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.

May 3, 2011 - 9:21pm
I’ve followed with interest the outbreak of tornadoes in the South and Midwest, especially in Arkansas. Several colleges there have had to truncate their semesters, just because the local area was so devastated. (As far as I know, direct damage to campuses themselves was not the driving reason.) First of all, my condolences to everyone who has lost people. The sheer randomness of it all makes it hard to attach any sort of sense to it.
May 2, 2011 - 9:23pm
The Boy and The Girl are old enough now to play sports, but still too young to drive. (Right now we’re in baseball and softball season, respectively. Many of the games start at 5:00. 5:00! Don’t people work?) The end-of-semester event crunch at the college is in full swing, with the rubber chicken circuit becoming so active that some nights are double-booked. TW is increasingly involved with local politics, attending school board and town council meetings on a frequent basis as she fights the good fight for the schools.
May 1, 2011 - 9:08pm
A few years ago, at a job interview in another state -- it would have been the worst fit ever, but I didn’t know that at the time -- I ran across a program in which the local community college more or less gives its syllabi to local high schools, and allows the local high school faculty to teach their courses for college credit. (Of course, the students have to pay tuition to the cc.) It flew under the banner of “dual enrollment.”
April 28, 2011 - 9:09pm
Apparently, Mt Hood Community College in Oregon is responding to a threatened faculty strike by threatening hire permanent replacements. I called it in 2005. From my (admittedly callow) piece then:
April 27, 2011 - 9:53pm
Yesterday’s piece in IHE about traps that college presidents routinely fall into is well worth a read. It outlines several flaws that can consume capable leaders. The first and third -- an inability to accept the possibility of disagreement, and an inability to put one’s own ego aside -- strike me as largely the same thing, and relatively easy to avoid. But the second one hit close to home.
April 26, 2011 - 9:37pm
Tenured Radical has a thoughtful piece about faculty taking the bait when students with political agendas try to provoke them. It’s well worth a read.
April 25, 2011 - 9:37pm
In a timely note, a regular correspondent writes:My college is on a big push to do course evals... we do them at midterm and the end of the course. So about every 7 weeks. Understandably students get burned out on all that evaluating and drag their feet about completing them, so we receive several "tips" a week about how to get students to do so, such as this (it's all cookie cutter stuff from onlinecourseevaluations.com, no problem sharing them):Getting Response Rates Tip 4:
April 24, 2011 - 9:27pm
For a few years in the mid-2000’s, I was a fan of satellite radio. I had a longish commute, and there was only so much NPR I could endure, especially during pledge drives. I loved the variety of music satellite offered -- I was a particular fan of “beyond jazz” on XM -- and was convinced that the business model made sense; although there may not be many fans-per-square-mile for any given genre of music, there are probably enough across the country to justify a station. It was the “long tail” applied to music, enabled by technology.
April 21, 2011 - 8:59pm
A perplexed correspondent writes:
April 20, 2011 - 9:52pm
A new correspondent writes:I am the library director at a small liberal arts institution. I have worked closely with the administration and also served on many standing and ad hoc faculty committees. Looking 10 years or so into the future, I feel very drawn to, well, jobs like yours. Community colleges particularly interest me because I started out in public libraries and still feel drawn to that broader public mission.

Pages

Back to Top