I have survived three department chairmen and even more presidents -- this alone should proclaim my use to this institution! I have been chair of committees, director of centers and programs, developer of courses, and principal investigator of multiple studies. As I was at the institution I graced before, I am here a fierce advocate for the students; every year I befriend some and solicit their vision of what my colleagues should be doing better (which I share with those colleagues when others are also present to benefit from my analysis). But the new guard will not apprehend my accomplishments: when I speak in meetings their eye-rolls lay bare their chagrin for having forgotten my history, for having troubled me to preemptively remind them of it once again. They frustrate my noble efforts and are refractory to anything but that which they have invented themselves.
One example is a colleague many years my junior. I served on the search committee that recommended his hire, and for the first few years he received my mentoring and paid it homage. Robustly he had debated me in committee when I held forth on my superior ideas and chided his naivete, but anymore he remains tight-lipped and poker-faced. On his behalf I act apropos our workgroups’ duties, and then, having been the paragon of leadership that does not tarry for needless consensus-building, I yield to him to take the baton but find his attention relegated to other causes. How is it that he has been thrice promoted, but rightful authority is now denied me at every turn?
Others of my seniority are already half out the door, but I choose not to shrink within my shell amid the stilling that erstwhile boiled around me. Soon enough will come the new hires, unjaded and eager to prove their mettle; they will profit from my alliance. So much have I left to do! I will spearhead new projects and form new subcommittees. I will shape new policy. Great will be my legacy, but so long as I persevere here, will recognition so justly earned ever find me? Nay, I shall not condescend to such vain musings, but rest confident that I will be celebrated long after my departure.