Category Archives: Dean Dad

January 14, 2010, 2:50 pm

Playing The Blame Game: Or; How Should Graduate Schools Respond To The Bad Job Market?

Over at ConfessionsOf A Community College Dean your favorite administrator and mine, Dean Dad, asks: “Why do people still go to grad school in the liberal arts?”

Good question. Although I have no former undergraduates making the leap into a Ph.D. program this year, the bigger picture is quite different. As Dean Dad notes, “the adjunct trend is so well-established at this point, and the economic irrationality of grad school so screamingly obvious, that it’s fair to wonder why many departments are actually experiencing record applications.” While he explores various irrational explanations — love for learning, self-delusion, and hiding out until the recession is over — there is, he argues, some rationality to the choice:

academia still offers a surface legibility. Yes, the odds are daunting, but good students have spent years rising to the top of academic competitions. There’s still a…

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May 9, 2007, 1:08 pm

Lifting As We Climb (with all due respect to Anna Julia Cooper)

Today’s thoughts are about Leadership.

Dean Dad has a new post up about mediating an emotion-laden disagreement between a faculty member and a fellow dean. It is an extremely lucid account of how he became aware of the conflict in the first place, how he collected information about it, and how he came to know that the two people had misunderstood each other and had acted on that misunderstanding, thus setting up a contest over authority. He then describes the actions he took to set everything straight. Because students were involved, and graduation requirements at stake, it was potentially quite messy (and even messier, I can imagine, at a community college where, unlike Zenith, students are often juggling a full work schedule, the college schedule, course availability, and graduation requirements.) The kind of conflict he describes is one that everyone will recognize having…

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