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.

September 13, 2009 - 8:17pm
A new correspondent writes:
September 10, 2009 - 9:15pm
Yesterday we watched you climb on the bus for your first day of kindergarten. You bounded in so quickly I barely took the picture, and you were gone.You're incredibly ready. At kindergarten orientation, you slipped into the classroom like a fish into water. When the teacher read the class a story, you locked on, and you were the first to make an observation about the story. And you've got that blend of 'cute' and 'commanding' that only little girls can get away with.
September 9, 2009 - 9:22pm
In dealing with stimulus money, my college is caught between the dog and the fire hydrant. On the one side, we have glaring needs, and the whole point of the stimulus is to get the money moving quickly into the economy. We've identified the ways we'd like to spend our allocation, and without being unduly braggy, I'll admit they're pretty good. The money will move rapidly through different sectors of the local economy, particularly in areas where it's most needed. And some of what we're paying for will actually reduce our operating costs (energy and hvac, mostly) in the future.
September 8, 2009 - 9:17pm
Tenured Radical has a wonderful post up about saying 'no' to excessive service requests. It's a thoughtful piece, and it raises the caliber of discussion of the topic well beyond the usual "I'm just a girl who can't say no" lamentations. Check it out. Correctly, in my estimation, TR locates the root of wildly different service burdens in structural, rather than personal, causes. The money quote:
September 7, 2009 - 9:38pm
To the parking gods:Forgive us, for we know notwhat students will do.Yes, I know that you"don't need no English comp class"but I think you do. Hand sanitizer.Times changing. Remember whenbeer was all the rage? Bookstore charges morethan tuition. Info wantsto be free? Not here.Email system down.Students Facebook anyway.Feeling really old.Prank history prof:"Photocopier is down!"I am a bad man.
September 3, 2009 - 9:43pm
My friend Lesboprof is fighting the swine flu, which I imagine is no fun at all. Apparently, her Uni has already suffered an outbreak, and since she's a relatively public figure there, she got exposed quickly.My cc hasn't had an outbreak yet, but we're putting plans in place. It's harder than you'd think.
September 2, 2009 - 9:34pm
A returning correspondent writes:
September 1, 2009 - 9:36pm
(in the style of "The Word")Faculty and distinguished colleagues,(Slide: "And the undistinguished among you, too...")welcome back from what I hope was a restful summer.("You're gonna need it...")As you know, we have record enrollments this year, combined with a severe funding cut("Rhymes with flusterduck...")But I'm sure we're up to the challenge.("New program: Alchemy!")This year brings some new challenges, like the swine flu("No more parking shortage!")
September 1, 2009 - 4:26am
Keeping with the amusement park theme from yesterday (variations on a theme park?), most of yesterday was devoted to a real life version of whack-a-mole. Whack-a-mole is a game wherein you have a mallet, and you stand facing some 'ground' with a bunch of holes in it. Each hole contains a mechanical mole, and they pop up at random intervals. Your job is to hit each mole on the head as quickly as possible when it pops up. It's remarkably satisfying.The real life version is satisfying, too, when it works. At least for a little while.
August 30, 2009 - 8:40pm
Fans of roller coasters know that feeling when you're getting to the very top of a steep hill, and the chain is going click...click...click ever so slowly. You know you're about to go over the top and then down at breakneck speed. There's that very specific mix of excitement, fear, and the knowledge that whether you can handle it or not, there's no turning back now.That's what this week is like.


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