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.

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.

December 2, 2008 - 10:01pm
A regular correspondent writes: Out here in California, my CC is in the same budget mess as everyone else. But our Governing Board just gave a [dramatic] raise to our college president. He doesn't deserve it. Trust me on that part. All this makes my job as union president about 1000 times easier, but I'm wondering what a good, solid, competent administrator would do in a similar situation. Of course, I'm assuming that you want to keep your job.
December 2, 2008 - 5:22am
TB and I played basketball on the driveway/court this past weekend. He's involved in a local kids' instructional league, where they do a lot of drills and a few scrimmages, and he loves it. Although he didn't have practice this weekend, we had some relatively decent weather, so I decided that shooting some hoops with him myself would be a good idea. Normally, it's fine. We just take shots from wherever, running only when we have to go after the ball as it heads towards the road. Not a problem.
November 30, 2008 - 8:39pm
If not for my day job, I'd take a crack at writing a book with the following topic: How to Steer a College Through a Recession and Make It Stronger Okay, it's not as catchy as it could be. Maybe something like "Lindsay Lohan's Illustrated Weight Loss Secrets and How Colleges Can Navigate Recessions." Admittedly, it's a bit clunky, but at least it would sell. Or maybe "Walk it Off, Loser! A No-Nonsense Guide to Colleges' Sucking It Up," to capture the Regnery Press demographic.
November 25, 2008 - 9:53pm
Thanksgiving is coming at the right time. On campus, every few weeks we get a new bulletin from the state telling us to anticipate an even bigger cut than the last bulletin. At this point, it feels a lot like when you're standing in the sand and a wave washes over you and recedes, carrying the sand from around your feet with it. Every time you think there's finally a solid perch, another wave hits, and you get shorter without even moving. In the midst of the doom and gloom, taking a moment to reflect on how well off we actually are, compared to most of the world, is helpful.
November 24, 2008 - 9:51pm
This story is both shocking, and not. At one level, it's absurd. The Board of Trustees at the College of DuPage has decided to arrogate to itself all manner of decision-making powers, from abruptly imposing a thinly-veiled version of David Horowitz' Academic Bill of Rights to churning through multiple Presidents without explanation to muzzling the student newspaper. And yet, on another level, the shocking part is that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often.
November 23, 2008 - 8:53pm
An occasional correspondent writes:
November 21, 2008 - 5:15am
I'm behind on my open correspondence, and busy enough to know that I can't really do justice to all of them. So in lieu of open letters, a series of open postcards. Dear GM, Ford, and Chrysler, You're kidding, right? You people have been bleeding market share, and money, for years. This is directly due to your chronic inability or unwillingness to get a clue. Toyota and Honda have been eating your lunch since the seventies. This may have something to do with them building better cars. Now you want a bailout.
November 19, 2008 - 9:32pm
An alert reader sent me a link to this story from the Times. It's a quick-and-dirty overview of non-credit job training programs at community colleges in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region. If only it were as simple as the article suggests.
November 18, 2008 - 9:51pm
A department chair at a SLAC writes:
November 17, 2008 - 9:06pm
An Australian correspondent writes:

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