Higher Education Webinars

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.

November 22, 2011 - 9:37pm
I was never much of a batter. I wouldn’t make contact terribly often, and when I did, I only ever hit down the third base line. If you’re a right-handed batter like me, that’s a sign of swinging too early.
November 21, 2011 - 10:30pm
What do you expect a college graduate to know?  What do you expect a college graduate to be like? The questions are very different.  They start from different assumptions, and are usually asked by different people with different goals.  A good answer to one may not shed much light on the other.
November 20, 2011 - 10:26pm
Dear Chancellor Katehi, I imagine you’re feeling burned right now.  You trusted the wrong people, and find yourself in a completely untenable position.   You know perfectly well that what the police did to peaceful protesters was beyond reason. There’s really no disputing that. The right to peaceable assembly is well-enshrined in American law, and for good reason. The videos speak for themselves.   Your people overshot. But you know that.
November 17, 2011 - 9:38pm
A few years ago, I read a piece about airlines “bumping” passengers who had legitimate tickets.  (I’ve never understood how it’s legal to sell the same seat twice, but that’s another post.)  The article made the point that some central computer makes decisions that result in bumping, but that agents at counters have to deal with angry passengers, so over time, agents at counters started entering ‘dummy’ passengers with names like Mickey Mouse so they could outsmart the computer. Mickey Mouse wouldn’t yell at them if he got bumped. Over time, the computer compensated by overbooking even more. 
November 17, 2011 - 4:19am
The computer club had a bake sale on campus.  As I neared the table, one of the students called out “Save a nerd!  Buy a cookie!”  Impressed, I complied.
November 15, 2011 - 9:59pm
What if college got cheaper as you went along?
November 14, 2011 - 10:03pm
I have a close, longtime friend who has lived the mixed blessing of getting what she has wanted, when she has wanted it.  Luckily for her, she generally has good taste, but she has boxed herself into corners a few times when circumstances refused to conspire to save her from herself. I’m thinking that the last couple of years are conspiring to save for-profit higher ed from itself.
November 14, 2011 - 3:59am
A returning correspondent writes: Our FT faculty are exploring the creating of a Faculty Senate and allowing adjuncts to participate.
November 10, 2011 - 9:16pm
At dinner last night, TW saw a ladybug crawling on the wall.  I was drafted to catch it and set it loose outside, but it fell to the floor and scurried under the rug.
November 10, 2011 - 3:00am
A new correspondent writes with a seemingly simple question: What professional development do you recommend for a newly appointed community college Dean of Instruction?


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