|Being a part of the Faculty Advocacy Network intrigued me, at least in part, because I know how mysterious the transition to academia can be no matter how seasoned one may be as a professional in a particular field. I joined the BSC faculty in fall 2004 in my first full-time faculty position after a career in the public sector that spanned over two decades in various leadership and analytical staff positions at all levels of government, except for elective office. In the twenty-first century, most of us will have at least seven or eight careers during our lifetime. Given our recent international financial meltdown, most of us will likely be working into our seventies not the future we might have envisioned, but an exciting prospect none-the-less. However, the transitions can be mystifying and the institutional rules and expectations in this new culture can seem impenetrable.|
As a newly minted Ph.D. (2002) from Northeastern University in the Law, Policy, and Society Program, I had the wonderful and unnerving experience of entering the only vaguely familiar culture of academia late in my careers. I had taught many college-level courses, but being a part of the institutional environment on a full-time basis has been quite a different experience altogether. I am now the Coordinator of the MPA Program and newly appointed Chair of the Graduate Education Council and Co-facilitator of the Institutional Assessment Council. I am blessed to have spent many years as a practitioner and consultant in a wide range of institutions. And I must say that academia is a world unto itself. I am still learning about the remarkable academic/administrative divide, the mind-boggling complexity of operating under a collective bargaining agreement, and the ever-present challenge of balancing scholarship, teaching, service, professional activity off campus, family, friends, and personal health and growth. Whew! I have dealt with radical change in my lifetime and somehow managed to survive and thrive. I would be happy to share my experiences with others and provide a safe haven for talking about the challenges of what for many will be a new organizational culture.
Last Modified: January 20, 2009