Friday, August 24, 2012

The Irvine Valley College bookstore relocation adventure (the return of the Mold Monster)

A few "goo" men
     [See UPDATE at the end of this post.]
     I visited the Irvine Valley College Bookstore today, hoping to find someone there who could tell me why it has become "necessary" to move that facility out of the temporary building it has occupied all these many years and into B100, one of the campus's older permanent buildings. (B100 was originally the campus library. These days, it houses an art gallery and classrooms.)
     But I got nowhere. As I wandered around inside, two or three employees came up to me, asking if they could help me find anything. "Nope," I said. I asked them about the move. They didn't know a thing about it. "We don't know anything," said one.
     I accosted a lady who seemed to be further up the chain of command. I asked her what she knew about the move. She told me that the bookstore was moving because the new building (rooms B101 and B102, presumably) was "better." I said, "Yes, but I was under the impression that this building [I gestured downward] is somehow deficient."
     She didn't seem to like that. "And who are you?" she asked. I said, "Roy Bauer. I teach philosophy."
     She directed me to John Edwards, the Director of Facilities—which makes sense. He'd be the one to talk to all right.
     But it's Friday and I decided that that's all the detective work I want to invest in for now.
     I took a few snaps.

Note the removal of the skirt
     The bookstore has long resided in this mildly hideous temporary building (above), occupying, really, a part of the parking lot. Alternatively, one might view it as a particularly ugly annex, jutting outward from between A300 and A400 of the original A-Quad of the campus. 
     The bookstore is, of course, one of the more visible examples of the residual half-assery that often plagues campuses in their beginning decades. Other temporaries, such as the CEC buildings (see below) are somewhat less visible and thus detract less from a sense of permanence. (I.e., they do less to suggest shabbiness and crapitude.)
     Inside, the bookstore screams temporary: it seems cheap, as though it were built upon a flimsy plywood box, like a stage for a Li'l Rascals production in a barn. The ceiling is too low, the lights too artificial and bright, and the walls look as though they would cave in upon colliding with my elbow.

Lurid lighting, Walmartian decor


     A temporary building, such as the old bookstore, arrives on wheels and a rudimentary suspension. That stuff (see above and below), plus the Rube Goldbergian piers and two-by-fours, wiring conduit, plumbing, and whatnot, is normally veiled by a cheap plywood skirt.
     When I arrived at the scene today, the entire skirt had been removed—seemingly recently. This seems to support the notion that the decision to move the bookstore into B100 was a response to something discovered recently under the building. For some reason (did someone get a sinking feeling?), they looked under a part of the building, got worried, and then looked all under it. 
     Then their hair was on fire.
     Here's what I found under the building.

     

     I think you've got to be an expert to make anything of the mess depicted in these photos. Should there be two-by-fours (or two-by-sixes) between the piers and the building? Dunno. Maybe that's standard.
     In any case, by about Wednesday, one of the English chairs (I'm told) was led to believe (by Craig and Co.?) that an inspection of the area under the bookstore revealed an alarming situation, an emergency. The conclusion: the bookstore would have to move out, and fast.
     If that's true, the lady in the bookstore was blowin' a little smoke. No biggie, I guess. But what's wrong with being honest? Why can't everybody tell it like it is?


     (Nearly) adjacent to the bookstore are the CEC temporaries (above)—where the courses now occupying B101 and B102 will be moved on Monday. Even when new, such structures are cheap and inferior. Instructors who teach in them generally pine for permanent digs, yearn for first-class citizenry, and curse The Man for sticking them in a glorified outhouse, to be contemned and forgotten by all.
     One problem with upper administration at IVC is that they are so secretive and so utterly uninterested in communication (and, arguably, are deceptive besides) that, even when they're telling the truth, nobody believes them. I'm not at all surprised that some in the Humanities and Languages suspect that the decision to bump instructors/classes from B101 and B102 was less-than-optimal. 
     Earlier in the week, one of our readers predicted that the art gallery in B100 would be sacrificed to deal with this supposed emergency. That decision, they suggested, would reflect a failure properly to weigh the importance of art! It now appears that that did not occur and the art gallery is safe. (Update: not sure about this.) But I'm not surprised that some of the Fine Arts folks were wary and suspicious.
     Roquemore and Justice just don't get it. You've got to communicate with people, and you've got to be honest with them. But that's not how it is at IVC. And so suspicion and distrust surrounds every administrative decision. Even good ones.
     Did you know that the contractor for the new Bio building went bankrupt? Yeah. 
     How come we're not told such things? If indeed that contractor went belly up (I've not verified that), that will have an impact on other construction planned at IVC. But this factoid is not mentioned in meetings between faculty and top administration about future construction. How come?
 * * *
     I just spoke with Rebel Girl over the phone, and she reminded me that, long ago, B100 housed the dinky IVC Library. Fifteen or so years ago, the new library was planned, and our former colleague Kate Clark was on a committee tasked with naming the new building. 
     Evidently, there was a contingent who wanted to name the library "The Library."
     "No," said Kate. "You can't call the library 'The Library.'"
     Why not?, the others asked.
     Kate's brain began to hurt. "Just trust me," she said. "You can't call the library 'the Library.' It just won't do."
     As near as I can tell, in the end, they didn't call it "The Library." They called it "Library" instead. 
     Whew!

UPDATE: just after 5 p.m., IVC President Glenn Roquemore sent out the following email to the campus community. (A little late, Glenn, but OK):
Colleagues, 
     During scheduled maintenance of the College Book Store floor, a potential mold growth was discovered below the building. John Edwards immediately engaged mold testing in partnership with Follett. The studies verified mold in the sub-floor but the air in the building was found to be cleaner that [sic] ambient outside air and deemed safe for staff and students. Since the Bookstore needs to be vacated during remediation, it was determined that it was more cost effective to permanently move the College Bookstore to the B-100 building as prioritized in the IVC Facility Master Plan. The bookstore move to B-100 required moving ESL classes to CEC 5 and 6. Professor Jeff Wilson and [Dean] Karima Feldhus worked closely with Craig Justice, John Edwards and Jeff Hurlbut to manage this urgent project effectively. The primary concern was to avoid the disruption of classes and to provide a superior teaching and learning space. Through the sustained attention to this matter by IVC Facilities and Maintenance, CEC 5 and 6 are nearly completed. Although the cause of the mold in the bookstore floor does not exist in the CEC buildings [?], we are testing anyway to alleviate any concern. No classes have been disrupted.
     Repurposing the CEC building also requires temporarily moving an IUSD special education program to Lib 201. This move is nearly complete. The bookstore move is scheduled to occur next Friday.
     I would like to personally thank John Edwards, Jeff Hurlbut, Karima Feldhus, Jeff Wilson, and Craig Justice for their excellence in planning and execution of this critically time sensitive project. In addition, a big “thank you”, goes to the ESL faculty and staff for their cooperative spirit in this emergency situation.
Horribly over the top (who's more to blame? Nicholson? Sorkin? Reiner? I blame 'em all.)

Our moldy past:
"COLONIES OF MOLD" AT IVC by Chunk (Nov. 1, 2005)
Mold pie with mouse turd topping (Dec. 9, 2005)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Classes yanked out of classrooms, stuck in temporaries


     Last night, I reported that, owing (evidently) to the poor condition of the temp building housing the Irvine Valley College Bookstore, the latter will be moved into building B100—where, of course, there are classrooms presently in use (by writing instructors, among others).
     A few minutes ago, I learned that instructors who use rooms B101 and B102 have been informed, via email, that, “effective Monday, August 27, your classes in B 101 and B 102 will not meet in these rooms. All Classes in B 101 will meet in CEC 5. All Classes in B 102 will meet in CEC 6.”
     CEC5 and 6 are inferior temporary buildings located just southwest of the Bookstore.
     The move is permanent: “These classes will meet in these rooms for the remainder of the semester.”
     CORRECTION: an earlier version of this post suggested that the decision to move these classes occurred without due consideration to instructors involved. I have been assured (by people directly involved) that the decision occurred because of an emergency and that an effort was made to take this action with the cooperation and assistance of the relevant dean and chairs. I will make an effort to gain clarity about the emergency.
     See UPDATE of subsequent post.

Spitzer spanks that rat bastard John Williams

Spitzer slaps down Williams’ ballot statement (OC Reg; Total Buzz)
     Challenged in court by crusading county Supervisor-elect Todd Spitzer, ex-Public Administrator John S. Williams caved in Thursday, agreeing to modify what Spitzer termed an “incredibly misleading” ballot statement and to pay Spitzer’s court costs…. (continued)
Excerpt of Judge Sanders' finding

Spitzer sues Williams, wins (No, John, you don't get to lie on your candidate's statement)

     Our old friend "Pen Pal" just sent this:
[OC Supervisor-elect Todd] Spitzer sued John Williams yesterday over his ballot statement, which stated [that] he (Williams) was praised by the [OC] Grand Jury. They had a hearing this morning at Central Court in Santa Ana. Spitzer won! [Williams] will have to remove the grand jury [claim]from the ballot statement! Oh, and pay court costs!  Too funny!  Apparently the press (OCR) just happened to be there, so there should be something online later today. 
     For background, read this or this.
     That Williams would claim to have been praised by the Grand Jury when, in truth, they slammed him illustrates his vicious character.
     As you know, the faculty union PAC, led by residual Old Guardsters (Channing, MacMillan, Miller-White, Woodward, et al.), recently voted to endorse the utterly disgraced Williams for the 7th area seat of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees.
     In early September, the union's Rep Council will meet to decide whether to accept the PAC's recommendation.
Pants afire
     I have advocated that the Rep Council refrain from endorsing anyone for this race and to let the chips fall where they may. A Rep Council decision to endorse Williams would surely divide and polarize faculty. To what end? We don't need Williams. We need to have nothing to do with the guy.
     Many of us remember the Old Guard era (roughly, the 1990s), when a secretive and corrupt group of faculty controlled the union. Stunningly, they chose to use homophobic fliers and to support a Holocaust denying trustee to secure a lucrative contract. It took years to wrest control of the union from that group.
     It was led by the same people who brought about the recent PAC recommendation. (See PAC.)
     Good grief.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday evening maundering

Is there any "there" there?
• Sources at Saddleback College tell me that the remodel of the “James B. Utt” Library has been allowed to cause tremendous and sustained disruption that is, for some, intolerable.

• We keep encountering murmurings—from many sources—about the IVC Foundation. Something’s afoot and amiss, but we don’t know what. You’ll recall that, last Spring, the student scholarship process was revealed to be fubar, though good work was then done to start to turn things around. Stay tuned.

• We hear that the crummy temp box that has housed the IVC bookstore is finally falling apart and that the store will be moved into B100—which, of course, has long housed classrooms.

• The mother of a student contacted me, hopping mad about expensive textbooks that her kid bought, mostly for math courses. Somehow, the kid had to drop those particular courses, but then the bookstore wouldn’t buy back the books. The instructors, I'm told, are selling very special (and expensive) editions that can only be used in their own classes. We’ve been hearing about this sort of thing—and worse—for years.

• It’s a little thing, really. Denizens of IVC’s Bldg. A200 are wondering why both the building printer and photocopy machine were allowed to be so fouled up during the crucial first two days of the semester (things seemed better today)—a period in which, obviously, many important documents (APCs, rosters, syllabuses) must be printed or duplicated.
     As usual, there is no sense that anyone has heard the complaints, recognized their gravity, and issued reassurances. The people with power at IVC lack people skills bigtime. They leave us all hanging, wondering why things go the way they do. We're forever in the dark. Things just happen.

     Here at IVC, at the top, there's a permanent leadership vacuum. Both the college President (who, you'll recall, got his start owing to a compact with the odious Raghu P. Mathur) and the VPI are, in different ways, utter non-leaders. The Prez seems never to have a freakin’ clue. (Chronic cluelessness seems to define him for most of us.) The Vice Prez, meanwhile, runs the college, and he rules through fear. Mouths are shut tight. People are unhappy. Especially classified.
     Meanwhile, the IVC Academic Senate is a new entity, with mostly new leadership, after a three-year period of largely dismal leadership from a president who had curious values (the CAFÉ—the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence—was repeatedly hobbled by weird spasms of elitism, and it sits essentially unused; despite substantial faculty concerns, the scandalous Early College Program was allowed to proceed, robbing resources from our students; the Senate actually went to bat for Prez Roquemore over his turf war re ATEP, that amorphous money pit par excellence) and who obviously proceeded with her longstanding administrative ambitions firmly in mind. Good grief.
     Will the new Academic Senate step up? Think so. We’ll see.

• And then there's the faculty union. If the Faculty Association chooses to endorse that über-creep John Williams—evidently on the meager grounds that Williams will likely support the contract—then I would love for someone to explain to me the difference between this FA and the nasty old FA that got all homophobic and Frogue-loving in order to protect "life as we know it" back in 1996.
     To quote an infamous Alabamian, there ain't a dime's worth of difference.
     If.

DtB’s “curious moments in SOCCCD history,” part 2: the specter of "school slaughter"

Mr. Knoblockhead
     1. During the September 24, 2007 meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees, San Clemente City Councilman Steve Knoblock addressed the trustees concerning the specter of school violence with its “burgeoning body count." The Republican politico ridiculed the nation’s feeble efforts in addressing violent outbreaks (he mentioned reliance on "sensitivity training," among other things).
     Knoblock's recommendation: reject the “strategy of duck and cover” in favor of a strategy of “self defense."
     Said he,
Tod Burnett's personal arsenal
"We may see less school slaughter if students are trained and encouraged to protect themselves. On hand in every classroom and on every school campus there are innumerable books, chairs, backpacks, laptop computers, shoes, etc., that can be used at a moment’s notice as defensive projectile weapons against armed assassins…."
     Afterward, trustee Tom Fuentes, former chair of the local Republican Party, noted that Mr. Knoblock is an “esteemed” member of the community (i.e., he's a Republican).
     You can view Knoblock’s comment here: streaming video.
     Jump to section 2.5 (public comments).
     And, no, I'm not making any of this up.

2. “Stop living in an ivory castle!” –Trustee John Williams, chastising trustee Dave Lang concerning the latter’s opposition to arming campus cops, September 14, 1998
Williams: seeking "a new level of
honesty" about himself

• Cal State Goes Online, Slowly (Inside Higher Ed)
• An Academic Ghostwriter, the 'Shadow Scholar,' Comes Clean (Chronicle of Higher Education)
• Rick Warren cancels Obama-Romney forum at Saddleback Church (OC Reg)
• Fullerton PD 'Culture of Complacency' Led to Beating Death (Voice of OC)
• Williams comes out, no longer a “closet moron”: and he feels really swell about it (USA Heute)

Monday, August 20, 2012

DtB's "curious moments in SOCCCD history," part 1

The well-known "Williamsian" flow chart. 
John has his priorities. Cake is, like, #1

The usual suspects basking in the glow of their hero, Mike Carona.
These days, the Mikester resides in federal prison. 
Check out the detail of this pic.
(Click on graphic to enlarge it.)

Proximity to Nancy sometimes brought out the worst in Tom

Like Nietzsche said, sometimes it gazes back at you

I sympathize, Nancy, I really do

Nope. Don't sympathize.

All pics from the "DtB collection"

A toss of the fuzzy dice

     Four days ago, the California Secretary of State issued the standard for the order of candidates (by last name) on ballots. It was determined through randomization. (For details, see here.)
     Evidently, four people are running for the area 7 seat on the SOCCCD board of trustees. Their names will appear on the ballot in this order:
JAN SERRANTINO COX 
JOHN S. WILLIAMS 
MIKE MOODIAN 
TIMOTHY "TIM" JEMAL
     With regard to the Laguna Hills City Council race, the order of candidates will be
BILL HUNT 
AJ DJOWHARZADEH 
DORE GILBERT 
RAGHU P. MATHUR 
ANDREW BLOUNT
     (In the case of the latter race, the top two vote-getters become city councilpersons.)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Next, they'll pick Robert Rizzo for the union "inspiration" prize


     Golly, as I was shuffling out of the IVC PAC after the Chancellor's Opening Session last week, I spotted John Williams, lookin' like boyish shit. He was maybe twenty people behind me. Naturally, he was accompanied by Sharon MacMillan and Sherry Miller-White, the people who brought us the homophobic "same-sex flier" of 1996 and the undying support of Holocaust denier, Steve Frogue (who finally resigned in 2000). 
     The scene was frightening in several respects. Miller-White seemed taller and her wig appears to have grown even larger, though she no longer looks like an angry traffic cone (the dress she wore was off-white, not green or orange). But MacMillan still looks like she's gonna bust out into tears at any moment. (Didn't she retire? Why's she still around?)
     Those two like John. Think about that.
     So the semester started with a stench, a stink, a fetor and a funk.
     My old grandpa—we called him "Opa"—was a crusty peasant full of bitterness about the war and its aftermath (and no wonder). He was pretty eccentric, I guess. I recall that, even into his nineties, he was always aware of odors, especially unpleasant ones, and, when he encountered such phenomena, he would make an alarmingly sour face and then, in his dubious English, he would carp that "it did shtink dare; like a cow's a** it did shtink."
Big Boyish charm
     Everyone was horrified by these unseemly observations. Still, all of the grandchildren, including me, kinda loved those "old world" eruptions and we repeated them endlessly in a mix of mockery and appreciation. To this day, when there is any issue about odor (whilst in the company of the extended Bauer crowd), we immediately quote Opa: "It did shtink." 
     (Another Opaism: when it is time for people to leave, one of us will suddenly announce, "I go now!" and then head for the door. Everyone immediately understands: people are draggin' their feet; they gotta go.)
     Well, as I was walking out of the PAC hall and into the lobby, Williams emerged, a Big Stench Boy, stinking up the entire building and the campus and city beyond. Here's a guy who saw his big chance, just after Tom Fuentes' arrival in 2000, to transition from "house husband" to extremely well-paid, worthless, featherbedding county official. In fact, with Tom Fuentes' help, he cobbled together a single super-position (Public Administrator/Guardian), making a big, fat salary. The move would save the County money, he promised. (But nope. His tenure was disastrous in every possible way, and the Supes covered for him.)
     He was incompetent from the get go. He hired cronies (or wives or girlfriends of cronies, in the case of the T-Rack's Peggi Buff) and put them in powerful and well-paid positions. (He even hired Nancy P, but then he later fired her on Fuentes' orders. She wasn't sufficiently a team player, I guess.) He made life hell for the better employees of his department, driving many of them away. He took lots of vacations to Orlando (often paid for by the SOCCCD) and, even when in town, he spent much of his time out of his office, playing golf and whatnot. He engaged in highly questionable activities—pursuing estates that he had no business pursuing—that ultimately led to two scathing Grand Jury reports and his ouster.
Rizzo. Not-so-boyish
     For a long time, he just wouldn't leave, despite the absence of anyone anywhere who supported him. After all, he was making good money! (Plus, he probably knew where some of the bodies were buried.) In the end, with the help of the go-to shyster lawyer for corrupt OC Republicans (Fuentes' pal, Phil Greer, who also represented fraudster and Pal-o-Fuentes Chriss Street), he did pretty well for himself, financially. And the OC Supes—also beneficiaries of the Fuentean machine of corrupt Republican cronies—even agreed to keep a lid on the investigation of his office that revealed all that there was to reveal.
     That was CYA, of course.
     Old John is going to be pretty damned comfortable for the rest of his life, you can bet on that. But at least he's gone, right?
     Wrong. The other day, he told the OC Reg that he isn't "slinking away" anywhere, that he can "hold his head high." And so he's coming back to the good old SOCCCD, running for his old trustee seat. Evidently, some of the union "Old Guard" hatched this idea and proposed it to him. These are the same people who brought us Steve Frogue, Tom Fuentes, and Raghu Mathur—and one and a half decades of sheer misery. Unbelievable. 
     So, naturally, the union PAC, suffering from faculty apathy and dominated by Old Guardsters (Ken Woodward, Michael Channing, et al.), interviewed Orlando Boy and just loved 'im. They recommended endorsement.
     Early in September, the union's Rep Council will decide whether to go along with the PAC'S recommendation.
     I sure hope that doesn't happen. Right now, I'm thinking that the best outcome would be for the union not to endorse anyone for the area 7 trustee seat. Just let the chips fall where they may. After all, even if that rat bastard Williams is elected (and he's certainly no shoo-in), we've still got a majority of reasonable folks on the board.
     That's good enough for me.
     I go now.

P.S.: FYI, the membership of the FA Rep Council is the following (according to the FA website):

Irvine Valley College:
   June McLaughlin, Amy Grimm, Diana McCullough, Ted Weatherford, Brenda Borron, Kathy Schmeidler, Brent Monte, Martha Stuffler, Tony Lin

Saddleback College:
   Darrell Deeter, Martin Welc, Georgina Guy, Lucas Ochoa, Mark Blethen, Michael Channing, Elizabeth Horan, Samantha Venable, Frank Gonzalez, Margot Lovett

The district directory is here.
For union leadership, go here.

Recommended


Thomas Kuhn: the man who changed the way the world looked at science (The Observer)
     Fifty years ago, a book by Thomas Kuhn altered the way we look at the philosophy behind science, as well as introducing the much abused phrase 'paradigm shift'

The Ballad of Wade Michael Page (OC Weekly)
     An ex-bandmate of the Sikh temple shooter recalls their shared OC hate-rock past

On the Trail of Inherited Memories (New York Times)
     Born with memories? I dunno.

Noted biblical scholar, Chapman professor dies at 64 (OC Reg)
     Marvin Meyer, a biblical scholar and longtime professor at Chapman University, died Thursday from complications from melanoma, university administrators said. He was 64, and had battled skin cancer before. ¶ Meyer is perhaps best known for his work in translating the Book of Judas, a Gnostic Gospel with pages showing a different relationship between Jesus and the man mainstream Christianity says is his betrayer. The Gnostic Gospels are "secret" gospels stumbled upon by a peasant in northern Egypt in 1945....

Juan Flores Rides Again


Over at the OC Weekly, Red Emma recalls Juan Flores, deals with the heat and reads a new book by Deanne Stillman.
Juan Flores Rides, and Falls, Again: Deanne Stillman's Desert Reckoning 

I swear this heat is messing with my sleep, so that when I woke at four the other morning it was as if the accumulated bodily discomfort of the previous day's scorching here in Modjeska Canyon had stuck around, morphing into some kind of itchy psycho-emotional discontent, a near-existential nervous affliction. I gave in, made coffee, paced, couldn't settle down, write, even think, so I read. It's usually a palliative, though in my choice of material, ironically, if found myself in an even darker and more spooky place than my restless angst. Yet the opening chapter of Deanne Stillman's newest noirjournalistic meditation cum regional history of our nearby doomed desert hinterlands brought things into focus, first distracting me and then opening up via its reliable (from the excellent Stillman) clarity, energy and seductive prose a path to appreciating the wider ecology, of fate, fear and un-forgiveness. I read till daylight, fully transported and engaged, and thought later that perhaps the elements had conspired to give me exactly the kind of perverse wake-up call, as it were, I had perhaps needed. 
A peak at violence
And, in the dawn, I took a gander out my window at Juan Flores Peak on the other side of the canyon, the iconic if historically unreliable and geologically totally unimpressive escarpment where the legendary bandit was, we are told, captured. Apocryphal or not, this promontory is reputed to be the exact spot of violence and violence arrested, but of course it is also the easy psychic landmark where good and evil meet in the Orange County imagination. It's the prompt for the murderous trope that the rural and wild-living locals here like, and a tale retold by Stillman--not gratuitously, for once (!)--but actually toward contextualizing or explaining that her more recent story of outlaw madness and anti-social is, somehow, not so new.
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