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.

January 7, 2008 - 11:17pm
Although I've been doing this for some time, I still don't fully understand how course levels are determined. This is particularly true in the social sciences and humanities, where you don't have relatively hard and fast prerequisites to settle the question. Is "Women in Film" properly a 200 level course or a 300 level course? What about "Psychology of Aging" or "Civil Liberties"? More interestingly, how do you know? In my neck of the woods, this is becoming a high-stakes question.
January 6, 2008 - 10:03pm
A new correspondent, currently on the administrative job market, writes:
January 3, 2008 - 9:25pm
An occasional correspondent writes: I have an interview for a job. It will be a big change for me if it works out. Director of Academic (Support Function) at Nearby College. NC is a regional private school that has a good academic reputation. The position will report to the VPAA. I have a friend who teaches there and she likes the VPAA a lot and also knows the other folks the person will interact with and likes them as well. She inquired on my behalf and found that I was already on their short list and our connection helped.
January 2, 2008 - 9:26pm
"Matriculated" is one of those SAT words that people outside of higher ed administration almost never use. ("Bursar" is another.) It refers to enrollment pursuant to a degree. It's not the same as "enrolled" per se; someone who enrolls in a class or two for personal interest, with no intention of getting a degree, can enroll on a "non-matriculated" basis.
January 2, 2008 - 6:50am
A few highlights from the holiday break: Words coined by The Girl: hoggy (synonym for piggy); aminal; psghettio's; velcwo (my fave) ***
December 21, 2007 - 7:55am
A few highlights of the Christmas preparation season:
December 20, 2007 - 10:30pm
I suppose this was inevitable. The unholy convergence of unaccountable tenure decisions; the up-or-out nature of tenure; anti-discrimination clauses; and adventuresome lawyers has given birth to this.
December 18, 2007 - 9:18pm
No. Oh God, no. No, no, no. Nein. Nyet. Non. Huh-uh. Negative. I'll qualify that. Extra credit that's built into the syllabus from day one, available to all students equally and in advance, can be defensible. I'd worry if it counted for very much -- a course grade should ultimately reflect performance on the core of the course, rather than the periphery -- but I can see an argument for moving a B to a B-plus in an art history class if the student does (and documents) some museum trips, say.
December 18, 2007 - 5:09am
There has to be a better way. I have what seems like thirty thousand logins, each requiring its own username and password combination. (That's not even counting PIN numbers.) Since the identity theft awareness campaigns have gained steam, some of these systems have changed their password rules to prevent anything easy toremember. As the number of username/password combinations has metastasized, I've found exactly three ways of dealing with the information cascade, none satisfactory.
December 16, 2007 - 9:03pm
This is really an exercise in idea-stealing, rather than a developed thought. Have you seen (or do you work at) a cc that does a consistently good job of presenting its faculty in public settings as local experts?

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