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.

February 9, 2009 - 10:23pm
Netbooks strike me as some of the best news for community colleges in a long time. In many cases, all we need for a rolling lab is internet access and decent keyboards, and netbooks offer those at much lower prices than standard laptops. (I can't imagine typing, say, an entire blog post on a smartphone keyboard, but I could on a decent netbook.) They're cheap enough that we won't need to buy extended warranties, saving even more. But I'm a little annoyed at Microsoft for not allowing manufacturers to put more than a single gig of ram on a machine that runs XP.
February 8, 2009 - 9:36pm
I remember reading once that one of the great paradoxes of American politics is that most Americans hold Congress in utter contempt, yet keep re-electing the same representatives. It's not necessarily a contradiction, in the strictest sense, but it's certainly counterintuitive.I'm finding that a similar dynamic holds with faculty attitudes towards deans.
February 6, 2009 - 6:19am
Every once in a while, I drop by a nearby mall on my lunch break just for a change of scene, and sometimes to play with the cool stuff at the Apple store. No good can come of playing with cool stuff at the Apple store, but like a moth to a flame...Yesterday was particularly demanding, so I made a break for it at lunch.The mall was by far the quietest I've ever seen. Plenty of parking, nearly empty corridors, ample open seating. I noticed employees draped, bored, over counters, openly complaining of having nothing to do.I've never seen that before.
February 4, 2009 - 10:45pm
My cc has been getting an unusual amount of local press attention lately. The press attention has been largely positive, and focused mostly on enrollment. Invariably, somewhere around the fifth paragraph, there's a passing acknowledgment that enrollment growth is occurring at the same time as state funding cuts, but the headline is always about growth.
February 3, 2009 - 9:47pm
The Boy wrote a letter to President Obama in class, and brought it home today. In its entirety:Dear Mr. President,I think you should do everything you can to make this the best country ever! I think you should make more freedom. You should make no one smoke. Last of all you should make everyone happy.From,[TB]"I think you should make more freedom." I couldn't have said it better myself.
February 3, 2009 - 5:44am
In a passing conversation a while back with a colleague who routinely works with local employers, I heard that the single occupation for which we got the most requests from private employers is...help desk? no...construction? no...sales? no...Secretaries. Administrative assistants. Office managers.
February 1, 2009 - 9:26pm
More so than at any time in my memory, this downturn has brought plenty of discussion of furloughs as a way to cut costs. While they aren't the worst of all things, I'm not a fan.
January 29, 2009 - 9:27pm
A few days ago we got word of the latest round of state funding cuts. I've literally lost track of the number of cuts we've taken this year, but the cumulative impact is drastic. Worse, we got the first inkling of the likely cut for next fiscal year, which starts July 1, and it will make this year's cuts look minor.
January 28, 2009 - 9:17pm
A few days ago, we did a post-dinner Home Depot run. It wasn't terribly successful, and it was cold, and late, and we were all a little cranky.In the car on the way back, we were uncharacteristically silent for some time. Then,The Boy (in perfect 'Yoda' voice): Farted, I did.And that was that. TW and I laughed the rest of the way home. Comic relief goes a long way.---------------Each week, he has ten spelling words for which he has to write sentences. Last week, one of the words was antonym. He wrote:
January 27, 2009 - 10:17pm
A returning correspondent writes:

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