Confessions of a College Dean and the Happy Academic

In an effort to broaden my perspectives, I’ve been adding a lot of links to the ol’ blog lately. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of the anonymous blog, especially those anonymous blogs written by folks who want to be taken seriously as an academic but who are hiding behind a pseudo-identity. But I decided to make (another?) exception this morning and I added Confessions of a Community College Dean to the blogroll this morning and I’d encourage you to check him out.

CCCD is sort of a “happy academic” among the administrative ranks. He writes things I don’t agree with (this post about what seems to be an adminsitrative “dream scenario” for getting rid of those pesky tenured professors is offensive and wrong in a bunch of different ways), but I thought this post about housing was good (and it hits home in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti market, “fly-over state” though I suppose we are), and this post
and this post about the cons and pros (in that order) of being an academic administrator.

One should never say never, and it’s difficult for me to predict my (or anyone else’s) future. But as a Happy Academic and a member of that (occassionally problematic, according to what I’ve read on CCCD) class of the tenured, I can only say that I would rather chew off one of my own fingers than to become a department head, assistant/associate dean, or dean of a college. I am greatful for good administrators and scornful for bad ones (we’ve got our share of both around here) and I am happy that someone else is willing to do this work, and I also understand the fact that administrative-types generally make more money than us faculty-types. But dang, if I wanted a 9-5 job that required me to show up in an office, dress in appropriate office clothing, attend a whole bunch of meetings, and deal with people complaining about stuff I can’t do much about all day long, I would have never gotten into academia in the first place. Thank you, but no thank you.

Instead, I believe I will spend the rest of my Happy Academic summer day by working on a book project, going to the gym, taking my son to swimming lessons, working in the garden, and going shopping. I’ll be doing these things not necessarily in this order and certainly while wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

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