Monday, May 19, 2014

The May meeting of the SOCCCD BOT: trustee listening sessions' sticky residue!

     While I’m waiting for the May meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees to start, I shall engage in some BIG, OBVIOUS, OPINERY:
     Recently, the Chancellor-and-Board (the "Choard") have inflicted upon the district community a bad case of whiplash. First, there was the April build-up to the much-ballyhooed per-college trustee “listening sessions.” “We’ll create a safe haven for critical remarks, and we’ll be all ears!”—they seemed to say.
     And then there were the sessions themselves, on the 30th. Not sure about the session at Saddleback, but the one up at IVC seemed to inspire a lot of surprised trustee faces. Really? It’s as bad as all that, is it? We had no idea!
     We were feeling pretty good about this apparent new reality. Could it be that the board had finally pulled its head out of its a**?
     Unfortunately, all of April's accelerating goodness was followed, two weeks later, by May's brake-stomping badness. Yes, the Chancellor seemed to say (in his May 14 “Chancellor’s Perspective”), the trustees really listened at those gosh-darned sessions. But that doesn’t mean they can do a goddamned thing about what they heard. Are you kidding? The trustees’ job, he said, “is to focus on the what … and not the how ….”
     That sounded an awful lot like, “the trustees' hands are tied.” I.e., banish all hope!
     So what were those listening sessions all about?
     Gosh, it's hard to say.
     Maybe there'll be some kind of follow-through tonight. Who knows? Anything's possible, I guess.
     Don't hold your breath.
* * *
     I'm told that several trustees attended last Thursday's Scholarship Awards Ceremony at IVC. By all accounts, the event was a total fiasco, an embarrassment, a nadir. (I couldn't attend; teaching my Friday class.) After years of complaint about fiasco upon fiasco—absurd forms, lost info, hinky awards patterns, general confusion, lapses of common sense—things are now worse than ever, fiasco-wise. Yes, folks, owing to the continued tenure of IVC's Permanent President, pretty much nothing works anymore, and it's really beginning to show.
     Do you suppose the trustees noticed? Tonight, they'll report on the "lovely" awards ceremony they attended last week. Wanna bet?
* * *
     6:01 - The room has its share of green faculty--maybe 20 or 30 green-shirted unionists. Looks like they're gearing up for starting the meeting. Nancy's collecting speaker slips from somebody, I think. All of the trustees are present.

     6:04 - it begins. Actions taken in closed session: 7-0 vote, approved 1 month leave of absence to classified employee, SC.
     Invocation: Wright: "Our Father, who art in heaven...."
     Public comments: Cristina Hinkle: speaks on behalf of part-time faculty. There's been a decrease in full-time positions. Part-timers have to work at perhaps 3 districts. This is doing students a disservice. Part-timers not paid for office hours. She strongly encourage considering the board to consider these issues. Applause.
     Kurt Meyer: draws attention to Article 27, letter a (about benefits): a 2 tier benefits system. Two classes of workers created. Same job, unequal pay, benefits. Divides employees. Separate and unequal. Increases employee turnover rate. Reduces productivity. Inherently unstable. The two-tier system has not served employees in others areas of labor. Let's work together to explore alternatives. Applause.
     Alison Camelot: Also discusses two-tier system. As a sociologist, would never support such a system. I can't believe that it's being proposed. Applause.
     Mike Long: counselor who works with athletes. Obstacles to working together (on same schedule?)

     Next: swearing in of new student trustee. Keefe Carrillo. "Support and defend the Constitution of the U.S....against all enemies foreign and domestic...true faith and alegiance ....." He speaks, pleasantly. Seems to go well.

     Next, resolutions: Carol Danna, Classified Employee, outstanding service award, IVC: Marcia reads it. "Aplomb and grace... unique ability to create unique environment, blah blah. Dedication and commitment to IVC. Fine Arts...." Applause. IVC Prez Roquemore brings out "perpetual plaque," evidently. "You can hang on to this for 24 hours." Applause. Roll call vote.
     Giziel Leftwich: SC Classified Employee, outstanding service award. "Whereas .... study abroad programs ... working with faculty ... attracting student to enroll .... humble and compassionate ... blah blah blah." Applause. Roll call vote. Photo op.
     Sandi Pope - District service classified employee outstanding service award. "Whereas ... systems support...understands the innerworkings and language of IT ... extremely patient ... strong work ethic ..." Applause. Roll call. Applause. Photo op.
Insufferable stinkard
     Commendation: Gary Ribold. Good grief. Roquemore speaks. He "lives, breaths, and exudes Irvine Valley College." 21 years. Brought great honor to IVC. Over 300 sweepstakes awards. "Dr. Rybold." "Gary is a friend." "Outstanding contributions to IVC."
    Rybold insists on speaking. Thanks those most instrumental for ... Names various colleagues. Families. Great administrators. Student government. "Proud to go to work everyday." Our "grounds shine" at IVC. Last of all, thanks God. (Which reminds me of the time Gary had his students say prayers before tournaments. That's some exuding.)

Board reports:

     Bill Jay: people don't get paid for this, by and large--referring to Gary and others of his ilk. Congratulates "all of you" who've worked so hard for "this award."
     Tim Jemal: scholarship awards "were well done." Mentions speaker at SC scholarship ceremony. Amazing. Listening sessions earlier this month: meaningfully better than previous sessions. Valuable, candid, and direct input. Thanks the chancellor, making these sessions a reality. A different format. Thanks for that.
     Marcia Milchiker: "Just fabulous" -- this stuff she attended. Loves the "rhythm of academia." She lists lots of events. Legislative task force meeting. $268 thousand, $720 thousand collected for student scholarships, IVC and SC.
     Nancy Padberg: Lists things she's attended. Nurse pinning. IVC scholarship ceremony. Speech banquet. VA recognition ceremony. Etc.
     TJ Prendergast: missed the listening sessions. Did attend scholarship ceremonies: "very entertaining." "Lots of fervor there." Looking forward to commencement.
     Jim Wright: attended a number of events also. Missed the listening session; was in hospital. Transfer celebration. Nurses pinning ceremony. IVC scholarship awards ceremony.
     Dave Lang: listening sessions. Very successful format. We'll be hearing more about ideas that came out of that session. Did lots of traveling. Looking forward to commencement.
     Student trustee: met with Gary Rybold. "A very interesting man." Very proud of our scholarships.

     Chancellor Gary Poertner: end of school year. Extends appreciation to all faculty. Improving student success. 2nd item: mentions listening sessions. Notes were taken, topics of concrn. Item E in board requests: a request from all board members for "seven different items." Deal with the main topics that were discussed at listening sessions. There is some followup. Issues will come up, one per meeting. [See "Request for board reports" at end of this blog post for "seven items."]

     College Presidents reports:
     IVC, Glenn Roquemore: IVC will hold golf classic, June 10. We also have a "Model UN Team." Top honors, third year in a row. (IVC) Faculty recognized by UCI students, blah blah blah
     Somebody steps in for Tod Burnett (didn't catch his name): blah, blah, blah. Nursing team ceremony, a "gem" celebration. 53 graduates. Etc.

     Board requests for reports. Seven of them. Won't read them out.
     Unanimous approval.


4.1 Discussion item: student success summit.
     Roopa Mathur: what is the summit? Student success strategies. The two colleges collaborated. 130 attendees.  Diane Rodriguez of RP Group spoke. Nurturing, connecting, etc. 10 ways to apply techniques. (Good Lord.) Patricia Flanigan Chapin also speaks. Shows video clips: instructor Dan DeRoulet speaking. Student success strategies for writing. A counselor on "highs and lows." Final clip from speaker: "nurturing is a catalyst for other five factors" (Good God).
     Dean Cathleen Greiner speaks as well.
     It sound pretty touchy feely. But whatever. Applause. Any questions? No. "Wonderful job," says Pres. Prendergast.

4.2 Basic aid allocations. Deb Fitz, Davit K
     What is basic aid? Blah, blah, blah. The excess beyond what is apportioned by the state (from local taxes).
     Basic aid is not a funding source. It is excess. Preferred terms: self-sufficiency, locally funded, community-based. Now 6 community colleges that are basic aid: Marin, Mira Costa, San Jose, San Mateo, West Valley Mission (the last two years).
     Our formula here at SOCCCD. Colleges receive funding based on state model. DRAC committee. Dollars are taken off the top: allocated to basic aid projects.
     If our enrollment increases, that could harm us. It's "a fine balance." College of Marin--got to basic aid through decrease in enrollments. Davit K: how did basic aid come about in our district? We were placed on a warning by Accreditor in 2011. Need to work on allocation. Aimed at transparent and open process. Only one-time projects are to be funded by basic aid monies to protect the district and colleges and to be fiscally conservative. Capital construction, major renovation, large infrastructure proejcts, site development. Also retirees benefit trust fund.... Trustee elections .... Major tehcnology initiatives. .. Small renovation projects, including maintenance equipment....
     Flow chart. Basic Aid Allocation Recommendation Committtee (BAARC) flow chart. Looks messy. Shows yet another chart: DRAC and BAARC. BP and AR 3110 have worked very well.
     Fitz discusses how the BP and AR 3110 process has been working. First two years, worked very well.
     BAARC discussions very collegial.
Basic info:
property tax: almost $39 million
20% contingency for unrealized tax collections ($7.7 million)
Plus prior year contingency and unallocated funds: $16 million
Amount available for allocation: $47 million this coming year.
     Shows recommendation slide.
     Total allocations: $47 million. Remaining balance to remain in basic aid fund: $77,000
     Contingency for unrealized tax collections (20%): $7,741,000
     Brandye D'Lena comes up: discusses projects. She's "very excited." New ATEP building.
     Blah, blah, blah. Brandye's being chirpy again. Finishes her "recap" on capital improvement.
     Fitz returns, discusses I-know-not-what. Scheduled maintenance,  blah blah blah. Goes through list that is not displayed.
     Now Bob Bramucci is blathering about projects.
     Fitz starts talking about "ATEP operation." It all adds up to $47 million.
     Next: questions. The two diretors of facilities are on hand.
     Jemal: small vs. major. Is $500,000 the cut off for this? No, it's $1 million.
     Also: a question about whether there is a formula, how much to give to IT, etc. Fitz: no formula, etc. Jemal: new ATEP building: what will be housed there? Roquemore: programs that are currently at ATEP: model making, etc. Curriculum for pre-engineering has been developed (in conjunction with UCI). Engineering technicians. DMA (digital media arts). Gaming industry. Possiblity of "electricity and electronics" being at ATEP. And Photonics (I think).
     Wright: excellent presentation. "I seem to understand everything."
     No more requests. Mild applause.

Consent calendar: pull 5.1, 5.6. That's it. Approved unanimously.

     5.1: Minor error corrected. Unanimously approved.
     5.6: misspelled word corrected. "Two Ls." Unanimously approved.

     6.1 Consolidated elections.... approved.
     6.2 Agreement, info tech services. ...approved.
     6.3 District-wide network refresh. Contracts. Bramucci speaks. Miles of fiber at both campuses. Blah blah blah. Approved.
     6.4 Board Policy Revisions - for review and study. Approved.
     6.5 BP Revisions for discussion and approval. No questions. Approved.
     6.6 Full-time faculty hiring amendment. Approved.
     6.7 Recess to public hearing. Bugay introduces. Opportunity for public to speak on distrit's proposal to Faculty Union proposal. Dan Walsh comments: calendar shift for counselors. He says: counselors are faculty. No Ac. Senate meetings during summer. This applies to all of our committees. One faculty! Applause. No response. Public hearing now closed. Discussion by board? No comments. 6.7 now concluded. Jay: moves the item. 2nd by Jemal. Unanimous yes vote.
     6.8 Academic personnel actions. No changes. Approved unanimously.
     6.9 Classified personnel actions. No changes. Approved unanimously.
     6.10 IVC management reorganization. Approve the management reorganization to add a VP for College Administrative Services.
    Roquemore: IVC has had a long history of having a VP for Admin services. In 1998, it was eliminated by then-Pres Raghu Mathur. Almost all colleges have a third VP. This will give me ability to focus more time on demands on student success, leadership to build ATEP. Lots of work to be done there. We're following a process with this: following Saddleback to a "t".
     Jemal: asks Poertner if he supports this. Yes, agrees with reorganization. Should spend more time on student success, ATEP. I have some fear that some areas will suffer without this structure. So, yes. Prendergast: we've approved this before? I yes. Approved unanimously. (Noone mentions that Director of FS automatically becomes VP through this action.)

     7.1 Annual Accred reports. Nothing.
     7.2 - nothing.
     Etc. No requests to speak.

Reports from governance groups:

     Saddleback College AC Sen President Dan W: good listening sessions!
     Faculty Union: Paula J: My term comes to an end. It's been an honor. Thanks various persons. Appreciates Poertner's tone: vast improvement.
     IVC Ac Senate: Kathy Schmeidler. I've been brief in the past. Not so tonight. 1st, welcomes new student trustee. Welcomes Claire C to next two years as head of FA. Thanks chancellor and board for listening session. Lots attended: half faculty, half classified. Everyone had opportunity to speak. Good interplay. General sense of appreciation to board. People seemed to speak openly; appreciate the gesture... One concern: mentions importance of contracts. Mutual respect does not mean that we must all agree. We can argue, as long as we're respectful. What concerns me: throwing tantrums gets attention. (I guess she's saying that someone or some group did that. Not sure who she has in mind. Nurses program?) "Trust the process, use the process," I always say. I hope that's your intention.
     One more item: should we strategically manage our enrollment to stay on basic aid? Would the taxpayers prefer for us to cut back on classes to stray on basi aid? A philosophical question.
     That's about it.

Item 3.1: “Board requests for reports”
3.1  E. 1.

The following reports are being requested as a result of the Trustee Listening Sessions on April 30, 2014.
1. Report on the 50% Law, the Faculty Obligation Number, and the percentage of classes taught by part time faculty. Provide an explanation of each of these measurements and report on how our district compares to other community college districts throughout the state.

2. Report on the process of developing the academic calendar. Explain the negative impacts that have been reported about the nursing program and veteran students. How can the negative impacts on these students be mitigated? How can we end the disagreement between colleges on calendar development?

3. Report on the service area conflicts between the two colleges. Is the disagreement related to credit instruction, non-credit instruction, workforce development, contract education, student recruitment, foundation giving, and/or other educational services? How and when will the colleges make agreements to end these issues? If there are agreements, please report them.

4. Describe the regulations and policy for hiring administrators and managers. How does HR monitor the process to make certain the process is followed? What could be done to eliminate inconsistencies and violations?

5. Describe the BP 4011.1 process for hiring faculty. Is it a top down process and does it interfere with the faculty ability to hire good people? How is the process continually reevaluated to keep current with hiring needs?

6. Is there a trend of replacing full time classified employees with several part-time employees? If so, why has this been done? Has this resulted in diminished services to students?

7. Provide a brief review of the DRAC funding model and describe the distribution of resources. What is the mechanism for funding growth?

Reason for Request…:
     The board of trustees is requesting information regarding several of the issues that were addressed during the Trustee Listening Sessions. The board is asking for individual reports to be presented as discussion items beginning in the fall, during the 2014-2015 academic year.

1 comment:

Bob Cosgrove said...

Thanks, Roy.

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