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.

October 25, 2009 - 9:41pm
These three articles are all about the same thing: kids today...
October 22, 2009 - 9:42pm
A regular correspondent wrote to mention that his cc is considering mandating laptops for all students. We've given that some vague thought on my campus, too, focusing mostly on netbooks. The idea has its advantages. - With good wifi on campus, students could do work just about anywhere, not just in dedicated labs. - Netbooks now are much cheaper than laptops used to be, and if they're required, they could (I think) be covered by financial aid. Some even have full-size keyboards.
October 21, 2009 - 9:03pm
The headlines about the enrollment booms at community colleges are accurate, as far as they go. But I realized yesterday that they leave out part of the story. Locally, our credit-bearing programs are bursting at the seams. The library is literally standing-room-only at peak hours; veteran staff tell me they've never seen that before. English as a Second Language is through the roof.
October 20, 2009 - 9:41pm
My college, like so many others, has tried to deal with the Great Recession by having a series of public meetings about what's most important to us. The idea has been to give stakeholders from around campus -- including students -- input before decisions are made, so the decisions can be made with a clearer sense of what we all think matters. No secret decisions, no hidden agendas, no "why weren't we consulted?" objections. And some of the conversations have been wonderfully productive, with a surprising degree of consensus around a couple of major issues.
October 19, 2009 - 9:10pm
Out-of-state students! According to this article, several state university systems are now considering making deliberate moves to increase the proportion of out-of-state students, specifically to capture the tuition premium. The idea is to replace lost state subsidy support. I won't address the logic at the university level. But at the cc level, this would be political suicide.
October 15, 2009 - 8:52pm
Should a college doing layoffs simultaneously fund sabbaticals?
October 14, 2009 - 9:38pm
This in IHE contains a lot, and is well worth pondering. It has several posts' worth of material, actually, but for today, I'll just focus on this:
October 13, 2009 - 9:42pm
The Planet Money podcast from NPR has a running feature called "Today's Economic Indicator" (or something like that). It's a number plucked from wherever that's meant to be suggestive of something larger. I've heard a number of good ones locally of late. My local economic indicators for Fall of 2009: --usual utilization rate of work-study money on campus: 75-80% --amount by which our work-study allocation increased this year: 50% --this year's utilization rate for work-study money on campus: 100%
October 12, 2009 - 9:34pm
Lesboprof has a thought-provoking post up about imposter syndrome. It's that nagging feeling that you get in an authority role that you don't really know what you're doing, and that you're this close to being exposed as a fraud. I remember having that the first few times I taught. But I sort of expected that, and there was a year of T.A.'ing to help me get used to the idea. The surprise for me was how much more intense the syndrome was once I moved into administration.
October 9, 2009 - 12:51am
Apparently, it's compare-and-contrast week on the blog.

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