Sunday, July 29, 2007

August Holiday: Open Forum

Its almost August when everybody in Paris, New York and the Valley goes on vacation. Flagstiffed is posting this open forum for you to post your news and views. This is a moderated forum (like all the others) so when you post your message it won't appear until I've approved it.

Stay cool/kewl!


Anonymous said...

Invitations went out this week to faculty and staff for the startup pep rally where Ponzi will tell eveyone how good enrollments are and that the college has overcome its money shortage and is now solvent. The following day, Ponzi will host an expensive dinner event at a local hotel to hand out awards, which could be done the day before when all are gathered at the college. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the first comment, you have to wonder what Ponzi's priorities are. They buy off employees with a free banquet and dance but cannot afford TV advertising like TCC does in prime time. They ran out of printed schedules and told administrators they would not be printing anymore. Is the deficit still with us before the school year begins? I expect another round of layoffs to "save money."

Anonymous said...

This forum is good..........but nothing will ever be lets stop wasting our time.......

Anonymous said...

Headlines from Daily Press:

Va. faces a $1.2B budget shortfall

As financial pressures rise, a study warns that Virginia's tax collections aren't keeping up with expenses.

BY HUGH LESSIG | 804-225-7345
August 2, 2007

RICHMOND - A new study warns that Virginia is facing a $1.2 billion budget shortfall thanks to a slowing economy, tax cuts and rising expenses that are out pacing tax collections.

Does the State know about the salaries at the college? Mismanagement? The president's out of control spending?

Anonymous said...

The imperial potentate, er, the President of the college seems to be above rules, regulations, social and professional courtesies, have I omitted anything?!! Despite those who feel this forum may be a waste of our time,there are those of us who feel that perhaps more than the community of the college's faculty, staff,aand students may actually read our comments and ponder the reasons for our beloved Ponzi running wild with the stewardship bestowed on him by the Commonwealth by way of a chancellor who both wanted to be politically correct and needed to bear the trappings of being morally correct. Now, not only do we bear the brunt of whispers from other members of the system's schools but our school is not even considered as capable when events are in our very backyard (so to speak) and a school from across the harbor actually is charged with the organization and implementation of a gathering of all the the system's leadership. It is a public embarrassment to say the least. If this is how our school is perceived, the credibility and integrity established so long ago with hard work and honesty has crumbled in only three short years under the leadership of Ponzi and his henchmen.

With the beginning of a new semester only a few days away, is our college really ready? Will all the classes have instructors? WIll those instructors actually be paid? WIll the staff have the cloud of possible budget shortfalls/layoffs looming overhead throughout the new fiscal year? One can only wonder at the fantasies that will be woven at the annual convocation of faculty and staff prior to the semester's start. Truly, the tales will probably rival those once told by the Brothers Grimm and Aesop himself!!

Take heart, Fellow Gators. Your loyalty and dedication will prevail!!!

Anonymous said...

Everyone on campus recently received this email message from a vice president of the college:

"Please be aware that requests for disclosure of public information is governed by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act as outlined in TNCC Administrative Procedures Manual section 7.4. Under the revised procedure, questions concerning TNCC responses to VFOIA requests should be directed to me. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions."

Never mind that somebody needs to proofread her grammar, it's got to make you wonder what prompted that message. Maybe someone in the media is finally doing their job and is actually doing some investigative journalism?

Anonymous said...

Have any Daily Press reporters visited here? Does anybody know if the DP has this link?

Anonymous said...

Looks like we're not the only ones with a narcissistic and expenseive president. Read on:

LCC settles suit with fired attorney
College will pay $175,000, admit no wrongdoing

by Christine Rook (Lansing State Journal)

Lansing Community College and its former general counsel, Tim Zeller, have settled a lawsuit over his claim that he was wrongfully fired for exposing what he believed were misuse of funds.

Zeller sued the college following his dismissal in September.

In the settlement, LCC admits no wrongdoing and agrees to pay about $175,000. Roughly $130,000 of that will be paid for by insurance, according to LCC officials.

"I'm happy to have it behind us," college board member Mark Canady said. "We need to have it behind us."

Zeller could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

In a press statement , LCC President Judith Cardenas said the college acted appropriately in dismissing Zeller.

"We feel this settlement is in the best interests of the college," she said in the release.

Asked what LCC officials learned from the dismissal and subsequent suit, Canady said: "We should take our time rather than rush to a conclusion."

Zeller claimed he was fired in retaliation for going to state officials with allegations of criminal wrongdoing on the part of two college leaders.

In a Sept. 20 e-mail to the state Auditor General's Office, Zeller alleged that Cardenas had doled out inappropriate overtime to her subordinates, made extravagant purchases on college credit cards and given raises to her support staff without going through proper procedures, among other allegations.

Cardenas has denied any wrongdoing.

The Auditor General's Office has yet to release a report on the matter.

Zeller sued LCC for breach of contract, denying him due process and violating the state Whistleblower Protection Act.

Zeller was fired because he had been "divisive," "insubordinate" and was "no longer representing the best interests of LCC," according to a letter of termination sent to him by Cardenas.

Zeller is the latest ex-LCC employee to settle financially with the college following separation.

Barbara Larson and Rich Howard, two administrators who left LCC in the wake last year's problems with the college's Oracle software, received payments totaling $95,000 between them, under the terms of separation agreements signed with the college.

Also, former chief information officer Glenn Cerny and former President Paula Cunningham received $36,000 and $388,000, respectively, after agreeing to leave the college.

Contact Christine Rook at 377-1261 or

Published August 15, 2007

Copyright 2007 Lansing State Journal Use of this site signifies your agreement to the
Terms of Service (updated August 2006)

Anonymous said...

Well President Ponzi did it again: If I hear his Star Trek BS one more time I'll run screaming from the room. Is he just doing it to annoy us? Does he know how ridiculous and stupid it makes him look? Or does the "narcissistic personality disorder" make him do it?

Anonymous said...

Flagstiffed, boy did you hit a raw nerve with your article on the top heavy administration! At today's All College Day President Ponzi tried to show how he has increased FT staffing--with faculty and classified staff. Did anybody else notice how he didn't address the increase in administrators over the past five years?!?

Anonymous said...

I found two interesting things in President Ponzi's talk yesterday:

"It takes a while to get to know Thomas Nelson"--well, yeah, if you're never on campus, never attend social functions to which you've been invited, never attend cultural events and guest lectures.

"People ask me, Why do you take the time to talk to everyone on campus?"--I'd love to know who those people are; since I never see him in our part of the campus, he can't be talking to "everybody" on campus.

Anonymous said...

August is over. Have you lost interest?

Flagstiffed said...

Flagstiffed is still concerned, but our email inbox has been very quiet. We wait for your news that we try to report accurately. Perhaps others have lost interest . . . or just given up.

Anonymous said...,0,3044373.story#comment-form

another "sussess"?

Anonymous said...,0,7278121.story

check it out!

Anonymous said...

Comments about the awards dinner.....did anyone notice that only 15 of the 35+ recipients for years of service actually came to the affair?
Did anyone notice the small number of faculty in attendance?
Did anyone notice the number of retirees filling the tables while current employees were not around?
Did anyone notice the empty tables surrounding the "Head" table....tables which were reserved for people who never attended? Or were those tables intensionately left empty so Board members could not overhear the voices of despair?
It's time the "falculty" senate initiates a follow-up survey on morale.

Anonymous said...

Town hall meeting
September 4, 2007
(paraphrase) We build into our budget the possibility that the State may request budgeted funds be returned. So, 5% needs to be returned to the State now.

Q? Would this be from the 5% pay raise that a select few received while the masses only received 4%? Or will the $'s come from the backs of the P-14's (hourly, part time workers) again? And will the Pres. still take extensive travel at the College's expense?

Anonymous said...

given up

Anonymous said...

"Ponzi's" presidency at the college is over (just like his soulmate brother George Bush's), it just might take a few years before he recognizes it and the chancellor recognizes it. If his cabinet is smart, 'specially his "special assistant" who wants to be a president in her next life (and she's building up her little empire so that she can pad her resume to do so), they better start looking now and try and distance themselves from the Star Fleet space cadet. When the shit hits the fan, they don't want to get splashed with the manure.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't only with Ponzi. I swear I heard the Hallelujah Chorus when Ron Davis retired. Fleming is just as bad, or worse than Davis. He covers for "The Ponz" and does absolutely nothing to get rid of the dead weight deans that some divisions have. He doesn't advocate for the faculty at all that I can see. TNCC has no leadership. Another morale survey would have been a good idea, if it was actually a valuable tool to the administration. Hmmm aren't faculty evaluations supposed to be taken seriously? How good do you think Ponzi,His Special assistant, Fleming's, and the division deans evals are?

Anonymous said...

And so the rule of the Emperor continues........

In a "friendly" atmosphere of a question and answer forum with his support staff, Charles the First (accompanied by his very special assistant who jumped to defend her liege at a nanosecond's notice)continued his tradition of Star Fleet Command and went where no one would dare go. In indirect statements and subtle hint, he more or less told his group of part-time employees that if they did not wish to volunteer to work during the Christmas holiday break in order to boost enrollment, they might expect to lose more hours when funding might be cut due to a low enrollment for the spring semester. He bluntly stated it was cheaper for him to use part-time workers than to use full-time employees. He just couldn't understand the reason this group would not be willing to volunteer to support this effort when this is the same group he cut off at the knees this past spring by giving a "no notice" announcement of an immediate 50 per cent cut in hours, reducing most of the group to barely earning gas money, let alone money to feed families or pay bills. He actually could not understand why there was not a flood of volunteers....The only thing missing at the meeting after Charles the First dropped this profound statement was a resounding "DOH!" ala Homer Simpson.

At that point, the friendly forum had become the platform once again for the Emperor to expound on his efforts to improve the school and its enrollment. The "sound" of the ON/OFF switches to the attendees' listening mechanisms becoming lodged in the OFF position was deafening...If anyone had a question ready to ask, they quickly decided it was literally mute to continue with the process. The canned responses had quickly become tedious and empty.

Despite the bright comments earlier in the semester of a balanced budget and increased enrollments, the old mantra of the possibility of lay-offs again has been heard. This is a new record. The mantra has started even before the beginning of the SPRING semester. This may not bode well for the life-blood of this college-the part-time staff who have as much corporate knowledge and practical experience than all the new assistant vice presidents put together....Of course, it is always easier to lose the life-blood than to loosen the leeches!!!