Monday, September 29, 2014

September meeting of the BOT: Nancy returns (to Reaganville), CSEA carps (about Edwards), for-profits get dinged (by Jemal)--as Glenn squirms (but feints with still more 9-11 piety)

[Be sure to check out Tere's Board Meeting Highlights]
     OK, it's 5:28, and the room's seats are relatively filled up here in the infamous Ronnie Reagan meeting room (that's the name, I kid you not).
     Interesting. No sign yet of the trustees, who are scheduled to start the open session at 5:30.
     It appears that the classified union is making its presence felt. I see lots of blue CSEA [classified union] shirts here. Earlier today, a source told me that the classified would come to speak at tonight's meeting, to complain about the IVC Director of Facilities and Maintenance, I think. Not sure. We'll see. [Yep.]
     It's 5:31 and still no trustees. A woman is collecting those yellow "speaker" slips. She seems to have maybe ten of them.
     5:34: a classified employee just came up to shake my hand. He said, "You ready for some juice?"
     Yes, I am.
     5:37: Again, the room is relatively full--mostly with blue-shirted CSEA members. The Faculty Association (union) made an effort to get their folks to tonight's meeting, too, but that seems to have produced a meager three or four, as usual.
     On my way in, I noticed that the rounded outside wall of the Ronnie Reagan room is all patched up. Maybe they're having it painted. Not sure. Looks like shit.
     5:41: I'm looking over tonight's agenda, and I see that Chancellor Poertner "will introduce IVC Live Sciences Building..." Introduce a building?
     5:46: some trustees just walked in and the room hushed right up. That might be, of course, because Nancy Padberg looked out into the room, scaring us half to death. Wow, she seems lots better than reports suggested. Marcia Milchiker has yet to arrive. Bill Jay is also absent thus far. Here comes Marcia, but still no Bill.

     5:48: The meeting begins.
     5:49: reading actions in closed session: Marcia: 6-0 voted faculty decision, change termination to resignation.
     Invocation by James Wright. "Our father who art in heaven...." Really.

IVC Director of Maintenance
John Edwards
     Jenna Schaeffer: Prof of English. Faculty advisor for Wall lit journal. Will be hearing about a student later. Invitation to board to reading from Wall. Oct. 16.
     Jan ?: CSEA matter. Matter of concern, impacts enrollment. "Unpredictable shift changes." No accommodation to employee schedules here. Workers never know when their shifts will be changed. We are vulnerable to our lives being changed upside down, 20 days notice. Trying to make grad school plans, then this happens and it's back to square one. "It's time to change." Many people here have second jobs, do community outreach. They experience much stress with these shift changes. Thank you Tod Burnett for your help on this. Refers to the President of US, Elizabeth Warren. "We need to make this gear shift."
     Cameron L: castodial dept., IVC. Dept meetng in July, Director told us he would discuss changes he deemed necessary. Day shift was being uncooperative, refused to use sign-in sheets. He said that was resolved. There had been complaints from neighbors about motor cycle noises in morning. Had to stop. Next: one hour lunch schedule, day shift only. Said would move day shift one hour forward. "To be fair" others shifted too.
     We tried to understand this "heavy handed distribution of punishment" as fair. It still remains a mystery to us. He asked grounds crew, et al., to return to regular hours. But swing shift employees have not been moved back. Is that fair? This is the third time I've been switched. (Applause.)

     Robert Flournoy: wants to go over statistics. 34% of people in OC can't meet their needs. 1 out of 4 children come from families in poverty. Etc. Discusses his organization's donations to help. Provides statistics. Honored by senate, etc. Has fought hunger. First toy drive at IVC, etc. Shows resolution he received from a Caifornia senator. My ability to make morning meetings have been affected by schedule change. "The lives of others do matter." These unpredictable schedule schedules do harm to employees and their families. Please support new concept of 21st century work week. (Applause.)
     Steven Woodard: works at ATEP as groundskeeper. My shift has been changed 8 different times during my time working with district. It's hard to have a life with these many changes. (Applause.)
     Scott Greene: classified employees, when they make a promise, they keep it. As local chapter prez, I got to know these people. They are dedicated to the students. They are contributing to student success. Respectfully requests: give us our own listening session, to hear our own issues. You need to know what is happening among employees who are proud and dedicated.... (Applause.)
     Margot Lovett: 18th year at Saddleback College. Chair of History Dept. A large department. Wants to speak to situation facing part-time faculty. As chair, I recruit part-timers. Enthusiastic, creative instructors. Committed to their students. I'm happy when I'm able to offer them a job. But I dread telling them how much they'll be paid for a 3 unit class. Between $3k and $3,200 per semester. I'm embarassed. Sometimes they just can't take the job. We pay far less than other districts. We should pay our part-time faculty what they're worth. (Applause)

     Saddleback's Tod Burnett steps up. Presents Iman Moujtahed, who received a national award for her artwork for the WALL cover. Saddleback College literary journal. Digital photo manipulation, pictures of ancient Syria, etc. Gives her certificate. Lots of applause. She speaks. Very gracious. (Applause.)
     Chancellor Poertner comes up to "introduce" a building. The design was awarded gold status. Very good planning. Cooperative effort.
     Brandye D comes up to discuss how the project developed. Architect comes up. Dougherty and Dougherty LLP. All smiles. "It takes a really good client to make a really good building." Gracious remarks. Lead gold building certified (will be). Very exciting. Very resource efficient. A teachable moment. Also recognized by organizations: Pacific Coast Builders Conference. The best education building submitted this year. Priscilla Ross (who is teaching) and Kathy Schmeidler represent faculty input. We keep collecting certificates and awards, says Architecture Boy. Lots of smiles. (Applause.) Three plaques. (Photo op.) Very dog und pony.

     Tim Jemal: participated in outreach meetings, local employers. Witnessed social entrepreneurship competition at Saddleback. Was a judge for phase 1. Thanks those responsible. Suggests should try to connect competition with what's happening at the colleges. He has concerns with our relationship with the for-profit colleges. Will have discussions in the next week or so. There's a place for the for-profits. But very different than our relationship with public institutions.... Excessive debt--a real, serious problems. Our polices vis-a-vis the for-profits need to be thought out further. (Background: Clueless Roquemore makes nice with the enemy.)
     Marcia Milchiker: thanks Wright for alerting her to event bringing Madame Curie impersonator to campus. Students were inspired: how to be a scientist. "Even I wanted to go back to being a scientist." Attended faculty benefit concert. Child prodigy played violin, etc. Beautiful music. OCCC leg task force: discussed bills. Issues concerning adult education: K-12 or community colleges? Please come to us with ideas.
Didn't say much;
glad to be back
     Nancy Padberg: it's great to be back. Gone for quite some time. Personal illness to deal with. Won't bore you with details. "Being here is so much better." Laughs. Excited about ccs offering a four-year degree. Press reports don't make clear how that will work, who will be involved.
     TJ Prendergast: no report whatsoever. Welcome back (to Nancy). We know it's been a journey.
     James Wright: welcomes Nancy also. Attended various events: IVC 9-11 commemoration. Extremely well done. Displays. First responders were there. Fiscal update: state is not as sound as should be. Attended football games. Visited College of the Canyons, was asked to be on a panel.
     Dave Lang: also attended 9-11 ceremony. Applauds Prez Roquemore and others for organizing this event. Occurred to me: disappointed by outside attendance, community members. We need to engage the public. Attended fiscal update along with Wright and Prendergast. Pleased by article in OC Reg about historic legislation signed by Gov. Brown, allowing CCs to award some bachelors degrees. Long overdue. Exciting. Looking forward to our district being involved. Welcomes Nancy back.
     Keefe Carillo: blah, blah, blah. 9-11 ceremony "very well done." (Boy is this kid full of himself.) Astonishing ceremony.

Chancellor's report: colleges are continuing to pursue "student success." E.g., a student equity plan. In the plan, each college analyzes data about students. Identifying groups the need particular assistance.
     On tonight's agenda, item 7.3 will provide an overview of requirements concerning student equity. These plans are over 100 pages each. Will bring to board, one at a time.

College Presidents:
     Roquemore: welcomes back Nancy. Life Sciences Building: Brandye D deserves much recognition. She worked magic, which is "real." Our two colleges have joined with UCI NSF grant, intended to bring more students into computer sciences and engineering. We got $1.8 million award, one of the largest. Thanks trustees for attending 9-11 commemoration. "My heart was broken" as well, owing to poor community presence. We really try to bring our community out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
     Burnett: mentions Social Entrepreneurship thingy. Very successful "for our first year." Thanks faculty. Mentions all the "plans" that we're working on. "We're really working hard here at Saddleback" on these many plans (Yeah, and there's a planning committee to plan more planning.) We're thrilled to have Nancy Padberg back. "Don't leave us again." (Laughter.)

     VP of Saddleback student government speaks. Excited to work with faculty on student success, blah blah blah. Blood drive was successful. Free movie night. Showing "Lucy," (that silly Scarlett J movie).
     IVC student government guy has no report.

     Moves on to consent calendar: anything to pull? Nothing. Ah, 5.9 pulled. Vote: unanimous.

     5.9: amended conflict of interest code, blah blah blah, unanimous vote in support

General action items:

More smiles
6.1 IVC first building project, Design-build
     Brandye D comes up and yammers about that as she has, many times.
     Trustee Jemal: are the architects aware of what we need/want? (Not sure if that's the question.) D: Program needs have not been finalized. She has a draft, will provide that.
     Unanimous approval.

6.2 pay to absent trustee (Nancy). Always unanimously approved. Sheesh.

6.3 Switch to HP computers. Greater function, less cost. Approved.

6.4 ATEP land exchange demo. Contract for 2 and a half mil. dollars. Approved.

6.5 AC. Personel actions.
     Trustee Wright: 11 equivalencies here. A pretty large number. "I'm just bringing that to your attention." (He's concerned.) Schmeidler speaks: it really does mean equivalency. Approved. (I'm getting to think that Kathy and Jim aren't pals.)

6.6 Classified personel actions
     Lang asks for clarification, something on p. 7, c1, c2. Bugay: blah blah blah. Approved unanimously

6.7 Resolution, classified employee layoffs - approved unanimously


7.1 Annual Accreditation reports
     Lang: I found these reports interesting. Seems like they came to us in a "little different format" this year. Saddleback Report: decline in headcount in enrollment, 3-year period. Trend in distance education good, going up gradually. IVC report (not Saddleback): job placement data.
what's with Saddleback? Any response?
     Burnett: re enrollment. Yes, we've had a gradual decline. We expected this. Many reasons. Will be down again this year. Expect turn around next year. Kathy Werle and Craig Justice come to podium. Werle: job placement data. Previous employee dropped the ball. Didn't get service requested and paid for. Will have that data beginning of next year.
What? No
     Lang: IVC report: enrollment increase, but decrease from two years ago. Fairly flat over 3 year period. Distance Education went downhill moderately. Job placement info: digital media, web authoring--anomalies. Re enrollment: 2012-2011 - surge in enrollment because of cutbacks in neighboring colleges. But we had to cut back a year later. We're now more in line with our budget. Blah blah blah. Re online instruction: Course offerings not same as section offerings. Don't have data here with me. Placement: fluctuates (though overall very good). The Accred report is a snapshot, one year period. Don't get a clear picture of trend line.
     Jemal: interesting data. I think a presentation would have been useful. [He's pretty understated in his disappointment.] Didn't know that the number of degrees offered higher at IVC than SC. Would have been helpful to have a presentation of all this. [Awkward pause.] Prendergast agrees. "It is what it is." Jemal looks at TJ. TJ is too tired to care. His eyes are dolls' eyes.

Moving on to

7.2 Staff response to public comments.
     Student elections (IVC) issue. (At a previous meeting, a student's mom showed up, and she was steamed that her little girl lost the IVC student government election because of alleged irregularities; something about counting votes or not counting them.) Today: Follow-up report. There was a written report. Roquemore says Dennis Gordon is here to answer any questions. [He has "temporarily" taken over Helen Locke's duties. Helen's fate seems in limbo. The trustees need to decide, evidently, and they haven't.]
     Jemal: please explain briefly, simply--the election process.
     Dennis: 5 day period, students key in student number. They vote. Filter out non-IVC students. That way we get clean votes. Both colleges do this. A process used for several years. Saddleback students prohibited from voting in IVC election.
     Jemal: any students with dual email addresses? (No.)
     Wright: is this issue over with? Dennis: Yes it is. The student returned to school, showed no interest in pursuing matter. She's been active in student government again. The issue is behind us.
     Student trustee: I think this was very professionally handled.
     Prendergast: is there any need to clean up language, clarify what was misconstrued? Can we prevent this from happening again?
     Dennis: gets into weeds.

7.3 Student Equity Plan Report
     Linda Fontanilla, VP of SS—with Juan Avalos [?] of Saddleback College. Glad to see Nancy return. Some highlights. Two documents that we will "bring forth" in the coming months. Student Equity Plan. Each college must develop such a plan. Focus on students not succeeding. A fine grain look, developing strategies.
     Blah blah blah.
     Juan: lots of "conversation" last few years about "student success." Got data. Student equity plans have emerged. Grounded in research. Thorough analysis of "disproportional impact." Before: narrative. Now, data, plan.
     These two are putting me into a coma. I think they need to use props or something. Maybe get some theater kids to act stuff out. I dunno. I'm dying here.
     Juan is still speaking, and I might have to go up there and knock him down. Please stop. Meanwhile, the trustees seem to have it worse than I do. Prendergast is thinking about something other than Juan and his "conversations." Sheesh.
     Good Lord, he's still going. What is he saying? Is anyone listening? Please bring a dog or pony next time.  (7:09: he's still going strong. His words mean nothing. Most in room politely conscious.)
     Good Lord, he's still yammering. How can anyone say something so simple with so many words. And goofy ones too. Shut up, shut up, shut up.
     Now he's thanking IVC. Please stop. OK, Juan seems nice, but he's a killer. I think he just stopped!
     Fontanilla insists on saying more (good Lord!). Blah blah blah. Areas where we can spend money. Outreach, blah blah blah. Good Lord, she's killing me with this stuff.
     Milchiker: Did this come out of student success act? What are the subgroups? Is the $1 million we're receiving for both colleges?
     Juan: yes, the money is for the district as a whole. Groups? Veterans, foster youth, CalWorks underrepresented populations, gender, age, economic disadvantage, disabilities. These are the core groups, doing analysis. Not sure if all this came out of the act, but I think the answer is yes. We've got to report on student equity as part of Success.
     Fontanilla: she says something else, good Lord. Her slacks are striped. Her mouth is still moving.
     Jemal: do we know what % of students are NOT succeeding? We must have some idea.
     Fontanilla: she starts talking about "cohorts" followed since 2007. These subgroups are coming in small numbers. E.g., hispanic males. But only 30 students. Yes, disproportional impact, but small numbers: 3, 4, etc. Juan: SC is diving into data now. Basic Skills area: that's were there's disproportionality.

Plasticity hisself
5.8: retroactively Prendergast abstains on this item, already voted upon. Jemal looks doubtful. They revote. 5 yes, 1 abstention.

7.4 SC and IVC speakers. No comments.

7.5 Basid aid
7.6 Facilities plan...

Reports from administration and governance groups

     Faculty union: problems with pay structure, etc. Low compensation for department chairs. Faculty are declining to serve. Many tasks will not be done. That's accreditation.

     I think the Saddleback Faculty Senate gal spoke strongly in support of CSEA and classified, staff workers. They're important to us and we're behind them. Blah blah blah
     --I'm outa here.


Anonymous said...

You could feel the energy coming from all the blue shirts.

Anonymous said...

frequent schedule changes are obviously a concern to any classified employee who also has a life beyond their work life. CSEA must review the contract language that allows for such changes and should make it a priority to create language that allows for department needs, management rights with built in limits to end frequent changes, and of course consideration of the employee. Beyond this very important issue of consideration and language clarity; our personal family schedules, our outside business commitments, our personal interests, our volunteerism (however fine and altruistic) are not the business of the running of the college. These matters play no factor in what schedules we work or do not work and whatever schedule we are assigned in the workplace, each schedule will have its own issues. Therefore personal matters, business interests, family responsibilities and volunteerism are all non issues. The frequency of the ability to change schedules is a matter of language that needs clarification. I would hope that beyond the schedules, there is a recognition that no college can be maintained with a sparse custodial crew. We have more buildings, more classrooms, a huge and ever growing student population and they alone can dirty a bathroom in ten minutes prior to the start or ending of a class. Unfortunately, this college has not recognized this reality and has not kept up with the hiring of custodians and are well behind where we should be for a college this size and a population this large. Instead of routinely complaining about how bathrooms are not kept up, why would not all recommend that the priority of the college is the hiring of five full time custodians next year? It seems time we would put money behind our concerns and actually hire custodians. Our classified hiring process is built to accommodate this very situation and should be taken advantage of promptly or the constant complaints hold little meaning. Is this college willing to recognize this shortage given the new buildings and this huge student population? Is this college willing to hire custodians to clean this fine college and keep it clean for its students? We cannot continue to grow at this rate and not answer these questions.

Anonymous said...

9:35 am please read what you said and then read what Cameron said...No Manager should have the right to say what Cameron explains. John gives no explanation to why other than the days go up so the nights hours go up. you tell the readers how fair is John to the night crew. No complaints about buildings came out his mouth,no comments about what we should do about restrooms.

Beyond this very important issue of consideration and language clarity; our personal family schedules, our outside business commitments, our personal interests, our volunteerism (however fine and altruistic) are not the business of the running of the college. These matters play no factor in what schedules we work or do not work and whatever schedule we are assigned in the workplace, each schedule will have its own issues. Therefore personal matters, business interests, family responsibilities and volunteerism are all non issues.

Cameron L: castodial dept., IVC. Dept meetng in July, Director told us he would discuss changes he deemed necessary. Day shift was being uncooperative, refused to use sign-in sheets. He said that was resolved. There had been complaints from neighbors about motor cycle noises in morning. Had to stop. Next: one hour lunch schedule, day shift only. Said would move day shift one hour forward. "To be fair" others shifted too.
We tried to understand this "heavy handed distribution of punishment" as fair. It still remains a mystery to us. He asked grounds crew, et al., to return to regular hours. But swing shift employees have not been moved back. Is that fair? This is the third time I've been switched.

Anonymous said...

IMHO all this stuff about student success, equity, outcomes, yes means yes, etc... equates to less and less personal responsibilty for students, and the expansion of admin jobs with demands of more accountability for the impossible for both admins and faculty. I thought Higher Ed. and the learnikg process was supposed to be about students figuring things out for themselves? And if they don't succeed the first time around, they evaluate what went wrong, make adjustments and try again. What's so bad about that?

The governments have pushed this Disneyland-ification of higher education, that every boy and girl must succeed. The reality is that cannot work without significantly lowering academic standards, so everyone becomes a winner. Additionally, wasting resources educating those that do not have internal drive, ambition or willingness to succeed is just that: a waste.

So then let's pretend the goal is someday realized and everyone has a College education. There will still be the same unemployment rate, homelessness rate, poverty rate, rate of people living on public assistance, etc... Society as a whole will be a tad bit more educated, but that will never be enough to impact social conditions.

This takes us back to personal drive, ambition, responsibility, and willingness to succeed, qualities that American parents have been failing to teach and instill in their children. Basically, good parenting has failed and parents have voted for their governments to blame and force the impossible on public education. The proof is in other cultures where the parents place a much higher value on education. That's just MHO.

Anonymous said...

The lack of personal responsibility and the belief that every boy and girl must succeed is present far sooner than higher education. There are no winners and losers anymore. Everyone gets a trophy for participating. We mustn't damage self-esteem by placing students in groups by ability. We teach to the average now as we dumb down America's students. A college education was never intended to be for every student. We devalue higher education by pandering to the belief that everyone should have a college education. What ever happened to a college prep track or vocational track in high school? Oh, that's right. We were labeling. So, instead of leaving high school with marketable trade skills, our kids leave with a mediocre education based on standardized testing that qualifies them for remedial English and Mathematics classes at community college. Treating all students the same is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

What is so unusual about the meeting room being named after Ronald (not Ronnie, BTW) Reagan? Lots of things are named after US presidents, i.e. the 118, Ronald Reagan freeway, etc... As you already know, Gov. Reagan was present at the 1967 ground breaking ceremony of Saddleback College, so I do not understand your anamosity toward him and the fact that they named the board room in his honor. Besides all that, he was a great connunicator, 3 term governor & 2 term president.

Next, I heard JE was not present at the meeting because he was on vacation. One would think he would at least make it his business to be there to state and defend his case, but I guess he's already thrown in the towel because he's really had no justification. I think he also left Glenn, the only one who believed in him, stuck holding the bag. The writing could already be on the wall. What a trainwreck that guy has caused... and it was totally preventable.

Roy Bauer said...

The SOCCCD board meeting room was made into a shrine to Ronald Reagan by the despicable Tom Fuentes, and so it is a shrine to that appalling fellow as well. Reagan, no friend to public higher education, showed for the ground breaking as a favor to Hans Vogel, a local right-winger who was an early supporter of the Gipper and who altered the plans to the "Utt" Library, removing windows, so that it could serve as a fortress against students. Yes, students. Republicans, including Ronnie Reagan, have been crapping on higher ed, and the SOCCCD in particular, for fifty years.

Anonymous said...

So as governor, Reagan and the state budgeted and allocated funds to Saddleback College to make it into the great, public, institution of higher education that it is today. How is that "crapping" on public education?

So according to you, the room has been made into a "shrine" to Reagan. Isn't that what happens with most politicians who've made a difference, i.e. the Roybal building, the William Parker Center, the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX?

In proper context, the era of the late 60s was highly contentious. There were leftist attacks on public institutions everywhere, i.e. Bill Ayers and his violence, murder, bombing of the pentagon, etc... As Universities and Colleges were (and still are) the hotbeds of violent, leftist extremism, it is understandable, and reasonable that the Utt Library was designed with that in mind.

Roy, sounds like it all boils down to nothing more than your personal sour grapes and hatred of Ronald Reagan.

Roy Bauer said...

Read any account of Reagan’s governorship and you will quickly discover that he got into office by promising to “clean up the mess” (demos against the war, etc.) at Berkley and UC. Translation: he demonized students and faculty and reversed important elements of Californians’ much heralded plans for higher education. He was so hated by educators, especially at the U of C, that they launched an attempted recall in 1968.
Yes, in our society, public buildings are often dedicated to persons perceived as having contributed to society. Obviously, such gestures are fallible. Sometimes, they reflect the narrowness, foolishness, and irrationality of the populous or a powerful segment with it. William Parker, for instance, presided over corruption and supported racist policies. This is well known except in the world of Fox News.
Universities and colleges “still are” “hotbeds of violent, leftist extremism”? You, sir, are a nut. Have you been to any colleges lately? When I visit UCI, I'm afraid that a Young Republicans Club meeting will break out at any moment.
“Sour grapes” refers to a negative attitude that one has because one cannot have something. I fail to see how that applies to me in any way. Just what are you trying to say?
I do not have “hatred” for Ronald Reagan. I reject much of his philosophy, some of his tactics, and all of his foolishness (including his reliance on astrology).
Pay attention, dude. Read some history. Open your eyes.

Anonymous said...

Updates should be coming...

Anonymous said...

So I here John Edwards is back from wherever he came from. Let's see what has happen since he has been back. I here he has been snipping around buildings on campus and staying late. I heard he has never done this before must be because of the board meeting. John this looks like you can be creating an intimidating environment. Is this what your truing to do.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm sure he will pull the old story that as a manager I have the right to go through all the buildings when i feel like it. Yes you can John but why do you do it now. Man you are so obvious.

Anonymous said...

Because you slugs need more supervision!

Traitor? Idiot? Both?