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.

November 21, 2008 - 5:15am
I'm behind on my open correspondence, and busy enough to know that I can't really do justice to all of them. So in lieu of open letters, a series of open postcards.Dear GM, Ford, and Chrysler,You're kidding, right?You people have been bleeding market share, and money, for years. This is directly due to your chronic inability or unwillingness to get a clue. Toyota and Honda have been eating your lunch since the seventies. This may have something to do with them building better cars.Now you want a bailout.
November 19, 2008 - 9:32pm
An alert reader sent me a link to this story from the Times. It's a quick-and-dirty overview of non-credit job training programs at community colleges in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region.If only it were as simple as the article suggests.
November 18, 2008 - 9:51pm
A department chair at a SLAC writes:
November 17, 2008 - 9:06pm
An Australian correspondent writes:
November 16, 2008 - 7:19pm
A new correspondent writes:I'm a postdoc at a big research university. We have a confluence of events at our University which could really lead to something really great happening, but no one seems much interested, and it wouldfrustrate me to no end if the opportunity is missed. So I'd like to know -- what's the best way to pitch a new idea to a new Dean?
November 13, 2008 - 9:37pm
Charles Manning, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, acknowledged that adjuncts teach a large share of the classes at the board's institutions. "They are critical," he said. Asked if they were well paid, he said that they are "clearly not." At the same time, he defended the decision not to raise the maximum [pay] level. "That would raise expectations when we don't have the money," he said.It's not a matter of enlightening the suits. We know. The problem is deeper.
November 12, 2008 - 10:00pm
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that community colleges will be the next beneficiaries of their largesse. A few responses:First, Woo-Hoo! (insert video of DD doing the Snoopy dance)Second, I hope they're willing to recognize the work that has already been done, so they don't spend great googahs of money reinventing the wheel. Philanthropists have been known to do that.
November 11, 2008 - 9:23pm
TB, who is in second grade, wrote his first novel yesterday. With names changed, and sans the distinctive illustrations, an annotated guide to the text:Title Page: TB and TG and a Walk in the Woods (with illustration) by TB(on the side, there's a diagonal stripe that says "New Series!")Contents Page: Woodsy...Page 1 Home!...Page 4
November 10, 2008 - 10:09pm
(Happily, this isn't a concrete issue for me now. This just falls under "I've always wondered…")What are the rules governing faculty votes of no confidence?I've been lucky enough that I haven't actually faced one of these, either directly or indirectly, which may explain some of my ignorance on the subject. From a spectator's perspective, they strike me as somewhat ambiguous.
November 10, 2008 - 7:43am
An alert reader sent me a link to this story about New Hampshire. Apparently, the Granite State is considering funneling most high school students into community colleges after tenth grade. (Tellingly, the story allows that "those who want to go to a prestigious university may stay and finish the final two years.")This is one of those ideas that carries in it a real grain of truth, but that takes it much too far.

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