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Confessions of a Community College Administrator

Matthew Reed, Kay McClenney (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1-118-23553-9
176 pages
December 2012, Jossey-Bass
Confessions of a Community College Administrator (1118235533) cover image


Written by Matthew Reed, the formerly anonymous author of Inside Higher Ed's most popular blog, Confessions of a Community College Dean, this book offers keen insights, a frank discussion, and suggested solutions for the many issues that are unique to community college administration.

In Confessions of a Community College Administrator Reed describes the current landscape of community college leadership and addresses some of the fundamental questions that face community colleges. 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?

Throughout the book, Reed offers guidance and encouragement for the next generation of community college leaders. He 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.

Confessions of a Community College Administrator is filled with realistic, and ultimately hopeful, advice on how to step back from the day-to-day administrative struggles and gain some perspective on the larger picture. Reed offers administrators useful and productive directions for constructive change.

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Table of Contents

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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Author Information

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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