Monday, October 24, 2011

The October meeting of the SOCCCD BOT—live and direct! (Extraordinary miasmic tedium)

A drool-inducing meeting
     (Tere's Board Meeting Highlights are here.)

The faculty contract passes; Lang votes no  Cosgrove urges more full-time hires  Curious roll-call vote on Fuentes’ no-show payment  Expand permissibility of alcohol? Hits snag  Confusion over IVC classified changes
     Hello again. It's time for the monthly meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees in beauteous Mission Viejo, CA. I just arrived here in the Ronald Reagan meeting room. The audience is small.
     The meeting is supposed to open at 6:00 p.m. It's 6:10, and it does appear that the board will start the meeting within a few minutes. As usual, the ailing Tom Fuentes is absent.
     When board Prez Nancy Padberg opens the meeting, she'll ask Clerk Marcia Milchiker to read out any actions taken in the closed session, between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. I'll let you know if anything interesting is announced.
     6:12 - it starts. Marcia: (1) 6/0 vote, approved two-day suspension of police officer. (2) 6/0 vote, approved two-day suspension of classified employee.
     Sheesh. What's that about?
     Frank Meldau: invocation: non-religious moment of silence for victims of Turkish earthquake

Public comments:

Bob Cosgrove: new faculty hires are urgently needed. Only about 50% of faculty are full-time at this point, a decline of a high of about two-thirds, many years ago. A great deal must be done by full-timers—on committees, etc. We shouldn't sell our students short. Classified support is also important. Many exceptionally talented faculty are on the market now.


Will Glen
Stephanie Scofield of The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) presents awards to IVC Police Chief Will Glen. She says Glen, et al., have committed to the "POST" program. Two plaques. Photo op. "Executive level certificate" granted to Glen. Another photo op. Nancy encourages Glenn to speak. He says: been in policing for forty years. He thanks the men and women who work for the department.

Board reports:

Bill Jay: discusses accreditation reports. Wants to compliment everyone involved. Long, hard, lonely work. Outstanding, quality work. I appreciate it, he says.
Frank Meldau: met with Prez Roquemore at IVC. Saw programs, labs, new construction. Spoke with veteran students. Mentions an upcoming Town Hall meeting on student success at Saddleback College.
Marcia Milchiker: echoes what others have said. Congrats to Chief Glen. We really do have fabulous employees, says Marcia. Our police wear guns and talk with students. We want to hire the best and the brightest. We have an opportunity to do that right now. We're the only CC district in OC that's hiring right now. And, yes, trustees need to visit the colleges.
T.J. Prendergast: agrees with what's been said. Attended golf tournament. Walked away with "day at the beach" package, whatever that is. Will attend college-wide forum. Was at OC School Board Association. Says funny things about that. Yuk, yuk.
Nancy Padberg: I won a raffle prize at the golf thing, she says. Went to IVC/Saddleback girls' soccer game. Also football game.
Dave Lang: want to echo trustee Jay's comments about accreditation work. Chief Glen's awards, well deserved. Mentions retirement of Harry Parmer. A tremendous asset for us, deserves recognition.
Student Trustee Jordan Larson: wants to recognize student government per college. Went to some sort of "Birmingham" civil rights event, here in this room.

Chancellor's report:

Gary Poertner: bust of Ronald Reagan now situated just outside the room in its permanent installation. Tonight, we'll be hearing a report about educational quality. Next month: student success. Thanks faculty for all the work they've done on accreditation.

6:36 p.m. — Discussion item:
Educational Quality, Academic Programs, Program Review, SLO’s:

Don Busche: draws attention to a Saddleback College publication, shows all of the degrees offered. Over 300 certificates, degrees, and awards. The board has ultimate responsibility for this. Shows Title 5 and Cal. Ed Code -- responsibilities of board, chancellor, senates, presidents, etc. Board Policies.

Lisa Davis Allen: explains delegation of authority to Academic Senate. Goes through 11 areas. Emphasizes role in accreditation reports.

Kris Leppien-Christensen: faculty co-chair, Saddleback. Discusses accreditation "standards" (categories).
Explains 1-year curriculum cycle. Yadda yadda.

Dan Walsh: explains professional development. We do these things because it's part of being a college professor....
This is all very snoozular.
Provides examples of activities during Flex week. Lisa DA comes up to mention other professional development activities. "New tools, new technologies...." Explains "Distinguished Academic Lecture Series."

Claire C-S: Assessment of Programs and Learning. We've been doing this for a long time....
I feel that my life is ticking away.
Kathy Werle of IVC: organizational relationships and partnerships.

Thank you. Questions? Prendergast and Milchiker ask questions. Milchiker declares that the presentation was "very interesting."

Everyone does a good job, but still, it seems that time has stopped here in the Ronny Reagan Room. It's the quality of the air in the room: still, empty, meaningless. A kind of odd miasma. Lang asks about grants. Busche yammers about grant money. Werle jumps up to discuss grant money. Werle says something funny, strangely punctuating the miasmic moment. Meldau says sweet and appreciative things about all of this developmental work. The guy seems genuinely impressed. Padberg says the presentation is now over and it was excellent.

Consent calendar (stuff that will be passed in one fell swoop). Lang pulls three items from the impending swoopulosity. Padberg pulls a couple more. Also 5.11 and 5.12 pulled because they contain resolutions. They approve the rest, unanimously. Trustees seem amazed at the number of things pulled.

5.2: a grant for IVC. Marcia thinks its just swell is all. She just wanted to say that, I guess.
5.3: Kaplan International Programs lease of buildings at IVC. Lang: why does this come to us after the effective date of the start of the agreement? Evidently, the question is answered satisfactorily.
5.6 Saddleback Child Development Training agreement. A question, answered. Approved.
5.9 Lang asks a question concerning Basic Aid expenditure. Tabled.
5.10 approved
5.11 authorizing payment to Trustee Fuentes (Sept. meeting), who was absent. Roll call. (In fact, he's been absent since March or April.) Unanimous.
Lang notes that we've approved this item in the past without a roll call vote. Why a roll call this time? Gosh, this is unusual, says Marcia. I didn't understand the explanation. (I think it's CYA, cuz this looks, or might look, hinky.)
5.12 approved. Roll call vote. Unanimous.


6.1 Faculty hiring. Poertner: lots of recent faculty retirements. This list (of new hires) comprises mostly replacement faculty.
Lang asks: it seems that no one has signed off on this.
Not sure how this issue is resolved. The item is approved unanimously.
6.2 Utt Library construction. Approved.
6.3 ATEP. Change would decrease costs, demolition, etc. Approved.
6.4 Board Policy Revision. Approved unanimously.
6.5 — board policy re alcoholic beverages for review and study. Slight changes in the policy, which does and has allowed the serving of alcohol on defined occasions. Poertner: minor revision. Eliminating ATEP from the policy.
T.J. Prendergast: we may have violated board policy at a certain event recently. But shouldn't presence of alcohol be allowed on such occasions? Marcia: agrees with TJ. Let's make the policy a little more broad. And why take ATEP out? Poertner: yes, TJ wants to broaden the policy. Do the rest of the board agree? Lang says he recalls that adoption of this policy was controversial. He asks: have there been any problems with it? Poertner: I have not heard of any problems associated with this policy. Both colleges have had fundraisers involving alcohol. Nobody died. So maybe we should expand the list of occasions where alcohol is permitted.
It appears that some trustees wanted to push for "expansion" of alcohol use, but Padberg seemed to resist that. Marcia explains that, after AB 1725, there was some effort to align community colleges with other colleges/universities. The chief advantage: Can raise more money with booze. Lubricated people have an easier time opening their wallets.
Lang: do we have adequate insurance coverage? Are there special considerations at ATEP?
Meldau: we seem to be going against the stream. Lately, alcohol availability at sporting events has been shrinking. So this thing goes forward for review and study. Lord knows what will come back. Poertner seemed unclear, judging by the expression on his face.
6.6 Academic personel actions. Approved.
6.7 Classified personal actions. They pull one item from 6.7. CSEA policy 6-10 is somehow involved. They approve the rest. Lang asks Bugay to have someone speak to reorganization of IVC positions in B and C (whatever that is). Bugay identifies Craig Justice and Gwen Plano as those who could answer questions.
Craig: reorganizations in Admissions and Records triggered by a retirement and some other changes. Gwen: Pam K retired a month ago. An opportunity arose to reorganize slightly. The position as it stood is eliminated. A part-timer is becoming full-time. So a retirement permitted these changes, with no cost.
Bugay: because there's no over-all net change in personel, no need for "going out" with search, etc. There was some apprehension about this. Lang: was this change recommended by some agency? Or was it an internal decision? Gwen: it was internal. No external involvement. Marcia: could you make sure about the legality of this, not advertising the position? Bugay: this is a well-known exception. Jay: confused about what is eliminated, what is added. B & C. B1. Position eliminated. B2, B3 eliminated. Brought back 2. Adding C1, C2. Reworded job description.
Padberg corrects TJ on some detail. Milchiker: many positions are being changed here. 4 pages of explanation. "Enormous" changes. Bugay to Lang: would it help to pull these elements and come back with organizational chart? Gwen: no hardship. Can do, but some staff will be disappointed, but they'll understand. Gwen: it does seem confusing, the way it's written here. "I even know what happened, and I'm confused," she says.
--Maybe we should pull the whole item. B 1,2,3, C 1,2 --just pull these. Lang: C 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 16. And corresponding B. B 1,2,3,.5,6,7,8,10,11. Jay alters his motion according to Dave's changes.
One no vote from Prendergast. Otherwise passes.
Now voting on the rest: Unanimous.

6.8 CONTRACT MASTER AGREEMENT (Faculty union and district.) Bugay: we've discussed this. Let's vote. Padberg asks for faculty vote results. They vote: unanimous, except for one no vote: Lang.

7.1---7.3 bang, bang, bang
7:55 p.m.
7.4: Lang: we a had tough third quarter. What are the implications of this (re our obligation to this trust fund)? Poertner: the audit coming soon will have comments about this. The fiscal lady (forgot her name--Fitzsimmons?) explains things. She's always pretty clear. We're in it for the long haul. Lang: yep, understand that.
7.5 Retiree trust fund. No questions.

8.0 Reports from constituent groups

Blah, blah, blah....
Lewis Long: we're thrilled that contract negotiations are over. Thanks everyone involved: Bugay, et al. We're pleased.
Craig Justice: sitting in for Glenn Roquemore, Prez of IVC. Nothing to report beyond written report.
Tod Burnett: Saddleback College awarded $1 million grant from Dept. of Labor.... Engineering. Will have press release. Training future engineers. Student Success Task Force will meet in this room.
David Bugay: thanks for ratifying contract agreement. Had professional dialogue during negotiations. Says: "Lewis Long is one of the finest" individuals ever worked with in negotiations. Honorable person to deal with. Praises Saddleback College orchestra performance of Beethoven. Seems to know what he's talking about.
Fitzsimmons: we seem to be doing fine with 50% law, based on preliminary data.

Adjourned in memory of Saddleback College student who recently died. (Taylor Samm?)


Anonymous said...

Well, I like your live blogging!

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, how much do board members get paid per meeting? Is there a flat rate or a pay scale?

B. von Traven said...

They get something like $400 per month (which usually means "per meeting," since they usually meet but once per month). Not long ago, they sought to increase this amount to $750, but I messed that up for 'em by drawing attention to it. The main benefit, of course, is the health package, which is worth tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Anonymous said...

What about the ATEP programs ?

gj said...

I actually think tedium, whether miasmic or not, is a good thing. Board meetings oughtn't be side shows.

Anonymous said...

Your union folks should take a closer look at the 50% law calculation. It's on page 3 or 4 of the CCFS-311 report that came out in mid-October.

How your district calculated the number is THE important question (and I'd bet that it's wrong), but for starters, just look at last year's number. If it's higher than this year's, then you know something is off because of all the retirements you just had.

Districts can't spend more money on teachers if there are fewer teachers.

--100 miles down the road

Anonymous said...

Lang is a complete doofus and likes to ask questions so he feels important. PLEASE NOTE; HE WAS THE ONLY BOARD MEMBER TO VOTE NO ON ACCEPTING THE FACULTY CONTRACT Rembember to vote the same way for him if he decides to run again.

Glad to see that IVC was prepared to discuss the reorganiztion in A&R...Neither Craig or Gwen could explain a few simple job changes, so they come back for round 2 next month. Gwen had the best line about the delay..."some classified employees will be disappointed"...
Just another wonderful display of great leadership at IVC!!!

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