I find myself in a strange place as I write this. In just two days, my 11-year career in higher education will come to an end. And while I’m excited to start the next chapter with all of its challenges and opportunities to learn and grow, these last two weeks in my position have been… what? I’ve been staring at the end of that sentence and its blinking cursor this entire morning. I can say that I’m glad I’ve had two weeks to say good-bye to this place piece by piece. From here I’m going to have to redefine my relationships with people and with my work, and the way I communicate personally and publicly.
I can’t say enough about the people at the University of Michigan-Flint. I am continuously inspired by the dedication on this campus to serving these students and this great city. I’ve grown up here. I will miss being a part of UM-Flint’s every day. I will miss having an impact on the growth of others who are now students just like I was once. I will miss doing my part to advance the mission of this institution that means so much to so many.
Then there’s the higher ed web community. There aren’t words. Not really. I spent some time lamenting my exit from these ranks, but then decided I’ll never truly leave. The connections I’ve made with some of the smartest people in the communication field–regardless of industry–will continue to be something I rely on very much. You hear that, out there? You know who you are, and you’re stuck with me.
There are some goodbyes to be said, for sure. While I know I’ll always be connected to my UM-Flint family, the gang will never be together again in the same way. And I know that my higher ed colleagues all across this country will remain mentors and sounding boards, but I won’t be a part of the community like I was.
This year, one of my professional goals was to speak at a national higher ed conference. I was honored to have my submission accepted by two conferences, HighEdWeb and Confab Higher Ed. I can’t think of a better way to leave higher ed than with a farewell tour where I’ll be joined by some of my favorite people in the world.
Meanwhile, what happens to #strategycar? While I get settled into a new position, it will likely be a while before I have topics to discuss, or time to discuss them with regularity. I am committed to making sure the #strategycar drives on in some fashion. I’m just going to have to do some thinking. Maybe the next #strategycar topic is “#strategycar.” Surely there are a plethora of puns about road maps and detours and such we could put to good use.
So there’s some sadness. And some uncertainty. But overwhelmingly there’s optimism and possibility and energy and passion. I’m ready to take on a new challenge and see where I go next. I am so very grateful for this new opportunity, and also grateful for the chance I was given once upon a time. If you’re reading this, maybe you’re ready to come along for the ride.
Let’s do this, friends.