Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On Grants: Why Does Southwestern College's Board and Administration Hate Free Money?

I call this: Even More Entertainment From Your Governing Board Meeting. (I think this deserves its own post.) One of the absolute highlights of the December (show) meeting was when first-year adjunct professor Ramin Moshiri spoke up during “oral communication” to ask the Board and the administration why they didn’t want the school to have any money.

Professor Moshiri then produced a short stack of papers that outlined a list of grants that Southwestern College is available to apply for. Two of those four grants award a total average of $23.5 million to eligible applicants; the other two are still new, but were offering a piece of an $80 million dollar pie for 70 different community colleges.

He then pointed out it didn’t take him long to research these grants; what the hold-up was, was the administration. He told the Board that he had visited office after office, building after building, and no one would take the slightest bit of responsibility for this information. This information, gathered by one of the school’s professors, offered a chance at free money to the school, but no one in power would take it – or even tell him where he should go.

(Where is the school’s grant writer, you ask? Where is that person who should have snatched away that paper and run, cheering, to their office to get that free money?

Why, SWC doesn’t have one. That was apparently one of those positions that Raj Chopra thought was unnecessary. Yes, in the middle of what he claims is the fiscal equivalent of the Apocalypse – and has fooled trustees Salcido, Valladolid, and Roesch into believing – he’s elected to go without a grant writer.)

Professor Moshiri then told them that the administration’s attitude reminded him of the big-spending days of the ‘70s – “when people would just ignore a quarter lying on the ground,” he said. He then dropped his stack of grant research to the carpet and informed them that they were doing the same thing.

Folks need to face the facts: Salcido, Valladolid, Roesch, and Chopra have no interest in saving the college, in seeking out moneys and opportunities, in considering other options. No, what they want are the classes cut. That they’ve got. It’s clear that certain members of the administration want to punish certain members of the faculty, too, and they’re willing to destroy SWC to do it.

They’ve got to go.

Two last completely unimportant points: the first is that, at the end of the Board meeting, when the trustees could request more information or further research, none of those three Board members thought that Professor Moshiri’s work was important enough to request. It took Jorge Dominguez to compliment the professor on his work, and request that someone get started on pursuing these grants.*

The last point is one of those little moments of irony I love so much. New veep Nick Alioto, who apparently has been unable to find a single thin dime to help keep the school from cutting classes, and apparently also thought that a grant writer was unnecessary used to find money for schools for a living at at least two public school districts in Wisconsin. His last gig was so successful that he apparently resigned his admin job, got himself hired back as a “consultant,” and made well over a million dollars “finding” money for the school – and earning himself a fat 25% fee doing so.

According to Professor Moshiri, it’s not that hard to find money available for the school. It’s just that this Board and the current administration can’t do it. Is anyone really going to be surprised if Alioto tries to work himself a cushy little deal sometime down the road, and suddenly is able to find money and grants that he’d never thought of before?

At a fat 25% commission, of course.


*It’s probably because of that radical, free-thinking, rank-breaking, on-the-bench activism that caused Salcido, Valladolid, and Roesch to alienate him and begin to construct their Empire without him.

Grant Options Presented by Professor Ramin Moshiri

Health Information Technology Extension Program (cycle 2) - $1-$30 Million ($8.5 Million average)

Objective: this program provides grants for the establishment of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers that will offer technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Application Deadline: Cycle 2: Preliminary Applications – Dec. 22, 2009; Full Applications – Jan. 29, 2010

Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program - $10-$20 Million ($15 Million average)

Objective: this program will provide funding to communities to build and strengthen their health information technology (health IT) infrastructure and exchange capabilities to demonstrate the vision of meaningful health IT.

Application Deadline: Feb. 1, 2010 (Letter of Intent due Jan. 8, 2010)

Community College Consortia to Educate Health IT Professionals - $70 Million (for 70 Community Colleges)

Objective: this program seeks to rapidly create health IT education and training programs at Community Colleges, or expand existing programs. Community colleges funded under this initiative will establish intensive, non-degree training programs that can be completed in six months or less.

Application Deadline: Jan. 22, 2010

Curriculum Development Centers - $10 Million (for 70 Community Colleges)

Objective: this funding opportunity, one component of the workforce program, will provide $10 million in grants to institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) to support health IT curriculum development.

Application Deadline: Jan. 14, 2010 (Letter of Intent due Jan. 4, 2010)

1 comment:

  1. Southwestern College is a public, two-year community college located in the city of Chula Vista, California. Southwestern College's football stadium hosts Bonita Vista High School's football games.