My university announced today that I have been appointed to serve as dean of our Honors College. It’s a huge step up and, needless to say, a great departure from what I’ve been doing as a faculty member for the past ten years. I’m deeply honored by this promotion and sobered by the responsibility with which I’ve been charged.

First, let me describe my new job, which starts next month. I will be moving from the Department of English to the Honors College, which resides in an old, converted house next to our president’s residence. This is a picture of my “new” building. My new office will be the one above the front porch. As a candidate for the position, I joked with the students during a forum to answer their questions that one of my goals to promote community within the college was to take up pipe smoking and sit out on the front porch and regale them with stories from great works of literature. In real life, I do fantasize about sitting on the front porch in the early morning with a cup of coffee and a newspaper. I hope I have time to do that from time to time!

The first announcement of my appointment was an informal introduction at the college’s potluck this past Friday, which is the day I formally accepted the job. I got the call from the provost on Thursday, which was about two weeks after I interviewed for the post. I had thought my interview went well. I think I made a few mistakes here and there, but nothing major. In fact, I really enjoyed the interview process. I had meetings with the college staff, the university president, the provost, and directors of some of the programs of study within the college. I also had dinner with some of the deans. I gave to short talks, one during an open forum for anyone who wanted to attend and one during a forum just for the college’s students. This is the first set of interviews I’ve had since getting my current job 10 years ago. I had forgotten how fun they are when everything seems to be going right.