Friday, December 7, 2018

IVC President Roquemore, feeling heat, issues two apologies in one day

     Some time in September, I was told by a reliable person at IVC that the college had received an anonymous student complaint about an alleged incident in my classroom. According to the complaint, I had “threatened” a student. Further, according to my informant, IVC President Glenn Roquemore, an old political opponent (and a target of much negatory verbiage here on DtB), had taken the matter to, of all people, the Academic Senate President—i.e., a member of faculty.
     That’s a clear violation of an old and widely-known policy here at the college. And it was a clear violation of confidentiality.
     On Tuesday, Sept. 25, I wrote the following email to the Faculty Association (union):
Kurt and Kathy:

     I've been told that June M, [IVC] Senate President, was recently informed by President Roquemore that an incident occurred in which I "threatened" a student.
     I find this odd. At no point have I been informed that a student has registered a complaint about me. I have received no communication from my dean or from any other administrator about a student complaint.
     It is my understanding that there are procedures in place according to which student complaints first go to the relevant Dean who then asks the student to work things out with the instructor. The procedures do not allow an administrator to contact and inform other faculty about some alleged faculty misconduct prior to the above mentioned dean-level action.
     Roquemore's action would seem to be a serious violation of process. I should mention that, up to this moment, I have received no communication from anyone, including any administrator, concerning a student complaint.
     Is there anything you can do to determine the facts in this matter and to determine whether this violation [of process, of confidentiality] has occurred? 
     --Roy Bauer, Philosophy

     That same day, I received a response from the union president:
Hi Roy:

     Your understanding and characterization of how complaints are generally handled is consistent with mine.
     Kathy has far more knowledge and experience than I do in these matters, so I'm going to first listen and learn.
     The Faculty Association will verify what procedures are in place, ascertain the facts in this matter, help determine whether a violation has occurred, and, if a violation has occurred, proceed appropriately.
    I am particularly concerned, as you are Roy, about the possibility of an administrator (in this case apparently President Roquemore) contacting and informing other faculty about alleged misconduct by another faculty, especially if in violation of policy/procedure.
     More to come, 
     On the 26th, I received the following email from Kathy S, the IVC union grievance officer:
     I certainly concur. Even were June the FA grievance chair, it would be inappropriate for any administrator, let alone the president, to contact one faculty member about an allegation like this about another faculty member. …..With your permission, Roy, I’ll ask June. Perhaps that will clarify the situation. ... If there is some other course of action you’d like me to pursue, please let me know.
     Then, on the 27th, I received an email from Chris McDonald, IVC’s VP of Instruction:
Hi Roy,

     We received an anonymous student complaint that I would like to discuss with you. I will ask Megan … to arrange a time for us to meet during the week of October 8. You may choose to have a Union Representative accompany you to the meeting.
     That day, I responded to McDonald:
     Sounds good. I tend to be free from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Kathy S.
     On the 29th, the Kathy wrote me, recommending that I bring a union rep to the meeting with McDonald.
     Eventually, a date and time for the meeting—11:00 p.m., Oct 11—was determined by McDonald’s office. I responded: “Sounds good. I'll be there.”
     It turned out that Kathy couldn’t make it at that time, and so I informed her that I would simply go alone.
     And so I met with McDonald on the 11th. Afterward, I wrote the grievance officer, telling her that the meeting went well: “Nothing was done,” I said, “aside from Chris's noting that he had a meeting with me about an anonymous complaint.”
     Naturally, I wanted to pursue Roquemore’s violation of process. I filled out the grievance form, describing the situation exactly as I had in my letter of Sept. 25. The union made some minor modifications and sent it back.
     On the 13th, I wrote to the union President:
     Kurt, the statement looks fine.
     My only "suggestion" … is that the "relief requested" include …. the college President's admission that his action (of discussing this incident with faculty and others, thereby violating confidentiality) was inappropriate and/or regrettable.
     On the same day, Kurt wrote back, saying, “I'll strongly recommend the [inclusion of the] college President's admission (per your language below).”

     On the 19th, Kurt wrote me an update after he had consulted with various union officials. I was informed that “The Grievance Chairs believe that … you should file a complaint directly with the Chancellor.” (I have yet to do that.)
     “[V]iolating confidentiality,” someone had reminded Kurt, “is not a small thing.”
     Finally, Kurt wrote: “Roy, please let Kathy know whether you want to file a complaint, a grievance, or both, and she can help if/as you wish.”
     That day, I wrote Kathy, indicating that I wanted to pursue both. Kathy then set about scheduling a meeting of Roquemore, Kathy, and me.
     The decision had been made by one of the union’s grievance officers (I think) not to include a “written apology” as part of the remedy. The union president disagreed, but I went along with that decision.
     I informed Kathy that “I see nothing to gain in meeting with him—with my meeting with him.” And so the plan was for Kathy to meet with Roquemore without me. Eventually, a meeting was scheduled for Dec. 6—yesterday, just before the IVC Academic Senate meeting (at 2:00 p.m.).
     Yesterday, as the senate meeting concluded (it had gone extra minutes), Kathy, with an air of victory, accosted me. She told me (over the din) that she had met with Roquemore and that I should look at my email where I’d find some sort of apology.
     Here it is:
Dear Roy,
     I became aware of an anonymous student complaint that involved one of your classes. Normally your dean would notify you of this complaint. Your dean, at the time, was an applicant for the full time position in your School and you were one of the committee members. As a result, it was determined that the dean, in this instance, should not be the one to notify you. In seeking advice on who should provide you with the complaint (just for information and no action indicated), I found the VPI and the academic senate president meeting alone and decided to pose the question to them. I shared the matter with the academic senate president because, in part, there was a potential issue with a hiring committee. Faculty participation on a hiring committee is an academic senate responsibility. No information was shared regarding the details of the complaint, other than a student was claiming to be disturbed by language being used in the classroom by you. I also stated that this information should be treated as confidential and that no action was being considered but you should be informed. I understand that the VPI shared this information with you.
     Today [?!], I learned that you are concerned that I shared this information with the academic senate president. In retrospect, I realize that the best choice would have been to discuss the matter with the Faculty Association (President, Grievance Chair). I apologize for any concern that this issue has caused and I will seek advice from the Faculty Association on matters like this in the future. 
Very Respectfully,
Glenn R. Roquemore, PhD
     This is a ridiculous letter. “[I]t was determined” (note the passive voice), he says, “that the dean, in this instance, should not be the one to notify you.“
     Why? Because her informing me of the existence of an anonymous complaint would cause me to resent her?
     Why on Earth would it do that?

Glenn vacations with probationary faculty (Mr Scott, at left).

* * *
     Like his hero, Donald Trump, Glenn Roquemore is not averse to prevarication, when convenient.
     Back in 1998, we produced the precursor to “Dissent the Blog,” a newsletter, called “Dissent,” that routinely criticized board members, the IVC college president, union officers, and various others. (They were closely allied.) People read it, liked it, even loved it. The district eventually responded by putting a letter into my personnel file that asserted that, in Dissent (and the ‘Vine), I had violated the district’s "discrimination" and "workplace violence" policies.
     The charges were absurd.
     The District expected me to shut down the newsletter. Instead, we continued publishing, saltier than ever.
     And I went to court (with the estimable Carol Sobel), appealing to the First Amendment.
     On Oct. 25, 1999, the case finally made it to Judge Gary Feess of the U.S. District Court, in Los Angeles. Roquemore was part of the team that attempted to shore up the defense of the district’s preposterous action against me. He was among several Mathurians that provided lurid declarations, accusing me of threats.
     Roquemore declared that I had threatened him in his office. In fact, there was no threat. I had told him that if he continued to hitch his wagon to the odious President Raghu Mathur, he would “go down.” Roquemore argued that such language was a threat of violence.
     Judge Feess wasn’t buying it:
FEESS: …even if you take into account this so-called threat that "You're going down"—which is kind of street talk for meaning: when this administration fails, you're going with it—now, I don't think anybody necessarily would interpret, under the circumstances that they may reasonably interpret "you're going down" to mean that Mr. Bauer was going to engage in violence.

Do you have some evidence that Mr. Bauer actually, in fact, on any occasion has assaulted anyone? [They had none.]

MR. LARSEN [the district’s lawyer]: You know, I think we submitted in declarations incidents which were fairly close. [He once told someone:] "You fucking asshole." Violent in other people's face. [This is a reference to an incident, described in a declaration by Ken Woodward, in which Bauer, upon being treated to one of Woodward’s infantile needlings, muttered, “You fucking asshole,” as he walked away.]
. . ..
FEESS: Well, "You fucking asshole," if that's an assault, then the courts of the state system would be filled to overflowing …I've actually even heard that in the courtroom directed at somebody in a black robe.
     Later, Feess declared that “this is a case where that concept [“workplace violence”], a legitimate concept, is being stretched for the purpose of taking a vigorous critic of the administration and the board of trustees and trying to keep them quiet. That is how this case hits me.”

* * *
Glenn makes nice with the enemy: the U of Phoenix
     Roquemore was the topic of much discussion during yesterday’s senate meeting. One of the last items was: “Discussion of the use of the ‘vote of [no] confidence’ for the president of IVC.”
     As reported previously, Roquemore has recently monumentally dropped the ball, failing to respond adequately to a series of incidents concerning campus safety (see Roquemore: a failure to lead).
     Before that, he stunned the Senate (i.e., the IVC faculty) by overstepping his authority in his actions last summer to protect one of his pet programs, Photonics. As we reported back in August (IVC President Glenn Roquemore seriously oversteps his authority),
     Rumors have been swirling that Roquemore recently overstepped his authority in promoting the curriculum of one of his curious hobby horses, the "Laser" or Photonics program.
     I have made inquiries. Here’s what I’ve learned—from very reliable sources.
     The curriculum specialist is the (non-faculty) employee at IVC who assists the Office of Instruction and faculty in creating and approving curriculum. Supervised by the VPI, he works closely with the (faculty) Curriculum Chair, managing curriculum at the College. (The specialist has permissions in the curriculum system [CurricuNet] at a high level, able to move programs and degrees through the system.)
     The Laser Technology (Photonics) program at IVC, a program in which President Roquemore seems to take a keen interest, recently lost its only full-time faculty member, Desiré Whitmore; unable to make load due to low enrollment, Whitmore took a job elsewhere. The program has few students, and, in truth, there are few or no laser tech jobs in California. Meanwhile, California Ed Code now requires Career Technical Education programs, such as Photonics, to demonstrate, with Labor Market Data, that they are educating students for an actual job. (Such data should be presented to the board.)
     I should mention that the current Curriculum Chair, who was appointed in Spring, is new and untenured. The Academic Senate is presently working with him to fix a very confused and troubled curriculum process.
     Over summer 2018, Roquemore emailed the Academic Senate president, asking about the curriculum status of the Laser Technology Associates degree. The Senate Prez responded, saying that she would check. Summer was a busy time for curriculum because of AB 705 and other pressing curriculum matters. The curriculum chair was alerted to the President’s concern.
     Later this summer, the college president asked the curriculum specialist for an update on the Laser Technology curriculum. The specialist informed him that the curriculum was then at the board level and would not be moved forward—not until a process was developed in collaboration with Saddleback College for how Labor Market data should be presented to the Board.
     Roquemore said he would look into the process and get back to the specialist. A few weeks later, Roquemore informed the specialist that he had spoken to Saddleback and that the requirement to show Labor Market data was waived for this program; hence, he said, the specialist should move the Associate degree forward.
     Is Glenn once again helping one of his worthless pals?
     The specialist believed he should comply with Roquemore's direction and did so. Education Code gives academic senates (i.e., faculty) primary responsibility for making recommendations regarding curriculum. The Curriculum Chair was not part of this action and was not consulted. Beyond the summer email, neither was the Academic Senate President.
     In our system, no administrator may touch curriculum; it is the faculty’s purview. Roquemore has clearly overstepped his authority. This, at any rate, is the view of many faculty and others at the college.
     The Saddleback Senate has been alerted to the situation. They too are alarmed. It is my understanding that IVC's Academic Senate President is now pursuing an appointment with the Chancellor to discuss the matter.
     Some members of the IVC Academic Senate are discussing the possibiity of at long last pursuing a vote of no confidence in Roquemore.
     Stay tuned.
     Well, the senate has been inching up to a vote of confidence (or “no confidence”) ever since. (A senate vote might actually occur in the Spring.)

     Feeling the heat, Roquemore yesterday offered a (preemptive?) apology in a letter to the Senate:
     This letter clarifies my position regarding the unfortunate matter regarding Photonics. Please share it with the entire Academic Senate.
     I thought I was doing good by helping a faculty member that carves time away from family and his fulltime job, commuting many hours each way to spend a few hours teaching at IVC. However, in doing so I made a mistake. Although, I continue to stand on my words that I did not direct the Photonic curriculum to be processed through to the Board, I now realize that there is another factor that I have not considered. When attempting to assist the faculty member, I should have waited for the VPI to return from an accreditation visit or consult with the academic senate president or curriculum chair. At minimum this would have avoided the confusion and misunderstanding that existed between me and the curriculum specialist. I know how this happened, but I do not want to offer an excuse. Instead, I apologize and promise that such a mistake will never occur again. The curriculum process is the full and undeniable purview of the faculty. I should not have put myself in a position where my understanding of this fact is questioned by the faculty. A breach in trust has occurred and I hope that this error can be forgiven. I hope that healing can occur and, once again, we can join arms in the collegial and transparent work of the college.
     Please have a warm and peaceful Thanksgiving.
     So Roquemore continues to insist that that he “did not direct the Photonic curriculum to be processed through to the Board.” Others testify to the contrary.
     Who are you gonna believe?
     The letter was not well received.
     Again: stay tuned.

Come down off your throne and leave your body alone.
Somebody must change.
You are the reason I've been waiting so long.
Somebody holds the key.

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
I said, "do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

Oh, ma-mama, mo-ma, mo-my mother
I would love to love you, lover
City is restless, it's ready to pounce
Oh, here in your bedroom, ounce for ounce

lust corrodes my body 
i've lost count of my lovers 
but i can count my money 
for ever and forever 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Yesterday at Cal State Northridge

from this morning's  LA Times:

Graffiti including swastikas, N-word and threats scrawled in bathroom at Cal State Northridge
Anti-Semitic and racist messages and threats scrawled in black marker in a building at Cal State Northridge on Wednesday prompted campus police to boost patrols.
The graffiti was reported about 4:45 p.m. inside a men’s restroom on the third floor of Sierra Hall. The messages and symbols were written in four or five locations in the bathroom, said Cal State Northridge Police Capt. Alfredo Fernandez.
People on campus posted photos of the messages on Twitter late Wednesday.
“Mass shooting in Sierra Hall 12/12/18,” one read, above a swastika. Another included the N-word.
Fernandez said authorities had not identified a suspect. “We’re just going to investigate it to try to determine what kind of threat we have, if it’s credible,” he said.
In a statement on Twitter, the university condemned the “hateful language and symbols” and said it was working to remove the graffiti. Shortly before 11 p.m., Fernandez said the graffiti had been cleaned up.
“CSUN is aware of the hateful and offensive graffiti in Sierra Hall. CSUN Police are investigating this use of hateful language and symbols and threat against our community,” the university said. “CSUN condemns this in the strongest possible terms.”
From CSUN's student newspaper, The Sundial:

CSUN police investigate mass shooting threat
CSUN police have begun investigating reports of a mass shooting threat being made against CSUN on Wednesday.
CSUN Chief of Police Anne Glavin stated in a press release that they are aware of the message, “Shooting in Sierra Hall 12/12/18,” posted on a wall in Sierra Hall and the similar hate language made last week in the same building.

Why is this stuff always in the men's restroom? Rebel Girl asks. She thinks she knows the answer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A surge of Anti-Semitism

A Surge of Anti-Semitism
(Inside Higher Ed)
     Since the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October, campuses have seen a rise in displays targeting Jews.
     By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, December 5, 2018
• The spray-painted graffiti on the office walls of Elizabeth Midlarsky, the Columbia clinical psychologist and Holocaust scholar. The New York Police Department is investigating the vandalism. As a researcher of the Holocaust, Midlarsky has been targeted before. More than a decade ago, she discovered anti-Semitic fliers had been slipped into her mailbox and a swastika was painted on her office door.
• A swastika was painted over a mural honoring the victims of the synagogue shooting at Duke University. Duke officials were quick to denounce the memorial being sabotaged, with the Duke president writing to campus that it was a “craven and cowardly act.”
• Three swastikas were discovered at Cornell University. Two were reported in residence halls, and the other was drawn in snow on campus. Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, put out a statement to “express his revulsion” at the symbols.
• A Jewish fraternity at Pennsylvania State University, Zeta Beta Tau, had its menorah vandalized and then stolen. The menorah was eventually recovered, but according to Penn State president Eric Barron, the menorah (and the Jewish community) had "lasting damage."
• A University of Minnesota residence hall was vandalized with unspecified anti-Semitic messages. An email sent to the campus stated that the messages referenced Nazis and white supremacy, and that the university is unclear on who is responsible.
• A student at Goucher College, in Maryland, was arrested for racist and anti-Semitic graffiti found in a residence hall. Fynn Ajani Arthur, 21, had allegedly painted a backward swastika in a dorm and targeted Latinx and black students. Arthur, who is black, later drew more swastikas around the building and wrote the last names of four black students, including himself.
• Fliers blaming Jews for the sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were found on the University of California, Berkeley, and Davis campuses, and at Vassar College and Marist College. They depict caricatures of Jewish members of the U.S. Senate, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, surrounding Kavanaugh. The signs proclaim “every time some anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it, and it’s Jews behind it.”....
Well, Yeah...
(Inside Higher Ed)
     The new study on costs of various departments.
     By Matt Reed - December 5, 2018
…“Hard” vocational programs are more expensive to run than “soft” academic ones. The least expensive classes to run are the ones that can run well with thirty students per section, and without any specialized equipment. That tends to describe the Intro to Psychs of the world. Hands-on classes in vocational areas require more equipment, more people to tend the equipment, and more instructors per student. In practice, we engage in cross-subsidy, with the profits generated by, say, History offsetting some of the losses generated by, say, Nursing. This matters because many outsiders assume that if we could just drop the “ivory tower” stuff and focus entirely on job readiness, the budget would balance. In fact, we’d go bankrupt. If you want to remake community colleges as entirely vocational, be prepared to pony up more money. A lot more….

Monday, December 3, 2018

Last week in O.C. neo-Nazi activity

While the little campus in the orange groves and our big sister campus to the south haven't seen a re-occurrence of  anti-Semitic activity, the same can't be said for the rest of the county.

Check out this mind-boggling story: Huntington Beach white dove release salesman busted for at-home arsenal and Nazi memorabilia.  And yes, he is the guy that provided the last year's now notorious HB Trump rally with their white doves.  (Some of the key organizers were picked up by the FBI a few weeks ago.)  I mean, who ya gonna call? OC Doves. WHITE doves. There's a joke somewhere in there but Rebel Girl isn't going to make it.

Check out the video above, found on OC Doves promotional You Tube station, complete with ominous music and drone footage of the rally and the arrests. Dramatic slo-mo dove release (complete with white males pumping their arms up plus a cardboard cut-out of Trump presiding) near the 6 minute mark.

from the L.A. Times:
It began as a dispute over funeral doves. It ended with Nazi memorabilia,guns and an arrest

Detectives already knew Todd had 12 firearms registered in his name when they stepped inside the house with a search warrant and a gun restraining order — which allows law enforcement to seek the temporary removal of firearms from someone they believe poses a danger to themselves or others — about 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“Lo and behold, when we went in there, he had a lot more than that,” Cota said. “There’s no doubt he’s a gun guy. The question is what kind of gun guy.”
Some of the weapons had high-tech scopes that retail for several thousand dollars each, Cota said.
Inside Todd’s bedroom — which he maintains separately from his wife’s bedroom in the house, authorities said — detectives found a red cloth flag with a swastika emblazoned on it, a Confederate flag and a picture of Adolf Hitler.
 Gabriel San Roman writing in the OC Weekly:

Laguna Beach police seized an arsenal of more than 50 firearms and found Nazi memorabilia following the arrest of Mitchell Todd yesterday in–where else?–Huntington Beach. Authorities obtained a search warrant after investigating the 51-year-old man this month for allegedly threatening a client of his dove release business (yes, you read that right) during a payment dispute.
“You could tell the voicemails and text messages became more and more threatening and then the tip of the iceberg was hearing the releasing of a handgun slide,” Sgt. Jim Cota told Fox11 News in an exclusive last night. “At that point we knew we were dealing with somebody whose got the potential of extreme violence.”
What Laguna Beach police describe as a "cache" of unregistered arms. 
And that's all for now. The end of the semester is about to come to its end. Rebel Girl has been dealing with one thing and another since about three weeks into the semester. As she is fond of saying, YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.  One day she will tell you all about it. If you don't want to wait for that day, just drop by her office.

Stay safe out there.  And find another outfit to hire for your white dove release spectacle.


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