Wednesday, 12 March 2008

On the potential of becoming a public figure

One of the more appealing aspects of the new job is that it’s an opportunity to make an impact at an institution that serves a community that historically has not been served well by higher education. The community in turn seems more enthusiastic than most about the university, in spite of a rather marked “town-gown” gap in terms of the demographics of the university faculty versus the student body and wider community.

The downside of this arrangement for those not comfortable in the limelight—a category I firmly count myself within—is that nary a happening at TAMIU fails to make the newspaper. Case in point: a goodly share of my future department is quoted in a single article in yesterday’s Laredo Morning Times, a fate I am likely to share in the future.

The potential silver lining: I doubt I’ll ever become as ubiquitous as Frequent Commenter Scott. Being a sharp-dressed, vaguely handsome tall guy trumps everything I can bring to the table with the media.