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Monday, January 13, 2014

Advice to an OLD Teacher: And Now What?

A few months ago, I went to an academic conference.  One of the breakout sessions was an hour-long discussion about why so few faculty aspired to go into administration.  I didn't actually attend this session, as I couldn't comprehend why anyone would need an hour to say, "Well, duh!"  Because, seriously, why would anyone, given a choice, opt for a workweek filled with meetings, bureaucracy, and complaints over the much more innately appealing prospect of hanging out with students, pontificating for several hours a week on a topic that interests you, and having summers off?  It's a fair question.

Nevertheless, last semester, when my own longtime dean announced her retirement, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and apply for her job.  And today, I was informed that I got it.  And now I am answering the obvious question: Why?

Mainly, I want a new challenge.  I enjoy teaching, and I think I'm pretty good at it, but I've been doing it now, in one way or another, for over twenty years.  It's time for something new.  And as much as administration features some unappealing aspects--I dread the meetings that are, I fear, going to become a major part of my life for years to come--administration also, possibly, offers opportunities.  If nothing else, a good administrator can make it easier for good teachers to do a good job.  If nothing else, I hope that becomes part of my legacy.

But, legacies are a long way off.  Tomorrow is day one.  Let the adventure begin!

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