Monday, May 20, 2013

The May meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees: "what the speaker [adjunct] said was accurate"


     (Be sure to check out Tere's Board Meeting Highlights)
     Yes folks, here we are yet again for another meeting of the SOCCCD BOT. This is, as I’ve suggested previously, the best BOT the district likely has ever had, which ain’t saying much, I know, but it’s a damned good thing nonetheless. Essentially, the board is now jackass-free. Plus we've got a Chancellor we can work with and trust.
     Tonight’s “discussion” item is yet another one of those daffy “student success” recommendations. Good Lord—I shudder not because the presenters will be dull, but because, well, you know. Just about everything that comes down to us from the state (or the accreds) is the product of a committee, and, as you know, a giraffe is a horse designed by a committee; and, besides, the more committeeish a thing is in our system, the more infected it is by the idiocy of educationism and, anyway, the thinking of that anti-intellectual crowd who can swallow the “SLO” Weltanschauung sans projectile pukage.
     5:55: amazingly, as I enter the room, I find that everyone's here, ready to go. Wait! Where's Gary (Poertner)?
     Feels like summer around here.
     5:57: Somebody just handed me a stapled handout entitled "SOCCCD Board of Trustees, Board Presentation, May 20, 2013." This concerns the recent ATP "land swap," no doubt. It's a big deal, I guess. It's the big green light.
     Gary's here. Here we go.

     MEETING BEGINS: 6:00: clerk reads actions: 7/0 vote, approved termination of publication technician. That's all.
     Jemal leads "invocation," which sounds pretty secular. Still, it ends with, "thank you and amen."
     Swearing in of brand spanking new student trustee, David Robinson (a Saddleback student). "...against all enemies, foreign and domestic...." --The usual Cold War oath

     Next: resolutions
     Poertner steps up: presents district services admin of the year, Deborah Fitzsimmons. She appears to be a popular favorite. She thanks everyone. She has her hubby stand up. Applause.
     Next: IVC classified outstanding employee award: Patrick Taylor. Prod. manager at PAC. "Patrick is a joy to be around," etc. Glenn comes up and chirps warm positivities. "He's a heck of a softball player." They hand him a plaque, a certificate. Says Patrick: "For someone who was always sent to the principal's office, I thought I was in trouble again." Points out his wife. Applause.
     SC classified employee award: Brooke Sauter. She thanks everyone. "I love what I do everyday...!" Applause. Charming, natch. Photo op.
     District Services classified employee award: Kathryn Nunez. "Improved customer service." Poertner gives her a "designated parking spot," the most "valuable" thing she's getting, he says. Yuk yuk. Photo op. "Want to thank the awesome women of payroll...." Points out her grandchildren in the audience, et al. Applause.
     Saddleback College Forensic Team. Won this, won that. Something about "mouth of lions." I dunno. Applause. Roll call vote. Advisor comments: "Thank you to everyone" (Larry Radden). Couldn't have done this without the "beautiful lovely spirit and hearts of students." Golly. "They are the wind beneath my sail[?]". Applause. They wander off.
     Next: IVC Forensic Team. "Sweepstakes winners...8 prestigious tournaments. Top school of all colleges..." Etc. They look mighty shiny and new up there, these kids. Marcia's reading of superlatives goes on and on (so wonderful are they). Applause. Roll call vote. Gary (freaking) Rybold speaks in his usual annoying manner. He buzzes nastily like a tsetse fly. He yammers. He says they'll be getting on a plane soon to compete in China. Maybe Gary can stay there. Talks about his wife. (Gosh, I wonder if Gary still leads the students in "prayer" before competitions?) Good Lord, he's finally done. Applause. Photo op.
     Next: commendations.
     Burnett comes up to present Debbie Kerr, Athletic trainer of year according to CCCATA.
     Dan Walsh, SC geo instructor. Named "Educator of the Year" by the Cal Geo Society. (As usual, people are getting prizes for getting prizes. Not that these people aren't deserving. America loves a spectacle, a parade, a bloated extravaganza. Bring on the Grammies!)
     Burnett  calls up Bob Cosgrove, SC Ac Senate Prez." I hope I'm not embarrassing you, Bob." "No, not at all," says Bob. (Laughter.) Burnett says Cosgrove has been Prez "seven times." Is that a record? Dunno. Pioneered the "OSH banking system," among other things. Etc. Has long advocated for part-time faculty. A great advocate of the Academic Senate. "I could go on and on." He does. Bob gets a certificate. Applause.
     Don Mineo is recognized as outgoing classified senate prez. Gets certificate.
     Rod Oveisi couldn't attend.

No public comments.


Oral trustee reports:

     Bill Jay: There's over 4,000 colleges in the U.S. 1500-1600 community colleges. The numbers are staggering. We started with maybe 30 programs at SC; now there're over 300. Incredible amount of work. Yammers about "alternative fuel certificate." Talks about the "Nazis" (pronounced "nat-sees") during WWII. Owing to superior octane rating, we had better fuel for our fighter planes, so we could beat them natsees. Padberg's had enough; she interrupts: we need to move on, dude. He then mentions John Muir and other "natural history writers." (Not sure why.) Lastly: mentions UCI Chancellor Michael Drake who'll be getting some kinda prize at commencement. Meanwhile, Nancy is desperately suppressing eye-rollage. Bill will not stop. "OK," Nancy says, trying to derail the Jayster. Finally, as Nancy does a slow burn, Bill's shambolic locomotive lurches to a stop, with cow catcher akimbo.
     Tim Jemal: won't go over litany of activities (thank you). It is a real joy to be a trustee, especially this month. Very impressed by scholarship ceremony at Saddleback College. STEM something.... We're a really diverse cc district! It was very heartening to witness these events. Looking forward to ATEP presentation today. I got this job in part to help with development of ATEP. (Remember that.)
     Marcia Milchiker: reads absurdly lengthy list of events she attended last month. Yammers through her list in a fashion seemingly designed to annoy Nancy, who is indeed annoyed. Mentions Shermer event at IVC, among many others. Board's self-evaluation. "Thank you," she chirps, ending her wild ride.
     TJ Prendergast: Attended TechVoice (?) breakfast. John Campbell came to speak: interesting. (I'll bet.) I'll be going to graduation Friday.
     Nancy Padberg: she goes through list of things she attended with ferocious brevity. Boom! Next!
     James Wright: also goes through events he attended. My eyes lids are getting heavy. Interviewed for TV, Channel 6 (Laguna Woods). Veterans at SC. TechVoice event. "Very, very good," he purrs, leaving a trail of comatose auditors. Presidents roundtable here at SC. Etc. Board self-evaluation. The world briefly comes to a stop. Dead.
     Dave Lang: the world suddenly awakes. Lang explains that it's been a busy month. Mentions some events attended. Scholarship awards ceremonies at each college. Particpated in board self-evaluation. Looks forward to commencements. We recently congratulated Glenn Roquemore to appointment to whatever-it-was. Lang mentions that the obscure factoid was "carried in the Irvine World News." Imagine. Congrats SC for choice of Michael Drake as commencement speaker at SC. (Gosh, they really like this guy. Wasn't he the dolt who screwed the pooch back when UCI hired the lawschool dean? Then Drake unhired him. Then he rehired him. Golly.)
     Student trustee Robinson: does lots of thank yous. He's might clean-cut. Nice young man, it seems. maybe a Boy Scout.
     Chancellor (Gary Poertner) report: met with student trustee. Tonight's agenda: the final "student success recs" presentation: aligning resources with student success. Last but not least: ATEP approval of contract, blah, blah, blah. I've been involved with this in some way or another since 1999, he says. Like others, he suggested "oh, what a relief it is" to be past this milestone at long freakin' last.
     Pres Glenn Roquemore's report: yammers like a mechanical Ken doll, the special OC househusband edition. Mentions awards for Gary Rudmann and Kari Tucker. Etc. He's all sizzle and no steak.
     Pres Tod Burnett: The Sizzler mentions scholarships, etc. Looking forward to commencement on Friday. Glad you're excited about commencement speaker. Radio station birthday bash coming up too. (Oddly, he fails to mention that he seeking employment elsewhere. But let's not be unpleasant.)

Board "requests for reports":
     TJ Prendergrast: wants to look into potential impact of Affordable Care Act on district. Seems like a good idea. No doubt the district will title the report "impact of looming spectre of socialism."

ATEP's tin village is now owned by the city of Tustin
     ATEP LAND SWAP, ETC. We're going to advance ATEP stuff before we get to the discussion item. Related to the build-out of campus at ATEP. Public hearing. (This concerns agenda items: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3.)
     But first, the popular and appreciated Debrah F presents: she introduces some people, who stand up. Applause. Like I said, this concerns the recently-announced land swap.
     Randy Peebles: presents slide, the "before" map of SOCCCD property. Then the "after" map. The after map sports contiguous properties. A "win win" for both City of Tustin and the district. The current Tiny Tin complex will be handed off to Tustin, etc. Well rent it.
     Fitzsimmons: describes "the project." Land exchange agreement. "The land exchange agreement is the master document for the entire transaction," says a slide. Tedious details. Fitz keeps the spewage of tedium to a minimum, it seems. Good. But the concentration is nearly lethal.
     Peebles: discusses "allowed uses." Category 1, "educational." Category 2, "non-educational" (up to 49% of property). Income producing.
     Prohibited uses: shopping centers or commercial strip malls over 15,000 sf; hotels and motels, drive-throughs, etc. (Be sure to tell Howard Gensler that that Hilton Hotel is out.)
     Fitz: ATEP Partners/Developers will pay "backbone" infrastructure fees...." I dunno what that means.
     Benefits to the district: more efficient, continguous.... Enhanced visibility. Infastructure costs reduced. Increase in square footage. Etc.
    Goes through "benefits" for City of Tustin as well. (Who cares? This is a political moment, I guess.)
     Jeremy Somebody (from firm X) comes up to explain CEQA Addendum "summary of findings." A new low in tedium. Everything checks out OK, I guess. Any comments or questions? Not yet.
     Fitz: due diligence, environmental insurance, etc. Goes through timeline. Close escrow: on or before 6/28/13. Lastly: next steps. We're in phase 5 (at-ground demo and grading, [destruction and paving, I guess]). Will "intensify exploration for external funding." [Why do they gotta talk that way?] Explore Public/private partnerships. (This is every bit as tedious as one might expect it would be. But Fitz does a good job, painfully aware of the tedium.) On and on it goes. My eyes hurt. My mind hurts. The board is asleep. The audience is dead. Fitz soldiers on. I look through the pamphlet distributed earlier: even more tedious. I'm gonna check out for a while.... I'm focusing on Wright. I'm out like a light.
     7:10 - Fitz seems to be wrapping up. Any questions?
     TJ Prendergast: have we got confirmation from letter-writers that our answers [to their objections] were acceptable? (This seems to be a reference to complaints/objections expressed at public hearing, Tustin). Answer: no request for further clarification, etc. The city and others did respond. So answers were given. Whether satisfactory, not clear. Prendergast: "we don't know yet if they're OK with our answer?" Not really, I guess. Waddya gonna do? We move forward.
     No other comments. Members of public now have chance to speak to address these matters.
     Nope, noone. Typical. Democracy is so hollow.
     Jemal: I think you did an excellent job (looks at Fitz and Peebles, it seems).
     6.1 now concluded. 6.2 next. Certifying the addendum. Vote: unanimous.
     6.3. Approving of agreements. Vote: unanimous.
     Padberg congratulates and thanks everyone. We're finally moving forward at ATEP! Applause.
     Bill Jay: "Can I make a comment?" Yep. Appreciates all the work people did, month after month, year after year. Thank you.

The Tengster
     ALIGNING RESOURCES WITH STUDENT SUCCESS RECOMMENDATIONS. Discussion item: student success task force recommendation #8 ("Align resources with Student Success recommendations"). IVC's Kathy Schmeidler and SC's Bob Cosgrove come up to present (along with two others).
     Kathy draws attention to previous rec 4 presentation: cooperation between the two colleges, etc. Today, sterling example of that kind of cooperation.
     Tony Teng from SC (accounting). Works on his PowerPoint presentation, some snafu. Example of aligning resources... "student success" is the key word. Introduces Bob Urell of IVC (business). We work together as complementary partners.  Compares accounting at SC and IVC. "Census enrollment."
Oddly, the two programs seem to be about the same size (despite SC's being twice the size of IVC)
     Yammers about partnerships between IVC and SC. Lists "benefits to students" We both accept each others' courses. We collaborate on new course development. Shared instructor pool. We have a common vision.
     Dry as dust. I'm checking out for a while.... I glance at Jim Wright and I'm out like a light.
     . . .
     Bob Urell's turn. Students go back and forth between the two colleges. Tutoring labs. Volunteer tax assistance at both campuses. Accounting Club. Student internships. Blah, blah, blah.
     Kathy returns: any questions? Marcia Milchiker: I took accounting Fall semester. It was really interesting. I was in the drop-in lab every day. They helped me pass. (I got a B.) [Nancy suppresses eye roll age. Well, not quite.] Yammers. Her remarks is "More a thanks than a question," she says.
     Tony notes that students were impressed that Marcia took the class, sought help.

Consent calendar: anything to pull? Nope. Vote: unanimous.

General Action Items:

     6.4: Retiree OPEB Trust Actuarial Validations and Liability Funding. (I kid you not.) Fitzsimmons presents: "I promise (for next time) not to be so boring and dry with my material." Laughter.
     OK, I'm tuning out.
     . . .
     7:35: Fitz is still at it, poor thing.
     Dave Lang: moves to accept. But has minor question. Prendergast: something about money set aside. Trustees seem satisfied. Carries unanimously.
   6.5: Board Policy revisions. Fitzsimmons again. 13 board policies for approval. Fitz notes some minor changes. Lang: I had recommended some minor changes to a couple of policies. BP4113: blah, blah, blah. Fitz explains changes made. Trustee education: trustees encouraged to attend one conference per year, etc. Prendergast: need of wordsmithing. Lang wants to strike out "not more than three" of the trustee policy re conferences, since no one is now abusing conferences, etc. Jemal: wonders why have any prescription? Agree that should be "encouraging" at least one. Nothing more. Milchiker defends going to conferences. Prendergast: should we hold up approval of this BP? No. Let's make the changes right now. So they vote on that: (trustees are encouraged to participate in at least one conference each year that provides prof deve't...Plus strike other language.) So they vote: unanimous. Now they vote on approval of all. Bob Cosgrove makes comments: some of this has not been sent to us for approval. Fitz 2120... the word "jointly" to be deleted because redundant. Cosgrove recommends leaving it as is. Bob: it's the language of Title 5. Jemal's concern: "shall be mutually agreed upon jointly." Do we need "jointly"? Jemal backs off given feelings of others (Cosgrove, et al.). Carries unanimously.
     6.6: BPs for review and study.
     6.7: Anyone interested in nominating someone for "Maureen DiMarco" award? Nope.
     6.8: Classified employee layoff. Bugay: due to a grant. Motion, second. Roll call: unanimous.
     6.9: Sabbatical revision/rescind. Unanimous.
     6.10: Academic Personnel Actions. Unanimous.
     6.11: Classified Personnel Actions. IVC seeks to change a position, 11 months only. Lang: is this a trend? This is something new for IVC. They have to see how successful. Innovative. Lang: innovative and experimental, he notes. Jay: "I like this approach." Unanimous.
   
Reports:
     7.1 Annual Accred report (from both colleges). Comment: Yay us.
     7.2 Mission statements
     7.3 Speakers for both colleges
     7.4 Basic Aid
     7.5 Facilities plan status report
     7.6 Monthly financial
     7.7 Retiree trust fund (OPEB)
     7.8 Quarterly investment report


Reports from admin and governance groups:

     SC Ac Senate (Cosgrove): distributes document(s) concerning part-timers. What the speaker said (at the last board meeting, highlighting the plight of adjuncts--the factoid "nearly 3/4" of teachers are adjuncts, etc.) was "accurate" (see below). Passes out report from NBC news. It says, "...the [AAUP] finds 76 percent of  teachers in colleges and universities are what the organization calls 'contingent,' meaning full-time faulty members who are off the secure and relatively well-paid tenure track or part-timers (often known as adjuncts) and graduate students." Bob quotes Admiral Hyman Rickover's famous remark: "You don't have educated people, you don't have a free society."
     Also discusses issues of department chair compensation. Still not resolved. (Evidently, union officers involved in this. Lewis Long's name comes up.) We need to get on top of this, if we want the 8 items in recs to be accomplished.
     Thanks Don Mineo, Roy Bauer.... "I'm one of your biggest fans," he said. Gosh.
     IVC Ac Senate (Schmeidler): thanks faculty who spoke tonight--and everyone who has spoken in this series of presentations re recommendations. "I seem to be under attack by my microphone," she says. (Hideous buzz.)
     Peebles: brief report
     Bramucci: maintenance in the summer. Blackboard upgrade.
     Bugay: I spoke at Roopa Mathur's class at IVC. Most fun thing I did. Kathy Schmeidler says: "Hey." Bugay acknowledges he visited Schmeidler's class too, but didn't stick to subject and "got yelled at." Laughter.
     Fitzsimmons: the usual
     IVC Classified Senate: yep
     CSEA: yep
     SC Classified Senate: yep. Addresses student trustee. Thanks for award. Thanks to Bob for kind words.  Etc. Refers to time we're not "bugged by all the faculty." Golly.
     Adjourn in memory of Kay Mach.
     8:09 -- meeting over

THE BOARD HAS LITTLE SYMPATHY FOR PLIGHT OF PART-TIMERS, IT SEEMS

To see this exchange, go here. Click on “video” for the April 29 board meeting. Then scroll the box below the video to select item 7.2. Voila!

From DtB’s report of the April Board Meeting:
     7.2: Wait, we have a speaker. Dr. Susan Bliss. Conditions that negatively impact part-time faculty, affect students. According to figures published by state chancellor's office, part-timers teach nearly 74% of classes. (I didn't get the figure exactly; that was the ballpark.) Part-timers paid at much lower pay schedule. Get less than half of full-time pay. Other districts do better, moving toward "equal pay for equal work." Part-timers are hired again and again, for decades. Can be pulled at any time, last minute. Uncertain of reemployment rights. Students should have "full access to their professors," as Prez Burnett recently stated. Of course. In reality, however, students in half of classes have no access--part-timers have no offices, office hours, etc. I've met with students at the library, picnic tables, coffee shop, etc. Many adjuncts cannot meet with students because they dash from college to college. Adjuncts are excluded from decision-making in the departments, schools/divisions. These conditions erode quality of education for our students. Students are the biggest losers. Things must change. We want to increase student success rates. Thank you.

     Trustee Prendergast: adjunct position as you desscribe it has been around for a very long time. Will continue to erode? I don't know if I buy that argument. Other districts going to equal pay for equal work? Which ones? Could we see a list? I agree there's a plight. Want to make sure we do it right. (Susan B not allowed to answer, it seems. She attempts to respond, but that doesn't happen.)
     Wright joins the defensive chorus.
     Jemal: I quick quip, then: 73.8% part-time? Wants verification of that figure. In general, there's a recognized need for data. Union Prez Jacobs and Cosgrove make comments. Would love to have clear questions to answer. Will then answer them.
     Cosgrove: speaks to support speaker's complaint: adjuncts don't have keys, etc. Nancy seeks to appease Susan B: will pursue this, look for data.
     [It seems to me that the board was remarkably defensive and testy re the speaker's comment on behalf of part-timers. Not particularly thoughtful, revealing little sympathy. I suspect that we've not heard the last of this.]

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

"all enemies foreign and domestic" ? really?

Rebel Girl said...

I thought you weren't go to go to this one!

Anonymous said...

6:06 -my thoughts exactly! Like, seriously?!

Roy Bauer said...

Yes, seriously.

Roy Bauer said...

In for a penny, in for a pound.

Roy Bauer said...

Yep. That's part of the oath.

Anonymous said...

Roy, you forgot to mention the fact that you were singled out by Cosgrove for your excellent coverage of newsworthy issues at IVC, SC and the District. I'll bet you get an award or certificate at the next BOT meeting for reporting excellence! I can hear Marcia reading the resolution now "Whereas Roy Bauer....yada, yada, yada" (LMAO)

Anonymous said...

Who put commencement on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend? It's particularly bad for IVC. I hear from many faculty and staff that they are not attending because of plans to be out of town. Many. 5 PM on the Friday of a 3 day weekend is a real challenge. Will the same thing happen next year?

Anonymous said...

It the Friday of Memorial day weekend next year too.

Anonymous said...

Commencement is often held on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. There's not a lot you can do when the semester is scheduled as it is.

On a side note, I always love questions that start with "Who put" or "who did" or "who is responsible for..." When you get a name, are you going to tar and feather him/her? Why does "who" matter? Out for blood, much?

Anonymous said...

There is something amiss with the schedule though it's worth pointing out that last year's commencement was NOT on the Friday of memorial day weekend.

But check out this small but odd and persistent anomoly: 3 unit classes which meet twice a week (on the same days) one meets from
8-9:20 AM; the other 2-3:15. This happens throughout the IVC class schedule. We're either over- or under- teaching.

Except, of coruse, for those who dismiss their classes early or have given their finals last week -and thus will not be attendng commencement either.