Saturday, November 9, 2019

Another One of Glenn Roquemore's Hobbyhorses: the Veterans Memorial Clock Tower

     OLDSTERS like the Reb and I will remember that Irvine Valley College once had a beloved landmark, namely, the ol’ “Clock Tower,” which was demolished by IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore in 2006.
     Evidently, the college had not done enough to maintain the structure (--um, why not?), and, according to Roquemore at the time, the continued presence of the Dang Thing became a safety issue. (Many of us were suspicious of such excuses. Roquemore had long revealed himself to be the kinda guy who'll cut down a tree—or an orange grove—at the drop of a hat.)
     So down it went.
     But, soon thereafter, there was talk of a replacement tower. The OC Register’s minimalist news item ("Irvine: Clock tower is gone," OC Reg, October 14, 2006) informed readers that “A new clock tower is proposed near the circle on campus or the student services center.”
     I believe that I served on the IVC Senate at the time. I don't recall the Academic Senate—i.e., the faculty—ever being consulted about this project.
     According to the SOCCCD Board Meeting Highlights, for the meeting of February 2008, the board approved the “concept of the Veterans Tribute Tower to be constructed at IVC.”
     The District Report of 2009 explains that
During the year our colleges … hold official veterans’ recognition ceremonies. Currently, there are projects to build distinctive campus memorials to the men and women who serve and have served our country so selflessly—a tribute clock tower at IVC and a memorial sculpture garden at Saddleback College.
     The latter, of course, was eventually built in 2010. (See here.)
     The district mentioned the IVC tribute tower again a year later:
Both Darryl [Cox] and Tom [Mathavorn] hope to raise the profile of veterans at IVC in the future. “We really need a place for vets to get together,” says Tom. … Other priorities for the future include ... funding and finishing the planned IVC Veterans Memorial Clock Tower project. (SOCCCD report to the community, 2010)
     For what it’s worth, the project was mentioned again in an obituary for Glenn’s father in 2013:
In lieu of flowers donations to the Irvine Valley College Foundation Veterans Memorial Clock Tower Project, or the Wounded Warrior Project, would be greatly appreciated by the family.
     The link to the Foundation no longer works. (Not for me, anyway.)

     I can find no mention of a “veterans’ clock tower” project in any of the available IVC Foundation reports (See).
     I did, however, find this very recent reference to a bidding opportunity, at SOCCCD, for constructing the IVC "Veterans Tribute Tower":

Construction Bid Source, 2019
IVC Veterans Tribute Tower Project, Irvine, CA
Orange County
Owner Reference: 351
Past bid date
Pre-Bid: Login or create an account to see more project details. Basic membership is FREE
Estimate: $580,000.00
Trades: General Contractor
Licenses: B
The Contractor’s Work includes a Irvine Valley College Veterans Tribute Tower. Scope of work includes but is not limited to architectural, structural, electrical and site work, pursuant to work delineated in the attached Drawings by Perkins-Eastman Dougherty. Project duration is 165 days. Bonds required.
     (See also here.)
     During Thursday’s meeting of the IVC Academic Senate, the subject of the veterans' tower project came up. We were told that the price tag for the project was over $1 million and that over $100K had already been spent.
     A question arose: who wants this thing? Who’s been pushing for it? (Those on hand who'd seen the plans were decidedly unimpressed by them.)
     It soon became clear that the faculty senate of this college (IVC) was never consulted about the veterans’ tower project.
     And no one in the room seemed disposed to defend it.
     It was another one of Glenn’s “special” projects.
     Oh my.

From IVC's 1988 catalog

Glenn's hero 


Anonymous said...

It was originally going to be supported by charitable donations.

Anonymous said...

Say it isn't so!

Anonymous said...

Trojan horse and hobby horse, too. At any rate, lots of horsin' around. Glad he's been thrown out the saddle.

Anonymous said...

FYI: that traffic incident Tuesday at the entrance of the college seems to have been a hit-and-run with a fatality.

Anonymous said...

Have there not been accidents there before? A number of them?

Anonymous said...

So glad he’s gone, Can’t believe it took so long.

Anonymous said...

The Senate voted down the clock tower yesterday.

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