Saturday, June 13, 2009

Will fee increases lead to a steep decline in enrollments?

Readers sharply divided on raising community college fees

The OC Reg’s Gary Robbins reports that readers “reacted strongly” to the recent LAO report that said “that lawmakers could roughly triple student fees at California community colleges without causing major hardship or a big drop in enrollment.” Robbins rewrote some reader comments as questions, which he gave to Judy Iannaccone, communications director for the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Naturally, she takes the position that fee increases would cause massive enrollment drops.

I’m especially interested in one question and answer:

Q: The California Community College (CCC) system says that a fee hike could result in a very large drop in enrollment. The CCC says this happened earlier this decade, when fees were increased. The Legislative Analyst’s Office seems to disagree, saying in its report: “Our analysis suggests that this claim about fees being the sole or even the major cause of enrollment declines is exaggerated. In fact, there are several explanations for the enrollment declines.” What’s true?

A: When enrollment fees rose from $11 to $26 between 2003 and 2005, student fee increases and uncertain community college budgets triggered a decline in enrollment of more than 300,000 students statewide. Unemployment was not pervasive at that time. With families and individuals facing very difficult economic times today, a steep increase of community college enrollment fees would likely lead to a significant drop in college enrollment. Students would simply not be able to shoulder the increased economic burden.


Now, I don’t claim to know the truth of the matter—whether there are grounds for supposing that a large fee increase would lead to a sharp drop in enrollment. One thing, however, is clear: from the fact that, several years ago, when fees increased, enrollments dropped dramatically it does not follow that the fee increase caused the enrollment drop. Logicians call this kind of fallacious reasoning “post hoc ergo propter hoc”—“after this therefore because of this.” The point is that the mere temporal pattern (first event A, then event B) does not by itself establish that A caused B (just as correlations between facts [vegetarianism, better health] does not by itself establish a causal connection.)

When this kind of temporal pattern occurs (A, then B), we need to consider all possible explanations of B, one of them being that A (the initial event) caused B (the subsequent event). The LAO seems to be saying that, when we consider all of the relevant facts (surrounding the enrollment decline of 2003-2005), the “fees increase caused drop in enrollments” (FICDE) explanation is not particularly good compared to alternatives.

It is not entirely clear that Ms. Iannaccone understands the nature of the LAO’s reasoning, for, to counter it, she must show that the FICDE explanation is best among alternatives, and I don’t see that she has done that.

She does note that there is an important difference between 2003-2005 and the present. There is another factor that affects enrollments, and it is rates of unemployment. Unlike the period earlier in this decade, today, “unemployment is pervasive.”

It does seem reasonable to view much greater unemployment as a cause of some decrease in enrollments. But it doesn’t entirely answer the LAO’s point, which, in essence, is that several other factors, besides fee increases (etc.), can cause enrollment declines.

I’ll try to dig up the factors they are referring to.

UPDATE: I've gotta run, but I did dig up those "factors":

The LAO report, dated June 10, is entitled California Community Colleges: Raising Fees Could Mitigate Program Cuts and Leverage More Federal Aid.

Here are some excerpts that provide the alternative explanations of the enrollment decrease that occurred between 2003 and 2005:

Crackdown on Concurrent Enrollment. Much of the decline in enrollment from 2003–04 to 2004–05 was an intended result of statutory and budget changes to address systemic abuses involving concurrent enrollment….

Reduced Course Offerings. In a 2005 report to the Legislature on enrollment changes at CCC, the Chancellor’s Office suggested that an unknown amount of the enrollment decline can be explained by districts having reduced the number of course offerings. This reduction was in response to concerns by districts about possible cuts to the CCC system budget during this period….

Impact of Fees on Nonneedy Students. Although all financially needy students are eligible to receive a fee waiver and CCC fees remained the lowest in the country, it is likely that some students chose not to enroll in a community college as a result of the higher fees imposed in 2003–04 and 2004–05. As we discussed in our 2006–07 Analysis of the Budget Bill (page E–252), however, data collected by the Chancellor’s Office in 2005 and 2006 revealed no disproportionate effect on students from low–income areas or historically underrepresented racial groups….

In summary, a combination of factors likely contributed to earlier CCC enrollment declines, with fee increases having an unknown effect. Similar to that period, however, it is likely that this year some fee–paying students who would have attended when fees were $20 per unit would choose not to enroll when fees are higher (even if they qualified for a full or partial reimbursement from the federal government). Because these students by definition are not financially needy, their decision not to enroll should not be considered a denial of access, but rather a choice they made about the benefit they would have received from a CCC course.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Noontide Press and von Brunn; what Fuentes' Regnery publishes

Just a brief update on yesterday’s blog re Holocaust Museum shooter James von Brunn and the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a local Holocaust denial organization with which one-time SOCCCD trustee Steve Frogue was associated. (Frogue praised IHR’s publications, especially the “Journal for Historical Review,” old issues of which are currently sold by IHR’s Noontide Press.)

In 1983, von Brunn was sentenced to prison for attempted armed kidnapping of members of the Federal Reserve board. After von Brunn was released from prison in 1989, he traveled to Southern California to work for the IHR. More specifically, he worked for the publishing arm of the IHR, Noontide Press, which evidently had (has?) a bookstore.

But where? The address given for Noontide Press these days is Newport Beach (same as for the IHR). But at one point (probably at least through the early 90s), Noontide Press was located in Torrance, a coastal town in southern LA county (not far from us). Torrance was also the initial home of IHR.

Noontide Press was founded by notorious anti-Semite Willis Carto in 1969. Carto founded IHR nine years later.

By the early 90s, Carto was “fired” from IHR, owing to alleged mismanagement/corruption. (Carto bought his wife a Cadillac, using IHR money, etc. The big issue was who controlled a big chunk of money that had been donated by the heir to the Edison fortune.) Eventually, there was a lawsuit, filed in 1993. Carto has been hostile to IHR ever since. Nevertheless, evidently under the direction of Mark Weber, IHR and Noontide Press have continued to pursue their original “populist” (i.e., racist) vision.

It appears that von Brunn ceased his employment with IHR/Noontide in the early 90s, right about when Carto’s relationship with Weber and crew soured. Carto claims not to have known von Brunn, which seems highly unlikely. IHR’s current leader, Mark Weber, also denies having known von Brunn, though he acknowledges having known of him.

There are reports that von Brunn has continued subscribing to IHR publications/newsletters.

Think of it! No doubt our boy Steve visited IHR's bookstore in the late 80s or early 90s. Picture him served by and talking to Mr. von Brunn! Yikes!

The loonies in our midst. Troubling, ain't it?

I do believe that most of the nuts who are drawn to racist organizations and publications are neither violent nor would they condone violence. I'm pretty sure that Frogue was in the non-violent category.

He's just a deluded fool. (It was troubling, however, to watch him fail to condemn the Nazis who descended upon board meetings in 1997 and 1998. What was that about?)

—Yeah, Frogue was "just a harmless nut"—or maybe not so harmless. People like Frogue—people in positions of power or authority who cozy up to racists and racist themes—make it easier to be a racist nutjob.

In any case, he was one of our trustees (until 2000)! Good Lord!

FUENTES AND REGNERY

To examine the publishing company with which Frogue's replacement, Tom Fuentes, is associated (along with the likes of Pat Sajak, Tom is an "external director" of Eagle/Regnery), visit Regnery Press and its very special catalog, which includes the titles listed below.

(Naturally, I'm not equating Regnery with Noontide, though it is surely scandalous that a college trustee is associated with the incompetent and dishonest "scholarship" presented in some of these books. I suppose that global warming denial and evolution denial are not as egregious as Holocaust denial. But what about Muslim bashing?)


IN THE NEWS:

GLOBAL WARMING DENIER ROHRABACHER FROTHS ON (OC Weekly)

Half who died driving [Live Oak Canyon] road were 18 or younger (OC Register)

...Of the 189 fatal or injury crashes along the road, 66 percent of the drivers were 25 years old or younger. Twenty percent of drivers were found to be between 26 and 40, while 14 percent were over 40.

Of the 12 people killed on the road since 1999, one was 16, two were 17, and four were 18 years old. Three people were 25 years old, one was 40, and the oldest was 48....

Big community college fee increases recommended by LAO

State hints at big fee hike for community colleges (OC Register; Gary Robbins)
The state Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) says in a new report that lawmakers could increase community college fees up to 3 times their current level without greatly affecting enrollment at the schools, which include nine colleges in Orange County.

The report does not recommend a specific increase, but says: “If the state were to increase fees to up to $60 per unit (or $1,800 for a full–time student), eligible students taking 30 units per year would be able to take full advantage of the tax credit—while leaving room to receive some reimbursement for textbook costs.”

The LAO report drew an immediate protest from the California Community College (CCC) system, which said any significant fee increase could have a devastating impact on enrollment, forcing tens of thousands of students to forgo an education.

The new analysis says: “New federal tax credit provisions allow the state to tap potentially hundreds of millions of new federal dollars for higher education. Because these tax credits will fully reimburse most California Community College (CCC) students for the fees they pay, the state could raise those fees (and revenue for CCC) with no net impact on most students. The purpose of this brief is to provide additional information—in a question-and-answer format—related to our recommendation.”

[CCC’s Paige Marlatt] Dorr added that previous fee increases had led to major declines in enrollment, a claim the LAO report disputes. The report says, “Our analysis suggests that this claim about fees being the sole or even the major cause of enrollment declines is exaggerated. In fact, there are several explanations for the enrollment declines.”….

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our tenuous "connection" to the (alleged) National Holocaust Museum shooter

[Note: this post inspired an OC Weekly story.]

File this one under “perhaps interesting” and also “probably trivial.”

But who knows.

You’ll recall that Holocaust denying and conspiracy theory-loving SOCCCD trustee Steve Frogue (of Lake Forest), who resigned from the board in 2000, was a fan of
(1) the “Institute for Historical Review” (IHR), a major supporter of Holocaust denial “scholarship,” and

(2) the publications/reports of Liberty Lobby, a publishing group run and funded by notorious anti-Semite Willis Carto.

Frogue was particularly interested in the Orange County-based IHR, which had been founded by Carto in the late 70s, though IHR management later had a falling out with the fellow (some time in the 80s, as I recall).

Frogue, of course, was very nearly recalled. Arguably, his serious troubles began when, as a trustee, he organized a Saddleback College “forum” on the JFK assassination/Warren Commission Report. The forum comprised four guest speakers, including ace Liberty Lobby “reporter” and tanning-booth enthusiast, Michael Collins Piper. Some of these guests, including Piper, seemed to express, or were associated with publications that did express, Holocaust denial, among other conspiracy theories. Piper had just written a long and silly book attributing the JFK assassination to the CIA and Israel (with the involvement of the Anti-Defamation League, as I recall). Some of the other speakers had equally incompetent views about the JFK assassination (ex-Nazis killed JFK, etc.).

On the day that approval for travel expenses for Frogue's four guests was on the board agenda, I phoned the ADL's Joyce Greenspan (her office was in Long Beach), alerting her to Piper’s association with Liberty Lobby (I had become familiar with LL and Piper while researching Frogue and his curious interests; Frogue, of course, had been supported in the 1996 trustees race by the Faculty Association). She did some of her own research and consequently came to the board meeting, urging trustees to not approve travel expenses for Piper and the other three "forum" speakers, whom she judged to be unsavory.

Willis Carto
Led by John Williams, the “board four” (Teddi Lorch, Williams, Frogue, and Dorothy Fortune) approved the funding anyway.

I made some phone calls. Perhaps Greenspan did so as well. Within one or two days, Saddleback College was in the news around the country: "College to hold forum including conspiracy nuts and Holocaust deniers." (That was the gist of it.)

During one board meeting, Frogue described visiting Piper in Washington, D.C., where Carto's Liberty Lobby is headquarted. During another board meeting at about the same time (in 1997), Piper came to an SOCCCD board meeting to defend his views and scholarship--but his presentation was lost in the noise and chaos caused by clashes and tensions between his racist, conspiracy-loving Liberty Lobby/IHR pals and the equally loony but perhaps more dangerous Jewish Defense League (JDL) crowd, including its founder, Irv Rubin. (See A motley crew of Nazis VS. JDL thugs: oh, what a night! and Night of the Nazi.)

(Horribly, Rubin later committed suicide--or was murdered--at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles awaiting trial.)

It didn't help that, during the same meeting, I read aloud a letter to me from Piper in which he offered veiled threats and repeatedly called me a "m*ther f*cker."

"Gosh, I don't know any scholars who use that word," I noted. (Something like that.)

So why do I bring all of this up? Because the Reb just sent me an article from the LedeNoam Cohen’s “Traces of Gunman’s Online Life Begin to Vanish”—which, among other things, explains that the internet record of James von Brunn, the guy who shot a guard at the National Holocaust Museum yesterday, is being erased--presumably by those who'd rather not be associated with such infamy (or maybe they don't want the FBI on their doorstep).

Von Brunn, it turns out, has long been a member of this country’s racist, anti-Semitic, conspiracy-mongering, black-helicopter-dodging community.

BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME

Cohen refers to another blogger: Zachary Roth. According to Roth (of the TPM blog), “Von Brunn tried to use Wikipedia to promote the work of Willis Carto, the right-wing Holocaust denier and founder of the Liberty Lobby.”

In an update, Roth notes that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added Van Brunn's website “as a hate site last year….”

Adds SPLC (according to Roth),
In the 1980s or early 1990s, von Brunn was employed by Noontide Press, a part of the Holocaust denying Institute of Historical Review [IHR], which was then run by Willis Carto, one of America's most prominent anti-Semites.

Did you get that? The loony Mr. von Brunn was associated with--evidently indirectly worked for--the very Orange County organization (IHR) that Steve Frogue promoted a dozen years ago in the midst of the controversy surrounding his Warren Commission "forum."

What does it all mean? Dunno.



ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Silverado Elementary holds last graduation (OC Register)

By RASHI KESARWANI

The big yellow school bus pulled into the parking lot of Silverado Elementary School for the final time today. ¶ The school, which serves 75 students from Silverado and Modjeska Canyon, will be shuttered by June 19 … due to budget cuts facing the Orange Unified School District.

Next year, some students will be bussed from the Canyons to Chapman Hills Elementary, which parents say is at least an hour bus ride that may begin as early as 6:30 a.m….

Parents and teachers said the closure of Silverado Elementary, a school that first opened over 100 years ago on Santiago Canyon Road, is a great loss to the community.

Lisa Alvarez, [a] parent, said she feared the effect that a long morning bus ride to Chapman Hills would have on young students' performance and behavior.

"I know the last thing my 7-year-old boy needs is a one-and-a-half hour bus ride in the morning," Alvarez said. "That's setting him up for failure."

Alvarez also criticized Prop. 13, the 1978 California ballot initiative that capped property taxes, a move which critics argue led to a reduction in school spending.

She called on corporate property owners to pay more in taxes. "These people should be facing higher taxes so we don't have to close down a century-old school," Alvarez said….

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Overcoming sheer ugliness and total ergonomic perversity

NOT LONG AGO, the Reb and other members of Irvine Valley College's League of Obdurate Peevitude (LOOP) noted that, though our campus is looking wondrously spiffulescent these days, the major exception, superficially, is the butt-ugly dandelion zone just outside our own building—A200, the home of Humanities and Languages faculty, among others.

We squawked about it. Remember?

Conspiracy fans will recall that H&L faculty have been at the forefront of criticism/protest of our rotten Chancellor (Raghu P. Mathur) and the clueless, right-wing trustees who support him (including recent Grand Jury poster boy John Williams and Tom "inexplicable liver recipient" Fuentes).

Some prominent Mathur/board critics are of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and much of that school, too, is kept in sorry old, penicillin-producing, A200.

Well, as it turns out, as we squawked, administration was planning to remedy the situation, 'cause, the next day, our Corner of Crumminess turned into a veritable Garden of Eden. Teams of workers, working around the clock, carried in hundreds of rectangular chunks of turf and just plunked 'em into place like tiles on the Space Shuttle. They straightened out and polished that scrawny Twig-o-Tree, too. See the pic above.

They did a good job on that turf. Can't see the seams. The lawn is practically natural.

Heck, the last time I checked (yesterday), students were sittin' in the grass, discussing philosophy, grimacing into the sun, smoking doob, and so on. Well, not smoking doob, but they seemed to be way mellow and they sure did like that grass.

OK, they weren't talkin' philosophy either. But they were talking.

I ran into my dean and she reminded me that our Library is another area of our fine campus that looks positively splendiferous. It looks best on the inside, we noted.

Inspired, I went into the Library and took some pics.

I never noticed before, but, in our Library, they've even got a sled so students (well, one student) can slide down the stairs to the ground floor in the case of a snow storm or something. Gosh, they think of everything.

Did you know that there's a "Freedom Shrine" on the top floor of the Library? I think they've pinned up some old OC Register articles about french fries and water-boarding. Very staunch.

The library is teeming with manifest (yet oddly unnoticed) UFOs, ever-hovering above iPod-encrusted studentry and drowsy Pecksniffian librarians.

Got clocks, windows. Nice view. I like the chairs.

Check this out. Going up the stairs is like taxiing down an aircraft carrier runway in an F-22 Raptor. Modern! Reckless! Delightful!

Very brick-and-mortery. Hey, if you don't actually talk to the students, the Library will make you think that IVC is the "Harvard of the West"!

—I kid. Many of our students are very bright. We do have some knuckleheads, but they don't hang out in the library. I think they're in student government or the Honor Society. That's just a guess, based on personal observation.

A REMAINING ZONE OF SHITITUDE

Gotta say, though, that, just across the sidewalk from our new Garden Zone is a remaining sector of abject shititude. Follow the arrow above.

Luckily, it looks like that's now getting a nifty makeover too. That's 'cause they're rapidly redoing building A300, which in some sense comprises the above-mentioned Sector of Weedery.

You know A300. It is legendary. More than ten years ago, one of Mathur's favorite hires (a notoriously inept and unprincipled dean whose trail of devastation, inappropriate touching, and failed pipe-dreamery occasioned construction of our famous "Faculty Mental Health Center" with its innovative "Narcissism Clinic") decided to turn A300 inside out. (That's how the Reb always puts it.) His loopy innovations utterly destroyed the place. Recently, its sheer ugliness and total ergonomic perversity led to abandonment and condemnation. Dogs wouldn't even pee on it. Rats eschewed it.

Yeah, but now they're totally revamping the interior! I snuck in there yesterday and took these snaps:

More alien craft and landing modules, but that's cool. Do we get to keep the little black cart?

Very spacey. The angles point to the exit, into the light, beyond IVC.

I like the blue pillar, which reminds one of the monolith in 2001 a Space Odyssey. Cool. Forbidding! Sublime!

No doubt somebody thinks these wavy wall elements improve the acoustics. What's that you said? I can't freakin' hear you.

TIMES ARE BAD, BUT THEY LOOK GOOD

I noticed some students sketching the Performing Arts Center or maybe the Beefsteak Bldg. (See below.) They were sprawling happily across the new Garden Spot and Live Modeling venue.


One student, upon confronting the wonder that is now IVC, seemed discombobulated by the excessive beauty and excellence.

I know how she feels.

Well, that's it. Things are looking up. And it's summer, too.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself.
I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

OC Preacher prays for Obama’s death
Rev. Wiley Drake prays for Obama’s death (OC Weekly)
Somehow, we here at Weekly HQ missed that the Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park not only declared last week that the murder of Kansas abortion Dr. George Tiller had been the answer to his "imprecatory" prayers, but that the so-called Man of God later announced he'd made a similar prayer of death for President Barack Obama....

Hear it for yourself:

Sacramento SNAFU

For some alarming insights into the state budget situation and its possible impact on community colleges, I recommend reading an article appearing in yesterday's The Ed Money Watch, a publication of the New America Foundation, a Washington public policy institute and think tank (it appears to be non-partisan).

In her article (“The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Mess in California”), Jennifer Cohen explains that the state has won approval for federal State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) money but its application included a massive accounting error, overestimating the state’s “maintenance of effort baseline funding” (MOE) by $2 billion.

According to Cohen, the “oversight allows the state significant flexibility in its state contributions for education funding in 2009 and 2010.”

She continues:
At the same time, the state failed to include community college funding in its MOE numbers for higher education. As a result, the original SFSF application significantly understated how much money the state will spend on higher education each year....

California's revised SFSF application appeared on the Department of Education's website last Friday even though the revision is dated May 17th. The amendment only changes the MOE baseline numbers … for K-12 and higher ed, not the section where the state commits to actual levels of spending…. As a result, it seems that California hopes to reach the original state contribution levels but is allowing for the possibility of lower spending in the case of real budget problems….

As you know, I am singularly untalented in understanding fiscal issues (and articles such as Cohen’s), but I gather from all of this that disastrous incompetence is afoot, and community colleges stand to lose bigtime.

According to Cohen, “Because the $2.0 billion MOE revision affects K-12 spending and not higher ed spending, California's public schools could face even greater budget cuts than previously expected. Documents from the California Department of Finance suggest that total cuts to spending legislated through the Proposition 98 funding law could be as high as $6.0 billion over two years compared to previously planned budget numbers.”

(All emphases my own.)


Not the time for state education cuts, report says (Riverside Press-Enterprise)

Proposed state higher-education cuts will exacerbate a projected shortage of college graduates and imperil California's long-term economic future, a new report says.

The Inland area, already lagging the state average in the percentage of adults with college degrees and in the proportion of high school students attending college, could fall further behind and continue to have difficulty attracting high-paying jobs, said Hans Johnson, author of the study and associate director of research for the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

The report, released last week, predicts that the state will face a shortage of 1 million college graduates by 2025 unless current trends are reversed. Forty-one percent of jobs will demand at least a bachelor's degree by 2025, but only 35 percent of California adults will have one, the report says….

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation, part 2

Southern Utah is amazingly beautiful. I took this picture through the window, while driving, not far from Kanab. No place in particular.

The road crosses Kanab Creek here. Yes, the hills and cliffs really are red. Lots of westerns were made here in the old days. And TV shows: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, etc. Some of the sets remain standing.

Weather changes quickly and dramatically in S. Utah. It can be raining, and then, an hour later, the sun is blazing.

Everywhere you go in Southern Utah, it's beautiful.

Here are some shots from Bryce Canyon. I won't bother showing the familiar Bryce "hoodoos." Too familiar.

(Click on the pics.)



OK, OK. Some Bryce hoodoo action.

A beautiful pet cemetery in the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (on 33,000 acres just outside of Kanab).

What I did on my summer vacation, part 1


Grand Canyon, north rim, just a few days ago. I visited the south rim in 1959. Don't remember that.
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

The weather was moody and it fluctuated. Good weather for a visit with the sublime and the inexplicable.

They say that, from 30,000 feet, it looks stranger still, a hole that appears in an expanse of flat land.

I saw foreigners clutching their children. A saw non-foreigners letting their kids run wild, as though there were no danger of falling and dying. Odd.

The first European explorers hated it. It was, I'm told, monstrous to them, an odd thing for a good God to make.
I dunno.

The river, down at the bottom

Monday, June 8, 2009

Community College goals and reforms to be tossed aside?

From this morning’s Sacramento Bee:

Governor offers new plan to help community colleges weather budget cuts

Lawmakers are considering new proposals from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to allow community college districts flexibility to use more part-time instructors as part of the state's massive budget-cutting efforts.

The proposals are opposed by community college instructors and their largest union, the California Federation of Teachers, which recently helped defeat a Schwarzenegger-backed ballot measure – Proposition 1A – that would have extended newly imposed tax increases.

"Nothing the governor says these days surprises us," [CFT communications director Fred] Glass [said]. "He seems to be using this (fiscal crisis) as an opportunity to slash-and-burn education."

Specifically, Schwarzenegger is calling for a five-year suspension of portions of state education code that require 50 percent of a community college district's educational expenditures to be used for teacher salaries and which set a systemwide goal that 75 percent of instructional hours be taught by full-time faculty….


Cal Poly Pomona cancels summer session, affecting O.C. students (OC Reg)

Facing up to $35 million in budget cuts, Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) has abruptly canceled its summer session, eliminating a broad range of classes for 6,600 full and part-time students, some of whom live in Orange County.

CPP formally announced on June 5 that it has canceled its summer quarter classes, which were to begin on the staggered dates of June 22 and July 29. [Campus spokeswoman Uyen] Mai said CPP is studying whether it can offer some of the courses through its College of the Extended University, starting July 13.

If it is able to provide this alternative, students will have to pay more for their education. Mai said that a student taking 8 units of lecture classes in the regular summer quarter would have paid about $1,200. The figure would be closer to $1,800 through university extension….

Tenure and the public interest/another investigative reporter exits, stage left

Last week: at the Grand Canyon

From this morning’s
Inside Higher Ed:
Tenure's Value ... to Society
A judge ruled last week in Colorado that not only is tenure a good thing for the professors who enjoy it, it is valuable to the public. Further, the court ruled that the value (to the public) of tenure outweighed the value of giving colleges flexibility in hiring and dismissing….

While noting "countervailing public interests" in the case, the judge wrote that
"the public interest is advanced more by tenure systems that favor academic freedom over tenure systems that favor flexibility in hiring or firing." The ruling added that "by its very nature, tenure promotes a system in which academic freedom is protected" and that "a tenure system that allows flexibility in firing is oxymoronic."

Rachel Levinson, senior counsel for the AAUP, called the ruling "fantastic," both for the individual faculty members and for professors elsewhere….

"More broadly, what this does is reiterate the value of tenure and the importance of tenure, and that tenure itself can be a public interest," Levinson said….

THIS JUST IN:

The OC Weekly’s
R. Scott Moxley reports that Los Angeles Times in OC loses key investigative reporter.

According to Moxley,
Christine Hanley has resigned. He's got good things to say about her:

For several years, Hanley was the lone daily reporter who joined me in determined pursuit of Sheriff Mike Carona's corruption at the Orange County Sheriff's Department. She broke key Carona stories, got reluctant witnesses to talk, found smoking-gun documents and withstood the intimidation that comes with challenging a twisted little man who had no business running California's second largest policing agency. Her excellence made me a better journalist.

Moxley includes her June 1 email to her colleagues.

Other exiting OC reporters:
Norberto Santana Jr., John Gittelsohn both of the OC Register.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Commencement speeches


Commencement speakers make the most of their brief time onstage (LA Times)

This morning, Steve Harvey offers “commencement” speech stories, including one about Richard Moore, then-president of Santa Monica College, who, back in 1992, offered only three words: ‘“Feelings.” Then, “Adventures.” And finally, “Ideas.”’ He sat down.

Many of us in the SOCCCD dream that Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur will some day adopt this practice. Imagine: he walks to the podium. He offers three words: "For." Then, "deh." And finally, "students." He sits down.

Another story is about Theodor Geisel of “Dr. Suess” fame.

He was lured out of La Jolla to receive an honorary degree from Lake Forest (Ill.) College in 1977.

Though he was listed as commencement speaker, he told officials upon arriving that he had no intention of addressing the crowd. It appeared his speech might amount to: "Thank you."

But Geisel surprised everyone by pulling out a 100-word ditty he had composed while sitting onstage.

It was an account of his Uncle Terwilliger ordering a puffed tart in a restaurant and went, in part:

"To eat these things,"
said my uncle,
"you must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what's solid

BUT

you must spit out the air!"
And as you partake of the world's bill of fare,
that's darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.

As O.C.’s public colleges shrink, Chapman grows
The final figures won’t be known for months, but Chapman University executives are certain about this:
When the fall semester begins, the bucolic campus in Old Towne will have more students than it did last year — a claim all or most of Orange County’s public colleges and universities won’t be able to make….

Legendary Athens band "Pylon," in their heyday, c. 1980. Guitarist Randy Bewley (far left) died of a heart attack about three months ago.


MUSIC FOR A SUNDAY MORNING:
The wonderful Iris Dement singing her "Our Town" with the help of Emmylou Harris. You'll love it! (Harris first made a name for herself as a backup singer, supporting Gram Parsons.)

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