Sunday, January 29, 2006

Response to letter dated 11Oct05

                                   6443 SE 85th Avenue
                                   Portland, OR 97266-5456
                                   January 23, 2006

Dr. Algie Gatewood
Cascade Campus President
705 N Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97217

Re:     PCC Deceptive & Fraudulent Business Practices
     Mismanagement by College Administration

Dr. Gatewood:

Please excuse the delay in responding to your letter dated October 11, 2005, but; I was waiting for a reply from the FTC before proceeding further. I have since received their advice directing me to file a discrimination complaint with the US Dept. of Education; and a complaint about deceptive and fraudulent business practices with the Oregon State Attorney General (dated December 28, 2005).

It would appear that you have been selective again by your choice to respond only to those issues that affect the reputation of the college, or its administration. Once more, I would ask that all issues be addressed in the original complaint. Those concerns are just as important to me as these ones. Also, as requested before in writing by certified mail, I would like to be provided a copy of the privacy policy, information security policy, and the response policy to a security data breach.

Unfortunately, your letter has raised more questions than providing straight answers. PCC has failed to acknowledge several of the most important concerns ---- discriminatory behavior and deceptive & fraudulent business practices the college is currently engaged in. I will respond to your replies by concerns, just as you did to help clarify my position.

Concern 1.
Contrary to what you are reporting, “has been well received by students,” the ones I interviewed stated that a problem does indeed exist. I believe the confusion comes from the fact that different descriptions are being provided for Debt Authorization on Attachment 2 (pg. 8 of the catalog) and Attachment 1 (section 4 – Debt Authorization) on the loan application for 50/50 Plan.
Dr. Algie Gatewood
January 23, 2006
Page Two

Concern 1. continued
It would be most helpful if you could answer the following questions and explain how the process actually works. What criteria are used to decide if a student qualifies for the loan? Is a credit reporting agency such as Trans Union, Equifax, etc., being employed to verify the credit worthiness of the applicant? Are you informing them that you are running a credit report on them? What happens if the applicant’s bank makes an error via their database that mistakenly reports that the account balance is less than $100.00 before the first payment is due on the 2nd Friday of term? According to Attachment 2 (pg. 8 of the catalog – Debt Authorization) you will consider the loan defaulted and make immediate demand for full payment. This means that you must be monitoring those bank accounts for their current balances before that 2nd Friday of term. Is that true? What agreements exist between the college and the financial institutions? You require advance notice to change the terms of the contract, yet you provide none to the applicant warning them of the impending default. Banks do have system glitches just like everyone else. The misfortune for the applicants is you always error in favor of collecting revenues for the college somehow. Are the credit card transactions processed through the mysterious and secret (_________) level one service provider? When mistakes are made there at the college, it takes an unusual and excessive amount of time to correct the problem ---- as demonstrated by this process we are going through now.

Concern 2.
As a student attending your institution, I do not want my transactions with the college to be transparent. Instead, I would like to know what the technology, student activity, and lab fees breaks down to. How else am I to know if I am getting what I paid for, or if my program is getting its fair share of resources to stay current?

Concern 3.
You are correct in stating that the referenced server and pathway are in the public domain and therefore open to public view. While performing a security assessment against your forward facing servers, I found the following online:  board member meetings, membership lists, board of director’s planning session, business meetings, business sessions, EAC agendas, etc,. Most interesting are the spreadsheets you’re publicly broadcasting of OSD equipment at Cascade, Rock Creek, and Sylvania Campuses that shows item, location, brand, model, serial number, PCC tag, and barcode. Again, this raises strong concerns about how you protect the student’s private information, and how you handle a security data breach there at the college.
Dr. Algie Gatewood
January 23, 2006
Page Three

Concern 4.
I’m glad you brought that to my attention ---- I was referring to your advising program. Where are the credentials of the Learning Skills Specialists kept? Are copies available to the public? My concerns are with the attitudes and behavior displayed by the advisors. They talk down to the students and tell them what courses they should take. Again, most students I interviewed claimed that they were continuously recommended the wrong courses for their degree, thereby adding time to complete their studies, and generating more revenue for the college. Do you have any customer (student) satisfaction surveys, or data to substantiate the effectiveness of the Learning Skills Specialists?

Concern 5.
Once again, you are correct Dr. Gatewood. There are only two places in the catalog to find that information. Imagine my astonishment when I found the spreadsheet Enrollment – Cost Data that is reporting different statistics. It appears to cover the 3-year change as it applies to the Master Educational Plan. As a student, or concerned citizen, why am I not entitled to review that data?

Concern 6.
The complaint was that it was taking too long to get new technology into the classrooms. I interviewed several businesses as to how they felt about hiring a PCC graduate who was trained on hardware that was 3-5 years old and not up to speed on any of the new developments going on in industry. At first, most thought I was joking. I kept hearing the same thing over and over ---- they explained that to remain competitive in business, you had to be up to date on everything. Your response stating it is your goal to upgrade equipment on a 3-5 year cycle is unacceptable. It does not meet the business needs of the community. We are not learning anything about virtualization, search engine technology, network security, grid computing, computer forensics, etc. These are all technologies that the universities are currently undertaking and it would make it a lot easier to transfer over without having to play catch up all the time. How much of that technology fee goes towards upgrading the Information Technology Program? The reason I’m not currently enrolled is because I am still waiting for an answer back from the college with regards to the incomplete grade and what its disposition is. I also strongly object and feel that it is not right to be double dipping the State. I do not feel comfortable attending a college that is not truthful with me and has been treating me with discriminatory overtones. I distinctly informed you of these reasons in our last correspondence.

Dr. Algie Gatewood
January 23, 2006
Page Four

Concern 7.
Here, your response is an insult to myself and the Senators intelligence.  Of course the Senators are familiar with the PCI standards; they had to vote on the issue.  That is not the question.  Who is the vendor and have they shown compliance by providing a passed audit?  Why is this being kept secret from everyone?  You show no proof that you are in compliance by providing the Report on Compliance (ROC), or making it available when demanded.

The FTC can only take action after 2 complaints have been filed. Based upon newly discovered evidence, I will be filing that 2nd complaint immediately. During the investigation into the security data breach earlier, I discovered an alarming and disturbing pattern with regards to how the college was conducting business with respect to the Computer Software Engineering Technology (CSET) Program.

I happened to be at the cafeteria on Sylvania Campus around lunch time handing out flyers when I was approached by a group of students who were claiming that the CSET Program was cut half way through the winter term.  They told me that PCC offered them the option of attending OIT with PCC making up the difference by reimbursing them.  According to the students, it didn’t work out that way.  

I wasn’t ready for what they said happened next.  They stated PCC offered the CSET Program again in the spring term and discontinued the program mid-term as before.  I have the course catalogs for those terms ---- they were right, it was offered.  

To me, this wasn’t making any sense.  PCC had allowed students spring term to register for a program that had been discontinued/cut and kicked them out mid-term with the option to go over to OIT once again.

Much to my surprise, when I contacted OIT about the incident, they stated it indeed happened and that PCC students were transferred over at additional cost; and I should talk to Software Engineering Technology Program Director, Jay Vogelman, about the particulars.

I tried to make inquiry as to who brokered the deal by asking Jay Vogelman if OIT was contacted by PCC, or if it was the other way around. He has refused to comment.  Something smells awful FISHY here and I don’t believe it’s the Columbia River salmon.

This episode lends credence as to how the college is conducting business.  A serious mistake has been committed.  It now appears the college willfully and intentionally mislead the students spring term for financial gain.

Dr. Algie Gatewood
January 23, 2006
Page Five

To me, this is a textbook definition of fraudulent and deceptive business practices. Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, should never be the system employed by a regular community college administration.

As far as getting a fair shake from the Commissioner of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce ---- isn’t that the office that Ms. Cam Praus-Braly works for?  I also see that she gave a presentation on the State Board of Education’s New Policy paper there at the Cascade Campus with you in attendance.  Sylvia Welch during our last phone conversation expressed that Randy, Cam, and you had been discussing my problem.  She does not appear to represent my best interests.

Since no one else will take appropriate action to stop these offenses, I will be sending document packets to all Native American Indian tribes in the States of Oregon and Washington asking for their support in boycotting PCC.

Attending college should awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge, not be a bitter battle all the time with the school administration.  Especially, when they are not being forthright, honest, and truthful.

You truly are leaving the students unprepared and unskilled for the real world.


Rory M. Jackson

PC.     US Senator Ron Wyden
     US Senator Gordon Smith
     Congressman Earl Blumenuar
     Senator Frank Shields
     Representative Mike Schaufler
     Senator Ginny Burdick
     Representative Mary Nolan
     FTC, Howard Scibnick
     ACLU of Oregon
     State of Oregon, Attorney General, Hardy Meyers
     All Native American Indian Tribes located in States of Oregon and Washington

Can You Here me Now

Can You Here me Now?

I don’t know what everyone finds so alarming about wanting to complain about a high dollar purchase amount for our education at an accredited institution (it costs around $20,000 - $30,000 to just attend a community college) when the service really sucks and you are not getting what you paid for. Society as a whole has recognized and anticipated these types of problems by addressing them responsibly. Some examples would be the protections offered buyers of autos, homes, loans, credit, land, etc. Shouldn’t the students also be protected from one of the oldest and biggest CONS being circulated today? A degree from PCC amounts to a worthless piece of paper when it is all said and done.

I have found the following words of wisdom to be most accurately applied to this situation:
Why is it impossible for people ---- even the very bright ---- to not make mistakes?

When we are born, we know virtually nothing. To learn anything, we must explore new territory. So, unless we behave like passive receivers of information (like a computer being programmed) or have perfect luck and guess right every time, we will make mistakes. This activity expands when we go to school and retracts after we leave, in the absence of motivation or encouragement.

But in some people, especially those who are inquisitive and bright, the process continues throughout life. They never stop learning ---- and making mistakes. Others try to avoid error by staying in familiar territory. But life is so short, and the world of learning so vast, that I feel safe in stating that if you do not make mistakes, you don’t know much.

By Marilyn vos Savant
Parade, the Oregonian, Sunday, July 24, 2005

PCC fits the part perfectly of staying in familiar territory, except they do so to continue to collect revenues for the college. They have never admitted making any mistakes, let alone offering any type of an apology for the harm they have caused students. The PCC school administration revolves around secrecy! SECRECY, being an instrument of conspiracy, should never be the system employed by a regular community college administration.

I am in the CIS program and it has turned out to be quite a dysfunctional mess. The CSET program is in worst shape. It was discontinued winter term, brought back spring term, and then discontinued again. Those students were referred by PCC to OIT to continue their studies there for a price increase, with the understanding that PCC would make up the difference. I still have been unable to find out who brokered that money deal at the student’s expense, of course.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

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DreamCatcher By Jody Bergsma

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

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Senator Walker email response page 2 Posted by Picasa

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