I originally prepared my comments for the last faculty meeting of my term as department chair. Those of you who know me best know that I am highly emotional and it would have been a difficult meeting for me to preside over. So, I’m offering my comments in writing as we navigate this changing of the guard. But first, time for a little more baseball talk, just like when Donna Hernandez retired. One reason I like baseball is that it is about impossible to get good at. For example, win 6 out of 10 games all year long and you have likely won your division. Bat .300 and you are considered a very good hitter. Bat .325 and you are an all-star. Approach .350 and you are the league MVP. And bat .400? It has not been done in the modern era of specialty pitching. Ted Williams did it last – in 1941. So, why I would have ever headed into the department chair role thinking that I would have been able to accomplish everything I set out to do? I am not sure. But I did – chalk it up to unbridled optimism, I suppose. What I found out was that my baseball analogy is a good metaphor for life. Do we ever really accomplish everything we set out to do? It certainly didn’t work out that way for me. The last several years have been particularly challenging. I would not have predicted getting upended by a pandemic, a cyber-hack, and in recent years, a constant fight to even keep the building properly climate controlled, no less get some faculty lines back.
Here are some accomplishments I am proud of. Although I was supportive, they are far from my efforts alone. Rather, they are the collective results of a lot of hard work by a lot of individuals and committees, and they just happened in my time. In keeping with my baseball theme, I will count many of these accomplishments in the win column. Continue reading “Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair”