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Returning to the Faculty. Bruce Stiftel Department of Urban and Regional Planning Florida State University ACSP Administrators Conference March 07. What they say…. As a former chair, you will: Experience loneliness as few beat a path to your door;

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Returning to the Faculty

Bruce Stiftel

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Florida State University

ACSP Administrators Conference

March 07


What they say…

  • As a former chair, you will:

    • Experience loneliness as few beat a path to your door;

    • Have difficulty re-engaging a productive research program;

    • Grieve as your hard fought accomplishments are dismantled;

    • Be the object of retribution as colleagues you previously pressed for change now review your performance.


Loneliness

  • Attitude:

    • Why did I choose faculty work?

    • Did the parade to my door improve my productivity?; My daily work world?

  • Experience:

    • New work brings new contacts.

  • Conclusions:

    • If you engage a new agenda, your level of interaction will still exceed the level desirable for high productivity.

    • One genuinely engaged student or co-researcher is more rewarding than a long queue of petitioners.


Re-engaging Research

  • Attitude:

    • My leading dissatisfaction about being a chair was that I didn’t have the time I would have liked for research.

  • Experience:

    • The questions I now see as important are different than the questions I left years ago.

  • Conclusions:

    • You still have the tools for learning and critical analysis that you always had.

    • Applying them still requires honest effort.


Dismantling

  • Attitude:

    • Change only lasts if it affects the hearts and minds of the people.

  • Experience:

    • New leaders will have new pressures, but will still see the view from the bridge.

  • Conclusions:

    • You have a role to play reporting institutional memory, but reaching out from the grave is seldom a rewarding pass time.


Retribution

  • Attitude:

    • I want to look back on my work and feel proud.

  • Experience:

    • For every one who criticizes a hard decision, there are three that thank you for it.

    • Today’s issues quickly replace yesterdays.

  • Conclusions:

    • Deal straight and there will be a welcome home for you later.

    • If not, move on.


What advice would I give?

  • Stay engaged with the intellectual life of our profession, so you have new challenges to move on to.

  • New research will require the vigor and concentration it always did, but you have better perspective and can take risks.

  • Deal straight; don’t second guess later implications, but don’t turn off to governance either (they need your memory and perspective).


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