Monday, September 07, 2009

The First Days; Happy Academic New Year and A Gift from Administrators Bookshelf

It is the first day or week of classes for many schools. A time of great anxiety, concern and extremely hectic activity. Will they show? How many will actually be here? Can they really get all that stuff in a small dorm room? Do we have the electrical capacity to run all that stuff without blowing something that plunges the whole region into the dark?

And for some it is the first day or week of a new job. Some are starting the snaking (and I do use that term to represent some of the creatures found on the way) of becoming an administrator. Starting out on the path to…. To…dare I think it. Dare I say it? To maybe become a full time college, university, community college or career college administrator.

As I thought about stepping over to the dark side and leaving the relative ease of a full professorship to become a fool time administrator behind, I recalled the feelings of joy, of anxiety and a little fear which was overcome by an out-of-whack ego so necessary for an administrator. I wished someone had really told me more about what the job was going to be like-- really like.

So I contacted The Administrators Bookshelf, a small publishing firm that puts out books to help administrators. They are also my publisher for The Power of Retention. I had been asked to submit an essay on my first day as a community college president for a collection of articles, essays and such from a variety of administrators recalling their first days as an administrator for a book titled The First Days: A Collection of Remembrances, Advice, Cautions and Life Changing Experiences.

I called the editor of the book Marylin Newell (who by the way has a great new marketing and retention tool with personalized greeting cards sent personally and directly to students – more on this next time). I asked Marylin if I could provide my readers with a copy of my piece in the book.

She not only said yes to my request but is letting my readers choose a sample chapter from The First Days from a list of some of the other articles! This is a way to ease the anxiety of a first day and of course to let people learn more of the collection and perhaps buy a copy. She also provided some special prices for the month of September for the book.

Rather than the full price of $22.95 plus $4.95 S+H, she will let readers get a hardcopy for $18.95 (plus $4.95 S+H) or $15.00 for a digital copy.

So I suggest that you obtain a free chapter and then when you see the value in it and the others, get your own copy of the full collection.

Here are the excerpts available. To get one just email a request for the one you choose to

The first day and thoughts of

  • University President Eric Gilbertson, Saginaw Valley State University (MI)
  • Community College President, Neal Raisman, Rockland Community College (NY)
  • Career College Campus Director, Mark Buch, Alaska Junior College (AL)
  • VP of Administration, John D. Eldert, Berklee School of Music (MA)
  • Bursar, Sheldon Socol, Einstein College at Yeshiva University (NY)
  • Director of Student Success/Retention, Judith Lilleston, College of Westchester (NY)
  • Director of IT, William Leonard, McIntosh College (NY)
  • Academic Advisor, Andrea Gillie Harris, Pepperdine University (CA)

Just choose which excerpt you want and send the request for the link to it, by clicking here.

Oh, I won’t be hurt if you choose someone else’s article rather than mine. Take advantage of the offer while it lasts. And thanks Marylin and The Administrator’s Bookshelf.


In high school, Mrs. Burns, the typing teacher, told me I would not need typing when I signed up for it to be the only man in an entire class of young women. She said I would be an executive or something of the sort with a young woman doing my typing for me. I would be better of with something like philosophy to get into a good college. As a result, I went to Umass-Boston. I never learned to type as such and use a quite fast, yet at times creative, two finger typing method often leading to interesting neologisms (i.e. typos). I am my secretary. And spell check can be as bizarre as my typing. So if you are bothered by typos, tell Mrs. Burns.

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