Saturday, January 8, 2011

Referring students, sight unseen, to tutoring? Huh?

     [See Update above.]
     1/08/11 — Yesterday, Rebel Girl called me to relate a story she had heard about a recent School meeting. According to the story, at the meeting, faculty were informed (by the head of our Learning Center) that, upon downloading our rosters (for our classes, which begin on Monday), we (faculty) will somehow automatically refer our students to tutoring. We can “opt out” by undoing the check in a box.
     Something like that.
     I didn’t know what to make of the story. Sounded mighty strange.
     Subsequently, all faculty (at IVC) received an email from the district’s TechMaster, Jim Gaston, which referred to precisely this new peculiarity of our rosters. “As a part of Title 5 requirements,” he wrote,
an instructor-generated electronic tutor referral protocol is being added to MySite faculty rosters for the Spring 2011 Semester. At the bottom of the roster download page in MySite you’ll see the following text:

In support of student success, I refer all students listed on this roster to tutoring assistance in the Learning Center, if available. Please contact the Coordinator of the Learning Center to discuss specific learning needs for your students.

There is a checkbox labeled “Learning Center Approved” and it is checked by default. The first time you download your roster each semester your approval for your students to access the services of the Learning Center will be recorded which will greatly streamline student access to these services. If for some reason, you do not want your students to use the Learning Center, simply uncheck the box before you click on the “Retrieve” button. The checkbox will only be available the first time you download your roster each semester.
     I’ve got to say: this seems mighty hinky to me. The default, it seems, is an instructor’s referring “all students” (in his class/section) to tutoring. An instructor has to go out of his or her way not to do these blanket referrals.
     But doesn’t this new "protocol" presuppose that all students of an instructor who leaves the box checked require tutoring? How on Earth can an instructor make that determination before he has met with his students (i.e., when he downloads his roster, something he does before the first day of class)?
     Like I said. Hinky.
* * * * *

     I told Rebel Girl that I’d look up the actual language in Title 5.
     I went to the State Chancellor’s website (which is part of the system of California government websites). That led me to:

Title 5 Guidelines Related to Curriculum and Instruction

     And that led me to

California Community Colleges Supplemental Learning Assistance and Tutoring Regulations and Guidelines

     Bingo.
     I skimmed the document (a pdf) to a section about “Apportionment for Tutoring” ("apportionment" refers to the distribution of monies—typically, by the state—to individual college districts). There, one learns that “Apportionment may be claimed for individual student tutoring only if all the following conditions are met…" (page 9).
     The conditions are pretty much what you’d expect. The tutoring must occur at or through a designated learning center; the learning center must be properly supervised; the tutors must receive training; etc.
     Unsurprisingly, among the conditions is (e):
Students enroll in the Supervised Tutoring course … after referral by a counselor or an instructor on the basis of an identified learning need.
     Elsewhere in the document, we are told:
A counselor or an instructor, on the basis of an identified learning need, must refer all students seeking tutoring. Students cannot refer themselves for tutoring….” (p. 10)
     OK, so the point is that, to do this tutoring thing right, all students who are tutored (through this state-supported system) must be enrolled on the basis of a referral.
     The referral must be by a “counselor or an instructor.”
     The latter must be referring the student to tutoring because of “an identified learning need.”
     Got it.
     Is this what Gaston is referring to when he refers to Title 5? Guess so.
     Gaston (well, since he’s the tech guy, no doubt he’s going by what he’s been told by, say, a VPI or some other academic administrator/authority) seems to be saying that, if the college is to provide maximal tutoring in a manner that squares with Title 5, we’d better find a way to have students pretty much automatically referred to tutoring by instructors.
     Is that Gaston's message to faculty? Are we missing something here?
     Please tell us if we’re wrong about this.
     Presumably, Title 5 includes condition (e) (at least in part) because the state does not wish to support boondoggles. No, the state is happy to support tutoring if it exists to deal with a “learning need” that has been identified in an actual student by an actual instructor. But it has no intention of supporting a tutoring free-for-all.
     Am I right? Is that what e is about?
     If so, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that something hinky is afoot here. "Greatly streamlined" access? Well, that's one way to put it. I will resist the urge to offer a more telling phrase.
     This new “protocol” whereby students are referred by instructors to tutoring before the instructors have met with the students surely violates the spirit of this law (—if, that is, I understand the law correctly).
     Well, in any case, I personally would take a dim view of an instructor who would “refer” all of his students to tutoring before he has actually encountered them and has considered their ability/work. Do bear in mind that, as one might expect, a significant proportion of our students do not require tutoring.
     ALSO: shouldn’t this “protocol” have been approved by faculty? I mean, it creates a situation in which, obviously, inattentive faculty (um, there are lots of those) will be doing lots of referring without knowing it. Why would we go along with something like that? And I don't recall this coming up at a Senate meeting. (OK, I do forget things sometimes.)
     Let us know what you think. If we've made a factual mistake, we'll be happy to correct it, as always.

Tea and bullets



"Arizona has become a Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
—Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
(at a press conference today)

"Don’t Retreat; Instead – RELOAD!"
—Sarah Palin

"We’re paying particular attention to those House members who voted in favor of Obamacare and represent districts that Senator John McCain and I carried during the 2008 election... [W]e’re going to hold them accountable for this disastrous Obamacare vote. They are: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), Harry E. Mitchell (AZ-5), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8)...."
—Sarah Palin

Friday, January 7, 2011

Creepological postings (in the past year)

     What with Tom Fuentes being named Dissent the Blog's “SOCCCD creep of the decade,” I thought it might be nice to gather together some of the factoids that explain his creepimorphic infamy.
     Below are posts concerning trustee Fuentes that appeared on DtB in the last year or so. They paint quite a picture. Of a Creep. (I might add earlier posts.)
     (Rebel Girl, it seems, is annoyed that Fuentes got the nod before our little poll (at right) was quite finished. I think she was figurin’ on Dave Lang as our SuperCreep. But C’mon! The people have spoken! Mostly.)

Tom Fuentes at age 34: "consultant"
Tom Fuentes: professional schmoozer, circumventer of open processes, and THUG
Was Tom Fuentes a shill for LFC re the Coast Rabbit Island sale?
Tom Fuentes: ubiquitous paid consultant
Fuentes, Williams, & LFC: new documents
Tom Fuentes and LFC/Lange
LFC, Fuentes, and Williams: oh my!
New charges filed against one of Tom Fuentes’ former advisees
The long and lurid FUENTESization of the SOCCCD
Tom discusses tomorrow's commencement
Low in the Fuentesphere (where it's always low)
History question: who argued that college Poli Sci professors should teach the Board’s political views? Guess!
Old boys, young boys in the OC GOP
A new board majority? Fuentes gets hopping mad


Tom's "poll guards." Remember?
OK, this isn't about Tom, but I just like it so much that I'm gonna show it again.

The Fair Political Practices Commission and Tom Fuentes

     Months ago, DtB noted the curious fact that Trustee Tom Fuentes did not list LFC (Lang Financial Corporation) on his economic disclosure forms. In fact, Fuentes has flatly stated that he has no financial interest in LFC. DtB, however, found seemingly clear indications that, at least until a few years ago, Fuentes was a Senior Vice President with the firm.
     Today, the OC Reg reports that, according to Fair Political Practices Commission officials, Fuentes seems to be violating the law:

Should public official have disclosed business relationship?

     Should a public official disclose his status as an officer of a company that does business with public agencies, even if he doesn’t get paid?
     The Fair Political Practices Commission says yes.
     Tom Fuentes, former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, long-time trustee of a community college and senior vice president of a Newport Beach auction house called LFC, says no.
     Fuentes maintained an office at LFC for about three years beginning around 2004, he says. As recently as this week, he was still sending out emails on an LFC account.
     But as our colleagues over at Voice of OC have reported, Fuentes never mentioned LFC on any of the economic disclosure forms he was required to file from 2004 to 2010 as a trustee of the South Coast County Community College District.
     That’s a potential violation of state law, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for each violation, the FPPC says.
     Fuentes’ relationship with the auction house and with Public Administrator/Public Guardian John S. Williams, who uses LFC for land sales, has drawn the interest of county officials.
     Williams’ office was criticized in two Orange County grand jury reports in 2009, and has come under renewed fire since August. That’s when former state Assemblyman and county supervisor Todd Spitzer was fired from his post at the Orange County District Attorney’s office after he started asking questions about a conservatorship being handled by Williams.
     Fuentes and Williams served together on the community college district together for years until Williams resigned last month.
     Williams also gave a testimonial for LFC on the company’s website, praising LFC’s Internet-based auction program and highlighting its work to help Orange County out of its bankruptcy in 1990s.
     County officials worry that this is all too cozy; the supervisors have ordered a review into the Public Administrator/Public Guardian’s Office along with its dealings with LFC.
     In an email obtained by The Watchdog through the California Public Records Act, Fuentes explained to Williams his relationship with LFC. Williams had asked him to write the explanation, Fuentes told The Watchdog.
     Fuentes acknowledged in the Sept. 28 email he had maintained the office space and had access to a company email account. But Fuentes maintained “I have no financial interest in LFC, nor do I receive any compensation from LFC.”
     Fuentes reiterated that claim in an interview with The Watchdog.
     “I’ve never been on their payroll,” Fuentes told us. “I have no fiduciary interest in LFC.”
     As for his Statements of Economic Interest, no disclosure was made of his relationship with LFC because no money was changing hands, he said. And the title of senior vice president was merely a courtesy title given by the owners of LFC, who are lifelong friends.
     The California Political Reform Act says that public officials who hold a title with a for-profit company are required to disclose the relationship on their Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest.
     Section 18703.1 of the Regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission states that “a public official has an economic interest in a business entity if … The public official is a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee, or holds any position of management in the business entity.” A pamphlet published by the state explaining how to fill out an economic disclosure form states that officials are required to “(d)isclose the job title or business position, if any, that you held with the business entity, even if you did not receive income during the reporting period.”
     In other words, if you have a title with a company you have, by definition, a business interest in that company and are required to disclose it, said Roman Porter, executive director of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s political watchdog.
     Porter said disclosing such relationships are important, even if no money changes hands, because it “makes the official and the public aware of any potential conflicts of interest.”
     Porter, speaking generally about the law, said failing to disclose a business interest carries the same penalty as any violation of the Political Reform Act: a fine of up to $5,000. He noted, however, that determining whether a violation occurred requires some investigation. Sometimes the specifics of a case may mean there was no violation.
     The law firm hired by the county to investigate Williams and his agency is expected to make a report of its findings to the county CEO in mid-January.
     It is unclear how much of that report will be made public.

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "remembering mine"


In this morning's New York Times, Michiko Kakutani weighs in on the recent, uh, revision of Huck Finn which replaces the term "nigger" with the word "slave":

excerpt:
Haven’t we learned by now that removing books from the curriculum just deprives children of exposure to classic works of literature? Worse, it relieves teachers of the fundamental responsibility of putting such books in context — of helping students understand that “Huckleberry Finn” actually stands as a powerful indictment of slavery (with Nigger Jim its most noble character), of using its contested language as an opportunity to explore the painful complexities of race relations in this country. To censor or redact books on school reading lists is a form of denial: shutting the door on harsh historical realities — whitewashing them or pretending they do not exist.

Mr. Gribben’s effort to update “Huckleberry Finn” (published in an edition with “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by NewSouth Books), like Mr. Foley’s assertion that it’s an old book and “we’re ready for new,” ratifies the narcissistic contemporary belief that art should be inoffensive and accessible; that books, plays and poetry from other times and places should somehow be made to conform to today’s democratic ideals. It’s like the politically correct efforts in the ’80s to exile great authors like Conrad and Melville from the canon because their work does not feature enough women or projects colonialist attitudes.

Authors’ original texts should be sacrosanct intellectual property, whether a book is a classic or not. Tampering with a writer’s words underscores both editors’ extraordinary hubris and a cavalier attitude embraced by more and more people in this day of mash-ups, sampling and digital books — the attitude that all texts are fungible, that readers are entitled to alter as they please, that the very idea of authorship is old-fashioned.
Rebel Girl considered this in the context of yesterday's reading of the Constitution by members of the House of Representatives.

The version offered up was the amended version, not the full original text with its three-fifths clause, which deemed "slaves" as less than full-people for population counting purposes as well as other references.

This desire to shut the door to the past reminded her of a poem by the late poet Lucille Clifton:

why some people be mad at me sometimes
they ask me to remember

but they want me to remember

their memories

and I keep on remembering
mine

To read the rest of Kakutani's essay, click here.

(above: Thomas Hart Benton, A Social History of the State of Missouri: Huckleberry Finn (detail of north wall), 1936, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri State Museum.)

*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tom Fuentes: DtB's SOCCCD "CREEP OF THE DECADE"

Tom thinks he's Tom America. But he's really Freddie Beelzebub
Tom is well-known for building and maintaining his machine, though he was eventually compelled to hand over his wrench
A more pious man you'll never meet
Tom really likes to hang with the boys, especially at the BBC
Tom in his element: doin' somethin' mean to somebody
Here's Tom fully engaged in his pre-prayer warmup, which is quite involved. I don't think Nancy thinks much of it or him.
Part of our popular "King Kong" series
Occasionally, we illustrate Tom's wild years
No doubt Tom fantasizes about a return to his lapsed simian glory

I friend sent this video. Pretty good, I guess.

Irvine Valley College "Hometown Hero" Mike Carona heads to prison

So much promise, but then....
O.C. ex-Sheriff Carona headed to prison (OC Reg)
Former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona is headed to prison, after a federal appeals court on Thursday upheld his witness-tampering conviction.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford did not abuse his discretion when he declined to grant a defense motion to suppress evidence based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct…..
     On the 4th of April, 2003, the Irvine Valley College Foundation issued this press release:
...The Board of Governors of the Irvine Valley College Foundation announced today that Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona will be the guest of honor at the annual IVC Foundation Awards Dinner, to be held at the Irvine Marriott Hotel … The theme of this year’s dinner will be “Securing the Future.” “We are proud to announce that Sheriff Carona will receive our Hometown Hero Award and will be acknowledged for his contribution to the community” ….
At IVC: treated like a rock star
     That Carona was corrupt was already evident in the late 90s: see. In the new millennium, the sense of corruption surrounding Carona only grew, though it was overwhelmed for a time when, in the course of the Samantha Runnion kidnapping case, Larry King dubbed the camera-friendly Carona "America's Sheriff." His (meretricious, engineered) celebrity was such that President Bush felt compelled to name Carona as a member of his Emergency Response Senior Advisory Committee on Homeland Security in 2003. We all felt much safer, I'm sure.
     You can thank TOM FUENTES for the "hometown hero" business and for so many other things that have tarnished the reputation of the SOCCCD and its colleges.
     That's why Tom is DtB's SOCCCD "creep of the decade"!
     I believe that Carona's last "heroic" (and pious and patriotic) appearance at IVC occurred three years ago, just six weeks before his federal indictment on charges of corruption. (See.)

At IVC, three years ago: 9-11? Sure. But also: a fine photo op. Behold the piety, the patriotism, the abject goodness on display. The Lord must have been pleased.
Pictured: John Williams, Raghu Mathur, Dave Lang, Mike Carona, Don Wagner, unidentified official, student trustee, Glenn Roquemore

"It's craziness, pure craziness...."

Which colleges restrict free speech? (Higher Ed Daily Report)

     A new report from a national free speech advocacy organization found most of the four-year universities it surveyed had speech codes that substantially limit students' freedom of speech, including dozens of colleges in California.
     In its annual report, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education surveyed speech code policies at the top 100 national universities and top 50 liberal arts colleges from U.S. News and World Report, along with 237 colleges the organization labeled as "major public universities."
     The "Spotlight on Speech Codes 2011" report gave colleges a red-, yellow- or green-light rating based on how much their policies restrict free speech.
     Of the 390 schools reviewed, 67 percent got a red light, 27 percent got a yellow light and 3 percent got a green light. Another 3 percent got no rating because they were private institutions that flatly stated they hold certain values above a commitment to free speech, such as Pepperdine University in Malibu.
     Of the 33 California universities the organization rated, 64 percent got a red light, including San Diego State University, UC Santa Cruz and Claremont McKenna College. About 36 percent got a yellow light, including UC Berkeley, Occidental College and San Jose State University. No California college received a green light.
     As defined by the report, a red light means the university's policy clearly and substantially limits freedom of speech or bars public access to speech policies on the web. Three colleges got the red light label for requiring a password to view speech-related policies – including Stanford University….

Journal’s Paper on ESP Expected to Prompt Outrage (New York Times)
Typical believer (Uri Geller)
     One of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.
     The decision may delight believers in so-called paranormal events, but it is already mortifying scientists. Advance copies of the paper, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have circulated widely among psychological researchers in recent weeks and have generated a mixture of amusement and scorn.
     The paper describes nine unusual lab experiments performed over the past decade by its author, Daryl J. Bem, an emeritus professor at Cornell, testing the ability of college students to accurately sense random events, like whether a computer program will flash a photograph on the left or right side of its screen. The studies include more than 1,000 subjects.
     Some scientists say the report deserves to be published, in the name of open inquiry; others insist that its acceptance only accentuates fundamental flaws in the evaluation and peer review of research in the social sciences.
     “It’s craziness, pure craziness. I can’t believe a major journal is allowing this work in,” Ray Hyman, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University Oregon and longtime critic of ESP research, said. “I think it’s just an embarrassment for the entire field.”
. . .
     So far, at least three efforts to replicate the experiments have failed. But more are in the works, Dr. Bem said, adding, “I have received hundreds of requests for the materials” to conduct studies.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Chancellor's Opening Session: chirpy, sans Elvis

Typical marmot
     [Update: be sure to check out Tere Fluegeman's official update of the Opening Session, which includes cool photos, especially the one with a fox jumpin' on Bob B's head!]
     I went to the Chancellor’s opening session this morning—foolishly, for I have a cold, and my perspective is both odd and unreliable, like that of drunken marmot. Everything I experience inspires slumber or abject irresponsible snarkitude.
     I showed up (at the Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center) late and sat front and center. Nancy Padberg was saying something, girlishly. Don’t know what. I think I went to sleep.
     On my way in, a friend accosted me and informed me that Padberg, our new board president, had tried her best to emasculate the morning’s prayer, to move it to the merest of generic spiritual genuflakitudes.
     “Did she call anybody a ‘heathen’?”, I asked.
     Not this time. Dang!
     It was odd attending an opening session devoid of the usual lurid Mathurian, Wagnerian, or Fuentean elements. Cognitive dissonance, man. Nancy said something about new leadership in the district and how that was a good thing. (She was trying to be good, not bad.) Chancellor Gary Poertner got up and said wise and modest things. He said he’d probably been chosen for the job because he can work with people, all kinds of people. He heaped praise on his temp predecessor, Dixie Bullock, and described the positive change in climate between the time he left the district and the time he returned.
     It’s pretty clear that the district community is happy to have Gary as Chancellor. And Gary seems happy with his job, too. It’s all terribly positive. A chirpy situation.
     A student suddenly appeared to tap-dance in a performance that featured (beyond her face and feet and the lighting design) a red door, from which she hung upside down at one point. (I espied her navel.)
     It was about knockin’ down doors or something. Very symbolical.
     The Geek Twins—Bramucci and Gaston—briefly discussed new programs and coming technologies. They even offered a bit of their usual techno whiz-bangery and cornball visual humor. (At one point, the Brammster showed a photo of a woman and her pet raccoon. “Why?”, he asked.)
     Marcia Milchiker showed up, but I think that she was it, trusteewise, aside from Nancy. (When she was pointed out in the crowd during the subsequent FA meeting, Marcia gestured like Lucky Lindy in a ticker-tape parade.) Evidently, Prendergast was off doing his thing at his high school. Don’t know about the others.
     New administrative hires were presented or at least mentioned. People applauded. I fell asleep again.
     Some kid played Chopin on the piano. He was very good, I think. His performance didn’t seem to symbolize anything. Gary liked it.
     Gary offered some remarks about the dismal state budget and how at some point desperate politicians and officials might start eyein' the money our district gets via basic aid. So watch for that, but don't be frettin' about it. Gary ticked off a few more low-boil zingers, getting’ real quiet and real real—you could hear a pin drop—and that was about it.
* * *
If you have to ask why, you wouldn't understand
     This time around, it was decided that the Faculty Association (union) meeting would be held almost immediately after the opening session (normally, the meeting happens when folks are tyin’ on the feedbag in an echo chamber), so, there we were again, twenty minutes later, waiting for Lewis Long and the union gang to squawk their usual union squawk.
     That went pretty well, I guess. Lewis (or Bill Hewitt?) underscored the importance of the 2012 trustee race, which would involve four trustee seats: Williams’, Fuentes’, Lang’s, and Jay’s. By then, of course, Williams, who resigned as of a week ago, will have been replaced. Likely, that newbie will run for reelection (in 2012). However, said Lewis, two of the others might choose not to run. We all hoped that that was a reference to Fuentes and Lang. Dunno.
     Anyway, the union boys were quite right to emphasize the importance of the 2012 race. GET THAT? They noted the opportunity to sign up for automatic paycheck deductions, blah blah blah.
     Soon, evidently, candidates for Williams’ replacement will be making their case before the board. The final decision will likely be made at the next board meeting, which is two weeks away. (One assumes that the union is all over this. Sure hope so.)
     Lee Haggerty discussed contract negotiations. Dry stuff.
     The guest speaker was the President of the CCA, a fellow named Ron Reel, a half Cherokee, half-Irishman, evidently. Reel explained that, by virtue of membership in the CCA (the Community College Association), Faculty Association members are CTA members. And by virtue of the latter membership, they are members of NEA, the world’s largest union.
     Was he tryin’ to make us feel bad?
     Reel announced that likely CCA will merge with the CCC—the Community College Council, an affiliate of the Cal. Federation of Teachers—and that will mean that 94 (?) of the 112 California Community Colleges will have their faculty represented by one union.
     Reel seemed to think that that was epoch-shatteringly wonderful. I’m not so sure. You can read more about it here. (I think that voters will increasingly regard the CTA as the Great Satan of the war on educational incompetence. You wait.)
     The luncheon that followed seemed decent enough. Biscuits, lasagne, chicken, etc. I spoke briefly with our new Dean of Controversy. She seemed nice. I told her that IVC was a great place, and I meant it.
     Rebel Girl made me get drugs, and so I’ve taken ‘em. Hope they work.

TigerAnn says "hey"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Polyurinated" —January, a year ago

     Regular readers of DtB might be wondering why we’ve posted so little in recent days. Well, the main reason is that I’ve got a bad cold. With luck, in the morning, I’ll be well enough to go to our new chancellor’s “opening session.”
     Maybe not. I still feel like crap.
     I was hoping to write a piece reviewing the events of the past year, as reported by DtB, but I’m not up for that. So I settled for a brief piece about what was going on a year ago (i.e., the month of January 2010).

POWERFUL RIGHT-WING HOMOPHOBES:

Typical Mathurian "keynote speaker": PRI's Lance Izumi
     A year ago, Raghu Mathur was still Chancellor, and the Spring “opening session” featured a presentation about our economic future by one of Mathur’s Republican cronies, Chris Harrington, a VP at Toshiba America Info Systems. That went pretty well. But it irked me that, over the years, so many of these events featured noted Republicans and “business leaders” with close ties to the GOP. At least Harrington wasn’t pushing a right-wing agenda, as was Pacific Research Institute’s Lance Izumi, a foe of public education. [Correction: as an officer of PRI, Izumi undoubtedly is a foe of public education, though he wasn't attacking public education during his visit.]
     Remember those crazy Ugandan politicians who pursued a bill that would permit the execution of “homosexuals”? We wrote about all of that a year ago. Turns out they were brought to their level of focus and enthusiasm re the “homosexual” menace by a series of wacky Americans evengelical Christians, including one Scott Lively, a self-described expert on “curing” homosexuality.
     That name rang a bell, and so I did a little research. Sure enough, Lively is among the religious nuts who’ve been pushing the “homosexual Armageddon” notion. He’s part of a crowd that includes David Llewellyn, who has long been up to his eyeballs in evangelical homophobia.
     Llewellyn, of course, is one of the chief attorneys defending the district (against a crew of “heathens,” to use Nancy Padberg’s term) in the ongoing Westphal v. Wagner “prayer” case.
     Tom Fuentes’ pal Howard Ahmanson, Jr. has been a big contributor to some of Llewellyn’s anti-gay and evangelical efforts. Not long ago, the Ahmansons gave a big chunk of change to Rick Warren (of OC’s own Saddleback Church). Warren is among the evangelicals who has visited Uganda in recent years, giving some Ugandan lawmakers peculiar notions about homosexuality (which Warren has compared to pedophelia).

Saddleback Church's Rick Warren
OUR RIGHT-WING LUNATIC TRADITION:

     A year ago, I did a little looking into the namesake of Saddleback’s strangely fortress-like Utt Library: Congressman James B. Utt. According to an old LA Times article,
James B. Utt … helped Orange County gain a national reputation as a hotbed of archconservatism…. "Utt the Nut," his enemies called him. He was elected to Congress in 1952 and handily won reelection until his death in 1970. Each year Utt introduced a bill to eliminate the federal income tax. He also tried to pass a constitutional amendment which would recognize Jesus Christ as America's authority figure. He opposed all civil rights legislation, but gained national fame, however, when he argued that rock 'n roll was a communist plot.
JOHN WILLIAMS AND LUNCH MEAT:

     We’ve long tried to get Jennifer Muir of the OC Register to take a look at trustee John Williams’ longstanding practice of spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on trips to Orlando and the like. She finally came through with an article.
     She also dug up a curious factoid: “the district has spent $12,184 for catering during the board meetings over the past two and a half years.”

THE PURITAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT (more homophobia):

     An item on the January agenda for the SOCCCD meeting of the board included a recommendation that our colleges’ TV channels only broadcast programming—including student film and TV shows—with a PG rating. Evidently, the request had something to do with an earlier incident: trustee Nancy Padberg had noticed a broadcast of an award-winning student documentary about an older woman “coming out” and going on a cruise (“88 Years in the Closet”).
     Evidently, Saddleback College’s Channel 39 has broadcast programming within the less restrictive PG-13 standard, which the student documentary passed. It would not pass the PG standard.
     Naturally, the usual suspects in the affected programs came to the January board meeting to plead their case to leave the broadcast standard where it was—a change would mean that many student projects could not be broadcast. Further, Saddleback’s faculty senate leader, Bob Cosgrove, warned that this sort of censorship/micromanagement might have serious accreditation consequences.
     Nevertheless, the recommendation was pursued. In the end, officials for the relevant programs agreed to voluntarily limit broadcasts now to programming satisfying the PG standard.
     I tried to get readership riled about this, but—nothin’ doin. When the accreds finally arrived, I mentioned this event as an instance of board micromanagement. But I doubt that they heard me.

DID HE RESIGN? OR WAS HE FIRED?

     From the board room on January 25, I reported that “Mathur was out." I quoted the reading of board actions in closed session:
“In the closed session, the board approved an agreement with Dr. Mathur persuant to which Dr. Mathur’s service as the district chancellor shall end on June 30th, 2010, and provides for his retirement from the district effective June 30, 2011.”
     It was pretty obvious that Mathur had been forced out. He no longer had four trustee votes, especially after some fresh infamy (occurring some time earlier) at the expense of Don Wagner.
     But the district sold this thing as a decision by Mathur to retire—to spend more time with his family, etc.
     Naturally, I ignored that blather, and it was pretty clear that journalists, too, knew what was really going on. But the official word was that Mathur had decided to resign.
     Eventually, the always-stupid John Williams inadvertently spilled the beans. For a Register article, he was quoted as saying: “…You work for an elected board and you need a majority of those board members to vote to keep you. In this case, the majority of the board felt they wanted to have a change, so they voted to.”
     Gosh thanks John. You’re an idiot.
     I reported the fact that the district paid ethically-challenged GOP lawyer Phil Greer $25,000 to help Mathur to negotiate his exit. (He got a pretty sweet deal.)
     That’s pretty amazing, if you ask me. But few were amazed. Greer is also John Williams’ lawyer. He was Chriss Street’s lawyer. He's a typical friend o' Fuentes: corrupt, unethical, slimy. Don't it all make you proud?

WILL THE FIX BE IN?

     We ended the month of January with a post that asked: Will the fix be in—again? We were referring, of course, to the search for Mathur’s replacement. Eventually, Don offered strong assurances that the process would be clean. (In the end, despite a huge expense [a professional search firm was hired] and the efforts of a blue-ribbon committee, the board rejected all candidates and instead reached back for Gary Poertner, a safe [and probably excellent] choice.)
     Also at the end of January, I skimmed the cream from a New York Times piece about funny malapropisms and such. The examples mentioned were pretty damned funny. So here it is again:

SEVERAL LARGE BOWELS OF PASTA
     Yesterday, the NYT’s “Schott’s Vocab” zeroed in on malapropisms. Having been raised in an immigrant family, I own a brain that is hard-wired with dozens of malapropistic configuroons. I think I even got some of ‘em through the umbiblical “chord,” though, really, that’s a mute point at this stench in time.
     First, the malapropism upon which much of my parents’ fame rests:

“He died because of a blood cloth.”

     Sometimes, I will look right at them and say, “There is no such thing as a ‘blood cloth.’ You mean a ‘blood clot.’”
     Always, they look right back at me with immediate and utter incredulity.
     Here are some examples offered by Schott’s readers:


HE'S VERY EGOTESTICLE

• Someone I know is a genius at this. She spoke of a woman who had her hair up in a buffoon; saw my new shoes and said, "My, aren't you the fashion plague"; and recently spoke of a man who is very egotesticle.

• my favorite poem is "allergy in a church graveyard".

• My aunt always said, "I can't have anymore children because I've had my utopian tubes tied.”

• My father, noting the first hint of fall in the air, sighed and said: "Soon it will be time to fart stars in the fireplace.” [This seems to be something of a Spoonerism.]

• A busy woman: "Sometimes I get so stressed out I have to go to my room and decompose for an hour."

YOU DRIVE MY NUTS!

• A co-worker's little son announced that "you drive my nuts!" My daughter once wrote that our cat Butter Boy jumped on Frenzy when she was "least expectant." My grandfather deliberately invented examples like astosbestos for asbestos and nutneg for nutmeg. Another relative admired the singing of Ethel Murmur and the talents of Shirley Dimple. This becomes a way of life. It's dangerous to be exposed to it when young! [God, this sounds like my upbringing. Pretty whackitudinal!]

• i cannot decide which music i like better, R&B or flip flop

• "lead us snots into temptation...."

• My grandmother was famous for her malaprops; when asked if she would like to take a flight in her friend's new airplane, she gasped "Absolutely not, I like it right here on Terra Cotta";

• At a restaurant: Clams on the half shelf and a cup of chino.

• ". . . government takeover and mandation of healthcare . . ." --Sarah Palin

• Here are selected favorites from my wife:
1. This is the tip of the ice cube.
2. Security in schools has been tighter since 7-11.
3. The right foot doesn't know what the left foot is doing.
4. The swine flu has reached the pandemonium stage.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TURTLE

• At work, our team had been working on a project that had been progressing at snail’s pace with no end remotely in sight. One day, we had a breakthrough, and one of my colleagues excitedly announced at our weekly meeting, “There’s light at the end of the turtle.”

• Our church secretary always refers to the annual report to the denomination as the Sadistical Report.

• A friend with a medical condition consulted a doctor at "Cedars Cyanide"

• "I am impressed by the enormity of the universe."

• I've been tracking these at work:
Someone who is frustrated: "I've been pulling my head out over this one!"
Working through a problem: "I'm just talking out loud here."
Suggesting something: "I don't mean to speak out of tongue, but..."
Rehashing: "I feel like I'm beating this with a dead horse."
Feeling a little disoriented: "At this point, we're running by the fly of our pants."
Is in a bad mood: "He's got a craw up his butt."

• "This is a bare-bones specification, let's flush out the details later".

• After a staff party at which pasta was served, we were reminded that several large bowels of pasta were left over in the refrigerator. None of us went near the fridge as a result.

HAD HIS KITCHEN FLOOR POLYURINATED

• A few years back my father, who is now nearing one hundred, proudly announced that he had recently had his kitchen floor polyurinated.

• The late Bruce King, governor of New Mexico for many years, was famous for having said of a legislative proposal that it would "open a whole box of Pandoras."

• One of my son's college roommates, an ROTC cadet, dropped out of the program just as the Iraq war was starting. "This is not a good time," he opined, "to be thinking about joining the Army corpse."

• "Be sure and put some of those neutrons on it." –While ordering a salad.

COULDA KNOCKED ME OVER WITH A FENDER

• "You could have knocked me over with a fender."

• "We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this country hostile or hold our allies hostile." –George W. Bush

• Explaining lethal injection: "First, they give 'em a needle to seduce 'em; then they give the legal injection"

• Friend referring to his relationship with his wife, "...like two ships that go bump in the night."

• "Those kids were able to Flea-Bargain their way to a lesser punishment."

P.S.: My ex and I, having had more than our share of exposure to my nutty family, have always enjoyed, and have been inspired by, endless malapropoidal Bauerific incorrectitude. To this day, when I speak with her, she'll note the "flaw in the ointment" or how the night is as "dark as a bat."

And then we'll just laugh like hell.

Dummy


My sister sent me this. Pretty funny.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report  — up again USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes LA Times  ...

Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix