I didn’t get Scott’s permission before writing this.
That’s not unusual; I never have.
He has been the kind of editor that writers dream of having: supportive, encouraging and willing to point out when I’ve misconstrued something. Once, when I asked what the rules were, he said, “Just don’t libel anybody.” Fair enough.
We “met” before we ever met. I had started this blog on my own, on the old Blogspot site, in 2004, and started posting most weekdays in 2005 just to see if I could. In 2007 he reached out to me to let me know that he liked what I was doing and to see if I’d be interested in having Inside Higher Ed run it. I said yes, and here we are.
It was probably another year or so before we met in person at a conference in Philadelphia. Since then we’ve crossed paths at various conferences. Once I even invited him to be the convocation speaker at Brookdale, and he took me up on it. The venue wasn’t ideal, but the folks who could hear him were duly impressed. I was just grateful that he made the trip.
Over time, I found out a few things we had in common. Most notably, we both grew up in the Rochester, N.Y., area, Scott in Brighton and me in Brockport and later Fairport. People from there know the feeling of living in the shadow of other places. Among those with ambition, it can lead to a certain restlessness that can manifest in taking chances, like starting an online industry journal or writing for years from the trenches under a pseudonym.
Scott helped connect me with the folks at Wiley who published my book. (Come to think of it, it could use an updated edition. Hmm …) Once, when I was still writing under the Dean Dad pseudonym, he had me call in to a conference presentation and present by phone. I couldn’t help but think of the beginning of episodes of the old Charlie’s Angels series, with everyone gathered around a speakerphone. It was kind of silly, but great fun. I don’t know a lot of editors who would do that, but Scott did. It was his idea.
I’m grateful to Scott for taking a chance on something that had never been done before in quite this way and for sticking with it.
He emailed me a few weeks ago to let me know this was coming. I responded thusly:
I stand by it.
Best wishes, Scott. Thank you for taking the chance and for such steadfast support. One Monroe County expat to another, I tip my cap.