Friday, March 27, 2009

What if they gave a democracy and nobody came? Board meeting notes, part 2

Re Tuesday’s board meeting:

[Continued...] Eventually, the board arrived at items 6.1-3, which concerned our district’s benighted ATEP campus out there in Tustin where the Marines (et al.) used to dump carcinogens onto the ground every five minutes for forty years. As things stand, ATEP is an acre of cool looking Art Tin-canno buildings right along Redhill, where kids/adults learn how to work various kinds of technical whizbangery.

Yeah, but what about the other 67 acres?

ATEP 2.0 was once supposed to be a center for “Homeland Security” training. Then, I think, it was supposed to be a center for the study of gizmology (well no) and Young Republican Hoofers 'n' Crooners (yes, sorta). Anyway, in recent years, efforts have been made to work with Money Men (and Money Women I guess, though I never seem to spot any of those) to create a film and TV pre- and post-production complex and underwater basket-weaving appreciation module.

For a while, the “Camelot” people seemed likely to put this thing together, but they turned out to be Money Men sans Money. Nowadays, there are two bigtime developers in the running (they seem to be avec money), and they’re still talking about that Film and TV studio, which, I'm told, is desperately needed in OC. One wonders why these Money People need us, cuz leasing property has got to be cheap in OC by now—I mean, what with the country hitting the skids and all.

In the meantime, the City of Tustin is essentially a crew of hayseeds who keep falling off of a turnip wagon (see Albert Camus' “Myth of Turnipus”)—and those people are pissed because, way back in the 60s or 70s, they were slated to get their very own community college right there where the Tustin Marketplace now stands, but then that wily old Irvine Company arranged one of its slick deals to avoid paying taxes by giving away that orange grove upon which IVC now sits.

So there you are: Irvine got the community college, and Tustin got IKEA. Ever since, Tustinistas have resented IVC and Irvine and their high-handed ways. The hayseeds who run that town (they’ve got names like “Lou Bone”) have been pounding their little fists and stamping their little feet to turn ATEP into “Tustin Community College.” But that just ain’t gonna happen.

I’m told, though, that the Tustin people have decided at long last to make nice. Don’t know what that’s about.

So, on Tuesday, the legal eagles of the bigtime legal firm that is advising us re ATEP (think of the money they're making!) showed up to explain a series of “resolutions” having to do with environmental impact reports and "conveying" the property and defanging the toxins. Something like that.

PUBLIC HEARING:

The way this went down was interesting. Board Prez Don Wagner recessed the regular board meeting to go into a “public hearing” regarding this complicated ATEP stuff. (A meeting within a meeting! How cool is that?) Then he asked if any members of the public wanted to speak to these “resolution”/ATEP issues.

Anyone?

At that moment, the spiffy and spacious Ronald McDonald Room was as quiet as the Gipper's tomb. Not only did no one want to speak, nofreakinbody showed up!

I enjoyed it immensely.

So Don looked out at the sea of nothingness and went forward with the damned resolutions.

He made a big deal of asking for public comments twice. I could tell that he was awfully proud of himself for this supererogatory CYA.

If any Tustinistas were there, I sure don't know about it.

Later, the board got to item 7.1, “ATEP Developer Selection.” The “principles” of Hudson Capital, LLC and Cyburt Hall Partners were there to “discuss their credentials” to complete ATEP 2.0.

That’s when Tom Fuentes manifested his fear of ATEP turning into a production facility for porno most foul (PMF). It was kinda like that scene in Dr. Strangelove when Herr Doktor Peter von Sellers explained the need for a rigorous repopulation program, post apocalypse.

Creepy, man.

What about “violence and vulgarity?” asked the violent and vulgar Mr. Fuentes. We don’t want a “fox in the chicken coop,” he said.

But the foxes explained that their vision of ATEP involves pre- and post-production, not big fancy soundstages and partings of the Red Sea. As things stand, businesses in the OC have no place to go for commercials and reality shows and Tony Robbins' chin and whatnot, and this facility would be just the thing.

Fuentes yammered for a while about our securing the 68 acres of the old helicopter station as a fine “peace dividend garnered for us by this man over here.” Fuentes turned around and gestured at the name “Ronald McDonald” on the wall. (Well, no. “Ronald Reagan.”)

I’m not making this shit up.

“Every six months,” continued Tom, there’s s strike in Hollywood, and, hey, in the SOCCCD we’ve got union teachers (he grimaced and snarled à la Tasmanian Devil). He wondered if the latter dastardly crew would “cross the union line.”

Well, the Money Men essentially explained that Fuentes doesn’t know what the f*ck he’s talking about. Market-related work doesn’t stop just because of strikes, they said. “The entertainment/marketing business goes on,” they said, no matter freakin’ what.

OK, whatever. No decision was made.

That was about it, I guess.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

He hoied my polloi: notes on Tuesday's board meeting, part 1

hoi polloi: the masses; the common people. Hoi polloi is sometimes used incorrectly to mean ‘upper class’—that is, the exact opposite of its normal meaning.

I showed up to the March 24 board meeting about ten minutes late. Before I even sat down someone whispered to me that something was up with the board and its devotion to religious invocations, for, just then, Board President Don Wagner had shared a “Hopi prayer” instead of the usual “Dear Heavenly Father” stuff. I’m told that the room grew particularly solemn and quiet during Don’s brief detour through the multicultural spiritual universe.

Were they waiting for a bolt of lightning?

During her report, trustee Marcia Milchiker expressed her enthusiasm for some campus event that included a “Flamingo dance.” This no doubt pissed off the Andalusians in the audience. (It's flamenco, not flamingo!)

For his part, Chancellor Raghu Mathur blathered about a letter from former bigwig Dianne Woodruff. Evidently, she had gone out of her way to praise the work of IVC’s Bill Hewitt as a “valuable member of the consultation council,” whatever that is. (Something in Sacramento, I think.) He also noted the new signs at Saddleback College, which are “easy to read.”

Just then, someone grumbled to me that some of this new signage is misspelt. (For years, the A300 building at IVC sported the label “Humanites.”)

During Don Taylor, David Gatewood, and Randy Peebles’ presentation concerning “Career Technical Education Programs” at the three campuses, Taylor and Wagner exchanged delightful banter regarding St. Ronald Reagan (aka "he who must be invoked every 15 minutes"). I didn’t quite catch it, but I assure you that it was amusing beyond words, judging by the uproar.


Taylor provided a brief account of the history of community colleges, starting with the Smith-Hughes Act, I think. Yeah, schools were recognized as necessary to produce good workers for the factories, yadda yadda yadda. A turning point for cc's occurred just after WWII—because of the GI Bill—he said, and we seem to be at another crossroads today.

"You probably don't want to go into print journalism," he said.

Some students showed up with a PowerPoint presentation describing a proposed IVC Recycling Complex. It was one of those student things that is supposed to bowl over the adults in the room, but, in truth, the trustees were only mildly impressed, and Tom Fuentes seemed unpleasantly scoffular about this proposed intrusion by government into the private sphere (as they love to say in Right-Wing World).

Student trustee Hannah Lee once again enlivened the discussion with a daffy remark seemingly provided by writers for Fox television: “Thank you for an AWESOME presentation!” she said.

Apparently, the packet of info re the Recycling Complex made mention of international students, and, natch, this was detected by the ever-alert Mr. Fuentes and his sophisticated xenophobic radar. It turns out that international students are very restricted in the kinds of work they can do on campus, and this center would provide jobs that fit the bill perfectly.

That seemed to assuage the Fuentster.


Tom pulled an item from the consent calendar: renewal of a contract to print and email class schedules.

This, said Fuentes, is unnecessary. After all, didn’t his neighbors tell him that they get this schedule and immediately toss it in the trash? Well, QED!

Tom seemed to suggest that members of the community can simply go online, register, and find the classes they want without all of this mailing of schedules. Plus, he said, we just got through agreeing to a generous faculty contract (aka "an obscene waste of taxpayer money"), and so we ought to find ways to save money somewhere.

Harrumph!

As I reported on Tuesday, trustee John Williams judged this proposal to be a “great idea.” Maybe, he said, we could mail little postcards instead! But Nancy Padberg rolled her eyes as per usual and then demurred. I think she mentioned her neighbors, too. Anyway, sending these schedules increases enrollments and is great marketing, she said. Tom's idea sucks.

Dave Lang seemed to side with Fuentes and Williams, though he seemed unprepared to support an immediate decision. He favored further study. I mean, maybe we can determine the potential effects of this approach, he said.

Don Wagner naturally “echoed” what his pals had been saying. But Bill Jay suddenly (well, no) looked both discomfited and elderly. He mentioned his neighbors and family members and their love of mailed schedules. Plus “Emeritus” students are “forgetful,” said he, "as I am."

He declared Mr. Fuentes’ proposal to be “penny wise and pound foolish.”

Hannah Lee expressed a “student’s perspective”: “I just go online,” she announced perkily. Everyone stared at her absurdly young and perfect face.

Fuentes noted that some other districts had made the change. But he seemed to see the wisdom of “further study.”

Now, during much of this, Saddleback College’s Academic Senate President, Bob C, had his hand in the air—to no avail. At one point, sensing that the discussion was winding down, I raised my own hand and pointed at Bob, at which point Mr. Wagner spun around and roared that, yes, “I see you, Professor Bauer” and goddamit I don’t need the likes of you telling me what to do!

Well, that was the gist of it. Evidently, even before I dared to raise my hand, he had been whipped into a state of abject peevitude because several persons had signaled to him that, um, what about Bob?

He now bellowed that he would get to Bob later—maybe—after the board was finished discussing the matter!

Tsk, tsk. How very undemocratic. He had hoied my polloi.

Eventually, Chancellor Mathur, his nose a stinky deep brown, effused about Fuentes’ proposal and commenced talking about ways to “implement it.” But Bill Jay then reminded everybody that older folks “are not computer literate at all.”

A truer thing had never been said.

Eventually, Bob C was permitted to speak. He noted that there is a survey done every other year and it has indicated that 63% of our students are brought to us via the mailed class schedule.

In the end, the matter was tabled.

To be continued....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tonight's board meeting in pics

Tonight's meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees was largely uneventful, although Board Prez Don Wagner did shock the socks off of everyone when he offered a "Hopi prayer" during his invocation!

Well, that's gotta be a step in the right direction. Too bad he didn't demonstrate the mystical benefits of peyote too.

I'll provide a proper report some time late tomorrow. For now, I'll mostly just show some pics.

Some kids from IVC showed up with their proposal for some kind of recycling complex on campus. Their PowerPoint presentation was surprisingly polished.

Tom Fuentes seemed skeptical. Why not just have private firms do this stuff? He then genuflected to the name "Ronald Reagan" on the wall behind him. Shockingly, the "g" suddenly fell off the wall and shattered into a million tiny pieces. Some audience members gasped and shrieked, losing control of their bodies, with arms and legs akimbo, flag pins askew.

But these kids maintained their enthusiasm and doe-eyed innocence. Someone in the audience whispered to me: "Aren't they cute?"

"Yup," I said.

Trustee Tom gave me the stink-eye, natch.

When prospective Money Men for ATEP 2.0 made their presentation (see below), Tom offered a classic Fuentesesque query: what about the specter of a studio at ATEP producing "R- or X-rated films"!? OMG!

Later, Tom, looking out for the taxpayer again, urged the board to cease the printing and mailing of class schedules (which costs more than $400K a pop).

Trustee John Williams liked the idea. His eyes twinkled and his homunculus stirred. John suggested that we send cheap "post cards" instead! The post cards could say, "check us out online. FU." Something like that.

Aside from Trustees Bill Jay and Nancy Padberg, the board seemed to think that Tom's idea was the cat's meow. But Bill worried that the folks in Leisure World wouldn't be able to find us, cuz they're not "computer literate."

Dave Lang suggested that the Chancellor return next time with a report regarding the likely consequences of this kind of measure. By the time the proposal got to Mr. Goo, the little fellow seemed to think his task was not to determine the viability of Fuentes' idea, but to make it work. Good grief. I think that Tom and Co. are determined to have their way on this thing.

No action yet though. That matter was tabled.

A very sharp lawyer showed up to explain the latest resolutions concerning ATEP.

Gatewood, Taylor, and Peebles made a fine presentation concerning technical and vocational instruction at the three district campuses.

As you can see, the board had someone blast a big hole in the west wall so that TV viewers can watch speakers with Saddleback Mountain in the background. Nice touch.

The Money Men. Big shots. Nice suits. Evasive answers. Tom looked skeptical.

The faculty contract

Some of you have contacted us, asking us to report on the status of the faculty contract. We know only what faculty have been told in a series of emails:

Last Friday (March 20), faculty union Prez Lee H emailed the faculty, offering a cryptic remark: “The contract went to the Board of Trustees on March 19, 2009 and was approved by them....”

That communication produced considerable confusion.

Three days later (i.e., yesterday), faculty received an email from union negotiator Lewis L, who clarified the situation:
On Thursday, … the Board held a special meeting … to discuss the contact. As a result of that meeting, [the District] has contacted the Faculty Association Negotiating Team to inform us that the District will accept the Association's most recent salary proposal.

Lewis then explained the recent history of negotiations:
[I]in December, the two teams reached tentative agreement on a proposed contract…. However, because of the deteriorating economic condition of the state, the contract as proposed and ratified lost District and Board support….

Said Lewis, union officers were faced with a choice between three options, each of them unattractive. But a decision was made:
Reluctantly, the faculty team agreed to return to the table to make a new contract proposal, believing this to be in the best interests of the faculty.

This does seem to be the best option for faculty. (Well, that's my opinion.)

Lewis then explained the terms of the union’s new salary proposal (agreed to by the district). I won’t go into the details except to say that it includes COLA for full- and part-time faculty (2007-08) and a 1% increase for 2008-09 and then 2009-10.

Lewis noted that the faculty must vote to ratify this new contract prior to ultimate approval by the district/board.

A few hours later, Lewis provided an update in which he reported that, since the last communication, the union signed a new tentative agreement with the district (as per above). He then explained that the revised proposed contract would be available online for review by faculty for the next two weeks. Then, on Friday, April 3rd, the contract will be presented to faculty at a meeting at Saddleback College.

Finally, that evening, on-line ratification voting will start and continue for a week. If faculty approve this new proposed contract, the board will vote on it at the April board meeting (that's on the 27th).

Good!

NEWS:

Marla Jo Fisher of the OC Register reports (on her College Life blog) that Colin Powell [is] coming to Chapman [University] Saturday. Check it out!

• Check out Gustavo Arellano's interesting historical piece on OC Weekly’s “Navel Gazing”: John Schmitz, the Institute for Historical Review, and Old World Village.

The IHR was that loony Holocaust denial outfit that Trustee Frogue liked so much. Remember?

Schmitz was the zany right-winger (and community college instructor) who ran for President in the early 70s. He was expelled from the John Birch society for "extremism."

Wow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Annie's weird-assed Asian lacquer screens

Annie came home yesterday all excited. "What's up?" I asked.

"I went to that consignment shop and bought something really cool for the living room." She showed me the pile of I-know-not-what stuffed into the back of her Toyota.

"Um, yeah, looks good," I said. I didn't know what the hell I was looking at. "Yeah, wow, that's great."

So, tonight, we put the thing together—it's old and heavy and unwieldy—and it turns out to be crazy cool, just like Annie said.

"Paid just $100 for it!" says Annie, beaming.

The damned thing is hand-painted. If it falls on TigerAnn, she's done for. And I still don't know really what kind of thing it is.

But I like it.

TigerAnn says "hey."

Tuesday's board meeting: a big night for ATEP

The March meeting of the South Orange County Community College District board of trustees will be held this Tuesday, the 24th.

If you go to the district website, you’ll find a link to the agenda and to a Notice of Public Hearing for ATEP Phase 3A—Concept Plan Project And Notice of Intent to Adopt an Addendum to FEIS/EIR

Elsewhere, the district explains that “the concept plan provides details on the location, size and use of the first major building phase, including up to 305,000 square feet of classrooms, labs and educational support.”

As you know, discussions between the district and the City of Tustin regarding the fate of ATEP have been tense and troubled. But I’m told that things have definitely taken a turn for the better in recent months, and, as things now stand, the city isn’t likely to veto SOCCCD’s plan. We’ll see, I guess.

According to the agenda, Tuesday’s closed session begins at 5:00 p.m. (There’ll be the usual opportunity for public comments. Nobody'll take that opportunity, cuz this is America.)

The agenda for the closed session includes discussion of union issues: contract negotiations. No mention here of the reported recent agreement that dare not speak its name.

The open session is scheduled to commence at 6:30.

A “certificate” will be presented concerning “display of President Reagan Memorabilia.”

I do hope it’s a poster of Reagan’s Bedtime for Bonzo or a videotape of the Gipper saying, "I don't recall." Or maybe a picture of Reagan signing the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982. You know. Deregulation of the S&Ls?

I'd totally get behind that. The memorabilia, I mean.

Dean Taylor, Interim Dean Gatewood, and Park Ranger Peebles will “present info on career technical education programs offered throughout the district.

A gaggle of students will present a proposal concerning an IVC “Recycling Complex.”

Among “consent calendar” items:

5.4: Looks like parking tickets at IVC will go up to $35 a pop.

5.22: Evidently, we’re gonna pay some printing place $405K for the printing and mailing of class schedules. That’s one juicy contract, boy.

General action items:

6.1 – 6.3: There’ll be a recess to a public hearing re the ATEP study, concept plan, etc.

6.2 is a “resolution” to adopt the addendum to the final environmental impact report re ATEP, etc. It’s 46 pages long and includes 44 Whereas’s. I counted 'em.

6.3 (adopting the concept plan) has 33 Whereas’s. You really should peruse this stuff.

I do hope the public (and the district community) is paying attention.

I hope for world peace too.

Reports:

7.1: Hudson Capital and Cyburt Hall Partners [aka "money men"] will make their pitch to be chosen for the next phase of ATEP. That sort of thing is always interesting—in the way that Mad Men is interesting.

7.2: Professors of the year.

That’s about it. But you never really know what will flare up.

I should point out that there exists at least one possible world in which, during Tuesday's board meeting, someone commandeers the Ronald Reagan Room projector and plays a video of Chancellor Mathur rockin' and rollin' with farm animals.


Much better sound/video:
The famous SNL performance

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