Higher Education Webcasts

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.

April 9, 2013 - 9:49pm
I spent the last few days on my first accreditation site visit.  I’ve been on the receiving end of three of the big ten-year versions -- lucky timing -- so it seemed like time to try being on the other side.
April 5, 2013 - 3:46am
Several years ago, I started musing about the potential for an upscale for-profit college.  (Here’s the first piece in which I floated the idea of “Mercedes U,” back in 2005.)  Since then I’ve returned to the idea several times (such as this piece from 2010, and this from 2012). Founders College gave the idea a shot several years ago, but flamed out quickly due to terrible planning and a quixotic Ayn Rand fixation. As far as I know, that has been the only credible attempt.
April 3, 2013 - 10:00pm
A left coast correspondent writes: "I have been trying to get my foot in the door in CC's in southern California for a year now. I must've called a dozen or more schools, applied through the online systems, and informally sent my CV and cover letters to the chairs and vice chairs of several departments. While I am still trying, I am also applying to full-time jobs. I've read that CC experience is a must--that I must have experience teaching the CC student body."
April 2, 2013 - 9:11pm
People who know me will have a hard time picturing this, but it’s true.
April 1, 2013 - 9:40pm
Southwest has spoiled me.  I’m so used to just checking a bag and not thinking about it that when I flew USAir last week and saw a “bag fee,” I actually got offended.  What do you mean, “bag fee”?  If I didn’t bring a bag, I’d get flagged by TSA, but you’re charging a bag fee?  How about a seat fee?  Sheesh.
March 31, 2013 - 10:23pm
Next week I’m doing my first accreditation visit.  I’ve been on the receiving end of three ten-year visits in my career -- you’d think that wouldn’t be mathematically possible, but it is -- but this will be my first time on the visiting side.  I spent a chunk of this weekend plowing through the self-study, pen in hand.
March 28, 2013 - 10:03pm
I’ve been in D.C. for the past few days at a Project Directors’ meeting for several Federal grant programs.  The conference was heavy on plenary sessions, which I’ll admit is not my preferred style.  Much of the oratory has been of the “hooray for us” variety, which keeps the peace but doesn’t really help us do our jobs better.  That said, though, I found a useful breakout session about improving students’ financial literacy.  The session was standing-room-only, which I actually took as a good sign; at least there seems to be widespread recognition that this is a real issue.
March 27, 2013 - 9:43pm
A thoughtful correspondent writes: "This is not hypothetical — I’ve had to deal with it a couple of times now. I keep asking for ethical advice but no one yet has offered me any that I find really satisfactory. We hire someone to work in a temporary position, and are thus able to do so without a national search. This person turns out to be extremely good, and we convince the administration to give us a new line so we can hire them permanently. University policy nevertheless requires us to conduct a national search to fill the position. So we find ourselves in effect recruiting for a slot that has already been filled."
March 27, 2013 - 3:00am
In Straight Man, Richard Russo has a wonderful line to the effect that there’s nothing scarier than a happy liberal arts dean, since the possibility of happiness in that role suggests a world other than the world that exists. It’s true. I had to smile when I saw IHE tackle the same theme.
March 25, 2013 - 10:58pm
A new correspondent writes: "What can candidates expect from second round interviews?"


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