I started at Latitude 38 University (L38 U) over six years ago. The position I took was very different from prior professional appointments I had held, so it offered the sort of change and new learning that I very much wanted after nearly 7 years at my prior institution and over 15 years in higher education administration.
I was in that position for six years, during which time I was heavily recruited for a number of positions, all of which I declined. I really liked my position at L38 U, but I was also bound to staying in the same general area where I work by my partner, and, more especially, his son, whom I am very close to. That said, both my partner and I agreed that his graduation from high school this coming spring would change things dramatically. As a married gay couple, we have some good reasons to be strategic about where we eventually live.
Professionally, I still ache thinking about some of the positions I turned down during that time. I will admit that only one of them was a formal offer, but I have a good sense that most, if not all, of the rest would have resulted in an offer had I not withdrawn. That might strike one, but it’s almost certainly true.
While I really liked my position at L38 U, I was also beginning to feel that it was time to leave. Not to brag, but I had done a very good job of succession planning, knowing that I would likely move once my stepson graduated high school. I’d also had six seasons of the ebbs-and-flows of that setting and was finding I was becoming dull…vague…anGRY! And, I had been a finalist for what would have been a dream job…if only my partner hadn’t hated cold, and both of us unwilling to move to a state that was as regressive on the topic of marriage inequality.
Some reorganizations at L38 U resulted in the opening of the role in which I am now serving. I was clearly the preferred candidate. I wouldn’t characterize my feelings about the role that excited me, so much as familiar, and a good next step for me, were I to stay at L38 U for some time. After a very restricted, but competitive search, I was offered the job. Right around that time, I removed myself from the search that still makes my heart ache the most. (A position that is still unfilled, I might add, but, alas, in a marriage-inequality and very cold state.)
My new role is one with which I was immediately comfortable. That’s not to say that I didn’t or still don’t have a lot to learn or to offer, but most of that learning is related to transitory politics, and most of what I have to offer is nothing more than an extension of what I offered in my prior role. In short, I’m busy, but bored. Still, I wouldn’t mind being in this role for a few years.
(Un)Fortunately, right as I was starting my new role, the position announcement at the University of the 48th Parallel (U 48P) came across my virtual desktop. At first, I resisted: I had just removed myself from a search that would have led to a much more prestigious position (ache!), and I had just…JUST…started a new position, complete with new salary, new boss, new staff, new office, new parking.
I ignored it…for a month. For reasons that will go unmentioned at this point, I felt compelled to consider it. I applied. Fast forward, I am now a finalist.
While it helps to know that U 48P is is a marriage-equality state, there are a lot of reasons why I would engage in what could result in one of the biggest disruptions in my, and my partner’s lives.
I will, no doubt, wax on about those reasons, but suffice it say that U 48P excites a passion I haven’t been in touch with for a very long time: higher education for learning’s sake.