Higher Education Webcasts

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.

May 24, 2012 - 8:58pm
If you haven’t seen Tom Bailey’s piece on the Connecticut remediation law, check it out.  He’s the head of the Community College Research Center at Columbia, of which I’m a huge fan, and it’s his response to Connecticut’s proposed law to restrict remediation in community colleges to a single semester. 
May 24, 2012 - 4:01am
Dear Guidance Counselors, This is the time of year when panicked seniors who either didn’t get into the colleges they wanted, or can’t afford the colleges they wanted, are looking for options.
May 22, 2012 - 9:39pm
How is it that a multimillion dollar grant offered to an underfunded community college system can make a minimal difference on the ground? The answer is in the math.
May 21, 2012 - 8:55pm
Anyone who wants to understand the reality of academic administration should read this article.  (Hat tip to Joanne Jacobs for highlighting it.)  It’s about some shady dealings come to light recently at Bergen Community College, in northern New Jersey. According to a report prepared by a retired judge at the behest of the trustees, the president of the faculty union was caught getting his granddaughter’s failing grades changed.
May 20, 2012 - 9:23pm
A new correspondent writes: "I'm writing in the hope that you can share your insights on the reasonableness of earning an M.A. in order to teach at a community college."
May 17, 2012 - 10:36pm
The Boy had his first major band concert this week.  It was held in the high school gym, where the acoustics are every bit as good as you’d expect in a high school gym.  In our district, fifth grade is the first year for school music lessons and band, so the band sounded a little rough around the edges, but that’s okay.
May 16, 2012 - 11:48pm
Monroe Community College, in Henrietta, New York, (near Rochester) has started setting institution-wide goals with 100 day timelines. The first goal it has set is reducing the number of passwords a student needs to sign on to various parts of the registration system.
May 15, 2012 - 9:41pm
Internships are a mixed blessing. At their best, they offer valuable exposure to the work world, and can give students both experience and a sense of whether the field they think they want is really for them. (A well-timed internship in college taught me that I didn’t actually want to be a lawyer.) Ideally, they can help students blend the real world with theory in a way that enriches both.
May 14, 2012 - 9:52pm
Apparently, Pennsylvania is considering moving to a voucher system for public higher education. The idea is to zero out the direct funding for colleges and universities, and to replace it with money to students. Colleges’ funding will become a direct function of enrollment.
May 13, 2012 - 9:32pm
In my state, as in many, there’s a move afoot at the state level to impose greater “accountability” throughout public higher education, but especially on community colleges. (In the words of Spider-Man’s uncle, “with small appropriations come great responsibility.”  No, wait...) A few legislators heard a few anecdotes, and bad ideas are starting to snowball.


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