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.

August 19, 2010 - 9:38pm
In this week's kerfuffle about the New Faculty Majority – from which other administrators seem to have learned that such things are best ignored, since engaging just brings flame wars – several commenters asked, with varying degrees of civility, what my answer was.It's severalfold.
August 18, 2010 - 9:34pm
This is one of those “individually rational, collectively insane” moments. The New York Times reported that some of the federal stimulus money that was supposed to save the jobs of teachers, police officers, and other public employees is instead being squirreled away by states and school districts, in anticipation of even lower tax revenues next year. The quote that jumped off the screen for me was:
August 17, 2010 - 9:13pm
Last Sunday, when it was particularly hot outside and we were mostly stuck inside, TG declared that she was going to pretend to be an alien from another planet, observing human behavior. (That’s my girl!) She followed us around for a while, writing down her observations. I’ve transcribed them below; only the spellings have been changed.
August 16, 2010 - 9:11pm
The New Faculty Majority has drafted a proposal calling for adjuncts to get tenure (or its functional equivalent) and proportional pay and benefits for their teaching. A few thoughts:
August 15, 2010 - 9:35pm
A new correspondent writes:Why are ranks at Community Colleges sometimes different from those at 4-year schools? For example, my rank is "Instructor," but I'm full-time tenure track. I only achieve the rank of "Assistant Professor" in five years, after I get tenure. The other ranks are for various levels of promotion.I know it's a minor issue, but frankly it drives me a little nuts having to explain to people that I am, in fact, TT and that I'm not a part-timer. Sometimes I just fudge and say "Assistant Professor," to avoid the confusion.
August 12, 2010 - 9:08pm
In our never-ending quest to help students succeed, we’re taking a fresh look at how we do academic advising on campus. From asking around, it seems like there are several different schools of thought on academic advising, each pretty much talking past the others.
August 12, 2010 - 4:35am
This piece in IHE, and its comments, hit home with me. It’s a variation on a dilemma I face every single semester.Broadly, it’s about the zero-sum truth that if professor X gets assigned a particular class, then it cannot also be assigned to professor Y. When there’s a limited number of sections of a given course or in a given discipline, and they both want the same one, someone has to lose. Determining who has to lose is the enviable job of administration.
August 10, 2010 - 7:25pm
Okay, I’m a little nerdy, but this was a huge moment for us.
August 9, 2010 - 8:40pm
We’ve had some discussions on campus recently about new employee orientation, which starts in a few weeks. The general consensus seems to be that some sort of orientation is called for, but nobody seems terribly happy with the current version.
August 8, 2010 - 8:26pm
In conversation recently with a colleague at another college, I realized that what she was describing something I’ve seen a few times, too. I call it pulling the goalie.


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