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.

November 29, 2011 - 9:55pm
I suspect this one isn’t unique.  A new correspondent writes:I teach at a community college and find that many of my students text in the classroom.  My policy, which is stated on my syllabus, is that I ask students who use the phone to leave the class for the day.  This doesn't seem to discourage cell phone use.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
November 28, 2011 - 10:14pm
Culturally and economically, Buffalo is closer to Toledo than to New York City. But Buffalo is part of New York State, and its legal and political realities reflect that.
November 27, 2011 - 10:02pm
Joaquin Luna, a high school senior in California, committed suicide on Friday. He wanted to become an engineer to provide a better life for his mother, but realized that his status as an illegal immigrant made that impossible. Despondent over the failure of the DREAM act to pass, he dressed up in a suit and tie, said goodbye to his family, and shot himself in the head.
November 22, 2011 - 9:37pm
I was never much of a batter. I wouldn’t make contact terribly often, and when I did, I only ever hit down the third base line. If you’re a right-handed batter like me, that’s a sign of swinging too early.
November 21, 2011 - 10:30pm
What do you expect a college graduate to know?  What do you expect a college graduate to be like? The questions are very different.  They start from different assumptions, and are usually asked by different people with different goals.  A good answer to one may not shed much light on the other.
November 20, 2011 - 10:26pm
Dear Chancellor Katehi, I imagine you’re feeling burned right now.  You trusted the wrong people, and find yourself in a completely untenable position.   You know perfectly well that what the police did to peaceful protesters was beyond reason. There’s really no disputing that. The right to peaceable assembly is well-enshrined in American law, and for good reason. The videos speak for themselves.   Your people overshot. But you know that.
November 17, 2011 - 9:38pm
A few years ago, I read a piece about airlines “bumping” passengers who had legitimate tickets.  (I’ve never understood how it’s legal to sell the same seat twice, but that’s another post.)  The article made the point that some central computer makes decisions that result in bumping, but that agents at counters have to deal with angry passengers, so over time, agents at counters started entering ‘dummy’ passengers with names like Mickey Mouse so they could outsmart the computer. Mickey Mouse wouldn’t yell at them if he got bumped. Over time, the computer compensated by overbooking even more. 
November 17, 2011 - 4:19am
The computer club had a bake sale on campus.  As I neared the table, one of the students called out “Save a nerd!  Buy a cookie!”  Impressed, I complied.
November 15, 2011 - 9:59pm
What if college got cheaper as you went along?
November 14, 2011 - 10:03pm
I have a close, longtime friend who has lived the mixed blessing of getting what she has wanted, when she has wanted it.  Luckily for her, she generally has good taste, but she has boxed herself into corners a few times when circumstances refused to conspire to save her from herself. I’m thinking that the last couple of years are conspiring to save for-profit higher ed from itself.


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