• 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.


Friday Fragments

--I’m officially tired of using the wet/dry vac on the basement floor. Anytime this winter would like to go away would be fine with me.

March 10, 2011

--I’m officially tired of using the wet/dry vac on the basement floor. Anytime this winter would like to go away would be fine with me.

--Governor Walker, in Wisconsin, is managing to get absolutely everything wrong. He apparently got his way on the bill to kill public employee unions, but he has proposed replacing contractual protections for workers with civil service protections. I’m perplexed. He’ll keep the single worst aspect of the status quo -- the inability to get rid of terrible performers -- while effectively lowering pay and scaring everyone to death. The predictable result is the best performers simply leaving, and the state being stuck with underpaid, crabby low performers that nobody else wants. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Wisconsin doesn’t have oil, and it can’t compete with other states based on its sunny, warm climate. It used to have a pretty strong educational system; there was a time when Madison was a draw for people with choices from other states. Giving that up is suicidal. My condolences to the public work force there, and eventually, to the entire state.

--CYO basketball is finally ending. I’m glad TB participates, but I’d forgotten just how punishingly long basketball season actually is. Sports build fitness in kids and endurance in parents. Luckily, we’ll get a break before baseball season begins.

--The worst part of my job is having to make a difficult and terribly unpopular decision for reasons I can’t disclose. There’s no way around it, but even knowing that, it still sucks.

--Administrative positions have life cycles. Mine has hit the point where I have to start doing more community-relations stuff, and developing my ‘development’ (fundraising) skills. The one undeniable upside to the for-profits was that you never had to fundraise. It’s for a good cause, but for the introverted among us, it does not come naturally. This will be a major step.

--The iPad 2 leaves me just as confused as the original. Okay, they’ve added a camera and taken off a few ounces. As my college girlfriend used to say, big whoop. Add a &^%(#^* KEYBOARD! While you’re at it, a USB port might be nice, so I wouldn’t have to buy a new printer. Until then, it seems fun, but I’d still need a laptop to get anything substantive done.

--Note to any Ed.D.’s out there: there’s a groundbreaking book waiting to be written on how public colleges can best respond to severe budget cuts. Work to be done...


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