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 10, 2011 - 8:49pm
Oh sure -- the New York Times puts up a paywall, and then finally runs an intelligent article about community colleges. Thanks.If you’re able to access it, this piece discusses people consciously choosing to spend the first two years of a much longer college education at a community college as a cost-cutting measure. The idea is to build up a slew of transferable credits at low cost, so that when you get to the four-year school, you’re only paying their rate for two years.
April 7, 2011 - 11:35pm
A few weeks ago I promised a piece on remedial levels. It’s a huge topic, and my own expertise is badly limited. That said...Community colleges catch a lot of flak for teaching so many sections of remedial (the preferred term now is “developmental”) math and English. (For present purposes, I’ll sidestep the politically loaded question of whether ESL should be considered developmental.) In a perfect world, every student who gets here would have been prepared well in high school, and would arrive ready to tackle college-level work.
April 7, 2011 - 1:02am
A returning correspondent writes:
April 5, 2011 - 9:44pm
How long does a search for a full-time faculty member take on your campus?I’ve been struck at the disconnect between urgent messages of “we need more full-timers right now!” and the lachrymose “the committee will meet when it gets around to it.” The cynical part of me thinks that if the first message were true, the second wouldn’t happen.
April 4, 2011 - 11:01pm
A new correspondent writes:I guess no one warned me earlier, but I really had no idea how dire it is out there getting academic jobs nowadays. I'm thinking I'll have the phd within 3 years from now, at which point I'll have to figure out what I'm going to do to make a living. One option that I've been considering more and more is teaching at a community college.
April 3, 2011 - 8:57pm
I’ve been chewing on this piece from IHE for several days now. Apparently, many women in the philosophy field have grown tired of sexist jerks committing sexual harassment with impunity.
March 31, 2011 - 11:49pm
An alert reader sent me a link to this article that suggests that too much choice (of courses and programs) for students can be paralyzing. Taken farther, it suggests that one way to improve graduation rates would be to run fewer programs.I actually agree with this.
March 30, 2011 - 9:51pm
- I love this poem. Hat-tip to Mary-Kim Arnold for flagging it.- The Boy and The Girl had an Ice Cream Social at their school last night. The cafeteria became a sundae bar, and the kids moved back and forth between that and the gym, where a dj played music and the girls danced. Anyone who wants to study gender in action should attend an elementary school ice cream social. The Moms are connected, buzzing with activity and emotion. The Dads drift, gamely but aimlessly, like cordial pinballs.
March 29, 2011 - 10:25pm
Shared governance has many definitions, and the boundaries can be fuzzy. But most academics have a pretty clear idea that in the academic context, part of shared governance involves faculty control over curriculum. Administrators are well-advised to tread as lightly as possible in curriculum, ideally functioning mostly as traffic cops. Make sure the process is followed and the course descriptions in the printed catalog match the ones online -- which sounds simple but isn’t -- and otherwise don’t mess with it.
March 28, 2011 - 9:50pm
I file this one under “instant classic.” A new correspondent writes:[I]f you are asked "how has your teaching changed over the years" or "how has your management of people changed over the years" or "how has your interaction with clients changed over the years" the wrong answer is "it hasn't."The best professionals are continually evaluating their performance and making tweaks to improve - no improvement = no evaluation of past performance in my book.

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