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.

March 22, 2009 - 8:05pm
I'll admit that this can be filed under 'good' problems. That said, it's still a problem.Between extraordinarily good work by our budget people, a few lucky breaks, and the likely support from the stimulus package, it looks like we might actually get through this year without any layoffs.First, hooray!Then, there's the issue of expectations and credibility.
March 19, 2009 - 9:16pm
 A few months ago I mentioned a conversation with a contact at a respected private university who mentioned that her U only takes small numbers of cc grads in transfer because they've found that transfer students don't make the same level of donations as alums as 'native' students. The U doesn't like the impact on its fundraising, so it only takes enough transfer students to round out some upper-level classes. Anything beyond that it considers lost income. 
March 19, 2009 - 1:30am
According to a new survey from the League for Innovation in the Community College, enrollments are, in fact, increasing at community colleges across the country, especially in online programs. A quick and careless read could lead one to conclude that profits from growing online programs were being used to supplant losses in state aid.There may be some college, somewhere, that's actually doing that. But I haven't seen it.
March 18, 2009 - 12:16am
The goings-on in Kentucky caught my eye, which shouldn't surprise longtime readers. In a nutshell, the Board of Regents of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System voted to eliminate the tenure track for full-time faculty hired from this point forward, instead offering them one-year or two-year contracts.
March 17, 2009 - 12:20am
Erin Go Bleah.
March 15, 2009 - 10:10pm
An occasional commenter writes:I have a question about classroom skills rather than the job market or administration.How do other teachers remember their students' names? I confess, I am AWFUL with names. My wife and I have gone to the same small church for 20 years and I still go blank on names of people we've been friends with for all that time. ("you know who I mean honey, the tall guy who always wears that corduroy jacket. His wife is in the choir. You mean Tom? yeah, Tom!")
March 12, 2009 - 10:48pm
According to this story in IHE, a retired Duke University professor named Stuart Rojstaczer has issued a study of grade inflation. His findings suggest that grade inflation is commonplace throughout higher ed, particularly at selective liberal arts colleges and at flagship public universities in the South, but is nearly unknown among community colleges.
March 11, 2009 - 11:46pm
Tim Burke has a characteristically thoughtful post up about transparency and cost-cutting, and the various dilemmas that cost-cutting poses in the context of Swarthmore. Check it out.
March 10, 2009 - 8:50pm
what the world looks like when you're seven. An actual exchange last night:The Boy: You know, I try to hold in my farts around girls.DD: That's a good idea.TB: Yeah. If you fart around them, they won't want to be your girlfriend.DD: Probably not.TB: It's hard to convince them to marry you. Like, I want to marry Ashley, but I don't know how to make her want to marry me.DD: Well, no rush. You've got time.TB: I know that. But I want to marry her. How many more years until prom?DD: About nine. But you don't get married at the prom!
March 9, 2009 - 9:27pm
 For some reason, there's a persistent subset of people – both faculty and staff – who can't raise one issue without referencing ten more. Worse, they aren't raised in the spirit of “this connects to that,” but in a spirit of “and ANOTHER thing...” I call it the litany.

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