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.

October 20, 2009 - 9:41pm
My college, like so many others, has tried to deal with the Great Recession by having a series of public meetings about what's most important to us. The idea has been to give stakeholders from around campus -- including students -- input before decisions are made, so the decisions can be made with a clearer sense of what we all think matters. No secret decisions, no hidden agendas, no "why weren't we consulted?" objections. And some of the conversations have been wonderfully productive, with a surprising degree of consensus around a couple of major issues.
October 19, 2009 - 9:10pm
Out-of-state students!According to this article, several state university systems are now considering making deliberate moves to increase the proportion of out-of-state students, specifically to capture the tuition premium. The idea is to replace lost state subsidy support.I won't address the logic at the university level. But at the cc level, this would be political suicide.
October 15, 2009 - 8:52pm
Should a college doing layoffs simultaneously fund sabbaticals?
October 14, 2009 - 9:38pm
This in IHE contains a lot, and is well worth pondering. It has several posts' worth of material, actually, but for today, I'll just focus on this:
October 13, 2009 - 9:42pm
The Planet Money podcast from NPR has a running feature called "Today's Economic Indicator" (or something like that). It's a number plucked from wherever that's meant to be suggestive of something larger. I've heard a number of good ones locally of late. My local economic indicators for Fall of 2009:--usual utilization rate of work-study money on campus: 75-80%--amount by which our work-study allocation increased this year: 50%--this year's utilization rate for work-study money on campus: 100%
October 12, 2009 - 9:34pm
Lesboprof has a thought-provoking post up about imposter syndrome. It's that nagging feeling that you get in an authority role that you don't really know what you're doing, and that you're this close to being exposed as a fraud. I remember having that the first few times I taught. But I sort of expected that, and there was a year of T.A.'ing to help me get used to the idea.The surprise for me was how much more intense the syndrome was once I moved into administration.
October 9, 2009 - 12:51am
Apparently, it's compare-and-contrast week on the blog.
October 7, 2009 - 11:09pm
A little while back I was involved in a meeting at which a relatively contentious issue was debated. One person prefaced her statement with something along the lines of “the such-and-such committee has discussed this, and passed a motion saying x. I'm just here to convey that.” I took issue with x, and gave my reasons. She took umbrage at my answer, and responded that “well, I'm just conveying the message, and I think that ought to be respected.”I don't know what “respect” means in that sentence.
October 6, 2009 - 8:53pm
It isn't often that you can see a historical inflection point this clearly. Posted on the same day, these two articles need to be read next to each other.
October 5, 2009 - 9:26pm
With the budget situation continuing to worsen, we're often unable to replace people when they leave. When the people in question are full-time staff with relatively niche functions, things get complicated.In the world of small private businesses, it's a matter of saying “Steve, you pick up this half of Mike's job, and I'll pick up the other half.” Or, “we just won't do that.” Or, “Steve, do Mike's job and your own.” Notice how short each of those solutions is.

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