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 30, 2011 - 8:59pm
(Program note: A huge “Thank You!” to all the readers who volunteered info on how their colleges handle grade appeals. There’s quite a bit of variation out there! I appreciate the feedback.)An occasional correspondent writes:I filled out a faculty self evaluation yesterday. Of course it was not called that. Rather it had some crazy acronym I don't really recall... maybe a P-PEAR (Personnel Personal Evaluation Assessment Revue)?
January 27, 2011 - 10:32pm
I’m just looking for a sense of the lay of the land. Readers from all sorts of institutions are invited to answer.How does your college handle grade appeals by students?Can appeals address judgments, or only errors of calculation? Can grades be changed if the professor objects? Who gets to make the call? Does the system seem to work?If you’d rather answer privately than comment publicly, I’m at deandad (at) gmail (dot) com.Thanks!
January 26, 2011 - 11:13pm
I’ve seen some very intelligent professors crash and burn as deans. This article reminded me of a phrase I’ve heard to describe them: as deans, they were just professors in suits.
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.

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