Thursday, July 14, 2016

Agenda for Monday's BoT meeting

     We were just sent a link to the agenda for the July meeting of the SOCCCD BoT. I noticed that the closed session includes these items:


     Item 6.14 (a general item) of the open session concerns the "Acting" Chancellor position:

     Exhibit A of 6.14 is the actual contract, and it mentions the Interim position:


     I suppose this tells us that the trustees plan to forego the hire of an Interim Chancellor. Not sure what this means. I did find some language about the meaning of an "acting" administrator (from another Cal community college district):


     Natch, early in the meeting, Gary Poertner will receive a "resolution":


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Workday saga, so far


     You've heard about the WORKDAY snafu, right? Well, years ago, our district recognized that some of its systems—financial and HR software, etc.—needed a serious upgrade. So, after a lengthy selection process, we purchased some Workday products. (Workday is the new kid on the block.)
     According to many, some of these Workday products just aren't working out. Workday is a "moneypit" and a "disaster."
     The district has responded, it seems, by doubling down. We're throwing good money after bad, they say.
     What kinds of software are we talking about? There are two parts of our Workday purchase, and that's important to understand. Part one includes a financial program plus an HR program. SOCCCD has purchased Workday FDM [Financial Data Model] and Workday HCM [human capital management].
     The fiscal part of this bundle is new and is very buggy, they say. Reportedly, it's hell to work with. The HR part also? It's older; bugs should have been worked out.
     The other part is the student system part called Workday Student; we signed onto that almost a year after adopting the FDM/HCM bundle (December 2014). We’ve agreed to be a guinea pig in its development—for a discount. Not sure how bad Workday Student has been. (Is it fine? Let us know.)

     I’ve made an effort to assemble all the things we’ve reported or otherwise come across regarding the district’s WORKDAY adventures in recent years. Here we go.

* * *

     The first thing I’ve got on Workday is two and a half years old:

     January 27, 2014 - The district’s Board Meeting Highlights for the January meeting of the BoT reported
Agreements for a new HR/Financial Software System with Workday in the amount of $3,227,361 and Implementation partner CedarCrestone, Inc. in the amount of $3,189,501 covering a five year period.
     January 27, 2014 - Dissent the Blog's (DtB’s) report of the January 27, 2014 Board Meeting included the following:
Item 4.2: [… D Fitzsimmons has come up with the usual suspects: Bugay, Hilton, Davit K.] Business Process Analysis, Software project.
. . .
     Current software systems for HR and Finance are "old and out of date." She spells that out. Thus lots of our processes are "manual" and labor intensive. We knew we wanted to improve these processes.
     C Hilton: ... Outlined existing process. Very depressing. We came up with small, nimble process. Described ideal model that is simple, user friendly, compliant, transparent. Wanted to avoid the "COSTCO effect." …"If we automate a mess, we have an automated mess." –A motto, I guess. They “self-examined.” She started talking about "BPAs" [“Business process analysis”]. Blah, blah, blah. They're hoping the board will approve the new streamlined system and processes. She hands off to Bugay:
     D Bugay: we want a "one source system," i.e., one entry point. Current. Blah, blah, blah. We want to eliminate "shadow systems." We learned that transparency works very well. Everyone knows what's going on. A series of common themes emerged. Starts talking about DFPs (?). Turns it over to Davit.
      Davit K: seven initial responses from vendors. 3 were invited to give presentations….
Workday, Inc. is recommended as the HR/Financial Software system
CedarCrestone, Inc. Is recommended to be the implementation partner for the project.
     Why Workday? Blah blah blah. Starts saying things like "cloud based," "object oriented," "data analytics."
     Lists "technological advantages." These are mere assertions, of course. Promises made. Blah blah blah. Available on any mobile device. Davit liked that. Turns it over to Fitz:
     Fitzsimmons: expands on "mobility of this product." Talks about dashboards. User-friendly. Fitz seems genuinely excited. Implementation will take 18 months for both phases. Blah blah blah. We anticipate going live at end of fiscal year 2014... Mentions "steering committee." Consultants. Lots of college input.
     Now turn to 6.1. They advance that (approval of agreement with these firms).
     They divide the question--for the two vendors. That is approved unanimously. 
So 6.1A: approve Workday, Inc.
     Questions?
     Milchiker: it appears that the process went well. How did you get people to participate?
     Fitz: we invited folks, had much participation. They had much to say.
     Padberg: so impressed that we're finally doing this. Such an important activity, hiring.
     Jemal: I concur. Long overdue. But this is a very substantial investment. Fitz has Bob Bramucci explain.
     Bramucci: Student-centeredness. There’s an expectation of that now. This is true cloud-based software. New paradigm. Has a different data model, thus more upgradable. Object-oriented model. Talks data and codes.
     I have no idea what he's talking about.
     A "tower of Babel problem." Huh? Service-layers. Hard coding. –Whatever. What he said: it was a "nutshell," evidently. That's some nutshell.
     Jemal: current process is labor intensive. This new process is less labor intensive, presumably. New training in the district? Is cost of that factored into this?
     Fitz: will eliminate some duplicative processes. People will be doing more service-oriented tasks, not menial tasks. I can't give you a dollar amount. Yes, training of our employees is "embedded in the cost." Software is more "intuitive."
     Jemal: hope this happens smoothly. Hopes this will follow timeline presented.
     Prendergast: I didn't hear answer about "ongoing costs." Maintenance costs.
     Fitz: "data migration" .... yadda yadda. I dunno what she's saying. Looks like this is less costly than others. This was the better product in terms of price too….
     Jay: the complexity of this program, its "hugeness" is "beyond imagination." He seems to be advising that "we" take this in in bite-sized chunks. Yes, overall a simpler model. But this process is going to be big. He seems to be saying, "Don't blame me if, in the end, we don't like this" cuz its fucking big.
     Wright: want to applaud all of you for your hard work. Were all the committees on board with this? I guess so. Bugay comes up to praise Fitz bigtime. Agrees with Jay, will be "big." Describes the way updating occurs. Micro-updating occurs all the time, etc. Thanks Debra's leadership.
     Lang: what sort of due diligence have we done? Other districts using this software?
     Fitz: quite a bit. Workday is a fairly new product. Their HR [part is] much older than Financial. Had conference calls with other districts/universities: USC, et al. U of Texas, Washington system, et al. Examined contracts: we got a better deal. "We feel that this is a good product."
     Milchiker: blah, blah, blah. Keep us apprised, how this is going.
     Prendergast: let's vote on 6.1A. Unanimous, except for one abstention: Lang.
     Jay abstains on vote re 6.1B, I think.
     Poertner: [discusses] how much work has gone into this project. Special thanks to VC Fitzsimmons; an unbelievable amount of work shepherding this through. Did this while negotiating the ATEP agreement. Applause. (Looks like Fitz is riding high.)

     April 2014 - I’ve come across a Report to the SOCCCD Board of Trustees for April 28, 2014 by D Fitzsimons. It includes “Workday Implementation Project Summary Overview for the Period of 02/03/14 – 04/25/14,” which says:
Planning for the project began in early February. A detailed project plan has been developed in collaboration with SOCCCD; the implementation partner, CedarCrestone (CCI); and Workday, and is in the final stages of approval and activation using an online project planning tool.
     It includes a section entitled “Observations”:
     Even though this project represents a significant increase in workload, the SOCCCD project team is very enthusiastic, engaged, and dedicated to the success of the project. They are very knowledgeable in the current systems, both at SOCCCD and the County Payroll, which is an important factor in the success of the project. The teamwork between the SOCCCD project team and the CCI team has been highly collaborative, professional, and efficient, resulting in significant progress thus far in the project.
     The need to replace the [CedarCrestone] Engagement Manager was an unfortunate situation, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the progress of the project. CCI has addressed this issue quickly and professionally, and have provided quality interim support in that area until a replacement comes on board…. [My emphasis.]

     June 2014 - The Board Meeting Highlights for the June 23, 2014 meeting of the board included this among actions:
Agreement with eNamix for an amount not to exceed $207,960 for the term of July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 to provide IT testing lead services for the Workday HR/Financial systems project.
     August 2014 - In August of 2014, DtB reported the Chancellor’s Opening Session, which included this:
     Poertner: introducing presentations. "Our number 1 priority, student success," he says, utterly predictably. Student success and completion, blah blah blah. Goes through goals: blah blah blah. Discusses a new software, Workday. (This is dry, man.) Much better than what we had before, he says. (Gosh, we've heard this all before. Let's hope it's true this time.) He's really doing a sales job on Workday. Good grief, does he own stock in the company? Gosh, Georgetown uses it, too. It must be good!
     September 2014 - The district’s Board Meeting Highlights for the September 29, 2014 board meeting included this:
Agreement with JB Technology Consulting, LLC, for an amount not to exceed $117,844, for the term of October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 to support ongoing operations and project obligations of District IT heavily involved in the implementation of the Workday HR/Financial systems.
     October 2014 - In my notes for an October 2014 Senate meeting, I wrote:
District IT also made a very long presentation regarding a new system called Workday, which will be some sort of student system.
     November 2014 - Then, in November, I reported again (as Senator) about Workday: “Workday: HR forms go live Jan.; Fiscal goes live in July.”
* * *
     November 2014 - This is probably a good place to mention the November 2014 SOCCCD "climate survey," even though the results of that survey weren’t made available until—well, I don’t know when really. I managed to promulgate an early version of the report in June of 2015, which caused quite a stir. (See Animosity.) It included written comments by survey-takers, some mentioning Workday:
     Another concern that I have is that the training for workday, required that one is out of the office for the majority of the day.... District Services feels that they are "our" customer rather than the other way around. … The colleges do not work for District Services rather District Services exist to provide support the colleges. A prime example of this would be the Workday Meeting Schedules. District services, without consultation with the IVC and SC, decided that they would plan various Workday meetings that would be held ALL DAY long the 1st week of the Fall Semester. If anyone from District Services had taken the time to look at the academic calendar they would have known that this is the WORST time EVER to expect Sr. Admins. to be away from the Division Office. Most workday meetings I've found have been set up in multi day meetings held all day long during a single workweek. This has prevented participation from various college employees and Sr. Admin. Assistants. It has also made it difficult for the colleges to receive support for various depts. within District Services as the people we need to contact are no where to be found.... There is … an overwhelming feeling at both Saddleback and IVC that the District did not take in to account our workflow or schedule when planning WORKDAY sessions. They even scheduled an entire week of workday sessions the 1st week of our Fall Semester. For the colleges this is our busiest time of year and to expect Sr. Admins. and other staff to be out of the office for long periods of time was not reasonable. ... Any process change at the District level that impacts the colleges needs to be communicated widely and in a clear and understandable way. Adding such changes to the bottom of an email blast isn't 'training', it's barely notification. We're all too busy to catch everything these days. Workday will require a ton of training. You cannot offer too much training at different time slots to accommodate people that may want to take a training more than once to be sure they got it. …[T]raining is currently lacking. With the implementation of Workday—have we identified several trainers? It is key that we have an abundance of employees who understand the colleges/district day to day operations to ensure Workday functions properly for the success of the colleges/employees and students.
* * *


     December 2014 - The Board Meeting Highlights for the December 15, 2014 meeting of the board included this action:
SOCCCD collaboration agreement with Workday, Inc. to participate in Workday's Strategic Influencer Program and assist in developing a student success system called Workday Student.
     DtB reported on that meeting. I wrote:
     [Item] 6.2 was about a proposed agreement with Workday, Inc.—the idea is that the district will collaborate with that company, thereby gaining great savings in the long run on student services STUFF—while being all cutting edge. The Techno Twins [i.e., Bramucci and Gaston] were there, and they're good speakers, and so the whole thing went down pretty easy. We're gonna partner with this Workday outfit, but there's an "escape clause," which, evidently is something like a Santa Claus, and it will save us from some kind of death spiral should the company go south. Something like that. Actually, it all sounded pretty good. The Student Trustee chimed in to represent the "digital native" POV. That sealed it, baby. I think when he said the word "mobile" all the trustees fainted, so excited were they to do something technical that the kids liked.
     December [?] 2014 - I’ve come across a district document entitled Workday Collaboration Project, which seems to be dated December, 2014. It explains that “Workday is seeking partners to assist them in collaborating in the production of the Workday Student system. … Other partners include Yale, Rochester, University of Texas, Southern New Hampshire, Broward CC, Tallahassee CC and others.” It discusses three options, including one called “Workday Strategic Influencer,” which is partnering with Workday. I guess that’s the arrangement we chose, at least for the student system.

From the document; concerning Workday Student
     February 2015 - I encountered yet another document, dated February 2, 2015, which is designed to “invite vendors to participate in the South Orange County Community District (District) procurement process for acquiring a Contract Management System. In particular, the goal is to solicit proposals for products and services that address the District’s needs. The District’s preference is for a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.” It goes on to say
     The District is seeking vendor proposals for the procurement, implementation, and ongoing success of a Contract Management System that will also integrate into an electronic signature system. In addition, the District seeks professional services to assist in the implementation.
. . .
     Currently, the District's contract templates are stored on SharePoint in either Word or PDF format. At the most basic level, users at each of the three colleges or the District office download the contract, enter information such as vendor name, contract term, a scope of work description, and contract amount. … The District does not have any reporting, version control, standard file naming conventions, or standard storage locations for its contract. The District is implementing Workday HCM [human capital management] and FDM [Financial Data Model], and will have some capabilities through system workflow to perform final approval and encumber against approved contract. … When a contract is in negotiations, multiple parties such as the vendor, vendor’s legal counsel, the District, and District’s legal counsel, as well as the initiating department might enter or edit contract data. Microsoft Word change-tracking is used to track activity. This can be a lengthy process. Dealing with various versions and persons providing input gets complicated, time-consuming, and confusing. The District desires to make this versioning process more user-friendly, efficient, and to significantly reduce processing time to achieve the final product….

     March 2015 - In my report of the March 2015 board meeting, I noted that, during his trustee report, Jim Wright declared that he “liked” Workday.
     Oh.

    May 2015 - I found a district report, I guess, dated May 9, 2015, of the BoT’s “self-evaluation.” It mentions “Trustee Listening Sessions,” which inspired the trustees to discuss “Workday training,” among other things. Their discussions resulted also in “requests for specific reports.” (Including "What's the matter with Workday"?)

     May 2015 - In DtB’s report of the May 18, 2015 board meeting, I noted the following reports and exchanges:
Jim Gaston: [He discusses] District-Wide technology projects. … Lots of other projects listed. He highlights some of them. … Also mentions "Workday Student" system. No doubt this means something to somebody.
. . .
[A trustee has another question:] for techno folks. We have a very ambitious set of projects that we are funding. How much of this will be done by our own IT folks? How much subbed out? Etc.
Gaston: we don't expect all of these things to be done in the next year. Yadda yadda. Mentions some projects that won't require consultants: desktop upgrades, etc. (They leave the impression that they're pretty organized.)
Lang: we've been proud of the MAP (?) program, which will be integrated into Workday, etc. Is that right? Can you explain?
Gaston: mentions MAP and SHERPA(?). Yammers about this for a bit. Development teams have met with consultants, etc. We have a strong sense of ownership with MAP. Might be transitional problems with Workday. Blah blah blah. We want an integrated system. Whole system integration in 2017, then transition for two years. Workday is a longterm goal.
Lang: [re] security, proprietary stuff...Has our stuff come under attack?
Gaston: yes, any system comes under attack. We've got lots of security safeguards in place. We have vendors' help with that. We try to stay on top of security. Another advantage of going with Workday, which meets European (higher) security standards. We have some great firewalls, etc. Some of the hacks come from on campus, not just external….

     May 2015 - The district’s Board Meeting Highlights for the May 18, 2015 meeting included this action: “agreement with eNamix for an amount not to exceed $241,920, for the term of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 for testing lead services to properly implement Workday specifications.”

     June 2015 - I’ve come across a document, dated (I think) June, 2015, which presents the Tentative Budget for 2015-6. It touches on Workday:
     The second category is enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, where we are replacing aging software for human resources and finance with Workday’s new cloud-based ERP software. In addition, SOCCCD has joined key institutions in assisting with the design of Workday’s new Student system, which will include functions from SOCCCD’s award- winning suite of student success software.
. . .
     Human Resources: Human Resources transitioned from an antiquated HRIS system to Workday, and significantly reduced the backlog for classified hiring without impacting full- time faculty hiring. HR completed over 917 new hires, an increase of almost 20% over the previous year.
     July 2015 - Based on things I had been hearing from reliable folks, a year ago (July 3, 2015), I posted something called Workday doesn’t work, which got quite a response, some of it very negative. I attempted to explain our history with Workday. Then I wrote:
     The upshot: in January of 2014—i.e., nearly a year and a half ago—the SOCCCD entered into an agreement with WORKDAY—i.e., Workday Human Resource Management, which offers consulting and software. The selection of Workday was a bit risky, for the company had little experience with educational institutions, at least on the financial side (as their name implies, they focus on HR, not finances). But they offered us a special deal plus lots of techno razzmatazz and big promises.
     “Hooray,” people said, at least for a while. (Well, some of us quietly worried that we've heard all this before: the new system is the big fix! You won't believe how intuitive and clever it is!) As you know, Workday training sessions have commenced, district-wide, producing tacit [or loud?] waves of consternation and worry. (Faculty, too, have told me that they have found the software difficult to work with. I've simply avoided it.)
     So, as we can all see, the Workday train is slowly building up a head of districtular steam. But is it the Big Fuckup Express?
. . .
     The district has been reviewing and assessing its business processes, and these, too, have been found to be wanting. (One might suppose that our venture with Workday would address that problem. I'm told that Ms Fitz, who should have known better, supposed likewise, but wrongly.)
     In the course of the review, it became clear that the district’s contracting processes in particular are ineffective and cumbersome, and, as was discovered some time after January, 2014, Workday offered no fix at all. Hence, Fitz and her crew decided to update its contract management tools and procedures—i.e., to purchase yet another system for the contract process.
. . .
     Thus it was that, in late January, 2015, the district advertised for proposals from firms to provide “Contract Management System and Related Services.” By early February, the district received four proposals. After a review of the proposals, the RFP committee recommended the software of SciQuest, Inc.
     Why SciQuest? Because it “will be able to be integrated with Workday’s HR/Financial System Software.”
     That brings us to May. Item 6.13 of the May 18 board meeting was this:
SOCCCD: Contract Management Software System Project, Approval of Agreement for Contract Management System Project, SciQuest, Inc.
Approve the contract for the Contract Management Software System with SciQuest, Inc. for a five year term effective May 19, 2015.
. . .
     According to people I’ve spoken with—and they do seem to know what they're talking about—there is a sizeable FUBAR afoot. It has a greater part and a lesser part. First and foremost, Workday [or at least part of it] is turning out to be a pig in a poke. Second, and predictably, Fitzsimons seeks to draw attention away from the fact that Workday lacks “contract management,” thus necessitating the SciQuest contract. Fitz and Co. really screwed the pooch and they don’t want the trustees to understand that.
     That’s the story, anyway. It sounds plausible. It's all very high-handed and arrogant, of course. A special kind of fucked up.
. . .
     Again, the core problem here is that, as it turns out, Workday doesn’t work. It lacks contract management; sources, including faculty and classified, tell me that even HR can't make it work. Faculty (some, anyway) hate it. Payroll, too, does not mesh with Workday and benefits are a mess. Workday can’t deal with the complexity of our district—its different employee types, different employment contracts, the variety of ways that faculty are paid and the fact that employees often are paid for less than the full year. Classified overtime is a big problem: Workday can’t handle it at all.
     The situation, I’m told, is nothing less than a disaster. A grand fubar.
     The fundamental problem is that Workday was originally designed for private industry, not educational institutions and government accounting. It is “cloud” based, but the SOCCCD is not. Workday, it seems, simply cannot be “customized” for our district. It can't be made to work.
. . .
     But there's more. According to my sources, despite Workday's utter inadequacy, the district is going forward with it, full steam ahead. In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. All efforts to slow things down or develop workarounds are being rejected. Workday is ours and we will like it….
     —On I went like that, trusting in my sources.
     Some folks reacted angrily on Debrah F’s behalf. See Defending Fitzsimons: Comments on our post “Workday doesn't work?” [July 4, 2015].) Many seemed to think that I was hostile to Fitzsimons. Now, in fact, until then, I had always described her positively. She seems very personable. She seems nice—and, as far as I knew, she was good at her job. This whole “Workday fubar” business was the first negative thing I had heard about her. (It is important to remember that she was part of a group that recommended this software.)

     October 2015 - The Board Meeting Highlights for the October 26, 2015 board meeting included this:
Amendment to the Human Resource and Financial Software System Master Services Agreement with Workday, Inc. to include the addition of a Employee Recruitment Module, in the amount of $126,000.
     December 2015 - The Board Meeting Highlights for the December 14, 2015 board meeting included this:
Agreement with eNamix for an amount not to exceed $130,368 for the term of January 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016 to provide backfill for staff involved in the Workday implementation project.
     2015 [?] - I have encountered a document labeled SOCCCD Board of Trustees Employee Evaluation Highlights, evidently from 2015. It’s last section is “Goals for the Coming Year:”
     Provide fair compensation and working conditions part-time faculty, as well as for full-time and classified staff; complete contract negotiations; be knowledgeable about and fiscally support student success; maintain sound fiscal practices; foster growth; ensure Workday works….
     April 2016 - During the April 2016 meeting of the SOCCCD BOT (reported here), the trustees requested a Workday progress report—no doubt this was inspired by what they heard during the “listening sessions.”

     June 2016 - The report wasn’t revealed until the June meeting of the board. According to Tere’s “board meeting highlights,”
A current status report was provided on the Workday project and related software projects, following the board's request for report on the subject. Several managers and administrators provided a recap of reasoning behind the decision to move to the new enterprise resource planning system and the 3.5 year rigorous process which included contributions from all constituencies through business process analysis sessions. Moving from paper to online and toward ideal and transparent processes requires systematic change management to make a cultural shift in organizations. [My emphasis.] The group provided an overview…. Some of the challenges include getting used to new reporting and short-term increases in workload due to changes in processes. This will be examined to ensure that front line staff feel supported. ... Some items have been delayed for roll out to allow for adjustment to the current changes. The goal is to increase training and raise the comfort level during the initial two-year stabilization period. This [?] is to be expected in any major change management initiative. [Tere's notes for June meeting.]
     As you know, some DtB readers have labeled the above report/presentation an obfuscation of the facts and a dastardly attempt to shift blame onto employees. Some, however, seem to think that there's nothing especially wrong with these Workday tools, that employees are just dragging their feet, refusing to learn the new system.
     No doubt there's at least some truth in both perspectives.
     Stay tuned.


* * *
Key terms
SaaSSoftware-as-a-service (on-demand software)
Cloud-based* (or “on demand”)
ERP - enterprise resource planning
*Some say that our difficulties with Workday fundamentally stem from its cloud-based nature.

* * *

Our first commenter wrote:
Anonymous said... 
     Interesting summary Roy. Here are a few facts that are missing and are being conveniently overlooked by many of your commenters. Most of the people at District Services were perfectly happy with Escape. A search was started for a new financial system in direct response to the bitter complaints about it coming from the colleges. The most comprehensive and inclusive decision making process in the history of the district took place to select a new vendor and the colleges had ample participation in it. After an exhaustive process that looked at all of the available options Workday was the clear winner and the college representatives on the steering committee voted for it. The "District" did not force this decision on the colleges. The process was started due to college concerns and the decision was the clear consensus of both colleges and District Services.
     Are there some serious issues with Workday? Yes there are and there always will be when you make this big of a change. Are the problems insurmountable? Not if we work together to solve them, but given the dysfunctional us/them mentality in this district I'm not optimistic.
—8:35 PM, July 12, 2016

Another commenter wrote:
Anonymous said... 
I do enjoy the fact that many of us have viewed faculty concerns on this blog both small and large and generally valid (and sometimes silly) but when a new software system is truly affecting the work lives of your colleagues, we are called "whiners" and complaint-niks.

I also enjoy the comments comparing the old flip phones to Escape and the new smart phones to Workday. I recall that flip phones worked and Workday is neither "smart" or intuitive or inventive.

"The most comprehensive and inclusive decision making process in the history of the district took place to select a new vendor and the colleges had ample participation in it." This is a stretch. The users today had little part in the original hiring of this vendor and it was the "cloud" capability that sold many in the room. Yippee. 
When the system was rolled out and implemented, the users today had weeks of meetings and went over the system. This is the truth. The constant "well, Workday can't do that," or "we never designed it for that," was continuous. In fact, Workday was beginning to "whine." Individuals from the original meetings were even heard to say "oh, you promised us that and now you cannot do it?"

We have a very bright & innovative group of users trying to make Workday work. Hey, and none of them use flip phones. Our frustration and our willingness to voice our frustration has brought about more change today to this system than would have been brought if the employees had chosen to be silent. 
As we talk about Workday's improvements, of course there will be some and possibly many over the years. Its been a year and they are still trickling out and it took months for us to view a report that gave us the balance in an account. 
It takes 30-40 days to do the multi step process in Workday in regards to hiring matters while in the old "flip phone" days it took four sheets of paper and 2 weeks. Beyond this, once you enter items into Workday it is difficult to find them again.

Improved software is what many of us wanted for a very long time but while it may turn into that someday, at this point the most minor of tasks take at least three times as long. While it may be easy to blame people for their inability to keep up with the wonder that is Workday, in truth, it cannot keep up with what we know it should and could do. At this time, they are rapidly creating band aid systems to wrap around the original wounds that are not going away.

There is no point in blaming anyone. This is not the issue. Many of you need to recognize though that the recommendations that came from the utter frustration of this system will actually improve this system. When you hear a "whine" it will generally rise up and become a recommendation and if heard enough, a change occurs in Workday. We have all seen it time and time again.

As you shake your heads over another post that communicates the latest concern from a faculty member, recognize that your colleagues are also dealing with a very difficult situation that is being described as mere "change" that we all need to get used to. We are fine with "change" and look forward to it. We aren't okay with a smart phone that so far is not that smart. We all have hope that this indeed will change.
—1:43 PM, July 13, 2016

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING THE ATTACHED COMMENTS, SOME OF WHICH SEEM ILLUMINATING

P.S.:

See Workday Review—A Software Evaluation (HRlab.com)
     Excerpt:
However, as Workday grows, perhaps it faces no bigger challenge than making organizations realize that their existing legacy software should be "ripped and replaced". Countless organizations that run outdated business software have gotten used to having software that is sub-par but still works, and it will take a healthy amount of convincing to change that. As such, Workday has to stay on message about how the architecture sets up organizational success; how embedded analytics increase organizational agility; and how Software-as-a-Service is rapidly becoming an industry best practice rather than the flash-in-the-pan many once thought it to be.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

SOCCCD Chancellorology: acting, interim, and permanent

     On July 1, just four days after the tense June board meeting (see Awkward), district denizens received a surprising communication that stated that "Chancellor Gary Poertner has announced his retirement effective today...." It went on to explain that "Vice Chancellor Debra Fitzsimons will serve as Acting Chancellor until further notice. A special meeting of the board will be scheduled for next week and more information will follow."
     The special meeting occurred four days later (July 5).
     The next day (July 6), the district sent yet another communication, asserting that “Dr. Debra L. Fitzsimons was appointed to serve as Acting Chancellor last night on a 7-0 vote during a special board meeting....
     Fitzsimons is not Interim Chancellor, for, at the end of the July 6 communication, we’re told that “She will serve in the acting position until an Interim Chancellor is selected."
     Then, finally, there's this: "The board will initiate a nationwide search for a permanent Chancellor.”
     So, based on these communications, one can glean these factoids:

  • Poertner retired on July 1. 
  • Fitzsimons was appointed Acting Chancellor on July 5, though she started in that role on July 1. (This suggests that Poertner's resignation came as a surprise.) 
  • The district plans to select an “Interim Chancellor” (to replace the "Acting" Chancellor). 
  • And the board plans to replace the Interim Chancellor with a “permanent Chancellor.” 
  • There'll be a "nationwide search" for the permanent Chancellor.

     Is that about it?
* * *
     Presumably, the "acting Chancellor" position is a mere stopgap—a temporary and brief state of affairs until something more official is put into place.
      So be looking for the announcement of the selection of an "Interm Chancellor."
      I bet they'll go with a rent-an-administrator. Someone nice and uncontroversial. A reassuring benign smilester.
      What do you think?
      The next board meeting will be on July 18.
* * *

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