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

July 29, 2012
I’ve followed with interest the gradually-unfolding story from New Jersey about Peter Burnham’s fall from grace as former president of Brookdale Community College.
July 26, 2012
An occasional correspondent writes: "How much do instructors have to adapt their courses and their styles to the needs of the students?"
July 25, 2012
In a conversation a few days ago, some thoughtful faculty noted in passing that the state’s constant drumbeat about job placement and STEM fields -- two different things, btw -- was becoming a factor in faculty morale in the humanities and social sciences. They heard every invocation of college-as-personnel-office as an attack on what they do, and as a harbinger of even-more-diminished resources to come.
July 24, 2012
CUNY’s New Community College, in New York City, is attracting plenty of attention in higher ed circles.  It’s an attempt to apply a panoply of best practices in raising graduation rates to a population that desperately needs it. Whether it becomes an exemplar of a new model, or withers on the vine as an expensive boutique project, remains to be seen.
July 23, 2012
I did not see this coming. is offering to pay up to $2,000 per year towards educational costs for its warehouse employees if they pursue Associate’s degrees in certain high-demand fields, including fields like aircraft mechanics that have no obvious value within the company.
July 22, 2012
The normally sober Tim Burke had a bit of a meltdown on his blog about MOOCs and their attendant hype. (MOOCs are Massively Open Online Courses, such as the ones offered through Coursera.) He rightly called out the techno-utopians for their eager willingness to believe that the latest techno-toy will Change Everything, and offered helpful reminders of previous techno-toys that were supposed to Change Everything, and didn’t. (Sunrise Semester, anyone?)
July 19, 2012
I read with interest that the City College of San Francisco may need “special” trustees to come in and right the ship.  Folks who’ve been following the development of “emergency fiscal managers” in Michigan, or even the municipal bankruptcies in California, will have a sense of deja vu. 
July 18, 2012
A regular correspondent asks about not getting the teaching assignment that had been expected.
July 17, 2012
Academics of my generation probably harbor bitter memories of the mythical “great wave of retirements” that was going to open up all those faculty jobs.  Apparently, in Illinois, that wave is finally happening.  It’s driven by pension panic, rather than by normal demographic change, but a wave is a wave.
July 16, 2012
A new correspondent writes: "I've been teaching college English as an adjunct for a few years (in addition to my full-time gig at a high school).  I love teaching college and want to move into it full time.  I have a BA and an MA in English right now.  My question for you is, from a community college hiring perspective, is there more value in a PhD than a DA (doctor of arts)?"


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