It’s a time of major changes in my world, including here.
I’m going to be stepping away from the blog for a couple of months. After that, if the blog returns, it will be under a different name and frequency. Given the new role, it would feel dishonest to keep identifying as a community college administrator. A think tank is a different setting with different challenges.
I’ll be higher ed adjacent. The Harkin Institute is affiliated with, and on the campus of, Drake University. I’ll be a Drake employee. I fully intend to remain conversant in the issues facing the community college world. But I need to get settled and give my full attention to the new place before deciding what kind of public writing presence would be helpful.
This was a hard decision. I enjoy public writing, and I cherish the community of readers who have joined me on this uncharted adventure over the last 19 years, 16 of which have been with Inside Higher Ed. Many of you have read faithfully for years, for which I’m more grateful than you know. You’ve helped me see sides of issues that I otherwise wouldn’t have and have done so with a grace and civility that can’t be taken for granted on the internet. Thank you.
A lot has changed since “Confessions” started. Back then blogs were considered vaguely disreputable. Slowly they became mainstream and eventually almost quaint. (I always thought of mine as a column by another name, so that didn’t bother me much.) In the early years the kids were little; now one is a college graduate who’s working full-time and the other is about to start her sophomore year of college. The whole “Dean Dad” conceit was about the challenges of trying to be an involved parent while working as a community college administrator; those were the two roles that consumed most of my waking hours. At the time, relatively few men wrote about work-life balance in a serious way; I wanted to be a part of changing that. Now, the kids are out of the house and I’ll be in a different sector of higher education. It’s time for a reset.
My thanks to Scott and Doug at IHE for their steadfast support and light editorial touch. Thanks to my wise and worldly readers for giving the whole effort a point. And thanks to Carolyn, Kyle and Jessica for giving all of my efforts a point.