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Work-Work Balance, Metrics, and Resetting the Balance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


In 1982, a year after i was appointed director of the center for twentieth century studies at the university of wisconsin, milwaukee (I had just received tenure), I met with a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC. “Aren't you a little young to be the director of a humanities center?” he asked. Notwithstanding the inappropriateness of the question, my point is that thirty years later I'm still in the same position, albeit at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington, Seattle. In a sense I haven't moved. I have consistently chosen to remain at this level in university administration, refusing the hierarchical ladder (chair, associate dean, dean, provost, president) in order to stay close to faculty and graduate student research, including my own, and relying on building networks across the campus and the country in order to have influence at my university and beyond. Two anecdotes—I think of them as short stories—illustrate why.

The Changing Profession
Copyright © 2012 by The Modern Language Association of America

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