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.
October 1, 2008 - 9:33pm
The scene: an organizational meeting of the junior lego league, in the elementary school cafeteria. We're sitting at the picnic-table-style tables, listening to a badly undermotivated teacher explain the lego league. TB and I are patiently waiting for something to happen. A Dad with three boys sits down next to me. Teacher: and the projects are really about creativity, you know, thinking outside the box... Boy 1: What box? Dad: Shhh. Boy 1: WHAT BOX, DADDY? Dad (urgent stage whisper): The box inside your head.
September 30, 2008 - 10:07pm
This is old news nationally, but I can confirm that locally, we're seeing a definite impact of the mortgage meltdown on our candidate pools for national searches. For new faculty, it isn't so bad, since so many new faculty were renting wherever they were before. But for administrative positions, it's getting difficult to get people from outside the area, since they often can't sell their houses, or fear that they can't, or can't get enough for their houses to make the move possible. And community college salaries generally don't come close to making up for lost equity.
September 29, 2008 - 10:13pm
A new correspondent writes: I just graduated with my masters in Biology and started to look at jobs in the tech industry and teaching adjunct on the side. I loved teaching when I TA'ed in grad school, a fact that was surprising to me. Well, I never found a tech job but took as many classes as I could teach at the local CC. I love it, I love teaching, interacting with the students, and helping them to understand things. I learn each day how to help both adult learners and new HS grads. I have decided to pursue teaching full time as a career choice.
September 28, 2008 - 9:50pm
Okay, so we're running a huge national debt, financed largely by borrowing from other countries. As I understand it, the value of dollars on international markets drops as more of them are held out there in reserve; in other words, the more we borrow, the less our dollars are worth. This is part of what's keeping the price of oil high despite worldwide recession, since it's priced in a declining currency. (There's also 'peak oil' and rapid industrialization in China, but the declining currency factor plays a role.)
September 25, 2008 - 11:36pm
I think the kids picked up the 'obsessed with language' gene. Two vignettes from last night's dinner: The Wife: TG, tell Daddy what you said at school today. The Girl (earnestly): Daddy, 'tushie' is more appwopwiate than "heinie." So now we know. Later: The Boy: During recess, Dylan got hit in the you-know-whats. (pause) TB: You know, the nuts. Got it, thanks.
September 24, 2008 - 11:48pm
Some issues are difficult. They feature the conflict of valid goods, a shortage of critical resources, or clashes of identity or behaviors so central to one's personhood that rational conversation becomes nearly impossible. Other issues, by contrast, are so obvious that any sentient being should be able to dispose of them immediately. This is one of those.
September 24, 2008 - 3:52am
A new report from the American Council on Education (see it here) entitled "Too Many Rungs on the Ladder? Faculty Demographics and the Future Leadership of Higher Education" manages to notice something this blog has been saying for the last four years: a dearth of young tenure-track faculty now means a serious leadership vacuum in higher education in the near future. Some of the stats cited in the report are worth checking out. Among them:
September 22, 2008 - 10:20pm
This week's New York Times supplement on teaching once again skipped community colleges completely, even though it found several pages to dedicate to professors' clothing. That said, it had one article that actually brought up a worthwhile issue, if indirectly.
September 21, 2008 - 9:55pm
The recent game of "let's see, where did I put that hundred billion?" is likely to lead to some ugly fallout for public higher education. Putting on my prognosticator's cap – and like Easterbrook says, all predictions guaranteed or your money back – a few likely scenarios:
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