In the OC Reg’s College Life blog this morning, Gary Robbins reports on continuing cuts in classes at the Rancho Santiago Community College District:
2 O.C. colleges cut 400 classes, affecting thousands
Even before the Fall semester started, 400 classes were cut. But “the cutting isn’t over.”
The Rancho district recently learned that it must cut an additional $15 million in the current fiscal year, and a trustee says that will make it necessary to eliminate more class sections and to fire some teachers in a district that serves about 56,000 students.
Phil Yarbrough, a Rancho trustee, said new class cuts could be announced as early as Sept. 14, and made official about a month later the district adopts budget plans.
“I’m going to that meeting not with a scalpel, but with a meat cleaver,” says Yarbrough, who has taught economics at both colleges in the Rancho district.
In the meantime, students at Cal State Fullerton are looking for classes to replace those cut at their college, but, according to an [RSCCD] spokeswoman, these students “should not assume they can find the classes that they are looking for.”
• Worst waste of the year?
Meanwhile, Matt Coker of the OC Weekly reports on the latest chapter of an ongoing story concerning UCI and the impending explosion of Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn’s head:
Coburn Ready to Blow Over UCI Computer Games Center?
Matt reports UCI’s announcement of “the establishment of the Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds.” But what’s that got to do with Coburn’s melon?
The Oklahoma Republican puts out annual "Worst Waste of the Year" reports, and among the examples of "outrageous federal spending" in the 2008 edition was the National Science Foundation having granted $100,000 to UCI to study the differences in how gamers from the U.S. and China play the popular online video game World of Warcraft.
…[The goal of the center’s leaders] will be to expand campuswide research activities involving the social and technological aspects of games and virtual worlds. More than 20 faculty members from computer science, arts, humanities, social science and education will collaborate in the center, according to the announcement. UC Irvine was among the first major research universities to establish educational and research programs in computer game culture and technology, with its Game Culture & Technology Lab that was launched in 2001 having attracted nearly $5 million in external funding.
See also Sit-In Protests UCI's Closure of Programs for Low-Income Students
• Clothing, hotel stays and other personal items
The Contra Costa Times reports on abuses and irregularities at the Peralta Community College District in Oakland—according to a “news group” that has hired former state chancellor Marshall Drummond:
Peralta must crack down, report says
Drummond's report comes two months after the Bay Area News Group examined a host of ethical questions surrounding [Chancellor Elihu] Harris' business partnerships with Mark Lindquist, whose firm received a $940,000 no-bid contract from the Peralta district. Lindquist also is president of the Peralta Colleges Foundation, an auxiliary arm of the district.
The newspaper group, which includes this publication, also reported that Trustee Marcie Hodge had used a taxpayer-funded credit card to buy thousands of dollars of clothing, hotel stays and other personal items. Hodge has said she repaid all the personal expenses before the district paid her bills.