Beki Grinter

A change

In academic management on August 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

So, dear reader, there’s been a change.

The final lesson I have learnt about academic administration, at least for a while, at least as an insider, is that starting points matter. What do I mean.  Well, I got into a situation that I couldn’t actually be successful in. I did it because I didn’t know enough about what was required, and I was stupid enough not to ask people who might before agreeing. I am angry and disappointed with myself, I should have known better. So, anyway, I have returned at least for now to being a Plain old Professor (POPS).

Actually this is the first time I’ve been a POPS since about 2004 when I first became a professor. Fairly soon after arriving I took on my first significant service responsibility as Program Coordinator for a PhD program.  Program Coordinator is sort of a combination of advisor, faculty cheer person, rule enforcer, and so forth.  It was a good experience, and one in which I had an incredible amount of autonomy.

Perhaps I thought that that was a hallmark of being an administrator, that I would have enough space and resources to shape the job, that was not to be the case when I stepped up a level, where I felt that I was largely buffetted around on a sea of mis-matched expectations. And as I reflect back, the autonomy I had previously had might have been the early warning sign. If I’d read the signs right, it might have told me more than it did. Not reading those signs, makes me very angry with myself, I should have known better. I especially should have known better.

Ah well, time to move on. Learn. Move on. Learn and move on.


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