Friday, September 25, 2009

Is there intelligence in America? Inconclusive

Physicist Bob Park is surging with peevitude again. “Last week,” he writes,
Senate hearings were held asking whether cell phones cause brain cancer. Brian Walsh, writing for Time, described the outcome as "inconclusive." A collective groan rose from the nation’s physicists.
A groan? Whence groanage?

Bob reminds us that, 17 years ago, a fellow named David Reynard appeared on Larry King Live, explaining that he was suing the cell phone industry for causing his wife’s fatal brain cancer. Naturally, Larry found Reynard’s complaint compelling.

Larry, albeit likable and a snappy dresser, is a knucklehead. Reynard was plainly committing a fallacy, an old chestnut called “post hoc ergo propter hoc.” In Reynard’s unmicrowaved mind, his wife held that phone against her head and then got cancer. So there you go.

“That’s logic!”

Bob points out, however, that

all known cancer agents act by breaking chemical bonds, producing mutant strands of DNA. It would be like suing me for hitting someone with a rock thrown across the Potomac River. …[M]icrowave photons can't break chemical bonds. Not until you get up to the near ultraviolet, about 10,000 times more energetic than microwaves, are photons capable of causing cancer.
Bob links us to an old editorial of his (Cellular Telephones and Cancer (2001)) in which he reported that
A beautifully designed, nationwide, epidemiologic study of cell phone use and cancer has been carried out in Denmark. … The study included all of the nearly half a million users of cellular telephones in Denmark during the period from 1982 through 1995. .... The results "do not support the hypothesis of an association between use of these telephones and tumors of the brain or salivary gland, leukemia, or other cancers." Other recent epidemiologic studies of cellular telephone use and cancer … although less powerful, report similar findings.

OK, so here’s the thing. Cell phones suck, they really do. And people should stop yapping on them while driving.

But there’s no reason whatsoever to think they cause brain cancer. There is no mechanism to explain why they would cause cancer. Heck, there isn’t even any epidemiological evidence that they cause cancer.

Nevertheless, last week, there were Senate hearings about cell phones and cancer.

Idjits.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So Damn Happy

(POSTED by Rebel Girl but WRITTEN by Red Emma!)


The title of today’s Red Emma post is the name of a favorite Loudon Wainwright song. You should hear it. Maybe Chunk or Rebel Girl can teach me how to link to songs on this here blog.


Because I didn’t want to risk getting too happy about today’s walk-out, strike, picket line and joyous labor demonstrations at UC Irvine, I purposely tuned in — as I occasionally do to make sure that I stay with the equilibrium of constant anger and predictable disappointment — to the odious “Frank Pastore Show” on right-wing religious radio station and all-purpose huckster headquarters KKLA 99.5 FM. The silly topic was Frank’s usual fare, this time about how the answer to too much pernicious premarital sex among Christians, especially young men and women (go figure) was to revisit the marriage trend. Stay with it. Here it comes: Frank, brilliant thinker that he is, suggested that, yes, Christians just get married earlier so that, you know, they can make the beast with two backs in the perfect sight of Yahweh.


Perfect, indeed, and I was almost where I need to be, recalibration-wise. I waited for the other shoe to drop, because of course he’d have to bring up dowries and old men buying young girls and marriage as a vehicle of tribal property ownership, right? But soon arrived an advertisement — these always better than the show itself — and, reliably, I got my necessary dose of sobering real-life socio-existential realignment. Frank invited all of us listeners to a “prison ministries” event featuring felon (“obstruction of justice”) and shitbag Chuck Colson, Nixon’s hatchet man. The event is co-sponsored by, yes, just what I was waiting for, Christian Lawyers of America. That did it. Those four words, and I was fine again. Suddenly all was back where it needed to be, everything right (wing) with the world, and so I switched over to public radio KPCC just in time to hear Adolfo Guzman-Lopez’s reporting from the events at UCI.

Now I felt better. And by that I mean worse. Hooray.

Disorientation
At the rally between the flag poles (California Bear Republic, Stars and Stripes) on the steps adjacent the Chancellor’s rose garden, I was thrilled to distribute buttons and union literature and pass around to friends and colleagues, political comrades and a few students brand-new copies of the Radical Student Union’s (RSU) nifty anti-manual, the UCI Disorientation Guide. And, yes, friends, there is now a Radical Student Union at UC Irvine. This is to my knowledge the first such guide available on campus, and certainly the first radical anything in some time. You should get a copy. It’s fun.

I was also thrilled that so many students, faculty, staff turned out to support the UPTE strike. I was thrilled that the UPTE strikers marched around and yelled. I was thrilled that my own Lecturers and Librarians unit was well-represented in our spokesperson, who offered a righteous piece. Maybe I am easily thrilled. (See above, for regular antidote to unwelcome thrillingness.)

More Disorientation
Anyway, I chatted briefly with Law School Dean Erwin the C. He took a union button and continued being surrounded by young, handsome, smart, apparently progressive first-year young women and men law students at the new law school that Bren built. I reminded all of them to attend next week’s American Library Association Banned Books Week “Read-Out” at the Student Center Terrace. The rally started. The nut started yelling. There is a mentally ill man who shows up for every event I seem to have something to do with. Maybe we should agree, for everybody’s sake. I, Red Emma, will cease organizing events if you, Crazy Dude, will not come to them. I am not sure if he is even a student. Today he stood and shouted “No unions,” which is a weird thing to yell at a bunch of people in unions except that he wasn’t making a statement about their existence but, naturally, against their existence. Everybody knows this because he also yelled, helpfully, “Cut taxes,” so that maybe he was less insane than just your average Libertarian Fox News-loving OC Republican. Same thing, right? Ha, ha.

The Actual Rally
I missed most of it, as I had to run to class at 12:15. Reports from others attending suggest the numbers swelled to seven or eight hundred. On my way down Ring Road I counted at least five different so-called Christian groups, everything from Campus Crusade to Christian Koreans. I am an asshole, so I stopped and gave them all fliers for Banned Books Week “Read-Out.” I stopped, briefly, at a fraternity booth, all the young men dressed in their matching t-shirts and standing in front of the scary letters with their arms crossed as, a hundred yards away, actual real life was occurring. Did I mention I am an asshole? I went up to each of them and asked if their fraternity, Hubba Bubba Rubba if I read it right, would be interested in endorsing the event and would they consider reading out loud from one of the historically banned, censored, challenged books, say, The Catcher in the Rye or Beloved?

I think it was the great, late Utah Phillips, activist and Golden Voice of the Great Southwest who said, famously, “You’ve got to mess with people.”

In today’s paper Gary Robbins of the Register so underestimates the size of the crowd today — who was marching, and who they were — that I suspect he might have been at an altogether different event, perhaps the rally by Hubba Bubba Rubba and the other “Greeks” in favor of intellectual freedom, civic literacy and mutual aid.  - RE



(photo by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez of KPCC)

The September meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees—LIVE from the Ronnie Reagan room!


6:22

[Video now available here.] Hey, it's 6:22, and the September meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees is about to begin. Yup, I see Raghu: he's confabbin' with the student trustee. Her name is Bi'Anca. She's chirpy! (See Tracy's Board Meeting Highlights.)

Don's scratchin' his head. Tom is wandering around like a geezer at an old folks home. Now he's playin' with one of the twelve or so flags up there. One of the ten (yup, I counted 'em) U.S. flags isn't straight enough for 'im. Tug. He's fixed it!

John Williams looks as pleased as punch. Don't know why. God, he's stupid.

Gotta go! They've commenced legislatin'!

6:27

So, Mr. Clerk, what actions were taken in the closed session?

“We’ve accomplished nothing,” reported Tom.

"And he means that," muttered Don. Laughter.

6:32


Fuentes is yammering about the Part-Time prof of the year..... Big applause.

They love these awards and resolutions... This is gonna take a while. Later!
...
Did I mention that, during his invocation, Don told the Lord that ours is the "freest nation on the planet"? Our soldiers, he told the Godster, are “doing Your work in spreading liberty and freedom.” Really. He actually said that.

Bill Jay got all excited about Don's run for Assembly. He's supporting Don! Don got all teary-eyed. (Well, no.)

Tom Fuentes gave his report. At one point, he noted that "Bill Hewitt even gave me a hug!" Wow.

Once again, Williams had no report. That's a great strategy, John: when in doubt, shuddup. Marcia went on and on about some waterfall. I don't know what she was saying. Good hair though.

Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur seemed to love a 9-11 speech that Bob Cosgrove had given. He even went to lunch with Bob. Gosh. What's going on?

7:19

Nancy Padberg pulled item 5.16 from the consent calendar. It's a request for the Orlando, FL conference. (No doubt, the request was made by Orlando Boy--John Williams.) Nancy explained that she raises this objection every year concerning this conference. It is very expensive, and she plans to vote "no."

That generated no discussion at all. In the end, only Nancy voted against the Orlando request.

What's the matter with these people?



7:22

Item 6.4 concerned some board policies, including those governing smoking. Don got all bent out of shape about restricting adults and their smoking. (He was having one of his Libertarian spasms.) We should restrict adults no more than is required by the law, he declared.

Dave Lang expressed his desire that our colleges be no-smoke zones. Tom said something about making exceptions for cigars. Har har.

Man, they sure went through items fast! The basic aid thing went through without comment (IVC was upped to $1.7 million, I think, when we weren't lookin').

Reports from governance groups, etc., were unremarkable.

Lisa Davis Allen reported for the first time as the IVC Academic Senate Prez. That went well.

Bob C recognized Wendy G for her years of service. Bob was pleased that, owing to our squirreling away so much basic aid moola, we can do some super-cool hiring. A real opportunity, he said.

Haggerty of faculty union: blah, blah, blah...

Sheesh, the meeting was over by 7:40! I'm outa here!

Greed is not good


Check out Matt Coker’s preview of the UCI “walkout” today: UC Irvine Faculty, Students, Staff to Teach In, Turn On, Walk Out Today.

Ah, yes, then there’s Manohla Dargis’ review of Michael Moore’s new movie, Capitalism: a Love Story (Greed Is Good? He Begs to Differ):

As it happens, the most galvanizing words in the movie come not from the current president but from [Franklin D.] Roosevelt, who in 1944 called for a “second bill of rights,” asserting that “true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” The image of this visibly frail president, who died the next year, appealing to our collective conscience — and mapping out an American future that remains elusive — is moving beyond words. And chilling: “People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” It’s a brilliant moment of cinema both for the man delivering the speech and for Mr. Moore, who smartly realized that he’d found one other voice that needed to be as loud as his own.
Don’t forget: board meeting tonight.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Odd exits, jeering louts, sunny days

Religious protesters sometimes bring out the worst in students (Photo by 13 Stoploss)

Here are a couple of curious stories about one-time SOCCCD denizens.

KATHIE HODGE:


The Fullerton College Hornet reports today that “Dr. Sam Schauerman was approved at last night’s NOCCCD Board of Trustees meeting to become the interim president of Fullerton College….” (Former administrator makes return to FC.)

He’ll be taking over the job from current President Kathleen Hodge—who, you’ll recall, was the Chancellor of the SOCCCD during a stormy period eight or nine years ago.

According to the Hornet, “Hodge will be relieved from her duties as president and will start her new career of Vice Chancellor of Instruction of the NOCCCD to work on the development of a new Education and Facilities Master Plan after the six years she served as FC president.”

Gosh, they make it sound like a death sentence.

JESS CRAIG:

Meanwhile, over at Orange Coast College, Jess Craig, the VP of Student Services—he used to do that at IVC—was placed on paid administrative leave by the Coast Community College District board. That happened last week. (Jess Craig put on leave.)

What’s that all about? Didn’t Craig recently announce his plans to retire at the end of the year? Yup.

It gets worse. According to yesterday’s Coast Report,
In addition to the administrative leave, sources said the district has launched an investigation into complaints about Craig apparently voiced by students. Those complaints were sent to the district board but the exact reason for the investigation hasn’t been released.
There’ve been lots of strange exits going on over there in the past year or so. Have any of them been explained? Don't think so.

UNPOPULAR RELIGIOUS PROTESTS:



FULLERTON COLLEGE:

Earnest right-wing religious protesters are making the rounds these days. According to today's Fullerton College Hornet, “Members of the non-profit group, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, appeared once again on … campus on Monday.” (Removed group repeats its ranting)

They brought their big posters—you know, the ones with graphic photos. And, as their moniker implies, they make a big point of comparing abortions in this country to the Holocaust.

Naturally, this pisses some people off.

SADDLEBACK COLLEGE:

A right-wing, sign-wielding regular has been showing up at our colleges (in the SOCCCD) again (Students clash with religious demonstrator). According to the Saddleback College Lariat, in-your-face demonstrator Paul Mitchell is back with his obnoxious sign (“girly-men” are going to hell, sex is bad) and bombastic rants, instigating unfortunate scenes:
A crowd surrounded Mitchell as he stood on the quad. Several students began heckling Mitchell as he spoke, interrupting his speech on how alcohol and sexual relations were sinful. At one point a student, Jeff Deppe, 20, undecided, jumped up beside Mitchell and held up his binder, which featured a large photograph of marijuana on the cover. … The crowd continued to jeer Mitchell and cheer Deppe as Deppe shouted, “smoke weed!”
I love the detail: “undecided.”

But something tells me that Deppe and his friends are, well, louts.

IVC:

A similar scene unfolded today at IVC. At about noon, I walked near the vast grassy zone in front of the Student Services Building and spotted Mitchell, his big nasty sign, and a crowd of jeering students.

It didn’t feel right. I walked over and witnessed a semi-ugly scene of students jeering and taunting the guy. Pretty soon, students were jumping up next to him for photographs. I gave 'em a death stare.

I talked to an administrator hoping to get a cop out there to keep things cool. I don’t know what happened next.

I've gotta say, the slightly mob-like quality of the student crowd was much uglier than Mitchell’s buffoonish routine. (I know: some of these kids just want to counter Mitchell's rhetoric, and perhaps they don't realize how dicey these confrontations can be.)

Hey, even Mitchell has a right to tell us what really matters to him. These kids don’t seem to understand that.

That’s not good. That's not good at all.

All photos by 13 Stoploss/Jason, Sept. '08. For more, see Paul at IVC and Paul at PCC



I'll take liberty, please.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Orders from on high


Must be great bein’ the king.
Gary Robbins reports that Chapman U’s ubiquitous (and annoying) President James Doti has “asked his faculty to make their classes tougher after alumni said in a survey that they wished that some of their course work had been more challenging.” (Chapman president: Make courses tougher.)

This happened at a faculty retreat last month. Or so said the student newspaper.

Chapman routinely surveys its alumni (reports Gary). Graduates rate how challenging their courses have been, and the score has slid from 3.98 (out of 5) in 2001 to 3.9 in 2007.

Doti notes that Chapman is more selective than it used to be, student-wise, and these new and improved students want tougher classes.

The President was asked what faculty might do:
Doti said faculty could do such things as “assign more papers and expect better work in those papers.” In areas like economics, a teacher might “go from general questions about how the Federal Reserve works to asking how the fed would react in a specific setting if certain things happened. The students would have to do a lot more digging for information.”
No word on how Chapman’s faculty feel about all this.

I don’t know about Chapman, but, in general, standards have been sliding in higher ed for a long time. Recently, I noted recent reports on grade inflation and the curious factoid that, at many colleges (including those of the SOCCCD), Bs are more commonly awarded than C’s.

At our colleges, by far the most common grade awarded is an A.

Saddleback College’s PE division seems to give away A’s like M&Ms. I think a student in a Saddleback PE class has to show up to classes with a six-pack of Bud and then go sleep in the grass to get a C. If they just show up with the six-pack, that’s a B.

I’m just guessin’.

I’m all in favor of faculty recognizing the Great A Giveaway issue and then developing solutions. But it would piss me off if, suddenly, the college president (or, say, some old guy from the alumni association with a stack of survey forms) showed up and said, “Faculty, you need to get tougher. Go do that.”

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do these things. Orders from on high are almost always a bad idea.

I remember the spring of 2003, here at IVC. We learned that, according to the college’s Vice President of Instruction (a very wealthy fellow these days, it seems), faculty were to cease discussing the war in Iraq.

Just like that.

Later, we asked the VPI for clarification of the administration’s policy concerning discussion of the war. The VPI paused. He then advised us not to pursue clarification, for we might not like what we’d get.

He couldn't have given a worse answer.

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "call it our life"

Here's a poem for the change in season and for other things too. The Santa Anas came back today, rising quickly this morning as if someone had simply found the switch and turned the wind on, hot and high. Leaves are falling from the trees that have held them all year, branches too. Summer's over. The Fire Watch folks are out in force in the canyons, with their orange vests and radios, binoculars slung about their necks. After all, the arsonist of October 2007 is still at large.

Here's a poem by Philip Levine, who lives and works in Fresno. Rebel Girl addressed an envelope to him the other day. He should be receiving it right about now.


Our Valley

We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,
something massive, irrational, and so powerful even
the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.


You probably think I'm nuts saying the mountains
have no word for ocean, but if you live here
you begin to believe they know everything.
They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,
a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls
slowly between the pines and the wind dies
to less than a whisper and you can barely catch
your breath because you're thrilled and terrified.


You have to remember this isn't your land.
It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside
and thought was yours. Remember the small boats
that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men
who carved a living from it only to find themselves
carved down to nothing. Now you say this is home,
so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust,
wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.


We're going to hell in a handbasket

Tom DeLay is the world’s biggest a**hole


Homosexuality is inflicted on people!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Orlando Boy strikes again

I briefly perused the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees.

Item 5.16 caught my eye. It is “trustees’ requests for attending conferences.”

What with the economy tanking, you'd think these people would minimize conference plane travel in order to reduce costs. It does appear that most trustees have done exactly that.

But there is one request. It concerns the following conference:
Association of Governing Boards, ORLANDO, FLORIDA (3/19-3/23)
Naturally, the “Chancellor recommends that the BOT approve/ratify the Trustees’ requests….”

No information is provided concerning which trustee or trustees requested funds for the Orlando conference. The estimated cost: $2,000 per person.

Trustee John Williams, who has family in Florida, has attended several district-paid-for conferences in Florida--usually in Orlando.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SOCCCD's six-figure pension club

Runyan and Heffernan take home the big bucks
Perhaps you saw it: the article in Friday’s Reg about the thousands of “educators” who receive six-figure pensions (3,000 retired educators take home six-figure pensions).
I guess we’re supposed to be horrified.

Naturally, the Reg zeroes in on former Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent James A. Fleming, who will be going to court soon concerning all sorts of alleged misconduct. Fleming, we’re told, “collects $141,331 a year in California state teacher retirement funds, on top of the $64,068 pension he collects from working 27 years in Florida.”

Even if convicted, he’ll be getting those checks.

Turns out Fleming is “one of 3,090 educators in the California State Teachers' Retirement System who make at least $100,000 a year in taxpayer-guaranteed public pensions….”

Meanwhile, the “average STRS pension is just $36,252….” Fewer than 1.6 percent receive six-figure money, but “they account for 5 percent of the $8 billion yearly payout.”

Why is this a problem? Because
Like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the teachers’ retirement system is running into trouble as workers retire to larger pensions that are increasingly difficult to fund. … Officials calculate that the system will face a $23 billion funding gap by 2039.
Well, you can read all about it, if you like. Prepare to get pissed off.

The Reg provides a link to the list of $100K club members per district: Which educators are in the $100k pension club?

I looked up the SOCCCD and found 18 names, including various retired administrators and some retired faculty.

Here’s the list:
WHITE, DENNIS W - $193,129.92
MCCULLOUGH, RICHARD D - $188,592.96
MACDOUGALL, ALLAN B - $156,314.16
BREWER, EVERETT L - $151,722.24
BUSCHE, DONALD L - $132,634.56
CORUM, SUSAN L - $130,564.08
BULLOCK, DIXIE L - $122,747.76
RUNYAN, MICHAEL G - $118,759.56
BRUMMEL, WILLIAM C - $116,683.44
ARNTSON, LEONA J - $112,998.60
CUNERTY, WILLIAM J - $112,701.36
HEFFERNAN, WILLIAM A - $110,381.40
MEYER, THOMAS S - $109,684.92
YATES, JAMES D - $107,233.44
NELSON, CALVIN L - $106,680.72
LOMBARDI, ROBERT A - $104,901.00
OTTA, WILLIAM E - $103,367.76
CALKINS, KEITH D - $100,601.76

Some of these people are known for their excellence. Some, however, are known for their incompetence or worse. Sheesh.


Note: I couldn't find a picture of Mike Runyan, so I searched the internet for someone who looks just like him. Runyan was a major player, along with the likes of IVC's Raghu Mathur, in the secretive and unscrupulous union "old guard" group that brought us the 1996 "board majority" of Frogue, Williams, Fortune, and Lorch. (The union had supported Frogue and Williams in '92; Lorch, with union support, was appointed a year or two later to replace a trustee who had died.)

In the election of '96, the union had supplied the notorious homophobic "same sex" fliers that secured the victory of Republicans Frogue, Williams, and Fortune (Lorch was not yet up for reelection).

This was one among several outrageous actions performed by union leadership at the time, including very misleading charges of misconduct against retiring trustee Harriett Walther.

After the '96 election, many faculty sought to reform the union, but Mr. Heffernan (see above) steadfastly defended Runyan and his group. If you see Bill, be sure to thank him for me.

Not long after the '96 election, some of the key old guard players secured administrative positions. Mathur, of course, became IVC's President. Ken Woodward became the dean of Saddleback's Liberal Arts division. Runyan became a Vice Chancellor.

Interestingly, during the election, Old Guard leadership repeatedly accused their faculty foes (including me) of hating teaching and seeking administrative positions.

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary