Confessions of a Community College Dean

Confessions of a Community College Dean

In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

August 18, 2009 - 8:57pm
I &*%#(%*& hate parking. There is no obvious, elegant way to handle a sudden influx of students when parking is already tight. The two iron laws of parking: 1. There is never enough. 2. Thou shalt not add parking, anywhere, ever. Corrolary: Calling attention to the contradiction between 1 and 2 is bad form.
August 17, 2009 - 9:08pm
Commiserating with an administrative colleague at another college, I discovered that we're both dealing with the same issue. I call it input without content. With budgetary issues looking like they'll get worse before they get better -- public higher ed usually lags economic recoveries -- the campus is abuzz with concerns about possible cuts and budget-driven decisions. The laws of economic gravity being what they are, there's simply no way to take the kinds of cuts to appropriations we're taking and not feel them. So we have to make some decisions about how to handle them.
August 16, 2009 - 7:54pm
The four of us made a trek to the Middle of Nowhere, to a cabin with my Mom, my brother, his wife, and The Niece. The Niece is two-and-a-half now, and she and The Girl immediately bonded. For those who haven't spent time recently in the company of preschool-aged girls, 'bonding' sounds like this: SQUEAL hee hee hee hee SCREECH hee hee hee SCREECH hee hee hee
August 13, 2009 - 9:46pm
A midwestern correspondent writes: I'm starting a new full-time job next month, and I'm really excited about it. But my new college has a 60 day waiting period between my start date and when I actually receive health insurance. I'm grateful for the job, of course, but I don't understand the 60 days. Do you know why I have to pay for COBRA for two months into a new job? First, congratulations on the job! In this year's market, that's particularly great news!
August 12, 2009 - 9:40pm
I've been chewing on Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew Crawford's explanation of how the spiritual enervation that came from working for a think tank drove him (no pun intended) to repair motorcycles for a living, and how spiritually ennobling that move was.
August 11, 2009 - 9:40pm
They say that a prophet is never appreciated in his own country. That said, this article from IHE certainly rang a bell. Back in 2006, I wrote:
August 9, 2009 - 11:13pm
A new correspondent writes:
August 6, 2009 - 9:18pm
A new correspondent writes: With the exponential growth in use of social networking, in what ways do sites such as facebook have an impact on one's professional personna? While fb might be useful for increasing one's social network, is it harmless to one's career? As an experienced administrator, what are your thoughts about fb for the over 40 year-old professional? For several years now, I've heard variations on “don't use facebook or twitter or myspace or blogger or any social media, lest future employers find you toxic.”
August 5, 2009 - 9:17pm
Several alert readers sent me links to this story, about a new graduate who is suing her alma mater (of all of three months) for its alleged failure to get her a job. It's one of those stories that really allows you to see what you want to see. Is the student an unrealistic whiner? Is the school trading on false hope? Is it reasonable to charge high tuition for an unemployable degree? Is it reasonable to hold a single college accountable for a nationwide recession?
August 4, 2009 - 9:40pm
A new correspondent writes:

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