As they say, some personal news. The OU has been offering a round of voluntary redundancy, which I decided to apply for, and have been accepted. I will therefore be leaving the OU after 29 years. However, I’m doing what in the UK is known as a “Nadine“, ie announcing my departure and then not actually leaving for ages. In order to meet various commitments I’m not actually leaving until June 2024. So that leaves you plenty of time to compose either a moving eulogy or just the right side of legal slur for my departure.
The reason for announcing it with soooooo much notice is that higher ed (and the OU in particular) works on long timeframes so I’m already in meetings where we’re discussing things for 2025. I forget who I’ve told and who I haven’t so just decided on doing a blanket notice here. I mean, not that it’s a big deal to anyone but me, but at least I can say “I did mention it” in the same way the Vogons provide clear notification of local planning.
Why am I leaving? It’s not for any reasons of discontent. I’ll write more about the OU (“All good things, all good things”) nearer the time as part of a 34 departure blog post series (I jest only slightly). Mainly it’s because it provides some financial cushion to explore a potential third act in my career before full retirement. I won’t be retiring but I won’t be seeking a new full time job either. Instead I intend to develop a project portfolio across a diverse client base ie, doing some bits and bobs for people for money. So nearer the time, if you have any suggestions for working together, let me know (I can’t take on anything prior to then).
I also have a growing list of self-interest projects I want to explore. These probably won’t generate money but they might be fun. I keep spewing out new ones daily, like Alan Partridge proposing TV shows to an exec. The fact that I am generating these ideas for my own entertainment is proof enough that the impending departure is allowing some creativity to flow.
The other reason I’m leaving is that I think I’m in danger of becoming that older academic I always disliked. In all institutions things are cyclical, and when I come around to the third or fourth iteration of some organisational review, that always ends the same way, I find myself rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath. It’s dangerous to stop caring sufficiently.
I’ll probably bore you all with posts on these factors later, so for now this is just the notification to ease my conscience and memory. The redundancy scheme at the OU went by the acronym of MARS, so as is my wont, I created a playlist riffing of MARS puns and also all the sorts of activities one might undertake in post-compulsory work (see me working hard not calling it retirement). Enjoy!
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