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 1, 2010 - 9:41pm
As regular readers know, Marc Bousquet and I are not each other’s biggest fans. That said, he has really outdone himself this time. In a remarkable tirade on InsideHigherEd – sheesh, I take a week off and the standards drop – Bousquet wrote:
October 31, 2010 - 9:39pm
(Note to my readers: sorry about last week. Life intervened much more than I expected it to. Now, back to the regularly scheduled blog.)Sometimes a little cognitive dissonance can be helpful.
October 21, 2010 - 10:09pm
A longtime reader writes:
October 21, 2010 - 3:55am
I’m reminded of what makes working at a college such a privilege.This week I was able to squeeze out a little time between meetings to catch part of a student concert, and then to drop by the club that was doing a table to support the LGBT community in the wake of the recent suicides and sign their banner of support.
October 19, 2010 - 9:28pm
An occasional correspondent writes:Some jobs out there are advertised as requiring a college degree, but the employers don't care what was actually studied. So these employers are in effect using college as a four-year hundred-thousand-dollar screening test, with perhaps a bit of intellectual calisthenics for good measure.
October 18, 2010 - 8:54pm
Last night The Wife and I were working on The Girl’s Halloween costume. She had planned to dress as Medusa, but we couldn’t get the hair right, so she’s going instead as Cleopatra. The costume involves a dress that’s too long for her, so we were trying to figure out how to shorten it so she wouldn’t trip over it, while not making it look awful. Actual conversation fragment:DD: Well, you could roll it up a little and sort of pin it on the sides...TW: No, that would look terrible.TG: Daddy, you have to think like a girl. What do girls like?
October 17, 2010 - 9:40pm
As a teenager in the 1980’s, I saw most of the important teen movies of the era. One of the staples of 80’s teen movies was the moment when the screwup hero realized that he had imbibed (or allowed others to imbibe at a forbidden party) much of what was in the parents’ liquor cabinet -- these houses always had well-stocked liquor cabinets -- and didn’t want to get caught. Invariably, he’d add water to the various bottles to make the cabinet look, at first glance, undisturbed. Tossing bottles would have given the game away.
October 15, 2010 - 1:04am
For bloggers of a certain vintage -- those of us who marched into the academic blogosphere around 2004-5 -- the news that Bitch, Ph.D. has called it a day is a bit of a shock.
October 13, 2010 - 10:24pm
Last week I had a nice discussion with some people who work at nearby four-year schools. We were discussing the various points at which students seem to get sidetracked. Everyone agreed that the first semester is key, but the discussion became a bit more challenging after that.My counterparts moved to a discussion of the second year of college. They mentioned that the sophomore year is when students need to declare a major, and that students who can’t commit to anything at that point are at much higher risk of walking away.
October 13, 2010 - 12:01am
An alert reader sent me this link to a Boston Globe story about Harvard eliminating its final exam period.We’ve had similar discussions here, though the reasons aren’t all the same. I’d love to hear from wise and worldly readers who have lived through a similar transition, and who know from experience what the concrete issues are.


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