Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monday's BOT meeting: a snoozefest?

     Today, as usual, Chancellor Gary Poertner sent the district community a link to the agenda of the next board meeting, which will be held on Monday (Sept. 29).
     It looks like a real snoozefest.
     The agenda for the closed session includes an item re “Public Employee Discipline, Dismissal, Release,” two “matters.”
     For the open session, which starts at 5:30—that's unusual—there are no discussion items. The latter often take up lots of the trustees' time.
     Under “Academic personnel actions,” I noticed this bit about “reorganization”:

     I noticed, too, that a recent hire at IVC got her advanced degree, a doctorate, from Argosy in Santa Ana.
     Sheesh. (At least her BA is from a real college.)
     Under "reports," there’s this: “Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College: Annual Accreditation Reports"
     Another report concerns a complaint about the ASIVC student elections in April. Looks pretty messy, convoluted.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

IVC's "banned books" event is a blazing success

Virginia Shank (and Lisa Alvarez) at today's event
It attracted wandering studentry
Was a sunny day

The "banned books" event, which occurred at 3:00 p.m. today in front of the IVC Library, went off without a hitch—or bonfire. Faculty, students, and others happily took turns reading from past and present "banned" writings by the likes of Ray Bradbury (a local favorite), Kurt Vonegut, Alan Ginsberg, Alice Walker, and many others.
Above: one of our recent English hires reads as Lisa views her snazzy "Freadom" sign

 Virginia Shank and Lisa Alvarez, both of the English Department and School of Humanities, were the event's presenters. (The event was "presented" by the English Dept. and Library Services but was "sponsored" by ASIVC.) Mostly, Virginia and Lisa had people come up and read—from scraps of paper grabbed at random from two "banned" bags.

Virginia and Lisa having fun

The event was well attended and enjoyed the often ardent participation of students, who seemed to come alive as they read the words of some of their favorite authors.

IVC President, Glenn Roquemore, who supported the event, participated in the readings, wearing, as did all participants, an old-school fireman's helmet emblazoned with "451"—an allusion to the famous Ray Bradbury novel, which became a celebrated film (Francois Truffaut). (The helmet is owned by Lisa, whose father spent 45 years in the LA Fire Department.)
Above: observe two Ray Bradbury posters, signed by Ray, provided by IVC's own Frank Pangborn, who also participated

Our own Diane Oaks also read from a banned work

It was a spectacle, it was

Our good friend Melanie, a reading instructor, intoned pleasantly into a microphone
atop the "soap box," a prop crafted by Lisa,
who harbors many talents beyond writing and teaching and rebelling

Lots of students hung around, taking in the artistic and free-speech loving vibe.

Students, examining some of the books on display.
I heard several students, and others, expressing appreciation 
for the event. No doubt we'll do it again next year.

Bradbury (1920-2012) visited IVC in 2009. See Bradbury event at IVC.
Glenn and Frank sharing a laugh

Lisa speaking with one of the students who went out of his 
way to express appreciation for the event

More students happily soakin' up the literary vibe
Students seemed really to enjoy the displays
Happy campers in the sun


Rapt attention
Excitement just outside the library

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

IVC: proudly sporting the "lout" brand

     OUR PEEVISH POST about administration’s curious plan to contact 500 Irvine businesses/entities in one day (Oct. 1)—to deliver the message that IVC is their community college (i.e., OCC isn’t)—hit a nerve, I guess. At any rate, it attracted lots of comments, some of them passionate and even intelligent.
     Contrary to some of our critics, our post did not object to “outreach” and “marketing” per se; rather, it objected to the “how”—the wielding of the same tired pamphlets and, most particularly, of “cookie tins.”
     Cookie tins from a college!
     As we, and many others, have complained over the years (going back at least to 1997), administration has increasingly “branded” the college as (1) a haven for kiddies (“Astounding Inventions,” “Lego League”), (2) a resource for fat-headed patriotism (the eternal-inevitable, flag-waving 9-11 ceremonies; lurid military recruiter visitations), and (3) a shameless panderer to knuckle-head kids (those grease-soaked and heavily ballooned pander fests known as “Senior days”).
     We can now add to that: (4) an embracer/partner of notorious student- and taxpayer-exploiting businesses (U of Phoenix/IVC MOU) and, finally, (5) a source of freakin' cookies.

Anonymous – 9:32 AM, September 20, 2014
     IVC is so wonderful to work at in so many ways. But, damn if it doesn't get weird as hell sometimes... [C]ookies and IVC go together like milk and corporate cronyism

Anonymous -- 9:39 PM, September 20, 2014

     When this was announced at a meeting I was at, I didn't know what to say. I couldn't meet anyone's eyes. I can't imagine how this gimmick got this far. We are not the girl scouts.

IVC: the corrupt-for-profits loving college (Memo-ing with the enemy)
Anonymous -- 9:30 AM, September 21, 2014

     What is this about? I don't understand. 

Reply: Roy Bauer -- 10:39 AM, September 21, 2014 
     Administration seeks to combat poaching of our service area by the likes of OCC, and to make our presence known, by assembling teams, on Oct. 1, that will descend upon 500 local "businesses" (that's the word [the VP of SS] used at the meeting I attended; no doubt the category is broader than that) with a tin of cookies and some pamphlets. Many of us cringed--once again--when we heard about the cookies. That's what we've come to expect from IVC administration: IVC=cookies. Maybe punch, too.

Anonymous -- 9:38 AM, September 21, 2014

     Stop thinking like an academic for a moment and think of our college as a business (yes, we are in the business of educating students) that provides educational and training opportunities to our local communities. Many areas (especially Tustin and Irvine) have grown significantly over the years with many new residents and businesses. This Outreach effort is to introduce IVC and the things we offer to the local community. In private industry it is called "marketing" and hopefully the outreach efforts will engage the local community. I think that having community support from individuals and business would be great for the college. What would be the downside to giving out a tin of cookies and a information about our college to people who could benefit from our services?
Who knows, some of them could also offer benefits to our students (internships, jobs, scholarships, grants, etc.) time to "think outside the box" and reach out to our local communities.

IVC: the Lego college
Roy Bauer -- 10:27 AM, September 21, 2014

     9:38, you're just not listening. Obviously, we're not against "outreach" and "marketing" per se. We're concerned that, time and time again, the choices our college makes suggest that we're more a high school than a college. If IVC had a strong reputation in the community as a college with college values, then a tin of cookies wouldn't be so bad. Given that, for many in the community, IVC means "Astounding" kiddie inventions and pretty blue balloons, it's awful. It's people like you that have us in a "box" that we need to get out of. —The sub-collegiate, anti-intellectual gradeschool box.

Anonymous -- 10:52 AM, September 21, 2014

     The way for IVC to gain a strong reputation in the community is by reaching out and informing the community about what we offer. The concept of a small token or gift (in this case a tin of cookies) is a way of saying "hello" and introducing IVC to the community. This is not a new marketing concept and is actually a proven method that was instituted many years ago by Welcome Wagon and other community and civic organizations.

Reply: Roy Bauer -- 3:49 PM, September 21, 2014 
     I'd rather leave 'em a burning sack of shit.

: Anonymous -- 4:12 PM, September 21, 2014 
     Roy, your response at 3:49 pm is probably why you were not selected to lead the outreach effort. If you truly care about our students (and I believe you do) then I think any campus outreach that can provide them support or opportunities should be embraced. Even if we don't agree with the methodology, the fact that efforts are being made by many people on campus to engage the local community should be embraced.

Roy Bauer -- 5:41 PM, September 21, 2014

     4:12, you are humorless, obviously. 

Anonymous -- 7:17 PM, September 21, 2014

     Actually, I have a sense of humor and enjoy using sarcasm to make a point. It has been fun jousting!

Anonymous -- 12:18 AM, September 22, 2014

     I think a 3 to 5 minute DVD will work a lot better with those cookies.

Anonymous -- 7:15 AM, September 22, 2014

     Relationships (business and personal) are best developed in person, not via a DVD. Hasn't anyone on this campus taken a course in business or personal development?

Anonymous -- 7:29 AM, September 22, 2014

     Hasn't anyone on this campus seen what happens when a school IS run like a business? You know, say, like all the for-profits under investigation for screwing over everyone, including taxpayers? Schools are not businesses. And like Roy said, if it was only the cookies. But it's not. IVC lacks an intellectual rigor outside the classroom that is a part of many other campuses, including other community colleges.

IVC: the "Kindergarten to 8th grade" college
Anonymous -- 8:50 AM, September 22, 2014

     Agreed. IVC is NOT a business. It is a public institution of higher learning held by the people of California to serve their interests. The primary purpose of IVC is to deliver a college education. This education is delivered by academics. To imply that Roy, as an academic, does not have a valid opinion on this topic because he is an academic is an expression of the very problem his comments were addressing. Our college administration is filled with people who do not seem to be academics and do not seem to be concerned with, nor to appreciate, the faculty whose knowledge, experience, education, and hard work creates and delivers the knowledge that is at the core of the college's mission. The proliferation of buzz words and gimmicks, the design of faculty offices without (adequate) book shelves, the claims that campus events (e.g., the recent 9/11 commemoration) are educational while not involving faculty at all, the marginalizing of faculty from key educational decisions, are a symptom of the degree to which administrators fail to appreciate the differences between college and high school, private enterprise and public institution, and quality and gimmick.

Anonymous -- 1:25 PM, September 22, 2014

     Gee, love that professionalism, Roy. I guess only educationists like you are allowed to make jokes and drop the F-bomb. Anyone else, and it wouldn't be politically correct.
Reply: Roy Bauer -- 3:31 PM, September 22, 2014
     Wielding that finely-honed "sarcasm," are we? OK, I'll bite. Which "joke" did I fail to tolerate? 

     Re my use of the "F-bomb": I would have thought everyone would be impressed by my stunning reserve, given the obnoxious idiocy routinely exhibited by some critics of this blog.
Anonymous -- 1:56 PM, September 22, 2014

     Marketing and outreach are only one small part of enrollment management. The problem is that there's so much hand-wringing about a drop in enrollment that is being seen by colleges throughout the nation. Rather than take it in stride, we freak out and take desperate measures. Our problem isn't that people don't know about us, so cookie tins won't solve anything. They certainly won't increase enrollment. 

OCC has a reputation as being "fun." They also have tens of years of history on IVC. Cookie tins won't change that.

 How about we look at what we offer students, and meet demand? But no, that would take decision making, which nobody wants to do.

 So let's pass out cookies. That'll solve everything. 

How lame.

Anonymous -- 4:21 PM, September 22, 2014

     Guys are like fish, attracted to shiney, reflective, sexy things. Make colorful, shiney pamphlets with hot, young, sexy chicks on them (like OCC does), those chicks in swimsuits at the beach, etc... and skip the extra expense of cookies. To attract ladies, show pictures of a new shoe or jewelery design, or drama program being offered. There ya go!
Reply: Roy Bauer -- 4:57 PM, September 22, 2014
     First, I'm not sure any self-respecting college would want the crowd that such approaches would attract. Second, bedazzlement by shiny things and new shoes attracts both sexes, Captain Retro. Maybe you should consider a move to Costa Mesa, dude.
Astounding invention: Swiss Army helmet
Anonymous -- 5:54 PM, September 22, 2014

     I'd rather IVC become known as a kick-ass college for pre-engineering or computer science or high-quality general education transfer programs or (insert quality academic program here) and then market that. Standout quality education will sell itself.

 Oh, and just a thought: Is the cost of the cookies considered a gift of public funds?
Reply: Roy Bauer -- 6:10 PM, September 22, 2014
     I think that various female denizens of the college are being approached to volunteer to bake the cookies. That's what a female professor likes to hear: can you bake some cookies for us, dear?
Anonymous -- 6:35 PM, September 22, 2014

     We are not being asked to bake but we are being asked to distribute cookies - one step away from the kitchen. I think this may be well-intended but is misguided and poorly considered not only in terms of audience but - well, I can't imagine doing this kind of thing. I really can't. And I am all for pitching in but this just seems half-baked (sorry!).

Anonymous -- 7:44 PM, September 22, 2014

     Wow, what a small-minded group of nagging nabobs of negativism. Just sit in your little cubicles (without adequate bookshelves) and whine while the world passes you by. OK, so you are not willing to help because you don't like the idea, or you think it's misguided or whatever.
Let those who are willing and able to do something that might help our students go out and do it.
Reply: Roy Bauer -- 8:45 PM, September 22, 2014
     What "world" must one live in to recycle old Spiro Agnew quotes? Corrupt hypocrite world? Greek-American bribery world? Shit-for-brains world?
Anonymous -- 7:52 PM, September 22, 2014

     Dear 6:35 pm, I am happy to see that you have been elected to speak for the campus. Your sexist comment about distributing cookies is one step away from the kitchen and your thorough analysis as to why you know that the plan is misguided and poorly considered shows how out of touch you really are. Thanks for not going out to the community and embarrassing the rest of us by displaying your small mindedness.
Reply: Roy Bauer -- 8:47 PM, September 22, 2014 
     7:52, I must have missed something. What is "sexist" about 6:35's comment?
Anonymous -- 8:27 PM, September 22, 2014

     Dear 7:44 and 7:52,

 You are so right. Cookies are exactly what a university is about. And a bunch of silly reps from the college going to local businesses and giving out tins of cookies is going to get our students to transfer to UCLA and Harvard and anywhere they want to go. Or, they'll get top paying jobs for a few snickerdoodles. I'll just go back to my cubicle and waste my time teaching critical thinking skills. Apparently, it is a waste of time. Anyone who seems to have the ability to analyze and think won't get a job in admin.

A free “In and Out” Burger lunch and T-shirt; games, raffles, fun and excitement
Anonymous -- 7:44 AM, September 23, 2014

     I think it is possible to agree to disagree about this one except that it also represents another top-down scheme that doesn't ask for faculty buy-in but expects or demands it after the fact. If the Business school is so hot on this one, let them spend their weekend passing out cookies. I agree that we have lots to brag about but I find this gimmick a bit of a poor fit. We are not the Welcome Wagon or Chamber of Commerce or the Girl Scouts. We're a college. There is a difference.

Anonymous -- 7:48 AM, September 23, 2014

     We used to have a presence at the local community fairs and events (e.g. Tustin Tiller Days) where we would hand out fliers about our programs and upcoming events and talk to people. And gosh, this is going way back, even distribute copies of the magazine "The Ear." This was a nice way of doing outreach and meeting members of the community -and being seen as PART of the community, as the COLLEGE part of the community.

IVC's future "Sciences and Technologies Center"

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Gabriella Assembly District campaign: update

     Our own Wendy Gabriella, who is running for the 73rd Assembly District, sends this update:
     Despite the challenges presented by my opponent, our September 14th fundraiser at Jacks in Dana Point was a tremendous success. Many thanks to AD 73 delegates and Co-Sponsors Rosemarie Allaire and Steve Stewart who pulled everything together after the last minute cancellation [perpetrated by Wendy’s opponent].… 
     My opponent, Bill Brough, is in foreclosure on his home. As of July 21st, he owes over $44,689.82 in back mortgage payments, which raises the obvious question: “If Mr. Brough can’t manage his personal finances, how can voters expect him to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars in Sacramento?” You can read more here:      Team Gabriella is working diligently walking precincts every weekend and phone banking. Absentee ballots will arrive in less than two weeks and we need your help. If you can volunteer for even a few hours, it will make a difference. Lawn signs are also available. Please contact our Campaign Coordinator, Nicole Mok, at 
     Your continued contributions will help get this information out to voters and get the right candidate to Sacramento!  You can donate securely and quickly online at or checks may be mailed to my treasurer at 739 South Walnut Ave, Brea CA 92821.  
In Solidarity, 
Wendy Gabriella 
P.S. Let’s get the word out: Follow us on Facebook and share with your friends.

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