This semester I am taking over as Chairman of the Chabot College Curriculum Committee.  Friday I signed my first documents (a bunch of distance education proposals) as curriculum chair.

It’s kind of a weird feeling.  I don’t have tenure yet—I’m in my third year at Chabot and my tenure decision is next year.  Yet I am now the chair of what could well be the most important governance committee on campus.  It was an honor to be nominated to chair the curriculum committee and I am looking forward to serving.  It will be a lot of work, as I am finding out, but work that I am willing to take on.

I am continually amazed and impressed by the amount of collegiality I have found at Chabot.  I feel like my input and comments are valued by my colleagues.  I feel respected.  I feel like I am on equal footing with my colleagues.  This is in marked contrast to my previous institution, UMass Boston.  Although I did feel respected and valued by most of my colleagues at UMass, the overall environment was not as supportive as what I have found at Chabot.  Maybe it is the fact that UMass Boston is trying to be a research university and Chabot is “just” a community college.  Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t have academic ranks here at Chabot.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m back in Califronia.

Whenever I met with the former provost at UMass I felt small, like I offered little of value to the institution as an assistant professor just starting out.  At Chabot, the Vice President of Academic Services (our equivalent of provost) treats me as a respected and valued member of the Chabot community.  The former chair of the Chemistry Department at UMass never made me feel welcome.  Here, there is no chair of the chemistry department—hell, as lecture coordinator I’m the closest thing to a chair of chemistry there is here!

And so I am now Chair of the Curriculum Committee.  And Chabot feels like home.  Wow.


Filed under Job, Wayne

4 responses to “Chairman

  1. Jason Weller

    Hey, Wayne! Just thought I’d pop in here and say hey on your blog. Your Facebook page led me here and I’ve enjoyed poking around a bit on your site. But it was your blog entry above that got me to jump out of my cloaked status.

    I’m really happy to hear that you’re enjoying your position at Chabot College. My wife, Sarah, is a researcher currently at the National Institutes of Health and she’s weighing whether she wants to make the jump into academics or not. She’s really hesitant to do so for similar reasons that you talked about based on your experiences at UMass. She went to Hopkins for her doctorate and it was an intense intense environment. Very competitive, one where they eat their young.

    I’m also envious that you’re back in California close to family. We’ve been out here in DC for about seven years now, and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t find myself thinking about moving back home. I really miss California and my family.

    And speaking of family, I love the pics of your family that you have up on your FB site. Your son is quite the handsome little man (how old is he?) and you all look happy to be together.

    All of this is a roundabout way of saying again that I’m happy to see that you’re doing well and enjoying your work. It’s hard to find a rewarding and enjoyable job where you can also feel like you’re contributing. Keep it up.

    Hope that you and your family are doing well.


  2. Hi. I know what you mean about feeling as if you are ‘home.’ However, I think you bring a lot to the picture, and as a consequence, respect and collegiality are easy with you.

  3. Wayne Pitcher

    Thank you Jason and Silver Fox.

  4. ZJoyaa

    Wow !!! Dr. Pitcher that is so honoring.

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