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 5, 2007 - 6:36am
The New York Times ran a front-page article yesterday with the shocking – shocking, I say – news that colleges with reduced state funding and regulated tuition levels have made up part of the difference by jacking up the fees they actually control. The article specified one college charging a 'curriculum fee,' which I thought was especially creative. (There's one college near me – pseudonymity prevents my revealing it – that charges a per-credit parking fee, whether you register a car or not.
September 4, 2007 - 6:32am
A returning correspondent writes:
August 31, 2007 - 7:09am
As those last few students trickle in to last-minute registration, those of us who throw ourselves into the scrum at in-person registration have to get increasingly creative to help them assemble schedules. Between flat-to-retreating public funding and an unexpected (and welcome!) enrollment bump, we're suddenly completely full in some of the evergreen disciplines. This is a good problem to have, but it's still a problem.
August 30, 2007 - 6:52am
In an aside last week, I mentioned that my first semester at Snooty Liberal Arts College was an academic belly-flop. A few folks commented and/or wrote to say that they experienced the same thing: after a relatively strong academic performance in high school, they hit the wall in the first semester of college. They (and I) bounced back after that first semester, but the first semester wasn't pretty. All these years (ahem) later, it's still hard to reconstruct just exactly what happened.
August 29, 2007 - 6:06am
New Jersey has been all over the higher ed headlines this week. Two pieces of great news:
August 28, 2007 - 6:56am
In a never-ending quest to serve demonstrated needs, we're considering developing certificate programs in some newly emerging professions:
August 27, 2007 - 6:19am
A new correspondent writes:
August 24, 2007 - 8:32am
(I'm thinking out loud in this post, looking for constructive suggestions. This is not some sort of position paper.) How does your college handle grade appeals by students? Has it found a fair, reasonable, and aboveboard way? I ask because we're going through another catalog revision, and having taken a fresh look at some sections that nobody has looked at in a while, I found a pretty untenable grade appeal process. I've called it to my colleagues' attention, who agree that the existing policy doesn't make sense, but we aren't quite sure what to propose to replace it.
August 23, 2007 - 6:47am
An alert reader sent me a link to the Washington Monthly's rating of the top 30 community colleges in America.
August 22, 2007 - 6:16am
A returning correspondent whose pet course got canceled for low enrollment writes: So, I've been thinking what I might do to make it run this spring, beyond hanging up posters in the fall, talking it up with my students, and so on.



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