I received a piece of information last week that caused me to laugh out loud – then made me want to throw up a little bit. It’s regarding the former superintendent at Southwestern College, Raj K. Chopra.
What I was told – and it was from an unimpeachable source – is that Raj Chopra has apparently decided to stick around California a while.
Why is this both funny and disgusting? Because the smart money would have had Chopra hightailing it India after his resignation from SWC, or attempting to find new work somewhere on the East Coast, as far from California, Arizona, and Kansas as he could get.
But no. Chopra is apparently spending some quality time in East County (that’s the sparsely-populated central/eastern San Diego County for you non-locals) trying to convince someone to hire him as a school superintendent.
That was the laughy part. Chopra needed to retreat to conservative East County to try to find someone to help him grab a short-term or interim position. When his best possible chance at a career – and coincidentally, the most dignified thing he could do, is to go elsewhere and seek a position, he’s wandering So Cal, hat in hand, looking for an eighteen-month long bit of work.
Because, you see, eighteen months as a superintendent in California is all he needs to become vested in the state’s pension system. If he acquires even an interim position, all he has to do is rest his butt in a chair for eighteen months, say nothing, do nothing, and the people of California will pay for his quite-large pension.
Which he will have earned by turning Southwestern College into an oppressive, frightened shell of itself.
That’s the whole throwy-uppy thing.
It’s imperative that Chopra not be allowed this opportunity. If it’s the work he wants, let him take his carcass somewhere else and find it. Do not let this man game the system. Do not let him earn his pension on the backs of those students who were unceremoniously abandoned or the faculty and staff who were laid off and let go – all do to his butcher’s work to the budget.
He doesn’t want the work; he wants that pension.
Chopra’s biggest supporter, the San Diego Union-Tribune, has long complained about the unions and their “abuses” of the state pension system. But it’s not a union member attempting to abuse the system now; it’s management. Kind of makes you wonder if this makes the U-T reconsider their position on Chopra, or if they’ll unfurl their hypocrisy flag and keep supporting him.
Consider this your Distant Early Warning. Raj Chopra is trying to slip back into the system, all to collect that unearned pension. Don’t let it happen. He’s already left one school in tatters and a nationwide laughingstock.
Don’t let it happen to your school.