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Confessions of a Community College Administrator

Matthew Reed, Kay McClenney (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-118-00473-9
176 pages
January 2013, Jossey-Bass
Confessions of a Community College Administrator (1118004736) cover image

Those who lead community colleges and those who aspire to lead them will discover keen insights from this frank discussion of the particular issues that are unique to community college administration. This timely book offers realistic advice on how to handle the challenges—current and future—that such leaders must grapple with.

Matthew Reed, the formerly anonymous author of Inside Higher Ed blog Confessions of a Community College Dean, describes the current landscape of community college leadership and addresses some of the fundamental questions that face community colleges. He examines proposed solutions from outside academia as well as those emerging from inside the community college world, offering guidance and encouragement for the next generation of community college leaders.

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About the Author iv

Acknowledgments v

Foreword by Kay McClenney vii

Introduction 1

1. The Community College Landscape 13

2. Funding: Where the Money Comes From, Where It Goes, and Why There’s Never Enough 35

3. Community College Administration: Who Does What 61

4. Herding Cats: Managing Creative People 85

5. Regular Challenges of the Dean’s Job 105

6. Saving Community Colleges: A Few Modest Proposals 125

Conclusion 153

Notes 158

References 161

Index 163

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Matthew Reed is the author of the popular blog Confessions of a Community College Dean for Inside Higher Ed. He is vice president for academic affairs at Holyoke Community College and has been a full-time and adjunct faculty member, associate dean, and dean at for-profit and community colleges. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two young children.

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“Writing directly from the front lines of administration, [Matthew Reed] illuminates the work of managing and leading community colleges, describing with clarity and pathos, exasperation and humor, what it really entails. Yet his eyes rise from the mundane to the meaningful, from the problem in front of us to the much larger challenge on the horizon…. His writing brings common sense, compassion, civility, and courage to dilemmas of daily work and to questions of institutional purpose, form, and viability. It is a voice we need, and just in time.” —From the Foreword by Kay McClenney, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement and senior lecturer in the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin
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August 21, 2013
Confessions of a Community College Administrator

Those who lead community colleges and those who aspire to lead them will discover keen insights in CONFESSIONS OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR, a book that offers realistic advice on how to handle the challenges, current and future, that such leaders must face. The book provides the answers to tough questions, such as:

  • Who does a community college actually serve? 
  • How do administrators really make budget decisions? 
  • Where do the roots of the "permanent crisis" in higher education lie? 
  • How are full-time and adjunct faculty best balanced?

Written by Matthew Reed, the formerly anonymous author of Inside Higher Ed's most popular blog, Confessions of a Community College Dean, the book describes the currents landscape of community college leadership and examines a set of proposed solutions from outside academia, then turns to other solutions emerging from inside the community college world that also show potential for success.

"I wrote this book for people who want to understand the on-the-ground reality of community colleges, whether because they’re future administrators, trustees, or interested citizens.  It’s particularly aimed at the rising/next generation of community college administrators, and when they're done reading I hope that they feel they have more potential to succeed."

CONFESSIONS OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR leaves readers with a realistic, and ultimately hopeful, roadmap to stepping back from the day-to-day administrative struggles and more perspective on the larger picture. 

   
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