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The Rancho Santiago Community College District is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment, and all access to institutional programs and activities.
The Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Foundation’s equity partnership with a Saudi corporation is now officially known as the Rancho-Baha College Partnership.
In March 2015 RSCCD Chancellor Raul Rodriguez claimed this partnership would bring in over $100 million. Later that year a report put the amount at $22 million. Last year Rodriguez said it was closer to $1 million. As of this writing the figure is zero.
Even with nothing to show, the partnership’s enablers have taken their arrogance to new levels.
Ignoring criticism and warnings from faculty, staff and the community; members of the clergy; a stern letter from the Anti-Defamation League; and examples of colleges throughout the western world who had lost multi-millions on their respective partnerships with the same Saudi entity, Rodriguez has continued to push the project through and is still not stopping.
Recently I ran across a website for a company called fivedlearning which claims to be the consultant for Rancho Santiago’s Saudi partnership. From the fivedlearning website:
Our newest project is a consulting effort for Baha College of Technology (BCT) in Al Baha, Saudi Arabia. Operating partners in this project include Rancho Santiago Community College District Foundation in Orange County, California USA, and Al Khaleej Training and Education, the largest publicly traded provider of training services in Saudi Arabia.
The consultant, fivedlearning is a Delaware corporation led by principal, Christopher J. Mackie. Mr. Mackie has been involved with other projects at RSCCD as well as at San Joaquin Delta College during the time Rodriguez was employed as Delta’s president.
Reading further on the fivedlearning website there is a section titled “Positions Available”. From that section:
For positions based in the US, we are an EEO/AA employer. For positions based in other nations, we support EEO/AA objectives and also comply with relevant HR laws and policies of those nations and the client-organizations we serve.
It has been Mackie’s job to staff the Baha College of Technology and several positions have already been filled. The statement on the fivedlearning website that it supports EEO/AA objectives and complies with HR laws and policies of their clients, couldn’t be further from the truth. At Baha College of Technology women are forbidden from employment.
I find it repugnant that our community’s college district foundation would be a partner to such discriminatory practices in violation of every state and federal law, let alone its own HR policies.
With nothing to show and a willingness to blatantly discriminate against women, the arrogance of those behind this partnership is palpable.
Dr. Barry Resnick, a professor of counseling, is in his 38th year as a faculty member in the Rancho Santiago CCD. He has resided with his family in the city of Orange for over 30 years.
Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.
Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org