Sunday, May 19, 2013

We are moving to Kansas!

After 7 interviews this spring, and two job offers from great schools, I accepted an Assistant Faculty Position at the University of Kansas. We will be moving there sometime in November for a Dec. 1 start date. We are excited in particular about Kansas for a bunch of reasons - on my part, it's a good department with lots of really nice people, they have EVERYTHING I need and lots of stuff I don't even need, they have lots of internal support to help me ride through this economic trouble (really important in this field), a low teaching load, and nice lab space. With regard to the rest of the family, it's close to Grandparents, with most of them a 5 hr drive North and several more a 10 hr drive south, it's near Kansas City with LOTS of amazing job opportunities and an airport for easily getting around, and it's a super nice family friendly town just like the one we grew up in (with much cheaper cost-of-living than Seattle). Also, they have a great basketball team.

Some of you may be wondering what exactly it is that I'll be doing as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas. This job is tenure-track, which means that if I work my hiney off for the next 5 years and they approve of me I'll get tenure and move into a secure position. Some Assistant Professor positions are research-focused, and some are teaching-focused. This one is in between, with more focus on research than teaching (which is what I wanted). I will be teaching a maximum of 2 classes per year with the rest of my time spent writing grants to get funding, mentoring graduate students, publishing research papers, presenting my work at meetings and seminars at other universities, and doing various 'service' related activities like helping with hiring, advising undergraduates, etc.

The interview process was very fun, but also very grueling. For each one I traveled to a place far away and had an intensely packed schedule with 15-25 meetings with other faculty, 2 research-related presentations, every meal and minute of spare time spent with members of the department, and a quick return home to my family where my 3-yr old had little comprehension of anything except how badly she missed me. By the 5th interview (which was Kansas), I was feeling pretty wrecked. The silver linings: I saw a lot of new and old friends on my many trips, including a particularly great trip back to Minnesota where I saw my Ph.D. advisor and lots and lots of old friends. Also, Washington pays for massage therapy treatment and all the travel warranted a lot of treatments (I had one after every interview).

So, we are now preparing for another big cross-country move, hopefully the last one we make, and we are excited!


Mandy said...

YAY!! Congrats!! I have been waiting to hear where you'd be headed next! That's so exciting!

Peggy said...

Congratulations on your new job!! I have one question though. . . . What's Derek going to do while you adjust to being an assistant professor?

uncle bruce said...

Congratulations! I am so glad you have finished your search! Do you remember when we drove you to Kansas in 1989? I hope that some day before too long we can make it out there!

J-Funk said...

Thanks everyone!! Derek is hoping to find a cool tech job in Kansas City (which is a tech mecca, apparently) - it's a 20 min drive. Alternatively, he may be able to work remotely at his current job but that's still up in the air.

Bruce, I don't remember going to Kansas with you in 1989, but I do remember going to Kansas on numerous occasions during the time my dad lived there - mostly good trips. We are hoping to buy a great big fancy house which will be perfect to host you if you visit. My dad is only a 10 hr drive a way (only) so perhaps we could organize a reunion in KS?

uncle bruce said...

We picked you up in I-city, and drove in a big Lincoln Town Car to Pittsburg -- I think we had to stay at a motel one night. I remember going roller skating, and visiting some town in Arkansas, and seeing baby J, your brother. You sang camp songs to us on the way down. I don't remember how you got home -- I think we flew home or something.

That 10 hr time is a theoretical construct -- the computer says it's only 9 hr from Pittsburgh to Carbondale, but it always used to take us 13. So after a while we quit trying to do it without an overnight motel stay near Cincinnati.

J-Funk said...

I remember driving you crazy singing camp songs on a long trip with you, so that must be it. It was summer, and I had just returned from camp, so you got it extra bad. I also remember another trip, when I was much younger, and it was super icy out and we watched someone crash and someone else go in the ditch on the other side of the highway as we were driving by. You were driving but I think my dad was also with us for that one.

I hope my dad is truly on 10 hrs and Iowa City is truly only 5 hrs as it says, neither of those trips need to be any longer!

uncle bruce said...

I visited once when you were a toddler; and then aunt N and I visited when we were engaged (maybe Thanksgiving 1983). That time your Dad had to do some driving on icy I-80. Well, I don't know, maybe it was me driving, that was a long time ago.

AustinBoy said...

Congrats on the new job!! So exciting.