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.

August 16, 2009 - 7:54pm
The four of us made a trek to the Middle of Nowhere, to a cabin with my Mom, my brother, his wife, and The Niece. The Niece is two-and-a-half now, and she and The Girl immediately bonded. For those who haven't spent time recently in the company of preschool-aged girls, 'bonding' sounds like this: SQUEAL hee hee hee hee SCREECH hee hee hee SCREECH hee hee hee
August 13, 2009 - 9:46pm
A midwestern correspondent writes: I'm starting a new full-time job next month, and I'm really excited about it. But my new college has a 60 day waiting period between my start date and when I actually receive health insurance. I'm grateful for the job, of course, but I don't understand the 60 days. Do you know why I have to pay for COBRA for two months into a new job? First, congratulations on the job! In this year's market, that's particularly great news!
August 12, 2009 - 9:40pm
I've been chewing on Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew Crawford's explanation of how the spiritual enervation that came from working for a think tank drove him (no pun intended) to repair motorcycles for a living, and how spiritually ennobling that move was.
August 11, 2009 - 9:40pm
They say that a prophet is never appreciated in his own country. That said, this article from IHE certainly rang a bell. Back in 2006, I wrote:
August 9, 2009 - 11:13pm
A new correspondent writes:
August 6, 2009 - 9:18pm
A new correspondent writes: With the exponential growth in use of social networking, in what ways do sites such as facebook have an impact on one's professional personna? While fb might be useful for increasing one's social network, is it harmless to one's career? As an experienced administrator, what are your thoughts about fb for the over 40 year-old professional? For several years now, I've heard variations on “don't use facebook or twitter or myspace or blogger or any social media, lest future employers find you toxic.”
August 5, 2009 - 9:17pm
Several alert readers sent me links to this story, about a new graduate who is suing her alma mater (of all of three months) for its alleged failure to get her a job. It's one of those stories that really allows you to see what you want to see. Is the student an unrealistic whiner? Is the school trading on false hope? Is it reasonable to charge high tuition for an unemployable degree? Is it reasonable to hold a single college accountable for a nationwide recession?
August 4, 2009 - 9:40pm
A new correspondent writes:
August 3, 2009 - 9:00pm
Why are we training students for a dying industry? My college, like so many others, has a student newspaper. It's published on newsprint, it comes out twice a semester, and it sometimes gets facts right. (I always enjoy the man-on-the-street parts the most.) Our local daily newspaper, meanwhile, is in a death spiral. That's a common enough phenomenon that I can say that without really revealing my location.
August 2, 2009 - 8:34pm
As longtime readers know, I'm no fan of the "D" grade. Basically, I don't understand it. (For the longer version of my anti-D diatribe, see here.) It's passing, sort of, but it won't get taken in transfer unless it's safely hidden among other, higher grades. It gives credit, but in some sequences, it doesn't let you move forward. As grades go, it's particularly ambiguous. Last week, I heard a new twist on the evil of D's.

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