A loss for the Academy.

July 16, 2007

I feel like marking the decision of Rob Knop to take a job outside of the Academy (meaning the distributed edifice of US academia of course). You can read all about the situation here and here.

The details of Rob’s case don’t really matter. One can always debate quality and supply/demand and all that crap. We’ve all seen people in this exact situation, regardless of academic specialty or department and heard all the arguments. And we all know at some level that competition is a GoodThing and that the tenure bar is Meaningful and all that. Phoo. His blog shows he Gives a Crap about things, I’m therefore inclined to believe he’s a decent professor in my book. He’s going to move onto a new job where they actually appreciate him and five years from now he’s going to tell all comers that this was the best thing that ever happened to him. All true, I’ve seen this over and over again in such decisions.

Also true that future students have lost a good professor and that is bad for the Academy.

Stories like this remind me:

1) Make it (personally, that is)

2) Help the (more) junior faculty around me in my department and institution make it.

3) Help the promising junior faculty and research scientists in my field make it.

I’d ask you to do the same, Dear Reader.