• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Title

Late Registration: You Make the Call!

A difficult choice.

January 31, 2018
 
 

Baseball fans of a certain age will remember Mel Allen’s narration of This Week in Baseball, and its recurring feature, You Make the Call. They’d show a tricky or rare play, and not reveal the correct umpire’s call until after the commercial break. As an impressionable kid, I remember being struck at how unfair some of the correct calls seemed, but it was great fun to try.

Wise and worldly readers, I’ve got one for you. No baseball knowledge required.

Let’s say that you work at a tuition-dependent college with declining enrollment and very little financial cushion. You’ve identified (correctly) that allowing students to register late for classes -- say, after they’ve started -- puts them at dramatically increased risk for failure.  You want students to have a greater chance of success.

At the same time, though, you’re aware that the first semester without late registration may involve taking an enrollment hit on top of the long-term decline you’re already experiencing. In fact, it’s entirely possible that the short-term enrollment hit could trigger layoffs.

What do you do?

a. File “end late registration” in the “later” file. Enrollment is enrollment.

b. Rip off the band-aid and end late registration. Students are ends in themselves, not means.

 

You make the call...

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