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.

July 9, 2008 - 10:21pm
A left coast correspondent writes: What constraints do people serving on hiring committees work under? In an attempt to make the hiring process as fair as possible-which translates as avoiding lawsuits-my California community college district requires that a Hiring Compliance Officer (HCO) sit on every hiring committee. The HCO is sometimes an administrator, but because there aren't enough administrators to go around, the HCO is more and more likely to be a lawyer or a consultant from off campus.
July 9, 2008 - 5:32am
When do we get snacks? Now? Now? Stand up? Aw, man... I can do an armpit fart. Watch! Oh, yeah? Mine's better! (Dancing) Hot dogs! I have to go to the bathroom. Me too! I'll go with you! (Cartwheels in the men's room. Literally.) I want popcorn! I want ice cream! (Dancing) (Climbing railings) Ice cream! (celebration ensues) I have to go to the bathroom. Me too! I'll go with you! (Urinal bumping. Don't ask.) Seventh inning what?
July 7, 2008 - 9:03pm
I had a conversation this week with a colleague at whose college, as at so many others, the level of benefit an employee gets is based on her hire date. The farther back you were hired, the better your benefits. This isn't just a matter of, say, compounding interest; it applies to things like health insurance and retirement account contributions. Newer hires pay larger percentages of salary for retirement, and have larger payroll deductions for health insurance, than do their coworkers the next office down.
July 6, 2008 - 9:38pm
Before my sojourn, I asked folks to contribute any tips for academic job candidates going out on interviews. Lo and behold, they did! (The generosity of the blogosphere continues to amaze me.) A few highlights, qualifiers, and afterthoughts:
June 27, 2008 - 8:49am
This week a correspondent sent some good interview tips for faculty candidates, asking that I gather more from my wise and worldly readers and compile them. So, wise and worldly readers, if you have any specific and useful tips, please either comment here or email me, and I'll put together a 'best of' tips post. Thanks!
June 27, 2008 - 8:48am
Next week...Roadtrip! I'll be channeling Clark W. Griswold as we give 'affordable gas' a Viking funeral by heading hither and yon. If you happen to be hither, or maybe yon, I'll be the pseudonymous guy in the dorky shirt. Normal blogging resumes July 7.
June 25, 2008 - 10:51pm
This article had me laughing, smiling wistfully, and pulling what little hair I still have. It's frustratingly true.
June 25, 2008 - 3:10pm
I have no idea how to answer this one, but I'm curious, so anyone with knowledge is invited to comment:
June 23, 2008 - 9:48pm
A rising young correspondent writes: I am a newish faculty member at a large community college. During a recent interview, I made a positive impression on our division's Vice Chancellor, and he has decided to groom me for a dean position that he plans to create in the next year or two. Of course, I wasn't sure he was serious at first, but after a long conversation with him a few days ago it seems this is not a cruel hoax. If everything goes well and I get this position, I will be the youngest dean on campus and will have been promoted to my boss's boss's job.
June 22, 2008 - 10:17pm
Judging by the comments, Friday's post really set some people off. Rather than responding to each attack – and 'attack' is the right word – I'll just make a few observations and move on. A disturbing number of commenters went right to 'intention,' implying variously that I was finally showing my nefarious true colors, my 'roots' in a proprietary college (!), or some other variation on the Dark Side. Others detected a note of satire, with multiple references to Swift.

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