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.

April 12, 2009 - 9:34pm
Back in high school, every Sunday night was torture. That was when the homework for the weekend that I'd been putting off finally couldn't be put off any more. I finally had to face it. The same held true in college, and, weirdly enough, even in grad school. Then in my faculty days, Sunday nights were usually devoted to class prep and/or grading, so the dynamic didn't really change.
April 9, 2009 - 9:12pm
I mentioned a few days ago that Kay McClenney's point about shortening the remediation death march was worth a post in itself. Here goes...
April 8, 2009 - 10:56pm
After five days away, upon opening the door: silence... silence...silence...“DADDY!” Three flying-tackle hugs nearly knock me over.For the rest of the night, the game was “who can hug Daddy the most.”
April 7, 2009 - 9:55pm
Despite lower attendance, this year's AACC conference occasioned some wonderful conversations about all manner of topics, both officially and unofficially. (As always, the unofficial stuff was, by far, the most interesting.) As someone with – God willing – many more years of career ahead of me, the chance to look forward and count backward is remarkably valuable.
April 6, 2009 - 10:46pm
I'm one of those people who reads the conference program, picks out the panels in advance, then changes the itinerary six or seven times, depending on nothing I could name. The only rules of thumb I've found consistently helpful have been to vary the topics, to pay attention to fatigue, and to sit on the aisle whenever possible. (Aisle seats make graceful getaways easier, if the cell phone goes off or the panel explores new depths of awfulness.
April 6, 2009 - 9:26am
Reader, I attended five panels on Sunday, so you don't have to. You're welcome. A few highlights:
April 5, 2009 - 9:28am
First, the throat-clearing. Since Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time, it's three hours behind the East Coast during the spring and summer. This means I'm fighting monumental jet lag. And for reasons nobody here has yet explained to me, the district that includes the convention center, a branch of ASU, Chase Field, and all manner of new construction doesn't have a single convenience store or drugstore. How you can have high-rise dorms and multiple high-rise hotels without a single place to buy toothpaste is beyond me, but here it is.
April 2, 2009 - 10:25pm
Just when you thought it was safe to go to the AACC... Thanks to the good folks at InsideHigherEd.com, I'll be posting from the American Association of Community Colleges conference over the next several days. The TSA-approved toiletries are packed, the netbook is charged, and The Wife is unpsyched about doing all the childcare for the next several days. Luckily, the AACC comes but once a year. This is as close as I get to being a print journalist. Given the fate of print journalists these days, it's a nice job to visit, but I wouldn't want to make a living there.
April 1, 2009 - 9:42pm
An alert reader referred me to this story in the Toronto Star. Apparently, in response to loss of endowment income, the University of Toronto is considering moving to a prix fixe tuition plan. Every student would pay a flat tuition rate, regardless of the number of credits taken in a given semester. Students are calling it a left-handed tuition increase. That would soooooo not work at a cc.
April 1, 2009 - 4:29am
This weekend I got an email from a librarian/blogger taking me to task for paying insufficient attention to librarian blogs. The objection struck me as unfair – I have a day job and young children, people – but it's certainly true that libraries have changed in ways that reward close attention. Since I haven't been able to pay that kind of attention, I'll cheat and ask my wise and worldly readers to fill in some blanks.

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