Saturday, September 10, 2011

The elusive, lost "Craig Justice" lecture

Craig at Chaffey
     Chaffey College is in Rancho Cucamonga. I've never been to that town, but its name won't do. Makes me think of jungles. But they've got no jungles, not even close. (The name actually refers to a tribe of Native Americans.)
     Anyway, Chaffey's Faculty Senate has a website, and it lists, among other things, past winners of “Faculty Lecturer of the Year.” The list goes all the way back to 1969, identifying thirty or so lectures. (The lectures ceased during some of the Carter/Reagan years. Hopelessness, I guess.)
     The site explains the "Faculty Lecture" honor, revealing it to be impressive and striking:
     Faculty Senate elects a Faculty Lecturer for each academic year. In the spring the Faculty Senate seeks nominations … of a colleague to become the Lecturer for the following year. … The individual selected is notified and receives one class reassigned during the upcoming year to research and write a paper and prepare for their lecture/presentation. The paper is published as a journal and distributed at the event. The individual chosen selects his or her own topic for presentation to the campus community.
     This event was initiated in 1969 by the Faculty Senate. All campus constituencies are invited and formal invitations to attend are extended to college administrators, members of the Governing Board, and the lecturer's guest list.
     Faculty take this award very seriously. To be selected is an honor, carrying with it a significant responsibility. ... Many of our Faculty Lecturers have been interviewed and highlighted in local and regional papers….
     This … program … is highly valued on our campus. It draws a capacity crowd every year. ... It shows us at our best. ... We are all, faculty, administrators, and classified caught up in our daily routines and work isolated from one another. This gives the academic community an opportunity to "see" the talent and dedication that usually occurs behind closed doors. We come together to celebrate what it is that we are about.
Chaffey College of Agriculture, 1885
     Wow. Hopefully, none of the honorees has gone on to defraud taxpayers or invent homeopathic office products.
     At least given what I see here, this honor and series is indeed impressive. For instance, refreshingly, the lecture titles skew toward the serious and the academic:
  • Signals Through the Flames…Resiliency Theory and Chaffey College (Communication Studies)
  • Auschwitz and After: Moral Philosophy in the Shadow of Birkenau (Philosophy)
  • The Biological Adaptiveness of Lying (Biology)
     Golly. (Years ago, one of our Math instructors gave a presentation during Flex Week on how to build a bookcase.)
     In recent years, IVC’s Academic Senate has managed to sponsor some serious and academic lectures, including some by our own faculty. That’s a change and a very good one.
     Still, Chaffey’s tradition is particularly impressive. Imagine! Granting someone a course release for two consecutive semesters just to write the lecture! That would never happen at IVC—unless, of course, the instructor were an important Republican or a curvy sports figure—or maybe a successful taco entrepreneur. We’d throw money at that hooey all day long. Then we’d bestow certificates or plaques on everybody who had anything remotely to do with it. We’d take lots of pictures. Then we’d display pics and artifacts in a big dumb glass case in BSTIC.
     Meanwhile, everything else would go to hell. Maybe the library would fall into itself, leaving a pile of rubble and porn printouts.
     Another impressive aspect of Chaffey’s lecture series is the availability of each of the lectures—there’ve been thirty of them—in digital form! The links are right there on the page! All the way back to 1968-9! (“Who’s Listening?”, philosophy)

Cucamonga, 1884
     WELL, ACTUALLY, there’s one exception. It turns out that the recipient of this honor for 1996-7 was one “S. Craig Justice, Economics.” Why, surely, that’s our Craig Justice—i.e., the current Vice President of Instruction at Irvine Valley College—who is known to be from Chaffey and whose degree is in Econ. (I think I heard him quote Adam Smith once.)
     Craig’s lecture was entitled:
Fact, Fantasy, and Faith in Economic Analysis: Is Economics Truly a Science?
     First of all, let me say that I am impressed—and not at all surprised—that Craig received this honor. My hat’s off to the dismal fellow.
     The title of Craig’s lecture is intriguing. Who doesn’t have an opinion about the dismal science and whether its practitioners really have anything to offer? I’d love to read or hear about that. Who wouldn't?
     For some reason, however, it is Craig’s and only Craig’s lecture that isn’t available. “No booklet,” it says right there on the page, in black and white among all the brownish red.

     I’ve got a theory. Maybe he nailed it and there’s a conspiracy to protect us from the awful truth!
     Bring on the full horror, I say! Inquiring minds wanna know!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If he in fact has a cynical view of economics as a science, it would explain his consistent m.o. of using numbers, and claiming to be "numbers driven," as the sheerest of smoke screens for what is obviously "seat of the pants" decision making. He does what he feels like, then cooks up some specious, post facto rationale, often laced with unverifiable or outright bogus numbers, in the apparent belief that we are all too dumb to see it. I am NOT impressed with this bullshitter--not vice presidential material. Send him back to his deanship in Rancho Cucamonga.

Anonymous said...

"there’ve been thirty of them" (bvt). Well, 1969 - 2011 makes it like 41-42 years. Learn math dude. Perhaps you ought to consult the guy who builds bookcases for that? Perhaps you ought to get in touch with that Maureen Burton to see if she's got an extra copy?

Anonymous said...

If in fact he holds a cynical view of economics as a science, it might help to explain his m.o. of concocting specious, post facto rationalizations, often laced with unverifiable or outright bogus numbers, for what are in fact his expedient “seat of the pants” decisions. “Data driven” my ass! Worse, he seems to think that we are all, from board members on down, too dumb to figure it out.
I am NOT impressed. Not vice presidential material. Send this bullshitter back to his dean job in Rancho Cucamonga.

B. von Traven said...

12:31, as I noted in my post, "The lectures ceased during some of the Carter/Reagan years." So my math is just fine.

Anonymous said...

He always says he is an economist at heart. He lets the numbers drive decisions. Trouble is he only uses data to drive decisions when it supports his personal view. And, I wonder if he has a heart.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what he did in 1969? I just hope he moves on in 2012. Onward and upward, OUTTA HERE.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like the missing minutes on the Nixon tapes...was Rosemary Woods in charge of cataloging the lectures?

Anonymous said...

BvT, where did you ever find that clip? Too perfect!
Rancho Kookamongus.

Anonymous said...

An economist gets the theory of supply and demand. He's just big on the "demand" side--control freak, game player, manipulative, BSer. The Peter Principle at work.

B. von Traven said...

11:08, in part, my post is about Chaffey's excellent lecture idea. Justice's lecture occurred in 1997, not 1969.
1:00, I have a good memory for pop culture, including past pop culture. I recalled the old Jack Benny radio, then TV, routine about "Azuza and Cucamonga" and sought that on YouTube. Mel Blanc did the voice both on the Benny programs and the Warner's cartoons. Blanc was a comedic genius.

Anonymous said...

Why not ask Justice for a copy of the lecture?

Anonymous said...

Met some former colleagues of Dr. Dread at a town hall meeting. He was known as the "Dean of Darkness" at Chaffey. And not just because he was the night dean. They are so glad to he is with us. Couldn't help but say a little prayer myself.

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