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.

April 28, 2011 - 9:09pm
Apparently, Mt Hood Community College in Oregon is responding to a threatened faculty strike by threatening hire permanent replacements. I called it in 2005. From my (admittedly callow) piece then:
April 27, 2011 - 9:53pm
Yesterday’s piece in IHE about traps that college presidents routinely fall into is well worth a read. It outlines several flaws that can consume capable leaders. The first and third -- an inability to accept the possibility of disagreement, and an inability to put one’s own ego aside -- strike me as largely the same thing, and relatively easy to avoid. But the second one hit close to home.
April 26, 2011 - 9:37pm
Tenured Radical has a thoughtful piece about faculty taking the bait when students with political agendas try to provoke them. It’s well worth a read.
April 25, 2011 - 9:37pm
In a timely note, a regular correspondent writes:My college is on a big push to do course evals... we do them at midterm and the end of the course. So about every 7 weeks. Understandably students get burned out on all that evaluating and drag their feet about completing them, so we receive several "tips" a week about how to get students to do so, such as this (it's all cookie cutter stuff from onlinecourseevaluations.com, no problem sharing them):Getting Response Rates Tip 4:
April 24, 2011 - 9:27pm
For a few years in the mid-2000’s, I was a fan of satellite radio. I had a longish commute, and there was only so much NPR I could endure, especially during pledge drives. I loved the variety of music satellite offered -- I was a particular fan of “beyond jazz” on XM -- and was convinced that the business model made sense; although there may not be many fans-per-square-mile for any given genre of music, there are probably enough across the country to justify a station. It was the “long tail” applied to music, enabled by technology.
April 21, 2011 - 8:59pm
A perplexed correspondent writes:
April 20, 2011 - 9:52pm
A new correspondent writes:I am the library director at a small liberal arts institution. I have worked closely with the administration and also served on many standing and ad hoc faculty committees. Looking 10 years or so into the future, I feel very drawn to, well, jobs like yours. Community colleges particularly interest me because I started out in public libraries and still feel drawn to that broader public mission.
April 19, 2011 - 9:30pm
Over the past week, I've heard three separate discussions of invisible hoops in the job market that disfavor folks who are already disfavored. Since that describes the majority of cc students, it seems relevant here.
April 18, 2011 - 10:19pm
The Wife is Catholic, and I’m not. She’s raising the kids Catholic, though we’ve negotiated some boundaries on that.The Boy has a friend who is a Jehovah’s Witness, which occasioned the following discussion in the car on the way home from Mass. (I wasn’t there; this is according to TW.)TB: He doesn’t believe the same things I believe, but it’s still okay to be friends with him, right?TW: Of course! Good people believe all kinds of different things, and they’re still good people. Like I’m Catholic, and so are you, and so is TG, but Daddy is...
April 17, 2011 - 9:36pm
One of my colleagues calls this month “Hatepril.” It’s an awful time. With the academic year in the final stretch, nearly everybody is fried. The faculty are tired and cranky, and not at their best; the students are tired and scared; the administrators are overscheduled to within inches of our lives.

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