Sunday, February 5, 2012

Readers have lots to say about the "civility" initiative

     [UPDATED--I neglected to include the 12 earliest comments! In brown below.]
    Well, there’ve been lots of comments about our series on IVC’s “civility” initiative and the report draft that was distributed last week. Here they are (as of this moment):

Anonymous said...
   I notice that "the blog" made the civility list of problems.
   4:32 PM, February 02, 2012
Anonymous said...
   Kudos for whoever had the courage to include this blog as a cause of incivility in this district. IT IS! It is simply a bully pulpit. [?] Hopefully, he'll cross the line with all the new cyber-bullying laws, be sued, fined, and shut down. This blog is a black eye on the district. Talk about fear of retaliation and retribution. Cross DtB and see what happens!
   5:36 PM, February 02, 2012
Anonymous said...
   Certain administrators should make the incivility list ..... And the incompetence list.
   7:34 PM, February 02, 2012
Anonymous said...
   To 5:36, bullying? a black-eye on the district? You're kidding, I hope. What about the First Amendment? Don't read this blog if you dont' like it. I respect your right to voice your opinion, however.
   9:45 PM, February 02, 2012
Anonymous said...
   I haven't finished reading the report but I wonder, during this time of cutbacks and belt-tightening, how much they paid the consultant Spevak to facilitate. He's from the College Brain Trust up in Sacto.
   7:48 AM, February 03, 2012
Anonymous said...
   In response to certain administrators making the incivility list, one in particular, should make the no confidence list. Come on faculty, wake up. Maybe we'll all be more civil when we get the bull out of the china closet. We need a serious change in the senate leadership.
Anonymous said...
   Dtb is a bully pulpit [?] for demonizing conservatives, of who make up probably a super majority of the community the colleges serve. Not good for PR to have a highly polemical community institution.
I wonder what would happen if some employees at the DMV or the unemployment office were doing something similar? Certainly something to ponder...
   3:45 PM, February 03, 2012
Anonymous said...
   I do think the blog is something of an "community institution," I like how it talks about issues on and off campus. I like the t-shirt too. Where can I get one?
   3:49 PM, February 03, 2012
Anonymous said...
   5:36, this blog is a "bully pulpit"? You might want to consult your dictionary. A bully pulpit is the use of one's office or position as a platform to express views and opinions. It is my understanding that neither the college nor the district has anything to do with the production of this blog. It is simply the freely expressed (and constitutionally guaranteed) views of a few faculty at IVC.
   And I for one find it to be very informative; certainly more so than anything coming out of A100. I imagine that if you dislike what is expressed here you don't have to read it.
   And regarding civility, if there is anything uncivil expressed in this blog, it comes from its steady stream of trolls and detractors, not from its authors. In fact, BvT regularly deletes the uncivil comments.
   Thanks, DtB!
   4:12 PM, February 03, 2012
Anonymous said...
   wooly bully! wooly bully!
   4:18 PM, February 03, 2012
Anonymous said...
    Looks to me 3:45 meant bully pulpit in zeitgeist form rather than literally.
   I also find dtb informative, but it only diminishes it's academic credibility when different points of view are routinely squelched, and ridiculed; it's just reduced to an echo chamber with a clear agenda.
   5:16 PM, February 03, 2012
Anonymous said...
   Different points of view "routinely squelched"? 5:16, you haven't a clue what you're talking about. I'd be hard-pressed indeed to find someone as open to others expressing opposing arguments and views as BvT. That doesn't mean he needs to publish racist, moronic, puerile comments that would, indeed, diminish the academic quality of this fine blog. --MAH
   8:04 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   Respectfully, I think you are wrong and attempting to downplay the role of this blog in contributing to the problems remaining at IVC. Your posts about faculty and administrators are ill-informed and rude. Note the number of times you have posted a "story" and then had to correct it because you were wrong. Your erroneous posts create a culture of distrust. This blog is the primary reason the college is not moving on. You are stuck in 1997, replaying old tapes, and retaliating against faculty and administrators by smearing them all over the internet. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of watching you smear good folks because you are still mired in the '97 Big Sloppy. See a therapist. Get on meds. Move on. Retire! You obviously hate teaching and you hate the college. RETIRE!
   8:22 PM, February 03, 2012

B. von Traven said...
   Thanks for your input, brave, brave ANONYMOUS.
   9:03 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   When I read the civility report, I thought the same thing. We all know who is vengeful and retaliates. We all know why there is fear and a lack of trust. We are all frustrated because top management won't acknowledge nor work on this problem. We've all seen the seemingly schizophrenic changes on campus without meaningful participation in the "open and transparent" decision making system we claim to have.
   A civility committee sends me the message that we should shut up and be polite. Looks like your last anonymous poster agrees. At least with the blog, we have a place to post our opinions without fear of retribution. You retire, 8:22!
   9:04 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   My, my, 8:22 needs to read the civility report for guidelines. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
   Ahem. Most of the people I know understand the spirit of the blog and appreciate its wide coverage of issues -- even, really -- if they don't agree with all of it. How is this possible? How can they value something with which on occasion they disagree? Well, they work at a college and recognize discourse.
   However the colleges they work at do have a long history and one that continues today (really it does -- not as bad as it was but there it is) where knowledge isn't shared and processes are not transparent -- that's why the blog is read and valued -- even yes, when people disagree with it.
   Of course one reason the blog thrives is because there continues to be a lack of consistent communication and an absence of true exchange of ideas about programs and processes that impact the workplace and learning conditions of our students.
   For example, the coverage a year or so ago about the situation at the Lutheran High School was eye-opening -- as is the continuing discussion about the Early College Program. As well as the planning processes about the new buildings on campus.
   9:05 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   PS - people who don't like the blog shouldn't steal Roy's photos from it and use them to promote the college.
   Everyone knows he takes great pics and makes the college look cool.
   I find it odd, dispiriting even, that some people equate criticism with hatred.
   9:11 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I cringe sometimes at the comments I read in this blog, but I appreciate the forum.
   As for the civility report, consider the source. The idiot probably can't begin to see he is the problem.
   Never thought I'd be defending you, bvt. You are spot on on this one.
   9:13 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   This topic will blow up the blog. Lack of transparency, retaliation, fear, MRC, Cafe . . . that about sums it up. Catch a clue, Rocky!
   9:20 PM, February 03, 2012


Anonymous said...
   8:22, respectfully, the college can't move on in an atmosphere of distrust and fear. The blog didn't create the problem, it just reports on the problems.
   9:23 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I don't agree that this blog is so powerful that it has led to the current problems at the college. Nope! Lack of action on the part of the Prez, lack of integrity on the part of the VPrez, lack of manners and management skills by another ahole, and lack of loyalty (to faculty) on the part of the SenPrez. Nobody has the backs of the classified. Those are the problems. Tell me I'm wrong.
   9:32 PM, February 03, 2012

Anonymous said...
   Much ado about nothing excerpt people got to go to the Duck Club and have a nice lunch and some guy or guys were paid a lot of money to utter platitudes.
   This is already covered in other policies.
   Perhaps though this is supposed to gild Glen's lily so he can begin to position himself for Chancellor. He will knight himself as the one who restored civility to the colleges. Of course, it easy for him to be civil because he doesn't say much or have much to say.
   8:07 AM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I do think the issues this new Initiative is trying to cover are already covered in policies that have been on the books for awhile. Some of this stuff usually gets struck down in court.
   3:17 PM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   When we need a consultant to tell us we lack transparency (at least as seen by some obtuse administrators and self serving one might add), we have a problem. Faculty and staff, after our last King Tut Mathur, not only found life at IVC and SC bearable but actually enjoyable. Faculty and staff at both colleges ARE civil in discourse. Both colleges have less than competent top leaders. One wonders where the talent really is and why we have so little of it.
   5:48 PM, February 04, 2012


Anonymous said...
   I LIKE how issues are discussed on the blog, though I know some take issue with some language. At least on the blog issues are taken seriously, with robust debate. I think there is a healthy skepticism here that isn't present elsewhere (meetings and forums). If it was we wouldn't have had to deal with so many problem in recent (yes recent) years -- which comes from the leadership incompetence that others have spoken about and a knee-jerk response to protect people at the expense of the college and students.
   Transparency might be asking too mush -- I'd start with some openness, some acknowlegement.
   6:56 PM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   It's so typical of our administrators to initiate this exercise rather than confront the perpetrators. We know who the bullies are, we know who engages in passive-aggressive behavior, and we know the ones who aren't doing their fair share and get paid enormously more than those who are doing the work (usually female managers). I'm talking about administrators and managers and not faculty.
   It will never stop unless the ones who are doing it are confronted. This exercise is pure bullshit and will solve nothing.
   8:29 PM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   OMG, GR is the invisible man. Smile, look good, nod, never say anything, never do anything, and let Godzilla destroy this nice little college.
   8:29 PM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   He's too busy with Astounding Inventions. What good that does the college I have yet to figure out.
   8:31 PM, February 04, 2012


Anonymous said...
   Isn't this whole civility issue a result of the accreditation process? Isn't a distrust of the district what started this ball rolling? So, we'll do some workshops and declare ourselves cured. Seems the problems with top admin at IVC are deeper than the issues the accreds noted. I hope Edwards was at that Duck Stop.
   9:55 PM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   Confront the uncivil ones? Are they f-ing serious? That puts the "complainer" under the district microscope, and gets the ball rolling to get rid of you for doing a formal complaint. It's org. security 101. This report is just a continuation of the status quo of absolving management of their responsibilities.
   I thought this stuff had to be resolved before accred. was restored?
   12:41 AM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   Accreditation isn't really restored yet. They dinged Glenn with another October 15 report, including recommendation 6, "communication." This time the faculty needs to speak up. The problem is simple--no "civility" focus group needed--and can be fully capsulized in one word: Justice, the vicious dictator who has poisoned all wells. The board needs to can the sob, period, and the ACCJC needs to hear that message loud and clear.
   1:10 AM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   So the dist. basically wasted who knows how much cash (probably tons!) on that College Brain Trust firm and accomplished absolutely nothing. Where does one find out exactly how much was squandered?
   6:18 AM, February 05, 2012


Anonymous said...
   12:41, I think you actually agree with 8:29, who was saying that the administrators should confront the bullies. I don't think they were saying that those who are being bullied should do the confronting.
   11:53 AM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   You [BvT] are correct. The top admins are not taking ownership of the fact that they are guilty of incivility (threats, retaliation, discrinatory behavior, fear, lack of tranparency, poor communication), instead they are turning the tables so they can create a policy document with teeth so they can use to punish and thrwart their critics. They will start with this blog. This should be a very interesting first amendment fight. I hope you have your finger on the delete button so you can erase all possible IP addresses.
   12:10 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I hope that civility report goes to the accreditation commission. It speaks volumes about the communication issues at IVC.
   12:27 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   "Irvine Valley College supports a culture which encourages and sustains civility and mutual respect. Within its commitment to excellence and academic freedom, the college values the dignity of each person, frequent and accurate communication, transparent decision making, and the importance of treating all members of the college community with honesty and respect."
   --Steaming pile of BS.
   12:31 PM, February 05, 2012


Anonymous said...
   I don't know anyone who yells. I was actually surprised to find that on the list. Perhaps it happens in other areas.
   12:57 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   It is also interesting that of IVC's 705 employees, over half, 371, are adjunct faculty (see http://www.ivc.edu/about/pages/facts.aspx). Yet, from what I can tell, not a single adjunct was on the civility committee. That is a big chunk of the IVC population left out. Were adjuncts even approached about the possibility of participating?
   5:36 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I don't see what good having a student on the task force does. It's always been about employee issues.
   5:56 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   Oh, I think it's important to have students on the task force. There are real issues involving civility in the classroom.
   I refer uncivil teachers - for the uncivil students we have a Code of Conduct.
   Students often feel a distinct lack of support or response from administration when they complain about inappropriate remarks made (often of a racist or sexist nature) or poor treatment by instructors. I have had students tell me that they are told "There is nothing that can be done." We all know certain people have been "protected" for years - it is an "open secret."
   6:16 PM, February 05, 2012


B. von Traven said...
   [A response to 5:48, Feb. 4:] Burnett was hired, despite his lack of qualifications, because of his connections with the Governor. Roquemore crossed over into administrative ranks because he is the consumate opportunist, and, when Mathur became Prez of IVC in 1997, Glenn decided to "play ball" with him (he was working with IVC administration to get Mathur unseated as chair of his School until then; Roquemore was angered that Mathur maintained a stranglehold on that job). He was VPI when Mathur "ascended" to the Chancellorship in about 2002 or 2003. Roquemore then became IVC Prez, but he grew weary of the heavy thumb of Mathur, and he gradually aligned himself with the anti-Mathur (or suspicious of Mathur) trustees, especially Wagner. Glenn gained some support at IVC because he was the enemy of our enemy, Mathur. Glenn got lucky when, as it turns out, Wagner turned against Mathur and, in the subsequent Fuentes v. Wagner struggle, Wagner prevailed. Glenn is incompetent and Justice runs the college, though his ruthless style has caused much demoralization. The trustees can't get a clue about this to save their lives. I'm gonna try skywriting next. Pretty soon, Roquemore will be Chancellor. That's his goal.
   6:42 PM, February 04, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I've never heard anyone yell or scream at another person at the college. I hope that doesn't happen. Students should always be treated with the utmost respect, everyone really. But, that shouldn't inhibit free speech and one's right to express an opinion.
   6:54 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   A former admin in A/R may be guilty, but I can't say for sure. I've been on the receiving end of horrendous emails from said person.
   6:56 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   There's more to bullying than yelling and screaming. There's intimidation, demeaning behavior, passive-aggressive behavior, icing people out, etc. Happens all the time.
   7:11 PM, February 05, 2012


Anonymous said...
   I actually think faculty are pretty ignorant about the working conditions of others on campus.
   7:18 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   OK, so why haven't concerned community members been showing up at board meetings in large numbers demanding that something be done about Mr. Justice like they did with Raghu? I see there has been a few confidence/no confidence polls done. Why not take this issue straight to the board?
   7:18 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I heard the folks at HR once told an employee that bullying is perfectly legal (while smiling). This, I believe, is the root of the problem. Just because it's legal, doesn't make it acceptable, especially in an institution of higher learning.
   7:29 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   I think that has to be paraphrased.
   7:42 PM, February 05, 2012


Anonymous said...
   7:11, I think the worst kind is from afar, i.e. someone who routinely makes the rounds planting their negative seeds & talking smack about others. The person being slandered doesn't even know it's happening until the damage is done. Their destruction of someone else's character is threefold; it satisfies their sadistic pleasures, backfills their utter lack of self esteme & enables them to get ahead on the job.
   7:51 PM, February 05, 2012

Anonymous said...
   Agreed, 7:51. In fact, I was trying to think of the word that encapsulates what you described.
   8:24 PM, February 05, 2012

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the firm the district should've hired:

http://www.workplacebullying.org

I'm sure Dr. Namie would have been the best choice.

Bullies are too expensive to keep!

Anonymous said...

If that civility statement goes to the senate for approval, please ask your senators to vote no. Given past practice, it will be rubberstamped by the senate in yet another rollover and play dead move.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely.

Anonymous said...

I sense progressive obstructionists! Progressives; the party of NO!

JK! we all understand that report is a whitewash that will only do the opposite of it's intent, and thus make matters a whole lot worse. Brain Trust Gate!

Anonymous said...

There are some outstanding administrators. Topping my list are Gatewood, Werle, Guzman, Locke. Name your top choice for outstanding administrator/director.

Anonymous said...

we can all coordinate a good list and a bad list of folks and this does not bring anything new to the table and we each define those things quite differently. what gets old is the artificial environment where individuals sit and nod and make a list of what is naughty behavior and what is nice behavior and then pass it out as good governance folks do and then behind closed doors--SOME continue to do exactly what they wish and how they wish--smiling cordially as they do it of course since we must be civil....its tiring and it is not civil behavior and pretending it is makes it worse.

Anonymous said...

I also believe we have policies in place that cover this kind of behavior - and yes, they are often as not unenforced by those who protect their friends or make excuses even as students and staff are harassed.

Then there are other parts of the report which are completely unenforciable because of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

Yes 4:02, yes! GP comes to mind.

Summer runnin' down