• Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

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Friday Fragments

Emeritus status, Canada, dog personalities, more ...

August 3, 2017
 
 

The idea of setting some sort of “emeritus” status for distinguished retirees has been bouncing around campus for a while, and it seems to have momentum.

At universities, my impression is that emeritus status is often a function of published research, and/or fundraising. Neither of those really applies here. We have folks who have published research, and we’ve fundraised, but neither is at the core of the enterprise.  

Ideally, it shouldn’t only apply to faculty. I could imagine someone who had served the college for decades in another key role being entirely deserving, but expanding it beyond faculty ranks necessarily raises the question of criteria.

In the context of a teaching-intensive institution, what do you think would make sense as criteria for emeritus status? What would it mean here?

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Well done, Canada.

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I know it’s SCIENCE, but “Path of Totality” sounds a lot like a 70’s jazz fusion band.

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We’re dogsitting a 90 pound golden retriever, Ralphie, for a few weeks for some family friends. That means that Sally has temporarily lost “only dog” status.

They’ve been pretty good about it, except for Sally trying to mount Ralphie a few times (He growls and she backs down.) They walk together well, looking like a canine version of the Odd Couple. Sally is Felix, tidy and fussy; Ralphie is Oscar, shambling, shedding, and drooling.  

The real shock for me was the difference in personalities. Sally has been our dog for over seven years now; prior to this week, I had met Ralphie maybe twice. But when I got back from Nashville, Ralphie made a much bigger fuss over me than Sally did. He has that golden retriever “happy to meet you!” demeanor that Sally just doesn’t. She’s friendly to her peeps, but ‘peeps’ status is earned over time.  

Ralphie has been here for less than a week, but it’s already getting difficult to remember what it was like before.  

Dogs are sneaky like that.

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