Thursday, March 01, 2007

NHMCCD Board retreats!

Last month, I posted a story about an attempt to circumvent the Texas Open Meetings Act by the NHMCCD board. The attempt failed not because someone realized they were violating the law or that what they were doing was wrong. No, it failed because the board collectively could not agree on a date and time to break the law. Well, now they have set a date. The date is March 2, 2007. Not only are they going on a retreat to discuss district business, they are renting a meeting room and having it catered at the Wyndham Greenspoint Hotel instead of using the district's own perfectly acceptable meeting rooms. The notice of this meeting went up here and here on an obscure part of the district website February 27th. To be legal, open meeting notices must be posted 30 days in advance, not 3 (NOTE: Someone just emailed me saying that the notification time is 10 days unless it is deemed an emergency, not 30. I'm not sure if that is right or not, but even then, 3 days isn't 10). Here is the text of the two notices, Please note the date:


February 27, 2007

The Board of Trustees of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District will hold a retreat at 9:00 a.m., on Friday, March 2, 2007, in the Campobello Room of the Wyndham Greenspoint Hotel, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, TX. No deliberations or actions will take place. The Board will go into closed session under the following provisions of the Sections 551.001, et seq., Texas Government.

Section 551.074 - Personnel Matters


By __________________________________

John E. Pickelman, Ph.D.


and the second one:


February 27, 2007

The Board of Trustees of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District will hold a workshop meeting at 12:00 p.m., on Friday, March 2, 2007 in the Campobello Room of the Wyndham Greenspoint Hotel, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, TX for the purpose of reviewing current facility needs and options. No deliberations or actions will take place.


By ________________________________

John E. Pickelman, Ph.D.


This is a clear violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. There was not adequate notice (I verified when the documents were created in Word. They were created on the morning of Feb 19th, 2007. They did not even exist 30 days ago.). The claim that nothing substantial will be discussed is irrelevant even if true. If the business of the district is discussed, it must be an open meeting. How much money is this costing? Who is paying for it? The scuttlebut I'm hearing is that Pickelman wanted to hold this "retreat" at an out of town resort but that one of the recently elected board members that was elected under the banner of reform insisted that if he had to travel more than 45 minutes to get there he was not coming.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smell an open records request and I know just who's going to do it!


March 01, 2007 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh.. I am speechless for the moment.

I think we all need to bring a picnic lunch or brown bag and learn about government in action. Someone needs to send an invitation to all of the government and political science classes to "come on down"

I'll think of something to write in a few minutes.....

March 01, 2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's one thing for The Tomball Chamber of commerce to "honor" Lord Pickleman (

on their nickle, but WHY ARE WE TAXPAYERS HAVING TO PICK UP THE TAB FOR FANCY LUNCHEON'S when The District wants all that money for their "Master Plan?" How many tuitions could have been covered for the price of this retreat????



March 01, 2007 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 01, 2007 12:35 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

What's worse is that they have read the previous post (yes, I see the ip addresses coming from NHMCCD), known it was illegal BECAUSE I TOLD THEM IT WAS, and then had the gall to try again anyway thinking that the "No deliberations or actions will take place." verbiage would save their bacon, it will not.

March 01, 2007 1:39 PM  
Anonymous rideuponthewind said...

How will we know if no deliberations or actions will take place when they are "hiding" behind closed doors? Every Board meeting is perfunctory, and everything the administration proposes is never questioned, and always approved. What's the point of having a Board of Directors when they direct absolutely NOTHING????

It's a SCREAM! I think I'll run for a directorship in 2008! Why not? I'll at least get a few free meals out of the deal (if I'm elected!) Whippee!

March 01, 2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous DeepPurple said...

So the 5 pm meeting at The Woodlands is off?

HOUSTON (February 19, 2007) -- The North Harris Montgomery Community College District Board of Trustees will hold its March Workshop and Regular meeting on Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 5 p.m. in the boardroom at North Harris Montgomery Community College District's training and development center, 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77381.

March 01, 2007 1:54 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

to my knowledge, the 5PM meeting is still on..... But you'll note that the date is BARELY enough notice if 10 days is the magic number....

March 01, 2007 2:19 PM  
Anonymous rideuponthewind said...

It's not magic! It's Hocus Pocus!


March 01, 2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting us taxpayers know about the criminal activities going on at that place. I wonder how that Pickleman character and the rubber stamping flunkie board whimps have been able to stay out of jail. When enough people get fed up, that will change. Please keep up your reporting of their crimes and wasteful practices. You obviously care much more about education and the taxpayers than those shady characters.

March 01, 2007 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any truth that Priscilla Slade has applied for the Chancellor position?

Reminds me of the first time my daddy explained why buzzards circled around and over "roadkill." And also how a Bear can catch the scent of their prey in the woods before they ever see them.

Rorschach... it is interesting that they so intently read this blog... perhaps you should code a roadmap of how to fix their own problems. Perhaps the Kevorkian machine..

Maybe hire some new consultants: Beam, Cuervo & Walker.....

March 01, 2007 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NHMCCD students should be given extra credit for cheating in order to give them the encouragement and training to become college administrators and board members.

March 02, 2007 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the voters had approved the $250,000,000 Bond, facilities could be built that would be good enough for Pickleman and his Board to meet instead of having to spend a lot of money to meet and eat in a hotel. For around $5,000,000, overnight lodgings(Pickleman's Palace)with a fancy restaurant (Champagne Johnnys)could be added to their head quarters that would be good enough for them.

March 03, 2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like say a few words about the above comments. To the person who wrote about “Pickelman’s Palace, you are among the very few that knew there was a prevision in the past bond to spend five million dollars on building a hotel and restaurant at the District Services Training Center (headquarters). This was information that was not disclosed to many people. If it had been, then the vote against the bond would have been much higher.

To the comments about the Board rubber stamping whatever Mr. Pickelman wants, that was my view too in the past. I personally know that Dr. David Holsey, a new member of the board, will not rubber stamp anything. He is very intelligent and is a person of great integrity. Dr. Holsey will make his decisions based on what is good for the college and the taxpayers and he will seek to find out what is going on beyond just what the administrators tell him. I don’t personally know the other new board member, Mr. Daniel, but he did not run on the “team” ticket and he should be given time to get a feel for his new position before labeling him a “rubber stamper.”

I enthusiastically join the comment thanking Mr. Rorschach for his knowledge and extensive efforts to expose the illegal, unethical, and wasteful practices going on at “our” college. To everyone who commented above, I appreciate all of you for caring enough to try to make “our” college better serve our community.

One more thing, I enjoyed a long and hearty laugh on the witty sarcasm in the “Pickelman Palace” and “Champagne Johnny’s” comment. Thanks a lot.

Concerned Citizen

March 03, 2007 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outside of Hollywood, I've never seen another group of people who think SO highly of their "accomplishments," that they have to continously pat themselves on the back. Who's paying for the next "award" ceremony?

NHMCCD Annual Awards Banquet
The awards banquet will be at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, 77380, from 6:00 - 9:30pm

All full-time NHMCCD employees are invited. The event is to honor faculty excellence, staff excellence, writing awards and 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years of service.

And as to the comment about encouraging students to cheat...don't bother! It comes naturally to them, and I've witnessed it first hand. 90% of the "educators" could probably never make a living in the real world. Why would they want to take themselves down from their own pedestal?

March 04, 2007 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about self indulgence... If you look really hard at us.. you will find that most of our accolades are truly "self-generated"

The "Mushers" running this "Dog Pack" aren't stupid. They know the value of dangling a dog biscuit out in front of us and keeping us barking for more. Heck after the number of years that I've done this, I couldn't get a job in the private sector even paying 1/2 of what I am getting with the benefits ; and the fact that I really only have to work less than 8-9 months out of the year when you count the holidays and the summer off...

Don't kill a good ride......

March 04, 2007 8:32 PM  
Anonymous rideuponthewind said...

"Don't kill a good ride....."

Wow! That's a refreshing response from an educator! Usually, teachers are up in arms about being under-paid, under-appreciated, under-rated. It's been five years since I left the college scene. I could hack it academically, I just couldn't put up with some of the bloated egos running the classrooms. I left a 20-year career to return to school. What a waste of time, money, and effort on my part. I walked in with the attitude that teachers were special people, automatically deserving of respect. I left feeling total disdain for most of them. I swear I could write a bloody book on my experiences with NHMCCD!

March 05, 2007 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Glenn Ware said...

Those who represent themselves as teachers may not be teachers.

As to what NHMCCD college teachers are paid compared to the average salary, one may wish to consider the educational level of teachers compared with the average education of the “average” person. Better yet, compare the salary of college teachers with other occupations with advanced degrees. Another factor to consider in determining if teachers are overpaid at NHMCCD is to compare the salary of teachers in NHMCCD with the salary paid at other colleges.

Many of the teachers in the District are part- time adjunct professors and they make around $1,800 per course. When the travel time and preparation/grading time is added to the time in class, I certainly don’t see how anyone could say that they are overpaid. I do note that nobody has said that adjunct teachers at NHMCCD are overpaid. I personally know a lot of adjunct professors who are teaching at NHMCCD because they love their subject area and they love teaching.

I should point out that I am very happy with my salary at NHMCCD and have loved teaching criminal justice at North Harris College for the past 22 years.

I bet a free catfish lunch with me at the Potato Patch that the person who represented themselves as a teacher at NHMCCD is not a teacher at NHMCCD. To collect this lunch, you may either email me at or use this venue to identify yourself as a “real” teacher employed at NHMCCD.

Glenn Ware PhD
Professor of Criminal Justice
North Harris College

March 05, 2007 8:55 PM  
Anonymous rideuponthewind said...

Dr. Ware:

I have to take issue with your notion of "preparation" time involved in teaching. How many of your collegues use the same notes over and over and over, from class to class to class, year in and and year out with little or no change in the course curriculum? Anyone who holds down a job outside of their own home has travel expenses involved, and more often than not parking expenses added on top of that. You probably have no concept of how many professions demand overtime without the benefit of overtime pay. How many full-time or adjunct taught classes start out with 20-25 students, yet by semester end have less than half of the enrollment that they started out with? How many classes are allowed to be taught with less than 6 students per classroom? I know this is not a forum to discuss these issues, but it seems to me you guys have it pretty dang cushy. Perhaps because the laws in our country are in perpetual flux your particular field demands change; however, I don't believe accounting or English or geology, or history changes much over the course of a generation.

March 06, 2007 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am for real...and a vegetarian.

The $1,800.00 per adjunct course (you are off a bit) you mention is "hen scratch" and only for those that are not willing to "suck-up"

The big bucks are made by those of us that have been around a long time and are stuck.....

Maybe with a new regime we will get real progress.

March 06, 2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Sounds to me like real progress will need to include some internal housecleaning and tenure revocation...

March 06, 2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so back to the original posting; what happened at the "retreat"????

Was there really a 2-3 hour closed session as noted in the belated notice?

What was discussed? Are there minutes of the meeting? Was there a crowd? Or was this just another day at the sand pile?

What's the score? I will bet nothing changed and nothing was accomplished....they are in a hole and will never be able to figure their way out!

March 06, 2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Looks to me that they need to cut about $5-10 million off of administration and duplication at each of the campuses....

How long (years) can you run a ship without a full "dry dock" servicing before she sinks? The Captain's staff or grossly overstaffed and top heavy. It needs a trimming or a severe cutback. The Head Quarters needs to operate like a "Head Quarters" instead of trying to pit one campus against another. The real competition is the forces of ignorance that exist in our society and community that this bunch of nitwits just can't figure out. Their other competition are all of the private schools that are surpassing (at higher tuition) the public ones... just look at the new ITT on the north Freeway near Richey Rd...

That ought to twist their craw a little!

March 06, 2007 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt it!

Bite me!

March 06, 2007 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who...WHo...WHO ...let the dogs out??

We will have to let time pass to get the dogs out, dust settle and ashes to ashes..... A greater institution will arise, if we can only find "LEADERSHIP"

March 06, 2007 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Glenn Ware said...

One has to know a great deal to tell someone what they do not know. It must be extra special to be able to know what someone does or does not know without having any information about that person.

I am not smart enough to know what people may or may not know whatout knowing anything about them.

I do know that I greatly appreciate the contributions of the adjunct professors that teach criminal justice at NHC. I also know that their students appreciate them too.

March 06, 2007 9:58 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Glenn, I can say this, from a student's perspective, the instructor quality is all over the map. But that said, the adjunct faculty tend to be better because they actually have real world experience in the application of the information. But even among the adjuncts some are good, and some are idiots.

March 07, 2007 7:54 AM  

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