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 10, 2008 - 9:53pm
I've never found an elegant way around the add/drop period. This is the time of the semester when late-adding students show up to the second (or even third) meeting of a class, asking to be caught up and held harmless. In lecture classes, it's not that big a deal; you just tell the student he's responsible for whatever he has missed so far, and that's that. But in classes that do group work, or hands-on work, or anything intensely interactive, it's a real imposition.
September 9, 2008 - 10:03pm
A new correspondent writes: I have a question about college teaching as a second career. Most of the advice I've seen is aimed at twenty-something's finishing grad school. I am a few months shy of my 50th birthday and live in the DC metro area. I started graduate school straight out of college and was on my way to finishing my PhD in American History when I was side-tracked: I took a "real" job in an area unrelated to my degree. I kept plugging away at it though, and finally finished my doctorate in 1999, twelve years after leaving school.
September 8, 2008 - 10:36pm
I've seen two major personality types fail at deaning, each for the same reason: administrivia.
September 7, 2008 - 9:23pm
A regular commenter writes:
September 4, 2008 - 10:16pm
Classes have started, and the usual first-week crises have ensued, so I'm far too wiped for a proper post. Instead, it's the return of Friday Fragments. My Mom sent The Wife some old pictures of me, from high school and college. Actual conversation: TW: You look so skinny! Look, you barely have shoulders! You're like a rail! The Girl (reassuringly): Now you're nice and big, Daddy. Uh, thanks, honey. Conversation from earlier this week: The Boy: Dad, do I have to go to grad school? DD: Noooooo. Noooo, you don't. Nope.
September 3, 2008 - 9:00pm
I've been slapping myself on the forehead all week, so I figured it would be safer to stop slapping and start writing. In the last few weeks, two of the biggest, most respected and sought after employers in our service area told me, independently and without prompting, that they desperately want bilingual employees. In the fields the employers represent, the ability to communicate with the population that actually exists is hugely important, and they've had a terrible time finding bilingual workers with the skills they want.
September 2, 2008 - 11:09pm
A longtime reader writes:
September 1, 2008 - 8:49pm
Although community colleges have a more age-diverse student population than most of the rest of higher ed, the average age of cc students has been dropping for a while. Our fastest growth sectors are traditional-aged students and dual-enrollment students still in high school. Since we're getting more of the classic fresh-out-of-high-school crowd, we're seeing more first-time parental dropoffs than in the past.
August 28, 2008 - 9:37pm
"1st, do not be alarmed by the burning smell in your kitchen." Oh, goody.
August 27, 2008 - 9:54pm
A new correspondent writes:

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