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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March 7, 2012
A new, young correspondent writes: "What departments/subjects, in your experience, do community colleges have the greatest demand for? Which, if any, departments do administrations have difficulty filling positions in? Simply put, which Masters degree would make me most valuable as a candidate: Political Science, Economics, History or an MBA?"
March 6, 2012
Every educator knows the wonderful feeling when a student who hadn’t shown much suddenly catches fire. Day 3 was devoted to students like that. Even though I usually suffer pretty awful conference fatigue by the third day, this was a wonderful way to wrap it up. In various ways, nearly everything was about ways to include students who sometimes get excluded.
March 5, 2012
Go to enough panels, and you start to detect themes.
March 4, 2012
The theme for this year’s League for Innovation conference seems to be “where is everybody?” Attendance seems visibly down from last year. Last year’s conference was in San Diego. This year’s is in Philly. I’m not saying that’s the reason; I’m not saying that’s not the reason
March 1, 2012
I have to admit enjoying Senator Santorum’s assertion that Satan controls higher education in America. To be fair, there is some evidence for his claim.  If you’ve ever tried finding a student parking space around noon on a Tuesday in September at a major public university, you know that Satan has major influence in the world of parking deck architecture.
February 29, 2012
Has your college found a reasonably elegant way to handle grades of “incomplete?”
February 28, 2012
As regular readers know, I grew up in a city with minor league baseball. As it happened, a few of the players from the years I paid attention went on later to significant major league careers; one of them even became a first-ballot Hall of Famer. (Yes, I saw him play in the minors. Even then, you could tell he’d be special.)
February 27, 2012
A colleague here likes to tell the story of the evening student who visited her office in tears. The student had been trying to locate an academic adviser for a while, and at the time, they weren’t easily available in the evenings. (We’ve since changed that.) By my colleague’s telling, the student complained that it wasn’t fair; she had to work during the day, but she still wanted to feel “just like a real college student.” That meant advisors, and faculty, and even student clubs.
February 26, 2012
The Razzie awards are given each year to movies and performances that truly, impressively, memorably stunk.  Adam Sandler is up for several this year, which seems about right.
February 23, 2012
In a meeting this week, a frustrated professor described politics as “trying to get one group of rich guys to convince another group of rich guys to do the right thing.”  I thought he nailed it.


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