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.

September 24, 2008 - 11:48pm
Some issues are difficult. They feature the conflict of valid goods, a shortage of critical resources, or clashes of identity or behaviors so central to one's personhood that rational conversation becomes nearly impossible. Other issues, by contrast, are so obvious that any sentient being should be able to dispose of them immediately. This is one of those.
September 24, 2008 - 3:52am
A new report from the American Council on Education (see it here) entitled "Too Many Rungs on the Ladder? Faculty Demographics and the Future Leadership of Higher Education" manages to notice something this blog has been saying for the last four years: a dearth of young tenure-track faculty now means a serious leadership vacuum in higher education in the near future. Some of the stats cited in the report are worth checking out. Among them:
September 22, 2008 - 10:20pm
This week's New York Times supplement on teaching once again skipped community colleges completely, even though it found several pages to dedicate to professors' clothing. That said, it had one article that actually brought up a worthwhile issue, if indirectly.
September 21, 2008 - 9:55pm
The recent game of "let's see, where did I put that hundred billion?" is likely to lead to some ugly fallout for public higher education. Putting on my prognosticator's cap – and like Easterbrook says, all predictions guaranteed or your money back – a few likely scenarios:
September 18, 2008 - 10:07pm
In conversation this week with someone who works in the 'student life' side of the college, I heard something I hadn't heard before.
September 17, 2008 - 10:10pm
My college, like most, is struggling with ways to communicate. In this context, I don't mean that in the substantive sense, though that's certainly there. I mean it in the procedural sense. How do you inform every potential stakeholder of, say, an event happening on campus in two days, or a grant application deadline in two months?
September 16, 2008 - 9:55pm
I did a double-take when I saw this piece in the Chronicle. Apparently, the University of Georgia is dealing with budget cuts by reducing faculty travel funds. My first response was, why is this news? But then I saw the punchline: not only are they reducing what they'll pay for faculty to travel, they're actually withholding permission for faculty to travel with their own money.
September 15, 2008 - 10:04pm
A new correspondent writes: The small, regional university at which I teach in the Midwest has a new president. He has what I believe to be a unique approach to administration: his wife is present with him at every school function, and is always introduced as "First Lady of (insert school name)." This has recently progressed to her appearing in newsletters and promotional materials as "First Lady of..."
September 15, 2008 - 5:00am
I had a conversation last week with the chair of the Human Services program (think Social Work), in which she made the point that she didn't know how her program should be categorized. As she explained her dilemma, I realized I didn't know, either.
September 11, 2008 - 10:16pm
This story in IHE is somehow both shocking and unsurprising.

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