Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Demoralized?

The union's Lewis Long
     Today, faculty of our district heard from the Faculty Association (union) president, Lewis Long, who reported that, in the end, there was a 59% participation rate (301 votes) in the union election, which closed Monday night.
     That means the rate exceeded the all-important 50% level.
     59% is a pretty low rate, I guess. Last week, it was determined that participation in the election, up to that point, was so low that the election might actually fail to achieve validity. And so, last Friday, Lewis issued a desperate plea:
   As of this moment, only 39% of the eligible voters have cast votes in the Faculty Association elections. According to the Association bylaws, for an election to be valid, 50% plus one vote must be cast. … It really does take only seconds [to vote], but it will make a big difference for the Association and your colleagues.
     Amazingly, Lewis’ plea failed to produce the desired response. And so, three days later, Lewis issued yet another plea:
   As of 6:30 am, with 236 voters, we are just twenty votes short of having a qualified election to elect Faculty Association officers and representatives, and to ratify our proposed revised bylaws. … You have until 11:59 pm this evening to cast your vote, but please don't wait that long, and help preserve the few remaining hairs I have not yet pulled out of my head.
     This last, desperate baldness-threatening plea worked, evidently. Whew!

* * *
New Senate leadership
     As you know, recently, the Irvine Valley College Academic Senate held its end-of-school-year election. But, as the election approached, there was a problem: nobody wanted to run for President or Vice President. The senate kept calling out for candidates, but, for a long time, that yielded nothing but the sound of crickets.
     At the last minute, a couple of faculty stepped up. Whew!
     They ran uncontested.
     I haven’t talked to anyone with Saddleback’s Academic Senate, though I gather—from the report at the BOT meeting Monday night—that Bob Cosgrove is their President-elect.
     Bob Cosgrove? Yep. He was the President before Dan Walsh took the office. Bob does a good job, but, obviously, you don’t want to recycle leadership. Ideally, you go for young blood.
     The gal who—at long last!—agreed to run for IVC Senate Prez is anything but young blood. I think she’ll do a great job, but she’s definitely a familiar face in governance at the college. She’s been around for about twenty years, I figure.
     So much for young blood steppin' up.
     So what does it all mean?

* * *
     At Monday’s meeting, departing IVC VP Gwen Plano pulled an Eisenhower. She would leave her office—but not before offering a few frank words about what’s what.
     She noted that, in our district, things have been changing, and for the better. She spoke of a revitalization, a rejection of the old ways of doing business. The old ways, she suggested, concerned intrigues and personal agendas and political ambition.
     Surely that was an allusion to Mr. Mathur. And to Wagner, Fuentes, and Williams? –I guess so. Who else?
     (I should mention that at least two others, including Lewis Long, spoke of the improved atmosphere in the district at Monday's BOT meeting.)
     Gwen also drew attention to the “99 percent”: the “quiet majority” at the campuses who simply do their jobs. Those were the ones she served, she said.
     I’m not sure what that last part is about. Most of the people who really get things done at IVC are squawkers. They’re not quiet at all. (Sure, there are some exceptions.)
     And we sure do have some bad eggs. True, some of those rotten ova are real squawkers, though often they do their squawking behind the President’s carefully closed door. That crowd has been getting its ugly way for too many years. Large lecture scam? Sure. Build things for the least deserving? Hell yes, we go way back.
     –It’s demoralizing.
     There certainly is, as Gwen says, a quiet majority. Is that majority also apathetic? Tired? Disgusted?

* * *
An actual illustration from Howard Gensler's notorious opus,
The Avenger of Blood
     In writing the above, I had occasion to visit the Saddleback College Academic Senate website. I read through the minutes for their April 4 meeting.
     Item C of “old business” caught my eye:
C. Saddleback College Statement of Values and Ethical Behavior

   Bruce Gilman moved, it was seconded by Howard Gensler, and passed by voice vote that a Senate committee be appointed to review, edit, and amend the statement and present the document at the next Senate meeting.
   The Senate approved Howard Gensler, Karla Westphal, Alannah Rosenberg, Linda Call, Diane Pestolesi, and Pam Barr as committee members.
     Most of these people are pretty terrific, I know.
     But the SC senate has got Howard Gensler working on a “statement of values and ethical behavior”! (See The most unappreciated person in the history of humankind, The Howard Hilton and They simply do not like him)
     Howard f***ing Gensler!
     Good grief.
     I am demoralized anew.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The SC Senate is wise. Howard's comments and input never made it into the final version.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Louis still has most of his hair. You make good points. If other folks do not step into leadership they'll find they will lose gain they may take for granted once we all retire.

Anonymous said...

Love the clown graphic!

MAH