Leaving Middlebury College

One might say that it is not possible to leave an academic position (even temporarily) without writing a blog post about it. I suppose many people do leave academia without writing about it, but I’ve been meaning to write more blog posts for about two years now, and so here goes.

Let me dissuade anyone looking for gossip, I like and respect all of my peers at Middlebury College, and this post will be relatively contentless. I will reflect more on teaching at a small Liberal Arts College (SLAC) in the future.

The short version of my departure from Middlebury College is this: my partner is not safe or supported in her current academic position, and the realities of the academic job market is that you have little to no control over where you will end up. My colleagues at Middlebury were incredibly supportive of me, and the college as a whole is no stranger to losing faculty whose spouses cannot find satisfying work in rural Vermont.

I truly enjoy teaching, although, right now, I am desperate for a break. Like many of my peers (perhaps every faculty member with teaching obligations…), I am currently extremely burned out by trying to deal with the fallout of COVID, student stress levels, and the need to accomodate more situations and learning option variety while dealing with large class sizes.

I am excited for the remote software engineering opportunity I have lined up to begin in July, but I’m not going to announce my destination on my website or blog nobody reads … at least not until the job actually begins.

I believe that I will continue teaching in some form. Provided I have the bandwidth at my new position, I hope to adjunct an elective for Middlebury (remotely, if possible) this upcoming year. I’ve already heard from some other offers. While it is unlikely I would be able to succeed on the tenure-track SLAC market if I chose to return from industry, I don’t think I will ever be unable to find some opportunity to teach CS content.

Middlebury students can always contact me via the midd@jjfoley.me email address.