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.

April 20, 2008 - 10:23pm
I've been doing a fair bit of interviewing at other campuses lately, but I've also been interviewing candidates for an administrative position (not my own) on my campus. (My VP knows I'm interviewing elsewhere, so there's no issue of failure to disclose.) Having been through the wringer myself several times in the last few weeks, watching others interview has been fascinating.
April 17, 2008 - 8:41pm
A Tennessee correspondent writes: Does building a new community college make economic sense for a cash-strapped community? Where can one go to get a good analysis of the cost to a community to build, staff, and operate a community college? Our country commissioners have slipped $3 million into a $70 million general bond issue to fund a community college. Details are vague (and apparently not forthcoming) about who is going to actually own the property, how the operating budget will be funded, etc.
April 16, 2008 - 9:29pm
An alert reader sent me links to these articles from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about a power struggle among the Westmoreland County commissioners, the Westmoreland CC Board of Trustees, and the President at WCCC, near Pittsburgh.
April 15, 2008 - 10:29pm
My local school board continues to impress me. Last night the gym at TB's school was partitioned right down the middle: science fair on one side, school budget election on the other. Get the parents to show up for their kids' science fair projects, and by the way, have them vote. (I brought TG in the booth with me, and had her press the 'cast vote' button. TW did the same with TB. Model those habits early!) Since these elections typically come down to parental turnout, it's a savvy move.
April 14, 2008 - 9:35pm
This article in IHE is one of those peel-the-onion pieces in which the more you think about it, the more there is to discuss. Apparently, a new report by the AAUP takes the regional accreditation agencies to task for failing to confront the trend towards adjunct faculty.
April 14, 2008 - 4:42am
I'll admit it: I want contradictory things for The Girl. I want her to grow up to be a strong and independent woman, but wouldn't mind if she skipped the whole 'rebellious' thing, at least in regard to her parents. (Since she's still a preschooler, I can still cherish this illusion.) I want her to be both confident and gracious, both brilliant and humble, and both sociable and autonomous. How hard can *that* be? I may be biased, but she *is* an amazing kid.
April 10, 2008 - 8:55pm
Right now I'm in the midst of an unbloggable circus, so letters are especially welcome. An earnest correspondent in the middle of nowhere writes: I'm an adjunct at a local CC, and I have two questions.
April 9, 2008 - 9:33pm
Several readers this week have asked variations on the same question. 'Tis the season, I guess. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 8, 2008 - 10:24pm
One of the recurrent themes at the AACC panels was the difficulty in measuring the relative success of a community college, and the utter lack of rewards for that success. In the absence of either appropriate measures or incentives, judging performance - and encouraging good performance - is far harder than it ought to be.
April 7, 2008 - 9:54pm
Yesterday I mentioned just how impressed I was by Kay McClenney's panel on the "Bridges to Opportunity" initiative of the Ford Foundation. Although I can't do it justice, a few highlights (and since the facts flew fast and furious, and I may have gotten some of them wrong, anyone in the states mentioned who knows better is invited to comment):

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