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 10, 2010 - 9:19pm
This post at Mama Ph.D. raised a number of worthwhile issues. It's basically about people making distinctions between the 'essential' subjects -- the ones at which your performance really matters -- and the 'frills.' I've heard students talk about this more times than I care to remember. But I have to admit that there's something to it.
May 9, 2010 - 9:42pm
Without giving too much away, I'll just say that my college uses one format for final exams, and is considering switching to another in a couple of years. I've been thinking about the relative advantages of different formats, and would love to hear from my wise and worldly readers about their experiences with the different schedules. I'll admit being pretty agnostic on this one.The various formats I've seen:1. Run the regular class schedule right up to the bitter end; let each class schedule its own final, if any.
May 6, 2010 - 9:42pm
End of Semester Haikubeautiful weathercranky students and teachersexam week is coming!breakfasts and dinnerscelebrate great and good thingsevery frickin' daySurprise departuresresignations out of bluelike mushrooms in springstudents transfer toamazing places, stop forthanks, smiles aboundprofs in grading jailthe one part of teaching thatI really don't misstemper tantrums flyyet are mercifully briefwho has energy?
May 5, 2010 - 10:13pm
In thinking some more about the Frontline episode, and reading through all the comments, it occurred to me that I had left out two major issues.
May 5, 2010 - 4:41am
Last night "Frontline" did a show on for-profit higher education.It was a disappointing episode in many ways.
May 3, 2010 - 10:45pm
A cagey correspondent writes:A former colleague of my husband (at another college) tells my husband that she was just offered a tenure track position in the new department at a small public college. She tells my husband that the spouse of a colleague of her husband got her the opportunity to apply.Let's give them fake names:Yuppy: the small local public college expanding with a new departmentBigMed: public grad school with tons of money where my husband used to be research track
May 2, 2010 - 9:16pm
This Saturday The Girl had her first t-ball game.T-ball, for the uninitiated, is a version of baseball in which the batter hits the ball off a stationary tee, rather than trying to hit a moving (pitched) ball. It's a chance for little kids to get some exposure to baseball before developing the eye-hand coordination to hit pitches.If you haven't seen five-year-olds play t-ball, add it to your bucket list.
April 29, 2010 - 9:53pm
A new correspondent writes:I work in an English Department at a mid-sized community college and currently chair a search committee for my department.Our department would like to change the way we recruit and hire folks in English for full-time positions.
April 28, 2010 - 9:39pm
A few weeks ago, I aired out some thoughts on webinars and their seemingly endemic suckitude. This week, several alert readers directed me to this story in the New York Times about how PowerPoint is directly responsible for the failure to catch Bin Laden.
April 27, 2010 - 10:06pm
Mid-April to Mid-May is always the hardest time of year. All of the end-of-year stuff comes to a head at this point. The students are stressed about papers/projects/finals, and the faculty are in grading jail. This is when my evenings fill at an alarming rate, with various 'culmination' events and ceremonies. With the clock ticking on the semester, anything that requires faculty involvement (i.e. program reviews, faculty hires) has to happen now. Which is to say, I'm wiped. That's normal for this time of year.


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