Friday, September 2, 2011

In defense of Lisa Davis Allen

     I have always conceived of DtB as a place for honest discussion. As always, I invite those of you who disagree with anything we say on these pages to explain how we are mistaken, if that is your view. Just make your case. There’s no need for threats (see below) and ad hominems (my point isn't valid because I'm "bored"?). Just make your case, and it will appear here. —BvT aka RB

Anonymous said...
     … And I believe it is unfair to characterize the AS President as someone who does not tolerate dissent. That is simply NOT true. This Blog has done a great service to faculty and staff over the years by keeping everyone informed and pointing out injustices from the previous district administration. Now that "the barbarians" are gone, we run the danger of self-destruction, "imploding," and eventually starting to look like those we were successful in getting rid of. Mistakes have been made regarding EC and ATEP. I believe honest steps are being taken to correct them. If they don't work then we have no one else to blame but ourselves. EC should have been faculty driven. It wasn't. Same thing, to a large extent, with ATEP. But we do have a chance now to make them work. What doesn't work is to demonize others. No one is perfect around here, not even the writer of these words. Let's pull together, find out what's not working, make it work if possible. If not, let's get rid of it. But let's not self destruct in the process. I hope we are better than those we got rid of. Let's prove it to them and to ourselves.
     —6:55 AM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous said...
     BvT, this is the time for faculty to be united and on the same front. I understand you're on sabbatical and probably getting bored, but please be mindful of your colleagues' feelings. Don't forget that LDA was responsible for the hiring of two new librarians. She has done many many good things for the College. Let's be civil to each other.
     —7:21 AM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous said...
     I think it is also possible to be a reasonably good leader who does good things (librarians, etc) - and one that still promotes a problematic process and policies that benefit a few. I actually think this is usually what happens when people step up to lead. It's hard not to get trapped between pleasing your constituency, yourself - and the powers that be who may promise you pretty things. After awhile a condescending attitude may or may not develop. That kind of attitude is unfortunate - and yes, uncivil too. A sense that because one is "in the know," one knows better. Someone needs to take a poli sci class. This is classic.
     I just want to say, I DO appreciate people who sacrifice themselves in the senate and the union to lead. But just because I appreacite them doesn't mean I can't also criticize them.
     —10:18 AM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous said...
     I do appreciate what Lisa has done. She has improved the relationship between the senate and admin. But at what cost? Roger is a goner, not that I care.
     —11:36 AM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous said...
     Lisa has done some great things for Fine Arts, and we are 100% behind her. Yes, I endorse Lisa for Dean of Fine Arts.
     Good riddance, Eyeore.
     —11:52 AM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous said...
     Exactly. Lisa has done great things for fine arts. A senate president should do great things for all faculty - that's what Wendy did. You couldn't say she did great things for Social Sciences. She didn't. She represented in the best sense of the word. Lisa used her position as president to benefit Fine Arts and to become their next dean.
     —11:57 AM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous [Traci] said...
     Characterizing LDA as dictator is absurd. I was on the cabinet under many different Senate presidents and LDA relies on her cabinet for advice, encourages vigorous debate and opposition, and listens to the advice given. While no leader is perfect, LDA works hard on behalf of faculty and puts in enormous time, energy, good will and heart into her service to the college. Only in a place like IVC, where we've had such a toxic history with admins, would the desire to move up the career ladder be considered such a source of suspicion and derision. It is both uncivil, irresponsible and, in my opinion, skirting slanderous, to characterize the senate's modus operandi in print and on the web in the way you have done so. Who will want to step up to the plate and follow LDA as Senate president if there is a risk of being pilloried in this blog? It is hurtful and demoralizing to treat well-intentioned leaders they way they're treated here. It's appallingly damaging to our college.
     Signed, openly, Traci Fahimi (former Senate Recorder, Vice President and President).
     —12:00 PM, September 02, 2011

Anonymous [Traci] said...
     Also, Roy, I suggest you consider your own advice, printed under "post a comment": "Please do stay north of the merest of rumors, especially sordid ones." The situation with this blog and it's role (past and present) is rife with sad irony. Who shall hold your feet to the fire and insist that journalistic integrity and standards are followed in the printed word? Bloggers are not exempt from standards...or lawsuits...and under some circumstances may be even more vulnerable to them than "regular journalists". Be careful to preserve the collegiality of our college and be careful about crossing the line into damaging a person's reputation publicly through unfounded innuendos, speculations and assertions. What you print then opens the door up to the even more wild, speculative, accusatory and damaging comments. It's like unleashing a train wreck.
     Also from Traci Fahimi—again openly—because I'm not saying anything here I wouldn't say to any colleague on campus face to face.
     —12:45 PM, September 02, 2011

BvT responds to Fahimi:
     You wrote: "be careful about crossing the line into damaging a person's reputation publicly through unfounded innuendos, speculations and assertions."
     OK, if you accuse me of such things, you had better back it up. Where have I engaged in "unfounded innuendos, speculations and assertions"? Please be specific.
     —2:25 PM

Anonymous said...
     I agree that trying to work up the ladder is commendable. But, it does put one in a tough position at times. WG did it and was open and forthcoming.
     This is a place for opinion. Sometimes we don't agree, but we are free to voice our opinions. Thank you, bvt.
     —1:16 PM, September 02, 2011

Traci said...
     The speculation and assertion that LDA dictates that the cabinet engage in no public dissent is unfounded. It is your opinion, possibly gleaned second hand from observations of the semester's first senate meeting. That's speculation, hearsay, and opinion, not fact. It is reporting and embellishing other people's speculative perceptions. The only way you personally could know or assert to know what you claim about the cabinet's modus operandus, would be to sit on the cabinet yourself or get it firsthand from someone who does (which you did not, because it isn't how LDA or the cabinet operate).
--Traci
     --2:05 PM, September 02, 2011

B. von Traven said...
     Traci, I’m terribly busy right now (I’ve got to run), and so this will have to be quick.
     You say that I speculate and assert “that LDA dictates that the cabinet engage in no public dissent.”
     No doubt you’ll correct me if I’m mistaken, but I don’t believe I ever asserted that. Rather, I suggested that there are some decisions and deliberations about which it is clear that cabinet members have agreed not to discuss the details in public. For instance, this occurred with regard to the Courses Chair decision. I assert also that this arrangement is odd and questionable and contrary to transparency and openness. It is so even if there are many other decisions upon which this stricture is not applied.
     I am not “reporting and embellishing other people’s speculative perceptions.” No, I am reporting my own perceptions at senate meetings over the past two years. I exclude recent meetings, since I have not attended them (I’m on sabbatical).
     Have there been times when (some) senators sought an account of cabinet deliberations (concerning some matter) and the cabinet remained mute, expressing frustration with their eyes and faces? I have seen that. It's a pretty plain thing, not really a matter of interpretation. (Have others seen that on occasion?) I don’t like it.
     I have spoken with cabinet members in private. As I recall, “some” have said to me that they were asked not to discuss certain (not all) deliberations, the idea being that, if the committee agrees to action X, then all members should be on board with X publicly.
     It is possible that something of the sort was explained even at open senate meetings. I don’t recall. But this rationale was given to me.
     I do not speculate irresponsibly. I do not engage in "unfounded innuendos, speculations and assertions." It is possible that I should make a greater effort to be clearer about what I'm saying. Perhaps you should do the same.
     --7:19 PM, September 02, 2011

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't deny that L has done good things, but she obviously doesn't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with our administrative leadership. But there is. They can't be trusted. They're duplicitous. They're liars. They change and destroys things and the Senate just sits by as though nothing is wrong. That's the fundamental problem with her leadership. Her elitist tendencies and and her odd leadership style are minor points in comparison. We need a leader who will go up against administration, not work with it, no matter what.

Anonymous said...

The speculation and assertion that LDA dictates that the cabinet engage in no public dissent is unfounded. It is your opinion, possibly gleaned second hand from observations of the semester's first senate meeting. That's speculation, hearsay, and opinion, not fact. It is reporting and embellishing other people's speculative perceptions. The only way you personally could know or assert to know what you claim about the cabinet's modus operandus, would be to sit on the cabinet yourself or get it firsthand from someone who does (which you did not, because it isn't how LDA or the cabinet operate).
--Traci

B. von Traven said...

Traci, I’m terribly busy right now (I’ve got to run), and so this will have to be quick.
You say that I speculate and assert “that LDA dictates that the cabinet engage in no public dissent.”
No doubt you’ll correct me if I’m mistaken, but I don’t believe I ever asserted that. Rather, I suggested that there are some decisions and deliberations about which it is clear that cabinet members have agreed not to discuss the details in public. For instance, this occurred with regard to the Courses Chair decision. I assert also that this arrangement is odd and questionable and contrary to transparency and openness. It is so even if there are many other decisions upon which this stricture is not applied.
I am not “reporting and embellishing other people’s speculative perceptions.” No, I am reporting my own perceptions at senate meetings over the past two years. I exclude recent meetings, since I have not attended them (I’m on sabbatical).
Have there been times when (some) senators sought an account of cabinet deliberations (concerning some matter) and the cabinet remained mute, expressing frustration with their eyes and faces? I have seen that. It's a pretty plain thing, not really a matter of interpretation. (Have others seen that on occasion?) I don’t like it.
I have spoken with cabinet members in private. As I recall, “some” have said to me that they were asked not to discuss certain (not all) deliberations, the idea being that, if the committee agrees to action X, then all members should be on board with X publicly.
It is possible that something of the sort was explained even at open senate meetings. I don’t recall. But this rationale was given to me.
I do not speculate irresponsibly. I do not engage in "unfounded innuendos, speculations and assertions." It is possible that I should make a greater effort to be clearer about what I'm saying. Perhaps you should do the same.

Anonymous said...

There is a good point to be made here...
Raghu is gone. It is time for everyone, staff and faculty to stop the whining and lets start being professional. I love IVC she has done many great things for me for over 20 years. As for character... everyone has flaws, some have flaws more pronounced than others. Its like Peyton Place here on the campus.
There are California community colleges that are in bad shape fiscally and are cutting many programs. Cutting faculty. Quite frankly I do believe that no matter who is President of VP of Instruction the clan of faculty and a handful of classified staff will always complain as if the world is gonna fall apart. You really have it good at IVC. So good you forget why you became a teacher. Shame on the whiners.

B. von Traven said...

Let me see if I understand you. We (employees of this district?) have it good. Therefore, if we complain about anything, we're "Whiners." Is that it?
And we should not mention an administrator's "unprincipled opportunism" because "everyone has flaws." Is that the point you're making?
And if we object to something, that amounts to saying that "the world is going to fall apart"? Have I got that right, dude?
Lemme guess. You got your degree from Quantum U, right?
And thanks for pointing out that IVC is a "she." I did not know that.

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