Dean Dad

From Confessions of a Community College Dean, in which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990’s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

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Most Recent Articles

October 31, 2012
The Girl dressed as a Tootsie Roll, and The Boy as a Jawa from Star Wars. They were endearing, but not scary.  I had front door duty.
October 30, 2012
Like most colleges, mine was born before IT became a fact of life. IT had to be grafted onto a pre-existing culture, or, more accurately, set of micro-cultures. Different departments and support programs have their own ways of doing things; some have welcomed technology, some have grudgingly adapted, and some have shoved it over in a corner, hoping it would eventually go away.
October 29, 2012
As Sandy continues to rage, I’m already anticipating some messy rescheduling issues as people stream back.
October 28, 2012
Like about 70 million other people, we’re in the path of Hurricane Sandy. As of this writing, we still have power, but after last year’s catastrophe, we’re expecting to lose it for a while.  (If this week’s blogging gets spotty, that’s why.)  Given some warning, we spent the weekend preparing.
October 25, 2012
This piece on the implications for higher ed in the election is well worth a read.  Among other things, it helps to explain the thinking behind the abrupt cut in student lifetime Pell grant eligibility from 18 semesters to 12.  Apparently, Republicans wanted to cut funding for the program, and Democrats wanted to preserve the maximum value of a grant, so the compromise was to keep the dollar cap but reduce the number of students eligible.   -----------
October 24, 2012
One of the consolations of middle age is that it brings the power of invisibility. That brings with it a certain amount of unintentional eavesdropping.
October 23, 2012
Back in my feminist theory days -- yes, I had feminist theory days -- I remember learning that strict body/mind distinctions were suspect.  In the halcyon days of postmodernism, we learned that clear fact/value distinctions were mystifications, that public/private splits were far more problematic than usually supposed, and that subject/object distinctions were almost entirely perspectival.
October 22, 2012
Some movies don’t impress me much in the moment I’m watching them, but age well in the recollection. (“Fargo” was like that.) They typically have more going on than meets the eye, and the first impression doesn’t do them justice. The CASE conference was like that for me.  I enjoyed the conference, but one lesson from it has stubbornly stuck in my mind ever since. I don’t think I fully appreciated it in the moment.
October 21, 2012
Last week I had the chance to talk to a group of new full-time faculty. Someone in the group asked me what I considered my goal as an administrator, especially regarding faculty. It was a nifty question, and I probably should have expected it. But since the question came out of the blue, my answer did, too
October 19, 2012
The $249 chromebook is the best idea I’ve heard all week.  It seems like the chromebook is finally moving from “proof of concept” to “something actual people would actually buy.”  Finally, decent size and specs at a community college price.  This could fulfill the promise that netbooks made, but crapped out on, back in 2009.

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