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.

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.
June 19, 2008 - 9:45pm
A commenter to yesterday's post about compensating staff made a point I've wondered about before. It's worth contemplating – not advocating, just contemplating – at some length. Given the crazy-high ratios of applicants to full-time faculty jobs in many disciplines, why not lower the wages to a 'market clearing' level?
June 19, 2008 - 5:39am
A returning correspondent writes:
June 17, 2008 - 9:36pm
According to this article in IHE, the state of Florida is trying to get its community colleges to offer the four-year degrees that its upper-level schools can no longer afford to offer. According to this article in IHE, the major points of discussion seem to be:
June 16, 2008 - 9:58pm
A new correspondent writes: I'm in my first tenure track job in my mid-40s. I just got my Ph.D. this last December. College faculty is definitely a "second career" for me. As I was having some trouble landing a job, I was arranging some "fall back" positions with some well-known-distance-learning companies. I pursued one and not the other. Here I was, in my first gig, trying to do another job and arranging some free-lance journalism jobs from myself.
June 15, 2008 - 8:21pm
Although I kinda expected it to suck – which it did – this weekend I took TW to see the new Indiana Jones movie. She's had a thing for Harrison Ford ever since Star Wars, and she loved loved loved the first three Indy movies. Nobody warned me that it was a comedy. I actually laughed out loud, hard, at this one: The Dean: It's the FBI. They've ransacked your office! Indy: But you're the dean of the college! Couldn't you stop them? Me, in audience: HA! Nobody else in the theater laughed. I thought it was the highlight of the movie.

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