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Confessions of a Community College Administrator

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 one of the most 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.

Leadership Advice from the Author

Building consider will pay off in ways you’ll’t anticipate.

How do you respect transparency and confidentiality at the same time?

Take this scenario: You have a faculty member with a serious medical condition that he would rather not disclose to his colleagues. The condition makes it very difficult for him to teach early morning classes, though he’s fine going late into the afternoon. You sympathize, and give him a schedule that meets his needs.

His colleagues start to grumble about favoritism. Why does he at all times get out of the early shift? Is it because he’s one race and they’re others? Did someone do a favor for someone? Morale suffers, and you start to lose credibility.

As a general rule, you consider that transparency is a good thing. But in this case you would be betraying a consider–not to mention laws about medical privacy–if you shared the information. What do you do?

If you’ve built a reservoir of consider, you’ll have the credibility you want when you ask his colleagues to needless to say you’ll’t reveal your reasons, but that in your shoes, they would do the same thing. They may consider you or they may not, but if you have their consider, they’re going to give you the good thing about the doubt.

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