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.

June 4, 2009 - 9:49pm
Most colleges set aside at least some 'professional development' money for faculty and staff. The idea behind it is that fields of expertise don't remain static, so for people to remain current, they sometimes have to be exposed to the latest developments. That can mean workshops, or conferences, or webinars, or subscriptions, or whatever, but the goal is to make sure that people don't rust in peace.
June 3, 2009 - 9:56pm
Via Cold Spring Shops, I ran across this quote from conservative commentator David Frum: Why are the wages of the college-educated declining? A big part of the answer is that the pool of college graduates is rapidly expanding. It’s not surprising that as college becomes more universal, the return on a college education falls.
June 2, 2009 - 10:07pm
A regular correspondent writes: What do you do when the combination of a dean with a tentative style and an associate dean with a bullheaded style leads colleagues to draw the wrong conclusion about institutional politics?
June 1, 2009 - 9:11pm
A Canadian correspondent writes:
May 31, 2009 - 9:21pm
Back in the 80's and early 90's, the way you could tell if a speaker was losing the audience was through the coughing index. The louder and more frequent the coughing, the more bored was the audience. (Newspaper crinkling was another good index. The drearier the presentation, the greater the proportion of the audience doing crossword puzzles.)
May 28, 2009 - 10:35pm
1. Brevity 2-10. See #1
May 27, 2009 - 10:44pm
The Boy is eight today. He looks ten, but he's eight. It's a fun age to watch, since it's still very much part of childhood, but he's starting to show signs of noticing more than his family. Last night I took him to get a new bike, since he had outgrown his old one. On the way home: TB: Dad, I think the girls at school all like me and Ian. DD: Why? TB: Well, they're always asking us to be princes in their games. And I'm like, “can't you see that I'm fighting Darth Sidious?” It's annoying! DD: Hmm. TB: And they're always asking me to double date.
Men
May 26, 2009 - 10:13pm
Last week, IHE had a story about a conference dedicated to addressing the relatively low rate of college attendance by men. Apparently, suggestions from the conference included gender identity workshops run by Student Life. And the comments to the article quickly became rants against gender studies, liberal academics, and the dangers of perverting the Timeless Truths. Uh, no.
May 25, 2009 - 10:10pm
I've had variations on this conversation several times recently. Professor: There's option A and option B, and I guess technically there's option C. This clique wants A and that clique wants B. What do you think we should do? DD: I really don't care, as long as the decision process is valid. Professor: But what if they choose C? DD: Then they choose C. Professor: But C is terrible! DD: Could be. But if they need to discover that for themselves, so be it.
May 22, 2009 - 4:40am
Both of these stories make sense on their own terms. But taken together, they neatly capture the basic dilemma in my world.

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