Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SOCCCD CHRONICLES: January's meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: Jemal stirs things up

     Just got here—at about 5:45, perhaps 15 minutes late.
     As I entered the room, Chancellor Gary Poertner was finishing his "chancellor's report." I gather that, before I arrived, people referred to the passing of Board Prez Nancy Padberg's husband and IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore's father.
     Evidently, the college presidents now provide their reports immediately after the chancellor's report. Roquemore's almost done yammering. He's talking about some recent theft on campus—the perps were apprehended, thanks to D. Gordon, Angela M, Ann A, Mark P, and Officer Mancini. Glenn has them stand up. I think they got a piece of paper or something. And a "hearty handclasp," as W.C. Fields used to say.
     Todd Burnett, Pres. of Saddleback College, now speaks. Blah, blah, blah. He has nurse Phillis Kucharski stand. Evidently, she was recently honored with the title "Educator of the Year" by some big foundation somewhere. "We're very proud of you, Phyllis." Phyllis is gracious, has her coworkers stand up too.
     Board requests for reports.
     Oh boy. There are three requests, and "both are by" trustee Tim Jemal, says Board Prez Nancy Padberg. (See Why, the cheek of the man!—Jemal's requests for reports.) Jemal, a newbie, reads his first request, which is an inquiry into the adequacy of mental health facilities and services for students. Nancy notes that, recently, the trustees had a tour of Saddleback's health building, but this request concerns the entire district.
     Poertner says: we can come back in February with a report on mental health. The other two (requests for reports) will take longer, will need more time.
     "We can't tie the staff up with these special reports," says Nancy. Nevertheless, Jemal's first request is approved unanimously.
     Next requested report: in the area of business partnerships, an area of greatest interest to "me," says Jemal, a local businessman. What is the status of partnerships at the three campuses?, etc.
     Poertner says we can have that report next month(?). Trustee Jim Wright notes....
     Nancy notes that the presumption here seems to be that we want these relationships/partnerships in all these areas. Maybe not.
     Lang pipes up, noting that the trustees often hear about partnerships, lots of references. He wants to "better understand" where we want to go with this. "We're a community college," he notes. Not sure how to evaluate the level of involvement, where we're going, he says. He seems bewildered.
     Nancy: "much of this exists. We do have grants, partnerships." We should start by looking at all that, then consider new partnerships, she says. "Lots of these things exist." That needs to be fleshed out first.
     Jemal: Yes, I agree. Let's take inventory, understand where we are. My underlying assumption is indeed that there's room for growth. But I'm only asking for a look at what we have now. I think I'm agreeing with you. Not mandating that new outreach occur yet.
     Nancy: maybe you can sit down with staff to get a feel for all of this on your own. Saddleback College Ac. Sen. Prez Bob Cosgrove pipes up: faculty would necessarily be involved in developing this report, too. Takes time, effort.
     So, asks Nancy, what would we like to do with this?
     Poertner says the request is "OK." A two month period of time is enough time to get back to the board.
     Burnett says Jemal's next request will require even more time. Lots of programs involved. Two months is reasonable, though.
     Prendergast: this seems doable. He's only asking for info. Prendergast moves to approve request. They vote: Unanimous.
     Third report: Jemal: "On a roll, I guess." A few laugh. This one concerns CTE (Career Technical Education) programs, etc. "Absolutely critical," he says. I want to know the number of programs. Number of students. How many students receive certificates over time? How are programs evaluated? Are these programs still viable? Are there non-performing programs? What's the record on discontinuance? FTES comparisons, comparisons to other districts—would be useful. Yes, this is a more involved request, but will be useful guidance.
     Nancy: there are reports at the state level. I wonder if you would like to look at those with staff. I recall these reports are broken down by campus. How about that?
     Jemal: I've looked at some of the reports at the state and national level. The focus here is on our district, our colleges, to figure out whether the CTE programs locally are performing, etc. Not prejudging. It's important that we see that info.
     Nancy turns to college leaders: isn't there this data already?
     Roquemore: this appears to be an evaluation of the CTE programs. There seems to be pressure to do that coming from the state. It would be worthwhile to produce this report.
     Prendergast: my recollection is that this is already being called for in student completion (?) task force. So this is good.
     IVC Senate Prez Kathy S: assessment of the CTE programs is a perpetually ongoing process. We're supposed to be monitoring these programs all the time. Discontinuance occurs, there's a process. Yes, a report can be put together, although it will be outdated as soon as it is done. Bear in mind that this monitoring goes on all the time.
     Bill Jay: my concern is we have over 300 such programs. Gigantic. We can get in over our heads working with all of these. It would take years. I'm reluctant to do "too much, too soon." Sure, need data. (For some reason, he pronounces the word as though he were saying "dada.") Turns to Jemal, refers to him as "Jemal." "It's a huge task," he says, almost consternated.
     Poertner: CTE is an area that the state is really emphasizing, and we need to take seriously. At Saddleback College, there are over 100 programs. We need to know whether they are successful. I think we ought to have a rigorous look at what we're doing in this area. Sure, there are some reports already, so that should make it easier. We can compare ourselves to other districts. Right now, we don't know how we compare. (Sounds like a thumbs up to me.)
     Jemal: I'm sensitive to the complications.... But I do think the info will be of great value. Some things here could be answered in a few days, some would take longer. I'd like to see the report approved, thank you.
     Wright: maybe wait to see how long these reports would take. Everybody's busy. Makes a motion to table. Jay seconds.
     They vote: 4 yes. 3 no. Jemal, Milchiker and Lang vote no. Jemal loses this one (for now).
     My sense of this discussion is that Jemal did fine. Poertner seemed to say that the biggest report—on CTE programs, etc.—is of clear value, would give us information we don't have now. So, though, as expected, Nancy was pretty peevish (and Jay seemed to think the request asked too much), generally, Jemal's requests came across as good ideas, well worth pursuing.

Discussion items: 4.1  student success task force. The usual suspects come up, yammer about ... Blah, blah, blah. Mostly they seem to talk about new mandate, students can only take a course 3 times, etc. But what counts as having taken a course? Blah blah.

     I'm tapping into the middle of this presentation:
     ...yes, we've asked how Math X at Saddleback matches Math X at IVC, etc. This will assist students. We can direct students to the other campus, etc. Intercollegiate cooperation. Blah, blah, blah.
     (Naturally, this is all very painful to listen to. Not anybody's fault. Good Lord. This completion stuff is killing me. You?)
     Wow, the presentation has ended! Brief. I'm smiling. Inside anyway.
     Trustee Marcia Milchiker: if students take a course more than 3 times, no apportionment from state. Can the state track that? Can a student just move to another district? How are we handling this?
     Clarification (from one of the presenters): graded attempts (at courses) only are counted. Yes, we do track this within the district. Marcia yammers a bit. Blah, blah, blah.
     Nancy: "thanks for a wonderful report."

Next: foundations--developing high-performing foundations.
     "Ours are," opines Nancy, half joking.

     Jim Leach, Santa M Water District, Pres of Saddleback C foundation, seems to run the presentation. Here to discuss how we can be most effective, he says.
     Bill Crosby of the IVC Foundation steps up. He's the Pres. Our primary goal is to increase our visibility in the community. We attract qualified students to our college. We hope to be "even more successful,"  "even more effective." We recently completed an assessment, focusing on ways we can do that. Both boards need to be fund-raising boards or more so. Hope to add additional staff member or members.
     Leach again: we are led by professionals who are of the fund-raising world. We need active college presidents. Need a substantial foundation board who understand the mission. Need professional staffing.
     Shows slide: "essential staff for high performance." Shows fully formed foundation organization (10 positions!). "This is what we aspire to." Full staff has "multiplying effect." Can facilitate getting $8 million a year.

     Roquemore: Rickner and Morley—we're lucky to have them. They're well known. We've been at a fairly low level for a long time. We once thought that this reflected merely our low profile. As it turns out, there is another factor. We have one director, one senior assistant. Some accounting support. Now hiring developing associate for data management, research and marketing. We're a young college. We're not financially in the position that Saddleback is today. We plan to go down this path (growth, etc.) as funds are raised. We will grow our foundation. We'll be moving at a slower pace.
     Burnett: ditto what Roquemore said. Saddleback's current staffing: one director and three part-time positions (adds up to one person). A senior accounting specialist. Pending, director of annual fund and development services (fully funded by the foundation).
     Shows graph. Shows CSU private giving. 20 years ago, CSU collected what we collect today. They're way beyond that today. 4 fold increase. Next UCs. 5 time increase over twenty years.
     A chart showing the three systems. Community colleges have stayed flat while the other systems have grown massively (in fundraising). Why? We lack a professional staff.
     Compares salaries, number of staff, dollars raised. Those colleges with larger staff collect more money. The data are clear, he says: exponential return with larger staffs.
     Back to Jim Leach: blah, blah, blah. The upshot seems to be that they're all serious about raising money, growing. Need more staff. That's the big message, as previously.

Jemal: how do our foundations compare to other foundations in OC and in state? (Dollars raised.)

TigerAnn, cat
Rickner: we're in the middling level. 2-3 staff members raising half million a year. OCC: 4-5 million. Fullerton about 1 m. Cypress: about 1 and a half. Santa Ana: 1.5.

Jemal: Is there a fund development plan?

Rickner: IVC has strategic plan, recently finished. We haven't done it on a "calendar basis." Would like to do that. (I don't think I understood his answer.)

Jemal: main inhibitor, lack of staff? Other factors?

Rickner: we're in a very good position in South OC. The alums are older down south. The problem isn't where we are. The problem is the plan. We need to focus on it. We need an exciting vision. Then we need a board that is serious about fund raising.  There are three things necessary: (1) unity of purpose, (2) have fundraising board, (3) having the staff. We have the first two started. Want to get started on the third.

Prendergast: is our own success hurting us? Many students go to universities, and will get "hit up" there. (I guess he's implying that those students won't bother with solicitations from their former CC.)

Burnett: I've got a great example here. UCLA. The most successful fundraising organizations are the most successful colleges/universities. So its the reverse. We should be doing very well. (We're a great college, and so we should be doing great fundraising.)

IVC's [Foundation Director] Morley comes up. Refers to a dissertation made available not long ago. A big deal. Conclusion: CC alumni respond no differently than 4-year alumni. We haven't asked them. That's the problem. We're underperforming, understaffed. [I am surprised that there exists a universe in which somebody's dissertation has this kind of importance! In my world, one dissertation does not a point prove.]

Nancy: great report, we appreciate it.

Consent calendar. 5.6 pulled because of errors. 5.3. So those are pulled.

     5.3 coffee cart operation agreement. Amendment. Additional location of coffee cart services. Blah, blah, blah. They vote unanimously in favor.
     5.6 institutional memberships. Blah, blah, blah. Approved, unanimously.
     6.1 Design/build agreement. Brandye D'lena. Shows slide. Present about design-build. Presented this last March. Contractors and sub-c don't have resources to complete their... Design-build approach would address this. Design-build vs. Design-bid-build. (I won't go into details.) Blah, blah, blah. (Design-bid-build made unworkable by low bids by subcontractors that are unrealistic.)
     I believe this concerns the A400 rebuild. 18 bids were received, so we got more involved in this process (design-build). Questions?
     Lang: raises question about winning bidder, highest bid(?) (soft costs)
     D'Lena clarifies. Fully answers Lang's question. Swinnerton uses 3-d planning. So we get more complete documents earlier. So lower costs.
     Trustees ask very basic questions: which building? When? More discussion. In the end they vote unanimously to support.


     7:26 — "we're back." 6.2 CCCT Board of Directors nominations. Lang asks if anyone is interested in running? Nope.
     6.3 Board Policy revisions. Move approval, Lang. No comments, questions. They approve unanimously.
      6.4: Sabbatical recommendations. Slam dunk.
     6.5 Academic Personnel actions. Slam dunk.
     6.6 Classified Personnel actions. Slam dunk.
     7.1 Information about speakers at the two colleges.
     7.2 Basic Aid report. No changes.
     7.3 Facility Plan Status report. A few updates in italics.


     8. "Reports by shared governance"

SC Academic Senate (Cosgrove): ... reads letter.
Faculty Association: extends condolences to Nancy Padberg (death of husband).
Ditto IVC Senate Prez. It's a pleasure working with everyone in district. Such an improvement over not so long ago. Such a notable improvement. Discussed flex week.
Peebles: condolences to Padberg, Roquemore. Etc.
That was pretty much it.

See also Tere's Board Meeting Highlights

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


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