Thanks for a great decade
As I write this, I am in the midst of my 11th year as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In June, I will step out of the dean’s office—leaving behind the world of academic administration—and return to the faculty. The chancellor and provost have initiated a nationwide search for my replacement. I would like to tell you a bit about my decision.
These years have been both the most challenging and enjoyable of my professional career, and I have sincerely enjoyed every moment. I am still enjoying it, but I never expected to be away from research and the classroom this long.
I have decided to end my tenure as dean while I am still having a good time and enthusiastic enough to do the job 24/7. Knowing when to exit is a skill both of the stage and in administration, and I have chosen to leave before I experience a Hosni Mubarak moment in which I discover that my supporters have surrounded Old Main with pitchforks and placards!
I can honestly say that the friends that I have made and worked with as dean have enriched my life, and I hope that these relationships continue. I remain proud of the College of Arts and Sciences and what it stands for and have no intention of abandoning it.
There are a number of ongoing college projects that I care deeply about, but I’ve realized that there always will be several projects in development, that there is no ideal time to turn over the reins. We have some exciting new degree programs that are still in development. The biotechnology initiative is still a work in progress. Our Washington, D.C., internship program won’t be fully operational until 2013. We’re in the middle of our Creating Futures fundraising campaign. My successor will not have to look about for things to do!
The college is in good shape, with deep leadership, and I look forward to rediscovering the thrill of the lecture hall and engaging in projects that I can do “below the radar” and without a coat and tie.
It’s been a great decade. I thank you for that. I look forward to seeing many of you soon, either on campus or in my travels. And as you begin to contemplate your end-of-year philanthropy, remember that there is still a student out there—probably crossing the Norlin Quad right now contemplating the fall colors or her chemistry midterm exam—who could benefit from a little bit of scholarship support! Go Buffs.