THE RISING NON-INSTRUCTIONAL EXPENDITURES FOLLIES. Both colleges (i.e., Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College) are forwarding their faculty hiring priority lists to the board of trustees for approval. As you know, attempts to address our “50%” problem (by law, at least 50% of our district’s spending must be on instruction, and we are dangerously close to the 50% line) might include hiring many more faculty, but there’s no use talking about that just yet.
Owing to recent and frantic scrutiny of our financial records, the district has found that it is not out of compliance with the “50% law” for 2006-07 after all. I’m told that we’re at something like 50.03%. Since we’ve been descending from 53% down to 50% in the last five or so years, and since the district and its colleges are essentially spending money now pretty much as they did during 06-07, we’ve got a big problem re the 50% law STILL.
The law (Ed Code §84362) gives to faculty the right to data regarding college/district spending, and so a formal request for those data has been made. District officials have responded and have expressed the intention to comply. The district crowd is pretty peevish about this.
It's hard to say when faculty will get the data.
At one point, the district decided that our efforts to address the 50% problem would be led by DRAC—the District Resources Allocation Committee. But, now, the Chancellor has created a new committee for this purpose.
It has been dubbed DRACULA—informally, I assume. It’s nice to see that people still have a sense of humor in the good ol' SOCCCD.
I’m told that, very recently, DRACULA met for the first time. I’m hoping to be able to report DRACULA’s progress to you, but the group’s members are pretty tight-lipped.
Many faculty suspect that the 50% problem does not derive from spending patterns at the colleges. Rather, it derives from spending patterns at the DISTRICT. If that’s true, the Chancellor is exactly the kind of guy who can be expected to take steps to prevent anyone from knowing about it.
So, in a way, this is a game, and it’s fun. The faculty and the public want to know the facts, and the district (or the Chancellor) don’t want us to know the facts. Who will prevail? Will good triumph over goo?
We need to know why we spiraled downward from 53% to 50% in a brief period. If we don’t understand this event, we’re gonna be up Shit Creek, cuz the 50% thing is a serious law, not the usual state BS.
THE ACCREDITATION FOLLIES:
Monday night, the SOCCCD board voted 4/3 to include its nasty and inflammatory “response” verbiage in the already existing drafts of the Accreditation Midterm Reports.
You know about Accreditation, right? The ACCJC (of WASC) comes around every six years to determine how well each college is doing relative to established standards. Our two colleges are “accredited” (2004), but the Accreds keep saying that we need to work on some problems, such as administrative instability, trustee micromanagement, and a “plague” of despair—largely inspired by the Board Majority’s ruthless and abusive lackey, Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur.
But the trustees who dominate our board contemn the Accreditation process and the Accreds. Plus they’ve figured out that the ACCJC is essentially spineless. Naturally, therefore, they’ve been less than cooperative in the colleges’ efforts to satisfy the ACCJC that we’re working to overcome our problems.
At the August board meeting, the writers of the most recent Accreditation reports suddenly discovered that the district (Mathur and Co.) had written a “response”—to the Accreds and to faculty. At that eleventh hour, the Board decided to have the “response” verbiage incorporated into the reports. But the faculty who had labored on the Accred reports for four or five months had been careful to write honestly and carefully. The response verbiage, however, was neither honest nor careful. It was shit.
SLO-MO TRAIN WRECK:
At the August meeting, IVC’s Academic Senate President warned that she might not be able to sign off on the report if she were forced to include the district’s nasty and substandard verbiage. (See August meeting video [jump to 7.1].)
No matter. The Board Majority (Lang/Wagner/Fuentes/Williams) approved incorporation of the “response” into each college’s report.
In subsequent weeks, college Accred writers sought a form of “incorporation” that they could live with. Simply appending the “district response” or submitting it separately might be palatable. But Mathur acted to prevent that approach. He pushed for a form of “incorporation” that made signing off on the report an endorsement of the district’s unfortunate language.
At Monday’s meeting, the Mathurian editions were revealed. Again, faculty stated their objections. But on a vote of 4/3, the board approved these stinkoid versions. (See Sept meeting video [jump to 7.2].)
AND SO, starting late Monday night, it appeared that the two colleges would be forced to send Accreditation reports that are not signed by their chief authors or the faculty senate presidents.
"What does it mean? Will the heavens fall?" Such questions bounced all over the goddam walls.
BUT THEN: by midweek, the word had spread that, on the day after the board meeting, board president Dandy Dave "the quisling" Lang had a change of heart! Or perhaps he awoke to the terrible realization that signature-less reports would make him look like an *sshole.
So he set about to undo the mess that he and his nasty friends had created.
Meanwhile, the Saddleback College and the Irvine Valley College faculty senates met. Senators voted to direct their presidents not to sign the reports. The die was cast. Or not?
(At Thursday's IVC senate meeting, when the vote was cast, Mathur's inside man immediately got up and left to make his usual phone call. I don't know why we don't just come right out and say, "OK, Bowdler Boy. You can go call Raghu now. Give the fellow our love.")
Stay tuned. Things could get pretty. Or they could get ugly.
My money's on ugly. —CW
Speaking of accreditation and Raghu's cronies, remember this?
“[The] Accreditation Self-Study Chair [Ray Chandos] made substantive changes to [the report] or saw that a distinctly different report was submitted to you, external to the work of the committees as a whole and without opportunity for our review. The Self-Study Chair permitted non-committee members to alter the contents of our report without going through the committees for their responses or revision…[W]e have no way of determining what changes were made to the [report], when they were made, who made them, or what evidence base was used to support any such changes.”—From the preface of the Supplemental Report for standards five and ten of the IVC accreditation self-study. July 31, 1998. (Signed by committee chairs and members.)