I worked at Otero Junior College full-time (More than 3 years)
Nice campus. Southwestern fake-friendly atmosphere. A good area to live in if you are somewhat closed-minded about the world, believe in American exceptionalism, etc.
While I was there sports clearly trumped academics. Virtually every newly hired instructor experienced related pressure to dumb-down grade, from sports coaches or administration. Most new hires experienced fear or stress about their job if they didn't dumb-down their course assessment to cater to the athletic emphasis in the college. The college is somewhat like a Kim Jong-il ruled institution in which there is an entrenched, mildly corrupt old guard who can do almost anything they want (somewhat typical of community colleges) if they are not too brazen. Like many other educational institutions, there is considerable "goal displacement" in which rules become more important than genuine innovation and productive educational goals. An excellent VP of instruction left in frustration at being powerless to change what the clique of good old boys deem is the standard and the right way to do things. Standard hiring procedures can be bypassed, which in at least one case resulted in an individual who glaringly lacked qualifications. That individual was an inherently lazy person who fit nicely into sports-are-supreme context. The only thing notable about him was his bombastic self-centered bloviating interminably when addressing an audience. Of course these good old boys are mainly engaged in protecting their positions. If you are a new hire you will find benefits drastically less than what the old guard has accumulated and will retire with. Improving educational methods and techniques would be a threat to their anachronistic ways and means. All in all, however, this “Old Town” style context is not a bad place to work if 1) you are a local who already fits in the college structure and community, or 2) you need to bide your time until a more interesting job comes along in a more interesting place to live.
Advice to Management
Can anyone give advice to a Kim Jong-il type administrative system?
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