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.

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.

November 27, 2007 - 9:50pm
A returning correspondent writes: I'm just starting to think of the hiring season and, while I'm at a urban high school and that's differentfrom a CC or 4-year SLAC, it seems that you and I face similar questions about hiring... I'm the math department chair. I have a relatively small staff, but experience pretty high turn-over. The basic question: what do you do to attract more mid-career folks? We have a salary schedule that puts us slightly below average for the area.
November 26, 2007 - 10:28pm
Although some on campus like to talk about The Administration as a monolith, like The Borg, it's actually composed of two major parts which don't always work in perfect harmony.
November 26, 2007 - 8:59am
A few vignettes from the holiday weekend: *** The Boy at lunch: "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with 'oilet.' " He followed that with "I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with 'oilet maper.' " ***
November 21, 2007 - 10:32am
Aspazia, characteristically, has a thought-provoking post about applied ethics. This time it's about some partial scholarships that her husband's college has extended to some economically challenged students. In essence, the scholarships are enough to make the college seem affordable, but the students still have to work outside of class a significant number of hours to make ends meet.
November 19, 2007 - 11:17pm
My cc is taking a new look at guidelines for "advisory boards" for various "occupational" degree programs. (A quick definition: an "occupational" degree refers to one designed primarily to make students employable in a given field upon graduation. Its counterpart is the "transfer" degree, which is intended to be the first half of a bachelor's degree. Transfer degrees typically include much more "gen ed," and their intended audience is four-year colleges and universities, rather than employers.)
November 19, 2007 - 8:43am
The Chronicle has had a series over the last week or so about the salaries of college Presidents.
November 15, 2007 - 8:41pm
A new correspondent writes: I am a Department Head for a large urban CC in a very small vocational program.Seven years ago I hired a friend who was well qualified for the Instructional Aide position (part of our FT faculty bargaining unit). She came to me this week to let me know she is leaving at thebeginning of the Spring semester (January 11th).
November 14, 2007 - 10:35pm
Although the very thought of it makes some academics blanch, I'm beginning to think that "evidence-based management" could be really useful in solving some nagging academic problems. As I understand it -- and I'm no expert -- "evidence-based management" takes as a given that it's appropriate to look at statistical patterns that have emerged over time, and to use those as reality checks for future decisions. It's particularly helpful in testing long-held assumptions for which we somehow keep noticing exceptions.
November 14, 2007 - 6:14am
In the context of discussing ways to encourage her colleagues to try to reach students at different levels of demonstrated ability, Dr. Crazy inadvertently a very different issue:
November 12, 2007 - 11:40pm
According to IHE, the latest proposed extension of the Higher Education Act contains, among other things, a provision requiring that colleges and universities "develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property." Huh?

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