Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Special Board meeting: Fitz as Acting Chance is rubber-stamped

     [Looking back, this post seems to me to be overly snarky toward Mr. BB. I like his playing. Like his musical choices. OK? Pace BB.]
     TUESDAY EVENING, 7:29 - Just got here. Only six people be lurkin' in Ronnie Reagan Hall—all administrators, ceptin' for me. We're just waiting for the board to emerge from closed session and announce—whatever. The Prez of Saddleback is on the agenda. So is the Chancellor gig.
     Obviously, there's no tellin' when the trustees will finish their deliberations and come out to announce their decisions. Back atcha after a while. (Administrators, left to right: BB, DB, DF, [and, over at the right] GR & LF, murmuring.)
* * *
     7:50 - Suddenly, board prez Tim Jemal emerges, stage left, and says, "Debra Fitzsimons, can I talk to you a minute?" She follows him through the door.
     8:00 - no sign of Fitz. They got her!
     Just now, BB went out to his car to get his ax. He's playin' it, unplugged, with LF & DB in his apparent thrall. Little Wing, eh? —Meanwhile, GR is way off to the right, playin' his Rickenbacker iPhone.
     8:18 - Just as things and shapes slowly become visible in the darkness, BB's unplugged guitar noodlings have slowly become a racket in my head in this empty hall. His watery strumming almost prevents my reading—about Pythagoras, Descartes, Heraclitus, and about similar such (in Nicholas Rescher's "Anecdotes").
* * *
     8:23 - All beings, it seems, either are or are very close to being, some version of Gregor Samsa—a cockroach, or a double clutch transmission, or something even more horrible.
     Me, I seem to myself at times to have become a hideous, subhuman, memoryless biped, i.e., one who can be told, very clearly, "X, Y, & Z"—only to find oneself, seconds later, unsure whether Y was included in this telling, or whether X was denied or affirmed. —Whether, indeed, anything was said by anyone at all.
     Dang! I'd rather be a cockroach.
     Yesterday, a friend called me, and we discussed district issues. As he spoke, I thought of an important question. It was damned important. When he at long last ceased speaking, I started to raise my question, but it was already gone. Huh? It was no use tryin' to fish it back neither.
     "My mind," I said to him, "is a sieve."
* * *
     That danged BB: he's off in his unplugged little musical world. Now he's singing! Meanwhile LF and DB ignore him, deep in conversation, but I ain't listening. Nope. Don't wanna know.
     I think BB's doing "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom" (John Lee Hooker).
     8:42 - Suddenly, as if to counter BB's caterwauling, LF starts playing some pop song on her iPhone. I can't place it. It's odd somehow. Eventually, she turns it off, causing BB to launch into further solipsistic warble und strum. He's ignored by all—except me, I guess—but he's happy, like some little kid with his toy car.

     8:46 - Can't seem to read my book. I hear: "Soul Man" (Steve Cropper). Then "Listen to the Music" (Doobie Brothers?!). Now "El Paso" (Marty Robbins). Then "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Led Zep). Meanwhile LF murmurs and Glenn surfs.

     9:00 - It's 9:00 p.m., and we're useless. We have all turned into, not pumpkins, but drooling zombies or worse. No sign of Fitz. No sign of Jemal. No sign of life. What the hell are we doing here, anyway? It's some kinda hell, as usual. At least they aren't handing out prizes like they always do. That stuff is Rod Serling meets the well-meaning-yet-hideous Den Mothers and their hungry Weblos.
     9:10 - Nothing, really, is at stake for me tonight. I only wish to learn what will be. But, for these others, I think, it matters plenty. Are they vultures? Hopefuls? Dutiful underlings?...

     9:11AT LONG LAST, THE TRUSTEES EMERGE.
     Prendergast, Poertner, Jemal and Wright climb back into their seats. Kinsler, the lawyer, is leaving. He waves amiably, despite his lawyerosity. Some gal—another lawyer?—is also leaving. (I spotted her Merc out in the parking lot. Vroom.) Lang is on the phone with Jemal.
     OK, what next?
     9:13 - Whitt and Milchiker join the others, taking their seats. Lang is on his phone in Iowa, countin' beans in his head.
     JEMAL: reconvening from closed session. Wright will read out actions taken by the board:
     Wright: one action, 7-0 vote, approved appointment of Debra Fitzsimons as Acting Chancellor, subject to approval of mutually agreeable contract. 
     Nothing else to report.
     —Good grief! That's it? Could they have done less? I don't see how! Maybe they shoulda reaffirmed Gary's retirement while they were at it!
     Wait! Did this episode really happen?
     I'm so outta here.




19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Roy, for taking the time to be present in order to report back to the rest of us. How is it that they had two agenda items but didn't provide a report on the second, SC President??

Anonymous said...

What was supposed to happen to Burnett?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us as informed as is possible. What is it about summer and coups?

Anonymous said...

Debra is good for her word. We should be pleased with someone who can be straight forward.

Anonymous said...

5:47. Hahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

As a faculty member who has worked with on several committees, she was prepared, open to ideas, and willing to listen to others. So, the Haha person needs to provide some specifics of that not occurring.

Anonymous said...

I am also a faculty member who has worked with Debra. I have the highest of confidence in her. I have time and time again, both in very complex committee work and in department work, found her to be responsible, facilitative, and ready to work out solutions. I support her in this challenging time period. She has proven herself to be good for her word as 5:47 has said. I am weary over the years of the negativity in our district. Gary left for this reason, I am sure he got weary, too. It inhibits us, at our college and district, to be as good as we could be for our students.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Debra has some loyal cheerleaders. Nevermind that she blatantly lied about Workday to the BOT just the other day and blamed it on the classified staff. Then offers the same useless training that didn't help to begin with. That's not a facilitator or a viable solution!

Anonymous said...

9:56, you sound like a change-phobic complaintnik just looking for reasons to get another raise. Get off your sorry butt, take some responsibility, initiative and learn how to use the bloody thing, forgodsakesman!

Anonymous said...

10:43, you know nothing about me or my skill levels. I said nothing about ME not knowing how to use workday. I was only talking about Debra and how she has misrepresented the workday problems to the BOT and the "solutions" she spewed out. Try reading and understanding the post and it's content before you decide to make your pointless comments. Then again, you do sound like a typical administrator. Blame the project/process shortcomings on the end user.

Anonymous said...

10:43, we know a great deal about change and are hardly phobic given that we adjust to change nearly by the week and lead the way in helping most of you adjust. You might take a moment and look around. When something like Workday rises to a level where it does not respond or provide basic reports or is beyond basic understanding of how financial, human resource or payroll software should and does work, we question, we are concerned and we want it fixed. We "take responsibility and take the initiative" but this "bloody thing" does not work or takes at least six times as long to finish anything. As a group, the classified rarely complain about situations they are forced into in the workplace. 2:42 is correct, try reading and understanding the post but also, try using and understanding Workday and explain to us how it works and functions o' wise one. Trust us. We are waiting. We continue to wait.

Anonymous said...

Read the whole user manual and if you still have questions call their tech support line. The automated, self-serve system is happy to take your call. Don't forget to press 1 for English otherwise it disconnects you.

Anonymous said...

omg...

Anonymous said...

The District recommended we spend millions of dollars for us to use workday. A piece of software that has no history of success in a college business environment. We should have spent the extra money on a product from Oracle. Try getting the District to create changes to the software on how we actually are to conduct business according to ed code or accreditation requirements. We are hosed.
So good luck!

Anonymous said...

The cost of Escape was less than $75,000 a year. Sure, everyone wanted something better than Escape, but none of us expected to spend $12M of Basic Aid funds to buy a system that is many, many times worse and will require the district to increase staff to use it. Escape's finance system was developed for and caters to California K-14 schools. Dr. Fitzsimons stated in her report to the BOT (June 27) that Escape is no longer supported. That is completely false. Escape is a viable company and continues to sell and improve its product with every system update.

Workday did not have a single community college using financials before SOCCCD went live. Not one. Basically, we bought a system that was unknown, and we were Workday's beta testers. SOCCCD is still the only California community college district using Workday financials - Grossmont is going live soon.

$75,000 a year versus >$12,000,000 PLUS the long-term cost of more staff. Someone did not choose wisely, and they're still blowing this by the Board.

Anonymous said...

I suppose you still use a flip phone, too!

Anonymous said...

No flip phone. But my smart phone works and doesn't take me twice as long to use. I'm all for better technology, but Workday was not the best choice for our kind of business.

Anonymous said...

Well said 8:02 p.m.
We paid big money to be the lab rats of California.

Anonymous said...

There have been many positive updates to Workday based on user feedback. So what is there to complain about? What is your solution? Workday isn't going anywhere so maybe it's time to get used to it, and be happy that district services is responding to feedback.

Is Workday perfect? Of course it's not. But it does have its benefits. Be flexible. You can't expect everything you want to happen in a day. These things take time.

I commend Debra and her staff for taking this project on. Something like Workday should have been implemented a long time ago. We were basically in the stone ages - of course it's going to take time to get up to speed.

The return of the curious "Shooting Star" saga

     Back in 2012, I wrote a series of posts about the mysterious sinking, in 1974, of the yacht "Shooting Star," which took th...