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.

January 27, 2010 - 4:08am
Like so many other public colleges, mine is reducing personnel to match reduced budgets. (To its credit, it isn't reducing faculty.) That means that I've been absorbed in some Very Unbloggable Conversations over the last couple of weeks. It also means that I've seen the return of the space invaders.
January 25, 2010 - 9:34pm
A new correspondent writes:I am Nursing faculty at a community college, in only my 2nd year in the academic world. This semester I am a member of the 'Appeals/Advisory' committee, which consist of representative faculty from throughout our program, and the Directors of Nursing. I subbed on this committee at the end of the last semester, when we had 2 marathon days of listening to student stories of why they should be allowed to continue in the program (usually after 2 failures which, according to our policy, means dismissal unless the Appeals committee decides otherwise).
January 24, 2010 - 8:12pm
The Girl lost her first tooth on Sunday! It came out while she was eating pancakes. She spent the rest of the day beaming with gap-toothed pride. ----TW is redoing the downstairs bathroom, which involved buying a new top for the sink. The sinktop came in a huge cardboard box, which, as any parent of young children can tell you, is an irresistibly tempting toy for young kids. Naturally, TG and TB descended upon the box, and set about making a fort of it in the family room.
January 22, 2010 - 4:34am
A longtime correspondent writes: Is there anyone who specializes in remedial education, especially math? Or is it kind of farmed out? I ask this, because I'm working on becoming an economics instructor, but I've actually gotten pretty good at remedial math out of gross necessity (my students are not remotely prepared for my courses). How does that work? (gulp) (adjust tie) (wipe sweat from brow)
January 20, 2010 - 9:41pm
A new correspondent writes:
January 19, 2010 - 9:40pm
I just got an email from a reader who has tenure at hir current college, but is considering a deanship at another college which will not bring tenure with it. S/he asked about the absence of a right of return to faculty in an administrative role.
January 18, 2010 - 9:28pm
I read somewhere that you can't make accidents happen, but you can make yourself accident prone. I'm looking at ways to make my college accident prone, and I'm hoping that some of my wise and worldly readers have some hints to share.
January 17, 2010 - 9:46pm
A longtime reader writes:Here in [unnamed state] state support for higher education is shrinking fast. Some of this is cyclical, but those cycles can't mask a longer term, downward trend. Where once the state provided support for about 65% of our operating budget, that number has fallen to around 17%. I'm writing from a four year university, and don't have comparable numbers for community colleges. They are funded through a separate state agency.
January 14, 2010 - 10:01pm
A longtime reader writes:My elite liberal undergrad institution, annual cost ~$55K vs median annual U.S. income of $50K, high in US News rating but never at absolute top, wants me to come back for the 20th anniversary of my graduation and write them a big check. Sustain excellence, don't you know. Fulfill mission, don't you know.
January 13, 2010 - 9:43pm
Why do people still go to grad school in the liberal arts?My generation had an excuse; we were told that a great wave of retirements was imminent, after which jobs would spring from the ground like mushrooms. In other words, we were lied to.But the adjunct trend is so well-established at this point, and the economic irrationality of grad school so screamingly obvious, that it's fair to wonder why many departments are actually experiencing record applications.I have a few thoughts, but I invite others.

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