Monday, April 25, 2016

April meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees: "I have no report tonight," he said

     [Please see Tere's Board Meeting Highlights.]
     6:29 - No sign of the trustees just yet. They're running late.
     While I'm waiting, I shall carp:

     LIP SERVICE. At the last meeting of the Irvine Valley College Academic Senate, Senators discussed the "lip service" college administration routinely pays to shared governance or collegial consultation. It was a dreary discussion. Over and over again, faculty are left out of the loop and things are done without consultation, and, usually, they are done badly. On that day, I complained that the college had set up a week-long program supporting "awareness" of sexual assault. None of the organizers of the event bothered to consult various faculty experts. The result? A program that looked like it was organized by the Young Republicans. It was an embarrassment.

     Yearly elections are coming up soon, and the Senate is having a hard time scraping up candidates for top Senate positions—a sign of apathy and low morale. Very little works on campus, a legacy of, in part, Prez Roquemore piss-poor administrative and mangerial hires. The college suffers scandal after scandal, fiasco after fiasco, and the trustees seem utterly oblivious, no matter how loudly some of us complain.
     --Aha! One trustee has emerged, Dave "Benedict Arnold" Lang. The meeting will be starting soon.
     [Here's the agenda.]
     6:39 - Chancellor Gary Poertner has entered the hall. He's talking with Lang.
     Besuited men are sitting all around me. One of 'em mentioned Sunday School. They keep referring to the town of Ramona. They seem to be preparing for some dreary presentation. Why dreary? Well, they're all dreary these days. Mostly anyway.
     Trustee Prendergast has appeared. --And now Board President Tim Jemal. We're still waiting for Jay, Milchiker, Whitt, and Wright.
     6:43 - Wright has arrived. --And now Marcia M. Where are Whitt and Jay?
     A silence falls over the hall as Jay and Whitt enter. we go:

     6:45 - "We're back," says Tim Jemal. Lang reports actions taken in closed session: none taken
     Invocation by Milchiker: "we pray for strength and wisdom. Ours is an exceptional nation!" [etc]

     One request for public comments. Pedram Heidarpour(?) of student government at Saddleback: fundraiser for cancer research coming up. All money goes to cancer research. "Shavees" are involved (people who agree to be shaved bald). He explains how people can support, donate. Thank you very much.

Board reports: "could rival Broadway"!

     Terri Whitt: it's been a busy month with the Galas. I enjoyed them. The IVC Gala was "phenomenal." Wonderful setting. I appreciate all the work that went into it.
     Marcia Milchiker: events she's attended during this "busy month." 40th Anniversary Emeritus art show--work by students. IVC Foundation event at museum. Everyone donated, very proud. Attended national debate society, hosted by IVC, "always a top winner." Over 1000 participants at that event. Rousing speeches given by instructors. Board of trustees listening sessions were good. Blah blah blah. Drama depts at both college, outstanding. Broadway musical productions, "She loves me," was incredible. And something at IVC. "Could rival Broadway."
     David Lang: forgoes report
     James Wright: attended various events. Attended IVC Foundation event, slot car event, lots of fun. IVC forensic team event, with 1000 participants, lasted four days. Listening sessions at both colleges. "Enjoyed them very much." Good attendance. IVC cultural competence summit: great keynote speaker. SC athletic trainer was chosen for a big prize, Trainer of the Year. "Wonderful person, does a wonderful job." IVC Tennis, blah blah blah. Three people retiring from Saddleback College: combined teaching 101 years. Carol Bander, Nancy Evans, Patrician Evans. Real talent.
     Timothy Jemal: IVC Foundation event, big thumbs up. Thanks everyone. Emeritus Inst. celebration in Laguna Hills. Proud to be a part of that. Tennis "is near and dear to my heart." Glad that IVC team took state title. Two trustee listening sessions. Lots of input by participants. We try to listen, decide if there is approrpriate action. "We're gonna try to do that."
     Barbara Jay: attended IVC Foundation Awards dinner. Excellent. Wonderful evening. Lots of fun. Attended both listening sessions. Very educational. Would like to have more listening sessions to hear more "from faculty."
     TJ Prendergast: has in past supported cancer events. Big announcement: "I'm gonna sign up to have my head shaved." Applause.
     Student trustee Lemar Momand: please donate money to have Prendergast get his dome shaved, etc. Momand's last meeting as student trustee. Asks that trustees continue to focus on "the students." Blah blah blah.

     Chancellor Gary Poertner: "I have no report tonight."
     SC President Tod Burnett: "This is the final stretch." Annual scholarship ceremony coming up in the gym." One Book One College" (?) event. Congrats professors of the year. Mentions three, including an Emeritus instructor.
     IVC President Glenn Roquemore: also will have a set of year-ending events. Erwin Chemerinsky of UCI Law School will speak at our commencement. Tenure recognition event. (Evidently, there's a move afoot at both colleges dedicate one special event to recognizing everyone who was recognized during the year.) Mentions instructors of the year.
    Student government: blah blah blah. The "Chief Justice" of SC student government announced various events, etc. Awareness Day coming up, homelessness, domestic violence. Water fountains finalized. Will be ordering units. Reads statement on behalf of outgoing SC ASG Prez, who could not attend.  The IVC kid: "ASG still doing great things." Blah blah blah.

Board requests for reports: 
WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH WORKDAY? Workday progress report requested. Unanimous approval. Discussion item will be next month (May board meeting). (Evidently, plenty of classified carped about Workday during "listening" session.)

Consent calendar: 
Trustees identify a few to pull. They approve the rest unanimously.

5.4 - Wright: small correction.
5.7 - Lang:  Student Travel, Oxford Abroad. Concern: this item came to us without necessary sign-offs. We should follow protocol. So pulled until next meeting.
5.9 - Applauds IVC Emergency Phone/Mass notification system. Lots of money. Is this the whole cost? ($287K) Roquemore asks Davit to come up explain. Whitt: is there a continual annual fee? Davit: yes, minimal. Item approved unanimously.
5.11 - GUEST SPEAKERS. Whitt: college speakers. Curious: is there a rubric that we ask speakers to fill out? Do they offer us a sense of what they are going to share? Whitt once had a speaker go off on a topic not planned. Fitzsimmons: there is a contract that is filled out. That does not necessarily prevent people going off topic. Motion, approved unanimously.
5.2 - Jemal: re resolutions. New resolution process for the agenda. Seems to want to highlight honorees, those who are recognized. Jemal praises student trustee Momand. Insightful comments, good questions. "You're gonna go far." "Proud of you." Applause. Jemal presents a plaque and a long resolution, which essentially says, "He's terrific and we love him." Jemal forces all trustees up for big photo op for this kid. Funny. (Evidently, the district no longer takes official photos of such things. We resorted to people's phones.) "You can tell that wasn't scripted," said Jemal. They voted: unanimous. Applause.

General Action Items:

6.1 - APARTMENTS SNAFU. Lease of real property, presenters come up (FPA4Promenade, LLC and SOCCCD). Fitzsimmons starts off. Agreement re 23-acre site located on Margurite. Blah blah blah. Lessees have allowed the property (apartments) to deteriorate. Hence this renovation project. $16.5 million renovations. Builds "arboretum trail." Includes 128 beds of dedicated student housing. Shows architects' "before" and "after" pics. Blah blah blah. Fitz introduces various people (in suits) in audience. They stand. Questions?
     Jemal: board has "a lot of expectations" re progress. Discuss the benefits to the students of moving forward with this? Fitz: There will be dedicated student housing component. Motion to approve: unanimous.

6.2 - ATEP IVC First Building and associated ATEP utilities, blah blah blah. Open a public hearing. Items 6.3 and 6.4 of agenda are involved. (Environmental quality, approval of site plans.) Fitz and Brandye will answer any questions. Jemal: any questions? None. Hearing now open. No public comments. Public hearing is now closed. Any further discussion? Nope.
     It's democracy in action! Good grief.

6.3 - unanimous trustee yes vote.
6.4 - unanimous trustee yes vote.

6.5 - Public hearing re Saddleback College Exterior Lighting, etc. Energy service contract. 6.6 and 6.7 involved. GOD, THIS IS TEDIOUS. Jemal: public hearing now open. No public comments. Public meeting now closed. Any further comments? None.
6.6 - Blah blah blah unanimous yes.
6.7 - A LITTLE BIT OF HEARTBURN. Exterior Lighting. Blah blah blah. Lang: this item gave me "a little bit of heartburn." Sole-source award made under odd circumstances. Didn't plan well. Didn't get enough vendors to respond to this. Curious about this. Fitz? Fitz sends up Brandye: our typical bid process, she says. We advertised for two weeks. Then a third week, then collected proposals. 15 bidders were initially interested. Can't explain why only one came to the table. "Only one vendor came back." She talks about how this adds up to a black mark against us. Not a good thing for us. Lang: we advertised on March 1st and 8th, knowing that prop 39 funds would end. Shouldn't we have taken steps to get others involved? Brandye: she offers reasonable answer, though I didn't get it. Wright: asks similar question. Brandye manages to answer acceptably. Motion to move item: unanimus approval.

6.8 - EXPANDING CAL GRANTS, MAYBE. Supporting Legislation re Cal Grants. Tere Flugeman presents: resolution supporting two assembly bills. Reform the Cal Grant program. Currently, grants don't provide for books and other costs. These bills would raise the max award, from $1,500 to $3000. Also eligibility age limit raised. Would raise number of awards. Etc.
Wright: refers to attached table, costs. Cost at community colleges "much larger." Tere explains the lack of grant aid to CC students. "An interesting chart," adds Wright.
Marcia Milchiker: legis tasks force voted approval of these. Tere: also the Governor, etc. Jemal: what's the prognosis for these bills? Tere: probably not very good. Projected costs $400 million. Jemal jokes about asking the UC and State U system to yield to CCs some of that grant money. Laughter. Unanimous vote of approval.

6.9 - Saddleback College, Science Building project. Unanimous yes.

6.10 - Board Policy revision (for review and study). Traffic and parking regs. Credit by examination. Unanimous approval (for review and study).

6.11 - Board Policy revisions. Employee of relatives, Department Chair, etc. Unanimous approval (of revised board policies).

6.12 - Academic personnel actions. No changes. Wright: comment. (Correction, I guess.) Unanimous approval.

6.13 - Classified personnel actions. No changes. Unanimous approval.

6.14 - Full time faculty hiring amendments. Faculty hiring lists. Want to stay on top of recruitment. Unanimous approval.

6.15 - Sabbatical projects. Modification of one project. Prendergast: he's just got a joke, didn't quite catch it. Something about leaving off Notre Dame from list of "top teams." Har har. Unanimous approval.


7.1 - IVC professor of the year. No comments
7.2 - IVC and SC speakers.
7.3 - basic aid
7.4 - monthly financial status report.
7.5 - trust fund
7.6 - Quarterly something
7.7 - THOSE PESKY CONTRACTORS. facilities plan, blah Wright: what's the status of the Fine Arts something. Brandye: $5.3 million over three months. Need contractor to be "on point." Contractor has not performed yet. We're having more meetings, more pressure. Haven't decided to pull the plug yet. IVC Liberal Arts contractor: has no respect for the schedule. Two steps forward, one step back. Lots of delays. Scheduled to be completed at end of May. We don't believe that date. Perhaps early July. It's starting to endanger ability to start there in Fall.

Reports from groups:

I'm outa here. (7:55 p.m.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reporting, Roy. The BOT request for a report on Workday is interesting. I heard that there were dozens of complaints about Workday NOT working at the listening sessions, many from employees in a position to know. I truly hope VC Fitzsimons does not sugar coat the problems or dismiss the complaints out of hand. Please check with your sources. The system is a failure of epic proportions, and yet we hear nothing about this complete waste of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Who is the IVC professor of the year?

Anonymous said...

Roy, you missed out on public comments before closed session. Intrigue happening at Saddleback.

Roy Bauer said...

Rebecca Beck is IVC's Prof of the year

Roy Bauer said...

Intrigue? Tell us more!

Anonymous said...

Over 25 staff and faculty spoke at Saddleback's BOT Listening Session about the disaster Work Day is. The BOT members present took a keen interest in what was said about this program.

Anonymous said...

Well deserved for Rebecca. Talk about someone who has done a lot for her department and the school as whole.

Anonymous said...

rumors swirling that Roquemore, Justice and Poertner ganged up to get rid of Burnett.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Beck. Bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update as usual! Lang couldn't be bothered to give a mere report? Interesting.

Anonymous said...

At the IVC trustee listening session there were only one or two faculty present. It's good that a trustee noted this in her report, but I wonder what will get more faculty out to a future listening session? More faculty seemed to attend last year's...

Anonymous said...

The green-eyed monster is still alive and doing well among the IVC faculty.

Anonymous said...

If rumor true about Burnett, it's long over due.

Anonymous said...

Was it Beck and Wilson milking the Student Equity for extra Funds last year?

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to attend trustees listing sessions and open forums that run at the same time as classes. Why not an early evening option for those whose days are full of meeting students? If is also difficult to even find out what is going on where and when because of the ridiculous avalanche of individual announcements that come our way out of the PIO office. Why not a weekly digest of upcoming activities instead of so many nearly identical announcements?

Anonymous said...

Good idea!
Most of the time the announcements are too late.
Tired of seeing ridiculous emails from Ramadoeche
btw... how was the forum?

Anonymous said...

Tell me this Burnett rumor is true! Pretty please?

Anonymous said...

Amazing how Glenn can run amok and Todster is getting the axe...

Anonymous said...

The 10k amok relay race starring the g-man, oaks, and edwards.

The idiot abroad: insane, insulting, incendiary

Trump, May and Brexit: today's front pages (Guardian UK) "He's not my hero! I'm a communist, you idiot!' ...