Friday, December 16, 2011

County corruption: a tasty morsel for a Friday

     As you know, that unsavory and hodgepodgular Fuentian stew of corruption known as Orange County government nevertheless includes many tasty morsels, such as the curious circumstance that DA Tony Rackauckas’ girlfriend, Peggi Buff, sans qualifications, somehow managed to snag a fancy job at the Public Administrator/Public Guardian office—she was second in command!—an office headed, of course, by Rackauckas’ crony and former SOCCCD trustee John “Orlando” Williams.
     By now, the whole world knows that Williams, who spent much of his time in Orlando, FL (on the district’s dime!), ran his County offices completely into the ground. And, I’m told, the likes of Tony's girl Peggi really helped out.
     Now get this: one of our sources down at the county informs us that the County has “demoted” Buff, “cut her pay from $120K to nearly $96K,” and has now got her doing “clerical work.”
     Oh my.
     Our source, Pen Pal, speculates that the Board of Supes (five blowhardian Republican creeps, four of whom have at some point, like Williams, retained Phil “ethically challenged” Greer as their lawyer) has agreed to save Buff “and Williams’ other Executive Assistant” from terminal downsizularization. But that hasn't prevented this demotion.
     This raises a question often raised during the Williams/Rackaukas/Spitzer mini-saga: why are the Supes bargaining with Williams at all?
     What has he got on those people?
Pen Pal
     Obviously, the Supes want to cut their losses and get Williams out of his County office ASAP; his presence there is an ongoing embarrassment, a veritable turd in the punchbowl. That wish has been stymied by the fact that elected officials, even corrupt, stupid, incompetent, and beDisneyed ones like Williams, can’t just be fired. They are, after all, the people’s choice (even if the people are ignorami or worse).
     But my guess is that Williams possesses more cards than just that one. Who the hell knows.
     Pen Pal reminds me that Williams had agreed to leave his office on January 20, 2012.
     But that doesn’t mean the fellow will actually hold up his end of the deal!
     Stay tuned.

Highly redacted internal memo:
From: XXX
Sent: Mon 11/14/2011
To: OCCR All Users
Subject: Educational and Professional Reimbursement Program - Updated Information and Procedures

   Beginning today, Monday, November 14, 2011, Organizational Development team member, Peggi Buff will be responsible for processing OCCR’s Educational and Professional Reimbursement Program requests.
   Please continue to utilize the Requisition Portal of Expeditor for processing and updating requests for reimbursement. The transactions will automatically be routed to Peggi, the Tuition Reimbursement Processor. Attached are updated procedures for your convenience.
   For assistance and/or questions related to reimbursement request processing, please contact Peggi at ....

Thank you.

Last night in Laguna Hills (just down the road)
Recommended reading:

‘Clues That Lead to More Clues That Add Up to Nothing’, HEATHER HAVRILESKY, New York Times

“The first three seasons of ‘Lost’ may have approached the imaginative charms of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, but the next three were nearly as awful as George Lucas’s catastrophic prequels. You could easily picture the stumped writers of ‘Lost,’ helpless in the face of an ever-growing pile of unsolved mysteries, madly skimming Wikipedia entries on space-time geometries and black holes.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 2012 board elections: major LOOMitude

"How could they tell?"
Dorothy Parker, upon being told of the death of President Calvin Coolidge

     I just received notes from the latest meeting of the faculty union (Faculty Association). Evidently, during the meeting, members were reminded that “Four seats are up for election [of SOCCCD board trustees] in November 2012. Those seats are currently held by Trustees Jay, Lang, Fuentes, and Meldau.”
     That’s four of the seven board members.
     No doubt the “union boys”—well, they are mostly male—are on top of this.
     I don’t talk to ‘em much.
     Judging by occasional reports, Bill Jay is in poor health. He’s missed the last three or four board meetings. I’d be surprised if he were to run for reelection.
     I’ve heard that Dave Lang is tired of the trustee gig, which he's held since 1996, but that’s little more than a rumor, I guess. (I'm sure as hell tired of him.) One wonders why he would want to stay on; if anyone is the “odd man out” on the board, it is Lang—excepting Tom Fuentes of course, whose seat will surely be open for 2012, for he's terminally ill.
     Frank Meldau replaced John Williams, who resigned a year ago, and though Meldau is the quietest member of the board (at least in open session), he seems to be growing more comfortable with his trustee role. I’d be surprised if he were not to run for reelection. He seems to be a reasonable guy. (I'm sure the union crowd focuses on his conduct re contract negotiations. Dunno about that. I'm not quite so monomaniacal.)
     Union-friendly trustees TJ Prendergast and Marcia Milchiker won’t be up for reelection until 2014.
     Looks like, for the SOCCCD, the election of 2012 will be of the "make or break" variety. We say that with each election, but this one really is different, what with possibly three contested seats sans incumbent.
     Of course, Tom Fuentes could pass at any time, and he is likely to do so well before November. (I should know better than to try to predict that guy's expiration date.) If that happens, the board will have to deal with an empty seat; the process would likely produce a replacement and that replacement would be reelected, owing to his/her incumbent status. So Battle #1 will likely occur starting with Fuentes' passing. Battle #2 will be the 2012 campaign for the remaining one or two seats: Jay's and perhaps Lang's (if Lang drops out). (I'm assuming that the union, like me, is OK with Meldau. Don't really know.)
     In recent years, Team Neanderthal (roughly: the Education Alliance crowd, though that organization's status is unclear at this point*) has been reasonably organized and somewhat effective. But I suspect that, as November approaches, most Republicans (i.e., knuckle-draggers and some moderates) will be bummed either by the GOP's Presidential candidate (Romney) or, if it isn't Romney, by the fellow's meager chances, and the prevailing "conservative" dire glumitude will suppress the right-wing vote.
     That'll be good for the college crowd.
     But what do I know?

     *EA's website link no longer works

Laguna Beach’s hippie past

     Watch Nick Schou and Rich Kane’s video: “When Laguna Beach was the LSD Capital of the Universe” here. (The arrest of Timothy Leary, etc.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Orange County: same old same old (and see how Tom Fuentes threads through this stuff!)

Councilwoman Pressured City Hall on Behalf of Her Firm (Voice of OC)
Murray & Tait
     Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray this year pressed city officials to approve an event permit for her company, Willdan Group, after it appeared the city would not issue the permit in time for a company barbeque, according to emails obtained by Voice of OC.
     Murray, who holds the position of senior vice president at Willdan, sent an email on April 5 from her company email address to Fire Chief Randy Bruegman complaining that the permit request had been denied. She asked to speak to the city staffer who was handling the request, the email shows.
. . .
     A good-government expert says Murray's intervention on behalf of her company presents a conflict of interest issue that the city needs to address.
     "I think the city ought to think about these issues, because they will inevitably arise again and again whenever you have city council members with outside companies that have interests in the city," said Tracy Westen, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies.
. . .
     Last month, Voice of OC revealed that Murray voted to approve a report submitted by Willdan Financial, a subsidiary of Willdan. Westen said that the vote was a clear financial conflict of interest.
     Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and other members of City Council did not return calls seeking comment.
     Murray's actions are the latest examples of a string of conflict issues at Anaheim City Hall. Scott Fazekas, head of the city's building division, resigned in October after a Voice of OC story revealed that his firm, Scott Fazekas & Assocates, received thousands of dollars in plan review work. Richard Brooks, an assistant under Fazekas, also resigned….
     Incidentally, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is a long-time associate of trustee (and former County GOP chair) Tom Fuentes. Starting in the 90s, Fuentes worked for Tait and Associates, Inc. with Kenneth, Thomas, and Richard Tait. (See article at right.) Until not very long ago, Fuentes was "Senior Vice President" of the firm.
     A year ago, I attempted to lay out Tom Fuentes' career--i.e., I tried to understand just what the man does for a living. I wrote:

     In the mid-70s, Fuentes became vice president of Robert Bein, William Frost and Associates, a big OC engineering firm. According to LA Times reporter Dexter Filkins (1996),

     Fuentes performed mostly personnel work for the firm and sometimes lobbied public agencies for contracts. Fuentes had a trademark: a dozen long-stemmed roses for select local politicians.
     "Do elected officials take my phone calls because I am party chairman?" Fuentes asked. "Yes. But the overwhelming majority of my work was internal."
     Earlier last year [i.e., 1995], Fuentes left the firm. He said he did so because he had an opportunity to sell his large stake in the company at a good price.
     Company President Bob Kallenbaugh would not comment on the reasons for Fuentes' departure, but he said the firm and Fuentes are on good terms.
     Early last year, while still with the company, Fuentes lobbied members of the Anaheim City Council for the appointment of Tom Tait. Tait was appointed to the City Council in January 1995. Shortly afterward, in March 1995, Fuentes became a vice president at Tait and Associates, an Orange engineering firm where Tait is president.
     Both Fuentes and Tait insist there was no link between Tait's appointment to the council and Tait's hiring of Fuentes a month later. (Guiding With an Iron Hand, DEXTER FILKINS, LA Times, July 11, 1996) [END]

     Gosh, just why did Fuentes leave Robert Bein, William Frost and Associates? Back in March I wrote:

     I’m reminded of the time that Tom Fuentes and a pal wined and dined a local water district board for the sake of securing juicy contracts for their employer (at the time), Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates.
     Some people started using the dreaded “G” word. There was an FBI investigation. Soon, Tom left BFA.
     Check out this Times article from 1993:

     …[Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates or RBF] employs the services of two well-known political figures—county Republican Party chairman Thomas Fuentes and Costa Mesa City Councilman Peter F. Buffa, who also sits on the agency overseeing the San Joaquin Hills toll road.
     RBF has given officeholders tens of thousands of dollars' worth of gifts and campaign donations. And it has hosted many politicians at special company events, such as an annual Christmas party aboard a yacht in Newport Harbor and an Easter prayer breakfast at Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach.
     The company appears to have developed a particularly close relationship with top officials at the Santa Margarita Water District.
     RBF has provided district General Manager Walter W. (Bill) Knitz and his assistant, Michael P. Lord, with nearly $14,000 worth of meals, trips and other gifts in recent years—at the same time the firm was receiving about $13 million in engineering work from the water district.
     The FBI and the Orange County district attorney are now seeking to determine whether Lord and his boss violated federal or state laws governing the gifts that public officials can receive from people who have business before them. 
    Friday, both water district officials were suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigations.
--That Easter prayer breakfast bit, that's a nice touch. Lobbying plus piety. Genius! [END]

     Kris Murray is closely tied to former Mayor Curt Pringle, the beneficiary of Fuentes' notorious poll guard stunt back in 1988. (It worked; Pringle was elected Assemblyman, the first of many government offices.) The controversy led to Fuentes' losing his PR gig with the Orange County Diocese. Nowadays, Pringle runs a government public relations firm, natch (Curt Pringle & Associates). So it's the old "in and out of government, and cashing in in between." Among Pringle's clients: the County of Orange.
     Did I mention that these people are pious "conservatives"?

Time magazine's "person" of the year: the protester


• More Budget Cuts in California (Inside Higher Ed)

     Because expected state revenues did not materialize, the University of California and California State University systems must each cut an additional $100 million from their operating budgets, California Governor Jerry Brown announced Tuesday. The cuts come on top of $650 million each system had to cut after the budget was finalized this summer. The community college system, also facing new cuts, will probably increase tuition $10 per unit, starting with the summer 2012 session, on top of a $10 increase imposed this fall. In total, the cuts to higher education and other services will total about $1 billion….

• State community colleges face $102 million in cuts (The Fresno Bee)
• Yudof's statement

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LA Times shake-up jogs memories

     It’s a small world, I guess. When I lived in Old Towne, in the City of Orange, my next door neighbor and friend at the time (I haven't spoken with him in years) was Davan Maharaj.
     Well, I just heard on the radio that he’s now been made the Big Cheese of the LA Times! Sheesh. (See L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton Resigns, to Be Replaced by Davan MaharajReuters)
     The charming dude is from the southern Carribean. He and his wife—and his sister, who stayed with them at the time—introduced my wife and me to Trinidadian cooking, which is deeply influenced by Indian cuisine. Kathie and I still occasionally make kuchela, using his (or his sister’s) recipe. (See.) That's good stuff, man.
     Davan's wife, Abby, was a lovely, sweet girl from Kentucky. (Gosh, I hope they're still married. I last spoke to her maybe five years ago.) She had  a marvelous voice. She'd sing with a crazy band comprising an odd assortment of LA Times characters. As I recall, they played at the Coach House. They sounded pretty dang good.
     And Davan was a great guy who had many strong enthusiasms—especially for music. (A big Ben Harper fan.) Likely, he's still that way.
     Congrats Davan!

Sunny Girl
P.S.: perhaps you'll recall Sunny Girl, my late cat (my wonderful little girl). I just remembered that Kathie and I used to see the young Sunny, then a semi-feral cat, hanging around our backyard in Orange (c. 1993). One day, we heard some faint crying sounds, and we followed them to Davan and Abby's basement (this is in Old Town Orange; see below), where we found Sunny and her two surviving kittens (one had died). Naturally, we "rescued" this brood, and Sunny became one of our (later, my) cats. The kittens were adopted by friends.
     One of the kittens, Mojo, died a few years ago—something I documented here at the time. The other kitten, Violet, is still alive and well, living with my friend Laurie in Laguna Niguel.

SEE ALSO • Hangin’ with Mojo, Democrat 9/22/07,
• Sunny and Mojo 9/22/07
• Davan Maharaj, Former Times OC Reporter, is New Editor of the Los Angeles Times (OC Weekly)

My old house at left; Davan's at right (Photo c. 2009)

Gauchos, ¿Qué tal?

• Derek Reeve, SJC Councilman in News All Year for Knuckleheadedness and Plagiarism, Scoffs at Integrity of His Middle Eastern Students (OC Weekly; Navel Gazing)
"Amazingly, he remains on the faculty at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo…."
• SJC’s Reeve Displays More Bad Judgment (The Liberal OC)
"Reeve is a lawyer by profession and is a part-time instructor at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, which kept him on after Concordia let him go. So if you are a student in one of “Professor” Reeve’s classes at Saddleback, and you are of Middle Eastern ethnicity, please print this blog post out and bring it to the attention of college administrators; especially if you get a lousy grade."
• Capistrano Councilman Reeve at it Again: Questions Integrity of 'Middle Eastern' Students (Capistrano Insider/Dispatch)
"An attorney and college teacher, Reeve, who portrays himself as an arch-conservative, lost his job teaching political science at Concordia University after those revelations. Saddleback College kept him on board, however...."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Derek Reeve's take on "middle eastern students"

     As you know, we've been keeping track of plagiarist, Islamophobe—and Saddleback College Poli Sci instructor—Derek Reeve. Reeve is a noisy right-wing member of the San Juan Capistrano City Council (and a doctoral student at Claremont Grad School). We first noticed the fellow when, as a City Councilman, he proposed changing a city ordinance to allow residents to carry guns in city parks.
     That seemed loony. Irresponsible.
     A few months later, he drew more attention when he boasted, during a City Council meeting, that he had named one of his dogs "Muhammad" (Muslims often regard dogs as "unclean").
     He's a lout. He refused to apologize, insisting that the naming was some sort of teaching opportunity with his children (and, I suppose, his dogs) and not an attempt to ridicule Muslims. That sounded mighty implausible.
This image appears on Reeve's
"Patriots of Troy" Facebook page
& blog
     The next chapter was a real stunner. Soon, it came to light that he had plagiarized much of the content of several political posts for the San Juan Capistrano Patch. In response to the predictable outrage—some of it coming from us—he noisily protested that, though he did publish others' works as his own, it did not count as plagiarism, since it occurred on a blog (the SJC Patch is a kind of city/neighborhood news blog). Yeah, sure.
     Clearly, Reeve is the kind of politician who doesn't mind offering explanations that no intelligent person would accept. Such politicians are called "liars." Reeve's kind of liar is shameless, it seems.
     Because we are academics, we jumped all over the distressing circumstance that Reeve, a college instructor—both at Saddleback and at Concordia University in Irvine—repeatedly plagiarized and then defended his actions as appropriate. How could such a person instill intellectual honesty in his students? How could he enforce the prohibition against plagiarism? Unsurprisingly, Concordia U seemed to let Reeve go over the plagiarism incident. Scandalously, Saddleback College seems happy to continue to employ Reeve as a Poli Sci instructor. (See Spring schedule of classes. I see that he's scheduled to teach two courses, starting January)
     Maybe that will change. Here's something Reeve recently posted on one of his Facebook pages:

I've blackened out the names and blurred out the faces
     Gosh, I wonder if he has an explanation for this latest outrage? If so, I'll bet it'll be a doozy.

UPDATE: The Capistrano Insider (Capistrano Dispatch) has the story: Capistrano Councilman Reeve at it Again: Questions Integrity of 'Middle Eastern' Students

Speak up! (Monday forum)

TELL US what's on your mind, if anything

Anonymous said...
Ah say, sir, the titular head of IVC. Ah say, that's the clown, sir.
1:30 PM, December 13, 2011

Anonymous said...
I have to question the president's leadership ability as well since he obviously is supporting this clown [which clown?].
9:39 AM, December 13, 2011

Anonymous said...
Maybe the new survey can act as a catalyst. Fill it out and be frank.
5:08 PM, December 12, 2011

B. von Traven said...
I'm thinking....
2:57 PM, December 12, 201

Anonymous said...
Why don't you give us some GOOD news for once!
2:55 PM, December 12, 2011

Anonymous said...
After the announcement of Craig Justice's contract extension, I'm speechless.
2:43 PM, December 12, 2011

The dread administrative In-the-loopitude fallacy
The "Just give the Accreds what they want" fallacy

North blimp hanger to be saved? Et cetera

     LOOKS LIKE the north hangar of the old Tustin base might be saved after all.
     According to this morning’s OC Reg (County has plans for north blimp hangar), “OC Parks Director Mark Denny will be presenting a concept plan outlining a future for the north hangar during an Orange County Parks Commission meeting in January.”
     It’ll become a park:
Denny said the county is looking at creating a park on the 85 acre site with space for parking, grass, picnic shelters, exercise space, a trail and possibly a lake. The park also should preserve the historic nature of the site, he said.
     Meanwhile, the southern hanger is still slated for destruction.
     Some of the buildings near the north hanger might be preserved as well.
     A firm was hired back in 2010 “to create a conceptual site plan, technical and cost analysis related to development of the former base site.” Tait and Associates is one of trustee Fuentes’ old employers. Yeah.
     The good old SOCCCD gets a mention:
Empty space across the county fence could also become a future 40-acre high school site adjacent to another city park. In another spot, land sits waiting for the South Orange County Community College District's Advanced Technology and Education Park and a 5-acre animal shelter.
• Catholic League Bashes Gustavo for Pedo-Priest Articles; Gustavo Responds! (Navel Gazing)
• Let's make textbooks affordable (LA Times)
• Cal State campuses overwhelmed by remedial needs (Contra Costa Times)
     Wracked with frustration over the state's legions of unprepared high school graduates, the California State University system next summer will force freshmen with remedial needs to brush up on math or English before arriving on campus.

Our pal G spotted recently jogging in O'Neill Park
• Of Hume and Bondage (New York Times)
• Detailing the For-Profit Lobbying Campaign (Inside Higher Ed)
     The successful lobbying campaign by for-profit higher education to scale back the Obama administration's "gainful employment" regulations is no secret, but an article Saturday in The New York Times provided an in-depth look at the effort:
  • For-profit colleges and associations spent more than $16 million on lobbying, with much of the money going to Democrats with ties to the White House.
  • The biggest spender in the lobbying effort was The Washington Post Company, owner of Kaplan University ($1.71 million), followed by the Coalition for Educational Success ($1.65 million), Career Education Corporation ($1.60 million), the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities [Devry, ITT, National, Kaplan, etc.]  ($1.45 million), and the Apollo Group [University of Phoenix] ($1.43 million).
• Key Congressman Begins Inquiry Into Executive Pay at For-Profit Colleges (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"The Fall of the Faculty"

from Inside Higher Ed:
'The Fall of the Faculty'
By Dan Berrett

     Faculty members feeling besieged by, well, take your pick -- increased scrutiny of their productivity and the relevance of their research; broadsides against tenure; attacks on their expertise and ability to collectively bargain; or their shrinking role in the affairs of their institutions -- will no doubt find succor in a new book to be released next month.
     In his polemic, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (Oxford University Press), Benjamin Ginsberg, David Bernstein Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, takes stock of what ails higher education and finds a single, unifying cause: the growth of administration.
     Ginsberg bemoans the expansion over the past 30 years of what he calls "administrative blight" as personified by what he characterizes as an army of "deanlets" and "deanlings." By virtue of their sheer number and their managerial rather than academic orientation, Ginsberg argues, these administrators have served to marginalize the faculty in carrying out tasks related to personnel and curriculum that once sat squarely in their domain.
     In prose that is by turns piquant, sarcastic and largely dismissive of many administrators, Ginsberg marshals anecdotes from his 40 years of experience at Hopkins and Cornell University, as well as from accounts from other campuses. He juxtaposes these with historical analysis and data showing that the growth in the ranks of administrators (85 percent) and associated professional staff (240 percent) has far outstripped the increase in faculty (51 percent) between 1975 and 2005. "Generally speaking," he writes, "a million-dollar president could be kidnapped by space aliens and it would be weeks or even months before his or her absence from campus was noticed.”

Q: You are highly critical of strategic plans, administrative retreats and workshops and committees attended by administrators. You point mockingly at such examples as the Administrative and Professional Staff Advisory Committee or the Process Management Steering Committee. Of course, the same tactic is also deployed by faculty critics who list the names of courses that sound ridiculous to outside ears. What makes this critique valid when leveled against administrators? 
A: If you look around the typical university, 1 to 2 percent of the courses are silly, but it’s a small number. In my 40 years in academics, the number of truly silly courses is very small. But when I look at administrators, I’d argue that the bulk of activities is quite silly, such as the war zones task force which met and concluded that students should be discouraged from entering war zones. More generally, I look at strategic planning that takes enormous energy for no reason. Many of these could just be copied; the end result would be the same. The process of putting these plans together is designed rather like elections in the Soviet Union: the process is designed to give people the impression that people care what they think. I also looked at the minutes and agendas of administrative meetings. When administrators and staff get together, they mostly talk about prior meetings and plans for future meetings....
To read the rest, click here.

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