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 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:
June 1, 2008 - 10:04pm
We had to get out of Dodge this weekend for a whole series of reasons, so my Mom invited us to take the kids on a Duck tour of Nearby Big City.
May 29, 2008 - 9:33pm
A new correspondent writes:I graduated from (Elite SLAC) two years ago as an English major with a concentration in creative writing, and I am now very interested in becoming a community college English teacher.
May 29, 2008 - 6:12am
Reason #456 we need to hire the next generation of administrators, from an actual conversation I had this week with somebody very highly placed:Bigwig: "Of course, there'll be golf. You do play golf, don't you?"DD (horrified): "Oh, God, no."(pause)Bigwig: "Oh."Apparently, I didn't get the memo saying that it's still 1973. It must have been posted by the water cooler, which I've also never actually seen in an office. It's probably next to the typing pool.
May 27, 2008 - 10:52pm
It's easy to underestimate the impact of sex scandals.
May 27, 2008 - 5:22am
Over at IHE, there's a story glossing two new studies that suggest that academics are less likely to have kids – and to have fewer, when they do -- than professionals in other fields with similar levels of training. The comments are worth reading; stories on this topic always generate a fair bit of interest.
May 23, 2008 - 4:54am
In a conversation with one of my department chairs this week, addressing a move we're considering making to respond to a state mandate, he asked a variation on "how do we know this will work?"I responded that we didn't, but that we knew that doing nothing would surely fail, and that the move we're considering seemed the most reasonable choice available. If he had a better idea, I was happy to hear it, but in the past year that this has been on the table (and we've been discussing it and our possible responses), nothing better has come along.
May 21, 2008 - 11:17pm
Money shortages create all manner of frictions. Say you have a large group that believes, with varying levels of truth, that it's underpaid. Say that there's nowhere near enough money floating around to bring the entire group up to the level it wants. (Not that this ever happens, but bear with me.) Barring a visit from the Money Fairy, or a really drastic, from-the-ground-up restructuring in which absolutely everything is on the table, you basically have four choices:
May 20, 2008 - 10:42pm
This semester, I think my cc has set a new internal record for public presentations. We've been staging talks on issues of broad public interest – some by faculty, some by invited speakers – and opening them up to the community for free. Some have attracted significant community interest, some haven't, but we're starting to get some momentum.I'm honestly proud of this.

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