Next week, at Commencement, I will have the inestimable pleasure of dressing up like a reject from a Harry Potter movie and presenting well earned degrees to our latest batch of outstanding students.
This, I think, will be my 68th graduation ceremony. That’s a lot of dressing up.
You know, it really is time to stop.
And no, I haven’t been fired, contracted an exotic disease or won the lottery – it’s just that, after 34 years in academic administration, 29 of them as Dean of this wonderful School, it’s time to give someone else a shot.
With 50 solid years of performance behind us and a glowing future ahead, I really believe that it is time for a new generation of leaders to shape the next 50, and this is the perfect moment for change. Both departments have recently won full accreditation, the budget is balanced, enrollments are growing steadily and the Campaign, bringing much needed support for our students and programs, has been wildly successful.
It has been a privilege to be Dean of this School and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m looking forward to returning to teaching, research and service. My life in academic administration only permitted four full years of ‘real’ work in the early days, and I can’t wait to inflict my unique style of teaching on new generations of unsuspecting students. I will still, of course, maintain and expand my research, community and professional work in city development, as well as the stuff the central administration has planned for me to do at the campus level – there’s no peace for the wicked.
So thank you all. Our faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters are the best – the very best – and I can’t wait for the next phase of development in our School.