Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Leaving A-200

Poster for our valiant - and ultimately failed - recall effort. 
Most A-200 denizens are packing up and moving their new digs in LA Building  (as the new Liberal Arts building is called by some) which presents opportunities for archaeological discoveries like the poster above and the reading packet below.

Who could forget the Holocaust denier on our board, who was supported by so many faculty and administrators, some still in their positions?  Who could forget that among our part-time faculty were two fellas who went on to publishing acclaim, one wining a Pulitzer Prize? Quick, someone tell our PR folks. It's not every community college who can make such boasts. Indeed, imagine a evening exchange of ideas between Steve Frogue and Michael Chabon in the faculty lounge. Or not.

"A long memory is the most radical idea in American history," so said historian Clare Sparks.  It certainly is in the SOCCCD.  Come visit us in LA Building!

Reading packet for WR 11, the Short Fiction Workshop, almost 30 years ago.
Still in its shrink wrap.
Perhaps worth a pretty penny on eBbay? 
Trustee Frogue made the over of the OC Weekly.
We still have copies!

Rebel Girl, c. 1986
UPDATE, Friday, the 23rd: today, Rebel Girl was busy taking Limber Lou to an audition in Hollywood. Meanwhile, I taught until 11:45 and then hotfooted it over to LA101, where a meeting of the new VPI (Chris McDonald) with faculty of the Schools of Humanities and Languages & Language Resources was underway. As I entered, a guy asked me to turn in my keys (to A239, my office for the last 28 or so years). He gave me a new key—to LA214, my new lair, again with Rebel Girl.
     Soon, we broke for lunch, and some of us ate with the new VPI, Chris McDonald, who seems like a decent guy. As it turns out, our long-time dean, Karima, just snagged the Interim version of McDonald's old gig at Saddleback, and so the meeting was about more than just moving to new digs. Who would be our interim dean? Lots of tongues were flappin'. Lots of rumors were flyin'. What will the future bring? Who knows.
     As usual, snafus surfaced. The boxed books and shite from one office hadn't been moved, and the movers were now gone; some of the new office computers didn't work right; some folks couldn't get the printer to work; and so on. The usual stuff.
     The door to my (our) new ofice doesn't stay open, so I've got to use this big dumb door-opening wedge thingy. The air-conditioning seems to produce a temperature a notch above comfort. I could go on, but mostly I'm excited about our new building and office. It's all shiny and new and, for the first time, faculty in my school have their own lounge, complete with comfortable chairs and a fridge and a sink—plus a great big mirror ball over in the corner. (Well, no.) College faculty offices need to be on the second floor of a cool looking building with windows, and now we've got that, so I'm happy.
     For now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Issued this morning:
Saddleback College President Tod Burnett
Announces Plans to Retire
September 20, 2016 – Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett has announced he plans to retire next summer. Dr. Burnett was hired in 2008 from the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office where he served as vice chancellor.
Dr. Burnett has led Saddleback College in achieving extraordinary goals, each year setting a vision with his state of the college address. Through his unique ability to bring people together, he has unquestionably grown the college’s capacity to serve south Orange County students and the surrounding community. His skills have brought measurable contributions to the college’s organizational leadership, advocacy, fundraising, grant development, business and community partnerships, facilities construction and renovation, academic programs, and student success.
Board of Trustees President Timothy Jemal commented, “Dr. Burnett has led Saddleback College in achieving outstanding results for our students and community. He has been a tireless advocate for Saddleback College and his substantial contributions will have a lasting impact on our district.”
South Orange County Community College District Interim Chancellor Debra Fitzsimons, who has worked with Dr. Burnett since 2011, said, “We appreciate Dr. Burnett’s visionary leadership at Saddleback College and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. He set a high bar of greatness for Saddleback College and our district.”
Dr. Burnett plans to serve until June 30, 2017. A nationwide search will commence for his replacement.

* * * 

     The word is that the board has been seeking Burnett's exit for years, but he hired a lawyer and gummed up the works negotiating a sweet sendoff, a "decision to retire." I've also heard that his "announcement" was delayed a bit by the 9-11 brouhaha. 
     A reader commented that IVC VPI Justice's intention to retire has been known for quite some time, and that is true. Nevertheless, I've been told that something happened to force an "announcement" earlier than expected. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Asians now are the largest group in Irvine. Is it Chinatown? Hardly
(OC Reg)

     …New census estimates show that, for the first time, Irvine has more Asian than white residents. It’s a thin lead, well within the report’s margin of error, but the strongest evidence yet of what many residents, scholars and real estate professionals see as an accelerating trend.

. . .
     More than 45 percent of Irvine’s roughly 257,000 residents are Asian, according to American Community Survey estimates released Thursday....

Corporate psychopath rates 'similar to prison population', says researcher 
(ABC News)

5 Most Toxic Right-Wing Moments This Week: Trump Is America's Worst Troll

Jill Stein: Hillary Clinton Wants To Start An Air War With Nuclear-Armed Russia Over Syria 
(RealClear Politics)

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary