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.

June 13, 2010 - 9:33pm
Does your college's administration have a clue, or is it a living, breathing refutation of both Darwin and Intelligent Design? Take this simple test and find out!1. Does your college allow new students to enroll, fresh off the street, after classes have started? (I'm not referring to drop/add. I'm referring to entirely new enrollments; the kid wasn't a student yesterday, but he is today.)a. Yes.b. No.Scoring: If you answered 'a,' your administration is utterly clueless. If you answered 'b,' there's hope.
June 10, 2010 - 9:51pm
Is there a higher education bubble?I've read several commentaries recently asserting that we're in one. The bill of particulars usually includes some mix of the following:-- Enrollments in colleges and universities are the highest they've ever been.-- Tuition is the highest it has ever been, even after inflation, and it's increasing much faster than inflation.-- In the Great Recession, many new graduates are simply unable to pay back their impressively high student loans
June 9, 2010 - 9:42pm
This post by Tenured Radical is one of the best things I've read in a long time. It was occasioned by the semi-forced retirement of Helen Thomas, the journalist whose comments about Israel and Palestine ended her career, but the part that spoke to me was the part about the Venerable Tenured Icon who had gone badly off the rails. It's worth quoting at length:
June 8, 2010 - 9:28pm
The short answer is no.The longer answer is complicated.Over the last year, I've had more candidates ask me this than I had in the previous several years combined. I suspect it's a function of the abruptly-worse job market, in which people who might have been shoo-ins in the past unexpectedly fall short. I've heard it asked out of apparently sincere bafflement, in an I'm-trying-to-trip-you-up tone, and in indignant anger. I can't answer any of them.
June 7, 2010 - 10:21pm
Although I know I'm tempting the speech-code-police to come after me, I'll admit that if I were king of higher ed for a day, I'd ban the phrase "get your gen eds out of the way." It's one of those phrases that well-meaning advisors use to try to help students plan their schedules. But I'm convinced it does untold damage.
June 6, 2010 - 9:36pm
I take a week off from blogging, and Wal-Mart announces that it's entering higher education! I can't leave you people alone for one minute...
May 28, 2010 - 5:42am
I'll be off next week, returning to the blog on June 7. The book keeps on refusing to write itself, oddly enough, so it's time for some woodshedding. And those fact-checkers are brutal! Okay, technically, I never actually had an affair with Ashley Judd, but you have to admit it livened up chapter three! I mean, sheesh.Back to the drawing board. See you in a week!
May 26, 2010 - 9:49pm
All that discussion of 'unbundling' and new technology in yesterday's post got me thinking about some gadgetry I'd like to see. Since I know some of my readers are also pretty tech-savvy, I invite their suggestions too.-- An e-reader that isn't too heavy or expensive, and that makes citing pages easy. We academic types like to be able to annotate and cite page numbers when we quote.
May 26, 2010 - 5:21am
Anya Kamenetz' new book, DIY U, is a celebration of "edupunks" and of the corrosive effects of new technology on traditional higher education. It's a quick read on a great topic, and it makes some worthwhile points, but I just couldn't get past a fundamental flaw in its argument. It mistakes elitism for liberation.
May 24, 2010 - 10:14pm
This is one of those "yeah, but" stories. The impulse is good, but the details are tricky.Apparently, the faculty at the Art Institute of Seattle, a for-profit college, is doing an underground drive to unionize with the American Federation of Teachers. The idea, according to the IHE story, is to put in place safeguards that will allow faculty to give honest grades without fear of reprisal. (The 'fear of reprisal' part also explains the 'underground' part.)Hmm.

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