By Joshua Van Laan
Recently The Pleiad had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Amity Reading of the English Department to chat about her experiences at Albion College. This will be Dr. Reading’s final semester at Albion College as she will be moving on to DePauw University in Fall 2013.
The Pleiad: Why are you leaving?
Reading: I should say first that it was not an easy decision. I did go on the market this year defensively to start off with, because this was my interim year. I felt like I was doing well at Albion, but one never knows, and it just so happens I got two campus visits at two very good institutions and I actually got a job at one of them.
P: What will you miss the most about Albion?
R: Albion is a wonderful school. I’ve been honored to work with great faculty and the students are amazing. But I’m young enough and mobile enough and the condition of the school is scary enough that I felt like if I had the chance to go to another institution that was roughly equivalent to Albion but more financially stable I would do that. So you know, the teaching mode is better, the pay is much better, but one of the biggest things is that the school is faculty governed. So all the administrations will be reabsorbed back into their faculty after they’ve done their term. The governing structure is more stable there and they’ve been able to hold on to their enrollments. They have a plan for the future, just things that made me more interested in the job as a place I would be tenured. I did go back to Albion and ask if they could make me a counter offer, but Albion was not able to do so.
It’s really a tossup between my colleagues and my students. I think one of the best things about going to a liberal arts school is that you get to know your professors. Students that I’ve had in five or six classes, and some of them will be graduating this year. I’ve been here long enough to have a cult following, but there are some students I’ve had this year who are freshman that are going to be like, “What!? Why are you leaving?!” The other thing I’m going to miss is my colleagues. I think the faculty is probably the strongest resource Albion has for it. I’ve been very lucky to work in a department with people I respect very much and who I like to work with every day.
P: What was your favorite moment at Albion?
R: It’s very recent, but I was asked to judge Mock Rock. I think I’ve been asked to judge it before, but I’ve never been able to judge an all-Greek competition like that before. I had no idea what to expect. I was absolutely floored by that event. I think that will be my favorite memory. Just seeing all the students I had before or have now just out there doing things that I never would’ve imagined them doing was really special.
Photo courtesy of Albion College