• 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.


Friday Fragments

Students coming back, a giant stepping down and a query.

August 27, 2021

On Thursday I saw some actual students on campus. They had won scholarships as part of a STEM grant, and we had a ceremony to congratulate them. After the ceremony, but before the pizza arrived, we just spent some time chatting.

I hadn’t seen a group of students in person for far too long. It was restorative. They were excited to be here, with a blend of insouciance and naïveté that wins me over every time.

It’s time to get back to what we do.


I was surprised to see the news of Freeman Hrabowski’s retirement. He’s the longtime president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and probably the public speaker I’d least want to follow.

Hrabowski has been a forceful, charismatic and highly effective advocate for equity in higher education for decades. He leaves his university, and higher ed over all, better than he found it. I tip my cap. Well done, sir.


A question for my wise and worldly readers who work on campuses with mask mandates, and where classes have already started:

Are students complying? Relatedly, are you getting a lot of defiance?

I’d love to hear. I can be reached at deandad (at) gmail (dot) com, or on Twitter (@deandad).



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