Friday, March 21, 2008

PM America

.....This morning, I read an interview of a former Jeopardy champ—he won $2.5 million—who visited “the OC” yesterday: 'Jeopardy' champ Ken Jennings tests O.C.'s knowledge.
.....It turns out that Jennings is a funny guy:
Q: How did you prepare to be on "Jeopardy," other than making flashcards?

A: The flashcards really helped. But "Jeopardy" tends to quiz on the same things over again such as capitals and mixing cocktails. I guess if I run out of Jeopardy money I could be the world's best Mormon bartender….

Q: What was the hardest part of being on "Jeopardy"?

A: Coming up with 75 anecdotes to share with Alex every day. I started making things up at the end….

Q: It seemed Alex Tribek was rooting for you throughout the show, was he?

A: You know, I wondered about that. Sometimes, yeah, he'd act like he was rooting for me. But some days he'd be all Tribek: cool and detached. …

Q: Will you return to "Jeopardy"?

A: I hope so. Once you've been on "Jeopardy," they have past champions back on show. Maybe I'll get invited to the 50th anniversary show when Alex is just a head in a jar.
.....I was talking to a friend last night. I was telling her that you’ll never go wrong thinking of the “public mind” (PM) as an idiot. I was thinking of the PM as that great fictional American that we all “participate” in to some extent. PM is the guy who represents what America thinks and does. He voted for Bush. Twice.
.....That guy is plainly a dolt.
.....Take Jeopardy. Lots of people understand that it’s just a fun trivia game. But many more people—i.e., America—seems to think that it is a contest of intelligence. America also thinks that spelling bees are IQ tests.
.....I was telling my students the other day about how I was watching the news the day before Katrina blew into New Orleans. There was some official guy in that town saying, “This could be the big one we’ve been warning about for years. This could be an unbelievable disaster!”
.....But the PM (and its cheerleader, the President) said, “Yeah, whatever.” Later, New Orleans essentially drowned, and the PM was astonished: “How come nobody told us this might happen?”
.....What's next for America?
.....Next time: America doesn't understand why everyone doesn't love it.
President Dwight Eisenhower express[ed] astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence! —Carl Sagan

Whence SLOs?

.....As you know, California community college faculty have been spending lots of time and energy on “Student Learning Outcomes”—SLOs. SLOs have been a big deal since 2002, when the accrediting agency (ACCJC) adopted new standards that focus on SLOs or “measurable student learning outcomes”.
.....As we’ll see below, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (the ASCCC—or “the State Senate,” as it is often called) fought the adoption of those standards. But they lost that fight.
.....SLOs appear to be the product of the “outcome-based education” (OBE) movement, which has been a significant political force more or less since the 80s. According to Wikipedia,
Outcome-based education is a model of education that rejects the traditional focus on what the school provides to students, in favor of making students demonstrate that they "know and are able to do" whatever the required outcomes are…OBE reforms emphasize setting clear standards for observable, measurable outcomes.
.....You might think that conservatives are behind OBE—OBE loves standardized tests—but that’s not exactly right. In fact, as near as I can tell, right-wingers have been the most vociferous opponents of OBE, sometimes for daffy reasons. (See Phyllis Schlafly's What's Wrong with OBE?)
.....It appears that OBE (and SLOs) are in some sense the product of the prolific—but notoriously unimpressive—field of educational theory. Education theorists have power in the educational establishment, especially at the K-12 level. By the late 80s, their "measurable outcomes" notions bubbled up to higher ed. By the new millennium, they afflicted California community colleges.

* * * * *

.....I wanted to present some information here on the blog (starting with this post) to help put this whole SLO thing into perspective. Toward that end, I present excerpts from an article that appeared in the State Academic Senate’s journal, called Rostrum, back in October of 2002.
.....Among other things, the article's author argues that there is no evidence that, as a way of improving learning, existing methods of measuring student learning fail or that monitoring SLOs succeeds.
.....Further, the accrediting agency embraced SLOs against the overwhelming opposition of faculty and faculty organizations. Essentially, the move to SLOs (he argues) is an expensive unfunded mandate to busy faculty on questionable activities based on an unverified educational theory.

The Accountability Game…

by Leon F. Marzillier…
.....…In June 2002, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) passed radical new standards by which to accredit community colleges, incorporating the idea of “continuous improvement” of “measurable student learning outcomes” (MSLOs) throughout. The ACCJC passed these new standards over the vociferous objections of respected faculty organizations. Nationally, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has come out against modifying accreditation standards this way, and in California, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges along with the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers (CCC/CFT) have condemned this radical change by ACCJC. Why?
.....The whole concept of MSLOs as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the ‘90’s, Total Quality Management, or TQM.
.....Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement, just as advocates for the use of TQM in education … were part of an ideological movement.
.....After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
.....The new standards would require documentation and continuous improvement of learning outcome measures at the course, program, and certificate levels. This would require faculty and administration to measure outcomes that can be immediately documented, not long-term outcomes such as successful application of coursework in students’ careers.
…..
.....Often, objections to MSLOs are met with, “But, you faculty will define what the outcomes to be measured are.” This assumes that what faculty currently measure via exams and grades are not adequate, and that faculty should spend their time generating new and much more specific skill based measures. However, no evidence has been presented establishing that the outcomes of our pedagogical efforts are not adequately measured by our current approaches, or that new measures would lead to greater student success.
.....In addition, much that is most beneficial in higher education is often difficult or impossible to measure—but certainly is not measurable at the course level. A business department might feel the most important outcome is that their students use what they learn in the classroom successfully in a career in the business world. But this is not a learning outcome that can be documented at the course or program level.
…..
.....…[T]he MSLO movement utilizes a scorecard approach, in which you assess in percentage terms where your students are now in terms of a defined learning outcome, and how you would like to increase the percentage in 5 years, say. Then, you set as your goal the percentage improvement you want to make each semester! This requirement, that there be continuous improvement of learning outcomes, assumes that student achievement can be increasingly rationalized like a production process.
.....This push to document and improve student learning outcomes essentially creates pressure to focus one’s course objectives on discrete, skill-based and hence most easily measured variables. Quantitative variables are more easily tracked than qualitative ones. This over time will yield to a “dumbing down” of the curriculum, as broad capacities and more long-term, qualitative changes in student behavior and perception will be relatively de-emphasized in the push to measure.
.....How about faculty members in art deciding that an outcome is that students have at least a rudimentary appreciation of great art and how to recognize it? How does one measure that? How does one measure a sociology department’s desired outcome that their students have a more tolerant attitude towards other cultures and ethnic groups? You can probably think of more examples of the impossibility of measuring outcomes of what we do. Even if it were possible, is it realistic to expect a 2% (say) improvement per semester in any given outcome?
.....
.....Perhaps what irritates us most about the ACCJC’s action, besides the fact that they chose to ignore the best advice of the practitioners in the field (the faculty), is that tying accreditation to MSLOs means that the faculty as a whole would have to spend precious time and effort to engage in measuring everything that moves on the campus, diverting our energy and efforts from interacting with students. Will our colleges receive additional funding for these efforts? We seriously doubt it! So, we are being asked to engage in what virtually amounts to a huge unfunded mandate.
…..
.....… The Academic Senate plenary sessions passed resolution after resolution condemning the use of MSLOs as the basis of accrediting decisions, many being passed unanimously. These were votes of faculty members representing faculty at all 108 California community colleges, and represent the collective wisdom of California community college faculty. The faculty members sitting on the ACCJC are or have been active in local or state senates. It is unfortunate that they did not heed that collective wisdom and vote against the implementation of these new standards. Every fad that comes along will find a few adherents among the faculty, but when the opposition among our faculty is as strong as it is, it’s clear that the faculty is not split on this issue.
…..
.....Based on the resolutions passed overwhelmingly at its plenary sessions, the Academic Senate is studying ways to combat the institutionalization of MSLOs. The Academic Senate is working with both the AAUP and the CCC/CFT to consider our next steps, whether it is possible to delay implementation of these radical changes in the accreditation standards, as well as to explore alternatives to the ACCJC…..
These articles appeared in the Rostrum of February, 2002, a few months prior to the ACCJC’s adoption of new standards:

* “Ignore Us At Your Peril!”: The San Francisco Accreditation Hearing
.....“Ignore us at your peril!” Those were the closing words … during testimony at the Accrediting commission’s hearing on Draft A of the proposed new accreditation standards. The hearing, held on Sunday, January 6th in San Francisco, was the only one to be scheduled in the continental United States.
…..
.....…All of the participants were in communication with one another prior to the hearing, with the result that the overlap in testimony was minimal. It will surprise no one who attended the Fall Plenary Session, or who has read the resolutions generated there, that those assembled to provide testimony came to persuade the Commission to abandon their misguided emphasis on quantifiable outcomes, and to focus instead on educational quality….
* The Proposed Accreditation Standards: A Summary Critique
.....At its recent session, the Academic Senate passed a record number of resolutions concerning the proposed accreditation standards. Other faculty organizations have also gone on record opposing the proposed draft standards…. The Commission currently intends to adopt a revised draft at their June 2002 meeting.
.....…Acccording to the commission’s “Project Renewal” plan, the revision aims to import quality assurance approaches from business and to address inclusion of the wide variation in institutions now on the higher education “market.” But to widen the umbrella in this way essentially reduces the standards to the lowest common denominator….

"You cannot, in fact, dream up anything so preposterous that you will not find it being taught in some school." —Richard Mitchell

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Now it’s USC—will they knuckle under?

Just posted in the OC Register: Little Saigon activists tell USC to take down Vietnam flag
.....Activists from Little Saigon say they are putting the University of Southern California on notice over a Socialist Republic of Vietnam flag that flies on campus.
.....Three activists – Hung Nguyen, An Son Tran and Tung X. Nguyen – approached an employee of the University Relations department on campus last week to make an official request that the school remove what is perceived as the communist flag by Vietnamese Americans or replace it with the red and yellow former South Vietnamese flag.
....."The red and yellow flag is the official flag of the Vietnamese American community," Hung Nguyen said. "The university has hundreds if not thousands of students from our community and they should honor our sentiments about the flag."
.....But USC officials don't plan to remove or replace the flag, said university spokesman James Grant.
.....USC is among the nation's most diverse campuses and has thousands of international students attending, Grant said. So far, no student has complained about this particular flag, he said.
....."The flags have been in our main building for a long time," he said. "They were made to conform to state and United Nations standards. We see no need to take them down."
.....The activists approached Irvine Valley College last month with a similar request. The college took down its entire exhibit of miniature flags from 144 countries after Westminster Councilman Andy Quach and Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen and the activists objected to the presence of the communist flag in the exhibit.
.....Hung Nguyen said he and others intend to visit all California's campuses and urge them to remove the communist flag.
.....The Union of Vietnamese Student Associations, based in Garden Grove, also sent out a letter to USC two weeks ago after a Vietnamese American student there told them about the flag, said Bao Mai, a senior member of the student union.
.....“We have a good community of Vietnamese students, a few hundred, in USC,” he said. “We don’t want to see a large-scale protest happen there. We want to resolve the issue before that.”
.....But the students union would certainly join in a protest if it happens because USC has a Vietnamese Student Association on campus and is a member of the union, Mai said.
.....Hung Nguyen said community members from Little Saigon will attempt to have a discussion with top USC officials to make them see why the local Vietnamese American community is extremely sensitive to the issue.
.....The rapidly growing Little Saigon community is primarily composed of refugees who fled Vietnam in the '70s and '80s after the communist takeover in that country in 1975.
....."Our first step is to give them the information," he said. "The second step is to have a discussion between our Vietnamese elected officials and university officials to see if they will take down the communist flag. Our last resort will be to protest the university's approach to this issue."
.....Quach said he has not been approached by Nguyen to talk to university officials.
....."It is of course at the discretion of the university, but I don't think the university understands the political and emotional implications of their decision," he said.
.....Quach said he might send them a video tape of the 1999 protest of a Little Saigon video store owner who displayed a large banner of Ho Chi Minh outside his store. Thousands thronged outside the store in protest.
....."The video will show them how strongly anti-communist this community is and how strongly we feel about it," Quach said.
.....Grant said the university respects the community's sentiments about their flag.
....."They do have their right to express their feeling and opinions," he said. "But I don't think we did anything wrong by flying that flag. It is Vietnam's official flag."

The Adventures of Sunny Girl: Existential Cat



For Kris.

Recent videos of a similarly personal nature:
The Adventures of Adam & Sarah: they drop by

Fear in Holland

From the LEDE: After Danish Cartoons, Dutch Film Sparks More Worries:
.....The aftermath has flowed predictably enough since Feb. 13, when Danish newspapers reprinted cartoons that sparked fury among Muslims around the world in 2006: There was more fury.
.....Street protests started in the streets of Copenhagen and spread to Sudan, Pakistan, Turkey and other parts of the Islamic world. Now, after more than a month, comes what might be the direst reaction in Osama bin Laden’s latest message.
.....“Publishing these insulting drawings,” he said, “is the greatest misfortune and the most dangerous.”
.....An analyst interviewed by The Associated Press interpreted the message as a “clear threat against E.U. member countries and an indicator of a possible upcoming significant attack.”
.....In The New York Times today, Michael Kimmelman writes that “many Europeans seem fed up,” including some of the cartoonists. One has been moving from safe house to safe house to elude any assassins, while another is struggling to find meaning in the second printing….
.....Meanwhile, a politician two countries away is planning to release a movie that has “triggered a panic in the Netherlands that could only be likened to the dread leading up to a massive storm,” according to Der Spiegel, a German magazine.
.....Geert Wilders’s 15-minute film reportedly juxtaposes excerpts from the Koran with beheadings and stonings on a split screen, a warning of “the threat of the growing Islamization of Western society,” he said in an interview with a Danish TV station, Reuters reported.
.....Even before the film’s release, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende of the Netherlands insisted that his country did not share the views of Mr. Wilders, who is the subject of death threats — threats made all the more unsettling by the 2004 murder of another Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, who was killed for being “an enemy of Islam,” the killer said.
.....“I strongly condemn Geert Wilders’s condescending statements about Muslims,” Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. “I find these expressions extremely offensive.”….

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "Orion walks waist deep"


.....Spring!
.....Once again.
.....Today's poem, courtesy of Kenneth Rexroth, from his cycle titled, "Toward an Organic Philosophy."

SPRING, COAST RANGE
The glow of my campfire is dark red and flameless,
The circle of white ash widens around it.
I get up and walk off in the moonlight and each time
I look back the red is deeper and the light smaller.
Scorpio rises late with Mars caught in his claw;
The moon has come before them, the light
Like a choir of children in the young laurel trees.
It is April; the shad, the hot headed fish,
Climbs the rivers; there is trillium in the damp canyons;
The foetid adder’s tongue lolls by the waterfall.
There was a farm at this campsite once, it is almost gone now.
There were sheep here after the farm, and fire
Long ago burned the redwoods out of the gulch,
The Douglas fir off the ridge; today the soil
Is stony and incoherent, the small stones lie flat
And plate the surface like scales.
Twenty years ago the spreading gully
Toppled the big oak over onto the house.
Now there is nothing left but the foundations
Hidden in poison oak, and above on the ridge,
Six lonely, ominous fenceposts;
The redwood beams of the barn make a footbridge
Over the deep waterless creek bed;
The hills are covered with wild oats
Dry and white by midsummer.
I walk in the random survivals of the orchard.
In a patch of moonlight a mole
Shakes his tunnel like an angry vein;
Orion walks waist deep in the fog coming in from the ocean;
Leo crouches under the zenith.
There are tiny hard fruits already on the plum trees.
The purity of the apple blossoms is incredible.
As the wind dies down their fragrance
Clusters around them like thick smoke.
All the day they roared with bees, in the moonlight
They are silent and immaculate.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Recent images, recent things

Mr. Moon, two or three hours ago.

Looking east, again, two or three hours ago.

Flag waving, a turd in a punchbowl, along Santiago Canyon, yesterday.

My Chrysler 300, along Santiago Canyon, yesterday, a mile or two above Cook's Corner.

Burnt tree on hill, in the new grass, sprouting leaves. Yesterday, along Santiago Canyon Road.

Sand Canyon, just a few days ago, looking north. It sure has changed.

I think this fellow will go far:

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "Winter is dead."


SOMETIMES their household is all Winnie-the-Pooh, which Rebel Girl prefers, she must admit, to Harry Potter.

It was A.A. Milne, yesterday, all the way down the snowy mountain.

Selections from "When We Were Very Young," poems like this one:

"They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
'A soldier's life is terrible hard,'
says Alice."




Ah, Christopher Robin, Alice, a tubby bear, a dormouse, the King of France, pictures books with knights and ladies. Why is Alice marrying a soldier? What kind of mouse is a dormouse?

As the reader, a bear-like Charles Kuralt, announced each title, the little guy would announce from the back seat: "I love that poem!"


They had had a weekend away – the end of winter together. Unexpected snow. The first trout of the season. The little guy's first loose tooth.

This next poem they enjoyed, then Rebel Girl paused the tape and reminded the little guy of the daffodils by the Santa Ana river. The day before she and he had pulled their frilled yellow heads out of the snow. Do you see the flower in the poem, she asked, the daffodil?

He did not.

He saw a girl, with a yellow hat and a green dress.



Listen, she told him - it's about a flower too. It about two things at once. The poet is giving human qualties to the flower. She rewound the tape. She pressed play.

He listened again. This time he saw the flower and the girl. He saw the flowers that they had seen together at the riverside the day before and he saw the one that A.A. Milne had described - all at once. A wonder.

by A.A. Milne:

Daffo-down-dilly

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead".

Tenure, the Movie

From this morning’s Inside Higher Ed: Tenure, the Movie:
Higher education has provided plenty of plots for film, with student oriented movies the most likely to pack in audiences. Campus hijinks have always been popular (think “Animal House“). Getting into college featured prominently in “Risky Business” and “Orange County.” Faculty stories also get told of course, with many an academic novel having been dramatized. But tales of infidelity, failure, and visions of political correctness tend to dominate — such as the stories in the films “Wonder Boys,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” or “The Human Stain.”

But what about tenure? It’s about to have its 15 minutes of Hollywood fame. Blowtorch Entertainment will next month begin filming on “Tenure,” which is about a college professor coming up for tenure (Luke Wilson) and facing off against a female rival who recently arrived at (fictional) Grey College. (The part of the institution will be played by Bryn Mawr College, where the movie will be shot.) David Koechner will play the professorial sidekick to the Wilson character, and the production company is planning kickoff events next year to promote the film in college towns.

…Addy N., the blogger whose recent promotion made moot the blog title What an Untenured College Professor Shouldn’t Be Doing, said via e-mail: “I guess the problem I’ll have with the movie is that it will be what Hollywood thinks the process should be like, rather than what really happens. I guess if they told the real story it wouldn’t be as entertaining, though. There would be lots of people sitting at computers writing papers and grant proposals.” If the producers “make the movie in a way that the masses will enjoy,” then “we academics will say ‘that’s not how it works.’ “

Elaine Showalter, a professor emeritus of English at Princeton University, wrote about depictions of academic life in Faculty Towers: The Academic Novel and Its Discontents (University of Pennsylvania Press). She said she had a tough time thinking of tenure as a major plot line in film. “Somehow the sturm and drang of university life has not appealed to the entertainment industry,” she said….

Monday, March 17, 2008

Today, along Santiago Canyon Road

Had to go into town for some supplies. Just got back.

Along the way, I took some shots along Santiago Canyon Road, mostly across from the entrance to Modjeska Grade. All of the trees had been burned, but, as you can see, they're sprouting all sorts of greenery.

Somehow, it seems especially quiet today. Not like yesterday, which was a bit blustery and ended with some wonderful lightning flashes and slow, rolling thunder.

I used a polarizing filter. Way cool, I say.


This is the creek as it comes out of Modjeska Canyon. Whoever lives there puts up loony warning signs in Spanish about electification. Who they kiddin'?

Or maybe the folks there go by the name "Electrocutar." Could be.

"Home of Wayne and Estelle Electrocutar. Welcome!"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea


O.C. protests mark fifth anniversary of war in Iraq:
A lone counter protester carried a sign that read, "Support the Troops." He declined to be interviewed....
Five years after start of Iraq war, hindsight changes two views:
"If I had known in advance the magnitude of the mistakes that were going to be made in the management of the war, I would not have voted for authorization," Rep. Ed Royce says.... Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, said deposing Saddam Hussein and giving the people of Iraq a chance for democracy was a "wonderful goal. Now that we know what the price is, was it worth it? Probably not."....
1996: after years of U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq:
LESLEY STAHL: “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima...[I]s the price worth it?”

AMBASSADOR [to U.N.] MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
SEE Five years in Iraq protests.

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