Managing people in Higher Ed

Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission. ~ Colin Powell I encountered a piece recently entitled 103 pieces of advice I wish I’d known, it was really quite wonderful and the advice is great. Embedded in this list was some excellent advice forContinue reading “Managing people in Higher Ed”

Is college still worth it?

Is college still worth it? I’m hearing this question quite a bit lately and it’s funny there seem to be two quite opposite campus in agreement on the answer that college is no longer worth it. On one side is a conservative mindset that has developed in our country that is heavily anti-intellectual. They don’tContinue reading “Is college still worth it?”

The truth about student loans

Don’t go through life, grow through life. ~ Eric Butterworth There’s a lot of shouting these days about how college isn’t worth it. I’ve recently written a piece entitled, Is college still worth it, to address this question. But a lot of the shouting around education these days has to do with student loan debt.Continue reading “The truth about student loans”

The Advantage of Being and Old Dean

As much as I loathe this aging thing, I’m beginning to recognize that I am now a healthier person in terms of self-worth and knowing who I am and where I fit in the world. That’s been a good trade-off for the wrinkles. ~ Patty Duke For administrators it has been a particularly hard timeContinue reading “The Advantage of Being and Old Dean”

A Community College Primer

Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile. ~ Abu Bakr One of the frustrations I have faced throughout my career as a dean, has been how little long-time faculty often know about the way the college works. I understand how this happens, you get hired out of college, or after beingContinue reading “A Community College Primer”

What role does your college have in your work/life balance?

Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it. ~ Lily Tomlin In addition to working as a community college administrator I also have written a blog for the last eleven years entitled the Ministry of Happiness. In writing that blog, it deals with issues of how to live a happierContinue reading “What role does your college have in your work/life balance?”

Magical Enrollment Thinking

Over the last year and a half, community college enrollments across the college have plummeted by over 10% including a staggering 21% for first time college students. For community colleges whose funding is dependent specifically upon enrollments this enrollment decline has been disastrous. The COVID pandemic has certainly been the most complex and challenging timeContinue reading “Magical Enrollment Thinking”

Beware of Normalcy Theater

Tonight I want to talk about something I’m calling normalcy theater, it’s me co-opting the term security theater so let’s start by defining what that term means. Security theater, as explained by Bruce Schneier on CNN, is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the publicContinue reading “Beware of Normalcy Theater”

What the hell does a Dean do?

So I started working in higher education in 1986 when I taught my first college class. I’ve been working in the California Community College system since 2002 and took my first dean’s position in 2005. I’ve been working as a dean ever since. When people ask me what I do for a living and IContinue reading “What the hell does a Dean do?”

The Hardest Semester of Your Career Fall 2021

Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe. ~ Sumner Redstone Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester, one I’m sure will almost certainly be the most challenging semester of your career. I know, you’re shaking your head for one of two reasons. Either youContinue reading “The Hardest Semester of Your Career Fall 2021”