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.
February 23, 2009 - 9:04pm
The indefatigable Lesboprof has a great post up about a couple of legislators from Georgia who are using the economic crunch as an excuse to launch a purge of feminists, gays, and anyone whose politics or lifestyle they consider "special interest areas" from public colleges and universities. And it isn't just points of view they're out to silence; apparently, they've going after entire subject areas.
February 23, 2009 - 3:38am
As the year has become progressively more surreal, I've been finding much more value in the occasional meetings I have with my counterparts at nearby cc's.
February 19, 2009 - 10:13pm
Academic administrators aren't the only administrators on a campus. We routinely interact with the folks who run the business side (payroll, facilities, security), the IT side, fundraising, and the like. I've had several conversations with administrative colleagues lately that have gone something like this: Other Admin: I had the budget talk with my group. It was rough, but we got through it. How did yours go? DD: We're getting there. OA: Getting there?
February 18, 2009 - 9:33pm
Yesterday's IHE has a worthwhile story about 'reverse transfers' – students starting at four-year colleges and then transferring to cc's – becoming more common as students become more price-conscious. There's nothing terribly shocking in it, if you assume that recessions bring increased price awareness, even though it's a nice reminder that the traffic goes both ways. What got my attention, though, was the first comment after the story. 'Judith' wrote:
February 18, 2009 - 4:42am
(Or, worst "Dancing With the Stars" episode ever.) In discussion with my counterparts across my state, I'm hearing that most of the other cc's are planning some pretty dramatic tuition/fee increases this Fall to compensate for the one-two punch of falling state aid and spiking enrollments.
February 17, 2009 - 4:47am
A new correspondent writes: The University of the District of Columbia is spinning off a new community college.If you were starting a new CC from scratch, where would you start?More importantly, what baggage would you dispense with? Ooooh, fun!
February 15, 2009 - 9:59pm
A regular correspondent writes: What, exactly, are CC faculty supposed to do that substantially distinguishes them from high school teachers? I don't mean this in a derogatory manner, I was a high school teacher and found the job incredibly fulfilling.
February 12, 2009 - 10:01pm
This week I've been a part of some very difficult conversations on campus about budget cuts and their implications for our cc. Some of the difficult parts were easily predictable: impact on jobs, impact on students, impact on various programs. But the hardest part was one I hadn't really anticipated. It was the almost palpable desire for a fixed target, a final figure that once we had hit, we could exhale and know we'd be okay. That, we can't do. The state budget is a moving target. And this makes inclusive, good-faith planning incredibly hard.
February 11, 2009 - 9:40pm
A new correspondent writes:
February 10, 2009 - 9:18pm
We're starting to use the R word in a really serious way. Even with reducing the number of deans, we may not save enough to save every faculty job. While the dust is far from settled on next year's budget, it's pretty clear that we've blown well past our previous worst-case scenarios. Now we have to start looking at faculty retrenchment, at least on a contingency-plan basis. This is nobody's idea of fun.