Friday, January 21, 2011

Introducing the new South Orange County Community College District board of trustees!

Read our review of their Thursday night performance here
Glenn Beck’s Focus on CUNY Professor Brings Her Death Threats (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Williams looking worse and worse

     Jan 21 ~ In this morning's OC Reg, Kimberly Edds has a blockbuster article about John Williams and his notorious handling of the Lewis estate: TAPPING OUT: The battle for control of "Mask" Lewis' estate.
     Meanwhile, the feds are trying to round up Irvine Valley College "Hometown Hero" Mike Carona for his 5+ year stay in federal prison. No word yet whether special friend of SOCCCD, former OC Treasurer and fraudster Chriss Street, will give his pal Mike a ride to Colorado.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The January board meeting: live and direct!

Rambunctious whippersnappers
     Jan 20 - [For a somewhat chirpy account of the meeting, read Tere's Board Meeting Highlights.]
     6:05 - Well, I'm here in the SOCCCD Ronnie Reagan Room, as usual, and the board is running late, as usual.
     Evidently, one or two student groups are excited about I-know-not-what. A student sitting behind me just caught my attention and then reached out his hand to me, announcing that he "reads the blog" as his eyes danced.
That dang basket
The tutoring referral protocol issue:
     Earlier today, I attended the Irvine Valley College Academic Senate meeting, and its agenda included the notorious "tutoring referral protocol" issue. Exactly two weeks ago, faculty learned that, henceforth, when they open up their class rosters (online) at the start of the semester, they thereby refer all students (on said roster) to the Learning Center for tutoring. If an instructor does not want to "do" that, then he or she must uncheck a pre-checked box appearing immediately underneath the roster.
     That's pretty hinky. I did some checking, and (as we reported nearly two weeks ago!) the scheme seems clearly to violate Title 5, which says that tutoring must be instigated by an instructor or counselor referral, based on some specific need identified in the student. According to this new protocol, however, faculty are "referring" students sight unseen (before the first day of class)!
     Evidently, the new protocol is designed to "streamline" the cumbersome/annoying process whereby a student is referred. And what could be slicker than automatic referrals for everybody? Yeah, but Title 5 specifically says that students may not refer themselves to counseling; and that seems to be what this scheme boils down to: students who seek tutoring are automatically "referred" by an instructor (if, that is, the instructor "decided" not to uncheck that box--or, more likely, never noticed that it was checked).
     As usual, Vice President of Instruction Craig Justice attended today's meeting, and, to my surprise, when the "protocol" issue came up, he stated clearly that, in his judgment, the new protocol is in violation of Title 5. (I guess he reads Dissent!)
     We've been told that the protocol was developed and approved at Saddleback College and that IVC was informally brought into the scheme at the last minute. This was an error, of course, for no approval process had occurred at IVC. Evidently, some sort of misunderstanding (and who knows what else) explains IVC's sudden "participation" in the protocol.
     This is a pretty big f*ck-up. It'll be interesting to see how it shakes out.
IVC Women's Golf champs
     7:07 - Suddenly, it's as silent as a tomb. Nancy hasn't received her cue yet from the camera guy. No, she's starting.
     Read out (closed session actions): (Nothing of importance.)
     Invocation: Nancy: a brief moment of silence for victims of the Arizona massacre. Then a prayer: "Our Father," etc. "Amen."
     Resolutions: IVC Women's Golf team.

Public comments:
     Four (Saddleback College) students came up to make a case for "two" student trustees—one per college (presently, there is only one student trustee). They did a pretty good job, made the obvious case. It won't fly, of course. 
     Tony Huntley: bio faculty. New science bldg. Discussed the latest leak in the building. Inside, it's too hot, or too cold, or leaking. Plus it's sinking into a hole or tarn or something. Must have a new building "at the front of the list," he said. (More on this later.)

Board reports:
     Bill Jay: welcomes new trustee Frank "Mike" Meldau.
     Frank M. Meldau: no report.
     Marcia Milchiker: welcome.
     T.J. Prendergast: welcome.
     Nancy Padberg: welcome.
     Tom Fuentes: presents his "bride," who is in the audience. She looked pretty normal, considering. Blah, blah, blah.
     Dave Lang: Congrats, good wishes, to Meldau. No further report.

Chancellor's report:
     Legislation for the new budget is beginning to unfold. Shaping up as: ranging from serious to extremely serious (depending on what happens, June election). If the June tax measure passes, which is unlikely, community colleges will be cut by $400 million. If it fails, things will be "more dire." $621 million cut? $900 million cut? (The latter—more than 14 percent.)
     It is unknown how all this will affect "basic aid" districts, such as our own.

Discussion item: project planning
     Brandye D’Lena makes the presentation. It's very good, I think.
     ...Do we need to rethink our funding redistribution (for various projects)? The Saddleback science bldg.: built 37 years ago. Big problems. Will cost nearly $60 million to fix.
     Staff strongly recommends fixing this, putting it ahead of other projects. In Feb., we'll bring forward a proposal to go forward with Science bldg project. (I gather that we can wait for state money, but we've already waited for years, and nada. By moving forward, we forgo the state money.)
     Funding advantage: ATEP new market tax credit. (See below.)
     Stadium at Saddleback. Low on priority list, but that may change.
     Chancellor: Great report, Brandye. We're not asking that the board make any decisions tonight. Just info. But we need to get moving. As soon as we go forward with spending, we don't get state money. Will need to go to basic aid money. With the tax credit, we're close to the funding we need for the ATEP project. (50,000 sf building.)
     Board questions:... Lang: the problems with the Science Building are an embarrassment. Need to move forward. This is a wonderful time to be doing these projects (much less expensive in this economy, all agree). How do we expedite these projects? On the other hand, don't want to circumvent the existing process, which is very collaborative. Also, we've not spent enough on maintenance in past. Need to address that.
     (Lengthy discussion. Friendly, useful.)
     Fuentes: matching state funds less now? (yes, says Brandye). Can the Foundation get this money for the stadium? Burnett: unrealistic to expect Foundation to raise all the money.
     ATEP: anywhere near funding for first building? No. F: I would be interested in having another presentation. I do not support immediate development of ATEP. I think we're being forced into developing it when that is not appropriate. We should take care of IVC and SC. Yet in this presentation, we see ATEP as a large chunk of the big picture. How does this picture look if we set ATEP aside? If we just concentrate on our students and existing colleges? (He seems to be asking for a report.)
     Nancy: the priorities are developed in a process. As Lang emphasized. Lang: we need to respect people in the college community and their judgment of what is important. Weren't you being "glib" when you talked of replacing projects as you did? (Asking Brandye.) B: good point. Yes, it's not a simple thing. She explains the process.
     Poertner: no, don't need another report (as F seemed to request). We can answer the question now. How would it help to dump ATEP? You'd have $12 million. ATEP would have to be abandoned.
Tere Fluegeman, Outstanding Manager of the Year, district
Consent calendar: nothing pulled

7.7: New Market Tax Credit
     Moved ahead to 7.7: new market tax credit report. (Fuentes had expressed skepticism about this earlier.) A pilot program.
     Bugay: it would benefit district in the amount of $11.6 million (revised upward from 8 million). (The rest sounded like Greek to me.) SOCCCD sells land to a corporation that we own. Blah, blah, blah.
     Quizzical faces.
     (Nancy declares: no, can't do it. We won't own the property for 20 years.)
     Public Economics Inc. guy gets up (Dante Gumucio, the "consultant" on this deal). He explains the deal. Legality has been reviewed. It's kosher.  (Fuentes seems unhappy but disinclined to challenge.)
     Poertner: clarifies the deal a bit.
     Prendergast: I'm a little wary. Could this go very wrong? You say we might "double." But could we lose?
     Dante: blah, blah, blah. Seems to say reassuring things. (You know me and finances.)
     Lang: are there conditions on the money—what it can be spent on? "Vertical construction will begin 'soon'." That's the understanding upon closing.
     Fuentes: we've asked: why don't we sell the damned thing (ATEP)? We've always been told: you can't sell the ATEP property. The Navy and Tustin won't allow it. How do we overcome that?
     Dante: yes, there are prohibitions re transfer. But this transfer (from the district to itself) is permitted.
     F: we would need to know whether this is legal in the eyes of the Navy and the City of Tustin before going forward. Also: we take pride in having no debt. We campaign on that. If we go forward with this, can we still say we have no debt?
     Dante: the "loan" that the district would make to itself would continue to appear on the district's books as a loan--from 7 to 15 years. But the loan would have been in effect prepaid the day of closing. A technical situation. F: in truth, we can't say we have no debt. D: district would have debt to itself.
     Fuentes: who are these people we're getting in bed with? I want an opportunity to investigate who these people are. Dante: One investor has expressed willingness to do this,  represented by broker. Would rather not be divulged. A commercial bank. It acquired another commercial bank (on sweet terms). They have an excessive profit picture; looking for tax benefits. The other party: community development entity. Talking to 2 right now. Would be premature to divulge their names. Extremely reputable entities. We can make their names available to you. Then you can do your "due diligence."
     Jay: wants to see flowchart of all this stuff. D: we have one (not with him). J: we need to have one. It would really help.

Trustee Meldau's basket o' fruit
Five minute break imposed with great ruthlessness by Prez Nancy.

General Action Items:
     . . .
     6.5: Board Policy Revisions. Approved.
     6.6: Board Policy Revisions (accept for review and study)
     6.7: Poertner: we adopt non-resident tuition fees each year. We try to be competitive. No issues.
     6.8: Sabbatical recommendations. Poertner describes process. Approved.
     6.9: no changes. Approved.
     6.10: two changes. b4, b6 removed. Approved.

Information items:
     ...Boom, boom, boom....
     7.4: explain to new trustees how this works. An opportunity to request information. (Board request for reports)
     7.6: Fuentes: report on employees earning over $100K. Happy that report is now here, for public record. On website. Referred to "generosity" of the taxpayer. When I first brought this up, it was postponed. We discussed a policy for bringing this information back to us regularly. Is that ready? Bugay: yes, have draft of policy. [The report is available online. Click on "agenda" for Jan. meeting as you open district website. Look for item 7.6, way in the back. No names are given, just descriptions: "Philosophy instructor"--that sort of thing.]

Written reports, etc.
     Senate reports. Lisa Davis Allen invited Dr. Meldau to Rep Council meeting. Mentions IVC lecture series.
     Roquemore introduces new dean. "Astounding Inventions" coming up. Whoopee.
     Burnett: yabba-dabba-doo.
     Bugay: Human Resources going paperless. Very painful for them.
Jerilyn Chuman, Outstanding Administrator of the Year, SC
     End: 9:33

Equity for part-time community college faculty?

Yee bill seeks equity for part-time community-college faculty (San Jose Mercury)

     A bill introduced Wednesday in the Legislature seeks compensation equity for part-time community college teachers statewide who have the same credentials and work experience as their full-time counterparts. ¶ The legislation by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would require college districts to create a salary and service-credit, or pension, schedule for part-time faculty that mirrors the one for full-time instructors....

Documenting Adjuncts' Pay Gap (Inside Higher Ed)

     If part-time faculty members assembled the equivalent course duties of a full-time job at a Pennsylvania community college, they still would earn only about $25,000 a year -- below state levels at which a family of four would be eligible for public assistance. ¶ That is one of the conclusions of a report being issued today by the Keystone Research Center, a think tank in Pennsylvania that studies issues of interest to education and labor groups, among others. The report documents not only pay levels but also the distribution of teaching duties among adjuncts and those on the tenure track at the state's community colleges and state-supported four-year institutions....

Pay Gap Grows Between Permanent and Nonpermanent Faculty in Pa. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

     A report released by the Keystone Research Center today highlights the growing divide between the compensation and benefits provided to permanent faculty members and those for nonpermanent faculty members....

Ariz. Governor Wants to Cut Community College Funds by 50% (Insider Higher Ed)

     Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, this week proposed budget cuts for higher education that stand out even in a year of deep budget cuts. For community colleges, she wants to cut state funding in half, Capitol Media Services reported. For four-year universities, she wants to cut state support by 20 percent. The governor's budget director told the news service that "inefficiencies" in higher education can be eliminated so that the four-year institutions don't have to raise tuition. As for community colleges, the governor is hoping that they can bring in more funds from local support and tuition.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When're we gonna rejoin the American Library Association?

     Item 5.12 of tomorrow night’s meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees is the authorization of institutional memberships.
     As you know, our district has had a colorful history in this regard. Nearly five years ago, then-trustee Don Wagner had a hankerin’ for red meat tossing (a popular pastime among ambitious OC Neanderthals), and so, during a discussion of approval of the usual institutional memberships, he declared that the “American Library Association” is a “bunch of liberal busybodies,” which makes 'em "partisan," and so, on that basis, he urged the board to end our two colleges’ continued memberships in that organization. (See "liberal busybodies")
     Some background: the ALA is “the” librarian organization. As far as librarianship is concerned, outfits don’t get any more thee-er than the ol' ALA.
     Wagner's motion passed. Jaws dropped.
     That caused some bad press (and, ultimately, accreditation issues).
     A month or two later, the matter came up for reconsideration, and, owing to somebody stepping out of the room (or some such absurd fortuity), the reconsideration failed.
     I couldn't freakin' believe it.
     And so we’re, like, the only college district in the universe whose libraries are not in the ALA. It’s like we have a big NEANDERTHAL sign at the entrance of each college—in the middle of those stupid Manichean balloons.

Here. Have a book. Ever seen one?
     Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the current board is very unlike that board. Wagner and Williams are gone. Prendergast—and the new guy, Meldau—have replaced them.
     So let me ask a seriously obvious question: shouldn’t there be a move afoot to have our colleges rejoin the ALA?
     Hell, maybe there is. But I don’t see the ALA on the list for IVC or Saddleback College institutional memberships. (See agenda, available here.)
     Wake up!

     I recall Mr. Wagner once declared, “fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
     “Huh?” I thought.
     Why not:
     “Greed is the beginning of prosperity”?
     Don, I shall never understand you.

Academically akimbo ("a golden age of slacking")

Baboonery in Lake Forest

     I don’t know many residents of Lake Forest, though I am familiar with two of them: Holocaust denying former SOCCCD trustee, Steve Frogue, and seriously nasty and self-loathing Republican and trustee, Tom Fuentes.
     Knowing that those guys live in Lake Forest almost makes me expect zombies and Ku Kluxers to be wandering all over that town.
     Today, I read in the OC Register that Lake Forest has decided to be the next city in this county to put “In God We Trust” on the walls of city government. (Deciding Lake Forest vote: 'In God We Trust' not about religion)
     That fact is bad enough, but the Reg quotes some of the Lake Forest Councilpeople who made the decision, and their remarks are making me expect zombies again.
     After the vote, Councilwoman Marcia Rudolph, who initiated the action, evidently said: “It is the original motto to become part of our decoration. If we don't follow history we will be doomed to follow our mistakes.”
     Is it just me—or is Rudolph uttering gibberish? It is the original motto to become part of our decoration. Huh?
     If we don't follow history we will be doomed to follow our mistakes. Again: huh?
     I gather that she thinks that the Council is “following history” by deciding to write “In God We Trust” on the walls. Following history. Does she mean “maintaining tradition”? Maybe.
     Rudolph and colleague Kathryn McCullough tried to get the motto on the walls back in May, but they didn’t have the votes. Now that some guy named “Scott Voigts” has joined the City Council, they tried again. Thanks to Voigts, this time, they succeeded.
     Two of their colleagues voted against the measure. Mayor Peter Herzog proposed an alternative: scrawling a bunch of mottos on the walls. Don’t focus just on “our” trust in God.
     Herzog was quoted as saying, “The consequences of this will be significant. It's very unfortunate. I never suggested that 'In God We Trust' was inappropriate. I attempted to bring everything together. We have a very diverse community. To not be willing to place 'In God We Trust' with other things that are emblematic is unfortunate."
     Like his colleagues, Herzog is no silver-tongued devil. But at least he’s making some sense.
     Not so Mr. Voigts, who said: “As a national motto, this is a phrase that has brought together the people of America. So the fact that you [Herzog] want to get on your high horse and say this is about religion—this is not about religion, this is about the heritage of our nation. Thirteen cities out of the 34 in the county of Orange that have enacted it—they haven't fallen apart.”
     I do wish these people would finish an argument before moving on to the next one. How exactly is the motto not about religion? No doubt this is an allusion to some judicial reasoning. How does that reasoning go?
     Has this motto brought people together? I don’t think so (it traces back to the 1860s, a period of American history not noted for togetherness). In any case, our actual community—the Lake Forest of 2011—is nothing like those heterogeneous ones that embraced this particular slogan. Like Herzog says, Lake Forest is pretty diverse. You’ve got your atheists, your agnostics, your Santerians, your Saddleback Churchians, and so on.
     Partly because our society’s mechanisms for transmitting shared understandings and traditions has grown feeble, lots of people, I think, don’t view the motto as a tradition (reading it on coins does not a tradition make) so much as a statement that asserts that “we” trust in God. And so, arguably, it is about religion, and, as such, to some, it is obnoxious.
     That thirteen out of thirty-four cities in our benighted county have chosen to highlight “In God We Trust” isn’t much of an argument. Most Orange Countians voted for George W. Bush. Twice.
     True—those cities haven’t fallen apart. (Well, arguably, lots of ‘em have been falling apart for years, but the motto likely has little to do with that.)
     But of course nobody is saying that displaying the motto will cause cities to “fall part.” Essentially, the point is that the action is obnoxious to some and, further, it is contrary to our foundational value according to which government should not establish religion or a religion.
     This Voigts fella is a logical baboon.
     Evidently, Rudolph was inspired to pursue the motto display by the work of Jacquie Sullivan, a Bakersfield councilwoman, who was on hand for the City Council vote. The Reg quotes Sullivan as saying, “A 'yes' vote demonstrates commitment to the values our country was founded upon. American patriotism is love of God and love of country. If we can do this in California, it can be done everywhere. It's up to the citizens and elected officials to keep our history strong.”
     Wow. Logically, that speech is mighty jerky, like Voigts’ blather. I think these people are non sequiturians.
     And what she’s saying is more logical baboonery. Our country was not founded on “trust” in God. It was founded on, among other things, a rejection of state religion—i.e. a rejection of religious unfreedom. These bozos wanna bring religious unfreedom back.
     More baboonery.
     Speaking of baboonery, there’s a chance that there will be some action in the “Wagner v. Westphal” prayer lawsuit tomorrow. Wait and see.

Ad campaign targets for-profits

Ad Campaign in Favor of Tougher Oversight of For-Profits (Inside Higher Ed)

     Many in nonprofit higher education have looked on with envy or frustration as advocates for for-profit higher education have made major ad buys to oppose the Obama administration's "gainful employment" regulations. Campus Progress, a left-leaning student group, on Tuesday announced an ad buy in the Washington area in favor of the regulations. [See above.]

Community colleges chief opposes Brown funding changes (California Watch)

     California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott says Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to change the way community colleges are funded is "not a good idea," and that he will try to convince the Legislature to amend it.
     Scott told California Watch that Brown's proposal would unfairly punish colleges with high enrollments of "vulnerable students," and reward colleges serving students in high-income suburban areas who are more likely to succeed.
     California's 112 community colleges receive funding based on the number of students who are in class on "Census Day," typically the first day of the fourth week of classes. The college continues receive funds, regardless of how many students drop out or fail to complete the class by the end of the semester.
     In his budget message, Brown said:
This policy provides an incentive for colleges to take advantage of the system to maximize funding which also distorts the overall (full-time student) workload completed by the colleges. In effect, colleges are being funded for a higher level of students than actually attend courses.
. . .
     Scott said that the Brown proposal to change the community college funding formula "could have unfortunate consequences that no one has thought through carefully." ….

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gustav, Pup

Gustav the pup (OC Reg)

     …Gustav, an 8-month-old pup that has struggled to overcome infections and mange, has marshaled through another crisis. ¶ The young German shepherd was back in surgery Monday night after his colon again showed signs of damage. Veterinarians at Advanced Critical Care and Internal Medicine in Tustin this time removed the damaged section of intestine that had been leaking fluid into the abdominal cavity. ¶ Dr. Heather Mineo reports Gustav is holding his own and hasn’t lost any ground. ¶ “This poor little dog is a fighter,” she said….
     The nonprofit is trying to raise more than $10,000 to pay for Gustav’s growing medical bills. You can help by visiting the dog’s FirstGiving page. Donations also can be made online or by mail: German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County; 177F Riverside Avenue, Ste. 143; Newport Beach, CA 92663. Phone: 714-974-7762.
Scott Baugh exchanges heads with Reagan bust

Failure to learn. Duh.

Jan 18: New Book Lays Failure to Learn on Colleges' Doorsteps (Chronicle of Higher Education)

     A book released today makes a damning indictment of the American higher-education system: For many students, it says, four years of undergraduate classes make little difference in their ability to synthesize knowledge and put complex ideas on paper.
     The stark message from the authors of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press) is that more than a third of American college seniors are no better at crucial types of writing and reasoning tasks than they were in their first semester of college (see excerpt).
. . .
     "We didn't know what to expect when we began this study," said Richard Arum, a professor of sociology at New York University who is one of the book's two authors. "We didn't walk into this with any axes to grind. But now that we've seen the data, we're very concerned about American higher education and the extent to which undergraduate learning seems to have been neglected."
     In the new book, Mr. Arum and his co-author—Josipa Roksa, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia—report on a study that has tracked a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 students who entered 24 four-year colleges in the fall of 2005….
. . .
     Three times in their college careers—in the fall of 2005, the spring of 2007, and the spring of 2009—the students were asked to take the Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA, a widely-used essay test that measures reasoning and writing skills. Thirty-six percent of the students saw no statistically significant gains in their CLA scores between their freshman and senior years….
     And that is just the beginning of the book's bad news.
     The scholars also found that students devote only slightly more than 12 hours per week to studying, on average. That might be in part because their courses simply aren't that demanding: Most students take few courses that demand intensive writing (defined here as 20 or more pages across the semester) or intensive reading (40 or more pages per week). Mr. Arum and Ms. Roksa's finding was based on students' self-reports, but a new analysis of Texas syllabi by The Chronicle offers additional evidence of the same point: Business and education majors at public four-year colleges in Texas are typically required to take only a small number of writing-intensive courses.
     "What concerns us is not just the levels of student performance," Mr. Arum said, "but that students are reporting that they make such meager investments in studying, and that they have such meager demands placed on them in their courses in terms of reading and writing."….

     See also 'Academically Adrift' (Inside Higher Ed)

Monday, January 17, 2011


The Tea people lose; the corrupt Old Guard remain
     Predictably, the Usual Suspects are playing hardball in the election for chairman of the county GOP: O.C. GOP leadership battle escalates (OC Register). As you know, straight-arrow populist (and perhaps tea-loving) Republican Tim Whitacre is challenging the usual corrupt leadership—in particular, Scott Baugh, a lobbyist, who took over from Tom Fuentes back in 2004.
     At the last minute, they’ve released information concerning Tim Whitacre’s allegedly shaky finances.
     Check out Matt Cunningham's contribution.

P.S.: our pal Vern at the OJ Blog is singing our praises:

     Dissent-the-blog’s Bauer files FPPC Complaint against Tom Fuentes

The machine lives.

Baugh retains O.C. GOP chairmanship (OC Reg)
“Our chairman has served us with distinction and success,” said Tom Fuentes – Baugh’s predecessor – in his nominating statement. “We need him at this time.”

Thinking of Tom Fuentes and his views about lawns

Tom Fuentes and Stanbridge College (a local for-profit)

Stanbridge: among those soulless structures near the airport
     I am endlessly asking myself the question, just what does Tom Fuentes do for a living? He consults. Sometimes, he's a "senior vice president," but when you ask what that is, it turns out to be nothing. Or so he says.
     No doubt some of you think that I’m obsessed with the fellow. I don’t think so. Tom and his obscure sources of income symbolize what is wrong with government and the political scene in our benighted county—the only large county in the state that does not regulate lobbyists. By understanding Tom—and what the fellow does—one perhaps understands that dark and twisted thing that is “the OC”—politically, anyway.
     Among the more prominent sources of income that pop up on Trustee Tom Fuentes’ “statements of economic interest” is Stanbridge College, for which he is (or until recently has been) a “consultant.”
     Gosh, I wonder what that means? Is he lobbying for Stanbridge? If so, how so? Does he tell ‘em what to do? If so, what about? Being told that Tom "consults" for Stanbridge is a bit like being told that he "does stuff" for 'em. How are we supposed to know whether there are any conflicts of interest and such?
     In recent years (at least four of them, I believe), Fuentes has checked the $10-100K box on those forms re Stanbridge. That means that, for those four years, Stanbridge paid him between $40,000 and $400,000. Right? That's a lot of money (Fuentes does lots of other "consulting.") I wonder if he puts in more than 15 hours a week for the college? Does he get summers off? (And does it bother him that Stanbridge competes with Saddleback College?)
* * *
     I decided to take a quick look at that institution, a small two-year for-profit, located across the street from John Wayne Airport (and along the 405).
     From what I can gather reading the available online profiles of the college, it is not religiously affiliated, and it specializes in Associates degrees.
     It’s small. Enrollments are variously reported from the low 100s (121) to the mid 200s (250). The figure includes full- and part-time students.
     Among its programs are nursing, computer and info systems, security, and accounting. But nursing seems to be its bread and butter.
     Near as I can tell, Stanbridge in some sense offers an LVN (licensed vocational nurse) degree, which is the most basic nursing degree. (I do believe that graduates need to pass a test to actually work in the state as an LVN. The situation is somewhat like that for attorneys: graduation from law school does not ipso facto qualify one to work as an attorney; one must still pass the bar exam.)
     Saddleback College also offers an LVN. There, it’s pretty cheap. At Stanbridge? Not so much.
     One profile provides detailed data regarding costs at Stanbridge. states that tuition for the LVN is $27,995.
Pricey "consultant"
     There is a chart with “Student Expenses for the Largest Program Offered: Licensed Practical Nurse.” It says that the total cost for attending Stanbridge (in that program), if one lives off campus “with family” (the college has no dorms) is about $40,000. Otherwise, the cost is nearly $90,000 ($87,995). (These figures are for 2008-9.)
     According to, the “Percent of Students Receiving Financial Aid [is] 100%.”
     For 2006-7 (no more recent data are available), the average amount of aid per student was as follows:

     Loan: $13,752
     Federal grant: $1,574
     Institutional grant: $3,160

     7.6% of students who took federal loans defaulted (2007). That sounds pretty low.
     Two-thirds of Stanbridge students are over 25.
     Gosh. Is Stanbridge one of those nasty for-profits that’s taking students to the cleaners—and taking taxpayers there, too? Not sure.
     Stanbridge seems to be tiny. How can it afford to pay Mr. Fuentes so much, year after year? I’m no good with business questions. Perhaps readers could weigh in.
     And what about the cost of getting one’s degree via Stanbridge? Surely some of our readers have something to say about that!
     At the site, only one “review” is provided. Just one. Here it is:
This school sucks. I would not recommend it to anyone. Most of the teachers suck. All the nurses treat you like you are in the military. Nursing schools should change regarding how they treat their students. Back in the day it was cheap to go to school, now we pay what 30000 to get a crappy education experience. I am the customer, and I am paying you. We should be making the rules. Well enough of this stupid school, and on to telling you what you should do. Never go to LVN school if you really want to be an RN. It is just a waist of time. No jobs out there that you really want in SoCal. The pay sucks next to an RN. This is what you do. Get a job in the hospital doing whatever. ... If I would do it all over again, I would have gotten my CNA and phlebotomy certs, get a crappy job for 6 months to a year and get into a hospital. And get a job in a hospital that pays for your school. I recently got 3 job offers at 3 different hospitals, as a CNA and PCT getting paid more than a LVN would in a hospital. Because the hospitals i work at dont hire LVN and they pay more. I would work as a CNA or PCT and go to school on the hospitals budget to be a RN. They send you to school and if your lucky they make you sign a contract for you to promise to work there for 2 to 5 years. Hell yes. Get my education paid for and I get a job when I graduate. Yes. This is the way to go. Don't listen to all these private schools and economy job markets. All job markets are bad. RN is your best bet. Not LVN. Go straight for your RN. Hell get a BA in something else and do the fast track BSN program at a university or state college. Only take 12 to 17 months....
     Naturally, this review might be all sour grapes and its advice might be crap. Dunno.

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

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

Goals and Values and Twaddle

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

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

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

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

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

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary