September 2002


Mt. SAC Writers' Day Presents Poet Robert McDowell

Walnut, CA … Poet Robert McDowell will speak at Mt. San Antonio College as part of a Mt. SAC Writers' Day Series presentation on Wednesday, October 9, 1 p.m., in the college's Social Sciences Auditorium, 26B-101. This event is free and open to the public.

McDowell is the author of three books of poetry, which include On Foot, In Flames (2002), The Diviners (1995), and Quiet Money (1987). His work has appeared in London Magazine, The New Criterion, Ploughshares, and The American Scholar, among others. He is the co-founder, editor, and publisher of Story Line Press; he was co-founder and editor for The Reaper magazine; and he is a founder of The Poet’s Prize. He has also taught at Indiana State University and UC Santa Cruz.

This presentation is made possible by the Mt. SAC Writers’ Day Committee, the Mt. SAC English Department, and the Mt. SAC Associated Students. The 26th annual Mt. SAC Writers’ Day Festival will be held on March 29.

For more information on this Mt. SAC Writers' Day Series presentation, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 4712.

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Mt. SAC Host 11th Fat Tire Classic

Walnut, CA … Mt. San Antonio College will once again host the Fall Fat Tire Classic, an off-road bicycle competition, to be held at Mt. SAC on November 3, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The competition, sponsored by the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), is organized through various divisions that encompass age and expertise. The race course features uphill climbs, downhill runs, and tunnel passes on a packed dirt track.

VICA is a nationally affiliated vocational club representing secondary and post-secondary students in the trade, technical, and health education fields. The vocational education organization represents more than a quarter million students in over 13,000 chapters.

For more information on the 11th Annual Fall Fat Tire Classic, call Mt. SAC Professor Ben Eisley at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4638.

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Mt. SAC to Hold Seniors Day

Walnut, CA … More than 1,200 high school seniors from high schools in the Mt. San Antonio College District are expected on campus during the college’s Seniors Day on Wednesday, October 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Campus tours, presentations, an information fair, and more are all part of the event designed to help high school seniors start planning for the future. Seniors Day was developed to introduce 12th graders from high schools in the Mt. SAC District to the opportunities Mt. SAC offers. Presentations will include information about college programs and student activities.

Sponsors for this year’s Seniors Day include Pepsi, In-N-Out Burger, the Mt. SAC Book Rac, and others.

For more information, call the Mt. SAC High School Outreach Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 5905.

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Mt. SAC to Hold College Transfer Day

Walnut, CA … Mt. San Antonio College will celebrate Transfer Awareness Month with a college transfer fair, October 2, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the campus’ Miracle Mile.

Representatives from Cal State University and UC campuses as well as several independent and out-of-state colleges will provide information and answer questions on college admissions, financial aid, housing, and academic major information for students interested in transferring to one of these campuses.

Some of the colleges scheduled to attend the fair include UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, Art Center College of Design, Cal State Los Angeles, the University of La Verne, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC Berkeley.

For more information, call the Mt. SAC Advising Center at (909) 594-5611, ext. 5676.

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Mt. SAC to Host Working Women's Conference

Walnut, CA … The Mt. San Antonio College chapter of the American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) and the college’s Professional Development Council will host the Working Women’s Fall Conference 2002, "Taking Control of Your Future," to be held Friday, October 4, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Mt. SAC. This conference—a full day of workshops, presentations, and networking—is open to the public, men and women.

Human Resources consultant Vilma Colon will deliver the keynote address, "The Future is in Your Hands." Colon is the president of Transition Matters, a human resources group that provides services in human resources management, organizational development, and career planning. She has also been a division director for the Federal Protective Service in the area of human resources and law enforcement training.

Other speakers include Union Bank Vice President Maria Evans, who will speak on "Empowerment Through Self-Awareness and Self Defense." Evans, a black belt in karate, also directs the Riverside YWCA martial arts program. Mt. SAC Job Developer Darma Paden will serve as one of the sessions speakers and will give her presentation "Time Matters—Moving Forward." Paden has been a social worker for the County of Los Angeles, a probation officer in Orange County, and served six years as a governor-appointee to the State Rehabilitation Council.

To register or for more information, call Odette Richardson in the Mt. SAC Research and Institutional Effectiveness Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 5408.

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Mt. SAC Workhorse Headed to Museum

Walnut, CA … They say old computer equipment never dies—it just breaks down more often. And in the case of Mt. San Antonio College’s old optical scanner, that old computer equipment sometimes earns a place in a historical museum.

"It was a good machine, and it worked hard for many years," said Mt. SAC Systems Programmer Bob Lee about the piece of equipment that served the college for 27 years. "I don’t know what we would have done without it."

Mt. SAC will be donating the IBM 3881 Optical Mark Scanner, which was pressed into service at the college in July 1975, to the Computer Museum of America in San Diego in September. Yet for a long time, the old machine was not only a workhorse, but an important piece of equipment that kept the administration of the College running smoothly.

"We have done that type of optical mark scanning for the administration of the college since the early 1960’s," said Lee, who began at Mt. SAC in 1968 and was one of the scanner operators. "It’s amazing how dependent the campus was on this machine."

The mark scanner was used daily up until February of this year to process student data such as attendance and grades, and for the museum in San Diego, which houses one of the largest collections of historic computing equipment in the world, the machine is a symbol of a bygone era.

"The museum is taking it because it’s a rare artifact and represents an era and a technology that’s historic and not in use anymore," Lee said.

While in operation, the scanner read number two penciled marks on multiple choice scantron tests, attendance sheets, grading sheets, and other documents. The scanner worked in conjunction with a computer that was hooked up to the mark reader.

Considered a high-speed reader in its day, the scanner processed documents at a rate of 100 three-by-three inch documents or 66 eight-and-a-half by eleven inch documents per minute, and could stack up to 600 documents in a single run. If someone marked outside the bubble on the form, the machine would sort that document in its error tray.

"We had cases where someone would just write across the form, and of course, the machine would automatically kick it out," said Lee.

But alas, time marches on, and old machines break. IBM also stopped making parts for the 3881, which was a big factor in the decision to donate the machine to the museum.

"It was real temperamental at times. It had its own personality," said Mt. SAC Computer Operator Paul Bjork, who operated the scanner for 25 years. "Sometimes when it wouldn’t work, we’d have to improvise with paper clips and rubber bands."

Still, at certain times during the semester, the importance of the machine couldn’t be overemphasized. If it went down, critical functions would stop as well. So the scanner was kept in use.

"If the machine was down during the end of the semester, students wouldn’t get their grades," said Bjork.

In the mid-1990’s, Mt. SAC’s Information and Educational Technology had to find another IBM 3881 to cannibalize for parts. Eventually, parts became impossible to find, but the search for another 3881 led to a discovery and an asterisk for Mt. SAC’s scanner. In addition to its importance to the college and its future prominence on display in the Computer Museum of America, the IBM 3881 Optical Mark Scanner also holds the distinction as the last of its type in operation.

"It’s our understanding that this was the last one of these 3881 models running in the country," said Lee.

So was it with fond farewells and teary eyes that Mt. SAC’s Information and Educational Technology staff said goodbye to its old comrade on its way to its final resting place?

"No," said Bjork, "I like the new machine."

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Budget Concerns Halt Salary Increase

Walnut, CA … Citing budget concerns and funding cuts at its August 28 meeting, the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees rejected a fact-finding report recommendation that would have given faculty at the college an additional one percent in salary under the 2000-02 contract.

"After carefully considering the report, the Board is of the opinion that a change in its bargaining position is not appropriate," said Mt. SAC Board President Manuel Baca. "We continue to believe that an additional 2.5 percent salary increase for 2001 and 1.13 percent for 2002 is fair, financially prudent, and maintains district faculty members among the highest paid instructors in the state."

Through its three-year contract, Mt. SAC has agreed to faculty pay increases of 5 percent for 2000, 6.67 percent for 2001, and 5 percent for 2002. The total amounts to 16.67 percent in pay hikes.

"The contract that has been negotiated is a very good one," Baca said.

According to the fact-finder, even before the last offer was made, Mt. SAC faculty salaries rank in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the state and second out of eight community colleges locally.

The fact-finding report comes in the wake of funding cuts from the state and budget shortfalls for the college. For the 2002-03 academic year, the college is forecasting a $6.2 million deficit. Currently, 86 percent of Mt. SAC’s $100 million budget goes to salaries and benefits, and that figure for salaries and benefits has increased by $19 million over the past three years.

"It’s not a matter of discounting the fact-finding recommendation, but it is a matter of responding to financial realities," said Baca.

The college’s adopted budget for 2002-03, which was approved August 28, includes $99.5 million in revenues, $105.7 million in expenditures, which includes $6.1 million in salary and benefit increases.

"We have increased our expenditures at a significant rate, a rate greater than the level our revenue is increasing, and now we must implement a plan to reduce on going expenditures and limit expectations given this climate of fiscal instability," said Mt. SAC Administrative Services Vice President Nancy Rice, the college’s chief financial officer.

Mt. SAC’s financial woes echo the troubles of community colleges throughout the state which have seen funding slashed as California struggles with a $24 billion deficit of its own. Repeatedly, community colleges have felt the brunt of the axe over the past few years as Governor Gray Davis has made funding cuts to programs in the state’s community college system.

Mt. SAC faculty contract negotiations first went to mediation then through the fact-finding process after an impasse was declared in November 2001. The Public Employment Relations Board was notified and the contract talks continued later with a mediator. When neither the college nor the faculty could come to agreement, the mediator announced in February 2002 that the negotiations would move into the fact-finding stage.

"The Board of Trustees is required to take these recommendations under advisement and make its own determination based upon the advisory recommendation. Ultimately, the Board has the fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers and other constituencies," said Board Member David K. Hall.

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