Campus is coming back to life after a restful (at least for me) break. By this time next week, classes will be in session and the Spring Semester will be well under way.
I've hit the ground running. I'm off to New Orleans tomorrow to attend the largest annual math conference in the world. More than 6,000 mathematicians are expected to attend the 2011 Joint Meetings.
I'm also busy with several big projects as we look to wrap up some for this school year and take on others what will look ahead to next year, too.
In January I spend a lot of time on promotion and tenure cases. My decisions in these cases are probably one of the most important things that I do as dean. By giving someone tenure, you're basically telling them that unless they screw up, they have a job for life. They, of course, have to do their job and do it well, but it is difficult to let go someone with tenure. So often times you are making a thirty or forty year investment in the university.
We also just finished the college strategic plan, which is now up on the website. So we'll be talking with departments, programs, and centers about implementing the plan and how that aligns with our move to the Big 10 and their aspirations. This will be a constant theme throughout the semester. Another theme will be how we best can take advantage of the strategic hiring opportunities we will have as a result of the recent voluntary separation incentive program.
Before we know it, April will be upon us and we'll be busy with all sorts of celebrations, while May, of course, brings graduation.
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