Thursday, January 18, 2018

The best laid plans . . . .

Last night, following Grey's news, I began emailing colleagues to set up meetings. Though some had been alerting about me potentially leaving, plans had been made with the idea of proceeding like nothing was changing. Though Grey hasn't signed a contract yet, we're proceeding with good faith on this offer.

Which means I have to figure out how to structure a transition without leaving anyone but myself hanging.

For one program, this has already been worked out for me. My replacement was hired last week and it's just a matter of scheduling meetings to begin handing off materials.

But the course I'm teaching is far more complex. Given the weird way the institution does enrollment (only after the first week of class) I currently have zero clue how many students I'll actually be overseeing. In addition, as it's a research course, the structure is much less defined. The final wrinkle is a got pretty ambitious and have designed a project that will incorporate engineering with genetics where the students how to do Next-Generation sequencing. Right now I'm floating collaborations between the Physics department, BioInformatics and the Genome Center. Far from plug and play.

E and I met this morning to strategize how best to move forward. On one hand, I have identified someone who would be an ideal replacement, with us potentially splitting the responsibilities and me guiding her through this craziness I've designed. The problem with this is that I would lose health insurance and other benefits in addition to pay. The other option is to have her waiting in the wings, taking over my appointment, but I have zero clue if anyone will go for that.

The added wrinkle is after a year of development, I'm fairly invested in this project. My goal was to put together grant applications over the summer using the data the students generated. Handing this completely off to someone else is something I'd like to avoid doing.

Still, the priority is moving and focusing on transitioning. My current set up is far from sustainable and was always meant to be temporary. So today I'm modifying plans, figuring out a way to allow things to continue without me steering those ships. Despite how much I was wishing I had more control.


  1. I hope some way you are able to see your project to some sort of completion. It sounds really cool.

  2. Heh, just goes to show when you address one challenge, it creates other challenges. Life is so complicated! But I’m happy for your family. Better to choose your destiny and face it than sit around waiting to see what happens. When you go willingly into the battle, you have a different and much healthier feeling about it than if you feel like a victim.

  3. Arghh, that sounds stressful. I hate the unknown, the uncertainty, and it sounds like this situation is rife with it. But for very, very good reasons. Any way you can consult on your project if you can't be there for it? It would stink to set up all that stuff to get it going and then have to leave it with someone else entirely, but maybe if you can have a consulting role that would help? Transition plans are the worst, even though they're necessary and so helpful -- especially when you don't have all the information. Thinking of you!

  4. Phew, I saw the title of this after "Drumroll, please" on your Archive list, and jumped here in case the offer had been rescinded. I am so relieved. Now I can go back and offer congratulations!

    Good luck for the transition. It sounds frustrating, but stress does make us at least think through all the scenarios. I hope it goes as well as you could expect or hope.


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