Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The appointment of "Bobbie" Jay to the Board

Photo from Lariat
     Re yesterday's board action of appointing Barbara J. Jay to the SOCCCD Board of Trustees:
     I was unable to attend the special meeting (from 2 until 5:30) to interview candidates for Bill Jay’s replacement, but people who did attend have told me the following:

     Only four board members participated in the special meeting: TJ Prendergast (current Prez), Marcia Milchiker, Tim Jemal, and Jim Wright. Dave Lang was compelled to recuse himself because one of the candidates is a client of his accounting firm. Nancy Padberg is still recovering from her injury.
     Barbara “Bobbie” Jay has made it clear that she intends only to complete her husband’s term. She will not run for the office (about a year from now). (She made this point, for instance, during interviews with the FA.)
     Several candidates were interviewed, including a former administrator at OCC and Cal Nelson, a former Saddleback administrator, who, as far as I know, enjoys a good reputation.
     After the interviews, the board seemed somewhat divided about their top pics, but, at one point, TJ motioned to appoint Bobbie Jay.*
     Despite apparent disagreement about the top choice, in the end, the board voted unanimously to appoint Bobbie Jay.
     All deliberations were done in open, which (I’m told) muted some of the discussion and possibly hindered some opining. It was a "strange" meeting, I'm told. Trustees were visibly uncomfortable.
     Jay, I've been assured, is committed to finishing her husband’s job, which she views as including securing a favorable faculty contract.
     By all accounts, Bobbie Jay is a fine and intelligent person and, no doubt, she will make a fine trustee. (She started last night.)

Jim Wright, Bill Jay, Tim Jemal, TJ Prendergast, Nancy Padberg, 
David Lang, Marcia Milchiker
     This morning, the district released the following:
Dr. Barbara J. Jay appointed to SOCCCD Board of Trustees

April 28, 2015 – South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) has selected Dr. Barbara J. Jay to serve as a provisional (interim) trustee for area 3 representing Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Dana Point and parts of Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, San Clemente and unincorporated areas until December 2, 2016. The board made a decision to provisionally appoint a trustee to fill the vacancy due to the passing of Trustee William O. Jay.

Dr. Jay brings a wealth of experience to the board, having owned, operated and managed a local business in south Orange County. She has a D.D.S. from the University of Southern California. Her top priority as a trustee is protect the educational quality at the colleges because she considers that to be the key to a better lives for the South Orange County Community College students.

Dr. Jay is the wife of the late Trustee William O. Jay of the South Orange County Community College District. Trustee William O. Jay was also a former administrator, dean and professor for Saddleback College. Both of their children attended and graduated from Saddleback College.
*The Lariat has a slightly different account: SOCCCD appoints Bobbie Jay provisional Trustee
After ranking their top candidates, SOCCCD Vice President Timothy Jemal made a motion to appoint candidate Bobbie Jay. The motion was seconded by board president T.J. Prendergast and resulted in a unanimous “yes” vote from President Predergast, VP Jemal, Trustee Marcia Milchiker and Trustee James Wright.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The April meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: Barbara replaces Bill, Jaywise PLUS: Lang makes a dang good point ('bout Nancy) & trustees come close to MEDDLING again (smoking ban: there will be uniformity across the district!)

We're back to seven trustees
See Board Meeting Highlights.
     It’s 6:27 and I’m a couple minutes early. The crowd is thin here in the Ronnie Reagan meeting room. That's odd.
     Aha! Two trustees (Lang & Prendergast) have entered, smiling. The Chancellor, too. The open session will start more or less on time, I guess.
     By now, the trustees must be all tuckered out, what with their special meeting, from 2:00 p.m. until 5:30, for replacing Bill Jay, and then their closed session, from 5:30 until 6:30. Four and a half hours of yackin’ and evaluatin’! That’s enough to puke a dog off’f a gut wagon. But, who knows? Maybe they’ll be all smiles, ‘cause they’ve appointed somebody for Jay's spot and they’re feeling good about it. Could be.
     I think the Faculty Association (union) will be here tonight in large numbers to keep the pressure on the board (public comments).
     There’ll be two reports tonight:
4.1 Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College: Service Area Conflicts between Colleges Report being presented as a result of the Trustee Listening Sessions held at the colleges on April 30, 2014. A presentation on the service area conflicts between the colleges will be provided by the college presidents.
     —This could be interesting. Tod and Glenn have been at war over this for years.
4.2 SOCCCD: BP 4011.1 Process for Hiring Faculty Report being presented as a result of the Trustee Listening Sessions held at the colleges on April 30, 2014. A presentation on the hiring and employment process for full-time faculty will be provided by the Vice Chancellor, Human Resources & Employer/Employee Relations.
    —This too could be interesting. You’ll recall that the current BP resulted from litigation. The Academic Senates sued the district over violation of a state statute according to which this policy is to be mutually agreed upon by the Senates and the district (board), but the board and chancellor had unilaterally changed the policy in favor of administrators and against faculty.

     6:32 - The room is filling up fast. Haven't seen Marcia Milchiker yet, but I do see Wright, Jemal, Prendergast, Lang, and the Chancellor. I'm guessing that Marcia is the only missing trustee.
     Student athletes in red (Saddleback) with "state champions" emblazoned on their shirts are lining the wall behind me and to the right.
     Uh-Oh. Barbara Jay is the new trustee! They've got to be kidding!
     Guess not.
     Up there on the dais/throne, they're giving Babs the secret handshake, etc.

     6:37 - they're reconvening:
     Actions in closed session: no report
     Invocation: Jemal mentions the earthquake tragedy--and the Armenian genocide anniversary. Moment of silence.
"Bobbie" Jay
     The Pledge.
     Prendergast: introduces new trustee (Barbara J. Jay). Applause.
     TJ also moves up the res for the Saddleback College Men's basketball team. Burnet comes up, yuks it up. Wright reads the resolution. Eleven tall fellows take it all in. "The mark of the great basketball team," yada yada. Roll call vote. Unanimous, natch. Burnett: record was 32 and 2. We're proud, etc. Almost a team GPA of 3.0! My God! Our coach is the state coach of the year as well. Big applause. Photo op. Much milling. Off they go, big smiles, wandering into their futures.
     6:45 - TJ comes up to the podium for eight more resolutions. Count 'em, eight! Blah blah blah. The student trustee gets a res. Lots of whereases. On it goes. "Representing more than 40,000 students." Roll call vote. Applause. Photo op. He gives a speech, thanking everyone, etc.
     Others recognized: classified employees (en masse, I guess, for "classified employees week"), Sanjay Gupta, Jack Appleman, Cecilia Kim, Karah Street, Bob Mathews, and Gerald Binder. The classified rep has an entertaining accent—Bostonian? On it goes, one by one. I guess people like this sort of thing. Street says she's happy to be a worker bee and she's going right back to her little corner of the hive. Mathews says he's speechless, but, clearly, he ain't. Makes a point of saying that we've got great leadership in the district. Applause. More photo ops. Binder: talks about his recent blood clot scare. Teaching felons. Teaching adults. "It's been a love affair for me." Keeping his marbles. Binder's got lots to say. Photo op. Kim finally shows up, speaks. Again, has lots to say. She feels really "thanks," she says. Teaches ESL, I guess. Applause. Photo op.
     Next, commendations. Good Lord. Congratulating our journal, The Wall. Burnett explains the journal's many honors. Natch, it is being honored for being honored. Seven or eight students line up, take it all in. "Award winning edition." Each student gets a round of applause and a certificate. (I'm in heck.) Introduces advisor as well. She thanks everybody. The Wall, she says, will keep climbing "higher and higher." Photo op. More applause. Burnett is still beaming. His face is gonna break. Off they go.
     Public comments: one. Claire C-S. "Due to the long hours, we've decided not to make public comments today." We'll be back with them next time.

Board reports:

      Dave Lang: congrats to new trustee, Bobbie ("Bobbe"?) Jay. Thanks student trustee for "excellent" job he has done. Evidently, he's going into the beancounter biz, like Dave. Participated in the listening sessions. Very valuable to me. Personal interaction is important, appreciated. Informs our decision-making.
     TJ Prendergast: ditto, but adds that he attended IVC Foundation Gala. "Yes indeed I did go for more money than the mayor of Irvine." Yuk yuk. (Some kind of beefcake auction, I guess.)
     Tim Jemal: Congrats to "Bobbie" Jay. Turns to Carillo: "don't become a CPA." Laughter. Excited about the state championship; holds up the shirt. Concurs with Lang on listening sessions. Not perfect. Some started faster than others (IVC session finally got going, last 2/3). We take all this input seriously, including board survey, mentioned previously. IVC Foundation gala: this far surpassed the last two galas "by a wide margin." Everyone should be very proud. Congrats to Dennis Gordon, Diane Oaks, C Orlando, et al.
     Jim Wright: Congrats to Bobbie. Warm words for Carrillo (student trustee). Much praise for IVC Foundation gala. "Well done." Men's basketball banquet. Wonderful evening. Student success summit. Listening sessions were wonderful. Well done. We appreciate the comments. Memorial service for Julie Bright. Wonderful faculty member. Celebrated her life, laughter. Thanks four students, Phi Beta Kappa team, etc.
     Marcia Milchiker: welcomes Bobbie Jay. We do good work at the two colleges. Was on Laguna Woods TV, talking about Emeritus, etc. Mentions various things she attended. Bonnie and Clyde musical. Listening sessions: well attended, learned a lot from them. Looking forward to commencements coming up in May. Looks forward to nurse-pinning, etc. Yeah.
     Bobbie Jay: attended the IVC Foundation gala. It was great, fun.
     Student turstee Carrillo: great IVC Foundation gala. Thanks for the invite. Yadda yadda. Advocating for students. Thanks Tere Fluegeman. Thanks Tod Burnett "for being my friend.



     7: 32 - Chancellor's report (Gary Poertner): wants to acknowledge the hard work faculty and classified do. Applause.
     Others: blah blah blah.
     Saddleback College Prez Tod Burnett: chirps forth the usual litany of good news factoids. Chirp chirp.
     Irvine Valley College Prez Glenn Roquemore: bromidular. Good luck to Carillo. Re Foundation dinner. The entire campus came out to "play a role." We went through "two bad years," and people stepped up. Tenured faculty reception, pleasurable. Our men's tennis team went to "state champ." Model UN: fourth consecutive something honor. Points out Kurt Meyer.

First report tonight:

4.1 Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College: Service Area Conflicts between Colleges Report being presented as a result of the Trustee Listening Sessions held at the colleges on April 30, 2014. A presentation on the service area conflicts between the colleges will be provided by the college presidents.

     Roquemore: group formed, "worked through this." Identifies members (most of whom are standing with him), including Carol Hilton, Juan Avalos, Kathy Werle, Linda F, et al.
     Burnett: refers to Listening Session last year. This was mentioned. We sought to resolve the issue. A good outcome. "Wonderful collaboration" between IVC and Saddleback. Six VPs did great work. "Never been dealt with in this district." 1985: a "line was built"(?). Don't know how. Signed agreement today that will make things better.
     Carol H: Back in '85, service areas determined (El Toro Rd.). Resolution in 2012 reaffirmed those service areas. There were different interpretations. Nobody's fault, disagreements. We came together "in spirit of resolving this." We all explained our interpretations. We developed "operational definitions."
     Davit K: services, courses, and programs in two service areas. Exceptions: LB school district. Has to be done in a coordinated fashion. Other exception: El Toro High School, part of SVUSD. Sprawls across both service areas.
     Other concept: "right of first refusal." Two main scenarios: 1: college receives invitation from entity in other service area; first college offers opportunity to other college. If doesn't take it, college can go forward. 2: soliciting invitations. We agreed: we will not solicit in other college's service area.
     Linda F: outreach services. Much like what Davit said.... (This is too tedious for me. Linda F has a coma-inducing yammer.)
     Kathy W: Blah blah blah. (Sounded pretty good, I guess.) If one college gets solicitation/request, and they can't meet it, the other college will be informed, etc. Agreement timeframe provided. Not indefinite.
     Craig J: marketing. Students are not restricted in any way by service areas. Service areas are used for planning for colleges. This agreement goes a long way in promoting planning for marketing. A great step forward tonight.
     Glenn: any questions?
     Prendergast: in El Toro. Saddleback working on an early college program now? Well, says Burnett, the two programs are very different. Prendergast: what about athletics? Yadda yadda. Prendergast seems satisfied by whatever it is that B said.
     Jemal: does this finally put to rest the El Toro dividing line issue? Glenn: ancillary benefits of this process have been fantastic. VPs working with consultant: lots of collaboration. Huge step forward in having an understanding. The answer is "yes." We can revisit this in a year. We might make changes. Yes, El Toro Rd. is still the line of demarcation. It's not a Berlin Wall. It creates dialogue. Jemal: fantastic that there's an agreement. We've had some dialogue recently about another college district [poaching] in our area. How does that fit in here? Glenn: those colleges are violating ed code. Anytime I hear of this, I send ed code to the college president in question. Examples of poaching by other college districts very rare. Our service areas per district are legally defined. Not allowed to poach (nobody used that word, but that's what they're talkin' about).
     No one else wants to ask questions. Next:

4.2 SOCCCD: BP 4011.1 Process for Hiring Faculty Report being presented as a result of the Trustee Listening Sessions held at the colleges on April 30, 2014. A presentation on the hiring and employment process for full-time faculty will be provided by the Vice Chancellor, Human Resources & Employer/Employee Relations.

     8:03 - Bugay moves to podium. The policy was first approved in 2005. Very detailed. We wanted to make revised policy easier to deal with, allow more flexibility. Board has ultimate hiring authority. Etc. Goes through details of how hiring lists are created. Discusses minimum qualifications. All faculty positions must be posted state wide. Intense advertising provided by district. Ideally posted by first week in December. Catching applicants prior to job fair, etc. Lists standard places ads are posted.
     Each year, go to two major job fairs. Posted in registry: 1,900,000 hits (this time around?)
     Search committee: 2/3 faculty, etc. Screening process. Discipline experts screen for minimum quals. Orientation meeting. Interview questions developed. Special testing for applicants common: teaching demo, writing sample, etc. We try to make it content-oriented.
     Scoring completed by each committee member. Chair does not see numbers, etc. EEO rep monitors all committee discussions for "job relatedness." Committee sees final average scores. Committee recommends three finalists. Occasionally, they can't come up with three. Two might be put forward. Three references; reference checks. College President provided unranked list of finalists. Questions approved. President interviews candidate with one VP (can also invite the committee chair). Pilot program: having a third party check references.
     Etc.
     Any questions? Bugay asks Kathy Schmeidler (IVC Senate Prez) for input. "She seems to be at a loss for words." Schmeidler: "I have words." Laughter. Academic Senate is satisfied with revisions. Not perfect, but vast improvement over what we have had. We've loosened up the process. This has been stagnating for too long. Good to revisit, revise.
     Jemal: wants to know how academic senates feel about recommended changes. Supported by both senates. Are there any stake holder groups who dissent? Any group missing who might say something contrary? Bugay: it's really a faculty issue. When you see revised policy, it will be much shorter, much more flexibility. Bugay speaks about issue of getting out these searches early: meeting deadlines is critical.
     Lang: Board approval of listed positions for two years. Presently, there is no limit, says Bugay. We need to have a way to stop the process; time over. Bugay: we had 20 positions go out. One committee found an unimpressive pool. Wanted to go out again. Sometimes you get a small pool and want to go out again. Two years is a window in which we can do good recruitment. Lang: option to invite the chair of the committee. Why wouldn't you want the chair participate? Bugay: the chair is at the first level. Bugay turns to presidents. Glenn R: faculty involved in first level. When it gets to 2nd level interview, different questions. Where candidates may take the college in future? We rank the candidates, then bring the chair in. The chair can bring discipline experts.
     Kathy S: old language was very restricted. Didn't permit Pres to invite anyone but VP. Now, practices did change, informally, but the new AR is clear: more permissive; says it's OK. Not permitted before, and now it is permitted. Kathy S: sometimes the impression of committee and 2nd level interviews are very different. Better if chair was at both levels. Kathy S: first committee hesitant to put up anyone they can't live with. Roquemore asserts much agreement between first and second level in recent years. Wright: I'm glad revised policy is not so rigid. Important to check out references. Sometimes references are very old. Not good. Wright reports, too, that he (as committee chair) was invited by Pres Burnett to discuss his impressions after second level interviews. Bugay: avarage tenure of faculty: 21 years. So faculty have a vested interest in this. Have to work with person for decades. Having a good policy is critical.

     Consent calendar. Anything to pull? 5.1, 5.7.
     Vote on the rest: unanimous.
     5.1: minor correction (Wright).
     Vote: unanimous
     5.7: Lang: approval of speakers. Honorariums. No consistent policy, how much paid. Possible streamlining of the process contemplated by Fizsimmons, etc. Jemal: I've asked the same question. Good thing to look at. Need a policy? (So that issue will come back.)
      Vote: unanimous.

     8:28 - General action items.
     6.1 - unanimous
     6.2 - unanimous
     6.3 - Science building project. Change order. Vote: unanimous
     6.4 - Lang: listening sessions. Colleges feeling they're somewhat ignored perhaps (technology needs). Their needs at college level not met. Not having full input in technology budget that is coming forward. Perhaps we need a report about this. Bramucci explains that there's been a process, colleges have had opportunities to vet the budget, projects, etc. Vote for approval: unanimous
     6.5 - ATEP. First building project. Jemal: money reallocated from branding? What's that mean? Fitz explains. They're using "branding" in an unusual way, not marketing. Brandye Delena comes up to explain "branding." I didn't get what she said and neither did Jemal. Fitz tries again, but it's a no go again. Prendergast: tries to make sense of it. The conversation seems to shed little light on what manner of "branding" is involved here. With some reluctance, they vote: unanimous
     6.6 - computer equipment. They vote: unanimous.
     6.7 - contract with Neudesic. They vote: unanimous.
     6.8 - ATEP land exchange demo project, change order. They vote: unanimous
     6.9 - BPs for review and study. There's a minor correction. Obligation owed to the district. Fitz reads changed paragraph. Lang: move for review and study. Wright: policy for grade grievance. Doing away with BP. Administrative Reg instead: made available to students? Yes. Jemal: will forward a couple of comments, not presented now. Lang: BP re vacancies on the board. Those who participated today (Lang didn't?): is this policy OK? Please think about that. Prendergast: the BP just copies the Ed Code. Vote: unanimous

     6.10 - IVC smoke free district. New fine of $38. Jemal: a new fine. Do we have authority to impose and collect this fine? Fitz: yes. Refers to earlier discussed policy that allows for this. IVC has decided to go with a fine. Jemal: not supportive of difference between two colleges on this matter. Will therefore vote against this. Wright: Saddleback has no fine. We should do the same thing at both colleges. Also: perhaps we can lower the fine? Milchiker: I'm not ready to approve it tonight. How was this decided at IVC? Why same amount as parking ticket? Roquemore: I walked up to a student who was a smoker. Spoke with him about it. OK with policy, but he said put some teeth in it. What we propose here is a very soft process, a learning process. Offenders are first handed materials. Students will have access to ways to quit smoking. A very "academic" process, many steps. It does have teeth in the end. Otherwise, can't enforce it.
     Asks Chief Glenn to come up to discuss. He comes up: Glenn: willful and persistent violators will receive the ticket. Otherwise, can't insure smoke-free campus. I don't want to issue citations, but we'll rarely do so. But if we encounter someone who simply refuses to follow policy, we need to have something in place. Milchiker: I'm still uncomfortable with this. I want to hear more. Hate the idea of issuing smoking tickets. I need to think this through. Chief Glenn: I don't want to be the smoking police. But if we have a policy, we need a way to enforce it. Prendergast: says his wife took test at IVC recently and she was appalled by the smoke and the smokers. If we need to put teeth in, I'll vote for this, he says.
     Kathy S (senate prez): this went through extensive review at both colleges. Went through all the governance groups. The final policies (per college?) had universal support across the district (including variation of two colleges). IVC has discussed this at length. A very soft policy: many warning given before ticket issued. Only in case of repeat offense. This is all part of our internal policy, enforcement. This has gone through all of the governance groups, all the committees. It is your right, of course, to say we shouldn't do it. But in terms of what our college wants: this is what it wants. Thank you.
     Prendergast: I don't think this every came up for review and study. So why don't we amend this so that it's only review and study. The board seems in agreement.
     Lang: very much in favor of this regulation. Will support. OK to delay by one meeting. Greatly troubled by fact that no similar regulation is pursued at Saddleback College. Smokers are affecting others. We're doing this for all the right reasons. Fully support it. Claire: it's not a smoke-free college yet. (We haven't seen the impact of the policy yet.)
     Student Trustee Carillo: "you guys" should study this. Will impact student greatly. A very sticky situation. Students somewhat polarized. Students have "natural rights." It's hard for a smoker to listen to authority. It's a habit. Giving them knowledge is good. Yes, a fine will motivate, but.... You should really talk about this.
     Prendergast: vote: unanimous. (for review and study)

     Jemal: extend meeting to 9:30. Vote: unanimous.
     Lang wants answer to his question (to Burnett). Burnett: It went through our process. Came up with: do not impose a fine. 37 community colleges have smoke-free, but only 11 have fines. Don't want our police to be smoking ticket-givers. We have not implemented our policy yet, so we don't know how student will respond (without the teeth of citations).
     Once again, the board comes perilously close to meddling, of ignoring processes at the colleges.

     6.11 - IVC reorganization. Lang: why so many band-aid solutions to situation? Or is this a permanent solution? Glenn R: this is driven by a vacancy. We have an opportuity to think of "synergism" of moving areas together. The arts: intensive performance program. Huge. We need an administrator focusing on that. Modeled after other colleges that have done it this way. Won't be the last change. We're growing. We're low on dean support compared to other colleges. We're constantly thinking about how to do things better. Wright: how many will new dean supervise? School of Business Sciences small. In business, 13 full time and numerous part-time. No full time in Emeritus. Jemal: Chancellor's opinion? Poertner: this has been waiting a year and a half. It makes sense to me. I support this change.
     No more requests to speak. Vote: unanimous.

     6.12 - paying absent trustees. They always vote for this. Unanimous. And yet:
     Lang: very sympathetic to Nancy Padberg's situation (she is ailing after an injury many months ago). But I'm looking for guidance from HR. Is this the way we would treat any other employee in the district under similar circumstances? Bugay: employees have certain rights: sick days, etc. Trustee situation different. .....
     Lang: its left to us to self-police. We need to hold ourselves to a certain standard. I'm interested to understand best practices in terms of this situation. Bugay: its up to the supervisor. You are the supervisors "of everything here." 
      Poertner: we faced this a couple of years ago with trustee Fuentes. He missed a lot of meetings over a couple of years. I had conversations with legal counsel. How long should we let trustees be absent? Legal response: these are elected officials. Don't remove them easily. Takes a long time. Difficult to do. Could be done. I don't expect Nancy Padberg's situation to last much longer.
     Vote: unanimous

     6.13 - vote: unanimous.
     6.14 - Academic personnel actions. Lang: Retirement of Priscilla Ross. Wants to extend to her my thanks for her many years of service. Vote: unanimous.
     6.15 - Classified personnel actions. Vote: unanimous.
     6.16 - Classified employee layoff. Wright: this was brought up, trustee listening session. Changing from 20 hours week to 40 hours week [vice versa?]. Many expressed concerns. Marcia concurs, was brought up. Why moved from 40 to 20? Bugay: change at ATEP. No need of 40 hours.
     Burnett: not enough work for a webmaster (for ATEP). In the old days, the webmaster did everything. No longer. Industry has changed dramatically. Carol Hilton concurs with Burnett. Website and marketing. Yes, he's right. Vote: unanimous.
     6.17 - Public hearing CSEA - initial proposal from CSEA. Bugay is here to answer questions. Prendergast: now open. Public comments? No. Public hearing is now closed. Further discussion? No. Concluded.

7.0 Reports.

7.1 - Professors of the year.
7.2 - speakers
Etc.
7.8 - Quarterly Financial Status Report: Lang had a question. Why projections so far off? Blah blah blah

This is closin' down fast. I'm outa here.

Corinthian Colleges closing - also Everest, WyoTech and Heald

You can say that again
The L.A. Times reports:

Corinthian closing its last schools; 10,000 California students displaced

excerpt: "The loans were both the lifeblood and the downfall of the troubled Orange County company. Easy access to student debt fueled high tuition and big profits — until the federal government cut off the tap last year, as investigators accused Corinthian of falsifying job placement rates. Many students, attracted by the promise of higher-paying work, now find themselves with heavy debts for degrees of dubious worth. Many others won't graduate at all."

*

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How I Got Converted to G.M.O. Food (New York Times, Opinion)
By MARK LYNAS ~ APRIL 24, 2015
     …I, too, was once in that activist camp. A lifelong environmentalist, I opposed genetically modified foods in the past. Fifteen years ago, I even participated in vandalizing field trials in Britain. Then I changed my mind.
     After writing two books on the science of climate change, I decided I could no longer continue taking a pro-science position on global warming and an anti-science position on G.M.O.s.
     There is an equivalent level of scientific consensus on both issues, I realized, that climate change is real and genetically modified foods are safe. I could not defend the expert consensus on one issue while opposing it on the other.
. . .
     The environmental movement’s war against genetic engineering has led to a deepening rift with the scientific community. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center and the American Association for the Advancement of Science showed a greater gap between scientists and the public on G.M.O.s than on any other scientific controversy: While 88 percent of association scientists agreed it was safe to eat genetically modified foods, only 37 percent of the public did — a gap in perceptions of 51 points. (The gap on climate change was 37 points; on childhood vaccinations, 18 points.)
Chipotle scraps GMO ingredients but cattle 'could be fed GMO feed,' chain says (OC Reg)


Favourite thing on the Internet.
Posted by Swiss Lips on Sunday, March 29, 2015
          "When the Kitty Breaks"

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