Higher Education Webinars
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 19, 2010 - 9:32pm
A newish dean at a new institution writes:Adding to the coming in from the 'outside' pressure is the fact that the faculty have a union. When a colleague tried to begin an assessment program to meet the [agency] accrediting revisions, the faculty union point man and union pooh-poohed the measure. As of now, the assessment process consists of an open-ended "how do you assess student learning" question for each faculty member. It's my new job to get things where they need to be--identify, measure, report, use, repeat.
May 18, 2010 - 10:25pm
We're coming up on performance review time for the administrative and staff ranks. That means I have to have my annual internal debate about performance reviews. (Apparently, it's "ambivalence week" here at Dean Dad HQ.) As many folks have pointed out, performance reviews are deeply flawed in the best of times, and often just destructive. There's no end of reasons for that.-- They only occur once per year. That leads to predictable temporal distortions -- the most recent stuff outweighs the older stuff -- and some unavoidable discontinuity.
May 17, 2010 - 9:44pm
I don't make a habit of doing reruns, but this story in IHE generated a flurry of requests to comment on illegal immigration and public higher ed. I did a piece on that back in 2005, and it still pretty much reflects my thinking on the issue. I've made a couple of technical corrections, but the core of the piece still stands as it did five years ago. Would that we had made more progress since then...
May 16, 2010 - 9:51pm
A returning correspondent, in the late stages of a few interviews, writes:
May 14, 2010 - 2:05am
What's the best way to convey meaningful lessons in financial literacy to 18 year olds? I'm consistently struck at the disconnect between "what's supposed to be true" and "the real world."
May 12, 2010 - 9:43pm
To get a sense of the stuff that drives administrators crazy, see if you can spot the hole in the three decision rules:1. Students need academic advisors from day one.2. Students' academic advisors should be faculty in their chosen majors.3. Students shouldn't have to change advisors.If you guessed "but students don't always know what they want to major in," you win! (I'd also give credit to "but students change their majors all the time!")
May 11, 2010 - 9:56pm
Much of the campus discussion about students with disabilities has revolved around ways to provide accommodations that are both effective and appropriate for the course. I've been struck by the goodwill exhibited (most of the time) on all sides.That said, I'm seeing more of the flip side recently.
May 10, 2010 - 9:19pm
This post at Mama Ph.D. raised a number of worthwhile issues. It's basically about people making distinctions between the 'essential' subjects -- the ones at which your performance really matters -- and the 'frills.' I've heard students talk about this more times than I care to remember. But I have to admit that there's something to it.
May 9, 2010 - 9:42pm
Without giving too much away, I'll just say that my college uses one format for final exams, and is considering switching to another in a couple of years. I've been thinking about the relative advantages of different formats, and would love to hear from my wise and worldly readers about their experiences with the different schedules. I'll admit being pretty agnostic on this one.The various formats I've seen:1. Run the regular class schedule right up to the bitter end; let each class schedule its own final, if any.
May 6, 2010 - 9:42pm
End of Semester Haikubeautiful weathercranky students and teachersexam week is coming!breakfasts and dinnerscelebrate great and good thingsevery frickin' daySurprise departuresresignations out of bluelike mushrooms in springstudents transfer toamazing places, stop forthanks, smiles aboundprofs in grading jailthe one part of teaching thatI really don't misstemper tantrums flyyet are mercifully briefwho has energy?
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