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.

June 15, 2008 - 8:21pm
Although I kinda expected it to suck – which it did – this weekend I took TW to see the new Indiana Jones movie. She's had a thing for Harrison Ford ever since Star Wars, and she loved loved loved the first three Indy movies.Nobody warned me that it was a comedy. I actually laughed out loud, hard, at this one:The Dean: It's the FBI. They've ransacked your office!Indy: But you're the dean of the college! Couldn't you stop them?Me, in audience: HA!Nobody else in the theater laughed. I thought it was the highlight of the movie.
June 13, 2008 - 5:00am
With gas around four dollars a gallon, the seventies-era idea of colleges closing on Fridays to reduce travel is making a comeback. The idea, which I've already heard from several people on my campus and read about in a few places, is that switching to a four-day workweek will reduce commuting by twenty percent, thereby reducing the college's carbon footprint and the cost to employees of gasoline and/or mass transit fare.It would also (theoretically) allow colleges to save on HVAC, lighting, and other utilities on Fridays.
June 11, 2008 - 10:41pm
Without so much as warning me, The Boy has started to move from small child to proto-tween.
June 11, 2008 - 5:03am
A new correspondent writes:
June 9, 2008 - 10:00pm
A longtime reader writes:
June 8, 2008 - 8:53pm
A new correspondent writes:
June 5, 2008 - 9:16pm
From the 'Signs of Hope' department: apparently, the top-selling vehicles in America for the last fifteen years have been trucks. In May, they were the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic. In my mind, the change is an unambiguous good. Now if the American carmakers could get their stuff together and produce some well-made, small, efficient cars that don't suck, we'd really be in better shape.From the 'Time Passes' department, an actual exchange with The Boy yesterday:TB: Dad, what's a Walkman?(pause)DD: It's like an ipod.TB: Oh. Okay.
June 5, 2008 - 5:29am
As a card-carrying administrator, I loves me some FERPA. FERPA is the privacy law that forbids us from discussing an individual student's performance, or schedule, with anybody other than the student – read: parents – without a waiver signed by the student. It comes in handy when I get irate calls from parents asking why Johnny got a C instead of the A he obviously deserved: "Gee, I'd love to discuss that with you, but federal law says I can't." Good stuff. The folks over in Student Affairs consider FERPA pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread.
June 3, 2008 - 10:08pm
Every so often I read or hear about something so obvious, and so brilliant, that I actually get mad at myself for not having thought of it first. This is one of those times.
June 2, 2008 - 10:32pm
Several alert readers sent me links to this article from the New York Times. Apparently, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and several other major lenders have stopped providing student loans to students at many community colleges and some less-tony four year schools. The key quote:

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