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 26, 2007 - 6:14am
(The confusion evident in this post isn't just a function of sloppy editing; it's an accurate reflection of my actual confusion on this issue.) The recent dustup over the hiring, then non-hiring, then hiring of a law school dean who had published an op-ed critical of the Bush administration got me thinking about academic freedom, and freedom of speech more generally, for administrators.
September 25, 2007 - 6:39am
Garrison Keillor recently wrote something to the effect that it's shocking to wake up one morning and realize that the guys you knew in school as “Lumpy” and “Numbnuts” are now running the country. I'm not there yet, but I'm starting to see my contemporaries pop up in some pretty prominent places. It's always a shock to see new pictures of folks you knew many years ago. They look so...grown up. Which means, by extension... Humph. Yes. Well.
September 24, 2007 - 6:02am
Evil HR Lady gave me a heads-up regarding a question she received about adjoining faculty offices, when the respective faculty have very different levels of noise tolerance. The original conversation is well worth checking out. It brought back memories.
September 21, 2007 - 6:09am
There's a great pair of posts up over at Bardiac's dealing with frustration over repeated overpromising (and selective guru loyalty) by administration. They're worth checking out.
September 20, 2007 - 8:43am
The Girl, her big pink teddy bear, and I are sitting on the couch in the family room. TG: Let's play hide and seek! DD: Okay. TG: I know a good hiding place! DD: Okay. I'll count! (I hide my eyes) TG: (giggles) DD: one...two...three... TG: (giggles) DD: nine..ten! (Eyes open) Ready or not, here I come! Next to me, I spy a recumbent girl with a big pink teddy bear covering her face. Her legs are crossed and knees up, so one foot is almost in my face. DD: (laugh out loud) DD: I WONDER WHERE TG COULD BE?
September 19, 2007 - 6:13am
A new correspondent asks for help decoding a job ad: I would like to solicit input from you and your audience concerning a position posted recently by my employer, a medium- community college in a rural area. They are looking for someone to coordinate services for adjunct faculty. This is a new position, so there’s not any track record about how serving in that capacity might affect one’s career path. Salary/benefits, while not great, are consistent (as near as I can tell) with other positions of similar rank/function at the college.
September 18, 2007 - 6:35am
I enjoy two kinds of movies. The first kind is the “Good Movie.” Good Movies can be identified by such traits as intelligent writing, sensitive direction, quality acting, and the like: Network leaps to mind, or maybe Heathers. Not all good movies are good in every way – watching again as an adult, I was struck at how poor the dialogue and acting were in Star Wars – but they usually have enough good in them that you can endorse them in public and not feel cheap or exposed.
September 17, 2007 - 5:53am
According to this article (and check out the comments!), the governor of New Jersey just signed a law mandating that the four-year public colleges there recognize the academic credits students earn at the state's community colleges. The idea, apparently, is to allow a student who graduates a cc with a two-year degree to complete the remainder of a four-year degree in two more years. This is one of those “well, duh” laws that makes you wonder why it wasn't passed years ago.
September 12, 2007 - 6:45am
Like many cc's, mine is banging its head against the wall trying to reverse a long-term decline in the number of adult students. Contrary to stereotype, most of our enrollment growth has been in students age 19 and under. Our enrollments in the 22-and-up demographic have been slipping for some time.
September 11, 2007 - 6:33am
Yesterday, I advised cultivating a certain indifference to the unwritten rules. Today's post is about the written ones. Folks who haven't worked in management frequently respond to managers' frustration with common-sense questions, like “why can't they just get it right the first time?” Questions like these are often based on invalid assumptions, such as the commonplace assumption that somewhere, someone has an up-to-date book with all of the rules and procedures in it. Nope.

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