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”

Should Colleges Go Back Online in January?

I wrote a piece not too long ago for this blog entitled the hardest semester of your career, Fall 2021. This piece was focused on the fact that as part of emergency operations training you are taught that the recovery phase is the hardest phase in emergency management. Well, that was when we were allContinue reading “Should Colleges Go Back Online in January?”

A thank you to teachers

Tonight a joint post on two of my blogs the Ministry of Happiness and Higher Ed Mentor. It’s been a crazy year in education and as we wrap up the fall semester and I’m seeing what some of my faculty are doing to help students, and helping some students get their teachers to do whatContinue reading “A thank you to teachers”

Be wary of campus power words

People may hear your words, but they’ll feel your attitude. ~ John C Maxwell Every campus has a unique culture and as someone who has worked on seven college campuses it’s something you learn to figure out in a hurry. Of course like anything these days, even culture can be weaponized. So you learn quicklyContinue reading “Be wary of campus power words”

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”