A leap from the diving board

At the close of January, 2015, I printed my letter of resignation, signed it by hand, and walked it over to the two departments in which I have my faculty appointment.  On June 30, 2015, I will enjoy my last day at this university.

Why would I send my resignation more than five months in advance of my last day?  Universities do a lot of advance planning.  For example, I have served as course director for a class that meets each fall semester.  The department needs to know that the course will be in good hands (it will be; we began preparing for this possibility last fall).  Actually, my university requires six months’ notice for tenured faculty; my chair was kind enough to waive the first month.

Another important reason the department needs to know revolves around money.  I serve as a co-principal investigator (co-PI) on a grant that ends at the end of June.  Every day I stay after the close of that grant would invoke new costs equal to the amount that had been covered by that grant, in this case around a fifth of my salary.  Those dollars must come from somewhere.  I decided to tie my resignation to that grant end-date.

If I were hearing this for the first time, I am sure my first question would be “where will you work next?”  Happily, I have some pretty good options, and I will talk more about that in upcoming posts.  I would love to say all the details are settled, but they are not quite in place.  If you clicked the link above, you see that I have broken the cardinal rule of resignation!  They note that possibilities and discussions about hiring fail to bear fruit all the time.  It’s true.  I feel some stress about it, when I pause to consider it.

Here’s the thing: filing my letter of resignation reflected my faith that my future lies elsewhere, and this step has committed me to that future.  This is the delicate moment where my toes lose contact with the oscillating diving board.  My weight has shifted forward, and I have begun to rotate…


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