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 2, 2011 - 8:31pm
- Strange juju at home in the weeks before Christmas. A hard drive died, a radio died, the DVR developed a mind of its own, and a cellphone bricked. The electricity gods were clearly angry, though I know not why. (The dvr eventually returned to normal, and the cellphone and radio were still under warranty. The jury is still out on the hard drive.). Or maybe it’s all Comcast’s fault. I prefer that theory.
December 23, 2010 - 4:22am
The Boy and The Girl decided to write stories as Christmas presents to their teachers this year. They started on Monday at about 4:00. Other than a brief break for dinner, they kept writing until about 7:30. TB didn’t even want to stop then -- he mentioned that once he found his groove, writing was really fun.
December 22, 2010 - 3:49am
A new correspondent writes:
December 20, 2010 - 9:28pm
Last week we had parent/teacher conferences for The Boy and The Girl. We’re lucky enough that parent/teacher conferences pretty much consist of hearing how wonderful our kids are, how well they’re doing, and how much their peers like them. It’s not stressful.That happened again, and it never gets old. TB and TG are doing great, and we’re thrilled.That said, though, I heard a couple of things that gave me pause.
December 20, 2010 - 4:36am
This story about course repeaters in California struck a chord with me. We’re facing a similar question at my own campus.Apparently, California is considering amending its policies on allowing students to repeat courses as many times as they want. It’s looking at a cap. The idea is that seats in classes are not infinite, and once someone has whiffed several times, someone else should have a shot.
December 17, 2010 - 4:31am
Students say the darndest things. Just this week, before the official start of the final exam period, I overheard a cluster of students complaining about all the final exams they had already taken. One was especially miffed at having three exams on the same day.And I thought, hmm.
December 16, 2010 - 3:56am
Tis the season for student evaluations of their instructors, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on how best for administrators to read them.
December 14, 2010 - 9:35pm
This comment by Dr. Crazy about yesterday's post stuck with me. In explaining – very clearly – why she refused to move into administration, she noted that much of what attracted her to academia is precisely what keeps her out of administration. Instead of teaching and doing research, both of which she enjoys, she'd have to spend her time in committee meetings and dealing with recalcitrant colleagues. Plus, she'd have to do it eight-plus hours a day, five days a week, twelve months a year.
December 13, 2010 - 10:02pm
Over the past year, my college has advertised for both tenure-track faculty positions and administrative positions. (More of the former than the latter.) The tenure-track faculty applicant pools, unsurprisingly, have been large and deep, with no shortage of very qualified people. The challenge for the search committees has been to discern relative degrees of excellence.The administrative applicant pools, by contrast, have been markedly thin. After filtering out the clearly underqualified, we were left in the single digits.Odd.
December 12, 2010 - 9:25pm
Friday’s IHE did a story featuring a report by Douglas Harris and Sara Goldrick-Rab that’s well worth reading in its entirety. In a nutshell, it measures the ‘productivity’ of various programs, using what boils down to dollars-per-graduate. Among other things, it suggests that call centers to nudge students into attending class have great bang for the buck, but that Upward Bound and similar programs are wildly expensive for what they achieve.


Back to Top