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.

October 14, 2008 - 10:25pm
This story didn't surprise me.Having been on this side of the desk for a while now, I can attest that I've heard deans, HR directors, department chairs, and even vice presidents say candidly that adjuncts are underpaid. We pretty much all agree on that. (I've never heard a counterargument beyond "nobody put a gun to their heads.") It may be surprising to hear it from a podium, but it's nothing that hasn't been floating around for some time.
October 13, 2008 - 11:31pm
I have the relative misfortune of following in the footsteps of some pretty good managers. Right now a brain-dead predecessor would come in handy.
October 9, 2008 - 10:17pm
Dear Boston,Although I mostly enjoyed my recent visit, I couldn't help but notice that some of your residents seem confused on a basic point. Allow me to clarify.The middle lane is not for parking.Thank you.Sincerely, Dean Dad
October 8, 2008 - 10:09pm
'Sustainability' usually refers to the environment, but I think it makes sense in referring to organizations, too. Some structures, cultures, and behaviors are more sustainable than others over time.
October 8, 2008 - 3:46am
Yesterday's IHE features a thought-provoking piece on the structural contradictions within shared governance. It isn't entirely successful, but it gets the major things right, and even its failures are instructive.
October 6, 2008 - 9:56pm
RecessionRescissionRevisionReviewRealignRethinkReorganizeRetrenchRIFTune in next week, when the list will be brought to you by the letter 'F'
October 5, 2008 - 9:25pm
When I saw the Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka, I was taken with the idea of everlasting gobstoppers. They were hard candies that never melted or lost their flavor; they'd last as long as you could. Something about it intrigued me, even beyond the obvious 'never running out of candy' usefulness.
October 3, 2008 - 5:02am
As direct operating subsidies are losing ground against our expenses, and becoming increasingly tenuous as tax revenues drop, we're turning increasingly to grants to find the money to get things done.
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.Boy 1: I DON'T HAVE A BOX IN MY 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.

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