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 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.
August 27, 2009 - 8:56pm
A longtime correspondent and fellow administrator asks:Is there any time when a public smackdown of a campus victim bully is appropriate? Does this serve any useful purpose?(For the uninitiated, a 'victim bully' is someone who uses claims of persecution as a bludgeon. It's C.K. Gunsalus' coinage originally.)
August 26, 2009 - 10:22pm
This summer we've made a point of taking the kids to every children's museum and science museum within a day's drive. (TG loves the local art museum, too, but TB can only do so much art.) They're good rainy day or too-hot-day activities, and the kids really enjoy them. We bought a family membership in our local museum, and discovered happily that it carries with it reciprocity for some pretty nifty museums in other relevant locales. We've already made back the membership fee twice in just a few months, and that's without even counting the tax deduction.
August 25, 2009 - 8:51pm
An alert reader sent me (last week) the link to this article about how the open-content movement will explode higher education as we know it. Apparently, newly empowered 'edupunks' will cobble together their own educations, thumbing their noses at The Man while reaping the lucrative rewards of globalization. The article has more than a whiff of the self-congratulatory vanguard about it, but look past that.
August 24, 2009 - 9:18pm
A new correspondent writes:
August 23, 2009 - 8:58pm
A newly-hired correspondent writes:
August 20, 2009 - 9:50pm
Although I frequently disagree with Dr. Crazy, I have to give her props on this. There's something anachronistic about the way most colleges do 'office hours' at this point, and we need to rethink them.
August 19, 2009 - 9:30pm
With record enrollments this Fall, we've added unprecedented numbers of new sections. That means we've hired dozens of new adjuncts, and given returning adjuncts as many courses as our policy allows. But we haven't added any new staff. And they're gonna feel it.
August 18, 2009 - 8:57pm
I &*%#(%*& hate parking. There is no obvious, elegant way to handle a sudden influx of students when parking is already tight.The two iron laws of parking:1. There is never enough.2. Thou shalt not add parking, anywhere, ever.Corrolary: Calling attention to the contradiction between 1 and 2 is bad form.


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