Higher Education Webcasts

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.

November 7, 2011 - 10:35pm
What does it mean to “support” a program?  
November 6, 2011 - 10:20pm
You know that feeling when you’ve suspected something for a long time but couldn’t prove it, and then someone proves it for you? This article had that effect. It’s about how student attrition in STEM majors is actually higher in more selective institutions than in less selective ones. It brought back vivid memories of my days at Snooty Liberal Arts College, and even of late high school.
November 3, 2011 - 9:21pm
We were lucky. We were only without power and heat for five days.
November 3, 2011 - 7:40am
What if Professors Smith and Jones swapped papers for a semester?  I’d be intrigued to hear from anyone who has actually tried this.
October 28, 2011 - 3:00am
Last weekend we went pumpkin-picking, and then stopped for lunch. I ordered a Blue Moon with my burger, which, to my surprise, came with a slice of orange on the glass.
October 27, 2011 - 3:00am
Lenin famously asked “what is to be done?”  The relevant question now is slightly different.
October 26, 2011 - 3:00am
As a veteran of many an industry advisory board meeting, this report really didn’t surprise me.  A study from the National Bureau for Economic Research says that the income gains from specifically vocational majors (as opposed to liberal arts majors) peter out relatively early in life.
October 24, 2011 - 9:15pm
Academics have a weakness for the latest cutting-edge innovations.  It’s kind of what we do.  And in many cases, that’s a good thing.   This week, though, I’ve seen two older ideas come back as new solutions to current issues.  They’ve both been out of fashion long enough that they actually seem new, even though they’re anything but.
October 23, 2011 - 10:17pm
A thoughtful correspondent wrote last week to express concern about what she perceived as a growing rift between faculty and professional staff on her campus. 
October 20, 2011 - 10:16pm
A new correspondent writes: I'm a new hire in my second year at a large community college in the Mid-Atlantic region. During my first year I largely kept my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut as I adjusted to a new workplace with its own culture, policies, and personnel. Tenure reviews from my committee and student evaluations were glowing, and overall, everyone seems pretty glad they hired me. During that first year and more recently I've seen a few things going on that I don't agree with or have strong opinions about. Some are issues at the district level, some at the college level, and some are within my own division. This year I've started speaking up in division meetings and in conferences, trying to offer solutions and different points of view rather than point fingers. The feedback from fellow faculty has been positive - they like that I'm speaking up, even if they don't necessarily agree with me all the time. Various members of the administration, however, have taken notice as well and the feedback from them hasn't been as positive. I suspect they prefer the 'company guy' they saw in my first year rather than this new guy with his opinions (which on occasion are diametrically opposed to those of administration). Do you have any tips on how to navigate tenure while still maintaining my self respect? I can't abide muzzling myself for another two years, but I don't want to get pegged as a troublesome faculty member by administration and risk not getting tenure either.


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