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.
December 12, 2010 - 9:25pm
Friday’s IHE did a story featuring a report by Douglas Harris and Sara Goldrick-Rab that’s well worth reading in its entirety. In a nutshell, it measures the ‘productivity’ of various programs, using what boils down to dollars-per-graduate. Among other things, it suggests that call centers to nudge students into attending class have great bang for the buck, but that Upward Bound and similar programs are wildly expensive for what they achieve.
December 9, 2010 - 8:41pm
Last week I heard a story on Marketplace that struck me as helpful in understanding the chronic shortage of tenure-track faculty jobs.It mentioned that a recent study found that over the last several years, there has been a net of zero job growth in companies five years old or older. All of the job growth – all of it – can be accounted for by startups. “Mature” industries don't power growth.And I thought, hmm.
December 8, 2010 - 10:01pm
This one may be a little inside-baseball, but folks new to administrative roles may find some value in it.Let’s say that you’re a newish dean, and that you have a department that’s resisting something that you believe needs to be done. You get the sense that it has a strong contrarian streak, and that it rather enjoys making deans squirm just for the hell of it. Which of the following would you consider a victory?
December 8, 2010 - 4:39am
According to this piece from the SUNY New Paltz student newspaper -- hat-tip to the NFM Twitter feed on this one -- the faculty union at SUNY New Paltz is urging the administration there to spend down its reserves to prevent spending cuts.I’ll admit laughing out loud at one passage, citing chapter Vice President Peter Brown:
December 6, 2010 - 8:55pm
Every parent knows the moment is inevitable. I think The Boy is onto us about Santa.He hasn’t actually said as much, and heaven knows I don’t want to plant the seed just yet. But last weekend when the four of us went out to see Santa -- and stand in a line two hours for the privilege -- I couldn’t help but notice a telltale indifference.
December 5, 2010 - 9:04pm
My college is planning a major student survey for the Spring. We’re drawing up questions that we think could help shape budget priorities over the next few years, assuming there’s actually enough money to have some level of discretion. (That’s far from certain.) We’ve got several of the usual questions: have they seen their academic advisor, how often do they use the library, etc. I suggested one asking whether they have internet access at home, so we could get a sense of the degree to which more open computer labs might help.
December 2, 2010 - 9:16pm
In response to Wednesday’s 'helpful hints' post, several people asked about special tips for adjuncts applying for full-time jobs at the college where they already teach.Internal candidates have been on a winning streak lately at my college, though there are no guarantees. Are the rules different for them?No, but some of them think they are. That’s how good adjuncts can torpedo their own candidacies.
December 1, 2010 - 9:19pm
An occasional correspondent writes:I have been offered a course at a reduced rate because the enrollment is not 100%. My objections to this go beyond mere self interest (I think). Here are some potential issues:#1: Instructors have little control over enrollment, but do have some. For example how many students pass a 100 level course has a direct impact on how many students move on to a 200 level course we might teach. If our rate is based on warm bodies might not an instructor be tempted to pass students just to increase enrollment in a higher level course?
December 1, 2010 - 4:21am
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “how to get the job” piece. Judging by a recent flurry of emails on the subject, it looks like the time is right for a new one.If you’re applying for a full-time faculty job, you can assume that the folks who read your cover letter will be academics. For all their quirks, academics tend to be pretty good readers. That means that your cover letter will actually get read closely, probably several times. Craft counts.Please don’t open with “My name is...” We’ll figure it out when we get to the signature line.
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