweatshops. The irony of American students wearing college apparel assembled by their systematically disenfranchised peers in other countries is pretty heavy.

Anyone want a cause this academic year? Rebel Girl is sure that the two Cal State Fullerton students would be happy to help.

Suffragette City

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