I have resigned from DJCAD.
I have been an academic for 26 years and have enjoyed the challenges and great opportunities that it has presented me with. I have worked with some wonderful people, and taught some simply remarkable individuals. I hope that I have made a positive impact on people’s lives, but I’m not the one to judge.
But it is time to move on and seek out a new challenge. I have spent much of the last four years encouraging my students to ‘make a job, not take a job’, and I’m now applying this to myself. The service design and innovation company Open Change http://www.openchange.co.uk/ launched by Hazel White two years ago, has got off to a hugely positive start, and I will now be a partner in that. We’re already doing some great work and I look forward to developing that further.
I’ve been lucky in being able to reinvent my role and the challenges it presents me with every few years both before and after I came into academia. This is something I encourage my students to do. But the priorities for academics have now shifted.
Higher education faces some major challenges, and requires radical new thinking to move it on. I’m confident that a new generation of academics – some of whom I’ve mentored and supported – can provide the ideas and energy needed. I know there are some outstanding people doing some brilliant things.
It’s been an honour to teach some wonderful people. Nothing beats teaching in terms of reward, and to see your students go on and discover themselves and make a positive impact in the world. I’ll miss that a lot.
But in a sense I’m now one of them. I’ve learned a huge amount from being part of a learning community, and I now want to apply that in new ways outside academia. I’ll be leaving in November and there may be a modest event in a bar to mark the occasion. I’ll let you know.
Regrets? I have a few, but then again….