Monday, August 26, 2013

August meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: "Golly, the climate is improving!"

     (Please see Tere's Board Meeting Highlights)
     5:30 - Welcome to the August meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees. The meeting hasn't started yet, but it looks like it will commence presently.
     While I've got a moment, I should mention a couple of things. First, one wonders (or at least I do) if the board will ever comment on the recently revealed "climate survey" results (See here and here). The survey measured employees' satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the district and the college operations. It revealed expected and significant levels of dissatisfaction with some top IVC leadership, HR, etc.
     5:35 It looks like the meeting is about to start. Yep.
     Clerk reads out actions taken in closed session: 6/0 vote, Jay absent, approved unpaid leave, custodian. That's it.
     Trustee James Wright: does the invocation: "Our Father, who art in heaven....amen." —Really. Then a moment of silence.
      (Good Lord. Don't these people have any respect for that very real constituency that is offended by these manifestly Christian prayers? How clueless can you get?)

     ADDRESSING THE BOARD. Two requests to speak. Chris H and Heather P (re anti-smoking, anti-tobacco initiative).
     First Chris, Director of Health and Wellness, IVC. Park (former student trustee) joins her: changes with regarding to smoking on campus. These two have been pursuing further restrictions. Need zones without smoke. Student Government and others joined a workgroup re this matter. Tobacco free vs. smoke free. E-cigarettes not considered smoke. Chewing tobacco, etc. (I think they want to restrict the latter as well.)
     CIG BUTTS. Chris is interrupted: you're taking more than 2 minutes. Park says she's giving over her two minutes to Chris. Heather holds up graphic re picking up cigarette buts (6,997 of 'em) in one hour at IVC. CSUs and UCs are ahead of us on this. Need to be smoke free, tobacco free.
     Chris says she'll be retiring in about a week, hoped that policy would be in place by then....

Board reports:

      Tim Jemal: participated in summit re future of ATEP and buildup of "college of the future." We have a lot of work to do. Looking forward to next steps. Hope to get more participation from stakeholders. Enjoyed Chancellor's opening session. Bramucci's presentation: enjoyed it. Breakfast with Todd B at Saddleback College.
     Marcia Milchiker: couldn't attend any inservice this time. You can find a great deal of the flex week info online. Informative presentations. You can find the district climate report online. "Things have improved incredibly in our district."
     Great, I write a challenge to the board to notice the climate survey, and this is all that Marcia gets out of it? GOOD GRIEF.
     TJ Prendergast: no report
     Nancy Padberg: went to Las Lomas Park event, Chancellor's opening session, faculty union event.
     James Wright: always enjoy inservice. Attended Monday President's breakfast at IVC. Very well done. Handouts: new employees, etc. Tuesday: Chancellor's opening session. One of the best I've been to. "Very well done." Faculty Association luncheon. Don Taylor event. Other sessions, handouts. IVC's agreement with CSUF. Helps prepare student...lower division requirements...transfer to CSUF. Picture in paper on Friday: campus expansion. Photo with Susan Cooper, Roquemore, Burnett.
     Dave Lang: couldn't attend inservice events. Lang and wife traveled down Mekong River, etc. Saddleback College is host to "a number of Vietnamese students." Cal V-Tech. Office in Saigon. Lang is big proponent of study abroad programs. Best wishes to our students and new and returning faculty.
     Student Trustee D. Robinson. Seems to support the no-smoke, no-tobacco initiative.

     Chancellor Gary Poertner: change is coming. Expectation of improvement at state and federal level. Sentiment of most of the nation. Need to improve our competencies. Over the weekend: President's speech about improvement of higher education. Discussed high cost or higher ed. Noted that the increase in costs over 30 years (public colleges), 250%. Median family income had gone up only 16%. And so rising cost way out of balance. He also wants to develop metrics of college performance, etc. In Cal, we already have such things. Awarding credit based on competency, not seat time. Discussed barriers to innovation and competition. We'll hear more and more about these ideas. I strongly feel that our faculty and other employees need to be involved in shaping the coming change. We don't want to stand by, we want to participate. (See Chancellor's Opening Session.)

     IVC's Pres. Roquemore: one topic: student success task force. Recommendations. American Ass. of Community Colleges convened blah blah blah. Series of recommendations. Holds up report, meaninglessly. A "call to action." Thanks to Academic Senate for spearheading "our call to action." (This is a document the senate semi-reluctantly composed declaring our commitment to loveliness and justice or something. We kept wondering what it was for, whether we should participate in such pure politicking.) He has a copy of that, too. It's framed. Reads the dang thing. Signed by Poertner, Padberg, Schmeidler, et al. He's actually framed these danged things and hands them out to Poertner and Padberg.
     What horseshit.

     Saddleback's Pres. Burnett: things went well with first week of classes. Demand is very high. Student seem to be better prepared. Thanks for making it to Flex Week, board members. Saddleback just launched new campaign for drug and alcohol prevention/intervention. Helping students with those problems. We're very excited about that.

     Board requests for reports: none.

     Consent Calendar: Padberg: 5.5, 5.10, 5.11, 5.15, 5.12 pulled. Unanimous.

Discussion of "pulled" items:

     5.5. D Fitzsimmons address this (ATEP amendment for real estate services). She explains. Dry as dirt. "Logical and protective," says Nancy. moved, seconded. Unanimous.

     5.10 -- will do presentation later

     5.12. Inspection services. Lang: blah, blah, blah. Brandye comes up to clarify some language. Adds something. Unanimous approval.

     5.15. Payment to absent trustee. Wright wanted to abstain since he's the beneficiary. Unanimous.

     D. Fitzsimmons now comes up to present re 6.4, 5.10 and 5.11.
     All relate to fiscal accountability. We've discussed this in April. Non payroll vender checks.  Blah blah blah. (Some sound gremlins compete with Fitz.) She goes on: pretty dry stuff.
     ...She's still yammering about this. Good grief. I'm sure it's important, but I have no idea what this is about. --She's done!
     Lang has some questions. I understand the benefits of (whatever is proposed). No additional personnel costs. Any hidden costs that we should be aware of? Additional audit procedures? Additional insurance costs, bonding? Fitz nods--"That is correct." (I.e., no extra costs) Lang: will there be mission creep here? Will we be going to independence, taking over all these functions, going in-house? Fitz: I don't see this happening. At this point in time, we get services without paying for them. Lang: what other districts are "fiscally accountable"? How many in state "fiscally independent"? Fitz: don't have a count. Etc.
     Wright: how does your staff feel about this change? F: they support it.
     Vote: unanimous.

5.11. Dispersing officer, blah blah blah. They vote: unanimous.
6.4.  They vote: unanimous (for review and study)


     6.1 Adopted budget for fiscal year 2013-14. Fitz and partner come up, present. Again, this is pretty dry. I am falling into a coma. Goodbye now..... Board Philosophy: after the word "student": "in accordance with the district mission statement" (to be inserted). That's the change, recommended by Accreds.
     Turn to page 11. Flow chart. Blah, blah, blah. Total all funds: $598.3 Million
     Reviews some changes.
     Salary and benefit changes. State COLA of 1.57% added to salary schedules for faculty, classified, POA, administrators and mangers.
     Blah, blah, blah
     Got unexpected funds re instructional equipment and scheduled maintenance funds. ($560,000, I think).
     Basic Aid funds. We allocated $56 million. 3.8 million unallocated.
     We use conservative projections, basic aid (property values).
     Blah, blah, blah.
     Income is not increasing as quickly as costs. A challenge. Any questions?

     Jemal: for SC 86%, IVC 89% District 84.5% (of budget for salaries and benefits).
     Fitz: yes. But it depends on how you do the calculation.
     Jemal: where should we be? What is the fiscally prudent number? F: we're where we should be right now.
     Any other questions? No.
     Approval: unanimous

6.2 - Student Government budget

     Saddleback College. Students Sabahi and Stephens come to the podium. Presents the usual charts, etc. They read their presentation. (I'm looking at chart. The amount for 2012-13 adopted budget is much higher than adopted 2013-14 budget: $630,000 to $476,000. Don't know what that's about.)
     "Changes are inevitable." Some changes from tentative in June. Lowest ending balance on record. Very little rollover. Significant source: guaranteed revenue: coffee cart, cafeteria, bookstore, etc. $61,000 reduction, bookstore revenue. (One-time amount last year.) Blah, blah, blah. "We can all do more with less."
     "High level of scholarship support in relation to our budget." Partnership with SC Foundation: matchup funds. 50% increase in scholarships!
     It all sounds good. Impressive.
     Any questions? None.
     Padberg: "I guess you did a perfect job!"

     Irvine Valley College. Helen Locke, Dir., student affairs, comes up. Turns it over to student government dude. Ji Chong?
     2012-13 adopted budget $472k. 13-14 adopted budget $526.
     Blah, blah, blah. Pretty dry stuff. Again, reads presentation. A bit monotone, boring.
     Will take questions. No questions.
     Padberg: "very good, excellent job."
     Vote: unanimous approval.

6.3 Furniture purchases, $802,000. New Life Sciences building. Brandye D presents.
     Any questions? None. Something we're doing with County of Riverside.
     Vote: unanimous

6.4 - done
6.5 - board policies, approval. Vote: unanimous.
6.6 - Software contract with Neudesic. Bramucci presents. $1.84 million. (Gremlin in sound system.) Student success dashboard project. Have Neudesic reps here today. Woman stands up in back.  Vote: unanimous.

     6.7 COLA. "Approve 1.57% increase in salary schedules for Faculty Association," et al.
Prendergast: we pretty much have to vote yes, since we arrived at agreement, etc. Vote: unanimous.

     6.8 Academic personnel Actions. Approved.
     6.9 Classified personnel actions. Minor change made. Approved.
     Lang makes a point about applying earlier action to.... "in accordance with the district's mission statement." Added to item #3. Lang: did we formally incorporate that language? No. So let's do that for this budget item. "Maximize...opportunities for students, in accordance...." Vote: unanimous.
     6.10 Approved, not unanimously. One no vote, Wright.


7.1 Outside speakers. (No questions.)
7.2 Basic aid reports.
7.3 Facilities plan status report.
7.4 ... 7.5 ... 7.6 ... 7.7

8.0 - reports from governance groups.

     Saddleback College Academic Senate: Blah, blah, blah.
     Faculty Association: blah blah blah
     IVC Ac. Senate: Schmeidler. Refers to Chris H's exemplary service. Great flex week, etc. Classes started and we're very full. Increased student attendance, participation on committees.
Peebles: blah blah blah Aug 9, district and Tustin finished land agreement. Says usual things about that: press release. "Long endeavor." Discusses demolition--presumably at ATEP. Lots of new progress out there.
     Bramucci: no report.
     Bugay: Kathy S and Lewis L and Bugay worked as a team. Enjoyed working with them. Bugay will be on panel to discuss recent actions against SF.
     Fitz: student reps did good job tonight.


Anonymous said...

My father does art in heaven. Does yours?

Anonymous said...

My father is retired but he goes to museums and looks at art.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. It's ALMOST like being there.

Anonymous said...

It's BETTER than being there. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"We need to improve our competencies." Yes, we do, starting with the IVC administration's.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the new hire in Physical Sciences at IVC? I heard she got sick and had to decline the offer but other people were saying something different. Does the board ever inquire into matters like this? The college president (Glenn) didn't even seem to know what happened. What happened?

Anonymous said...

The climate on campus s__ks! The BS about civility is simply that -BS. It may be preached by Glenn, but his underlings don't pay any mind. Case in point...During Flex week, Glenn co-presented two one-hour sessions about "Infusing the Practice of Civility and Mutual Respect in the workplace. The co-presenter was Barbara Ginsberg, a paid attorney from AALRR a law firm the District uses. You would think that Glenn would have made sure that every Administrator, Manager, Dean or anyone else that deals with employees or students would partake in this important (after all it is one of the elements highlighted our accreditation report). Few faculty showed up at all and only a handful of classified. (I did confirm with a number of staff that their supervisors did not suggest or recommend they attend....probably because they weren't going either.
One of the key elements that was discussed by Barbara was the need for the campus to engage in more friendly conversation (say hello or good morning, acknowledge fellow employees, etc.) sounded good to me.
A few weeks later I heard from an employee that they received low marks (needs improvement they said) on their evalualtion because they were "too sociable". now if we are friendly, the non-friendly types can punish folks for being friendly. WTF? Glenn wake up some of your managers are a__holes! Do you really want civility or is this just another ploy to satisfy the District and the accreds?

Anonymous said...

Glenn himself is the head a_hole, mean, petty, and vindictive. He fools a lot of people, smiling and wearing a nice suit, while getting his underlings to do his dirty work of going after people who cross him or one of his relatives. The IVC fish is rotting from the head down.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I went to the civility session and it was very good. However, it requires accountability and leadership from the top to ensure the message is being delivered to the entire campus. The President can say we support civility and mutual respect, but then he has to make sure (which he has not done) that all of the Admins, managers, deans, etc. understand and get the message. As usual, the left hand has no clue what the right hand is doing...same as the last 11 years I have been here.

Anonymous said...

I suppose we'll all turn out for the Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, to be held at noon today in front of the IVC Student Services Center. They'll be broadcasting parts of the PBS documentary shown last night and someone got the Rev. James Lawson (a colleague of Dr. King) from up in LA as a special speaker. Music too. It was brought up in Presidents Council that we should have more than our single annual commemoration of 9/11 - and begin to recognize other historical events that have had, arguably just as much impact if not more. Besides, we remain one of the few community college in the nation that continues to recognize 9/11 in the way we do (prayers, speeches, wreathes, etc). So when someone brought up the March of Washington as a possible opportunity, there was instant agreement. See you at noon!

Anonymous said...

You can livestream Obama's speech on your computers - starting at 11:45.

Anonymous said...

I get it. There is NO college commemoration of the March on Washington. But why should there be?

Anonymous said...

10:07 AM Must be another clueless, out of touch with reality faculty member. Probably enjoyed Miley's performance at the VMA's as a "happening event"

Anonymous said...

Gosh, must be. The alternative is folks like you who make such witty comments.

Board report is TOO MUCH like being there. It makes me sleepy, On the other hand, it's excelent bedtime reading.

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