Saturday, September 27, 2008

Missed opportunity for ATEP?

I came across a story (LA Times) about the recent purchase of the Boeing plant in Long Beach. It looks like it will now be converted to an enormous film studio: a million square feet!

One of the names that came up in the story was familiar. I do believe that the people who are going forward with this project are among those turned down by our Board of Trustees in the course of development of our district’s ATEP facility on 68 acres of the old Tustin helicopter station.

As I understand it, our board was not convinced that these people were for real, moneywise.

Well, clearly they were.

So it looks like our efforts to develop ATEP will now proceed with a tad less “dearthiness” in So Cal, filmstudiowise.

KABC’s story (from a week ago: Long Beach airplane hanger goes Hollywood) includes a brief video of the Boeing facility and its new owners.

NOT LONG AGO, a reader requested that we present some Curtis Mayfield. Evidently, Mayfield's "Move On Up" has become somewhat of a semi-official Obama campaign song. Here's a performance from 1987:

MOVE ON UP


I've never been much of a soul fan, but I do have my favorites. This one could be my all-time fave:

James Carr's DARK END OF THE STREET


This one goes out to My Own Private Idaho! Be well, be happy,  ST.

Review of Arellano's "History"

Luis Alfaro reviews Gustavo Arellano’s history of the OC in the LA Times:

IF SURREALISM has an address, I think it exists in Orange County.

The fifth-largest suburban county in the U.S., and the nation's second-most expensive housing market, Orange County is framed on television shows like "The O.C." and "The Real Housewives of Orange County" as a money-grubbing, social-climbing, xenophobic enclave of the super-rich.

It's hard to imagine that one region could be home to Rep. Robert Dornan and Mickey Mouse, Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and extraterrestrial basketballer Dennis Rodman, not to mention the largest community of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. Here we have but a few of the parallel universes that one experiences while exploring the county's 789 square miles.

These odd juxtapositions and contradictions exist at the center of Gustavo Arellano's warm memoir-cum-history lesson, "Orange County," a familial journey of immigration interwoven with a hilarious dissection of the region's history. Arellano, who writes the syndicated "¡Ask a Mexican!" column for OC Weekly, is a satirist at heart, and his brand of humor and bold subject matter has its critics and supporters among Latinos and non-Latinos. He is irreverent, very funny and willfully liberal—a distinct irony coming from a region once referred to by Ronald Reagan as the place where "all the good Republicans go to die."….

For the entire piece, go to 'Orange County: A Personal History' by Gustavo Arellano

GUSTAVO EXPLAINS:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Social Sciences/Humanities and Languages party

Bea gave a party to celebrate our new hires in these two schools. It was a success! The party, I mean. The hires? They're young!

Boy could this crew use some new blood. For a while there, I think they were contemplating merging the schools and calling the resulting school the AARP.

Don't know why these pics are so jumbled on the page. But I like the jumbelosity. Here's Melanie, who has a great sense of humor.

During the party, the big debate played in the background. It was hard to miss the fact that this was mostly an Obama crowd. People did not disguise their contempt for "that clueless, mean-spirited geezer" on the TV.

Bea's kids are way cute. I think they're Republicans, though. Bea's house is in a gated community deep in Irvine. I saw guard dogs. Somebody sprayed Armor-All on the trees.

Mysteriousness and ominosity hung in the air. Don't know why.



Yemmy looked cool. We don't have a whole lot of coolitude among the faculty of these schools. Thank you, Yemmy, for being cool.





A newbie, introduced.

Brenda introduces Julie, a new writing instructor. She used to play V-ball.

Melanie and the Reb are being ironical or something. They do that.



This poor fellow (at left) was revealed to be a devotee of the dismal science, a fortuity that unleashed the evening's only ugliness. He was cornered and asked, "What do you people really know?" "Why don't you people fix this thing?" "Who do you people think you are, anyway?"

He was forced to make an impromptu presentation in defense of his so-called discipline. He managed to quell the growing violence. In the end, few were hurt. He slipped out the back door and got past the security gate, disappearing into the night.



New "Poli-Sci" blood.

We even had a cowboy. Not the "YMCA" kind. I managed to blur the pic, but so what.

Few are aware that there is a TIME WARP at the Portola exit of the toll road. Did we pass through unscathed? Who knows. Perhaps, today, I am in a new universe. This will mean nothing to you, of course.

When we got home (Modjeska Canyon), Limber Lou asked me if he could play with my car key. On and off went the lights, in the night. —In my new universe? Perhaps so.

No Comment: Sarah Palin Corn Maze

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Irvine Valley College Reading Center "Open House"

IVC's new Reading/ESS Center held an "open house" today, and it was a big success.



There were free books and valuable cash prizes. Well, no cash prizes. But there were freebies in that basket.

Melanie and Beth can generally be found in the center. They seem to be pals.

The always-rowdy Academic Senate crowd dropped by and had some snacks. They were only asked to leave after that food fight broke out.


Melanie seems happy in her new digs. Here, we see her smiling, watching the Ac. Senate crew leaving Dodge. Whew!

Michael Chabon on Obama: Game On

Michael Chabon once taught here in the academic groves of Irvine Valley College. This was before the books and the short stories, the essays, the film adaptation with the original theme song penned and sung by Bob Dylan and then, of course, the Pulitzer Prize. Back then Chabon was just one of the many grad students who drove across town from the university to teach part-time. He was one of us for awhile.

Some faculty still remember his mop top of hair and every now and then an archival file is discovered and oohed and ahhed over. (See image to the right, a shrink-wrapped collection of readings dated fall 1988.) On rare occasions, desk copies still arrive addressed to Professor Michael Chabon.

Michael has an essay in the October 9th issue of the New York Review of Books: "Obama and the Conquest of Denver." Chabon accompanied his wife, the writer Ayelet Waldman, a pledged Obama delegate, to the convention. He writes about it. It's something.


excerpt:
It was not that, arriving for the DNC, I now felt less faith or confidence in Barack Obama than I did back in February. Obama turned out to be the kind of man he said he was in his books, dogged and perspicacious, considerate, principled but pragmatic, driven, and oddly blessed with a kind of universal point of human connection, of the understanding of loss, in the place where the memory of his father ought to be. No one who could see history the way Obama saw history, or who read the man’s books, would have expected him to emerge from a nasty, bitter, all but eternal presidential election campaign with his dignity or his principles entirely intact; but Obama had tried, and for the most part, I thought, he had conducted himself with honor. There could have been only one way for the idealized Obama—the perfect candidate he never claimed to be—to escape the rough and tumble of history, and that was too terrible to contemplate.

The problem was not Obama; the problem was that at the instant when Hillary Clinton at last conceded, the nature of the campaign changed. It was, I considered (perhaps under the influence of the kind smile and exhortatory squeeze on the arm bestowed on me by Jimmy Carter, president of my darkest adolescence, as he passed me in the doorway of a LoDo Mexican restaurant), like the change that might occur between the first and second volumes of some spectacular science fiction fantasy epic. At the end of the first volume, after bitter struggle, Obama had claimed the presumptive nomination. We Fremen had done the impossible, against Sardaukar and imperial shock troops alike. We had brought water to Arrakis. Now the gathered tribes of the Democratic Party—hacks, Teamsters, hat ladies, New Mexicans, residents of those states most nearly resembling Canada, Jews of South Florida, dreadlocks, crewcuts, elderlies and goths, a cowboy or two, sons and daughters of interned Japanese-Americans—had assembled on the plains of Denver to attempt to vanquish old Saruman McCain.

Suddenly it was hard not to feel that we were, once again, teetering on the point of something momentous, but something different than the previous momentousness. It was time to get serious. It was time to put on a little Curtis Mayfield (whose “Move On Up” has been one of the campaign’s unofficial theme songs) and take stock of our forces, our resolve, and the odds against us. It was time to take the fight directly to the Padishah Emperor himself. Game on was the nerdy expression I kept hearing people use.

To read the rest, click here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bob Parsons interview in OC Reg

Bob Parsons, who has taught at Saddleback College from the beginning (in 1968), was interviewed by LINDSEY BAGUIO:

He's the guy who has talked for thousands of hours:

Q: What was the atmosphere on campus 40 years ago?
A: It was really right wing and there was a dress code.... People who wanted to register had to cut their hair. During the time, there was a lot of student unrest at ... Berkley and Santa Barbara; this board (in 1968) was determined that they wouldn't put up with it. It was a different place. What loosened it up were the veterans who came back from Vietnam. A lot of them were older than the average student....

Q: What was it like having those veterans on campus?
A: When someone looked them in the eye and told them they had to get a haircut, they said, "Oh yeah?" It was a different attitude. A lot of them went along with it; we became their school. ... The college used to play the "Star Spangled Banner" in the morning. Some UC Irvine students came over in a bus and wanted to put a stop to it. And the vets came and threw them out and told them to go back to UCI. It was a different place, and started by people who were very conservative.... 

Q: How are the students today different from back then?
A: Everyone walks around with a cell phone...and you have to make them turn it off in class. They're just generally more relaxed than they used to be. I don't think they've quit studying. They are working really hard....

Q: What do you think has been the biggest change on campus?
A: It's gotten big. Traffic is a nightmare....

Q: How has the way you teach class changed?
A: ...I taught slide rule and now that's completely extinct. I had a budget of $1,500 one year for student supplies. I took it all and bought an HP calculator. That's the biggest change from a slide rule to a hand calculator.....

Q: How have you seen the field of physics change?
A: It's fun to keep up now ... --for example, energy is a big conversation, but my subject matter was worked out in 1865 by James Maxwell and Newton's Laws of Motion haven't changed. I do talk about relativity and the Large Hadron Collider. 

It's a frontier but you've got to be a PhD to be doing that. It's not the perpetual novelty that keeps me going – it's the students.

GOLLY!

Old Town Tustin on television:

Huell Howser's "California's Gold" show on Old Town Tustin airs on KCET at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Howser visited Old Town in July for a trip around the Historic District, starting at the Tustin Area Historical Museum, stopping by the Tustin Blacksmith Shop and the Wooden Indian, and ending at the Beach Pit BBQ.

Mathur's low, low road

This video provides an overview of the Sept. 22 board meeting (aside from the 40th Anniversary stuff).

The ending is pretty special. Mathur takes the low road. It's classic!

Click on the button in the middle!


My favorite part: Fuentes announces that Mathur will offer "ethics training" to other districts! (2:18)

ETHICS TRAINING?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One of Those Days: Ghosts and the Autumnal Equinox

In the writing center Monday morning, Rebel Girl reviewed a student's essay on a significant moment, a typical developmental writing assignment. This student had chosen to write about the moment his good friend had died, an event which, as he wrote in his wobbly thesis statement, "impacted my life greatly."

The essay told the story of a group of high school friends who partied perhaps too much and took too many risks. And then at the bottom of page two, when the student began to describe the sad predictable details of the particular death (alcohol; poor judgment; etc.), Rebel Girl recognized his friend, who had been her student two years ago, in the fall semester of 2006 and who had died that November. He had sat in the third seat in the second row in a narrow classroom and she was worried about him from the beginning. A handsome young Californian, but not ready to focus, to settle down, not ready to work. Willing to show up, but not willing to write. After a few weeks, he dropped the course. There was nothing she could do. She saw him on campus, said what she usually does: "Next semester. We'll try it again." Then she read about him in the newspapers.

Two years later, here he is again, described by his young friend who still tears up about that night, what it was like to see him die.

Later the same day, Rebel Girl was holding forth in front of the fancy whiteboard in one of the airy, expansive classrooms in the new Beefsteak building. The board was already full of her scribbles: a cartoon of Joan Didion, a sketch of California, and in between stretched the plot line of a chapter from The Kite Runner. The class was tracking down moments of death, moral challenges and rebirth.

There was a bustle in the hallway. Suits. Men looking pleased with themselves, moving with appraising eyes. She recognized the college president, a handful of trustees. They walked by, glancing in the classroom through the window in the door, moved on.

The class returned to the discussion.

Rebel Girl noticed a movement at the door.

Tom Fuentes had returned and stood there, watching her. Glaring, no. He had a smile on his face. Seemed genial in a paternal manner that she found a bit spooky, a bit too reminiscent of church actually, a kind of superior demeanor, the dim gracious smile, the watchful gaze that has seen it all.

She didn't even know if he recognized her as the high profile union thug she was. Perhaps he imagined she was just a typical overpaid faculty personette, doing her damnedest to promote her socially liberal agenda. Who knows?

He stood there, smiling, bobbing slightly.

Rebel Girl remembered the time when she was twelve or so and devoured trashy novels about Henry VIII and his six unhappy wives that she bought at corner liquor stores with change stolen from her mother's tips. There was something faintly Cardinal Wolsey-like about Fuentes, she thought. Fuentes would be a perfect fit for Henry's court, full as it was of intrigue and betrayal, power plays and puffed collars, men in tights and velvet cloaks.

Eventually, he moved on and she returned her full attention to the class. She looked down. She had been wearing, as she had all day, a handmade ribbon over a foot long that she had cut from the newspaper. It read: Bailout tab: $700,000,000,000

It rustled when she walked. It floated in the breeze. It was extravagant. The font size was large and eye-catching. Maybe that was what he was looking at.

Maybe.

Resolutions & Presentations

This is the first in a series of brief videos of Monday's night's board meeting.

This video presents "resolutions & presentations" regarding Saddleback College's 40th Anniversary. Mostly, it was an opportunity for politicians to get their mugs in front of the public. Still, it was fun. I edited out Mathur and Co. as much as possible. You know how they can stink things up.

At the end, Professor Bob Parsons receives a fine resolution for his 40 years of work at the college.

Click on the button in the middle!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tonight's board meeting

(Be sure to check out Tere's Board Meeting Highlights.)

Tonight’s meeting started with board clerk Tom Fuentes reporting actions taken in closed session: there were none.

The audience was unusually large because of board resolutions concerning Saddleback College’s 40th Anniversary (tomorrow). Numerous politicians, including stunningly corrupt Congressman Gary Miller—represented by an underling, made presentations to honor the college. It was fun. I’ll have video tomorrow.

Saddleback College President Tod Burnett managed to scrape up and display 4 or 5 former Saddleback College Presidents, including the first one (1968). Naturally, lots of photos were taken, and Chancellor Raghu Mathur and board president Don Wagner managed to get in most of them.

Professor Bob Parsons was honored—he’s been working at Saddleback College continuously these forty years. He offered some entertainingly gruff remarks. Nurses Terri Whitt and Judy Krieg were honored too, though I don’t think their efforts (volunteer work in Beliz) had anything to do with the 40 year thing.

During trustee reports, John Williams presented a few artifacts from the beginning years of Saddleback College, including a college catalog that was the size of a small pamphlet. He read from the "dress code," which forbade open-toed shoes, etc.

Tom Fuentes praised the Chancellor for organizing some sort of "ethics" training event (at Saddleback College). That produced a moment of silent weirdness. Do you suppose these people are insensible of the irony? 

There were public comments. Saddleback College Academic Senate President Bob Cosgrove spoke, as did Faculty Association President Lee Haggerty, who objected to trustee Fuentes’ and Steve Greenhut’s recent remarks in OC Blog and the OC Register. Lee referred to factual errors and even the possibility of some sort of “public” negotiating violation by Fuentes.

Two kids presented the IVC 2008-9 Associated Students budget. When they finished, they were praised for the clarity of their graphs and accounting, but they were dinged bigtime for not leaving money for the next year. Evidently, IVC student government experienced some sort of windfall last year (something over $70,000 as I recall), and so their budget (half a million) was unusually large. Evidently, this crew allocated all of that to the usual items supported by SG.

You will recall that some trustees, especially Fuentes and Wagner, have long objected to the cost to students of student government and especially the manner in which student government receives income—a percentage of book sales at the bookstore. Tonight, Lang, Wagner, and Fuentes expressed discomfort with the students’ proposed budget. Wagner, for instance, suggested that it would be better to put the extra $70 K into scholarships or otherwise return the money to students. He mentioned the tough economic times in which students now find themselves.

In the end, the matter was tabled. There can be little doubt that the students are expected to bring back a very different budget next month.

THE ACCREDITATION REPORTS

Eventually, the board got to the IVC and Saddleback Accred reports. The board does not approve these documents but it is informed about them.

Board President Don Wagner, who served on the IVC Accred focus group, offered heartfelt praise for that committee. There can be no doubt that he appreciates the sincerity, dedication, and intelligence of the classified, faculty, and administration of Irvine Valley College with whom he labored for many months. He urged his colleagues on the board to read the report and to appreciate the fine work that the group has produced. He even asserted, half jokingly, that if the ACCJC does not renew our accreditation, that will be “actionable.” Wendy G, who co-chaired the committee and who wrote most of the report, indicated agreement with that sentiment. These two are lawyers.

Trustee Lang similarly praised the committee that produced Saddleback’s Accreditation report. 

It was a love fest.

Chancellor Mathur ended all that. He made a point of praising trustees Wagner and Lang for all of their unpaid work on these committees. No doubt these two deserve praise, but it is no secret that, in the course of producing these reports, some faculty put in literally hundreds of hours for which they were not compensated. Predictably, Mathur was blind to that, an omission that IVC Academic Senate President Wendy G pointedly corrected later in the evening.

There was no indication that any of the trustees were disposed to object to these reports. Fuentes remained silent.

REASSIGNED TIME AND THE "2%" RULE

The board also discussed a report of expenditures for “reassigned time and stipends” for the 2007-08 academic year. Trustee Fuentes and Chancellor Mathur took the opportunity to pretend that reassigned time and stipends are terribly expensive to the district. Mathur, as usual, offered voodoo math in explaining the cost of reassigned time, which Trustee Bill Jay briefly undercut with some impromptu calculating.

At some point, Wendy G noted that the manner in which the original 1998 “action” (there is no policy) was taken greatly exaggerated the cost of reassigned time (the true cost is backfill with part-timers; the 1998 action absurdly requires that the instructor’s pay be used in calculating cost).

The 1998 “2%” rule seems to have changed over the years to 2.4%—a fact that obviously greatly displeased Mr. Fuentes, who sought to nail down when and how that change occurred. Mathur muttered about the accrediting commission’s demands for faculty work on SLOs and the like. Fuentes remained perturbed.

In the course of the discussion, Wendy (I think) noted that the “rule” unnecessarily and unfortunately ties the hands of the college Presidents in their efforts to run the colleges. She underscored the reality that such work as the recent college accreditation efforts (she held the enormous IVC draft in the air) are produced with a great deal of uncompensated work by faculty. (That won't do.) She asked that the trustees bear such facts in mind.

Mathur stared at her homicidally.

Trustee Lang noted that, as a matter of fact, the Saddleback College Accred report objects to the “arbitrary” nature of the “2% rule.” It complains, too, about how it restricts the college Presidents.

In the end, Fuentes recommended that the matter (despite its being only an information item) be tabled so that a more “fleshed out” report can be presented. Much to Mathur's chagrin, he declared the report to be "inadequate." He expressed his hope that the 2.4% figure would be addressed and revised “downward.”

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Red meat and lies

Steve Greenhut, editorial writer for the OC Register, was on KPCC’s “AirTalk” the other day, arguing with Gustavo Arellano about controversies at our district. A friend who heard the broadcast told me that Greenhut merely repeated Tom Fuentes' absurd and stunningly dishonest talking points, recently made in an interview on Red County/OC Blog.

Have you read the interviews? Fuentes offers red meat and lies. The district, he says, is threatened by “union labor bosses” and their “liberal” agenda. Virtually nothing is said about our “plague of despair,” and our serious accreditation difficulties, brought to us by Fuentes and his friends.

This morning, Greenhut repeats the performance in his column.

Naturally, Greenhut reveals that he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. For instance, he imagines that faculty seek to avoid office hours and that they pursue “fad programs.” Huh?

To prove that faculty salaries are high, Greenhut cherry picks the unusually high salaries of “the district's real estate instructor” (?) and “[i]ts Spanish instructor” (?). He repeats Fuentes’ old canard about faculty's “36-hour weeks.”

He calls me a “union activist.” I'm hardly that. He wrongly supposes that Carl Christensen is the union’s candidate for the Mission Viejo trustee seat. No, the union supports John Wiliams, who Greenhut identifies as one of Fuentes' fellow anti-union crusaders.

Well, read Greenhut's piece. Judge for yourself.

Steve Greenhut column: An endangered friend of the taxpayer:

Anyone who is not in a coma has noticed that the U.S. economy is in the tank….

Consider what's going on at the South Orange County Community College District, which operates Saddleback College in Mission Viejo and Irvine Valley College in Irvine.

The current board has a fiscally conservative majority, and has been a rare friend of the taxpayer. The board refuses to do what most public education boards do these days – give the unions what they want and then float bonds to pay for the infrastructure the districts need. One of the big secrets of such bonds is that they really are pension and salary bonds. When boards give in to union demands, they use bonds to pay for the infrastructure that they should have been able to pay for without new debt, had they held the line on pay and benefits.

The South Orange County Community College District board has constantly opposed bond issues; managed the district without debt; balanced the budget every year and stood up to the district's surly faculty union. "We are the only community college district in Orange County in the past eight years that hasn't gone out for a bond," board member Dave Lang explained during a recent interview. "You can't find a more fiscally sound college district in the state."

Furthermore, the current board has put the focus on the students, not on the district's employees. The union is furious because the board insists that all professors actually put in the office hours required by their contracts. The district is more interested in keeping the teachers in the classrooms rather than having them, say, take sabbaticals to Europe. The district has focused on expanding its core programs, such as nursing, rather than on fad programs. They've built new buildings and upgraded older ones by managing their funds rather than putting taxpayers on the hook with debt. And – here's the rub – the current board has resisted the faculty union's demand for a 10 percent raise, something that would cost more than $17 million a year if all the district's unions get a piece of that contract. This is good for taxpayers, good for students and good for the vast majority of dedicated faculty members.

Currently, there are four conservatives on the board: former O.C. GOP chief Tom Fuentes, Lang, Donald Wagner and John Williams. There are three union backers on the board: Nancy Padberg, Marcia Milchiker and William Jay. Fuentes, Lang and Williams are up for re-election and are being challenged by the apparent union slate of Bob Bliss, Carolyn Inmon and Carl Christensen. Jay also is up for re-election and is challenged by a conservative-backed candidate, Arlene Greer. If the union picks up one seat, taxpayers better open up their wallets.

The district has 230 faculty who earn more than $90,000 a year in base salary. Almost all those employees earn significant "additional earnings" for everything they do beyond their short week – committee chairmanships and so forth. Then they get generous benefits. For instance, the district's real estate instructor earns a total compensation package of $269,343 a year. Its Spanish instructor has a total package of $183,000 a year. A lower-paid faculty member on the list earns a total compensation package of $114,000 a year. This is for a 9 1/2 month year of 36-hour weeks with only 15 weekly classroom hours.

Writing in Red County blog, faculty member and union activist Roy Bauer explained his side of it: "Naturally, the quality of a college cannot exceed the quality of its faculty. … There was a time when faculty salaries in the [South Orange County Community College District]were relatively high. … Further, in case you haven't noticed, living in South Orange County is expensive. But the era of high … faculty salaries is long past. These days, faculty salaries do not compare well with those of other districts in the area, and this means that the [district]is headed for decline."

Bauer and others claim, unfairly, that their not getting what they want will threaten the district's accreditation.

Bauer reveals the union approach in its full glory. First, it's all about them. It's expensive to live here! Well, that's true for everyone, even the taxpayers who foot the bill. Second, the claims are not exactly true. The California Teachers Association's own 20-year earning survey finds that the SOCCCD faculty are the fourth-highest paid out of 72 districts in the state. Third, union backers are skilled at focusing attention on those who do even better than they do. The faculty union wants to be paid at the level of the Mira Costa district, which pays the highest salaries in the state and is no model for fiscal responsibility. And the union uses scare tactics (accreditation) when it can't win the arguments on their merits….


If you go to Greenhut's column, you'll find my response. I've sent a slightly expanded version of that response to "letters to the editor."

UPDATE: several people have commented on Greenhut's piece. With one exception, they blast the fellow.

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