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 8, 2011 - 9:51pm
I’ve been following with interest the stories about the Federal government trying to decide which measures to use to judge the performance of various community colleges against each other.Unfortunately, it appears that some of the measures chosen are far too simplified to give good information.
September 8, 2011 - 9:51pm
I’ve been following with interest the stories about the Federal government trying to decide which measures to use to judge the performance of various community colleges against each other. Unfortunately, it appears that some of the measures chosen are far too simplified to give good information.
September 7, 2011 - 10:17pm
September 7, 2011 - 3:51am
The AACC and League for Innovation conferences have both issued their calls for proposals for their Spring conferences. The conferences feature people from community colleges across the country, and at their best, they highlight useful discoveries and/or experiments.
September 5, 2011 - 7:59pm
The Boy is starting fifth grade, as hard as it is for me to process that. In our district, fifth grade means moving to a new school building, far from the cozy confines of the much smaller elementary school. He’s ridiculously smart, but still sweetly sensitive, which means that he could be easy prey for the Lord of the Flies types he’ll run across over the next few years. On Saturday he lost a tooth, and the tooth fairy forgot to come. She forgot again on Sunday.TW and I discussed it. It was time.
September 1, 2011 - 10:34pm
Earlier this week I had a pair of meetings right on top of each other that made for a hell of a contrast.The first involved a discussion of academic programs that haven’t been achieving the results they should. When I suggested that years of sustained underperformance constituted a pretty good case for trying something different, I was upbraided by a long-tenured professor who was Shocked and Appalled that I would dare to suggest that the program was anything less than perfect. As far as she was concerned, the only possible formula for improvement involved more of the same.
August 31, 2011 - 10:03pm
What’s the role of ESL at a community college?It isn’t obvious.ESL refers to English as a Second Language. In many states, responsibility for ESL classes falls on community colleges. It can be an awkward fit, since it isn’t obvious how to gauge success.One model puts ESL alongside other languages. If we give general education credit for, say, French 1, then why shouldn’t we for ESL 1?
August 31, 2011 - 4:31am
Okay, it’s late August, your college has a policy that nothing outside of a few specialized classes (clinicals, studios, labs, and developmental, mostly) runs with fewer than fifteen students. You have an outlying section with seven students. Will it run?The bane of administration is having to predict the future like that over and over again.
August 29, 2011 - 9:48pm
Why can’t you re-sell a “used” e-book?I can’t come up with a decent technical reason that it couldn’t be done. Yes, e-books are “licensed,” but licenses can be sold or transferred. That shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. If I buy (or “license”) a kindle book for ten bucks, why can’t I sell that license to someone else, for, say, five?The only answer I can come up with is that the booksellers don’t want it to happen. They don’t have much choice with paper books, so they grudgingly tolerate used sales there, but they have the option -- for now -- of not tolerating it with e-books.
August 28, 2011 - 8:48pm
The good news is that Hurricane Irene didn’t inflict any major damage on us. I know that’s not true for everyone, and my sympathies to those who were hit. TW’s parents were up all night on Saturday bailing out their basement, which is no fun at all. But all was not sweetness and light. Anyone with youngish kids knows what happens when the entire family is stuck inside for the entire weekend due to weather.Cabin fever. It ain’t pretty.

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