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.

January 21, 2008 - 5:48am
I can rattle off the many ways in which football is evil, but I still enjoy watching the very occasional game. (Where I grew up, the world was divided fairly clearly into two kinds of people: Buffalo Bills fans, and People Who Are Not From Around Here. I still shudder at the mere mention of the name "Scott Norwood.") Last night I finally got to watch my first game of the season. Last night's highlight reel, with the camera trained on the living room:
January 18, 2008 - 4:52am
Just thinking out loud here... Why isn't it more common to have, say, yearlong faculty exchanges between relatively nearby colleges? "I'll trade you a senior anthropologist for a business prof and a second-round draft pick." The faculty exchanged would be paid by their original institutions, and the time would count toward seniority at their original institutions. It would be restricted to folks with tenure, so there'd be no issue of how to count it on the tenure clock. The costs would be minimal, especially if the program were voluntary (whichit would have to be).
January 16, 2008 - 9:47pm
Thanks to everyone who answered yesterday's call! It helped, actually. Doc made a comment that particularly struck me, and that I didn't want to answer deep in the comments. (Doc is, himself, a former dean.) In drawing a distinction between managers in corporate settings and managers in higher ed, he noted that:
January 15, 2008 - 9:33pm
This one is intended for the faculty, though anyone with constructive ideas is welcome to participate. Think back to (or about) an academic administrator (dean/VPAA) you've liked and respected. What was/is it about that person that won your respect?
January 14, 2008 - 11:14pm
This story in IHE made me laugh out loud. Apparently, a community college in New Jersey briefly floated a policy to encourage "civility" that was anything but civil. The provisions were:
January 13, 2008 - 10:28pm
A new correspondent writes (edited for length and anonymity): [Her daughter] recently learned that the awesome, charismatic, incredible, passionate department head who always teaches [difficult subject] and whose name has been listed all along as scheduled to instruct both terms of the class will not actually be teaching the second term.
January 11, 2008 - 10:43am
I've been back in the office since January 2. Prior to that, I had nearly two full weeks at home, which was the longest uninterrupted stretch since, well, I don't want to think about that. Having nearly two full weeks at home without any early-morning obligations meant that my body was able to revert to its 'default' settings. And I've been forced to come to terms with a horrible truth. I am not a morning person.
January 9, 2008 - 10:43pm
Have a political conversation with Chuck Norris *** Camp outside in Buffalo in January *** Wash down a cold plate of lutefisk with a warm Genny Cream *** Watch the entire broadcast of the Country Music Awards *** Become the national spokesmodel for Preparation H *** Close-caption "The Osbournes" ***
January 9, 2008 - 7:32am
Following on the heels of IHE, there's a story in the Chronicle about several universities (Northwestern and Arizona State among them) giving up their own internal email systems in favor of Google's gmail. I'll admit, it strikes me as one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time.
January 7, 2008 - 11:17pm
Although I've been doing this for some time, I still don't fully understand how course levels are determined. This is particularly true in the social sciences and humanities, where you don't have relatively hard and fast prerequisites to settle the question. Is "Women in Film" properly a 200 level course or a 300 level course? What about "Psychology of Aging" or "Civil Liberties"? More interestingly, how do you know? In my neck of the woods, this is becoming a high-stakes question.


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