Inspiration behind the book
We wanted to write about the community college life in an entertaining—and yet instructional—manner. American community colleges are talked about constantly-- everybody in the country seems to work at one, or attend one, or knows someone who attends one. The culture is quite entertaining—and has been the subject of many jokes (and even a TV show and recent movie). But we thought we would like to write the first “campus novel” that focused on the community college experience from the perspectives of staff and students. We have over 40 years experience (together) as community college staffers—and we know for certain that little community college criticism exists.
We are dismayed at the changes which have occurred at our colleges. Once Stewards of the public trust, so many community college Leaders now follow selfish ambition.
We try (and succeed) to illustrate the “whispered truths” about the community college experience in a funny manner. As you read the Phil Dolly Affair, you might be surprised to learn about the large salaries of administrators—and feel compassion for the exploited part-time professors who work for virtually nothing. Perhaps you will be reminded of the extravagant costs of textbooks—and wonder why faculty and staff must attend so many meetings. We question the corporate management practices that have taken over our colleges, and ubiquitous Ed Leadership doctoral programs, and the Organizational Learning that occupies every waking moment in every college boardroom. We often kid ourselves that the daily emails at any community college are a novel in themselves….
(Of course, we had to throw in a few failed romances, divorces, vampire novels, dogs, potlucks, pet ducks, and motorcycles for good measure. Every good book needs a love story.)
So we hope you have fun reading College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair—we sure had fun writing the novel.
While community colleges are currently receiving heightened attention, this novel provides a behind-the-scenes analysis of many whispered truths, those simmering but unspoken workplace behaviors, issues, and machinations every worker (Everyman!) will recognize. A humorous and biting read with a clever mix of satire, political intrigue, failed romances, and tragic-comedy, this novel will open your eyes to the truth about community colleges …
JB O Connor, Student
JB had just left the Student Success Center [housed in the Teaching Learn-ed Center] at Copperfield Main.
He had taken a battery of academic placement, career guidance, political party proclivity, student government group and organization interest inventories, and TB tests….
He had spent about 20 minutes with a lady counselor [d--- she’s hot!] making course selections and was now walking over to the Business Center Complex to pay his registration fees.
JB had come to this venerable institution of higher learning for various reasons. [But mostly because his dad told him to go back to school or else.] About two days ago, he quit his job at the Sticky Mart and thought he might like to lounge around the house for a while. That same afternoon, while he was home watching the TV and drinking an ice cold beer, his dad, John, strode into the house and told him he had to get another job, or join the military, or go to college, or get out of the !%$^@! house.
Basically lazy and not suited for menial labor, JB had been out of high school for two years now, and had never really thought about going on to school. But, none of the armed services wanted him because of his inability to read... so college seemed like a good possibility.
About the authors:
Jann M. Contento has a broad range of experiences in higher education including student affairs administration, athletics, and institutional research. He is currently working in a community college setting and has co-authored several articles on leadership and college culture.
Jeffrey Ross, who resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his wife and son, is a writer, rockabilly musician, and former full-time community college teacher. He has had four "Views" pieces published on InsidehigherEd.com since 2007, has authored and co-authored several op-ed articles on community college identity, purpose, and culture, and has recently had several pieces published on the Cronk News higher education satire website.
Face book Info Page
Getting to Know Phil Dolly Blog
Twitter Account @SalinasChick
Jeffrey Ross Creative Efforts Home Page on Web Eden (Music and More)
Jeffrey Ross Open Salon Blog—other poetry and essays