Thursday, April 9, 2015

Systematic rational failures and SLOs, part II: the ACCJC gets dogmatic & dictatorial all over Cal community colleges (2002)

     You're just gonna LOVE this. What follows is a series of ASCCC (aka “state senate”)* resolutions in response to the accrediting agency’s (the ACCJC's) June 2002 imposition of new standards that focus on “student learning outcomes” (SLOs).
     (See especially #02.04, below.)
     Essentially, the State Senate demanded that the accreditors explain the evidential basis for their assumption that the embrace of SLOs will improve education at the colleges.
     In response, the accreditors provided nothing. Evidently, that body ruthlessly and unapologetically imposed the new standards, despite howls of protest and requests for "dialogue."
     Nope. No dialogue. No evidence. Just the hammer coming down.
     At the end of this post, I've added a more recent assessment of the "evidence" in favor of the SLO regime.
     There's still no evidence that this sh*t works.

• Use of Current Measures Absent "Clear Showing of Inadequacy" (Fall 2002, # 02.01)
Whereas, The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 1991 Statement on "Mandated Assessment of Educational Outcomes" notes that the justification for developing any assessment plan must be "accompanied by a clear showing that existing methods of assessing learning are inadequate for accomplishing the intended purposes of a supplementary plan"; and

Whereas, Given that the new Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Standards require that faculty develop student learning outcome measures at the course, program, certificate, and degree level, even though the ACCJC has provided no evidence that these would document the inadequacy of current methods for assessing learning;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge local senates to assert the right and responsibility of faculty to determine appropriate measures of student learning and achievement (such as grades, certificates, and degrees), and that absent "clear showing" of the inadequacy of current measures faculty need not develop additional outcome measures simply to satisfy the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) requirements for continuous documentation and improvement of student learning outcomes.
[The Senate published in December 2002 guidelines for the field covering these points. These guidelines are available on the Senate website.]


• Insistence on Academic and Institutional Excellence in the Self-study Process (Fall 2002, #02.02)
Whereas, The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) statement on the "Role of the Faculty in the Accrediting of Colleges and Universities" addresses the centrality of faculty in the accrediting process and contains recommended standards for institutions of higher education;

Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Standards adopted in June 2002 have generally retreated from a commitment to such commonly accepted standards for excellence in institutions of higher education and to the baseline resources that define a quality educational institution;

Whereas, Quality higher education institutions support the needs of students in the learning process by providing them with qualified full-time faculty who have appropriate control over the assessment of students and over the content and teaching of their courses and programs; and

Whereas, The protection of academic freedom and processes of collegial governance are critical to the sound operation of a college and are essential components of providing students the opportunity to learn and explore in educational environments that are free of coercion, encourage open inquiry, and promote the development of critical thinking and multiple perspectives;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge local academic senates to insist that their local accreditation self-studies continue to include attention to generally accepted standards for institutions of higher education including:
• The provision of qualified full-time faculty sufficient to conduct programs of academic excellence and to meet the learning and support needs of our students;
• Appropriate faculty control over the assessment of students And over the content and teaching of their courses and programs;
• The right of faculty to determine that grades and other current indicators of student achievement (such as degree and certificate attainment, transfer, and subsequent occupational success) are appropriate to the measurement of student learning;
• The protection of academic freedom, due process, and tenure;
• A substantive role for faculty in college and district governance and support for the processes of collegial governance; and
• The provision and allocation of sufficient resources to support high quality educational programs, student services, and libraries.
• Documentation of Cost of Implementing New Standards (Fall 2002, #02.03)


• Lack of Evidence for Restructuring Accreditation Standards (Fall 2002, #02.04)
Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) adopted new Standards for accreditation over the objections of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges as well as those of the American Association of University Professors [AAUP] and the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers among others;

Whereas, The ACCJC has not responded to repeated requests to provide the Academic Senate the background materials and research upon which it based its decision to restructure the Standards around the continuous monitoring of student learning outcomes; and

Whereas, The ACCJC has not responded to repeated requests to provide the Academic Senate with evidence or research to support the contention that such an approach in fact leads to improvements in the quality of undergraduate education or enhances student achievement;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate continue to request the background evidence and supporting research that would justify recent radical restructuring of the Accrediting Standards by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC); and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate publicize in relevant educational and public venues its concerns regarding the secrecy and lack of substantive evidence provided by ACCJC to support these costly new accreditation requirements.
[Working group formed in 2003, chaired by the Accrediting Liaison, failed to function as chaired [sic] called no meetings. Since then it has become obvious that the ACCJC has no evidence and was only complying with federal demands (also not supported by evidence) to shift to outcomes based assessments.]

• Continued Use of Current Standards and Redirection of Professional Development Resources (Fall 2002, #02.06)
Whereas, The new Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Standards do not actually take effect until Fall 2004, and colleges undergoing accreditation prior to that date will have a choice between the new and the old Standards;

Whereas, Recent reports regarding national and congressional debate over the processes and content of accreditation portend a likely period of instability and possibly even restructuring of accreditation;

Whereas, Local academic senates are experiencing enormous pressure to conform immediately to the new Standards, even if they are not yet the ones by which their college will be next accredited; and

Whereas, Faculty are being offered generous support for attending conferences on learning outcomes and the new Standards, but have had funding cuts for all other professional development programs slashed;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge local senates in those colleges undergoing their next accreditation visit prior to Fall 2004 to insist that the current Standards continue to be used and resist the premature imposition of the new Standards;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge local senates to recommend directing scarce college resources toward professional development and away from promotion of the new Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Standards; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate work with local senates to develop materials and strategies for resisting the new Standards in ways most relevant to their local situation and place in the accreditation cycle.

• Continued Coalition of Faculty Organizations to Address Imposition of Standards (Fall 2002, #02.07)
Whereas, The response to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' (ACCJC's) new Standards will require a coordinated faculty response and multiple, multidimensional strategies at the local, state, and national levels;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate continue to work in alliance with other faculty organizations to develop a coherent set of strategies to oppose the new Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Standards, consider and coordinate legal or legislative challenges, and educate legislators and other state and federal policy-makers regarding its concerns with the new Standards.
[Recommend that an effective working group be assembled to pursue these issues. Working group formed in 2003, chaired by the Accrediting Liaison, failed to function as chaired [sic] called no meetings.]

• Opposition to Standardized Objectives (Fall 2002, #02.09)
Whereas, The new Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Standards require that departments develop standardized course content and objectives;

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges as well as the Board of Governors and the Chancellor's Office encourage a range of approaches and course content which are culturally sensitive and reflect the latest disciplinary developments; and

Whereas, The pressure toward curricular standardization in the new ACCJC Standards will likely discourage innovation in course content and objectives and potentially disempower faculty who may belong to traditionally marginalized groups, thus fostering a retreat from a commitment to diversity in both content and teaching and learning approaches;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge local senates and the Board of Governors to protect diversity and multiculturalism by respecting academic freedom and not imposing standardized objectives and outcomes at the course, degree and certificate levels; and

Resolved, That The Academic Senate vigorously oppose the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' and legislative pressure to standardize with the resultant exclusion of alternative viewpoints.
[Issues set forth in this resolution have been repeatedly addressed in ASCCC papers, letters, workshops, articles, and institutes, and ongoing resistance to any hints of standardization remain essential.]


• Resisting Imposition of Learner Outcomes Assessment (Fall 2002, #02.10)
Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has adopted a new set of Accreditation Standards which will radically alter the way institutions of higher education are evaluated in the State of California while refusing to produce quantifiable evidence indicating that the imposition of learning outcomes assessment will contribute to any meaningful improvement in the delivery of instruction at the community colleges;

Whereas, Faculty bodies at the state level, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, and the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers (CCC/CFT), have recommended that faculty not participate in activities involving the development of learning outcomes as a part of accreditation self-studies;

Whereas, The new Accreditation Standards may be interpreted as interfering with the collective bargaining process, may be inconsistent with the shared-governance provisions of Title 5 53200, and may lead to infringement of academic freedom; and

Whereas, The above groups have raised concerns that the level of emphasis on learning outcomes and the associated amount of record keeping mandated by the new Standards will be costly and time-consuming, diverting scarce resources away from classrooms, libraries, and counseling;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate resist and recommend that local senates resist any attempt to have the measurement of learning outcomes imposed upon faculty by the Standards of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC); and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate vigorously reject the notion that faculty evaluation be based on the measurement of student learning outcomes as defined by the Accrediting Commission's new Standards.
[Recommend that an effective working group be assembled to pursue these issues. Working group formed in 2003, chaired by the Accrediting Liaison, failed to function as chaired [sic] called no meetings.]

• Request the Commission to Solicit Input from Pilot Institutions (Fall 2002, #02.11)
Whereas, Several institutions, with the implicit promise of being able to positively impact adjustments to the new Accreditation Standards, agreed to pilot those Standards; and

Whereas, There has been no effort by the Accrediting Commission for California and Junior Colleges to solicit feedback from the pilot schools currently undergoing self-study;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate formally request of the Accrediting Commission for California and Junior College that it actually solicit input and in corporate consensus suggestions from the colleges piloting the new Standards.

• Conflict of Interest (Fall 2002, #02.12)
Whereas, The proposed Accreditation Standards have been developed in accord with consultants who may have a conflict of interest;

Whereas, The implementation of the proposed Accreditation Standards involve high cost to the taxpayers;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate of California Community Colleges formally request investigation by a statewide body, such as the Joint Legislative Audit Committee or a commission appointed by the Legislature, of the potential conflicts of interests and the cost of implementing the proposed Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' accreditation Standards.
[Recommend that an effective working group be assembled to pursue these issues. Working group formed in 2003, chaired by the Accrediting Liaison, failed to function as chaired [sic] called no meetings. Recommend that this be directed to the ACCJC Liaison.]

• Make Available Background Research on Accreditation Requirements (Spring 2002, #02.02)
Whereas, Only four of the thirty-four institutions that have undergone the accrediting process in the last several years have satisfactorily met the Commission's expectations with regard to institutional effectiveness and planning, but nevertheless these expectations will become a central focus of accreditation decisions in the new standards;

Whereas, This dramatic shift in emphasis to documentation of student learning outcomes and systematic cycles of data analysis will require all colleges to make new, significant, sustained, and targeted investments in professional researchers, data analysis and computing capability, professional development, and faculty and staff time;

Whereas, This new emphasis will, by necessity, shift resources from those places most likely to produce enhanced student achievement, the classrooms, counseling offices, and libraries, where faculty and students interact, and will coincide with a time of economic downturn and lowered state support for the majority of institutions accredited by Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC); and

Whereas, Accreditation should evolve gradually and reflect evolving consensus regarding essential standards in the higher education community rather than abrupt, and possibly faddish, changes and trends;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, prior to adopting new standards, to make available to the public and the educational community the background research materials that formed the basis for its recommendations, provide the public with data supporting the efficacy of this approach in improving education for students, and provide a more detailed analysis of the projected costs, impact, and implications of this shift in standards for the colleges.
• Excessive and Intrusive Documentation (Spring 2002, #02.03)
Whereas, Draft B of the new accrediting standards will require all colleges to specify student learning outcomes at the course, program, degree, and certificate levels, and to measure, document, and improve the attainment of these outcomes by students;

Whereas, Draft B will require that colleges specify and measure the competencies expected of students at the course, program, degree, and certificate levels;

Whereas, Draft B will require that faculty validate department or program examinations; and

Whereas, Draft B will require demonstration that student services, including counseling and library and learning resources, measure, document, and improve their effectiveness in contributing to the achievement of student learning outcomes;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate continue to engage the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in a dialogue about the need for extensive documentation of student outcomes and competencies (at the course, program, degree, and certificate levels) as well as for documentation of the contribution to these student learning outcomes made by student development and support services and library and learning resource services; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate work to change the standards to avoid such a prescriptive and intrusive set of requirements.
• Work with Accrediting Commission to Buffer Colleges from Political Pressures and Agendas


• Continue Use of Current Accrediting Standards and Suspend Pilots (Spring 2002, #02.09)
Whereas, The concerns about the new accreditation standards are widespread and still unResolved; and

Whereas, Even members of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges agree that the assessment of student learning outcomes is a new and evolving approach;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to continue to use the current accreditation standards while engaging in more extended dialogue about any proposed new standards, and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and local districts to refrain from piloting the proposed accreditation standards until the direction and content of any new standards are satisfactorily Resolved.
--This last item is an essay that appeared in the October 2002 ASCCC publication:

• The Accountability Game ... MSLOs in CC's (October, 2002; Leon F. Marzillier; Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002; Rostrum)
     …In June 2002, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) passed radical new standards by which to accredit community colleges, incorporating the idea of "continuous improvement" of "measurable student learning outcomes" (MSLOs) throughout. The ACCJC passed these new standards over the vociferous objections of respected faculty organizations. Nationally, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has come out against modifying accreditation standards this way, and in California, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges along with the Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers (CCC/CFT) have condemned this radical change by ACCJC. Why?
     The whole concept of MSLOs 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, just as advocates for the use of TQM in education (often called continuous quality improvement or CQI in educational circles) were part of an ideological movement. After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC. 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. If the "learning paradigm" is so superior as to justify its widespread adoption, then the research should clearly be compelling.
. . .
     Often, objections to MSLOs are met with, "But, you faculty will define what the outcomes to be measured are." This assumes that what faculty currently measure, via exams and grades are not adequate, and that faculty should spend their time generating new and much more specific skill based measures. However, no evidence has been presented establishing that the outcomes of our pedagogical efforts are not adequately measured by our current approaches, or that new measures would lead to greater student success.
     In addition, much that is most beneficial in higher education is often difficult or impossible to measure—but certainly is not measurable at the course level. A business department might feel the most important outcome is that their students use what they learn in the classroom successfully in a career in the business world. But this is not a learning outcome that can be documented at the course or program level.
. . .
     Furthermore, the MSLO movement utilizes a scorecard approach, in which you assess in percentage terms where your students are now in terms of a defined learning outcome, and how you would like to increase the percentage in 5 years, say. Then, you set as your goal the percentage improvement you want to make each semester! This requirement, that there be continuous improvement of learning outcomes, assumes that student achievement can be increasingly rationalized like a production process.
     This push to document and improve student learning outcomes essentially creates pressure to focus one's course objectives on discrete, skill-based and hence most easily measured variables. Quantitative variables are more easily tracked than qualitative ones. This over time will yield to a "dumbing down" of the curriculum, as broad capacities and more long-term, qualitative changes in student behavior and perception will be relatively de-emphasized in the push to measure.
. . .
     In the teaching and learning process, there is a two-way interaction, and there has to be cooperation and interest on both ends. Whether a student succeeds in a class is a function of not one but many factors. Some of these are: the intellectual level of the student's household, the quality of the preparation the student received in educational institutions attended before reaching ours, the priority that the student places on the class, the amount of effort a student is willing to apply outside of class, resistance to distractions from friends, family, and jobs. Many of these are beyond the instructor's or college's control. Yes, we can find new and better ways to present the material, and we can use tutors and workshops to help motivate students and to help them succeed, but those efforts alone might go for naught for some students.
     Perhaps what irritates us most about the ACCJC's action, besides the fact that they chose to ignore the best advice of the practitioners in the field (the faculty), is that tying accreditation to MSLOs means that the faculty as a whole would have to spend precious time and effort to engage in measuring everything that moves on the campus, diverting our energy and efforts from interacting with students. Will our colleges receive additional funding for these efforts? We seriously doubt it! So, we are being asked to engage in what virtually amounts to a huge unfunded mandate.
. . .
     Another argument that is advanced is that the ACCJC approved these new standards unanimously; the three faculty members sitting on the commission also voted for these new standards, allowing the commission staff to claim that there are faculty supporting the MSLOs movement. Of course it is possible to find individual faculty members to support almost any position that one can think of, but these faculty members were not appointed by any faculty organization, and their votes represented nobody but themselves. The Academic Senate plenary sessions passed resolution after resolution condemning the use of MSLOs as the basis of accrediting decisions, many being passed unanimously. These were votes of faculty members representing faculty at all 108 California community colleges, and represent the collective wisdom of California community college faculty. The faculty members sitting on the ACCJC are or have been active in local or state senates. It is unfortunate that they did not heed that collective wisdom and vote against the implementation of these new standards. Every fad that comes along will find a few adherents among the faculty, but when the opposition among our faculty is as strong as it is, it's clear that the faculty is not split on this issue.
     Accountability is fine, but don't give us an untested, obviously bogus scheme with which to hold us accountable when there is not one institution in the country where it has been shown to be effective. Faculty leaders were not brought into the discussion to construct these new standards. Don't tell us, "Oh, but you establish the outcomes to measure," when you haven't asked us whether or not we want to even establish such outcomes in the first place. Let us have an open, frank discussion with representatives of all constituencies, about how to judge the effectiveness of a community college for the purposes of accreditation. In California, accreditation processes are an academic and professional matter: number 7 of the 10+1 items that require input from the academic senate is "Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self-study and annual reports." It is a violation of California law that the Academic Senate was not brought into the discussion in the formation of these new standards.
     Based on the resolutions passed overwhelmingly at its plenary sessions, the Academic Senate is studying ways to combat the institutionalization of MSLOs. The Academic Senate is working with both the AAUP and the CCC/CFT to consider our next steps, whether it is possible to delay implementation of these radical changes in the accreditation standards, as well as to explore alternatives to the ACCJC.

     Please, community college faculty members, give us your ideas on how to resist this reactionary movement so akin to what is going on in health care. Do you really want community colleges to become the HMOs of higher education? If not, spread the word that we do not have to put up with this, and together we can nip this impending disaster in the bud.
SEE also: Systematic rational failures and SLOs: part I (March 28)

*Academic Senate for California Community Colleges

ADDENDUM:

A relatively recent assessment:

• From “Outcomes Assessment: Conceptual and Other Problems” by John W. Powell, in the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, Vol 2 (2011)

Where Is the Research?

     What are the measurable effects of outcomes assessment [OA] programs?
     Outcomes assessment is undeniably succeeding on its own terms, in that it is becoming widely implemented and is generating data. Also undeniably, outcomes-assessment-based education lacks evidence that it is an improvement over traditional education based on any other terms of evaluation. That is, when OA-based programs are compared with other programs lacking OA, one would expect to see some kind of results. Instead, the main results one can find are question-begging [see] measures of whether OA has indeed been implemented. One wonders whether we are seeing another educational fad go nova, and what structures will remain among the clouds of gases. Advocates have succeeded in their efforts without the benefits of controlled studies. Those advocates include U.S. secretaries of education, accreditation agencies, and agencies that could have funded scientific research on these issues, and they make their case without appeal to hypothesis testing, without research projects, without publications of successes and failures, without comparison studies of any kind except those comparing before and after implementations, where indicators of success at implementation are assumed to be evidence for OA. No one has assessed the outcomes of implementing programs of outcomes assessment by comparing the results of such programs with the results of other forms of education.
     Some to whom I have made this claim find it implausible. Perhaps we can count on rebuttals after this is published. Part of the puzzlement about how advocates of outcomes assessment could have succeeded without research can be resolved by realizing that many advocates think doing outcomes assessment is doing research because it results in data. But searches of the Internet, the archives of the Chronicle of Higher Education, recent books on outcomes assessment, and their bibliographies yield a clear picture of the state of research, which is that it is made up of substitutes for research. One is directed to manifestos claiming that outcomes assessment makes sense, is needed, is succeeding, and is the wave of the future. Judging from the number of accounts of universities, colleges, school systems, and accreditation agencies in the throes of implementing outcomes assessment, one might be excused for thinking all these claims are true. Among some of these, the job of implementing a program of stipulating outcomes and assessing them is taken up by entities with names like Office of Research and Analytic Studies, again suggesting that implementing outcomes assessment is somehow doing research. A review of literature also turns up journalistic commentary on the manifestos, usually written as though simply chronicling waves of the future. There are a few people dragging their feet and worrying about implications of implementing outcomes assessment, among whom I would place myself with this essay. Somewhere lower, that is, less common, on the list of what one finds in the OA literature are inquiries wondering, “Where the hell is the research?” Occasionally there are reports of educational organizations, such as the school system in New South Wales, Australia, withdrawing from or questioning their commitment to outcomes assessment initiatives.
     Readers may still find it implausible that no controlled studies have addressed whether outcomes assessment improves education. There are journals and metastasizing bookshelves of literature, much of it originating in that part of education in which one can expect insecurities to result in scientific rigor. I finally wrote to the chair of the only PhD program in assessment and measurement in the country, at James Madison University, asking if she could direct me to any controlled studies. The first sentence of her reply was, “Your search for the holy grail and disappointment in finding it is fairly widespread.” She told me of the careful work there to do outcomes assessment testing on students at orientation and as sophomores and juniors at an annual Spring Assessment Day, and said, “We believe that the best comparison is with yourself over time, and we can document progress in a variety of ways.” She pointed out that finding institutions which do not do outcomes assessment will now be very difficult, since all regional accreditors are now mandating OA. Although she did not put it this way, in effect, any possible control group is now vanished. “The pressure from the feds on all accreditors is now unrelenting and growing in force” (Sundre 2011).
     It is striking how the question about lack of research bewilders advocates of OA—the question and the advocates seem ships passing in the night. By now we would expect reports comparing results of doing outcomes assessment with programs in which there is no outcomes assessment. But outcomes assessment is seldom mentioned now except in contexts in which the speakers push to implement it. Advocates, convinced that the results of implementation will produce clear data, present before and after snapshots as evidence that implementation in fact increases an institution’s ability to meet its declared outcomes. The easy availability of that data is evidence that the advocates do not yet understand this question. Declaring outcomes and success at implementing outcomes is, after all, already a part of programs of outcomes assessment. What is needed is testing whether doing all that is educating better. The concern is partly whether the faith in OA is built on wishful thinking. And articulating outcomes is, after all, requires that those who do the declarations be wise about what they do. Where is the research showing that this step leads to better education of students? If you are convinced going in that better education is education which is meeting measurable objectives, then we’ve a no- brainer: of course OA-shaped education will be better (provided it produces evidence that it really is OA-shaped). On any robust conception of evidence, however, in which we insist on evidence that is not part of circular reasoning, the evidence is alarmingly absent. Indeed, when I have asked administrators what got them to endorse OA, all of them have cited their own individual anecdotes, mostly recognitions of shortcomings which came from reexamining their purposes in teaching, with no acknowledgement that they are overgeneralizing or reaching hasty conclusions based not on outcomes assessment or methodical checking but on the confounding variable of having reexamined how they teach—a much more broad and flexible process than articulating measurable student outcomes, testing for them, and accumulating reams of documentation.
     A review of those alarmingly large sections of library bookshelves dealing with outcomes assessment also reveals large overlaps with corporate calls for increased productivity in education. For that large camp of education reformers who think that higher education should be more businesslike, these overlaps seem to be part of the appeal. But calls for increased productivity should be informed by knowledge of what is being produced—what, in other words, education is for. I return to this below in the sections “Neglected (Because Unknown) Outcomes” and “Appropriate Actions for Us to Take Now.” ….

Tuesday, April 7, 2015



     Trustee Jim Wright: very old school, stubborn. Doesn’t seem to recognize IVC’s existence. Invariably speaks of “our” team or “our” event when referring to anything at Saddleback. Listens hard to nurses, that vast demographic, that tail that wags the dog.
     Trustee Bill Jay: well, he’s dead. Soon to be replaced. God help us!
     Trustee Tim Jemal: the newest and brightest member. Not incorrigible, like the others. Tends to focus on college-private partnerships and the like. He’s the board’s future. Help him if you can.
     Trustee PJ Prendergast: High school teacher and unionist & funny man. He's been drinking the board Kool-ade, it seems, from Day 1, so he's not the working class hero he coulda, shoulda been.
     Trustee Nancy Padberg: very right-wing but has generally learned to play nice with others. Since her accident, seems to be firing not on all cylinders; that situation can’t last.
     Trustee Dave Lang: to paraphrase Lou Reed, “the night has seen your mind, and, inside, you’re twisted and unkind.” A smart and decent guy made ugly & bitter by a fateful decision to kiss Tom Fuentes’ sulfurous red ass (at a crossroads, at midnight, for the secret handshake). There’s no coming back from that, it seems; morally, he’s the walking dead.
     Trustee Marcia Milchiker: wacky but mostly reliable; the buffer between faculty and Trustee Raghu Mathur. Hence, she’s great.

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report  — up again USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes LA Times  ...

Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix