Sunday, May 16, 2010


Let is never be said that the Lesboprof does not understand the importance of appropriate leave-taking ceremonies. My departure from my administrative position was announced months ago, when we were advertising for my replacement. So, now that the actual time to leave the position is drawing near, I have done each of the following:

  • secured a sabbatical to help with transition back to regular faculty life, so I can catch up on my writing
  • hosted a party for all of the staff and faculty who have helped me be successful in my administrative post
  • written a farewell statement to the students in the programs I oversee
  • had a great time celebrating students at our graduation ceremony
  • received tributes for the work I have done
  • passed along all of my appropriate files to my successors
  • purged my own files of most of the mess that related to this position--including shredding all of the materials with FERPA-protected or other sensitive data, while maintaining things that may be helpful in future positions
  • set up a kickass home office--yes, I got a beautiful (fake) tiffany lamp, spacious and sturdy desk,  and lovely curtains (see below for samples of all)--so I can avoid my workplace for the next few months of sabbatical.

I still have a few more tasks to undertake during my last 1.5 months on the job (until the end of the fiscal year), but I am pretty much done with this segment of my life. The light at the end of the tunnel is just ahead--and seems to have a mission style! I have some sadness about leaving the administrative position, especially without another administrative position to move into. And with the sabbatical coming up, it almost feels like a more permanent leavetaking, though it is really only for a semester. I was hoping for something different to come back to, once the sabbatical is over, but there is no need to stress about that now.

All of that said, though, I feel like I have done this leave-taking thing right. I am trying to remain open to and excited about the possibilities of the sabbatical--both the time for rest and relaxation and the ambitious writing schedule I am planning to impose when the fiscal year is closed. A new chapter is going to start, and I hope I will enjoy it as much as I have the last chapter as a mid-level administrator at Big State U. My friends talk about doors closing and windows opening, and I will keep looking for the light and fresh air--just past my beautiful new curtains!


undine said...

Congrats on the sabbatical and on all those things accomplished, Lesboprof. Is it wrong of me to covet your lamp?

Tenured Radical said...

I think you should busy yourself writing for Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle. I am sure you are an outstanding administrator, but you are also a keen commentator.

Lesboprof said...

@Undine, that actually isn't exactly the lamp, but I could not find the pic of the real lamp. It is close though. And that lamp can be yours, too, thanks to our good friends at Target! ;-)

@ TR, thanks for the props. I send mutual love and respect back your way. I am very much enjoying your response on the Kagan nomination! I cannot wait to see this confirmation process...

Old Doc Huck said...

I enjoyed your "leave taking" post. I've been a department chair for four years and like you, I'll be getting a sabbatical, but not until after I jump back into online teaching this summer and next fall -- I figure that I'll be ready to get away after diving back into full time teaching (which at the community college means five classes a quarter).

I'm glad I surfed into your blog. You write well and thoughtfully -- and much more regularly than I do!

undine said...

Thanks, Lesboprof--and I'd like to second TR's recommendation that you write for IHE or The Chronicle.