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 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.
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.


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