Monday, July 28, 2008

Tonight’s board meeting

Note: Tracy's "board meeting highlights" are available here.

Tonight’s meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees was supposed to start at 6:30, but it didn’t start until nearly an hour and a half later.

The first order of business was to read out decisions made by the board in closed session:

On a 5-1 vote, with trustee Bill Jay dissenting (Marcia Milchiker was absent), it was decided that David Bugay would be offered employment as Vice Chancellor of Human Resources (replacing Bob King).

On a 6-0 vote, it was decided that Robert Bramucci would be offered the job as Vice Chancellor of Technology and Learning Services (replacing Andreea Serban).

On a 5-1 vote, with Trustee Nancy Padberg dissenting, it was decided that Tracy Daly would be appointed Associate Provost of ATEP for one semester (she’ll be replacing IVC President Glenn Roquemore, I believe. He filled in after Bob Kopecky stepped down).

There was a resolution of some sort about the glory and wonder of ATEP. They even let Bob Kopecky get in the picture (Don Wagner seemed to be behind that), though he wasn't named in the Resolution. That's Mathur for you.

Chancellor Raghu Mathur introduced us to Saddleback College’s new President (starting in a few days), Todd Burnett. Burnett said he was very impressed by the trustees. Maybe Fuentes showed him his scar, dunno.

Next, Mathur trotted out David Bugay. Next came Bramucci, who we’ve seen before (at a Chancellor’s “opening session” not long ago).

Tracy Daly came up too, but she seemed to keep her distance from Mathur. She was all smiles, though.

Nancy Padberg’s invocation was interesting. She referred to how we have different varieties of “spirituality.” In the end, she led us through a moment of silence. I kid you not.

Board reports were unremarkable, aside from Trustee Fuentes’ announcement that he has filed (or will file) for reelection in November. (At one point tonight, someone whispered in my ear, “We give him a reason to live.”) As you know, recently, the fellow underwent liver transplant surgery.

Later, we learned that Fuentes has been reappointed to the US Election Assistance Commission. That’s just great. I think I’m giving up on voting, unless I get a receipt.

Wagner once again praised the people he worked with on the Irvine Valley College Accreditation “task force,” a group that by all accounts has done excellent work in the last seven months.

Several on the dais referred to meeting spankin’ new OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchins. Mathur even noted that the good sheriff would be visiting tomorrow, meeting with our two police chiefs. “I’ll be there,” said Mathur—a remark that couldn’t be more unnecessary.

Naturally, all this talk about Hutchins was a tad ironic, for, thanks to Tom Fuentes, this district has (or had) many ties to now disgraced former Sheriff Mike Carona, who awaits trial on corruption and excessive sexual braggadocio.

During his report, Mathur noted that the district has broken the 25,000 barrier for FTES (essentially, hours of teaching of students).

Trustee Nancy Padberg asked for a report on trustee travel and related expenses for 2007-8. You know what that’s about. She smirked. Trustee John Williams flinched.

Tonight’s “discussion item” was a real barn burner: the state of maintenance at the two colleges. This amounted to reports from the two maintenance chiefs, both of whom carped about the unfortunate consequences of the “low bid” policy for projects. We pay and pay to correct shabby work, they said. Apparently, the State Chancellor’s Office realizes that the "low bid" policy isn’t working.

Eventually, the board got to item 7.4, a report on employees earning over $90k. That was Fuentes’ baby. He said the predictable things about the “generous support” of “the taxpayer.” (I had a brief look at the list. Do you know that there are faculty who make over $200K [including benefits, which are about $30K] per year?! I noticed that counseling was well-represented in that top bracket. How is it possible? Naturally, most 90+ salaries were far smaller.)

Earlier, Bill Jay made an excellent suggestion: that we should be comparing the salaries of our employees with the salaries of equivalent employees in contiguous community college districts. He’s right. For once, Bill bested Tom.

During group reports, IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore thanked the various participants of the IVC Accred Focus Group. Of the report they have drafted, he said, “I think it hits the mark.” Glenn also reported that ATEP enrollments have been very high (about 600 this summer). He indicated that Chapman U, CSU Fullerton, and even UCI are “excited” about working with us at ATEP. (I got confirmation tonight that “Camelot” is out of the picture. One source told me that other groups [with big money, I assume], though, “have been standing in line” to get involved.)

IVC’s Academic Senate Prez, Wendy G, once again thanked trustee Don Wagner, VC Gary Poertner, IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore, and others for their fine work on the Accred Focus Group. (Did I mention that Gary was wearing a stunning pair of white shoes?)

Saddleback’s Academic Senate Prez, Bob C, noted the hard work that is being done now on SLOs at the college. He referred, too, to other belated efforts to get his college on track with regard to Accreditation. He thanked in particular board Prez Wagner and Trustee Dave Lang for their assistance. Turns out about $31K will be expended to support faculty in efforts to take care of SLOs (a key recommendation from the Accreds) and to complete the work in writing a decent report to ACCJC/WASC by the Oct. 15 deadline.

Bob said that he was “sorry” that things fell behind. “Things got screwed up,” he said. "Not sure what happened."

Yep, things got screwed up, and lots of people dropped the ball, but Bob has done more than anyone to try to turn things around. So far, so good.


Anonymous said...

Are the fat cats lining up to get with ATEP all standing in one neat, single file line, or are they milling outside the doors of ATEP waiting for their numbers to be called?

Anonymous said...

Is this the Barmuci from Riverside? I have worked with Barmuci at RCC and he is an excellent person for the position.

Anonymous said...

Why is Mr. Barmuci "an excellent person for this position"?

Chunk Wheeler said...

Robert Bramucci came to an "opening session" maybe a year ago and he was excellent--as a speaker. At the time, I was under the impression that he had a very good reputation over in Riverside.

For what that's worth.

Anonymous said...

He was not political and he knew his job. I admire competent people unlike the political hacks that usually get Administrative jobs.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding about those white shoes, right?

Anonymous said...

10:35, No. Those are Gary's shoes. See the wider shot at the top of the post. It is clear that, at this point, Gary feels that he has absolutely nothing to lose. Hence the shoes.

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