We are currently searching for a department head--it turns out that this has been a far more educational experience than I ever imagined! To watch the politicking and posturing which has occurred over the past year has been interesting to say the least. I realize that my department is vastly more serene than many others out there and frankly...that frightens me. I keep asking myself, "Is this what I have to look forward to the rest of my professional life?"
Simply put, I am going to be up a creek without a paddle if what I have a feeling is going to happen actually happens. Even more, I can see the raging rapids and the careening water fall dead ahead of me and I am not sure how to jump ship and still survive.
I called my new-and-improved dad tonight to talk about gardening but ending up asking him what I should do. He has been around the academic environment enough to know a few things and he gave me some great advice:
- Go see the Dean of Graduate Studies, our old department head. Talk with him about my concerns and fears about what will happen with my adviser not getting tenure (pretty much a given at this point).
- Find a new major professor who will work with me and mentor me in the things that I need to learn.
- There isn't a professor in the department who wouldn't find me an asset to their research.
- I need to be "selfish" in this matter--my professional future is at stake and my family's happiness as well. (For new-and-improved dad tell me to be selfish about something is startling to say the least--I was left speechless after his talk.)