Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Last night’s board meeting: eyes have been opened

.....I couldn't attend last night’s meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees 'cause I was at the Greek Theater enjoying the performances of country/bluegrass star Alison Krauss, Led Zep singer Robert Plant, and super-duper producer T Bone Burnett (plus four other musicians, including the great Buddy Miller!). If you get a chance to see the "Raising Sand" show, don’t miss it. (See Times' review.)
.....Monday night, Krauss and Co. will be warblin' in San Diego.

.....Still, I did get a brief report from someone who was there—at the board meeting I mean. (As usual, we await Tracy Daly’s fluffy “Board Meeting Highlights,” which will likely materialize soon. [UPDATE: the "highlights" are now available.] And, don’t forget, the district regularly archives video of board meetings. The video, when available, can be viewed here.)

.....Naturally, the BIG NEWS last night was the appointment of Saddleback College’s new President (see posts below). The announcement was made, I’m told, by death-defying board Clerk Tom Fuentes, who, despite recent liver transplant surgery, was back on the job, scowling (I'm only guessin' about that) and making the world safer for right-wing nutjobs everywhere. (According to Fuentes, the accreditation process is fixed and controlled by, um, faculty. [That's seriously paranoid.] Plus the fellow wants to name Irvine's "great park" Nixon Park. [Nixon was a corrupt bastard, kids.])
.....We’re glad he's recuperating. Fuentes, I mean.

.....Math professor Karla Westphal was on hand to put Board President Don Wagner’s feet to the fire for his allegedly inappropriate speechifying (re trustee prayers) at Saddleback College’s scholarship event. Trustee Nancy Padberg was supportive—of Westphal.

.....During his report, Trustee Wagner, who, for several months, has been working with faculty (and administrators and classified—and even a student) on Irvine Valley College’s accreditation problem, went out of his way to praise these faculty. Working with this crowd, he said, has “opened my eyes.”
.....I’ve followed this saga carefully—early on, I was a detractor of the "focus group" idea—and, in my view, there is zero reason to suspect that Don’s remarks were anything but sincere. Later in the evening, an appreciative IVC Senate Prez Wendy G had an opportunity to return the compliment, which she did, or so I’m told.
.....Again, I do hope that members of the IVC community are keeping tabs on the doings of the IVC Accreditation focus group, for they have worked very hard and intelligently and seem to have generally hovered about consensus on some difficult issues (trustee micromanagement, roles and responsibilities of officers & groups, the climate of “despair,” etc.). Their biweekly (i.e., twice a month) meetings will continue for a month or two.
.....If our college manages to avoid accreditation disaster early in 2009, it will be largely because of the efforts of the focus group.
.....Be not oblivious.
.....Not sure what's going on with Saddleback College's more laid-back focus group, which includes trustee Dave Lang and whose motto appears to be, "What, me worry?" Or, again, so I'm told.

.....There was some discussion of the board's curious decision, a few months ago, to adopt a high level of "reserve" funds. Efforts last night to reconsider the matter were obliterated, I believe, by Trustee Fuentes, who made clear his firm opposition to lowering the percentage.
.....(Ten years ago, our district was placed on the state chancellor's "watch" list when our reserves dipped below the required percentage. Nowadays, however, our district is swimming in extra moola, owing to our "basic aid" funding plus high local property values, to which this funding is keyed.)

.....The ATEP thing passed. (Submittal of long range plan to the city [of Tustin].)

.....(Did you know that the city of Tustin, aka the "City of Trees," has peskified this whole ATEP business in part because certain Tustinites embrace a view of county history according to which Irvine Valley College was supposed to be Tustin's community college [to be located where the Tustin Marketplace now sprawls], but then that dastardly Irvine Co. showed up with "free land" along Jeffrey? [According to this yarn, the Irvine Co was in dutch over some seriously hinky deal, but they made that problem go away with this highly opportune giftage.] So, despite ultra-clear state rules to the contrary [proximity issues], Tustin wants its own friggin' community college [at long last!] there along Redhill, and, so, there you are: inveterate stink-eyed Tustinary peevitude!)

.....That’s all I’ve got. --CW

And here, for no particular reason, is one of my favorite semi-obscure tunes, "Here Comes My Baby," done by the Tremeloes in 1967. (The song was composed by Cat Stevens.)

I don't know why I like this version so much. The band is obviously a bunch of idiots. --Still....


Anonymous said...

Don Wagner's eyes - scary ass.

Anonymous said...

Hey, everybody's eyes are "scary ass" when you zoom in on 'em.

You should see mine. In fact, they're lookin' at you right now.

Anonymous said...

Don is moving to the center? Is this an image makeover? Has he realized that his extremist antics will not raise him above being a low level politician?

Anonymous said...

So what IS the ATEP long-range academic plan? Have ATEP folks or ANYONE talked to the faculty about these curious designs? What obligation does it place on faculty for future offerings, curriculum development, program development. After all, that's not an ATEP administrator's responsibility--it belongs to the Saddleback and IVC faculty. So what's afoot, guys? Who knows? Who saw the plan? What did the Board have to say about it? Or is this another "snow job" to impress Tustin that has no basis in fact?

Anonymous said...

let it snow!!!!!

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