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Out Here in Oregon

December 30, 2019

It's how you know. I've been at Oregon State for just over six months, and last night, as I landed at PDX after a holiday trip to Chicago, and spent the time driving to Corvallis, I realized: I'm looking forward to being home again.

Home. As in Corvallis.  When you consider that place you moved to "home," you know you've successfully made the transition.  To be sure, I'll always have a connection to the places I've lived over the years, but there can only be one home.  And this is it.

Hundreds of people have asked me why I made the move here, after being so strongly associated with DePaul University for 17 years.  I tell them that it's a combination of a lot of factors: Fatigue associated with spending three hours a day commuting to and from work; a great boss retiring; some combination at the time of uncertainty about leadership and transitions; and my youngest daughter graduating from college all contributed.  But I could have easily managed all those things and stayed until retirement.  I wasn't really leaving anything; I was just coming to a new home.

So while those were contributing factors, the appeal of this new opportunity was very powerful.  I had passed up the first chance to apply for the job, and once that deadline had passed, instantly regretted it.  I kept searching to see who did get the job, and finally asked the search consultant about it.  She said, "I'm telling them you're interested."

The job, I thought, had been written like I wrote it for myself.  It dovetailed nicely with my experience, and the idea of working at a large, public, land-grant university was strong, especially one like Oregon State, where the focus is on what we do, and how we serve the state and its residents.  And my wife and I have visited Oregon, and we were always impressed with the people and the environment, and the feel we got when we came here.  We even talked about retiring here some day.

So, you could say that all the pieces fell into place.  And now I'm home.

Out Here in Oregon.