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 25, 2011 - 9:06pm
In the “real world,” hiring is usually year-round. There might be peaks and valleys, with some variation by industry, but generally speaking there’s nothing unusual about hiring in April, or July, or October.In the colleges I’ve seen, that’s still true for certain types of positions. There’s nothing unusual about advertising for building maintainers in March or financial aid staff in August. But faculty hiring has a rhythm of its own.
January 24, 2011 - 9:07pm
This past weekend all four of us started watching the Jets-Steelers game. The Wife and The Girl peeled off early, but The Boy stuck with me for almost the entire first half.(I rarely watch football, other than the Super Bowl. This was unusual for us.)
January 23, 2011 - 8:47pm
Arizona and Texas have apparently decided that community colleges have way too much money. They're taking different approaches to solving the “problem.” In Arizona, they're proposing a fifty percent across-the-board cut in state aid. In Texas, they're combining a smaller-but-still-substantial across the board cut with actually closing four campuses.
January 20, 2011 - 9:11pm
“The President can’t make it. Can you step in for him? It starts in ten minutes.”Uh, sure.That isn’t the worst. I’ve actually been called on to “say a few words” on the spot. That’s always a little unnerving.
January 19, 2011 - 9:45pm
We’ve had a few snow days over the past couple of weeks, and it looks like we may get some more in the next week or two. The damage is starting to add up.At home, it’s not so bad. The kids love it, the dog doesn’t know the difference, and TW is a good sport. But on campus, it’s becoming a real problem.
January 18, 2011 - 8:41pm
Last week’s article in Salon by Katy Read about the flip side of “opting out” of the workforce struck a chord with me.The world was different when The Wife dropped out of the paid workforce in 2004.
January 17, 2011 - 9:08pm
Although community colleges enroll more students than flagship state universities do, the flagship state universities hog most of the public attention. They have the football teams and the statewide constituencies, and nearly everyone in the state has heard of them. Unfortunately, that often leads to political or policy decisions being made for entire state systems based on the circumstances of a single outlier campus.
January 13, 2011 - 9:13pm
This week, nearly everyone on campus has been talking about Jared Lee Loughner. Aside from the obvious shock at what he did -- as the father of a nine-year-old, I can’t even begin to imagine -- we’ve all been questioning the role of the college. As it happened, he attended Pima Community College for a while, having accumulated quite the record of incidents before being dismissed. We’ve all been asking ourselves what would have happened if he had been enrolled here.
January 12, 2011 - 9:19pm
Like many colleges, mine requires a few days each year for faculty and staff professional development. They’re tolerated somewhat grudgingly on all sides, which I think is about right.
January 11, 2011 - 9:45pm
I’m on the horns of a dilemma here, and I’m hoping that crowdsourcing the problem might lead to a sustainable solution. Wise and worldly readers, I’m counting on you!Like many colleges, my college's faculty does not reflect the demographics of either its students or its community. Bluntly, it's a lot whiter. The disparity is largest on the faculty side.

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