Saturday, April 26, 2008

Board meeting Monday

.....There are hopeful signs regarding faculty contract negotiations. Possibly, we'll have something good to report Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the work-to-contract is still very much in effect. As I reported previously, the hiring committee that I served on was 99% finished when the plug was pulled, as per the WTC. We had some great candidates, too. But these faculty are good soldiers.
.....A godless bunch, they are.
.....You can count on them.

BOARD MEETING ON MONDAY:

.....The April meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees is set for Monday night (7:00 p.m. for the open session). The agenda outline is available, as per usual, at the district website.

.....At the start of the meeting, the predictable "resolutions" will be adopted (for King, Serban, McCullough, Reynard, et al.). One surprise: Dr. Jerome Hunter, retiring chancellor of the NOCCCD (i.e., the North OCCCD), will be resolved at. We recently reported that Ned Doffoney is among three finalists for the soon-to-be-vacant NOCCCD Chancellor spot.

.....There are two "discussion" item: (1) Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College Curriculum Report—this could get interesting IF faculty fail to come through; it's a Mathurian "command" performance—and (2) Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College Student Learning Outcomes.
.....Recently, we at Dissent researched SLOs and found them to be Spurious, Loathsome, and Odious. (See Making sense of SLOs.)
.....Sorry.

.....There are lots of items regarding Saddleback College's poor BGS building, which is pretty well hosed-down and de-moldified, I guess. The board will tour BGS prior to its 5:00 p.m. closed session.
.....Please, somebody. Set off a stink bomb in there. Do something.


.....Item 5.16 is odd: "ATEP: Change Order Request No. 7: Site Improvements and Signage for the Launch: Approve change order to decrease contract amount by $2070.00 with Los Angeles Engineering, Inc. the total revised contract amount is $2,238,087.33."
..... Which "launch" are they talking about now? What signage?

.....One of the agenda's "general items" is curious: (6.1) "SOCCCD: Adopt Resolution No. 08-10: GASB 43 and 45 Compliance Vendor Selection and Implementation: Adopt resolution to establish an irrevocable trust and appoint a Retirement Board of Authority."
.....—What's that all about?

.....Item 6.4 is the Saddleback College Stadium: "Approve the concept of the Saddleback College Stadium renovation project to support the Saddleback College Foundation raising funds for the project."
.....Mathur must've written that one. Read it. The board is advised to "approve" a project to "support" the Foundation raising funds for the project.
.....Give that man $300K! And a Merc allowance!
.....He's an idiot.
.....The stadium discussion could get interesting. In the past, Trustees Williams and Jay (I believe) have promoted any kind of Stadium upgrade that they can get away with. Some of the other trustees have resisted this mightily.


MEANWHILE, THE ACCREDITATION FOCUS GROUPS ARE FOCUSSING:

.....Don't know about Saddleback's Accreditation "Task Force" or "Focus Group." A reliable senate officer told me that faculty have bailed from it. Is that true?
.....At IVC, faculty with stipends and the like have bent over backwards to reassign their time to the Accreditation "focus group" for that college, bailing from other things (as per the WTC). One faculty w/o stipend dropped off, again, as per WTC.
..... I'm told that yesterday's meeting went very well, though Trustee Don Wagner got snarky like he does. I spoke with Wendy, and she remains upbeat, as do others who attended the meeting.
.....Evidently, the group is writing a document that should go a long way in defining "roles and responsibilities" of various governance-related groups. Sounds good.
.....But what about the plague of despair? It's still here. He's still here.

Note to Don:


FLAG-WAVERS:
Furious black bear demands that California state flags be taken down immediately
TV stars to demand "residuals" for display of U.S. and other star-bedecked flags
English professor suspended for calling deadly college lightning-strike "fortuitous"
Embattled professor swears he had no idea that "Mr. Goo" means "Mr. Shit" in Hindi
Expert insists that "McCain" means "puppy-strangler" in Gaelic
German scientists establish that free will is "ganz kaput"
College paper reports that issues keep being stolen—but, somehow, no one has read the story

Who will survive?


.....Yesterday, Dissent reported that the accrediting agency (ACCJC/WASC) is sending someone down for a "process audit" re the accreditation of Irvine Valley College. That came as quite a surprise.
.....I'm trying to learn just what is involved in a "process audit," aside from the obvious: an examination of processes. Does anyone know? (See: What is an academic audit?)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Huh? Accrediting "process audit" to be conducted at Irvine Valley College

.....I just got word that the Accrediting agency—ACCJC—is sending someone to Irvine Valley College right away for a “process audit.” The audit, which could take two or three weeks and is expected to be completed by the end of the semester, involves an examination of documents and records along with interviews.
.....The point of the audit, of course, is to examine the college/district processes (as opposed to finances) and to determine whether they are what they should be. And since what exists on paper isn't necessarily what exists in reality, interviews are crucial.
.....Many of us feel that the difficulties in our district do indeed concern "process"—something routinely ignored or subverted by a certain powerful administrator—and so this audit may be a very good thing indeed.
.....No word yet on whether the ACCJC is sending a (or this) process auditor to Saddleback College also.
.....Presumably, the audit comes as an unwelcome surprise to the Chancellor, who is already under fire for causing our 50% difficulty and the massive FUBAR that has been the recent full-time faculty hiring initiative.
.....Stay tuned.
.....For those who don’t follow SOCCCD news, here's some background: our two colleges are expected to turn in reports to the accreditors in October, finally satisfying them, after three years, that we have overcome such difficulties as trustee micromanagement and a “plague” of fear, hostility, and despair. If a college fails to satisfy ACCJC that the trustee meddling and "plague" are at long last overcome, it will lose its accreditation.
.....This audit is a strange development indeed. It seems to come from out of the blue.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"It seems almost inevitable now"

From this afternoon’s OC Reg: USC officials say Vietnam's flag will remain:
.....The University of Southern California will not take down the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's flag in front of one of its main buildings on campus despite concerns raised by Vietnamese American students on campus, a university spokesman said today.
.....Little Saigon activists approached USC officials last month after the Vietnamese Student Association on campus raised issue with the so-called communist flag being hung at the university's Von KleinSmid Center.
.....James Grant, a university spokesman, said he believes a public forum held Monday on campus about the flag issue was "constructive." But, he added, that the university's position remains the same.
....."The university displays the flags of nations from which our international students come to attend USC," he said. "These flags represent nations recognized by the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State."
.....Christopher Tran, a member of the Vietnamese Student Association, said he wanted to explore all options before resorting to a large-scale protest. He said the flag hanging at the center does not represent him or the 1,000 Vietnamese American students attending the school.
.....Tran and other members of his group requested Monday that the university either take down the communist flag or consider adding the red and yellow flag of former South Vietnam to the exhibit or take down all the flags.
.....Steven Huynh, also an association member, said the communist flag certainly doesn't represent him.
....."My mother was a refugee and my father was a prisoner of war who later became a refugee," he said. "So this is really an important issue for me."
.....Close to 49,000 people voted on The Orange County Register's online poll last month on the issue. An overwhelming 91 percent said the university should remove the flag; 3 percent said it should be left alone and 6 percent said it should be replaced with the South Vietnamese flag.
.....But Vu Nguyen, a member of the Vietnamese International Students Association, which consists of students from Vietnam, says he is hurt that people want to take down the flag that represents him and more than 20 students on campus.
....."That flag represents us as well as the 80 million people of Vietnam," he said. "I respect that the Vietnamese American community has a separate flag. But it would be an insult to us to have our country's flag taken down."
.....Grant said the university does not intend to hang the South Vietnamese flag at that location because it does not represent international students. Asked if the red and yellow flag will be flown at another location on campus, Grant said: "I can't say."
.....Little Saigon activists say it's a significant issue for this largely refugee, expatriate community. Most of its members fled Vietnam by boat after the communist takeover on April 30 1975. The community is in the process of organizing several Black April commemorative ceremonies to mark the occasion next week.
.....Local activist Hung Phuong Nguyen said he and others are standing by to organize a protest if the university fails to take down the communist flag or add the red and yellow flag. Nguyen says he and other activists plan to send out letter[s] to all universities in California to remove the communist flag and replace it with the red and yellow flag.
....."We want to give USC students the chance to discuss this with the officials," he said. "We've stepped aside for now, but if they ask for our help in protesting USC, we'll definitely join the protest."
.....Nguyen and other activists were successful recently in getting Irvine Valley College to take down an entire flag exhibit because it had the communist flag in it.
.....Bao Mai, a member of Garden Grove-based Union for Vietnamese Students Association, agreed.
....."The school doesn't seem to understand that one flag does not represent everybody," he said. "If the students can't work it out, we'll be supporting them in a protest."
.....Huynh said he does not believe anything positive came from Monday's campus meeting, which he said included no top university officials.
....."I think there is going to be a protest over this issue," he said. "It seems almost inevitable now."

IVC's Performing Arts Center on this sunny day

Click on the photos!





He followed them out the door

A BLOW TO THE NOGGIN FOR THE INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH. In this morning’s Inside Higher Ed:
A committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Wednesday rejected a proposal by the Institute for Creation Research to start offering online master’s degrees in science education, The Dallas Morning News reported. While the full board still must vote, Wednesday’s action was a major defeat for the institute, which teaches that evolution did not take place. Raymund Paredes, commissioner of higher education, recommended the vote against the institute’s proposal, saying: “Evolution is such a fundamental principle of contemporary science it is hard to imagine how you could cover the various fields of science without giving it the proper attention it deserves as a foundation of science. Religious belief is not science. Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.” Institute officials have said that they may reframe their proposal or sue the board.
REMEMBER NED DOFFONEY? The Final Three: NOCCCD announces finalists for the district's chancellor postion:
The North Orange County Community College District recently announced the three finalists for the chancellor position which will become vacant July 1, when current Chancellor Jerome Hunter retires. ¶ The finalists for the position are: Rita Cepeda, president of San Diego Mesa College, Ned Doffoney current president of Fresno City College, and Christopher C. O'Hearn the former superintendent/president of Mt. San Antonio College. ¶ … The new chancellor will be announced some time in May.
Doffoney was President of Saddleback College (but not for long) when the infamous “Reorg” occurred in July of 1997. As I recall, he was the only administrator who stuck around to answer questions from anxious faculty after the decision was announced. Raghu Mathur, then IVC interim President, who plotted and schemed to help bring about the (illegal) Reorg, and who assured IVC faculty that no major changes would occur during the summer, refused to answer questions, and simply followed his Brown-Act violating patrons out the door.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

BIZ-TIC, SNAFU, & DARFUR

DARFUR
.....There was some excitement on campus (IVC) today—though not as much as there should be—owing to Amnesty International's booth in front of the Student Services Center, former home of "flags of the world" (but no longer, cuz, well, extortion works). Amnesty is promoting a petition that will be given to Condoleeza Rice to pressure her to help get UN troops in Darfur.
.....The young women in charge of the booth weren't getting a lot of business, though at least they weren't as lonely as the Bible ladies fifteen yards north. All those neatly arranged Bibles! They just couldn't give 'em away!
.....Want to sign the petition? Drop by Reb & Chunk’s office (A239). Or go to Eyes on Darfur.


ATEP
.....I ran into a friend today who was growing concerned about the ATEP project (the Advanced Technology and Education Park in Tustin). It turns out that this thing is going to be WAY bigger than faculty realize—“WAY WAY,” she said. And yet faculty, who are the only group authorized to develop instructional programs, are doing nothing to prepare. Based on what my friend told me, it sounds like we ought to be planning, among other things, the hire of full-time instructors and experts to develop programs that, for the most part, just don’t exist at the college.
.....I pointed out the obvious: that faculty are not preparing because, from the start, Chancellor Mathur and his Top-Downers have made a point of leaving faculty entirely out of the loop, ATEP-development-wise—and pretty much EVERY-WAY-wise.
.....“Well, yeah,” said the friend. Her voice trailed off.
.....SNAFU!” I shouted.




BIZ-TIC
.....As you know, yet another major building is under construction at Irvine Valley College. It’s the $23+ million Business, Sciences, and Technology Innovation Center (BIZ-TIC), a 53,000 square foot structure that is supposed to be completed this semester, I think. They’ve got the “shell” up, anyway, and some of the rooms are dry-walled. (I looked inside.)
.....I took a few pics. Check 'em out.
.....I perused some old newspaper articles about BIZ-TIC. Officials are quoted saying the usual thing—about how it “will open business opportunities to students and the community, and help the college grow.”
....."This particular building,” said President Roquemore, “will be at the cutting edge of technology."
.....Looks pretty impressive, I guess. Very modern, stucco-and-quonset-hut construction. Makes me wanna get a tetanus shot.



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

He'll deliver it for you

.....(A REBEL GIRL post.)
.....She doesn't know about you, but Rebel Girl sure got inspired when she received this email:
.....On Monday, April 21 your district news update included a request for letters of support. The letter you received with suggested copy has been revised. If you are interested in writing a letter for Chancellor Mathur to deliver to the Governor's Office on May 8, you may use the sample letter, or you may wish to customize it with personal stories about your students or your programs. This letter was intended only as suggested copy. Please transmit your letter (by campus mail or attached to an e-mail) to Tracy Daly in the district office by Friday, May 2.
.....If you have any questions, please contact Tracy Daly at tdaly@socccd.edu.
.....It's not often that we in the district have an opportunity to have voices and stories heard directly by the state legislature and the governor. As numerous emails attest, Chancellor Mathur plans to carry our letters with him when he travels to Sacramento!
.....We here at Dissent encourage our readership to write letters and let the Chancellor deliver them for you. While the district has provided sample copy, please note that we're also encouraged to "customize it" and tell our own "personal stories." We here at DISSENT know we all have stories to tell. You tell them to us all the time. Now's the time to share them with a wider audience!
.....It is true that our district is threatened with proposed budget cuts and that we should lobby against fee increases and for increased funding. But we're also threatened by forces much closer to home. Some people may even suggest that the board and Mathur are greater threats. We suggest that you write letters addressing the nature of both threats and asking for relief. (See RG's customization below.)
.....So, do write your letters and send them on to the district.
.....Consider this: If you all seal the envelope, they'll have to cut them open to decide which letters will actually make it north!

Ruben Salazar gets a stamp!

From today's Los Angeles Times:
It is not every day that we have the opportunity to celebrate a colleague whose work for this newspaper stands the scrutiny of history. Journalism, by its nature, tends to focus on the immediate. Only a few of any generation leave a bold enough mark to be visible over generations. One such journalist was Ruben Salazar, whom we honor today as the United States Postal Service issues a stamp to commemorate his life and work.

To many, Salazar is recalled largely for his death. He was killed at the age of 42 by a tear-gas canister fired by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy during a Chicano antiwar protest-turned-riot in East Los Angeles in 1970. It is right and important that we remember Salazar's death. His clear-eyed, unflinching journalism impelled him to places of danger and made him enemies, some in law enforcement. But his contribution exceeds his sacrifice. In the 11 years that his work appeared in these pages, Salazar was a voice of the people—la voz de la Raza, some called him.

Salazar was an early and eloquent explorer of the Mexican American experience. He chronicled that experience around the world, reporting from Mexico, of course, but also the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. His greatest work was done in Los Angeles, where Salazar refused to accept the pathologies of immigrant life. He covered schools and police-community relations. He rightly complained about a system of political representation that denied Latinos any place on the City Council or county Board of Supervisors. He refused to accept that Mexican immigrants, whose contributions were forming the city we now inhabit, were to be treated as somehow outside it. He wrote from the ground up, which is why he found himself in the Silver Dollar Cafe on Aug. 29, 1970, as the rioting churned through the neighborhood and as that deputy fired the canister that killed him.

Much has changed in the years since Salazar died. He would surely be pleased to see a Mexican American mayor and other elected leaders; he would welcome the signs of political cohesion among Latinos. But he would find Los Angeles schools painfully familiar, and he would have no trouble recognizing the often shrill debate over illegal immigration. As Los Angeles enjoys "Ruben Salazar Day," we, his proud former colleagues, rededicate ourselves to the city that he imagined, one where we recognize and celebrate our varied heritages and set aside those differences in order to build a society together.

While others have noted this elsewhere, Rebel Girl would like to point out the incomplete phrase that adorns the stamp, how it begins abruptly with the preposition: "during Chicano protest rally in East Los Angeles." Point of fact: Salazar was not killed during the rally—he was killed miles from the rally, in the aftermath of what many, Rebel Girl included, would characterize as a police riot.

Rebel Girl, ever the English major and activist, also wonders about the absence of the only verb that fits: killed.

Then there's the rub—as Michael Sedano over at la bloga points out: "There's something more, yet less, in the stamp story. It's "good" only for the next twenty days. The USPS issued the stamp at the current first class standard, 41 cents. On May 12, you’ll have to add a one cent mark-up if you want to honor Salazar with his stamp, since the first class rate goes up to 42 cents."

Rebel Girl hears the little voice in her head: Shut up and be grateful.

Never.
From the USPS site: Note: When reproducing the Salazar image, please include the following: Ruben Salazar, from the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive (Collection 1429), Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

UPDATE: A quick perusal of today's OC Register brings to light two things: a 42 cent version of the stamp (!) and an IVC link. Credited with lobbying for the stamp is one Olga Briseno, currently director of the Media, Democracy and Policy Initiative at the University of Arizona at Tempe and onetime founder of the journalism program and newspaper at IVC, a program since beaten to a bloodly pulp by the powers that be and continue to be.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Anti-science adventures: Stein, Ahmanson, & Fuentes

.....As I’m sure you are aware, some right-wingers are atwitter over the release of Ben Stein’s anti-science movie, Expelled. Being a hilarious guy, Stein has done a tour of college campuses with his flick. It’s now in theaters, where it isn’t doing as well as Stein & the knuckle-draggers had hoped.
.....Here are excerpts from a review of the movie that appeared in Scientific American a week or so ago: Ben Stein's Expelled: No Integrity Displayed:
.....In the new science-bashing movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein and the rest of the filmmakers sincerely and seriously argue that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution paved the way for the Holocaust. By "seriously," I mean that Ben Stein acts grief-stricken and the director juxtaposes quotes from evolutionary biologists with archival newsreel clips from Hitler's Reich….
.....No one could have been more surprised than I when the producers called, unbidden, offering Scientific American's editors a private screening. Given that our magazine's positions on evolution and intelligent design (ID) creationism reflect those of the scientific mainstream (that is, evolution: good science; ID: not science), you have to wonder why they would bother. It's not as though anything in Expelled would have been likely to change our views. And they can't have been looking for a critique of the science in the movie, because there isn't much to speak of.
.....Rather, it seems a safe bet that the producers hope a whipping from us would be useful for publicity…..
.....Unfortunately, Expelled is a movie not quite harmless enough to be ignored. Shrugging off most of the film's attacks—all recycled from previous pro-ID works—would be easy, but its heavy-handed linkage of modern biology to the Holocaust demands a response for the sake of simple human decency.
…..
.....…Stein explains that he is speaking out because he has "lately noticed a dire trend" that threatens the state of our nation: the ascendance of godless, materialist, evolutionary science and an unwillingness among academics to consider more theistic alternatives. … He and Expelled charge that scientists, in their rejection of religious explanations, have become as intolerant as Nazis….
…..
.....I should note that Stein and Expelled rarely refer to "scientists" as I did—they call them Darwinists. Similarly, this review may have already used the word "evolution" about as often as the whole of Expelled does; in the movie, it is always Darwinism. The term is a curious throwback, because in modern biology almost no one relies solely on Darwin's original ideas—most researchers would call themselves neo-Darwinian if they bothered to make the historical connection at all because evolutionary science now encompasses concepts as diverse as symbiosis, kin selection and developmental genetics….
.....Expelled then trots out some of the people whom it claims have been persecuted by the Darwinist establishment. First among them is Richard Sternberg, former editor of the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington…. Sternberg tells Stein that he subsequently lost his editorship….
.....What most viewers of Expelled may not realize—because the film doesn't even hint at it—is that Sternberg's case is not quite what it sounds. Biologists criticized Sternberg's choice to publish [an ID] paper not only because it supported ID but also because Sternberg approved it by himself rather than sending it out for independent expert review. He didn't lose his editorship; he published the paper in what was already scheduled to be his last issue as editor. He didn't lose his job at the Smithsonian; his appointment there as an unpaid research associate had a limited term, and when it was over he was given a new one. His office move was scheduled before the paper ever appeared… And so on.
.....…The movie's one-sided version is either the result of shoddy investigation or deliberate propagandizing—neither of which reflects well on the other information in the film.
.....So it is with the rest of Expelled's parade of victims. Caroline Crocker, a biology teacher, was allegedly dismissed from her position at George Mason University after merely mentioning ID; the film somehow never reports exactly what she said or why anyone objected to it. Reporter Pamela Winnick was supposedly pilloried and fired after she wrote objectively about evolution and ID; we don't know exactly what she wrote but later we do hear her asserting with disgust that "Darwinism devalues human life." The film forgot to mention that Winnick is the author of the book A Jealous God: Science's Crusade Against Religion—a title that suggests her objectivity on the subject might be a bit tarnished.
.....The movie's unreliable reporting is even more obvious during the scene in which Stein interviews Bruce Chapman, the president of the Discovery Institute, the institutional heart of ID advocacy. Stein asks whether the Discovery Institute has supported the teaching of ID in science classes so avidly because it is trying to sneak religion back into public schools. Chapman says no and the film blithely takes him at his word. No mention is made of the notorious "Wedge" document, a leaked Discovery Institute manifesto that outlined a strategy of opposing evolution and turning the public against scientific materialism as the first step toward making society more politically conservative and theistic. Maybe Ben Stein didn't think it was relevant, but wouldn't an honest film have trusted its audience to judge for itself? [END]
..... The chief financial backer of the Discovery Institute is, of course, Orange County’s own Howard Ahmanson, Jr., a close (and filthy-rich) friend of trustee Tom Fuentes (both are on the Claremont Institute board of directors and Bible Study Group).
.....As we’ve reported previously, Ahmanson is a Christian Reconstructionist, i.e., someone who seeks to apply “the general principles of Old Testament and New Testament moral law and case laws in the appropriate family, church and/or civil government.” Christian Reconstructionists further believe “that God's kingdom began at the first coming of Jesus Christ, and will advance throughout history until it fills the whole earth through conversion to the Christian faith….”
.....(Ahmanson is a disciple of Rousas John Rushdoony, who wrote: "...Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies....")
.....Fuentes is on the board of a right-wing publisher that puts out anti-evolution books such as Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? See "Kill It or Grill It"—and other Fuentean titles.

Help me count these beans

.....I admit it. When it comes to fiscal matters, I’m pretty clueless.
.....Occasionally, I hear our union leaders carp about the huge pile of money the trustees are sitting on, thanks to our “Basic Aid” gravy train—apparently, the SOCCCD is nearly unique among cc districts with regard to funding. We’re rolling in dough, they say, and yet the colleges are kept on miserly budgets. And why no raises for faculty? And why are these trustees squirreling away so much of the taxpayers’ money? “It’s obscene,” they say.
.....I guess so. I’m trying to find somebody to explain all of this.
.....I try to follow the bouncing Basic Aid ball, but it isn’t easy. Every time somebody explains that funding model, they make it sound as though budget cuts in Sacramento don’t affect us, since we get our money from local property taxes, not as an allocation from state budget money earmarked for community colleges.
.....OK. I get it. Or do I?
.....A few days ago (April 14), we received state budget news from Tracy Daly. Evidently, the district has been sent an “update” written by Robert Blattner, which was attached to Tracy’s email. The upshot seems to be that April tax collections are “down.” The news is bad and will continue to be bad, budgetwise.
.....But wait! The SOCCCD is a Basic Aid district. That means we get most of our funding from local property tax, not from the state via money budgeted for community colleges. Isn’t that how it goes?
.....Maybe so. After laying out the grim April tax facts, Blattner presents what he takes to be an even more “solid” fact:

According to a just-made-public survey of County assessors…, statewide growth in local property tax revenue for the budget year is sharply below earlier projections. The survey, which included most of the state’s counties and all of its large ones, projects a 4.5 percent growth between current and budget years, compared to the 7 percent forecast by the Administration…. This news doesn’t affect school districts directly (except for Basic Aid districts, which receive their local property taxes instead of revenue limit funding).

.....Blattner is saying that the bad news about property taxes does directly affect us. OK, I get that.
.....In her email, Tracy quotes the Chancellor:

“At this point, the State budget shortfall is being projected at $22 Billion. It is anticipated that the budget will get worse as the State receives the tax filings by April 15 and homeowners increasingly request reappraisal of their property taxes due to the declining housing market.”

.....--OK, I get the “homeowner” part. We’re Basic Aid. But is there any reason why the budget Stinkeroo should affect us, beyond the property tax situation?
.....Tracy (Mathur?) goes on to say:

The Orange County Community Colleges Legislative Task Force is working to communicate to legislators our concern over proposed cuts to community colleges, and gathering support letters to present to the Governor. More information will be sent out on this campaign soon.

.....--Yeah, but we’ve gotta be the odd duck in that crowd, right? These other districts aren’t Basic Aid, and so they’ve got to worry about these cuts. Not us. We are Basic Aid. What we want isn’t quite what everybody else wants, right?
.....Help me out here.
.....Tracy finishes with:

Board Vice President John Williams and Chancellor Mathur will be in Sacramento tomorrow [i.e., on the 15th, last Tuesday] to join the Community College League of California in speaking with legislators about the budget.

.....But, again, among this delegation, we’re odd man out, right? Insofar as SOCCCD is concerned, we don’t care about no stinkin’ state budget, right?
.....I figure that, if this is confusing to me, it’s likely confusing to other folks too. So maybe some of you out there can enlighten the benighted—in plain English. I’d appreciate it.

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