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.

April 13, 2011 - 9:20pm
- The Boy and The Girl both did science fair projects again this year. TB did one on paper airplanes, testing whether the number of folds in the design of the plane affected the distance it would fly. (It didn’t.) TG did one on whether all liquids weigh the same. She poured vegetable oil, water, and molasses into a jar, and noted that the molasses sank to the bottom while the oil rose to the top. We also discovered that molasses pours faster than the cliche would lead you to believe.
April 12, 2011 - 10:04pm
In response to yesterday’s post predicting huge personnel movement as soon as the market starts to thaw, a new correspondent writes:
April 11, 2011 - 10:04pm
In the next two to three years, we will see a level of personnel movement in higher ed that will dwarf anything we’ve seen since the 1960’s.I’m basing this on two observations. The first is the increasing median age of full-timers in higher ed, especially on the administrative side. The second is the extinction of pay raises.
April 10, 2011 - 8:49pm
Oh sure -- the New York Times puts up a paywall, and then finally runs an intelligent article about community colleges. Thanks.If you’re able to access it, this piece discusses people consciously choosing to spend the first two years of a much longer college education at a community college as a cost-cutting measure. The idea is to build up a slew of transferable credits at low cost, so that when you get to the four-year school, you’re only paying their rate for two years.
April 7, 2011 - 11:35pm
A few weeks ago I promised a piece on remedial levels. It’s a huge topic, and my own expertise is badly limited. That said...Community colleges catch a lot of flak for teaching so many sections of remedial (the preferred term now is “developmental”) math and English. (For present purposes, I’ll sidestep the politically loaded question of whether ESL should be considered developmental.) In a perfect world, every student who gets here would have been prepared well in high school, and would arrive ready to tackle college-level work.
April 7, 2011 - 1:02am
A returning correspondent writes:
April 5, 2011 - 9:44pm
How long does a search for a full-time faculty member take on your campus?I’ve been struck at the disconnect between urgent messages of “we need more full-timers right now!” and the lachrymose “the committee will meet when it gets around to it.” The cynical part of me thinks that if the first message were true, the second wouldn’t happen.
April 4, 2011 - 11:01pm
A new correspondent writes:I guess no one warned me earlier, but I really had no idea how dire it is out there getting academic jobs nowadays. I'm thinking I'll have the phd within 3 years from now, at which point I'll have to figure out what I'm going to do to make a living. One option that I've been considering more and more is teaching at a community college.
April 3, 2011 - 8:57pm
I’ve been chewing on this piece from IHE for several days now. Apparently, many women in the philosophy field have grown tired of sexist jerks committing sexual harassment with impunity.
March 31, 2011 - 11:49pm
An alert reader sent me a link to this article that suggests that too much choice (of courses and programs) for students can be paralyzing. Taken farther, it suggests that one way to improve graduation rates would be to run fewer programs.I actually agree with this.

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