SLIDE 1: by 1996, the faculty union was controlled by a group of disgruntled, greedy, & unprofessional characters (including notoriously ambitious IVC chem teacher Raghu Mathur), who were willing to do whatever it took to control the board. The group's nemesis at the time seemed to be trustee Harriett Walther, whom they often smeared and demonized as in this November 1997 flier placed in faculty mail boxes.
SLIDE 2. In 1996, a small group of ruthless, money-grubbing faculty, including RAGHU MATHUR (who, even then, managed a $120K salary!), controlled the faculty union. They hired a consultant (Pam Zanelli), who advised pandering to South County homophobia as a means of getting a slate of right-wing trustee candidates elected. The tactic worked, and the SOCCCD "conservative Board Majority" was born. Faculty pay remained high, while Neanderthal trustees ran amok.
SLIDE 3. Within months, Mathur was (illegally) named IVC's President. In part, in order to settle old scores, the union then had the board "reorganize" the district (again, this was done illegally). This initiated a period of administrative instability that continues to this day. Other unionists (Runyan, et al.) became administrators. Zanelli became the district's PIO.
SLIDE 4. The district's reserves dipped precariously low and SOCCCD was placed on the State Chancellor's fiscal watch list. The board lost a series of Brown Act (anti-secrecy) lawsuits (Bauer 1, Bauer 2, appeals). Owing to trustee micromanagement, among other things, the colleges experienced continual accreditation difficulties.
SLIDE 5. Trustee Frogue embarrassed the district by pursuing a "forum" for daft JFK conspiracy theorists, including people connected with the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby. This revived concerns about his alleged Holocaust denial. The district lost a series of 1st Amendment lawsuits, born of its intolerance of criticism ("Orwellian," said one judge). Mathur embarrassed the district by banning faculty door and window signage & suing faculty critic R Bauer (who successfully counter-sued). Mathur then sued the district for not "protecting" him. In 1998, the union managed to place two more right-wingers on the board, this time using the phony "anti-airport" issue. The Board Majority was now five strong, thanks to the faculty union.
SLIDE 6: The OC Weekly reported on the flier on Nov. 15, 1996. The article begins, "Local political observers are calling it the 'most scurrilous and vile' campaign ad of the season...." Raghu was very much a part of the union crowd that opted for gay-baiting. In fact, when the CTA "leadership team" came down to investigate member complaints (about the flier and much else), Mathur had a special session with them to defend his colleagues.
SLIDE 7: A typical Faculty union flier. This one defends leadership's decision to use the homophobic flier. They were "forced" to do so, they argue, in order to protect "life as we know it." The Old Guard's favorite charity--the La Puerta de Fe orphanage--is mentioned at left. Not long after, that orphanage was involved in a spectacular pedophilia scandal.
SLIDE 8: a typical letter by faculty bemoaning union misconduct. (The Saddleback College Lariat, 1/30/97.)
SLIDE 9: In an article that appeared in OC Metro in 1997, well-known political commentator HUGH HEWITT wrote that “I am embarrassed the OC is saddled with leadership that tolerates marginal performance…IVC President RAGHU MATHUR…does not have what it takes to run IVC, pure and simple, and for the board to pretend otherwise is ridiculous. Even a quick perusal of his stormy tenure persuades any objective observer that the board made a colossal mistake in putting Mathur in charge of IVC. Among his first actions was a double-cross of the IUSD on an issue of where to locate a Montessori school, and it’s been an unbroken string of silly confrontations and petty puffings since then. The picture emerges of an excellent community college saddled with 'leadership' verging on buffoonery….”
SLIDE 10. National Review caricaturist Roman Genn produced this drawing of Trustee Frogue at the height of the (ultimately failed) Frogue Recall, an effort that received the enthusiastic support of the state GOP, thanks to then-state chair Mike Schroeder (the current kingpin of the OC "Republican mafia").
SLIDE 11: those looking for the origins of our difficulties might start with the "division" referred to here. Unfortunately, Mathur's side of the divide opted to bring conspiracy nut Frogue into the mix. Frogue was the sort who never failed to find a plot where one was suspected. Mathur & Frogue had a history probably tracing back to the former's stint as a school board member.
SLIDE 12: This chart appeared on p. 4 of the CCA Advocate in October of 1997. Our district ranked highest by far in "maximum salary" for faculty. It had also started to become the laughing stock of the CA community college system.
SLIDE 13: LA Times commentary of August 22, 1997: "[O]ne wonders why the voters put [Frogue] on the board and especially why his fellow trustees [Williams, et al.]...picked him as chairman...."
SLIDE 14: the 'Vine was the predecessor of DISSENT. ('Vine emphasized IVC while Dissent covered the entire district.) This is the cover of 1998's "Accreditation" edition, which presented contents of IVC's Accred. report.
SLIDE 15: Trustee Frogue makes it to the cover of the OC Weekly, April 10, 1998. Borrowing from Dissent, the article is entitled, "The Evil of Froguenstein."
SLIDE 16: Frogue holds a press conference, holding up a copy of a publication of which he approves: the Journal of Historical Review. The JHR is published by the Institute for Historical Review, a prominent Holocaust denial organization founded by the notorious Willis Carto (publisher of Spotlight).
SLIDE 17: the 7/20/98 issue of 'Vine reproduced an article that appeared in the anti-Semitic SPOTLIGHT newspaper (6/29/98). The article celebrated a supposed victory, at a SOCCCD board meeting, by Frogue's defenders. The article praised the remarks of Frogue apologist George Kadar, an avowed white supremacist (San Diego Union Tribune, 8/29/91) and Liberty Lobbyist, who headed “Friends of Steven J. Frogue.” Kadar is also the founder of American Spring, an anti-immigration group that staged protests at the Mexican border. At one board meeting, Frogue acknowledged his meeting with Michael Collins Piper, Liberty Lobby (Spotlight's) chief reporter. Piper, aware of the 'Vine, sent vaguely threatening and obscene letters to its editor, IVC philosophy professor Roy Bauer. (He sent some troubling letters to trustee Milchiker as well.) (Note: the "Hitler" stamp ad appeared in the same Spotlight issue.)
SLIDE 18: One of the dolts trustee Frogue invited for his ill-fated seminar was Michael Collins Piper, a reporter for Willis Carto's infamous SPOTLIGHT newspaper. Aware of R. Bauer's opposition to Frogue, Piper sent this letter to Bauer. When Piper and his Liberty Lobby pals attended a board meeting to address the board, Bauer spoke first, reading Piper's letter aloud. Piper acknowledged having written it but expressed outrage that Bauer would read such a "nasty" letter at a board meeting. Bauer smiled. He's smiling right now.
SLIDE 19: This graphic accompanied an Oct. 31, 1998, article in the OC Register. The article highlighted the curious fact that the SOCCCD faculty union was financing the campaigns of anti-union trustee candidates. (See the Wagner/Padberg flier at top right.)
SLIDE 19b: flier the helped Wagner and Padberg get elected in 1998. They were the "anti-airport" candidates. Paid for by the faculty union.
SIDE 19c: inside of Padberg and Wagner's flier for the 1998 election, paid for by the faculty union. "No airport."
SLIDE 20: This was among the posters that the union used to get Padberg and Wagner elected in 1998. P & W were affiliated with Education Alliance, which was run and founded by the author of a notorious union-busting proposition. Community college trustees had no say whatsoever on the airport issue.
SLIDE 21: One of many Mathurian scandalettes: the fellow orders an office chair for himself. Price: $1,085.98. Rebel Girl had fun with it.
SLIDE 22: the requisition for Mathur's very expensive chair. The story in 'Vine caused Mathur considerable embarrassment. He kept the chair though.
SLIDE 23: said the Weekly: "Disloyalty will not be tolerated."..."When you point your finger at someone, three fingers point right back at you!" Such are the curious pronouncements of Raghu P. Mathur, ruler of Irvine Valley College...Recently, upon surveying his kingdom and detecting unsightly clutter, his Highness ordered his subjects to remove everything from their doors and windows. Although maybe it wasn’t the clutter. Maybe it was those "Mathur must go!" posters. It all started in ’96, when the board of trustees launched an assault on "shared governance," the state-mandated policy giving faculty and other groups a share in campus decision making. Soon, Mathur, a chemistry instructor, was made president, whereupon he embraced the board’s agenda, especially the elimination of "reassigned time," a form of compensation for non-instructional duties such as senate office, upon which shared governance depended. But wait! As a teacher, Mathur enjoyed massive amounts of reassigned time!
SLIDE 24: an editorial cartoon that appeared in IVC's student newspaper, the VOICE, on Feb. 25, 1999. Evidently, Ms. Wei-Lun, a student, was not a fan of the President.
SLIDE 25: among the more popular features of Dissent was "Ask Miss Fortune," written by contributor Red Emma.
SLIDE 26: Zanelli was the political advisor for the faculty union who recommended the "same-sex" gambit. Spencer Covert was an attorney for the district who defended it--unsuccessfully--in two Brown Act lawsuits.
SLIDE 27: In this example of "Ask Miss Fortune" from 8/99, Dissent contributor Red Emma alludes to Trustee Wagner's antipathy for Jane Fonda and the dandy ways of Mathur recruit Armando Ruiz. When Mathur could find no one at IVC to cooperate with his regime, he recruited the notoriously stupid and vile Saddleback College counselor (and Coast Community College District trustee!) Ruiz, who later gained infamy by bilking taxpayers.
SLIDE 28: the infamous "South OC sees rise in RATS" page from the Feb. 1, 2002, OC Register. Here, the Reg reports that Raghu P. Mathur is about to be appointed Chancellor of the SOCCCD, despite having sued the district and having suffered two overwhelming votes of "no confidence" by faculty.
SLIDE 29: fake ad on the back page of the 'Vine, 7/20/98. It says: "Wow! College life isn't what it used to be! ...Play the exciting new game based on the SOCCCD out in wacky California!...Suppose you land on the 'I am a board majoritarian trustee' square. IT'S WILD!! Because you can...claim to be a 'fiscal conservative' though, in reality, you uncomplainingly preside over a persistent pattern of deficit spending and help the...faculty union to maintain the highest pay scale in the state! IT'S WILD! IT'S WACKY!"