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 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)?"
July 15, 2012
In my perfect world, the “disruptive innovation” people and the “crack down on fraud” financial aid people would be locked in a room to fight it out, and nobody could pass any new rules until there was a clear winner. 
July 5, 2012
BREAKING: Community colleges are useful, and The New York Times is ON IT!  It reduces them to vocational training centers, but it’s a start.
July 4, 2012
July being July, meetings take on a different tone than they have during the rest of the year. 
July 3, 2012
Last week I had a passing conversation with a counterpart from another, more rural, part of my state. She mentioned that the big political issue on her campus is trying to get some sort of mobile broadband coverage on campus. None of the big four telecoms -- soon to become three, I’m guessing -- want to be bothered, since the population density just isn’t there, and the area isn’t terribly affluent. The students and faculty are increasingly upset, since mobile devices are all the rage now, but mobile devices without internet access are basically paperweights.
July 1, 2012
A new correspondent writes:Vitals > Ph.D., English/literature; associate professor at community college; eight months from tenure; 45 years-old Past careers > various corporate and government experience (16 years), much of it as a manager or department director. I've served as an interim administrator in a writing program.
June 28, 2012
The bloggers’ union called and threatened to revoke my card if I didn’t at least try to write something about UVA.  If nothing else, I hope the whole episode will help some folks understand the crosscurrents that academic administrators have to navigate. 
June 27, 2012
Why do those who need the most get the least? Elite universities and colleges get far more funding per student than their less elite counterparts. Community colleges, which are even less elite, get even less. And adult basic education, which serves the very most vulnerable students, gets the least of all.
June 26, 2012
Dear Selective Colleges, You know I’m a fan. I’m a proud grad of one of your number, and I’m glad to report that my community college has a strong track record of sending students your way, where they’ve done markedly well. So I’m writing this in the spirit of constructive criticism.  

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