The Only Constant is Change

With the end of the winter semester and the beginning of the spring term, I get a chance to look outside my office window, Bartleby-style, and observe the changes around me. Trees are now in full leaf. New students are walking by and trying to figure out whether they should be in the JSB, JKB, or JFSB. And the weather continues its schizophrenic spring behavior of sun, rain, clouds, hail, and everything in between.

Over the last several months, there have been many changes afoot in ODH:

  • In January, I became ODH’s Interim Director following the departure of Prof. Michael Call. I’ll remain in this role until 1 July 2024, when Prof. Jeremy Browne returns from professional development leave and begins his term as Director. Jeremy’s Directorship will inaugurate a new era for ODH leadership. In the past, the Director has more or less been a for-life appointment; with the support of the Dean of the College, we are moving to more regular, three-year appointments that will echo those of Chairs in the College’s departments. This will enable all ODH faculty members to share the citizenship responsibility.
  • In January, I also became the coordinator for the Digital Humanities and Technology (DigHT) minor. Jeremy filled this role since he was hired in early 2012, and he did an incredible job building a minor that attracts students from almost every major on campus. I have had lots of questions for him as I am learning the ropes for supervising our capstone internship program, scheduling courses and classrooms, and working with our fantastic adjunct instructors. I am particularly proud of our revamped DigHT 210 class that Jeremy will debut this Fall semester with a focus on the Python programming language—not that I had anything to do with it.
  • Meanwhile, other changes have been afoot in ODH. In the end of the Fall 2023 semester, Prof. Rob Reynolds became our inaugural Software Development Coordinator. In this role, he works closely with Tory Anderson and Jason Dzubak to ensure that all development in ODH is aligned with best practices and that we are operating as efficiently as possible.
  • Simultaneously, Prof. Kathie Gossett—our newest colleague—took over the ODH project proposal process. We have developed this process over the last several years to make sure ODH is working on projects that are well within our wheelhouse and that meet the overall needs of the College faculty. If you have an idea for a project—whether for your research or your teaching—Kathie is the person to talk to!

What with all these changes among ODH faculty roles, I’m relieved to say the rest of the ODH team has been more stable. Perhaps it will be their chance to upset the applecart in the Fall semester, but that will be Jeremy’s opportunity rather than mine!