My heart is breaking! My new boss told me last month that he is not renewing my associate dean contract when it concludes on June 30. To be clear: I am not unemployed. I am a tenured professor in marketing, and I will return to teaching and research. But I have really loved my administrative job. If you read my blog regularly, you have seen the photographic evidence of that love. In that post, I wrote that I love my job, and how lucky I am…because my job loves me.

“Heartbreak” is not exactly the right word. A better word, if it were a word, might be heartrage. The interloper moved here from another university (with my support…oh) and then unilaterally decided that I would not continue in the job that lets me build on the 15 years I have spent improving our curriculum and the student experience at our school.

Some friends have told me not to memorialize my anger. Take the high road. Return to the faculty. Quietly. Don’t blow up and “ruin your reputation.” Don’t reply all. Don’t blog. Bury the attitude. Dance.

Instead, I will use Anne Lamott’s advice:

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

Boss, you should have behaved better. You told me that an academic leader has three qualities, vision, ability to execute, and interpersonal skills. And, “you have one of those.” Boss, I feel sorry for you that your limited perception only noticed one, when all three were there. Your loss.

I found the associate dean job exhilirating. It was my platform to spread the good news that we, as faculty and staff in higher ed, have a personal responsibility to every student we encounter.

Blog friends, I wanted you to know.


5 Comment

  1. SJG says: Reply

    O academia! It’s the place where we get to say “I’m not the problem! YOU are the problem.” And you make up a rubric that fits your view of the world. Here’s what I would say to your boss:
    1) Never punish progress
    2) Build on strength
    3) Culture eats vision for breakfast

    1. laurakornish says: Reply


  2. Christina Galante says: Reply

    Dear Laura,
    I am so glad you wrote this. Because many of us never get the chance, when things like this happen to us. The part about your new boss saying, “and you have one of those” was what really got me. I work in the corporate world, which I know is different from your world, but in my world, bosses, can’t say things like that to people!! Everyone who reads this blog knows what you bring to the university. And that the university is lucky to have someone with your educational background, proven track record as an educator and administrator and who also has such a great personal raport with the students and as well as colleagues.
    Your former student, who is my son, mentions something that he learned from you, and how he uses it in his job, at least once a quarter, and that’s in the many years since he’s graduated from CU.
    Thank you again for writing this piece, and getting all of your feelings out onto paper. The plus side is that the students in your marketing classes will still get to hear all your great “Laura advice” and “Laura wisdoms”, and your love of the CU culture will continue to guide them.

    Christina Galante
    (I’m sorry I’m not a great writer, but I feel your heartrage!)

    1. laurakornish says: Reply

      Thank you, Christina!

  3. Dear Husband says: Reply

    Big mistake, Boss. Big. We will be fine and free to spend our time on family and friends and travel and cat-sitting and so much more. Meow.

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