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.

March 20, 2012 - 10:00pm
Some stories have deeper roots than others. This story is about a change to Federal financial aid policy that’s taking effect July 1. At that point, no new students can receive financial aid -- or from what I’ve been told, could even pay their own way if the college itself is financial aid eligible -- to attend college if they don’t already have a high school diploma or a GED.  (Dual or concurrent enrollment programs are exempted.) That means that the “ability to benefit” test will no longer work; students who show up without either a diploma or a GED have to go get one.
March 19, 2012 - 9:50pm
A new correspondent writes: "I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I do (or don't) want to move farther into academic administration. I've been chair of my department, as well as chair of my division of my institution, but I haven't (yet) taken on a full-time administrative position."
March 18, 2012 - 9:03pm
An occasional correspondent writes: "I'm the most junior tenured member of my department, in which some of the more senior tenured faculty are not on speaking terms with each other. For complicated reasons, I'm also going to be the chair of this department next year. Any tips on how to handle this situation?"
March 16, 2012 - 2:25am
As an administrator, some victories are so subtle that you’d miss them from the outside. This week we had one of those, and I just want to write it down before I forget it.
March 15, 2012 - 2:00am
Santa Monica College in California is proposing setting up new, premium sections of popular courses at higher cost for students who are shut out of subsidized sections. The cost difference is dramatic: rather than the $36 per credit they’d pay in subsidized classes, students would have to pay about $200 per credit. The idea is to allow the college to run the extra sections on a break-even basis.
March 14, 2012 - 4:28am
A returning correspondent writes: I am trying to figure out whether and how to give advice to colleagues at another public institution in my state, in my field, where it's fairly clear the chief academic officer has set up insane internal incentives ...
March 13, 2012 - 3:08am
What would it look like if, say, the Federal government were to decide to prioritize good college-level teaching at the same level that it supports university research?
March 12, 2012 - 3:55am
A reader asks about moving from a faculty slot to a position in retention and student services.
March 8, 2012 - 9:52pm
You’d think I would have learned to expect it by now, but I’m still surprised by the volume of email and delayed meetings that backs up while I’m traveling. Yesterday was a dig-out-from-the-avalanche day, and today features seven scheduled meetings. This is why I don’t travel much.
March 7, 2012 - 9:51pm
A new, young correspondent writes: "What departments/subjects, in your experience, do community colleges have the greatest demand for? Which, if any, departments do administrations have difficulty filling positions in? Simply put, which Masters degree would make me most valuable as a candidate: Political Science, Economics, History or an MBA?"

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