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.

September 29, 2010 - 10:53pm
One of the privileges of the first amendment is the ability to call out the government when it’s dangerously off-base. Jill Biden’s community college summit looks like it’s set to go dangerously off-base. It’s designed to miss the point.Look at the roster of participants. Not a single community college professor or on-campus administrator, but the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is there, as is the CEO of Accenture.
September 29, 2010 - 4:38am
I had a conversation a few days ago with a professor who helped me understand some of the otherwise-puzzling opposition faculty have shown to actually using the general education outcomes they themselves voted into place.
September 27, 2010 - 9:55pm
You major in criminal justice because you want to work in law enforcement. You major in Nursing because you want to be a nurse. You major in business because you think that’s how you get a job in business. You major in liberal arts because...?
September 26, 2010 - 9:58pm
There’s an old saying to the effect that a difference of degree eventually becomes a difference of kind. One could say, for example, that Albert Pujols is a better hitter than I am, but the difference in our respective skill levels is so drastic that subsuming both of us under the category of ‘hitters’ is misleading. The chasm between us amounts to a phase shift.We’re beginning to see that phase shift with online education.
September 22, 2010 - 9:21pm
The Wife and I have hit the “chauffeur” stage of parenting.The Boy has Fall baseball now, and will have basketball shortly. The Girl has gymnastics and soccer. TW is taking an evening class. I have evening events at work, and a manuscript deadline looming.Family life is largely about transportation.
September 21, 2010 - 11:19pm
A thoughtful reader forwarded me a link to his blog post, in which he sets out a few, fairly narrow conditions under which he considers it appropriate for administrators to “tackle the faculty.” They are:--When you have a legal obligation or a mandate from further up the administrative food chain. "I know you don't like it, folks, but we have to do it."
September 20, 2010 - 10:10pm
Should professors with full-time positions at college A be allowed to teach as adjuncts at college B?
September 19, 2010 - 10:02pm
Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’ve received several variations on the same question recently: when a student doesn’t get into a Nursing program, what should s/he do next?It’s a great question, but the answers aren’t easy.
September 16, 2010 - 10:04pm
A new correspondent writes:
September 16, 2010 - 4:32am
Last week, there was a thought-provoking post over at IHE about lessons that the nonprofit sector of higher ed could learn from the for-profit sector. It’s worth checking out.Having worked in both, I mentioned in the comments that the lower-tier nonprofits, such as community colleges, would do well to learn certain lessons from the for-profits. One really basic one is the importance of addressing a certain kind of cultural capital that elite students already have, but that community college students generally don’t.


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